Acoustic Panels

Now that we had the basic set-up for our studio, we wanted to make some acoustic panels to hang in the live room. To ensure the studio remained functional while we continued to build and improve it we made two smaller panels for the point of first reflection at our listening position in the control room. It is important to treat this area to ensure you can trust what you are listening to as removing the initial reflections improves the accuracy of what you are hearing and helps to define the stereo image (Advancedacoustics-uk.com, n.d.).

Going for a minimal design, we built the frames for the panels out of wood and MDF. We then placed each sheet of rock wool in the frame and covered the whole panel with black fabric, pulling it tight to nail it to the back of the panel. We decided to use hooks to hang the panels in the live room, this meant the panels would be easy to remove if there was a time when we didn’t want/need them.

The method we used to build the panels can be seen below.

Step 1: Materials and Equipment

  • Lengths of Wood (for desired size)
  • MDF
  • Rock Wool
  • Black Fabric
  • A Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hammer
  • Nails  
  • Wood Glue
  • Hooks

Step 2: Making the Frame

We opted to make our panels the size of the sheets of rock wool as we weren’t looking to cover a specific area. 

After measuring the rock wool we cut the lengths of wood to the correct sizes. Then using wood glue and nails, we fitted the wood together to make the frame.

Next, we measured from the outside of the frame to get the size for the MDF backing. The MDF was then nailed to the wooden frame. We opted for an MDF backing to the panels to have somewhere to attach the fabric to and to improve the sturdiness of the panels as we would potentially be using them as small gobos if required.

Once we had all the measurements and one frame fitted together we cut the rest of the wood and MDF to size. 

Step 3: Filling and Covering

Next, we slotted the sheets of rock wool into the frame. We then took the black fabric and cut it roughly so that it would cover the front of the frame while leaving enough to pull behind the back. Flipping the frame over and lying it on the fabric so the MDF backing was facing up, we then pulled the fabric tightly around the frame and nailed it to the back. Although it wasn’t the neatest of jobs, the main thing was that the front of the panel was presentable. Due to time we focused on practicality over aesthetics but we felt the minimal look fit in well with the overall feeling of the studio. 

We then repeated this for each panel. For the control room we opted to have half size panels and followed the same steps to create smaller panels. As these didn’t need to be removable we screwed them straight onto the wall.

Step 4: Hanging

To hang, we put two hooks on both the wall and the panels. Doing this would make it easy to take them off as demonstrated in the video below.

This was the first stage in our acoustic treatment of the studio and we will be looking into what else we can do in the future and ways in which we can make the live room flexible in its recording potentials. 

References:

Advancedacoustics-uk.com. (n.d.). The First Reflection Point. [online] Available at: https://www.advancedacoustics-uk.com/index.php?route=information/news&news_id=7 [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].