This is a common question among amateur musicians. If you are an heir of a mansion, then having your own sound recording studio in one of its wings should not be a problem. However, if you don’t have that privilege, you can opt to record music in your room. The answer to whether you need to soundproof it or not depends on some conditions, your personal preferenсe, and your budget.
Things to consider
If you are concerned that external sounds will interfere with your recordings, soundproofing is probably necessary. The only exception is the situations when you have control over the source of the sounds. Sometimes it is enough to turn off some noisy equipment, to postpone mowing your lawn, or tell children to play a less noisy game for a while, and that’s all you need to record your music without any undesirable inclusions. In some cases, it is easier to soundproof some pipe or air duct that is located outside and transmits vibrations to your wall than to soundproof the whole room.
Along with this, you should also consider if it is actually necessary to eliminate those external sounds completely. For example, in case you are recording your track near a window overlooking the street, some interesting combination may appear during rush hour.
It is quite possible that you also have internal noise sources in your room, for instance, drafty doors or fans in your computer. Needless to say, that no kind of soundproofing can help in such situations – you definitely need to do something with the causes of these noises or look for another room for recording music.
And finally, if the main reason you think about soundproofing is that you don’t want to disturb your neighbors, first of all, you have to check with them if you can choose the time for your music activities when they are not at home. Or you can even find out that they don’t mind them at any time – the odds are not particularly high, but it won’t hurt to ask. And if they don’t answer a doorbell while you know they are in, you will have all the reasons to assume that your music doesn’t bother them as well.
If none of the suggestions help in your case, then yes, you need to soundproof your room. The good news is that all methods of soundproofing work in both directions, so that if you invest enough, you will be able to significantly reduce sounds coming both in and out of your room.
Does music sound better in a soundproof room?
Many people think so. After all, if it is quiet outside, you will hear only what you are playing with no distractions. Unfortunately, the reality shows that this is not quite true – your room may have its own acoustics, and these acoustics are definitely different from the sound of empty space with no acoustic properties at all. Soundproofing and acoustic treatment are not exactly the same thing.
When you record your track in a soundproof room, it will be most probably different from the same track recorded in an ‘acoustic’ room with all its echoes and resonances. However, for most types of popular music, this difference is not that noticeable.