Intro: Tetris Sound Panels
Sound is such an important part of creating video content, but it is often overlooked. One way to help improve audio is to install sound panels in the space where you're recording. And since sound panels are typically square, why not put a geeky spin on them and make the sound panels look like Tetris pieces?!?
So let's do that!
Step 1: Matrials
For materials, I used
12 - 2" 12x12 pyramid sound panels
6 - 8' 3/4" quarter round trim
4x8 1/4" Flooring plywood
Wood glue - I use Gorilla wood glue
Polyurethane - I used water-based matte finish
Double sided tape
3 - 6' LED strips
Step 2: Design
I started by sketching out and idea for the sound panels, choosing the L shape, the Z shape (or S shape depending on how you look at it), and the T shape.
I took my idea and created a scale version of panels in SketchUp. During this stage I decided to line each of the panels with rounded trim. I wanted to give a good contrast between the darker colored panels, and the lighter colored trim.
Step 3: Materials Prep
I took my 4x8 sheet of plywood and cut 3 - 27" pieces, then measured out the L, T, and Z shapes. I used a jigsaw to cut each shape out, leaving the cuts slightly bigger than my measurements (just for safety). I figured I could always go back and trim the excess down if I needed to. I then cut 24 pieces of the trim at 45 degrees, with the inside edge of each piece measuring 12" to match the size of the sound panels.
Step 4: Framing the Panels
I took my trim pieces and glued together 6 squares - 2 squares for each panel. I glued the 2 squares to each plywood backing, leaving a 12" space between the squares to fit a sound panel piece. I went and cut enough trim pieces to fill in the distances between each square piece I glued down. Some of these pieces were square cut on both ends, some were square cut on one end with a 45 degree cut on the other end. I made sure that the inside measurement of each piece was 12" to fit the sound panel.
Step 5: Useful Tip
Because of the shape of the trim pieces, glue often beaded out when clamping the trim pieces to the backing. For easy cleanup, I took a straw, crimped one end, then ran it along the line between the trim and the backing. It made quick and easy work of cleaning up the beading glue without leaving any streaks or residue.
Step 6: Sanding and Spraying
After the glue had set, I sanded down the excess off of each piece, and sanded down and cleaned up some of the intersecting trim pieces. I then sprayed each of the panels with a couple coats of water based clear matte polyurethane.
Step 7: LED Backlight
I took some of the extra trim pieces and glued 4 of them together to make a dowel. I used the LED strip to measure discs for bumpers to go on the back of the panels. I cut out several discs, and then started to place, glue, and screw them on the back of the panels to allow the LED strip to be strung in the same shape as the panels. One I got the spacing how I wanted it, I peeled the backing off the LED strips at the places where it touched the discs, and secured the strip to the discs.
Step 8: Install
After the glue had set on the discs, I took out the strews and used the holes from the screws that I took out to screw each of the panels to the wall. I made sure that at least 2 of the screws went into a stud in the wall, which allowed for good spacing between each panel. After the panels were screwed to the wall, I took my double sided tape, and put a couple strips in each of the empty squares. I then took my sound panel pieces and fit them in each square in the panels, making sure to push them tight enough against the tape to secure them to the panels.
Step 9: Enjoy
It was amazing how instant the difference was the second I had the sound panels put up and put together. What once was an echo-y room was now a room that I could record audio in with confidence. And it looked super geeky too, which is a plus.
If you want to see more projects I've made, check out my YouTube channel here
Or you can follow me for a behind the scenes look at my projects on Instagram @iamthebeardlessman