In this article, you will learn exactly how to make your own acoustic corner bass traps using this simple step by step guide. Without further or do let’s get right into it.
Why Bass Traps?
Bass is low frequencies wavelengths that can bounce off surfaces created an irritating noise. Crystal clear sound is a dream for musicians, voice actors, YouTubers, and podcasters.
Bass traps remove this ringing noise, reduce bass and enhances other useful frequencies. As the name suggests, Bass traps “trap” bass which accumulates in rooms.
Large rooms such as concerts halls, television studios, churches, and more resonance are lower, thus providing an excellent bass response. So bass traps are usually solutions for smaller rooms. Large rooms have enough place for bass to flow without bumping into surfaces and booming.
Resonant and Porous Bass Traps
There are two kinds of bass traps that you can purchase or make:
1. Resonant bass traps:
deal with low bass frequencies and pretty much ignore mid/upper range frequencies. They are more effective when placed against the corners which are where the sound waves meet and this is usually where the pressure is highest. This is a bonus as it means that the traps will occupy less space in the room. There are two subcategories of resonant traps:
- Helmholtz’s resonators work due to a small port in an air cavity to absorb bass frequencies.
- Diaphragmatic absorbers that reduce bass frequencies with a vibrating panel or membrane.
2. Porous traps
are the most common ones used in dealing with room acoustics. They offer a wide range of broadband absorption, so they can handle the entire frequency spectrum.
However, they are less effective at very low bass frequencies unless they are very thick. They are made from a variety of materials such as acoustic foam, fiberglass, and rock wool.
They work well when it comes to dealing with room modes, standing waves, echoes, and speaker boundary interference responses.
Best Material for Bass Traps
Low-frequency sounds reflect off hard flat surfaces and create a loud ringing noise as it travels from one surface to another. To reduce this noise, you will need a densely packed material to trap these frequencies.
The denser and thicker the material, the less are the air molecules within it can move.
I have found materials like fiberglass and mineral wool to be excellent sound insulation products. As they are also fireproof, they can manage the heat generation in the process of converting sound waves to heat.
Which Bass Trap Should You Choose
For home studios, I would recommend that you go for porous absorbers as they are easier, cheaper to make and are a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
Resonant traps require planning, proper design and if built incorrectly, can be ineffective. I would also strongly recommend at least square four traps in a square room. DIY Corner Bass Trap.
Here are the following steps to make your own bass traps:
Step 1: Gather all Required Material
You are going to need the following materials for your project:
- 3’x3′ of 1/4″ Fir Plywood
- 8 screws and drywall anchors
- Roxul Safe N’ Sound Insulation
- 6x 1/2″ Wood Screws 1-1/2″ Corner Braces Some Spray Paint
- Measuring Tape
- Skill Saw and/or table saw
- Serrated Kitchen Knife Drill,
- Drill Bits and Driver Bits
- Hammer Staple Gun and Staples Table Saw
Step 2: Cutting the Plywood
You need to cut the plywood in the size you want your bass traps will determine to be. Cut the plywood shelf larger than you would want the Roxul to be.
So if you would cut the triangle at 12’’, the plywood triangle should have 15″ sides. Be sure to use a knife or sandpaper to remove the splinters off the edges you cut.
Step 3: Installing the Shelf Brackets and Plywood Shelf
Measure down from the ceiling to the place you want the bottom of the trap and mark the spot on the walls in the corner wall, 4 inches above the corner.
Follow the same procedure on the opposing wall. Place a level on the piece of plywood shelf and place it on the marks on the opposing walls to makes sure it’s level. Screw the brackets in position.
Pick a wall for the third bracket. Place the plywood shelf in a way that it rests on the two installed brackets. Fix the third one in place 3 inches out from the corner.
Mark the spot on the bottom of the third bracket and this is where you should install the third bracket. Place the plywood shelf on the brackets, and from underneath, mark where the bracket holes are on the plywood. Now drill holes with the right size bit, place the plywood shelf and screw into the plywood.
Step 4: Making and Installing Roxul Pieces
Roxul is mineral wool which is quite similar to pink fiberglass insulation. I prefer using this material as it is safer to use and handle and has better sound absorption properties.
I recommend that you use a 12″ paper template to cut a 12″ template out of the plywood. Place this on the Roxul and cut accordingly with an electric turkey carver or any serrated knife.
Cut as many triangles as you need to fill up the area in your corner traps. Stack up the Roxul triangles on the plywood shelf as high as you want it to be.
Since our shelf is larger than the Roxul, there will be some air space between the wall and Roxul. This is important as air spaces are essential for sound treatment.
Step 5: Installing the Brace
Measure the front of the plywood shelf and cut one piece of 1″x3″ wood furring strip. This should be at 45 degrees so that the bracket fits snugly on the wall. Drill into the wall by going through the bracket at each end. Place a wall anchor into the drilled hole, and screw the bracket into place into the wall anchors.
Step 6: Making the Front Piece
I would suggest you use a pegboard instead of plywood in the front as it has vibration-absorbing characteristics, while still allowing some high frequencies to be reflected.
Measure the front of the plywood shelf to get figure out the width and height for the pegboard piece. Cut the pegboard to the right size using a saw.
Once everything fits, paint it in the color of your choosing. You can also use linen or some other fabric to cover up the holes and staple it in the back.
DIY Panel Bass Trap
You will need the below material to make a panel bass trap:
- Rockfon 1200 x 600 x 100 mm wool panels
- 4 L-brackets 100 mm wood screws per panel
- 59 x 119 cm cotton fabric
- 154.5 x 94.5 cm cover fabric
- 10 mm staples and a staple gun
- Assembly adhesive and an adhesive gun
- A screwdriver
Follow the below steps to make a simple wide bass trap:
- Screw the L brackets into the corners.
- Use a 4 mm drill bit to drill the holes for the 100 mm screws
- Fasten the cotton fabric to the frame using staples.
- Place the Rockfon panel on it in the middle, facing down. Use Casco Superfix and an adhesive fun and glue the frames to the Rockfon panels.
- Place the frame precisely on the back of the Rockfon panel with the fabric facing down. Fasten the fabric cover on the frame using the staple gun. Begin at the long sides then fold the corners and end at the short sides.
Tips On Placement
Now that we’ve seen how to build a simple bass trap, the next step to tackle is their placement. Sound travels in all directions but the bass will have the most impact in the corners of the room.
As a general rule, your bass trap should be placed where two or three surfaces meet. So when you place a bass trap at 45 degrees, you are at the end of the room’s dimensions and you also end up creating an air gap that helps reduce the noise further.
Not all the bass problems are due to corners, it can be due to an untreated back wall. Generally, it is the longest dimension of the room, so you will need thick bass traps to reduce the intensity of bass reflections.
Also, consider where the sound is coming from. If you have a speaker, you will need to calculate where the sound waves are going. You can measure the amount of bass buildup in a room with a Sound Level Meter.
If you want to improve the quality of sound further, think about using soundproof blankets, and foam tiles. Crafting is a fun activity, it’s a good way to bond with your children if you have them! There is a sense of satisfaction that comes when you create something by yourself.
Making bass traps yourself is time-consuming but definitely cheaper than buying them, more so when you already have the materials at home. If you have tried DIYing a bass trap at home, let us know how the experience went. I would love to hear about your experience and suggestions.