Best bass traps for home studio?

Robbb

New member
Just looking for some suggestions for the best bass traps to put in the corners of my small bedroom home studio. Ive heard that panels are better than foam. Would love to hear some opinions on that as well. Thanks!
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Certainly to some degree it depends on the size/shape of the room, but the most effective bass traps are ones that are typically 2-4x as thick as broadband panels, filled with a densely packed type of fiberglass or mineral (aka "rock") wool. And, they may be shaped to fit the room corners, where they should be placed.

Foam is worthless for bass trapping, and only effective in the upper frequencies. Most folks here would not recommend it.

GIK Acoustics is one name I've seen mentioned but there are several that make products like this. They cost quite a bit more than foam, since they are relatively heavy and framed so shipping must be factored in. (One reason some folks build their own.)

GIK Acoustics - Bass Traps with FlexRange Technology(C)
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
How much room do you have. what's your budget, and have you considered making your own? Compressed fiberglass or rockwool traps are best. Forget foam.
 

ashcat_lt

Well-known member
4” panels across the corners is better than foam for sure, but I certainly wouldn’t say “best”. You’re better off actually filling those corners. Something like a “super chunk” setup is quite a bit better, and doesn’t take up any more space, but it does end up using a lot more material.

Honestly the cheapest and easiest good bass trapping is to just get bales of regular insulation and stick them in the corners. Leave them in the package even. Maybe cover them in fabric to make them look better. I prefer the rectangular packages. They’re not as easy to stack as the round ones, but they also take up less space. You could build simple wooden frames for them if you want, but it’s not strictly necessary. Ideally it will be floor to ceiling in the wall-wall corners, but also look for places you can fill wall-floor and/or wall-ceiling corners. Behind/underneath furniture or whatever.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
I'm right in the middle of this at my studio and here is what I'll offer for advice. First I figured out which frequencies are the most problematic. If your room is a normal box shape, John Brandt has a great room mode calculator that will generate a lot of great information to start with. acoustic tools Also consider using a tool like REW (Room EQ Wizard) with a cheap omni measuring mic to actually get data on what your room is doing.

In dealing with room modes, it is important to understand how many of them are related. For instance, my room is 12.5ft wide which is right the exact distance of the 90hz wavelength but also a fundamental of 180hz and 360hz and so forth. In my room the Schroeder frequency between pressure and flow modes is 118hz. Understanding how to deal with troublesome pressure modes is often a challenge where absorptive treatments often comes up short. The good news is that taking care of the 90hz problem helps with the other fundamentals.

I ended up with 2ft deep of absorptive traps along the entire rear wall and 2ft square in the front corners. It is a lot of cubic ft of absorption yet I'm still working out that 90hz issue from the side which will likely take limp membrane traps to resolve.

So all that said, a few inches of rigid fiberglass, foam or whatever will not do much below 200hz despite what anyone tells you. It becomes a matter of ratio of absorptive material to existing space and that ratio is usually too small to be effective.

Let me know if you'd like some help sorting this all out if the room mode calculator I linked is confusing.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
If you're on a budget, I've seen people get 2'x2' rockwool or 705 and cut the pieces in half diagonally (make triangles out of squares), then stack them up and put colored burlap over the face. You can usually get the cloth from a fabric store or big box store on clearance for about $1-$2 a yard...
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
I'm right in the middle of this at my studio and here is what I'll offer for advice. First I figured out which frequencies are the most problematic. If your room is a normal box shape, John Brandt has a great room mode calculator that will generate a lot of great information to start with. acoustic tools Also consider using a tool like REW (Room EQ Wizard) with a cheap omni measuring mic to actually get data on what your room is doing.

In dealing with room modes, it is important to understand how many of them are related. For instance, my room is 12.5ft wide which is right the exact distance of the 90hz wavelength but also a fundamental of 180hz and 360hz and so forth. In my room the Schroeder frequency between pressure and flow modes is 118hz. Understanding how to deal with troublesome pressure modes is often a challenge where absorptive treatments often comes up short. The good news is that taking care of the 90hz problem helps with the other fundamentals.

I ended up with 2ft deep of absorptive traps along the entire rear wall and 2ft square in the front corners. It is a lot of cubic ft of absorption yet I'm still working out that 90hz issue from the side which will likely take limp membrane traps to resolve.

So all that said, a few inches of rigid fiberglass, foam or whatever will not do much below 200hz despite what anyone tells you. It becomes a matter of ratio of absorptive material to existing space and that ratio is usually too small to be effective.

Let me know if you'd like some help sorting this all out if the room mode calculator I linked is confusing.

You used 2 feet of WHAT? on the back wall?
 

Folkcafe

Active member
You used 2 feet of WHAT? on the back wall?
What I had previously was 9 inches of 703 (knauf equivalent) in the corners. Here is a graph comparing low density R38 12 inch x 2 (brand pink) on the blue line vs the 9 inches of 703. Maybe you're thinking, why not just go heavier with 703? At higher density, the gains flatline and eventually low frequencies see the absorber as reflective which is the opposite of what you want. Also I have an attic studio so only knee walls. Giving up that short 4ft high space isn't much of a ask. Going fully across the back was only an additional 4 ft. Add my sub to the equation and I needed absorption that went lower. Last I'll note ratio of absorption to volume of space. I needed more.

Screen Shot 02-24-21 at 08.23 AM.JPG

Here is the back wall mock up before I filled the middle. Still working out the room orientation so what is the back wall might become side walls. Filling those knee wall spaces made enough of a difference that I could spin the desk around to face the studio window.

basstraps.jpg
 
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mjbphotos

What?!?
Oh, for sure - knee walls, and hence the sloped ceilings, would be a killer. You should have your pink stuff right up to the slope though, rather than wood on top, as that's creating another hard corner.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Oh, for sure - knee walls, and hence the sloped ceilings, would be a killer. You should have your pink stuff right up to the slope though, rather than wood on top, as that's creating another hard corner.
It is just a mock up while I work out the remodel and new floorplan. The boards on top are 703 panels just to keep the insulation from flopping over. Going to fill the middle where I've got the old red 703 panels leaning. Got some R30 to cut into wedges to continue up and will then just picture frame the entire wall end to end with dacron and fabric. It is not a very useable space except for guitar cases but did I mention I have a lot of instrument cases. Probably build a rack for them somewhere. Odd note: If you are going to do audio measurements, it is a good idea to remove the most resonant instruments. I had 3 banjos and a pandeiro in the room making a racket with the sweeps.
 
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