If you are a music person then you know that the good music that you are playing comes after a lot learnings. While learning, to say the least, you don’t sound as good as you can be. 😀
Even when you are pro at your skill, you may end up annoying your neighbors due to the loud noise that your drums produce.
Today I will share with you some tips that I have learned so that they may help you.
1. Using Lightning Rod instead of Your Regular Drum sticks
This is probably the cheapest way that you can reduce the volume of your drum kit. You can use Lightning rods instead of your normal drumsticks.
The lightning rods are basically 7 dowels combined together instead of a single piece of wood like in case of regular drum sticks. These lightning rods have similar punch and feel like regular ones but they are not that loud.
There is also an option of using brushed drumsticks. Brushed drumsticks are basically a bunch of wires put together which makes them extremely soft and hence they produce very little sound. These sticks don’t give you the feel of regular drumstick and hence are not preferable in my opinion.
2. Consider Electronic Drum Kit
The second suggestion that I have for you works really well but may lie on the expensive side. You can’t cheap out on the quality here because if you did, it won’t just feel right.
Make sure you get one with proper mesh heads and with good-quality triple trigger cymbals. Once you have them, all you need is a keyboard amp or PA and you will be able to the volume with a simple little volume knob. If you want to totally silence it, You can also use headphones.
3. Look for any air gaps
Sound travels quite quickly through the air gaps. Just to give you an example, ask one of your friends to get inside a
You will quickly realise that even that 10% opening can leak a lot of sound.
The same principle applies to your room, if there are any openings like below the door, air vents etc. Sound will travel outside of your room really quickly.
Check the door
You need to seal the gaps as much as possible. If you see gaps between door and the floor, you can use draft stopper like this one to stop the sound from going out.
There are a lot of good ones that you can get on amazon like this one
Check the Windows
If your room’s windows are not airtight, you can use window inserts for to insulate the gaps. Window inserts are basically frames made to fit into your window’s frame in an airtight manner. This stops the sound leakage from windows. Here is a video showing its effectiveness. But I guess you should be the guy inside 😉 😀
You can easily make one for your self out of cheap foam.
Making one of these window inserts is quite easy. You can use 2 inches of this soundproofing foam material for your inserts. If your window is small(less than 3 feet), all you need to do is cut an acoustic foam 1 inch greater than the size of your window area. This will ensure a snug fit.
If your window is more than three feet wide, you will have to build a frame for the foam window inserts.
Here is how you can build it at your home. You will need a wooden board, soundproof foam/ acoustic sponge, soundproof mat and some weatherstripping tape.
- Make measurements of your window’s area as accurately as possible.
- Cut the wooden board into planks using the measurements and build a frame that would fit your window’s area.
- Take a soundproof mat like this one and stick it into the frame using glue or bond stick. You may need to partition your frame for the mat to fit properly.
- Cut acoustic foam to a size little larger than the frame. This will ensure a snug fit.
- Attack shell handles to the external side of the frame so that you can remove the window insert easily when you need to.
- Use weather stripping tape to seal any additional gaps.
Check the Air vents
Recall the example of the car, even if 10% window is open, you will hear most of the noise. You need to make sure that no air gap is left unattended.
If you are serious about soundproofing, you will need to block the noise from air vents. You can either completely seal the air vents or build a sound maze.
For complete sealing of the airvent, you can use a drywall or foam sealant like Great Stuff Insulating Foam Sealant.
If you want to keep the air vent open for air circulation, you can consider building a sound maze for the vent. It is a simple concept in which you place sound absorbing materials in the pathway of the air. This helps deflect and absorb some noise.
4. Get a Good Drum Rug
You can get good drum rug like Meinl Cymbals MDR-BK on amazon. This rug will help in absorbing the sound from the drums. It is specially built for drum and won’t let your drums slip in your enthusiastic play time.
Ideally, you should place this mat on a carpeted area. If you have not already carpeted the floor, make sure you get it done as it will help absorb a lot of internal noises.
5. Cover the windows with thick drapes
If you want to go an extra mile to block out the sound from getting outside your drum room, consider getting thick drapes or curtains for windows.
Blackout curtains can also work but there are some curtains that feature noise-reducing thermal insulation as well. If you want to buy one, NICETOWN Blackout Curtains can be a good choice.
If you don’t have window inserts, it is better to get at least some drapes to soundproof the windows.
6. Use Basement If Available
With this simple tip, you can avoid a lot of money and hassle. Just use a basement for your practice sessions. The basement is already insulated from all the sides by the soil, you will need to do considerably less work.
7. Things You Can Do to Improve The Sound Quality
There is a lot of information online giving telling you to do things like adding foam to the walls. But do they really
The answer is a NO!
They only help you improve the quality of sound, not necessarily suppressing the noise from going outside or coming inside. But they are worth a shot if you want good sound quality
Acoustic foam on wall and ceiling
Your drums may be sounding extra loud and echo because of the hard surfaces of your floor and ceilings.
When sound hits the hard surface of walls and ceilings, it ricochets back and forth, effectively amplifying the sound.
You can avoid this effect by using foam panels. They are basically soft surfaces that can deflect the sound in different directions and nullify this ricochet effect
You will need to buy to several foam tiles but keep in mind you don’t need to cover 100% area, even if you are able to cover 25% you will get satisfactory results.
On Soundproofing your Drum Room
Perfect Soundproofing of any room require a lot of money and construction like double walls, double ceiling. This is the reason why recording studios are ridiculously expensive.
But for somebody who just wants to play some music and have some decent enough sound without disturbing neighbors, I have written down this article. You will not get 100% soundproof room but you can have decent soundproofing if you do it right.
Don’t worry if some of sound goes out of the room, you can always talk with your neighbours and courteously tell them that you will be playing drums. Ask them what is a good time to play drums so that it is not that disturbing.
Usually, if you play in normal hours it should be fine. Once in a while, you can play music at jams to feel the open playing.
I hope this helps. Don’t forget to share this article with someone who needs this.