I’ve got another video up on our YouTube channel, and this time around, the link is pretty fresh. In this video, I talk about seals, and how they can help keep unwanted noise out of your recording space.

And again, if you want a transcript, here it is:

Hi, I’m Luis Cruz, and you’re watching (or listening to)… to be honest, I have no idea. I don’t have a title for this thing yet. But what matters is that today, I know exactly what I’ll talking about: seals. 

Yup, we’re talking about seals today ‘coz not so long ago, I was on a call with two of my colleagues from Voice Actors at Home PH where we discussed, among other things, recording spaces. In that call, one of the things that came up was how sealing a room (or making it airtight) helps with soundproofing… or at least minimizing the amount of external noise that enters your recording space.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about acoustic panels like these black and gray things you see here. These things are meant for sound treatment, and that’s a whole different topic. 

By the way, I have a sorta lengthy post about it with links to videos about the difference between soundproofing and sound treatment, and that meansI won’t get into that now, but I’ll give you the TL/DR version here:

To keep unwanted noise out of your recording space, you need three things: One is sealing. Two is separation. And three is mass

I’ll skip items two and three, and I’m only gonna discuss the first one, which is sealing, or seals. One of the ways sound waves travel is through the air. And if air can get into your recording space from outside, well, it can take sounds along with it. So when we close the doors and windows leading to our recording space, we block A LOT of the airflow… but not all of it. 

Some air can still get in through tiny gaps, usually around the edges of our doors and windows. And one way to find them is by looking for light – that is if you can make your recording space darker than what’s outside. 

Okay, I took this video from our downstairs bathroom, and you can see that even after I close the door, there’s light that leaks into the room. That means air, and sound, can enter, too. 

Now, this is for my studio, where the biggest gaps I needed to fill were all around my door. Yes, I’ve got windows, but they’re double paned, and the glass is set into the concrete, so I don’t have to worry about air leaking in through them. So we’re only focusing on the door here, but the same principles will still apply to windows as well. 

For the top and sides, I used some self adhesive weather stripping. I won’t get into how I attached them ‘coz I think it’s not that difficult to figure that out, but the main thing is that I lined the top and sides of my door frame, and when I close the door, I can’t see any light leaking in. 

As for the strip itself – well, I’ve got a small sample right here, and depending on how you look at it, it looks like a soft “p” or “b” or “d” shaped piece of rubber. And that roundish portion, that’s what fills in the gap between your door and your door frame. 

As for the bottom, I have an automatic door bottom seal installed. I can’t explain how it works exactly, but the basics are:

  • It’s installed in a groove on the bottom of the door, and
  • It stays retracted by default and seals automatically when a button or an adjusting screw gets pushed in by the door jamb

And that’s it – that’s how I seal my studio door and keep my space… well… mostly airtight. I’m sure it’s not hermetically sealed or anything even close to that, but it’s airtight enough to significantly reduce the amount of external noise that comes in. 

And, oh, there’s a little video I wanna share just to show how airtight my space is. 

[VIDEO] I’m gonna try to slam the door, and… I can’t slam it. Again, one more time. Nope. [/VIDEO]

As you can see, no matter how hard I try to slam the door, it just won’t slam shut. I admit the door isn’t too heavy, so I wonder if things would be different if I load more mass onto that thing in the future, but something tells me the result won’t be much different. 

Anyway, that ends my little talk on seals. I hope you learned something from it, and you got some relatively low cost ideas for how to minimize unwanted noise in your recording space. 

Until next time, bye!

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