How does glass prevent noise in music studios?


This is something that has always baffled me. A music studio needs to be as near to silent as possible to ensure the best sound quality when recording. The slightest sound can ruin a recording, so extra care must be taken.

The big question is, how do they achieve this and how does the soundproof technology work?

Well, the studio itself has to be built in a way to ensure the room will absorb, reflect and diffuse sound in a certain way to help the producers create a precise and accurate recording of instruments and recording artists. The recording studio normally consists of 2 rooms; a studio or ‘live room’ and a control room. Sometimes there is an isolation room, built to house louder instruments like drums and electric guitars, to prevent them being heard on studio mics.

The shape, size and materials used to build the room all affect the acoustics and the control room is normally separated from the studio with soundproof glass. This helps music technicians see the artists performing, so they can advise them to help them achieve a better sound and guide them to creating a perfect recording.

Music Studio glass - from flickr by Ctd 2005

Image sourced from Ctd 2005 on Flickr

So, the room is built with special materials, but how does the glass work to prevent noise? Single pane windows will obviously allow sound through easily, but double glazing will reduce this. Sound travels in waves, reverberating objects it ploughs into, and therefore sending the sound through it.

Double glazing gives the sound waves a bit of a challenge by giving it more obstacles to reverberate; this muffles the sound. To decrease the noise levels even further, the double glazing can be made in two different thicknesses. The thicker the glass, the harder it is to reverberate, which in turn reduces the amount of noise passing through even further.

If you have one pane of glass that is thicker than the other, the sound waves travel one way through the first pane, but they will have been slowed down and will struggle to reverberate through the next pane of glass.

Sound reducing glass - how it works

Just when you thought they couldn’t stop the sound waves even more, you can laminate the glass, which will breakdown the noise even more. So, there you have it. A quick and simple way to understand how studios use glass to soundproof when recording.

This technique is used in Anglian’s┬ásafe and sound double glazed windows, helping reduce sound pollution in your home, be it passing traffic, aircraft overhead or next door’s amateur rock band, letting you relax in the evening in peace and quiet.