Making cheap acoustic panels

New decade, new studio! This is the beginning of something great, but as with anything, you have to start small. For me, that means starting with building super affordable acoustic panels to get the space ready for filming.

Of course you can buy ready-made acoustic foam (Basotect), but it’s much cheaper and more effective to use heavy Rockwool in a simple DIY frame!

There are several grades of Rockwool available – and while even glass fiber insulation would work as an acoustic absorber, Rockwool Termarock 50 is one of the most effective materials available and will either allow you to build thinner absorbers without losing effectiveness or stay at the same thickness and get a much better effect.

The wooden frames are simple boxes, built with simple screwed-together butt joints. A cross member in the center of the frame gives it strength.

Lastly, I covered half of the absorbers in a velvet material – the other half in a plain white fabric. The final covering material is actually quite important for the performance of these panels, if I used the same brown synthetic cloth from the back of the panels on the front as well, they would reflect high frequency sound instead of muffling it. This can be an intended effect if you don’t want the treated space to sound “dead”, but in my case, I wanted the maximum absorption possible.

For mounting, I made two types of simple 3D printed brackets that will either hook to screws installed into the ceiling or into walls.

Overall, these are cheap and very effective absorbers – if you have some time to build them, you’ll be able to make them at a fraction of the cost ready-made absorbers would cost!

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