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Help! Can Bass traps take away too much bass?
Old 5th March 2007
  #1
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Help! Can Bass traps take away too much bass?

Ok, so I made some bass traps for my control room which is approx 11'x12' and used 4" of Owens Corning 705 floor to ceiling front corners (special thanks to Ethan for all the DIY info) but here's my question: prior to doing this my mixes always translated quite well actually though the room was a touch bassy, but not at all a real problem. Now it seems as though sooo much bass is gone. I do hear the mixes clearer and yes things like reverb tails and fx/panning are noticeably clearer, however I miss "feeling the bass". Sure I hear it but everything sounds much more clinical. Is this something I just have to get used to and am simply bugging out right now? Also I'm kind of winging it, I haven't done room impulses or any scientific measurments, I'm just going with what I hear. I'm assuming it will be much better this way with the traps in place, but my question is, can you have too much low end absorption? My highs and mids are great by the way. Thanks.
Old 5th March 2007
  #2
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Ethan always says that there is no such thing as too many bass traps. Maybe you have a low end node in your mix position giving you the impression of more bass, or maybe you've learned over the years how to compensate with your monitors. Maybe a combination of both.
I also noticed a drop in bass, but at the same time after putting up traps on my sides and ceiling for fist reflections, my stereo imaging has skyrocketed. I'd give it a while in order for you to get used to it.
Old 5th March 2007
  #3
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watersound View Post
Ok, so I made some bass traps for my control room which is approx 11'x12' and used 4" of Owens Corning 705 floor to ceiling front corners (special thanks to Ethan for all the DIY info) but here's my question: prior to doing this my mixes always translated quite well actually though the room was a touch bassy, but not at all a real problem. Now it seems as though sooo much bass is gone. I do hear the mixes clearer and yes things like reverb tails and fx/panning are noticeably clearer, however I miss "feeling the bass". Sure I hear it but everything sounds much more clinical. Is this something I just have to get used to and am simply bugging out right now? Also I'm kind of winging it, I haven't done room impulses or any scientific measurments, I'm just going with what I hear. I'm assuming it will be much better this way with the traps in place, but my question is, can you have too much low end absorption? My highs and mids are great by the way. Thanks.

trap is a misnomer that we unfortunately use..it's really a low end reasonance controller
Old 5th March 2007
  #4
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u b k's Avatar
 

agreed with slaytex, give it some time for your brain to adjust. after a few weeks of working in the clearer room, your mixes ought to translate even better than before. and if you then pull the trapping out, you'll very likely wonder "how did i ever wade thru all this mush?"

your brain *will* reorient its baseline, and i can almost guarantee you will experience the same satisfaction with the tighter bass that you used to with the bigger, looser stuff. i say this based on my own experience of learning to monitor insanely quietly --- like 50db can't-hear-anything-when-sarah's-washing-the-dishes quiet --- and learning to feel the energy and emotional impact of the music the same way i did when it was 85db.

the brain is a lovely thing, and reality is delightfully adjustable.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 5th March 2007
  #5
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
Ethan always says that there is no such thing as too many bass traps. Maybe you have a low end node in your mix position giving you the impression of more bass, or maybe you've learned over the years how to compensate with your monitors. Maybe a combination of both.
I also noticed a drop in bass, but at the same time after putting up traps on my sides and ceiling for fist reflections, my stereo imaging has skyrocketed. I'd give it a while in order for you to get used to it.
You are spot on sir!!! thumbsup
Old 5th March 2007
  #6
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watersound View Post
can you have too much low end absorption?
No. Bass traps do three things, all of which you want:

1) They reduce peaks.
2) They raise up nulls.
3) They reduce ringing.

So while bass traps do reduce the levels of bass, they do that only at frequencies where the levels were too high to begin with.

Quote:
everything sounds much more clinical
An accurate and well balanced room can be an acquired taste. But once you get used to it you'll never go back. heh

--Ethan
Old 5th March 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myfipie View Post
You are spot on sir!!! thumbsup
I guess all that reading and researching has finally paid off!
I tell you after building the first few traps and hearing the improvement, I have become addicted to building more and more bass traps. It's like crack and my wife is about to kill me.
Thanks.heh
Old 5th March 2007
  #8
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Thank you guys for all your advice, I do believe my room has improved, but just like UBIK said it takes some readjusting. I have noticed that I am not listening as loud as I was, it seems like the extra bass prior to adding the bass traps was deceiving me into thinking louder sounded better, and indeed encouraged me to turn it up. But man can I hear effects waaaaaay better!!
Old 5th March 2007
  #9
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huh? , i can remember when my father redesigned his controle room with a pro-acoustical engineer they had tons of base traps , at first when they fired up the tannoy FSM's wich arent small it was sounding like a transistor radio , nothing below 100hz , absolutely nothing, (think i was 10 at that time) , after removing halve of the traps the low-end was there, small calculation error it seemed ....when installing more basetraps doesnt that increase the absorbtion coeficient deu to increasing surface of absorbtion of the same region??, if that makes sence
Old 5th March 2007
  #10
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capstan Cappy View Post
after removing halve of the traps the low-end was there, small calculation error it seemed ....when installing more basetraps doesnt that increase the absorbtion coeficient deu to increasing surface of absorbtion of the same region??
Without knowing more about the room, and the type of bass traps used, I can't comment. Years ago things were done differently than today, and large rooms respond differently than the smaller rooms a lof of folks use now. But with broadband bass traps that are designed to be effective mostly below, say, 300 Hz, it's not possible to have too many. At least not in a domestic size room.

--Ethan
Old 5th March 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post


An accurate and well balanced room can be an acquired taste. But once you get used to it you'll never go back. heh

--Ethan
I will say that my room now sounds more like the "professional" top of the line control rooms I've been in/worked in so that can't be a bad thing! But it's like a totally different room and it is shocking actually.
Old 5th March 2007
  #12
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Without knowing more about the room, and the type of bass traps used, I can't comment. Years ago things were done differently than today, and large rooms respond differently than the smaller rooms a lof of folks use now. But with broadband bass traps that are designed to be effective mostly below, say, 300 Hz, it's not possible to have too many. At least not in a domestic size room.

--Ethan
ah oke , well the room was 64 square meters with 4 meter high slope ceiling, so a big room with a monitor wall and a-symetric walls ofcourse, didnt realise we were talking about smaller rooms, they were pretty small band those traps from 100hz down, just asked him and said he had 16 traps at first lol
Old 5th March 2007
  #13
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
I guess all that reading and researching has finally paid off!
I tell you after building the first few traps and hearing the improvement, I have become addicted to building more and more bass traps. It's like crack and my wife is about to kill me.
Thanks.heh
That is so funny. I had a guy down in TX order from us like 4 times. His statement was the same "Glenn these things are like crack, you just can't have enough"..

Glenn
Old 5th March 2007
  #14
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Hehehehe... I'm telling you guys, you all need to work with Martha Stewart and come up with more ways to make the bass traps match a rooms decor while still being functional for us married folk. Maybe I can send you a photo of a potrait, in which you can silk screen onto the front of the trap and then frame it to make it look like a picture.heh heh

Good luck to you!
Old 5th March 2007
  #15
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

Glenn, by the way in case you didn't notice you have 1073 posts!
Old 5th March 2007
  #16
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
Glenn, by the way in case you didn't notice you have 1073 posts!
Guess I have to go buy one then!! opps 1074 now heh
Old 6th March 2007
  #17
Before I trapped my room I was worried about overtrapping and I was told the same thing. I was also told that I might hear more bass because I'd be trapping bass that otherwise would be bouncing around causing cancelations and for the most part, that was my expereince.

Since then, I've had Bob Hodas tune my room and it's been even better.

You've probably made you room more acccurate over all, but if you're hearing less bass that may be an indication that your monitoring position is not the idea one for the room.
Old 6th March 2007
  #18
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stevep's Avatar
If you need more bass .... its time for a sub !



or maybe 4 ..





Old 6th March 2007
  #19
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Scott R. Foster's Avatar
 

As a percentage of surface area the amount of absorptive treatment a room requires diminishes with room size... and of course the need varies with the use.... so the question has more than one correct answer.

But to reduce the context to the average man's studio / mixing suite, then one could say: Sure.. you can add more absorptive treatment than is beneficial... but in a very small room, where you are trying to build a single seat critical listening station its a non-trivial event. In others words - in the stated context - you almost certainly won't unless you go absolutely nuts about it.

Happy Basstrap Hanging!
Old 28th July 2012
  #20
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NoPro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watersound View Post
I will say that my room now sounds more like the "professional" top of the line control rooms I've been in/worked in so that can't be a bad thing! But it's like a totally different room and it is shocking actually.
Same here. I gotta lotta help here on gs and am very grateful to Glenn. Thank you. It makes a huge difference. I wish I had more traps. For now it's just simply better. I wish I knew years ago what I know now with all the help here and knowledge base.
Old 28th July 2012
  #21
I had the same concern when I put multiple traps in my little control room. It has a vaulted ceiling where I put a huge trap in the apex of, traps in all the corners, a couch on the back wall filled with absorbant stuff, and 2 always open doorways, one to a fair size closet, and the other to the hall way. I was worried at first cause it sounded like I had no bass al all! I'm used to it now however and stuff sounds right in there.
Old 30th July 2012
  #22
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Insulation Man's Avatar
 

I always recommend installing panels and bass traps in stages so you never over do it and you don't spend more than you need to.
Old 6th January 2015
  #23
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sorry to revive an old thread... but my new room has 8ft high superchunks in each front corner where i work, 3 foam panels on the back wall behind monitors/screens, and a wall of acoustic foam behind me and here it seems like i don't have enough bass now, or at least I can't hear it.

When i switch to cans , the kick drum always seems loads muddier and bassier than it is at my mix position. Same with bass guitar. It sounds quite defined and not too flabby, but in cans it's like a big wet fart sometimes!

At the back of my room, it's like the bass is amplified because there are no traps at all. Like loads of 60hz there, and it sounds great to the client while they sit on the sofa. I tend to move back here to check actually how big the kick REALLY is. However, it's not ideal. I am concerned my little Rokit RP5s just aren't good enough. I'd rather have more bass where I sit. Could a subwoofer do the trick?
Old 6th January 2015
  #24
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Originally Posted by weezul View Post
sorry to revive an old thread... but my new room has 8ft high superchunks in each front corner where i work, 3 foam panels on the back wall behind monitors/screens, and a wall of acoustic foam behind me and here it seems like i don't have enough bass now, or at least I can't hear it.

When i switch to cans , the kick drum always seems loads muddier and bassier than it is at my mix position. Same with bass guitar. It sounds quite defined and not too flabby, but in cans it's like a big wet fart sometimes!

At the back of my room, it's like the bass is amplified because there are no traps at all. Like loads of 60hz there, and it sounds great to the client while they sit on the sofa. I tend to move back here to check actually how big the kick REALLY is. However, it's not ideal. I am concerned my little Rokit RP5s just aren't good enough. I'd rather have more bass where I sit. Could a subwoofer do the trick?
It sounds like your mix position is in a null. And yes, there is a limit to what you can do with a 5" speaker. If I were you I would worry about the setup of my control room and mix position before you complicate things with a subwoofer.

I followed Rod Gervais's instructions from this book when designing my control room layout, and it seems to have worked. The mix position is the best sounding spot in the room. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Recording.../dp/143545717X
Old 6th January 2015
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
It sounds like your mix position is in a null. And yes, there is a limit to what you can do with a 5" speaker. If I were you I would worry about the setup of my control room and mix position before you complicate things with a subwoofer.

I followed Rod Gervais's instructions from this book when designing my control room layout, and it seems to have worked. The mix position is the best sounding spot in the room. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Recording.../dp/143545717X
Agree with this.

You can get some of the way there by moving things around in the room and messing with acoustic treatment while tuning the mix position by ear. Aim to get the low-frequency response in the mix spot as flat as possible (avoid large peaks/nulls). But that won't be as accurate as measuring with test tones.

Measuring low-frequency response in the sweet spot is not too difficult and a good idea to confirm your suspicions. RealTraps - Test Tone CD
Old 6th January 2015
  #26
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weezul's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
It sounds like your mix position is in a null. And yes, there is a limit to what you can do with a 5" speaker. If I were you I would worry about the setup of my control room and mix position before you complicate things with a subwoofer.

I followed Rod Gervais's instructions from this book when designing my control room layout, and it seems to have worked. The mix position is the best sounding spot in the room. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Recording.../dp/143545717X
I fear I am sat in a node... which is not ideal. However, there is nowhere else to set up. I am sat on the line of the first third of the room, and my monitors are just slightly away from the wall, perhaps about 1ft away? My only option is to move them away from the wall a little, but i'd need some crazy speaker stand with an arm on it. Do they exist? The bass increase only happens when i'm sat right on the edge of the back wall. So if it's a null, it's covering at least 80% of the room. Unfortunately the room I use for teaching guitar as well, so can't really eat up any more floor space. It's full up as it is :(
Old 6th January 2015
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Weezul, try asking in the 'Studio Building and Acoustics' forum. Possibly your speakers should be closer to the front wall rather than further away...
Old 6th January 2015
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezul View Post
I fear I am sat in a node... which is not ideal. However, there is nowhere else to set up. I am sat on the line of the first third of the room, and my monitors are just slightly away from the wall, perhaps about 1ft away? My only option is to move them away from the wall a little, but i'd need some crazy speaker stand with an arm on it. Do they exist? The bass increase only happens when i'm sat right on the edge of the back wall. So if it's a null, it's covering at least 80% of the room. Unfortunately the room I use for teaching guitar as well, so can't really eat up any more floor space. It's full up as it is :(
I have same problem where I work. 50 hz doesn't register right.. go to the back wall and its booming. I know of course about nulls bass traps, etc, so take the next things I say not like I'm totally making stuff up.. I really think its something where the waveforms down low need some distance to develop properly. The back wall is all absorbtion, sucking up stuff, and I calculated the distance to null around 50hz. So of course it does when this absorbed version bounces back to me (or stands around me). It blows. its not my studio, i didn't build it. There's no option.

Cheater method: EQ some to bring up the lows down there to where you can hear it. Better than nothing. And its free. It does work.

Spend 3 hours playing your favorite tracks.. play with boosting the sub EQs. Where are you happiest? Whenever you need a sub, put that EQ patch in
Old 8th January 2015
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyhey View Post
I have same problem where I work. 50 hz doesn't register right.. go to the back wall and its booming. I know of course about nulls bass traps, etc, so take the next things I say not like I'm totally making stuff up.. I really think its something where the waveforms down low need some distance to develop properly. The back wall is all absorbtion, sucking up stuff, and I calculated the distance to null around 50hz. So of course it does when this absorbed version bounces back to me (or stands around me). It blows. its not my studio, i didn't build it. There's no option.

Cheater method: EQ some to bring up the lows down there to where you can hear it. Better than nothing. And its free. It does work.

Spend 3 hours playing your favorite tracks.. play with boosting the sub EQs. Where are you happiest? Whenever you need a sub, put that EQ patch in
If it's a null and you boost the low frequencies, you also boost the reflection causing the null, which means the null gets worse.
Old 8th January 2015
  #30
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Oldone's Avatar
Using the recommendations from the guys at Acoustic Panels | Bass Traps | Diffusors | GIK Acoustics , I put bass traps in a ring (walls and ceiling) at the first order reflection points in my 12x11 room. The ceiling is 7 foot and so not a great mixing space. Then I added two of their monster traps on the back wall behind my mixing position and two standard traps in each corner of the front wall.

All this tamed the comb filtering of the room, eliminated the deadly small room pinging and turned it into a great recording and mixing room. Is the room flat? No, but I get a more translatable sound out of my speakers and semi-dry sound for tracking. They work.

To eliminate bass build up, I also crack the door which opens into a long hallway in the house. Total investment was $660. I would say to the OP, your room needs additional traps.
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