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Corner bass traps #2703926
01/11/18 11:11 AM
01/11/18 11:11 AM
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PhilipInChina Offline OP
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Should a corner bass trap run the entire height of the room?

If not, should they be at the top, in the centre or at the bottom?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2703934
01/11/18 11:56 AM
01/11/18 11:56 AM
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I'm actually in the process of re tuning my room to accommodate my new concert grand. My 2" panels worked for the smaller piano but kill the highs and clouds the bass for the larger piano so it was recommended to add broadband bass traps all around.

From what I learned you will want the thickest material 6" or so broadband bass traps w/ diffusion- as many as you can tolerate and yes you will want floor to ceiling for the corners, but that may only be just a start. The diffusion will give the room ambiance. I decided to go the other way around and start with traps on the walls first since I really don't like the corner ones in my smaller room. Check out GIK Acoustics in the UK


You can have the diffusion plate outside or underneath the fabric and you can also do it yourself to save money

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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2703952
01/11/18 12:36 PM
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Bass traps should run the entire length of the wall to be effective.

Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2703971
01/11/18 01:20 PM
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So on the one hand, piano designers go to great lengths to improve the sound of the bass of pianos, and on the other hand, acoustic "experts" add bass traps to reduce the sound of the bass in pianos.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: BDB] #2703974
01/11/18 01:36 PM
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That is NOT how bass traps work. Its not about reducing the sound at all, Its about frequency control and gain. You will get way better and more clear bass sound with traps

Last edited by Miguel Rey; 01/11/18 01:40 PM.



Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2703975
01/11/18 01:44 PM
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Gain has everything to do about reducing the sound, and why should we tune pianos just to have someone else control the frequency?


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2703979
01/11/18 01:57 PM
01/11/18 01:57 PM
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All I know is bass traps and acoustic panels make a world of difference for residential rooms for acoustic and hi fi systems. It's about sound reflections not direct sound from the source. What you are trying to do is delay the amount of sound going into your ears as if you were in a larger hall were that happens naturally. This is not really a subjective argument, Plenty of info out there on the net.




Re: Corner bass traps [Re: BDB] #2703994
01/11/18 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
So on the one hand, piano designers go to great lengths to improve the sound of the bass of pianos, and on the other hand, acoustic "experts" add bass traps to reduce the sound of the bass in pianos.


It's more the acoustic response of the space to the bass, and not the design of the piano itself. Same goes for audio speakers in professional and performance settings. Software is used to analyze the acoustic response of the room with "pink noise". Then the data is used to set the equalizers on the sound system to insure a natural sound in the venue.

Last edited by GC13; 01/11/18 02:45 PM.
Re: Corner bass traps [Re: BDB] #2703997
01/11/18 02:59 PM
01/11/18 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Gain has everything to do about reducing the sound, and why should we tune pianos just to have someone else control the frequency?

Because an untreated room is "controlling the frequency" already, and not in a good way. Bass frequencies have a tendency to reflect a lot in the corners of a room, they build up there and distort the sound coming back at you. In other words, they (Absorption panels, Bass Traps, etc.) help you to hear the piano, as opposed to the piano plus the distorted reflections from the walls.

Last edited by sroreilly; 01/11/18 03:01 PM.
Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704012
01/11/18 03:28 PM
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I have never had problems hearing a piano, so I do not need any of this nonsense.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704030
01/11/18 04:11 PM
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Most recording studios have acoustic treatments of the space, including those I have tuned pianos for.

When I am discussing voicing of a piano with a customer, that most often includes a discussion of the room that the piano is in and its effect on the sound of the piano, along with some suggestions of simple things they can do to improve the performance of the room for the piano. The best result comes from addressing the needs of the piano and those of the room.

You might want to read up on this stuff, BDB. It's pretty much common knowledge.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: BDB] #2704053
01/11/18 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
I have never had problems hearing a piano, so I do not need any of this nonsense.

Nonsense? Please. This is right out of Basic Studio Design 101, as important as avoiding parallel surfaces in a studio to eliminate standing waves. Sure, residential spaces are not usually built to this convention, but some people (the OP, audiophiles, etc.) care as much about this as they do selecting the best equipment. As a tech you should at least be aware of the principles of how audio behaves in a room, and how to optimize it.

Last edited by Oasismfg; 01/11/18 05:24 PM.
Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704083
01/11/18 07:31 PM
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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: WhoDwaldi] #2704089
01/11/18 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Conclusion

To properly employ bass traps one must be aware of the room/speaker interaction, be sensitive to the type of music/audio, have a reasonable expectation of the room’s natural size, and understand energy transfer into modal resonance. Good bass trap design will correspond with the boundary dimensions. Care must be given to assure the traps are not over efficient or oversized.

Absolutely agree. And all acoustic treatment should be given consideration based on appropriate analysis, e.g. diffusers.

Re: Corner bass traps [Re: Miguel Rey] #2704101
01/11/18 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
That is NOT how bass traps work. Its not about reducing the sound at all, Its about frequency control and gain. You will get way better and more clear bass sound with traps

Excuse my asking, but what does "frequency control" mean?

Re: Corner bass traps [Re: David-G] #2704106
01/11/18 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
That is NOT how bass traps work. Its not about reducing the sound at all, Its about frequency control and gain. You will get way better and more clear bass sound with traps

Excuse my asking, but what does "frequency control" mean?


It might mean this:



I think a lot of people do not understand that trying to make sound (or anything else) natural artificially is an oxymoron.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: David-G] #2704135
01/11/18 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
That is NOT how bass traps work. Its not about reducing the sound at all, Its about frequency control and gain. You will get way better and more clear bass sound with traps

Excuse my asking, but what does "frequency control" mean?

It means managing specific frequencies that are overexpresed due to the shape of a specific room. The goal is to attenuate what is overexpessed so that what you hear is representative of the sound of the instrument. Lower frequencies are usually the most problematic because it can result in some notes on the piano really barking at you due to powerful standing waves being generated between certain walls. Corner traps are often effective at reducing this down to an acceptable level - although sometimes even more is needed. In the end, what you're trying to do is interfere with the specific dimension in the room that supports the problem frequencies.

Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704268
01/12/18 01:08 PM
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So why has no one mentioned eigentones

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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: Beemer] #2704296
01/12/18 02:41 PM
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I believe eigentones is another word for standing waves, correct?

Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704467
01/13/18 12:49 AM
01/13/18 12:49 AM
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Bass traps are most effective when they are floor to ceiling, and they are not nonsense.

The way I look at it is to picture a grand piano in a concert hall, the sound can radiate out towards the audience with effectively no interference. By the time it hits walls and bounces back it is already pretty attenuated (and the concert hall should be designed to deal with this anyway) so that there are minimal interference problems. The audience is mainly hearing the sound directly from the piano, not rebounding noise off the walls.

The same great power of bass that sends the notes to the back of the hall is a big problem in a small room. There is going to be tons of rebounding waves (particularly bass). The sound traps are not attenuating the sound waves that leave the piano, they are as their name implies trapping the ones that enter the corner and stopping excessive rebounds around the room. Thus the volume in front of the piano is still the same, and the bass is if anything improved as there are less interference patterns causing imbalances in the room.

Is it a huge difference? if you are right next to or plying the piano often no, but if you are trying to record it does matter.

Likewise with loudspeakers, room conditioning is as important if not more important than the speakers. If there are unfavorable room resonances and excess rebounding sound then even the best speakers are going to sound subpar.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: Oasismfg] #2704510
01/13/18 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Oasismfg
I believe eigentones is another word for standing waves, correct?

They are significant in respect of the longest diagonal in the room this being from floor corner to the diagonally opposite top corner. This dimension determines the attenuation of the lowest audio frequency. Adding corner traps to.diagonally opposite corners will effectively shorten the diagonal length and attenuate the lowest frequences.
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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: BDB] #2704682
01/13/18 08:12 PM
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Gain is electrical. Amplifiers have gain. You might be thinking amplitude or pressure as in sound pressure level. Bass traps reduce certain frequencies that are artificially augmented by the geometry of the room. They are an attempt to return what is heard by our ears (or mics) to "neutral" and that the sound is somewhat the same in all parts of the room.


Just as the jack screws, voicing needles, felt juicer, leather lube, key weights etc are all single components in getting a piano "just right" bass traps are just a single component in getting a room sound "just right". When properly applied as part of a well considered plan by someone who understands the cause and effect relationships they can work wonders.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: XenondiFluoride] #2704684
01/13/18 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by XenondiFluoride
The way I look at it is to picture a grand piano in a concert hall, the sound can radiate out towards the audience with effectively no interference. By the time it hits walls and bounces back it is already pretty attenuated (and the concert hall should be designed to deal with this anyway) so that there are minimal interference problems. The audience is mainly hearing the sound directly from the piano, not rebounding noise off the walls.

I am not an acoustician, but I am not sure that this is correct. Take the Royal Festival Hall in London. It is a large hall with a very dry acoustic. I hate piano recitals in the RFH - the piano sounds "lost", there is no warmth to the sound. Piano sounds so much better in the Wigmore Hall, the Queens Hall in Edinburgh, Kings Place in London, Crail Church at the East Neuk Festival. These are all much smaller than the RFH - and the difference is surely that there are more reflections of the sound in a smaller hall.

Re: Corner bass traps [Re: BDB] #2704692
01/13/18 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
So on the one hand, piano designers go to great lengths to improve the sound of the bass of pianos, and on the other hand, acoustic "experts" add bass traps to reduce the sound of the bass in pianos.


It's a common misconception that bass traps simply reduce the volume of the low frequency sound in a room, and one can be forgiven for falling into this logic trap since the term bass trap itself seems to be self-defining. But the physics is just slightly more complicated than it first appears.

The actual perceived effect of well designed and applied basstraps is an increase in the evenness of the low frequencies througout the room. Because low frequency sound waves are similar in scale to the dimensions of a small or medium-small room, the bass response of a given note can vary wildy as you move around the room. (This is easily demonstrated by having one person play a bass note on the piano repeatedly while the other person walks around the room listening to the change in sound level.) The level of the fundamental can seem to get very soft if your distance from a room boundary is 1/4 wavelength of the note in question. These nulls in bass response can be as severe 30 or 40 dB or more, since two out of phase sound waves can null each other almost completely. This is known a "destructive interference".

On the other hand, when sound of a certain frequency is reflected off a boundary and the listener is located either 1/2 wavelength from the boundary, or right at a boundary, that frequency will be increased by only 6 dB or so. This is called "constructive interference".

A perfect bass trap would eliminate both the large destructive interference and the smaller constructive interference, getting rid of both the 40 dB nulls and the 6 dB peaks. The net result, because the nulls were much more egregious to begin with than the peaks, is of increased bass in the room, since the notes that were too loud are only coming down a little bit (6 dB) whereas the notes that were too soft are coming up a whole lot (40 dB). As counterintuitive as it may seem for bass traps to increase perceived bass, it's easily demonstrated in a good, well-trapped sound room.

There is no perfect bass trap, just like there is no perfect piano, but there are very, very good bass traps.

A suggestion for skeptics and others who would like to learn more by experiencing personally the negative effects of boundaries on low frequency response: Place a large speaker with good bass response against the front (short) wall of a room that is fairly deep. Run a 70 Hz sine wave test tone and stand 4 ft. from the rear wall (your ears are between the speaker and the rear wall). You will hear that the test tone is quite a bit softer at that location than it is, say, 2 ft. or 6 ft. from the rear wall. If the rear wall is massive, you will hear the tone disappear almost completely. Now stand 7 ft. from the wall and play a 40 Hz tone, and you will hear a similar deep null. The reason is that 70 x 4 or 40 x 7 both equal 280, which is approx. 1/4 the speed of sound (1130 ft./sec. at sea level). (Remember, we're talking about 1/4 wavelengths here.) Anywhere you stand there is some frequency that will be nulled out, for example 80 Hz at 3.5 ft., and so on.

Now that you know what to listen for, do the same experiment with a bass guitar plugged in direct. In this experiment, it will take a slightly more attuned ear to hear the fundamental being voided when standing at the 1/4 wavelength point. This is because the bass guitar has more overtones than the test tone, and the brain will partly fill in for the missing fundamentals using info gathered from the harmonic series.

Next, play piano samples of the low notes. This requires an even more attuned ear, since the piano sound will have even more upper harmonics. After confirming that you're hearing the nulls, move to the rear wall or the 1/2 wavelength point to hear the 6 dB peaks. Finally, use a real piano instead of a sampled piano for the test. I have no doubt that every one of the fine piano players, tuners, and technicians on this forum will be able to clearly perceive these boundary effects when performing this set of listening tests.

So back to whether bass traps reduce the perceived volume of bass in the room. The answer is more nuanced than a simple yes or no, since there is a modicum of reduction going on along with a hefty amount of bringing up of the nulls. But the overall impression will be of more fullness to the sound, and the elimination of that sort of hollowed out and "ghostly" bass sound that comes from listening in a place in the room that happens to be a peak zone for certain notes and a null zone for other notes. A bonus effect of bass trapping is increased clarity throughout the entire frequency range. This is because the evenness of the bass response throughout the room affects the listener's perception not only of the low end but also of the mid and high end, since getting rid of the mud opens up the ability to hear all notes more clearly.



Last edited by Wes Lachot; 01/13/18 09:31 PM.

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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704828
01/14/18 01:51 PM
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Wes, thanks for the very clear explanation.


Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704873
01/14/18 04:02 PM
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How deep do they need to be? Space is at a premium in my house, so I don't want them to be any larger than necessary.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704907
01/14/18 05:44 PM
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If you would read through the gobbledygook that has been written, you would see that you would probably need to hire an acoustician to figure out exactly what you need for your situation. So far, you have not said anything that indicates that you need anything at all.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: David-G] #2704909
01/14/18 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Wes, thanks for the very clear explanation.


No problem, David-G.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704918
01/14/18 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
How deep do they need to be? Space is at a premium in my house, so I don't want them to be any larger than necessary.

Philip - The deeper they are the better they work, which is why you'll see very deep traps in recording studios. If you are looking at commercially available traps for home studios and such, there are two basic types to choose from. The first type is made of only absorptive material, like foam or fiberglass or rockwool. The second type adds either a vibrating membrane or Helmholtz holes/slats. Of these, the second type is generally more effective in a shallower configuration. They tend to cost more, but they are usually worth it, because shallow absorptive-only type traps just aren't that effective at trapping bass.


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Re: Corner bass traps [Re: PhilipInChina] #2704931
01/14/18 07:55 PM
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So, I am wondering why I don't seem to have this problem in my piano room. The room is about 23' x 13' x 8'8". The piano is in the corner, with the left side of the piano slightly angled to the long wall.

Do I not have a problem because:

(a) nobody else plays the piano, so I am always at the keyboard - I can't walk around looking for standing-wave nodes or antinodes,
(b) the room is carpeted and the far end wall is entirely covered by curtain,
(c) any other reason?

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