Auralex Acoustics

Auralex Acoustics

Jeff Marino

• Nashville master/demo drummer
• Bachelors degree in Music Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA
• Currently on tour with Darius Rucker
• Performed with Natalie Cole, Bobby Bare Jr., Allison Moorer, The Warren Brothers, Jessica Andrews, Blake Shelton, Phil Vassar, Hank Williams III, among others.

As a professional drummer, Jeff needed a place to “hit” whenever the need arose. His objective was to convert an 11’ X 15’ corner of his home basement crawl space slightly over 7’ in height into one where he could practice with a full kit, day or night, and neither disturb his neighbors nor his family. The completed room satisfied these objectives.

Jeff and his father, Al, built the room themselves with the help of the Auralex Application Support Specialists. Al tells the story:

“My Berklee alum son and I used Auralex services and products to design and build a drum practice room in his home in Brentwood, TN. After searching the web, we chose Auralex because:


1. The website was the most complete one we found. Itdescribed “sound proofing” methods in easy to understand terms, enabling usto visualize a design the two of us thought we could build.
2. The Auralex engineers agreed to critique our construction design documents at no cost; and,
3. Auralex designed and built a studio for legendary drummer, Kenny Aronoff, who my son has known personally for some time.


After a preliminary conversation with Auralex staff, we studied the information at to create the room construction design. We learned that what we wanted was “sound isolation” and that material mass, dead air, dissimilar layers of materials, and lots of acoustic caulk were keys to our success. We incorporated all of these techniques and as much of the materials as we could afford. We e-mailed the design, highlighting our questions, to the Auralex engineer. He quickly responded, answered all our questions, and made suggestions to make the design more effective. Follow-up e-mails clarified some points and we finalized the design.”

“Here’s how we applied what we learned from Auralex to build a “room within a room” that works:”

Floating the Walls- The studs were installed 4” from the outer walls to create dead air space between the outer and inner walls. The studs were then lined with Auralex Mineral Fiber, a specially designed acoustic insulating material. The construction of the wall surface began with using Auralex RC8™ Resilient Channel attached to the wall studs. These specially-formed metal channels are used to mount drywall as opposed to having the drywall mount directly to the studs. One layer of 5/8” drywall was then mounted to the RC8™ channel, followed by a layer of Auralex SheetBlok™, a specialized limp-mass vinyl material that is about 6dB more effective than solid lead of the same thickness. It acts as a thin, dense sound barrier in walls, ceilings or floors. Another layer of ½” drywall was then mounted to the SheetBlok™ for the finished wall.

Floating the Floor- The floor joists were “floated” using U-shaped channels called U-Boats™, and then filled in-between with Mineral Fiber. The remainder of the floor construction included ¾” tongue and groove oriented stran board (OSB) followed by a layer of 5/8” gypsum board; another layer of SheetBlok™ was then added, and a final layer of ¾” particle board finished things off.

Floating the Ceiling- The ceiling construction is a mirror image of the wall, utilizing Mineral Fiber, RC8™, 5/8” drywall, SheetBlok™ and ½” drywall.

Finally, all joints were caulked throughout the layered construction process, and the doors were covered with a layer of SheetBlok™ and the edges weather-stripped.

“Given the air space and the mass of the walls and floor, the finished room is approximately 9.5’ by 13’ and 6.5’ in height. Based on suggestions from Auralex, we added a drum riser inside the room made from Auralex’s PlatFoam™. Now, with my son playing full tilt, you can stand outside, 5’ from the house, and hear nothing. Throughout the house, sound is minimal and does not interfere with talking, using the phone, or watching TV. The second floor is almost silent. Auralex predicted this result based upon our final design. Thanks to Auralex, our drum room project is a resounding success!!”

”Moving forward, Auralex cautioned us that we were creating a very ‘live’ room, fine for practicing, but unsuitable for recording. Again, they were right on target. We have added acoustical treatments to ‘deaden’ the room, such as Auralex 4” StudioFoam®, LENRD® bass traps in the corners, and Metro™ Diffusors on the ceiling. We have now turned a great practice room into an excellent drum studio!”

”All I wanted was for sound not to get out. Thanks to the amazing design and concept advice from Jeff Szymanski and Jeff Hedback at Auralex Acoustics, I received more than I had ever hoped for. I can play during my daughter’s naptime or the middle of the night, and she doesn’t hear anything.”

”On top of it all, which I never expected, I now have a great drum tracking room as well. My room rocks!”