How to Prep Your Garage For a Band
Industrialization gave rise to the automobile. The automobile gave rise to the need for garages. Garages have evolved to house cars, store extra goods, and bring renegade bands to the halls of musical fame. Even famous rock bands like The Who, U2, and Nirvana got their starts as groups of like-minded musicians with empty wallets, pawn shop instruments, an old garage and big dreams.
Garage bands still exist. There are still talented musicians without a penny to their names who rattle the walls of their houses with the sounds of musical ambition. Luckily for modern garage bands, home construction and garage door technology has evolved to keep their creativity from disturbing the neighbors. However, garages aren’t sound studios – until you equip them to keep the noise in and distractions out.
How Sound Travels Through Your Garage
Garages are unique in that they are attached to the house but almost always have flooring that differs from the rest of the rooms. Most often, garage floors are concrete. This makes parking your car easy and absorbs any messes that cars may make. For musicians, however, this is bad news. Concrete floors are so dense that sound waves tend to bounce off of them in almost any other direction.
If your house’s walls are constructed by today’s standards, they likely have a drywall layer with studs that do very little to decrease sound. Between the studs that support your wall is large amounts of space where sound can move freely. Even though there is usually a layer of insulation in the walls, it is made more for keeping out bad weather than keeping in sound. So sounds, especially loud ones, tend to bounce from the floor directly through the walls and into the open air.
How to Soundproof Your Garage
Here are some ways in which you can quickly and easily start trapping sound in your garage:
Eliminate noise makers.
Garages are often treasure troves of trinkets that and love to carry sound. But for most musicians, the sound of ceramic cups and sheet metal isn’t an ideal harmony.
To eliminate extra noises that may be made worse by music, make sure that small items that are stored in the garage are packed properly into tubs or boxes. Also, line those containers with packing material. Even stuffing boxes with old blankets or lining tubs with unused pillows can prevent sound from reaching small items. If you have large machines with loose parts like an old washing machine in storage, fill the gaps between parts with unused clothes or rags to prevent unwanted sound.
Prevent sound from escaping.
This is the fun part. If you have old wool or thick moving blankets lying around the house, they are perfect for lining the floor and walls of your garage and absorbing tons of sound. The softer, thicker, and more porous the material, the better it will be at keeping your garage band’s new single within the security of the garage.
For the walls, you can use a curtain rod fixed just below the ceiling to hang the blankets. Keep them as close to the wall as possible to get rid of any open spaces. If you don’t have blankets but do have a budget, acoustic sound deadening panels made of foam are available. For a slightly cheaper solution, try acoustic blankets.
Lining the floor with blankets and pillows is hard but keeps the sound from bouncing around too much. There are floors made especially for mechanics that provide a softer surface. These floors wick away water and oil and can be installed on top of your concrete floor. They are just as good at trapping sound as blankets and offer a more permanent solution.
Install a sound-deadening garage door.
The last line of defense between your band and the outside world is the garage door. Of all the garage door materials, steel and aluminum are the least soundproof. Luckily, lots of steel doors are now insulated with foam, and if yours isn’t, you can start to consider other options for your door.
The best solution is to install a garage door that says no to sound waves. Wood is a naturally porous, strong but soft material that also offers a unique beauty as a garage door. It is the most effective at soundproofing of modern garage doors. If you haven’t considered the benefits of a wooden garage door, Hill Country Overhead Door can walk you through the pros and cons and see if it is the right fit for you.
If you’re dreaming of rock stardom, there’s no better place to start than your garage. Just remember to consider your neighbors and soundproof to the best of your ability. Talk to us at Hill Country Overhead Door to learn more about garage door options and get your garage door, and your band, off to the right start.