Having recently embarked upon a journey to build my very own studio at the end of my garden – one of the very first considerations I had to make was how to treat it acoustically… and on a tight budget!
I opted for DIY acoustic panels because they were cheaper and more customizable to fit my room.
The room I am building is a 3.8 x 3m insulated log cabin. With the insulation built into the walls, I wasn’t too worried about soundproofing the cabin. However, a major worry was that the sound would be bouncing and reflecting all over the place, turning the cabin into one giant drum!
Let’s get to it.
One of the first things I learned was that High Frequencies are a lot easier to absorb and control than Low Frequencies.
What does this mean for us? Well, logically you’d think this means we need a whole lot more material to control our low end. Luckily there is a cheaper option. It’s known that simply by positioning your material further away from the wall is almost as effective as increasing the material thickness.
For example; If you have 2-inch thick acoustic foam and position it 2 inches away from your wall, it would be almost as effective as 4-inch thick foam.
Alright, so we need to make some thick panels and position them away from the wall for our bass these are called bass traps. And we only need some thin ones for our high frequencies.
For the bass traps I designed (very roughly, in my head) a wooden frame 190cm tall, 45cm wide, and 10cm deep. I got these from my local B&Q. The plan is to fill the frame with Rockwool Insulation which you can pick up for cheap. We then wrap the frame in a nice black cotton fabric which I got off amazon, this roll is also 150cm wide so wraps nicely around the whole frame. We then use a staple gun to staple the fabric to the frame.
So, in summary, for a single bass trap you will need:
- 470cm x 10cm wide timber
- 3m x 150cm Black Cotton Fabric
- Mineral/Rock Wool Insulation
- A staple gun
- A wood saw
- 50mm wood screws
You may be able to get some rough sawn timber for a lot cheaper at your local hardware store.
Note: It is advisable to drill pilot holes to avoid splitting the timber. If you don’t have a drill that’s fine, the screws I’ve linked are designed to avoid splitting. Be warned though, hand screwing these will be a massive pain in the ass.
- Saw the wood into 2 x 190cm pieces and 2 x 45cm pieces.
- Build your frame by screwing the 190cm pieces on to the 45cm pieces as pictured.
- Staple the fabric to the frame ensuring you stretch the fabric tight. Do this by putting one staple in and then pull the fabric on the opposite side and staple it down, repeat until all 4 sides have staples approximately 70mm apart.
- Flip the frame over and fill it with your insulation. 😉
- Wrap the rest of the fabric around the other side of the frame, pull tight and staple it closed.
- Cut all loose ends off and staple any pieces down that may be sticking out.
The process for the wall panels is exactly the same. The dimensions I used were 100cm x 140cm and I used a gray fabric to change things up a bit.
Mounting my panels was a relatively easy task as my studio walls are made out of wood, I just needed to figure out how tactfully screw them into the wood.
For the Bass Traps I took a piece of timber I had lying around, cut it about 10-15 cm wider than the Bass Trap and then sawed off the corners so that they would sit flush against the studio walls. I then screwed the timber onto the back of the panel as pictured.
And here you can see the trap mounted to the wall.
For my gray acoustic panel in the center, I picked up a couple Flat Zinc Plated Brackets from Amazon and screwed them onto the frame, and used those to fix the panel to the wall.
I’m not too worried about leaving a gap between this panel as its purpose was more to deal with top-end and they are already thick enough to do this without leaving that gap.
And that’s all for now. I plan to continue adding panels to my little log cabin, possibly even one mounted to the ceiling. I will keep this post updated with any changes that I make in the future.
This article covers acoustic treatment. However, if you’re looking for sound proofing then I suggest you watch this video showing what the most effective and cheap material is for sound proofing a room.
If you found this helpful or have any comments – feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!