Bass waves, which have longer wavelengths, survive and build up over long distances in rooms. The biggest culprits are those that extend from corner to corner, along with the distances between the front and back walls.
One question is always asked: “If I have only one bass trap, where should it be placed?” People are asking which areas of the room should be placed first for bass-targeting panels. This is the priority:
- Floor-to-ceiling corners
- The center of the front wall
- The center of the back wall
- Other corners
Corner refers to any angle at which one wall meets the other. This could be the corner where the ceiling meets the ceiling, or a sidewall or floor. The four corners that are floor-to-ceiling (or the corners in the room) have the highest priority.
You will typically make four panels of 4 inch thick denser fiberglass that are rectangular in shape. This is because the insulation is made in this shape. They would be hung so that they cross the corners as shown above.
This allows the bass wave to bounce off the wall and return through your trap again. This is the best way to use traps, especially if you have a limited budget. For this reason, we hang all panels with a gap between them.
Stay tuned because I will show you how to build these in the Superchunk if you have the funds. It will require more insulation, but it will yield an exponentially better result and look better.
How to build a bass trap
You can save lots of money by following these four steps.
1) ORDER SOME OF THE OWENS-CORNING 705 RIGID FIBERGLASS
You will first need to locate a place where you can order Owens-Corning rigid fiberglass panels. (There’s a link below to their 703 panels on Amazon so you can get an idea about the price. The Popular Owens-Corning 703 Rigid Fiberglass
Their 705 panels (denser) are essential for bass traps. They are more difficult to find on Amazon, more expensive and less common. It’s worth going to your local Lowes or Home Depot to order the item.
If you can, I recommend ordering panels 2 inches thick. The 1 inch thickness panels are also available, but you will need to stack 4 of them together instead of 2.
You’ll be able to easily cut them if you keep them in their original packaging. When I was doing my DIY build, I used a dull butterknife for cutting some of them in half. To make a guide, you can draw lines with a marker.
2) BUILD WOODEN FRAMES
Next, you will need to make wooden frames that can hold the panels. Because the insulation is already quite heavy, I recommend using light wood. The next question you should ask is whether or not you want the frame to be visible when it’s hung.
My insulation was exposed so I had to sew it in place. It was difficult but necessary. I will wrap mine up soon.
3) WRAP PANELS IN FABRIC
A fire-resistant fabric should be breathable to air. Wrap your rectangles as a gift or wrapping paper. The fabric can be stapled to the back of a frame and another rectangle cut for covering the back. You want to prevent insulation fibers floating in the air.
Your main concern is threefold. First, decide what color fabric you want. Next, check if it is fire-resistant. Finally, consider whether you wish to expose the frame. Wrap it completely, as I have done it before.
4) MOUNTING YOUR TROPS TO THE WALL
Hanging them can be difficult and no one knows the “right way”. Others have used eye-hooks and metal cables to hang them. My own method, as shown below, worked well.
Here’s a picture of what each one looked like when they were done. It was taken in an apartment around ten years ago.
I will wrap them in dark grey fabric, and build more. You can look at many pictures online of recording studios to get a better idea of the designs. It’s difficult to reverse or start over. It is much easier to do it correctly the first time.
Superchunks – The Best DIY Bass Trap
These panels are crucial for creating front and back wall traps, and even bass clouds. The Superchunk is a superior method for absorbing bass waves in your four corners. This is how it looks:
You can cut a single Owens Corning 705 panel in half and then divide each half diagonally. The result is perfect triangles that can then be stacked in corners. Instead of having a large gap in the air, fill that whole pocket with fiberglass!
It is nice to have the sound waves bounce off the wall and then pass through a rectangle panel. But this is better. It is important to remember that bass waves are affected by thickness. This is why it is thick. It will also cover every corner, not just one. Two Superchunks and one center front wall bass trap (not my build)
I recommend that you take each stack of 10 triangles, wrap them in thin fabric, and then stack them in the corner. You can then create a platform over them to hold the next 10 triangles or 20, depending on your preference.
This prevents the stack’s bottom from becoming too compressed by the excess weight and keeps Superchunk stable. The wooden frame is built in front of the stack in order to keep it in the corner.
Either staple fabric to the frame or make an entire frame that attaches directly to it. The secondary frame, which would be wrapped with fabric, will allow you to see inside the Superchunk. That’s it!
Where to Buy Bass Traps
Pre-made traps are available from a few quality companies. It can be quite expensive to order them pre-built, and then ship them. They are heavy and large, so shipping them can be expensive.
There are many others, but their prices are too high and they bully people on industry forums. Karma is a well-known term.
That’s all she wrote on Bass Traps
These panels are tedious, but they make a huge difference in a mastering area for mixing, a home theatre, or a large gymnasium.
When recording or mixing music, the main reason is that too much low-end can cause distortion. You will need to use an equalizer in order to get rid of it. Then you’ll have to lower the volume for instruments and vocals. It is better not to let the low-end slip into your recording.
That’s why a bass trap was created. You don’t only need one bass trap, you will need at least six or more. You’ll also need other types absorption panels. It’s a great adventure, and it’s easy to get obsessed with. It’s great fun, and it’s even more rewarding when you’re done. Get to work and send me pictures once you’re done.