Acoustic treatments are often used to help improve the acoustics of a room by taming "flutter echoes," "room modes," and other problems which arise from a room's dimensions and construction.

Although a variety of treatments are available for commercial use, they tend to be quite expensive. After some research both online and in print, we came across several sources for DIY acoustic treatments using rigid fiberglass panels and simple frames. These are often referred to as "bass traps," although the ones that we're focusing on have a fairly wide rage of absorption. While commercial versions are available for almost $100, we were able to make these panels for about $24 each.

We can not take credit for this design, but have combined several people's ideas into a step-by-step guide. Most importantly, we give credit to Ethan Winer's excellent article, Build a Better Bass Trap.

For more information, check out the good folks in the acoustics forum at recording.org

Step 1: Plan your setup

Check websites such as the acoustics forum at recording.org or read a book on acoustics or recording studio construction such as Home Recording Studio, Build it Like the Pros by Rod Gervais to help determine how many treatments you need and where they should go. Keep in mind that it's easier to build one or two more than you think you need than it is to get everything ready to do the whole project again, so when in doubt, make more than you think you need.

For our room, we decided to build 12 panels. Since it's a room for music recording, we can take down some of the panels when we want a more lively sound, or we can put them all up when we want a more controlled sound. IMPORTANT: a "dead" sounding room is not natural, and causes the ears to fatigue much faster than in a typical space. Since the point of this project is to enjoy music sound MORE, you want to avoid too much absorption.

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