Do-it-Yourself Acoustical Treatments: How to Build a Diffuser
In Audio Engineering 101, author Tim Dittmar discusses soundproofing versus acoustical treatment, provides some tips on how to make your room sound better, and even provides some do-it-yourself acoustical treatment instructions so you can build some on your own. Below is one example.
How to Build a Diffuser
A diffuser is a great way to control reflections in a room and make your room sound flatter. If your room is on the “dead” side, diffusers may be more suitable than adding absorptive sound control. Diffusers are often placed on the back wall behind the engineer’s head. They can also be placed in the studio to help tighten up a room, reduce flutter echo, and control reflections. Here’s a good way to make a diffuser using a proven formula. This diffuser is designed to be effective up to about 600 Hz.
In order to build a classic quadratic diffuser based on the BBC RD report from 1995 (figure below), you will need the following items:
1. 1 × 1, 1 × 2, 2 × 2 wood of your choice, 8′ length. Quantity dependent on size of diffuser
2. Heavy duty wood glue
3. 12″ × 12″ or 24″ × 24″ ¼” masonite or other wood
4. Heavy picture hangers or screws for mounting
How to build the diffuser:
1. Cut the following pieces to the appropriate length listed below. You will have
a total of 131 pieces with 13 blank spots.
2. Arrange the precut pieces of 1 × 1 or 2 × 2 wood and glue them on the
¼” 12″ × 12″ or 24″ × 24″ masonite or other wood base in the following
3. Hang and enjoy!!
Tim Dittmar is a musician, recording and live sound engineer, producer, songwriter, and professor. Tim began his professional recording career in 1987 at Cedar Creek Recording studio in Austin, Texas. Before locating to Austin, Tim received an Associate in Arts in Radio/TV Production from Del Mar Junior College. He then spent much of the nineties touring with a punk group, recording bands, and running live sound on the infamous 6th street at various venues. He was hired in 2000 as a professor and full-time faculty member at Austin Community College where he currently teaches Audio Engineering I, Audio Engineering IV, and the Special Projects class. Tim heads up the Technical side of Commercial Music Management at the college. He has also been a returning lecturer at the University of Texas teaching Audio Production and Audio for Picture. Tim has worked in numerous studios in Austin, Los Angeles and Chicago, compiling over 300 album credits, recording such artists as the Old 97’s, Voxtrot, Dynamite Boy, King Missile and the Murdocks. In 2008 he was invited to moderate a panel at the Tape Op Conference in New Orleans where he spoke on “The State of Audio Education”. At present, he owns and operates Las Olas Recording in Georgetown, Texas. He currently tours and records with his wife in the group Annabella and can also be seen drumming with The Hearts & The Minds, Kristi Rae, and Everything’s Gone Green.