Quadratic Acoustic Diffuser for Energy Plant Arts recording / multimedia studio in Chico, CA.

Diffuser – 42″W x 42″H x Various Depths of 2.5″, 4″, 6.5″, 8″, 10″, and 12″
Backing – 48″W x 46″H x 3″D
Base – 48″W x 36″H x 14″D

-Solid Maple milled to 2″ square sticks
-Maple veneer backing and base facia
-MDF base siding
-2×4 bracing in base
-2×4 mounting frame between wall and diffuser backing

We had the maple milled into 2″ squares from 9-10′ long boards, so the very first step in this process was to cut all 528 blocks to length! This was a long process, but we finally made it! Once each piece was cut to the correct length, I ran all 528 blocks back through the miter saw with a 10 degree angle on the tops.

Now that each piece has been cut to length and angled on top, it’s time to glue and clamp the rows together. I started this process by sanding the edges of each block with a foam sanding block. This helped remove any splintered wood from the milling and gave me a nice smooth surface for gluing and clamping. The configuration of the blocks made it awkward to glue in one attempt, so I devised a 2 station clamping method that worked out great. This helped me increase my productivity quite a bit.

When all the rows were glued and clamped, I brought out the vibrating sander and sanded each row to make them as smooth as possible before assembling the pillars. Each Row was then glued and screwed to the row below it, making each pillar very solid.

I stopped by Energy Plant Arts’ control room to see what the mounting situation was looking like. After a bit of measuring and some math, I came up with a solid base design for the diffuser pillars to sit on. The main concern with this base is the large flat surface on the front. It had a tendency to resonate like a giant drum head, so the face was reinforced with 2×4 braces to deaden the resonance. The bracing has proven quite effective.

This is where everything starts looking pretty… I applied a few coats of oil-based polyurethane finish to the diffuser pillars to seal the wood and make them look GOOD! As you can see, the results are quite spectacular!

Finally, we come to the end of the project. Here I have mounted the diffuser along the back wall of Energy Plant Arts’ control room in line with the 2nd reflection points of the room in hopes to diffuse and absorb sound for a more direct listening experience.