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Thread: Can bass traps be free standing?

  1. #1
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    Can bass traps be free standing?

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    I'm starting to work (in my brain, at least) on treating my "studio" (aka family room, aka home office). However, we're empty nesters now, and we may be moving to a smaller place in a year or two. So, I don't want to go drilling a lot of holes in the walls, just to have to patch them all if/when we move.

    Can corner bass traps be free standing? I've seen sketches of them involving rigid fiberglass panels screwed to cleats on the walls. But I'm thinking about something like a 3-legged table with the fiberglass spanning the outside legs. Maybe with a triangular wood top to make it look more like furniture, and to give the cats something to sit on as they look down upon me, rather than a large open-topped cavity that needs to be explored and hidden in.

    Of course, if there's a surface to be sat upon, they'll need to climb my fabric-covered panels to get there. Maybe I should just make them full ceiling height.

    Anyway, back on-topic: do corner traps need to be fastened to the wall?
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    I have 2 narrow 300x2100mm floor to ceiling bass traps but are also fastened to wall in case they fell over onto someone and I have 2 larger 600x1200mm bass traps hanging from the ceiling midway between floor and ceiling.

    Mine are 100mm thick RW3 with a timber outside frame then completely covered in fabric. They aren't particularly heavy but I wouldn't want one to fall over and hit me. So I would fasten to the wall or something.

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    I have seen wall hooks advertized that, they claim, can be removed with no damaged or mark to the wall.

    Another idea, if the room is carpeted, use "industrial" Velcro to stick the base to the floor then you would need minimum support to prevent toppling.

    If solid floors, Velcro on both surfaces and you can remove the residue from the floor with "Sticky Stuff Solution" or copius quantities of ISOPROPA. DON'T put Velcro on a wall! You will pull paper, even plaster off.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S View Post
    Can bass traps be free standing?
    Yes...though for optimal performance, if you can have them about a foot or so off the ground, it's a little better.
    I built some large bass traps and made them free standing because I wanted them mobile...rather than mounted in on spot. There are also some ready-made products that are free-standing, especially for the corners, but you have to consider how they are made, how they work. They are not all just big boxes with as lot of insulation. IOW...in the corner, you want traps that let the sound in, but then, not back out, and instead they absorb the LF energy....so like , maybe some type of "solid" front, that will not block LF, and reflect the upper frequencies, but a porous back to help trap the LF...or there maybe a functional membrane that vibrates internally and then dissipates the energy into the absorptive material inside.

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    ASC Tube Trap is free standing.

    G
    tubetrap-anatomy-gif
    screenshot_2019-04-15-sound-reproduction-png
    screenshot_2019-04-15-sound-reproduction-1-png

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    Thing is when you put bass traps in corners or have free standing things in rooms. My thoughts are that..........If sound is travelling at about 760mph. Those 'bass' noises have been around the room a quite few times before they get absorbed by your simple or complected but no doubt expensive bass traps.

    So where is the best place for your bass trap?......Next to the recording device/listener? Did somebody say 'corners!' one day and everybody followed suit?

    I would have thought that bass traps and other sound difusers would need to be placed around the room in different places to suit what ever is being generated at that particular time......But then you would probably go nuts thinking about it all.

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    I keep our cats out of my music room for cat hair and fur balls and all the other joys that come along with their companionship, but we've not downsized yet, so I have a spare room to which I can keep the door closed.

    But, first, when I hear "bass" traps I always think about the denser, thicker kind of treatment that goes to corners or wall-ceiling joins. (I think the reason, @Orson , is because that's where the lower frequency "collects" based on those room mode models - don't ask me how!).

    Anyway, if you have something fairly massive, like framed panels that are 8" or more in depth, they're probably ok standing by themselves, though in my low-ceilinged (8') room, I was still a bit bothered by 8' of panel just free-standing even in the corners of the room, so I wedged a bit of foam between the top and ceiling so there's no chance a renegade cat or "ankle-biter" (recent crossword puzzle answer ) is going to cause anything to tip over. The regular treatment/panels are fastened away from the wall with a couple of L-brackets but those are quick spackle and dab-of-paint fixups when it's time to move on.
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    Oh I understand Keith and my bass traps that I made are in the corners of my sound boothe as well. Do I need them? I have no idea but after endless Youtube videos and threads like this I just became paranoid and even felt inadequate if I didn't have them or put them in the corners.

    My point is though being serious. That any acoustic treatment if to work correctly needs to be positioned to suit the situation. The room can be treated as a norm. But trying to catch and treat certain frequencies which may only be produced by a certain instrument at a certain place in the room..........cannot really be done efficiently if we religiously just put the sound treatment in corners waiting for those frequencies to hit them.
    Last edited by Orson; 09-28-2019 at 20:02.

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    Yes. Mine are just leaned in the corner behind my desk. No chance of falling on unsuspecting musician or cats...

    As far as corner treatment the simple way to think of it is to place your head in a corner without a bass trap of sort. It is obvious there is buildup there. Place a quality bass trap in there and the effect is way less.

    And where else you doing to put them in a small home studio? Maybe ceiling to wall, but not many have that kind of headroom.

    Room treatment for home studios that have not ability to optimize room size/dimensions are different than a professional built studio. Have to take care of the obvious issues first. Then treat as needed to make the room as good as physics will allow. Then it just about compromise and making the best of what you have in any particular environment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Yes...though for optimal performance, if you can have them about a foot or so off the ground, it's a little better.
    Really. I hadnít noticed that before in my reading about DIY bass traps. Does the same apply to the top? Is a 6 foot trap centered between the floor and an 8 foot ceiling better than a full-height 8 foot trap?

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