How to: build a reflection filter on the cheap

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getting crafty

If you want to tame your room reflection but don’t want to part with hundreds of dollars for a reflection filter, here is a solution. It’s cheap, lightweight, portable and super-quick to build.

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imageHubby and I needed a reflection filter for a podcasting project in the works. The vocal booth is a little cosy for the two of us plus we wanted to be able to record sitting at a desk or standing up.

While not on-par with the commercial reflection filters, this little DIY works great at shielding the mic from computer noises and taking the edge off some of those room reflections. It’s also great to use as an extra layer of sound absorption behind your head or even for taking on the road as a portable travel solution. Here is how it’s done…

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Grab yourself:

image2 x stretched canvases—on the cheap from a dollar store or if you want a bit of sass, purchase some canvas prints. I used blank, white canvases. 50cm square. I’m boring like that. Approx 10 bucks for 2.

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2 x acoustic foam squares—either pre-cut squares or a sheet imageyou can cut to size. You will need two squares, slightly smaller than your canvas (to fit in the frame). I used some off-cuts I had left over from my vocal booth, 44cm square. Price will vary depending on foam quality. Anywhere from 15 – 50 bucks.

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2 x angle brackets or hinges. Go with angle brackets if you want imagea set L-shape. Hinge it up if you want to vary the size of the opening and have the option of folding it shut for storage or portability. I went with angle brackets as I wanted to sit it on a desk and mount it on an old mic stand. I used 75 mm with 2 holes per side. 2 bucks a bracket.

 

Get building:

  1. If required, trim your acoustic foam to size. Remember, it will need to be a little smaller than the dimensions of the canvas to fit inside the frame on the back of the canvas.
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  2. Screw in the angle brackets or hinges to join the two canvases together. One at the top and the other at (you guessed it) the bottom. This is happening on the back of the canvases. And as the wooden frame is quite light (plus the brackets I used had self-tapping screws), you should be able to do this with just a screwdriver. image
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  1. Push the foam into the frame. Gently. You don’t want to bust your canvas. This step is oddly therapeutic. I’ll occasionally pull the foam back out just to push it back in again.image
  2. Pimp your canvas (if you’re that way inclined). Paint, bedazzle, cross stitch—whatever floats your boat. Being slightly OCD, the staples holding the canvas to the frame were getting to me so I hot-glue-gunned some ribbon over the top to hide the staples and frame the foam. image
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  1. Put that bad-boy wherever it needs to be—on the desk, fixed to a wall. Here’s mine hung over an old mic stand. Being so lightweight it sits perfectly on top of the stand and can be moved around easily. It also sits nicely on the desk.image

 

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