sound proofing for sound hypersensitivity

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madbutnotmad
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02 Jun 2019, 11:27 am

Hello. I was wondering if anyone of this forum has had to soundproof their living accommodation due to being hypersensitivity to audible sensory stimuli (sound), as well as due to inability to filter out audible sensory stimuli.

I, myself have a BA in Sound Technology from LIPA, and have recently made a small isolation room which i use to escape from my noisy neighbours daily sound pollution but also from general environmental noise which also makes me ill.

Anyone want to share notes, and anyone need any help?



killerBunny
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02 Jun 2019, 12:21 pm

Soundproofing requires mass. It is expensive and more practical to wear ear plugs.
If would cost thousands to soundproof a room. There is no shortcut.

I have a masters in music, been working in that field for 20 years.



madbutnotmad
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02 Jun 2019, 1:28 pm

madbutnotmad wrote:
Hello. I was wondering if anyone of this forum has had to soundproof their living accommodation due to being hypersensitivity to audible sensory stimuli (sound), as well as due to inability to filter out audible sensory stimuli.
I, myself have a BA in Sound Technology from LIPA, and have recently made a small isolation room which i use to escape from my noisy neighbours daily sound pollution but also from general environmental noise which also makes me ill.
Anyone want to share notes, and anyone need any help?


Sorry, i think you ("Killer Bunny") have misconstrued what i am asking in the original post.
You appear to have concluded that the question asks people to debate as to the merits and demerits of soundproofing a persons accommodation who suffers from the well known sensory impairment symptom that is part of the official diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder which includes autism spectrum disorder.

Where i thank you for your advice and value your opinion on the subject, in this particular circumstance i am not attempting to open a debate with the members of this forum to argue their opinion on the subject should a person who is hypersensitivity to sound soundproof their living accommodation or not, but i am in fact offering to share my experienced and qualified opinion on the matter.

Just for your info. Autism Spectrum Disorder is and has been an officially recognised disability since 1995 (in one form or another), with the newer ASD criteria being updated in the American Psychiatrists Associations Diagnostic and statistical manual version V (five) on May the 18th 2013. The APA DSM-V is the most commonly used psychiatric manual used for diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in the US, UK and Europe.

As sensory impairment is part of the diagnostic criteria for the now well known disability, it is now an area that needs to be included in disability discrimination in countries that have disability discrimination laws, which includes the UK, US and most of EU countries.

Disability discrimination does cover not only how a disabled person is treated or provided for in services and products, which includes housing. Most 1st world countries disability discrimination laws represent each countries interpretation or attempt to ratify the UN conventions of human rights for people with disabilities, this includes housing, which the UN conventions recommend need to be fit for purpose, adequate in size and quality for the purpose it is to be used for.

I have read extensively on the subject, not only as a person with autism spectrum disorder but also as a sound engineer with a degree in sound engineering from a world famous institute, and a musician who has been making music since i was 18, with the first studio i built being in 95.

I have just completed a project in my own home building a room inside a room isolation booth for specific purpose, and am on the forum offering free help, to help people with the same disability find relief.

Unless you suffer from the condition and suffer from acute hypersensitivity to sound, as well as the inability to filter, you will not fully understand the necessity of why people can't just use ear plugs.

Suggesting to do so, especially if you do not have the condition i feel is extremely ignorant. But there you go.
Suggesting someone who is sensitive to sound is like the following for people with other disabilities:

People who are deaf should just fill their ears with wax and not use expensive hearing aids.
People who are light sensitive should not go to the expense of replacing their light fittings with expensive
specialist lights, but should simply not use lights, or perhaps wear an inexpensive blind fold.
People who suffer from a physical disability, should not have expensive prosthetic limbs but just get on with life without.
All such suggestions would be extremely ignorant and if followed would most certainly breach or infringe the human rights of the disabled person who follows the advice, as well as have significant impact on that persons well being and lifestyle.

In the US, UK and EU, governments provide grants for this specific purpose. Medical adaptations.
I have read the latest books on the subject, written by leading architects who specialise in autism friendly architecture, and one of the primary concerns is soundproofing.

At Home with Autism: Designing Housing for the Spectrum
although other concerns include other areas of sensory hypersensitivity, which includes light and visual sensitivity.

One of the books that i have read cover to cover when researching the topic before building my project recording studio isolation booth, the books of Philip Newell but especially his book Recording Studio Design

recording studio design

Philip Newell has been building high end pro recording studio since the 60s, with some of his projects including manor house london, studios for Richard Branson when he started Virgin which had the sex pistols, and the who record albums in, and many many more. he is still alive and in opinion the top resource on the subject.

[/url]Philip Newell website

although keep in mind that pro recording studios require a higher level of isolation than the average domestic installations that needs to reduce the sound levels to 70 - 100 DB.



Sam64
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02 Jun 2019, 2:16 pm

I spent £4000 getting my place done and it was rubbish, I still hear my selfish neighbours TV and music coming loudly into my flat from below. :cry: They put some kind of padding underneath the floorboards, but it barely seemed to make a difference. Maybe my building is just a lost cause because it's so old and the ceilings are really low so we're very close together. I'm kind of devastated as I brought the place and it's perfect in every other way including location. I might have to sell eventually, but I think even if I do it'll be difficult to sell if they hear her noise every time people come to look. And I think it's very hard to find somewhere with good sound proofing in London. Is there any way of knowing before buying? Do very modern builds have excellent sound proofing? My building is old, built in around 1890.



DanielW
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02 Jun 2019, 2:37 pm

I've found it easier to soundproof myself rather than my environment. I have molded earplugs similar to those used on hearing aids and noise-cancelling headphones. I can either block out external sound, play my own choice of music or sound, or hear environmental sounds at a level of my choosing. It goes where I do, I am not limited to a single room that way.



Sam64
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02 Jun 2019, 2:49 pm

DanielW wrote:
I've found it easier to soundproof myself rather than my environment. I have molded earplugs similar to those used on hearing aids and noise-cancelling headphones. I can either block out external sound, play my own choice of music or sound, or hear environmental sounds at a level of my choosing. It goes where I do, I am not limited to a single room that way.


That's a good idea to combine the earplugs with noise-cancelling headphones. Do they go right in the ear? Is it healthy to wear them often? I might try it. My Bose QC3 are not the best on their own.



DanielW
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02 Jun 2019, 3:14 pm

Sam64 wrote:
DanielW wrote:
I've found it easier to soundproof myself rather than my environment. I have molded earplugs similar to those used on hearing aids and noise-cancelling headphones. I can either block out external sound, play my own choice of music or sound, or hear environmental sounds at a level of my choosing. It goes where I do, I am not limited to a single room that way.


That's a good idea to combine the earplugs with noise-cancelling headphones. Do they go right in the ear? Is it healthy to wear them often? I might try it. My Bose QC3 are not the best on their own.
the earplugs were made to fit my ears by an audiologist so they fit very well and block a lot of sound. I do have to sanitize them everyday and watch for infections, but not more than people who wear hearing aids do. Combined with headphones, I can be functionally deaf unless I choose to hear, that takes practice too, but it has been sanity saving for me.



madbutnotmad
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02 Jun 2019, 6:30 pm

Sound proofing is a bit like water proofing. You have to "proof" all sides of the room to be of any use.
People sometimes approach one surface, for example, just the floor, or just the windows.
Where this can help improve circumstances, it isn't always effective.

Generally speaking there is two types of noise pollution or sound transmission in residential buildings.
1: airborne sound (through the air, windows etc.).
2: structure transmitted sound (through the walls, ceiling etc.).

Sound proofing is fairly complex, and getting it right can often be a challenge.
However, it is not regarded as impossible, especially for even high domestic levels of say around 100 db.

There are a number of materials used in sound proofing, which are used for various reasons.

Firstly you have resilient or reflective materials, materials that reflect back sound energy.
Dense materials such as concrete, granite, mass loaded vinyl, acoustic dry lining etc. are very good reflective or resilient materials. Rubber also. (remember from science how hard it is for electricity energy to travel across rubber, sound energy also finds it hard).

Secondly, you have absorbent materials, that sound finds it hard to travel through efficiently which causes sound to
burn up into heat due to the friction caused by sound trying to travel through the absorbent materials.
Rockwool is considered a really good absorbent material, as well as other forms of insulation fibre, especially ones that come from rock.

So, using the above materials can be effective when sound proofing.
However, keep in mind, in order for the materials to work, you have to use the right combination of materials, in the right quantities, and you have to make sure that the sound proofing is all around.
As again, like water proofing if you leave a hole, then the sound can then simply come through the hole.

Now. with regards to structurally transmitted sound energy, simply just covering the room with resilient layers isn't enough. using large amounts of material is good but not always practical, so somewhere in time someone realised that it was possible to use tech to decouple the sound that is travelling through the structure so as to prevent it from jumping from one material to another and then being amplified in a room.

One method of decoupling is to use a system of resilient bars and clips, which in essence act like a shock absorber
which allows you to fix dry lining onto walls, while stopping the sound from being transmitted from original structure (brick and mortar) to the inner walls. So you fix the dry lining to the wall using the resilient bar and clip system.

This type of system can also be enhanced by filling the wall or ceiling cavity with rockwool
A similar system can be devised by using a simple wood frame floor placed on rubber resilient feet, also filled with rockwool and covered with a wood top.

The resilience of the floor can further be enhanced if the floor has a complete mass loaded vinyl coat covered over it, either beneath the floating floor, or on top of it. Mass loaded Vinyl is like a type of Vinyl flooring that is impregnated with granite or bitchumen dust, which makes it extremely dense, heavy but at the same time malleable and easy to work with.

Windows can also be treated with some form of cover, some which are fairly inexpensive.
But sure, it isn't a super cheap task, but perhaps a highly necessary one. for people with this extremely misunderstood health problem.

One other material that i note is extremely good for use in domestic sound proofing is spay cellulose fibre, as it is very inexpensive (apart from the apparatus to install, if you can not find someone who is licensed to install) and can be used practically anywhere.

Spray cellulose fibre is basically recycled newspaper, with a special coating, so when applied, creates a thick dense layer that is similar to having a thick wood like layer. particularly good at sound proofing for the most problematic frequencies, those bellow 100 hz (as found in most music, the bass and the bass drum, that due to the very nature of physics carries a great deal more energy of higher frequencies at the same amplifications).

Now there is a complex science in pro recording studio that is required to create neutrally or specialised acoustic spaces that can then be used for recording and engineering pro level music. This science goes into the intricate details of each material and its behavioural attributes as they typically exhibit under various conditions.

However it may not be necessary for people who simply want to sound proof their flat in a domestic setting to understand the more complex science behind sound proofing for this other more complex objective.
So i shall not go into too much detail and allow you to refer to the above specialised book if necessary.

Hope the above helps. Kind regards



BTDT
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02 Jun 2019, 7:43 pm

My basement seems pretty quiet. My property is covered with all sorts of trees, hedges, and flowering shrubs to help create a sound barrier. And I'm the only one, besides my cat, living on the property.