Do any of you worry about your hearing? Piano teachers need to be very careful, the piano is an especially loud instrument and we subject our ears to non-stop sound every day.
My studio has a lot of hard hard surfaces, so the grand can sound bright and harsh at times. In fact, there are certain spots in the room where the sound actually hurts my ears. Time for acoustic sound treatment!
My husband and I decided it was time to treat both my studio and his basement audio suite with acoustic sound panels. To do our rooms properly it could have cost many hundreds of dollars. But we decided to turn it into a DIY project and we did it for a fraction of the cost.
I've seen people try, but egg cartons don't work! The secret is using the correct insulation inside your panels. Read on...
First, figure out how big you want your panels to be. I made four panels, which were 2 feet wide x 4 feet high. We were able to purchase the wood pre-cut at our local home center. We added metal brackets in the corners and screws to make a simple, strong frame.
We purchased black upholstery lining at the fabric store. This is the kind of fabric that you see lining the underside of your furniture, it is very inexpensive ($1.50 per yard) and is perfect for lining the frame. As you can see, we started off with a hand stapler, and later moved to a heavy duty staple gun...we made a lot of panels.
Once you have added the lining, you can insert your insulation into the frame, it's like a little nest. You can cut the insulation quite easily with a knife, but do wear gloves. Roxul Safe'n'Sound is the insulation to look for at your home center. One big bag contains eight 2 x 4 slabs of insulation... that's a lot of panels!
Next, measure and cut your upholstery fabric, adding plenty of extra material to wrap around the sides. Cats are not helpful with this step. I used a heavy, textured fabric, something you would expect to see on a chair. Watch for sales and choose wisely, the upholstery fabric can be pricey.
Staple your upholstery fabric to the front and sides of your frame, right over the upholstery lining. Work carefully, making sure the fabric is pulled smooth.
Now add upholstery lining to the back of your panel. Fold the edges under before you staple for a clean finish. Voila, very nice! We simply hung our panels with picture frame wire.
I placed two panels directly behind my piano and another two in strategic spots in the room. I was amazed at the difference right away. I don't feel like I need to play with the soft pedal down (yes, seriously) and even the tone of my voice is nicely absorbed in the acoustic treatment.
Hope this gives you some ideas for a useful weekend project. Here's to happy ears.