Building Simple but Effective Sound Control Boards

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Take a look at a simple plan to make studio sound control boards that have both reflective and absorbing qualities.

I recently moved into a new house, therefore, I am reorganizing and getting used to my new studio surroundings. In my previous house, a split level, I had insulated between the joists in the ceiling and had the bottom half of the walls cement block and the upper half was plastic-coved insulation. Pretty? no. But it did have some good absorption and some reflective qualities, so for a basement studio it sounded pretty decent. My new home is a two story and my basement studio is fully underground, the walls and floors are all cement and the ceiling joists are not insulated between them (yet).

This weekend I began building some great sound control frames that, if you are in a similar situation, you may well want to try yourself.

My goal is to build four 4 foot by 4 foot panels, framed with 2x4 studs. To do this I needed the following:

  • 2 4x8 sheets of 1/2 inch plywood (cut them in half, buy the 4x8 sheet, 4x4 sheets cost about 70% more for the same square footage)
  • 16 pieces of 2x4 stud 50 inches long, cut at a 45 degree angle on either end
  • Some wood screws about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long
  • A few wood tools like a table saw, router and power drill being the handiest
  • Some sort of sound absorbing material
  • Some strong material to stretch over the material mentioned above
  • Some good caulk

The 2x4's need to have a groove cut in them the length of the stud on the short side of the 45 degree angle and a 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch notch on that same side, so looking at the end of the stud it looks like picture 1.

The groove is where the plywood goes. Put some caulk into the groove to prevent rattling in case the pieces don't fit perfectly, as they all never will, then, push the plywood into the grooves and screw the frame together at the ends of the studs.

Then as shown in Picture 2, the 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch notch is the surface where the material gets stapled to and between the plywood and the material gets filled with anything that is sound absorbing. Insulation, dense foam, etc.

The beauty of these pieces is that you can use the absorbing side or the reflective side as you need.

Personally, I am hanging two of these from my ceiling right over my desk and two will be hanging on the walls to the side of my desk on hooks so I can take them down and move them around the room as I need to for miking cabinets, vocal or whatever.

These pieces won't necessarily help everyone, but for the total of about a $70 investment, they are going to be very worth it for me, so I figured I would share the plans.

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