Recording Studio Audio Diffusers

I’m in the throes of rebuilding my recording studio, and whilst there’s not a whole heap of ways a Glowforge can help, I have found one major way that’s helping the GF almost pay for itself!

Bamboo sonic diffusers often form part of the acoustic treatment (not to be confused with sound-proofing) and usually run at about $350 each minimum.

I had a brainwave, figuring that for the purposes of diffusing sound, the material isn’t as important as the ultimate shape. After a little time in Illustrator, I had my plans 19" x 19" diffusers, and I set about burning away on 1/4" MDF for the edges, and 1/8th’ MDF for the lattice work and the squares to refract sound at the algorithmically accurate heights.

Thinking ahead, I also cut spacers for the different heights I’d need the squares to be. Simply glued with nothing more space-aged than PVA.

I’d initially expected to Shellac the MDF and paint each piece with a small roller, but in the end embraced the burn marks (due to not bothering to use an adhesive covering) to celebrate the DIY nature of the finished articles.

Test-run with the spacers, ensuring I had accommodated the kerf appropriately.

Using corner clamps while gluing the edges together.

Spacers loosely dropped in the bottom of cells to ensure I didn’t mess up the heights of each panel.

Just placing PVA glue around the edges of the uniform squares and dropping them into place. Obviously some glue comes off as they slide into position, but nothing that a damp cloth can’t eliminate.

The finished article…now to make at least seven more! Individual cost of parts, maybe $13.

Ultimately they will adorn the top of these walls that face my monitor speakers.


That is quite the synth collection. Also some very nice work. I would be interested to know how they affect the room acoustics when you are finished.


I’ve never really paid attention to hard sound reflectors like this. Is the idea that it breaks up the sound into random reflections?

Why is this better than foam sound absorbers?

Got me curious now.

Amazing keyboard collection by the way. How do you play the one at the bottom :slight_smile:


Yeah, we need audio!


Hope it works out for you! Neat project!


Very practical indeed!

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Foam is usually used to slow down the higher frequencies. These help scatter the midrange frequencies and stop them bouncing straight off flat walls behind or in line with monitor speakers. Then you also need bass traps to ‘collect’ the longer waveform lower frequencies that wind up in the corners of rooms. All of the above are acoustic treatments. Soundproofing is another artform where you ostensibly create a ‘floating’ room within a room, where the slightly smaller room is separated from the real world by various means of removing energy from sound waves as they move from being absorbed by one material to another (including air gaps). The best of these even have a double door on the way in.

Since this is just my home studio (admittedly a little more than the usual home setup) and I live alone, the sound proofing part isn’t as important as treating the sound to ensure that what I hear is only from the monitors or natural room tone/reverb, rather than stray frequencies tricking me to lowering certain frequencies erroneously.

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Oh, SQW…I play the one at the bottom via MIDI - there’s a controller behind the camera, so most of the keyboards are accessed that way. Although, I almost went with “when I’m extremely tired…” or “when I’m drunk…” - I’ll let you choose which you believe to be true!

OK, once you know it makes perfect sense. So it’s sound-“cleaning” rather than “proofing”. I used to do a little bit of home recording, mostly midi which was fine, but vocal recording used to drive me nuts. I know part of it was recording environment but part of it I knew was gaps in my knowledge. This was pre-internet days so you had to rely on the few books on the market about home recording music.

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