Ventilation and air conditioning, sometimes known as HVAC (the 'H' stands for 'heating') is a vitally important topic to study in conjunction with soundproofing. When a studio is sound proof, it is also air proof, unless steps are taken.
Ventilation and air conditioning are not synonymous. Ventilation means access to fresh air from outside the building, air conditioning means cooling and maintaining the humidity of the air that is already inside. An air conditioning system may provide ventilation, but many do not at all.
There are a number of problems caused by such systems:
These are the solutions:
Turbulence is reduced by having ducts with a large cross-sectional area. This allows the air velocity to be lower and any remaining turbulence will be lower in frequency.
Any airborne noise can be reduced by the incorporation of plenum chambers. A plenum is a large space through which the air must travel, lined with absorbent material. The air temporarily slows down and allows time for any sound it carries to be absorbed. The ducts are also lined, bearing in mind that the absorbent material must not give off particles (like mineral wool does), unless the air is being extracted. Baffles are generally not used as they increase turbulence.
Noise that would otherwise travel through the metal of the duct is reduced by suspending the ducts flexibly, and by having flexible connector sections every so often to absorb vibration.
Noise from the fan that would otherwise enter the structure of the building can be reduced by mounting the fan on a heavy plinth, itself resting on resilient pads. Obviously, a fan that is intrinsically quiet should be used.
Studio ventilation and air conditioning systems should be installed by contractors who have experience in doing this in a studio environment. Otherwise it is likely that the result will not be satisfactory.Come on the FREE COURSE TOUR
Are you making these 4 simple mistakes again and again in your home recording studio? They are easy to identify and avoid, so you don't have to. Learn more...
Set up your home recording studio in the very best way possible. Learn how to select equipment and solftware all the way through from microphones to monitors. Learn more...
Come on the Audio Masterclass FREE COURSE TOUR. A short series of tutorials to welcome you to the challenging world of professional audio. Learn more...
Great home recording starts with a great home recording studio. It doesn't need to be expensive if you know how to select the right equipment for your needs.