When you’re starting to get serious about streaming, you want to have a competent, professional sound. And anyone who has attempted to record good quality audio will know, there’s nothing worse than background noise that you can’t get rid of in a stream.
And if you’re streaming live, you certainly don’t have time to clean things up, spending hours with audio software.
The solution is to soundproof your streaming room properly. This article will discuss some techniques and tips right out of the entertainment industry to bring you some sound advice on soundproofing your streaming room. See what we did there, ‘sound’ advice? Anyway, join us for an adventure into sound.
How to Soundproof Your Streaming Room?
The best way to soundproof your streaming room is to place soundproof foam on your walls in areas where the sound will be projected towards. For example, if you will be facing your monitor and talking, it will be best to place the soundproofing on the wall behind your monitor.
And don’t just use any soundproof panels. You will want to get something of good quality like these soundproof panels on Amazon.
It’s also a good idea to get some heavy duty hanging strips like these unless you want to nail holes in your wall to hang these up. These wall strips get the job done and won’t cause any damage to your wall.
Once you have the supplies you need, clean the wall that you want to install the panels on, attach the hanging strips to the panels and then start hanging the panels on the wall.
It is recommended that you put four hanging strips on each panel, one on each corner. Also, make sure you press and hold the panels firmly on the wall to assure that they stick properly to the wall.
As you can see installation is super easy and can take your sound to the next level for sure! If you need even more help, check out my Youtube video below. It is super easy and does not take long at all.
Now, another important thing to consider when soundproofing is understanding how sound works. Okay, we could get into an entire book or more just trying to understand some of the principles of dynamics and the science of how we hear.
No, we’re just going to cover the basics because the rest all sort of falls in line.
First, we have to understand wave propagation. Wave propagation is the circumstance of a wave, in our case sound, propagating outward from the point source of origin.
There is a very cool way to visualize how sound works and explains it with water. Let me explain.
Imagine a large round birdbath. Imagine that this birdbath has a pool about two feet across and has a little ledge protruding upward like a fence around the perimeter. Can you picture this round birdbath?
Anyway, the idea is to drop a pebble into the bath. Wherever the stone goes into the water, there will be small waves propagating outward from where the stone hits the water.
These waves will travel outward and reflect against the edge and then travel back towards the point where the pebble struck the water.
Now think about your streaming room. If you have control over the audio of the game (assuming you stream gaming) with a software like Streamlabs OBS, then you won’t likely need to worry about recording anything from computer speakers.
But imagine the sound waves coming from you when you speak like the waves of water in the birdbath from the pebble we talked about earlier.
To soundproof an area, one must scatter the sound waves and disperse them so that they cancel out. Like two waves traveling at equal speeds, they will cancel out in opposite directions with equal size. We can treat sound waves the same way.
Now, sometimes one needs to soundproof a streaming room to prevent sound getting in from other areas. It is often the case when one has roommates, kids, or siblings in the house.
Trying to run a live stream with other people banging about can be quite distressing, especially when a sibling decides to crash the party.
To compensate for either sound reflection or some obnoxious people who you don’t want showing up on the live audio feed, then no problem, it’s time to soundproof.
However, if you’re on a budget, then the trades’ tricks need to reveal themselves to help a streamer out. Let’s find out what the pros do.
What is the Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Room?
Remember when we said we need to disturb the sound waves to cancel them out? There are several great ways to do just that such as home-made soundproof panels and fleece blankets. Let’s take a look at a few different cheap ways to soundproof an area.
Home-made soundproof panels.
These panels are cheap and easy to make, and they do a fantastic job of insulating sound. For this method, you will need a few inexpensive supplies.
All it takes is some cardboard (which you could easily get from the dumpster of your local grocery store. Don’t ask.), egg cartons like these, non-scratch pads like these on Amazon (those with the peel-off backs that you use to stick to the bottom of furniture so it won’t scratch the floor), spray paint (for looks) and expanding spray foam which you can get here on Amazon.
Now, take the cardboard and make a tray about 2” deep that is the same size as the egg carton. Ideally, the egg carton will sit on top of the box or tray as a lid.
Next, take the expanding foam and fill the box but leave significant gaps throughout the tray. The foam should fill the tray, but leave a bunch of air gaps throughout the foam.
Once sufficiently full, place the egg carton on top, squishing down the foam enough with the egg carton, so the foam is adequately filling the box and sticking to both the box and egg carton. Allow this to dry for at least 24 hours.
Once built, simply cut away any excess foam that escaped your egg carton tray and spray it with your preferred color.
What you have just made is a somewhat active sound cancellation. A professional pad that is typically quite expensive to purchase that is. You can make about 4 of these trays before expanding foam runs out, and a second can is needed.
The foam egg carton trays can be used to line the walls of a streaming room, and if you make enough, it will look and sound like a professional sound booth, at a fraction of the cost of professional-grade soundproofing.
Blankets, Duvets, and Linens are all great for soundproofing. One of the most common ways that people on a budget soundproof their rooms is by hanging blankets like this one on Amazon on their walls.
One smart idea to save even more money is to pay a visit to a second-hand goods store. One can often find a lot of old blankets and linens for incredibly cheap prices.
It won’t matter what they look like, as long as the outside layer is sufficient for your liking. Just make sure you wash then first. Trust.
Lining the walls in your streaming room with blankets is an excellent way to deaden sound and give a beautiful, clean, echo-free sound area to record and stream live.
And one of the best types of blankets for soundproofing is a fleece blanket. You could grab a few beautiful fleece blankets and put the cheap second-hand sheets behind where you can’t see them.
What Material can Block Sound?
Remember how we were talking about visualizing sound like one sees waves in a pool of water? Those waves can travel through objects, making them vibrate and rebroadcast the sound out the other side of the object.
And some objects do a better job than others at muffling those sounds.
Objects that tend to transmit sound are usually quite uniform. Think of it this way, what conveys that wave back into the pool better, a wall-like edge or a rocky and jagged shoreline? The flat edge reflects a robust and flat wave.
A serrated and inconsistent edge will reflect an irregular and incoherent wave. So, the more a material breaks up a wave, the better it works at soundproofing.
That’s why blankets work well. Any cloth or soft foams also works well. As long as there is a micro-inconsistency about them, they will break up sound waves.
And all fabric has micro-inconsistencies, so it works well. However, the fabric isn’t quite dense enough to be useful, so it requires layering to dampen sound.
Good soundproofing panels will typically be between 2 and 4 inches thick. The thicker the panel, the better it works at stopping sound. Usually, that is the case, but not always.
Why Should You Soundproof Your Streaming Room?
Soundproofing your stream room is important for three reasons: first, it helps to cancel any outside noise from interfering with your stream. Second it helps to reduce echo in the room that you are in which helps improve the overall sound and lastly it makes your streams quieter and therefore less likely to annoy your roommates.
All in all, soundproofing your room just provides for a better sounding stream. If someone is yelling in another room they will be much more difficult to hear in a soundproof room as opposed to a non soundproofed room.
If you are yelling too (even though people never yell when they are playing video games but just in case you slip) then those you live with won’t be able to hear you as well either. Soundproofing your stream room is just a win win all around.
Not to mention it really does help to reduce echo. This is especially important if you are streaming in a room with wood or tile floors because sound can more easily bounce off of these types of flooring.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
Soundproofing your stream room is easy and can go a long way in improving the sound quality of your stream. It can also be done cheaply, so why not give it a try?
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.