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Old 10-04-2004, 10:38 PM
Eddie D Eddie D is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 280
Default Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

Hiya all,

Im wondering if Real Traps are really worth the money? I seen plans on building your own but would they be as good as or really worth taking the risk of a so so improved room. I mean these things are $179.00 each and that dont include the shipping. They suggest at least 8 of these in room.
I have recently been apartment/house hunting (unfortunatly still renting) and found a place that I will be moving into on the 15th. The attic is finished and thats where I plan to setup shop.
The shape of the walls is a cape cod style and has hardwood floors. So I know reflections have to be tamed. Im definately excited about the hardwood floors though.
I planned on spending money on another pre (avalon ad2022 or 737) but with seeing this place and wanting to take my setup to another level, I figure I better start working on my rooms acoustics. I figure if you have all this expensive gear but the room sounds like crap then what good is it.
Has anyone here built there own bass traps and actually tuned a room and compared the before and after treatment freq responses. Tuning a room is way beyond my knowledge and will probably have someone who knows what to exactly do come in and do it. Damn there goes more money.
I guess if Im gonna start to take this thing seriously then I have to shell out some dough. I just dont want to feel like Im getting ripped off or could have gotten the same results buiding some on my own.

Anyone have any suggestions, please share and ideas or experience you have.

Thanks guys appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Who Ever said this would be Easy!!!
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 231
Default Re: Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

Many people I trust use them and appreciate them. I've seen proof on paper that they work, but do not personally have any. If you're a DIY person, you can build some treatment that's probably at least 60% as good for about 10% of the cost that the designer for RealTraps (Ethan Winer) recommends all the time for people on a budget.

As far as weighing the budget - your room affects EVERYTHING you record, mix, play, etc. It is your single most important part of the chain - gear money could be better spent where it will make the most difference.
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:09 AM
cruisemates cruisemates is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 766
Default Re: Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

I don't know what they put into Real Traps, but if you did know, you could probably build one cheaper. Try a search on Google "building bass traps". I don't think there is a big secret. Reading the RealTraps site gives A FEW TIP OFFS - stops low freq vibration but doesn't affect higher freqs, etc. I think the minimum they recommend is 4 anyway, one in each corner of the ceiling.

I think it is definitely worth it. IMHO, getting the right amount of low freq on your mix is one of the most crucial, and hardest things to do in mixing. But I would add them last - I don't think you are going to know how many you will need until you actually hear your room.

Tuning a room: The MOST frustrating thing about a new studio is playing your mixes on other systems and discovering the mix is nothing like what you heard in your own control room. And in the long run, your client is going to rate your work on that, not on how it sounded on your own monitors.

A great novice misperception is that buying "good" monitors is going to guarantee you good mixes - nothing could be further from the truth. The room affects the sound of the mix as much as your choice of monitors. Plus, you have to learn how to mix on those monitors to make your mixes competitive with other studios.

Think of good monitors like the lens on a camera. If it is tinted or out of focus you are not getting true reproduction. So getting a good lens/monitor system is step 1 for building a control room.

In the same way, once you get a great lens on a camera, you need the right lighting. If you are photographing in a room with red and green lights, you are not going to get good pictures. In the same way that lighting is important to photography, physical acoustics are important to control room monitoring.

A lot of studios shoot the monitors with pink noise using 1/3 octave dual-band passive EQs to tune them. But then you are just using electronics to compensate for the room's short-comings, and the tuned sweet spot is on place behind the console. It is better to try to cure the acoustic ills of the room first and use less processing in your monitoring chain, because any electronic processing will cause some phase anomalies. The ideal control room is so acoustically balanced it doesn't need any EQ.

That is the science of monitors and control rooms. "Theoretically" you can monitor on anything, as long as your ear is tuned in to your monitoring system. The theory being "Okay - say this is a radio station, I just heard three other artist's tunes, and now here comes my mix. How does it compare?" If you can truly apply that process, you could mix on almost any system - but it is hard. Ideally, you want to mix on a system where what sounds good to you then and there is what is going to sound competitive when you take it outside.

If I were building a pro studio, I would try to optimize the acoustics, buy good monitors, and then I would listen to outside music on them and see how they sound. If I thought it was balanced and natural sounding I would then see if I felt comfortable mixing in a way that matches what I am hearing on outside mixes. The better your monitors and acoustics are, the easier it is to mix the way you "want to hear things" and still create competitive mixes for the outside world.

As I got to know my room, if I discovered I was having to mix the bass (or anything) in a way that wasn't natural to my ear, I would start adjusting the room acoustics - adding traps, etc. It is a long trial & error process, but one that a lot of good studios go through.
- but the second mouse gets the cheese
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:37 AM
IntelDoc IntelDoc is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Monument, Colorado
Posts: 4,195
Default Re: Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

This is what I plan on using, plus the 703 rigid fiberglass...

Look at John Sayers site too! Lots of info. Bass Trap are great, but a lot of money and I need a lot... 2000 for 8.... Nope! I can build them at about 50 bucks a pop...

20 sheets of 2" rigid is 70 bucks total.... 2' x 4' too...


Good luck!

- Doc


Monument Sound Facebook

"Changing how people hear music one track at a time"
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:47 AM
Carl Fuehrer's Avatar
Carl Fuehrer Carl Fuehrer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,345
Default Re: Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

Here's Sayer's forum http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/index.php
Ethan Winer is also on the forum and is great at answering questions on traps.

Carl Fuehrer

Pulsar Audio Lab
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Old 10-05-2004, 11:27 AM
pk_hat pk_hat is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: grimy Brooklyn
Posts: 4,680
Default Re: Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

I bought 4 of them last month when I moved my studio to a different location in my loft. Best money I ever spent, it made a huge difference. Ethan is very helpful with placement, amount, etc. I sent him some pics and that was all she wrote...
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Old 10-05-2004, 11:40 AM
homerg homerg is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Dallas, Texas, US
Posts: 441
Default Re: Real Traps (Bass Traps) Tuning a Room

I bought the material from this site and covered them myself using cloth that I bought at a fabric store. they work great. You can't buy this stuff in small quantities, so buying from Ethan makes a lot of sence. it really made a difference in the overall sound of my recordings, especially drums, vocals, and acoustic guitars.
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