Corner Bass Traps: How to Mount Bass Traps
The perfectly clear sound is every musician’s dream come true. Sound acts as if being a living creature. It moves, flows and adapts in different environments.
Anyone who’s been into recording will tell you how difficult is to achieve perfection. Luckily, we have bass traps!
Today I shall tell you more about them, and I’ll give you some useful tips on how and where to put bass traps to get the desired acoustics.
Types of bass traps
Bass traps simply said, are acoustic energy absorbers which purpose is to damp low-frequency sounds. Friction helps them turn sound energy into heat. The whole purpose of this is to reduce resonances coming from low frequencies. Comparing to mid and high, they are significantly more difficult when it comes to taming.
Resonant and porous are two main types of bass traps. Furthermore, resonant bass traps are divided into panel absorbers and Helmholtz resonators. As for porous absorbers, they’re made of different materials, such as fiberglass, open cell foam, mineral wool and so on.
Speaking of the mechanism of their functioning, resonant absorbers, being tuned mechanically, resonate with frequencies by absorbing them. Porous do not resonate and you don’t need to tune them. They are smaller and much easier to build.
The importance of bass traps
Even though no room is perfect enough in terms of acoustic, still something can be done to improve the impression.
Bass traps, as the name itself, says “trap” bass which accumulates in corners. As for the larger rooms such as concerts halls, TV studios, cathedrals, resonance is much lower, which provides an excellent bass response. Besides this, they provide natural sounding reverb.
However, when one considers placing bass traps, it’s usually a treatment of a smaller room. The larger room gives bass enough place to flow without causing problems.
Even though one can change the reverb and add some effect later, still it is very important to have the space adjusted as best as possible. In order to avoid each bass note sounding the same, you need to have low frequencies under control.
That’s where bass traps are extremely helpful. They absorb the low-frequency sounds and damp them so that one would get clean and clear sound afterward.
How many bass traps?
When one learns on great advantages of having bass traps in the room or studio, one would say: ” I want hundreds of those”! Yeah, the rule here is “the more the better”, but one should be familiar with the room itself as well as the “hot spots”.
If a room is a square one, four traps are absolutely recommended. You won’t make a mistake no matter how many of them you place. However, you can do a bit sound testing in your room and see where are traps needed. Then you'll be clear on the number of necessary traps.
Corners: A perfect place for bass traps
As I mentioned, a bit sound testing may be of help when one wants to decide how many bass traps are needed for a certain room.
Bass acquires in corners, even more in trihedral ones. That makes corners just the right place for traps.
Traps can be put on the floor, on the wall, and on the ceiling.
Whereas we can say that corners are a place in common for low-frequency issues, each room is a story for itself. Neither the size nor the materials used are the same, naturally which leads to different levels of acoustic in them.
If you use panels as traps, they reach their maximum level of performance if put angled in relation to the wall, to create an “air-gap”. This way you solve the issue without wasting additional usable space.
How to mount corner bass traps?
Like I said, getting to know your room to its finest will help you a lot with deciding on where and how traps should be positioned.
Being the very heart of the issue, trihedral corners should be your starting point. If you want to save some space, you can put them in the upper corners so that you save some floor space. Once you finish trihedral corners, what’s left is to stack vertical ones along the vertical dihedral corners, as well as the ones that should be mount on the upper dihedral corners.
This is more or less quite sufficient. At this point, what you get is quite a decent sound. If you are satisfied with the result, then your job’s done.
If you are looking for even more perfect than that, continue adding the traps up to the moment where you feel completely satisfied.
The most popular corner bass traps
There are many different bass traps available on market, but we have picked a few reviewed by satisfying by many customers.
These traps are on the top of the list because they are an excellent compromise between the price and functionality. Do not expect too much, but expect to hear a significant change in sound. That’s most important, isn’t it?
These ones are made of the same material as the abovementioned, but their shape is a bit different. They also come in different colors.
As you see, all three suggestions I’ve picked are foam bass traps. There are many different opinions on whether they work or not, is it a waste of money or a smart investment.
The main issue with foam and low frequencies is that foam hasn’t got the capacity to deal with lower frequencies. It’s simply too thin. Foam is, actually, excellent for dealing with mid and high frequencies, but not so powerful for frequencies lower than 110Hz. Read more about foam bass traps here.
What I can say is, they are worth a shot. They are budget-friendly and easy to place, and you can try and see if they work. You may actually be satisfied with what you get.
DIY corner bass traps
For those among you who are handy with tools, I challenge you to make your own bass trap. It’s not difficult at all, but a good plan is essential.
Firstly, you need to draw a sketch of your room with as many corner bass traps as you need. Just to remember, four would be ideal. Calculate the dimensions.
The next step is to make a list of necessary materials. What you need is lumber or plywood, depending on how massive your trap will be, then insulation material and fabric for wrapping the traps.
Now check if you have the necessary tools for crafting traps. As you may conclude from the materials, you’ll need tools for wood and tools for fabric. For wood, you’ll need a jigsaw or a circular saw, a power drill and a stapler. Then, of course, measuring tape, right angle brackets, and standard screws and nails are necessary.
Have in mind that some of the tools you can borrow from your friends. Moreover, you can even get some of the materials for free or on a discount. That significantly reduced the overall costs.
Making your very own DIY bass trap may be more time-consuming than buying one, but with crafted you get more. First of all, you’re gonna have good fun figuring out how to make one and where to get the tools and materials. In the end, you’ll get something that’s precisely what you are looking for. Even in terms of material, you will get more quality than with foam traps.
Final Verdict: On Corner Bass Traps
The benefits of equipping a room or a studio with corner bass traps are numerous. You don’t have to make compromises learning how to keep up with the unusual acoustic in your room when you can simply even it with this easy solution.
As you can see, there are two options. You can either buy one or craft one, it’s entirely up to you. In any case, bass traps are as necessary as any other recording equipment. Knowing that traps will significantly improve the sound, be sure that any time and money invested are worth it.
Have you already used corner bass traps in your room? Did you chose the foam ones or you challenged yourself to a DIY session? I am looking forward to reading more from you, and no doubt that the other readers will appreciate any additional experience on this.