My side project: DIY acoustic panels.

After my brother moved out and remodeling the house, I got an extra room for music recording. I’ve moved everything from the living room into the new music room. My friends would also cramp in there when we practice. One problem with a small space is room acoustics. It is fine for practice but I couldn’t stand the sound acoustics in my vocal recordings. So I decided to look at some acoustic treatments.

My room is 10′(W)x10′(L)x8′(H). I’ve laid carpet on the floor and I need to find some treatment for the walls, ceiling and the window. First, I looked into covering the whole room with acoustic foam. At musiciansfriend.com, they are $59 for 32 square foot(Auralex Studiofoam). The downside is they are not portable and the materials aren’t as durable.  After some research, I found an alternative is to go with fiberglass acoustic panels, yet they are very expensive (about $100 – $150 for each 24″x48″x2″ panel). If I want 3 on each wall totaling 12, I will need to spend $1800. That’s a little much for my Chinese-penny-pincher self. So, I decided to do-it-myself.

To make your own acoustic panel, you will need to still buy fiberglass foam – I don’t know how to make them from scratch. I bought the ATS Acoustics rigid fiberglass boards. They are direct replacement for the more expensive Owen Corning 703 boards. I never compared them side by side. But when I put my ears next to the ATS boards, I hear dead silence which is good enough for me.

Here is a checklist of things I got:

  • 2 packs of 6 ATS Acoustics rigid fiberglass boards (~$60 x 2)
  • 24 yards Burlap mariners Blue ($50)
  • 3 Sanded plywood 4’x8′ (cut at Home Depot into 12 2’x4′) – ($19 x 3)
  • 3M Super 77 adhesive spray ($10)
  • Staple gun (I already own)
  • Staples ($3)
  • 30lb picture hanger – pack of 14 ($10)

The total was a little less than $300 but I ended up with 12 acoustic panels that I would have spent $1800 for. Good deal!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Spray board with 3M adhesive spray and place foam on top. Wait for 30 minutes for it to dry
  2. Next I placed the acoustic boards on the burlap fabric and cut it.  Make sure you leave enough room so you can staple the fabric onto the board in the back.
  3. Spray fabric with 3M adhesive spray and stick the foam onto the fabric in place.
  4. Staple the loose end of the fabric onto the back of the board.
  5. Install wall hanger – remember to install them the same way.
  6. Hang completed acoustic panel on the wall

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