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How to Make Bass Traps: A Step-By-Step DIY Guide

A Step-By-Step DIY Guide On How To Make Bass Traps

Recording and mixing music is a talent that few possess. If you want to be successful in the industry, it’s all about creating the right sound. Having proper equipment is just the start.

Your space must be acoustically complete to produce beautiful music. One of the ways that you can heighten the sound you want is by incorporating bass traps. These little traps are the secret ingredient to the perfection you crave.

Thankfully, using cost-effective, DIY methods, you can make these traps for less.

Understanding Bass Traps

Before you head to your local hardware store ready to create your masterpiece, you need to understand what a bass trap is and what it can do for you. The main goal of these traps is to absorb acoustic energy. Then, they take the low-frequency sound energy they collect and dampens it. The energy is then turned into heat using friction. When it comes to recording studios and other places where the environment is vital for listening and recording, the goal is to reduce low-frequency resonances to produce the best sound. There are many methods that you can use to accomplish this, but the bass trap is by far the most cost-effective. When exploring designs, you will find bass traps are either porous or resonant. From there, you will find subcategories of Helmholtz resonators and panel absorbs, which might sound confusing. Either style is instrumental, although they have a vastly different way they work. The porous ones are crafted from materials such as cell foamfiberglass, or wool. The Helmholtz resonators are much like a guitar. There is an open hole where the sound is amplified, so they are made from wood and contain either air or gas. They must also be tuned mechanically to resonate at the proper frequency. The porous ones don’t need to be tuned as they don’t have the power to resonate like the Helmholtz.

DIY Bass Trap Material List

You need to create a blueprint for this job, which will include how many traps you need and their size. The dimensions will be designed for your specific space, and they are not universal. However, the materials and tools are the same for the job. The tools needed are as follows:

Product
ARROW Staple Gun T50 Heavy Duty Kit with 1875 Staples and Remover
Home Intuition Gutter Guard Plastic Mesh Guards 6" Wide 20' Long (2 Pack)
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
3M - 86235 Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive | Permanent | Bonds Laminate, Wood, Concrete, Metal, Plastic | Clear Glue | 12.23 fl. oz.
DEKOPRO 168 Piece Socket Wrench Auto Repair Tool Combination Package Mixed Tool Set Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case
Black Tulle Speaker Grill Cloth Stereo Fabric Replacement for Home Speakers, Large Speakers, Stage Speakers and KTV Boxes Repair - 63 x 40 in / 160 x 100 cm
Preview
ARROW Staple Gun T50 Heavy Duty Kit with 1875 Staples and Remover
Home Intuition Gutter Guard Plastic Mesh Guards 6″ Wide 20′ Long (2 Pack)
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
3M – 86235 Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive | Permanent | Bonds Laminate, Wood, Concrete, Metal, Plastic | Clear Glue | 12.23 fl. oz.
DEKOPRO 168 Piece Socket Wrench Auto Repair Tool Combination Package Mixed Tool Set Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case
Black Tulle Speaker Grill Cloth Stereo Fabric Replacement for Home Speakers, Large Speakers, Stage Speakers and KTV Boxes Repair – 63 x 40 in / 160 x 100 cm
Prime Benefits
Product
ARROW Staple Gun T50 Heavy Duty Kit with 1875 Staples and Remover
Preview
ARROW Staple Gun T50 Heavy Duty Kit with 1875 Staples and Remover
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
Home Intuition Gutter Guard Plastic Mesh Guards 6" Wide 20' Long (2 Pack)
Preview
Home Intuition Gutter Guard Plastic Mesh Guards 6″ Wide 20′ Long (2 Pack)
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
Preview
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
3M - 86235 Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive | Permanent | Bonds Laminate, Wood, Concrete, Metal, Plastic | Clear Glue | 12.23 fl. oz.
Preview
3M – 86235 Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive | Permanent | Bonds Laminate, Wood, Concrete, Metal, Plastic | Clear Glue | 12.23 fl. oz.
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
DEKOPRO 168 Piece Socket Wrench Auto Repair Tool Combination Package Mixed Tool Set Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case
Preview
DEKOPRO 168 Piece Socket Wrench Auto Repair Tool Combination Package Mixed Tool Set Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
Black Tulle Speaker Grill Cloth Stereo Fabric Replacement for Home Speakers, Large Speakers, Stage Speakers and KTV Boxes Repair - 63 x 40 in / 160 x 100 cm
Preview
Black Tulle Speaker Grill Cloth Stereo Fabric Replacement for Home Speakers, Large Speakers, Stage Speakers and KTV Boxes Repair – 63 x 40 in / 160 x 100 cm
Prime Benefits
Details

Materials needed are as follows:

You may already have many of these supplies on hand. You should always pull from your reserves to save money. Additionally, the material needs will increase depending upon the number of traps you wish to create.

How to Make Bass Traps

The hardest part of the project is trying to cut the wood and put together the frame. It’s better to get the most challenging part out of the way first. Here are the steps to creating the perfect bass trap:

Step 1: Make Wood Cuts

Using your blueprints, cut the wood to the appropriate size. You can either create a triangle-shaped box or one that is panel styled. Both styles will serve the same purpose.

Wooden Cutouts for Crafts, Wood Rectangle (9 x 12 in, 6 Pack)
  • WOOD RECTANGLES FOR CRAFTS: These versatile unfinished wood pieces are ideal for DIY projects, party decorations, or home decor
  • SMOOTH SURFACE: The unfinished wood surface allows you to easily use paint, wood stain, stencils, ribbon, lace, beads, and embellishments to customize the precut wood rectangles

Step 2: Design the Frame

Use the wood to make a frame.

Stuff the frame with insulation. If you use cellulose, then you will also need some mesh to keep it inside the box.

Step 4: Wrap the Fabric Around Box

Use the fabric you select and wrap the trap. You want to ensure you pull it tight, so there is no puckering or wrinkles that can affect its performance. While these instructions are simplified a bit, you may need to improvise based on the number you create and any obstacles you run into along the way.  Keep your plans handy, so you can create replacement or new boxes with the same dimensions if necessary.

Make Triangular Bass Traps

While the shape of the wood you cut is different, the steps involved in creating the panel and triangular bass traps are very similar. The size, shape, and number of panels you cut are different depending on the style you select. First, here are the steps for the triangle bass traps.

Step 1: Devise a Plan – Create the Blueprint

You only need fundamental skills to create these boxes, so don’t feel that you don’t have adequate experience. Start with a sketch/blueprint that shows what the desired trap should look like. Notate the dimensions of the wood panels and how many parts you need to cut. You can quickly figure the costs while creating your blueprints.
Da Vinci Pro Birch Wood Gesso Panels - Very Fine Wood Grain Warp Resistant Birch, for Mounting Linen or Can Be Universally Gesso Primed - [Single 1-5/8" Gesso Panel - 18x24"]
  • INFO: These superior quality Birch hardwood painting panels give artist’s exceptional panel strength and rigidity, with very fine wood grain. Finely sanded Da Vinci Pro Birch Wood Painting Panels deliver a consistently strong, sturdy archival support. Perfect for mounting linen or and universal priming.
  • PRODUCT: The panels can be directly universally gesso primed, Encaustic gesso primed, or barrier-coated with PVA or rabbit skin glue sizing before oil priming. They are also popular with artists making their own linen or cotton panels, or mounting sanded pastel or watercolor paper for a firm archival painting surface.

Step 2: Making the Cuts

Cutting the wood can be challenging, especially if you are not accustomed to this type of work. However, by the time you make one box, you will be a master. If you are going to make the triangular size trap, then you will need to have two walls. Additionally, you will have to make a triangle frame for the bottom and one for the top.

Step 3: Assembling the Frame

Before you put the Gorilla Glue on the wood, it makes things easier to get the end of the wood wet. Plywood is a little thin, so you can use staples to put it together. If you choose a thicker wood, then you should use screws to hold the frame together.

Regardless of what you use, you want the frames to be nice and tight.

Step 4: Insulating the Trap

There are many types of insulation that you can use to create these traps. Some of the insulation are more cooperative than the others. Cellulose is a tricky substance to work with, and if you decide to use it, then you will need a plastic mesh to keep it in place.

Step 5: Upholstering the Frame

Now, it’s time to install the fabric. You want to choose one that is going to be sound-transparent as well as breathable. If you have the wrong type on your box, then the trap won’t work as it should.

The fabric should be cut using the blueprint dimension, with an additional amount added so you can fabric it tightly. While you don’t have to wrap the entire box, it will make the final product look better.

You may need to enlist the help of another person to get the fabric right. Spray adhesive is a great option to help wrap the trap. It will also allow you to have an exceptional finished product. You can use staples to secure the fabric once it’s glued down.

Making Panel Bass Traps

The simplest of the forms is the panel traps, as there are no triangles to create. Their basic style is perfect for the beginning do-it-yourself master. Even though these are easy to make, you still need a good plan to pull off this project seamlessly.

Step 1: Drafting the Blueprints

To build the wood frame, you will need four pieces of the wood of your choice. Additionally, you will need two insulation panels. Choose your insulation material wisely. The best insulation for sound absorption is fiberglass, and it’s a cost-effective material too.

Step 2: Make the Wood Cuts

With these bass traps, your dimension is the same size as the fiberglass panels. You can make your woodcuts based on these sizes.

Step 3: Assembling the Frame

It’s best to pre-drill pilot holes before assembling the frame. Use your drill and screws to pull everything together. Screws work best because they keep things nice and tight, and the pre-drilled holes keep the shell from becoming damaged during the insulation process.

Step 4: Upholstering the Trap

The final part is to put the upholstery on the outside of the box. Using spray adhesive and Gorilla Glue can help you to secure all the edges. Also, using staples is useful to help everything in place.

DIY Bass Traps Are Amazing

It’s not time-consuming or difficult to build a bass trap. The key is having a good plan and making sure that you get the measurements correct. Sure, you can purchase these traps, but you won’t have the pride that comes with knowing you created something with your hands.

As with most projects, it’s very cost-effective to build these boxes from scratch. It’s best if you have some basic knowledge of carpentry and some tools at your disposal. If you need to purchase gear, it can certainly increase the overall price of making these traps. Alas, having a good supply of tools is something you can use now and in the future. Plus, there are many places where you can find amazing prices to help build your supply.  Bass traps are an essential part of enhancing sound quality when recording music.

Sure, there will always be some sounds that penetrate a room, but blocking out as much noise as possible gives better quality to your recordings. So gather your tools and get ready to work. It’s time to craft some bass traps to show off your carpentry skills, you can take your music to the next level.