Soundproofing and (not) dognapping.

If you’re here from my Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, you know that I record from my home studio. “Studio” being a generous term, really. It’s more a messy desk and computer space that has been slowly accumulating recording gear and nerd detritus over the course of the past decade.

That said, I have dreams of my own recording booth. Or, more plausibly, a soundproofed closet sweatbox to record in once we move to a new place, where I can scream and yell and cry without having to go door-to-door and ask any neighbors at home during the day to please not call the cops, I’m only pretending to be murdered. And of course, where I can record without interference from outside sources.


A picture of a husky dog smiling, holding a stuffed husky.
Exhibit A.

My husband and I have had our share of annoying neighbors. People who played music at 2 in the morning, one guy who did P90X every day at 6 pm sharp, someone who vacuumed five times a day, and one terrifying couple we were sure was going to kill each other. But now that I’m recording for a living, a howling dog and her owners are currently the bane of my existence. Note: huskies are not the best apartment dogs if you’re not home to give them attention. They’re really loud and active.

I sit here at my computer, working my day job, browsing audiobook auditions, listening to the poor baby howl and her owners scream at her, and dream of the day when I can have my own soundproofed recording booth. Or of dognapping the dog upstairs and making her my own. Maybe both. Probably not both, I have been assured by my lawyer that dognapping is illegal.

I’ve seen all sorts of DIY methods of soundproofing recommended for home studios, and as a DIY fan I’m enthused. Acoustic foam can be had pretty inexpensively if you buy it online. I use these to cover the worst noise-making offenders in my recording space, though I can’t reach high enough to tack it to the ceiling. A guy at the local music store swears up and down that moving blankets on boards made a good enough booth for his apartment that he could record metal vocals without bugging his neighbors. I have the blankets and the boards, and will report back.

Also, there’s the option of making a tiny tiny soundbooth out of a cloth storage square and acoustic foam. I’m honestly curious about this one, and planning to try it soon. If all else, it looks fun and I have the supplies on hand. There’s something so satisfying out of MacGuyvering a solution from stuff you have within a ten foot radius.

The dog is howling again. I wonder if I can make a pillow fort out of the moving blankets and acoustic foam cluttered around my desk.

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