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You probably dream of owning a soundproofed drum room where you can rock and roll alone or with band members without disturbing your neighbors. Or, you got a teenage son who’s got some curiosity about music and spends most of his time hitting the drum.
If the above scenarios describe your current situation, here are some tips I gathered to help you learn how to soundproof a room for drums.
To fully soundproof your music room, you’ll need to invest in tons of money and invest much of your time and effort. In essence, you will need to a complete remodel for your drum room.
However, if money is a problem, there’s an easy catch for you. You don’t have to invest much or break the bank trying to sound dampen your room. The cheaper option is through sound absorption.
Soundproofing for Drums versus Sound Absorption
Soundproofing a drum room means that no sound will escape the room into other rooms. Soundproofing a music practice room can be truly expensive. However, in most cases, you don’t need to soundproof your drum practice room- you can simply reduce the amount of drum noise that escapes the room to keep the cops away and the neighbors happy.
Why is Drum Noise Problematic?
There are different ways in which sound transmission happens- and its unfortunate they apply to drum sounds as well.
- Impact Noise occurs when sound travels across solid surfaces. It occurs as a result of the physical impact on sound on an object- for instance when you use drumstick on your drums.
- Airborne noise occurs when drums create vibrations to the air particles in the atmosphere. These vibrations are then transferred through space. What makes airborne noise is because it can travel long distances and even into other rooms through tiny gaps on the windows and doors.
6 DIY methods to soundproof insulate drum room
#Method1: Soundproof insulate the floor
I would recommend this option only if there’s a room located below the practice room to prevent impact noise from affecting those downstairs. Impact noise from the drums will cause your house to vibrate and those downstairs or your neighbors will be affected by these vibrations.
However, to prevent this, you will need to soundproof the floor of your drum practice room. However, the method to use will largely depend on the type of flooring in your apartment. But a basic principle applies to all soundproofing techniques:
The thicker the sound absorbing layer, the better the result.
Sound absorbing materials are quite useful in reducing noise impacts. these materials are in most cases soft, thick and their structure helps in trapping sound waves. You can use an acoustic underlayment for floor insulation.
Alternatively, you can use a PVC or dense rubber material to soundproof the floors. These materials, however, don’t absorb sound waves but instead block sound passage.
#Method2: Soundproof the walls
I know you don’t want to be the noisy neighbor. To prevent drum noises from escaping the room, you can soundproof your practice room walls. The easiest method to sound insulate the walls is installing some sound-absorbing materials.
You can find these sound insulating materials for cheap and even better, you can order them online. Some of the products include:
#Method3: Seal all the existing gaps
This actually ought to be your very first step in sound dampening your music practice room. Sounds can easily penetrate through tiniest gaps in windows or door frames.
To close these gaps, you’ll first need to identify them and the simplest way is to turn off the light inside your practice room while you’re in and leave the lights outside the room on. You should spotlight penetrating the room if any gaps exist.
The simplest method to seal these gaps is using weatherstrips. I use these weatherstrips for my music room- check the latest price on Amazon. You can also use fiberboard and use Green Glue to glue the fiberboard.
If the idea of replacing the existing door with a special acoustic door, you can opt to add density to the existing door. You will need layers of Medium Density Fiberboard.
You should also pay close attention to the air vents for they could because of noise leakage from the music room. Here is my article about 5 DIY methods you can utilize to soundproof the air vents. However, you should note that soundproofing the vents can block air flow to the practice room.
#Method4: Use Bass Traps
Regardless of the sound deadening methods, you’ll use, the chances are that the bass drum will still be a major noise concern. this is because – low-frequency sounds travel faster and are harder to insulate.
But here is a quick fix for you.
You can use bass traps- these are products constructed using acoustic foam and are installed at the corners of a room. Bass traps are efficient in trapping low-frequency sounds by converting them into heat.
However, I found out that bass traps are not 100% efficient and therefore it’s not possible to completely get rid of the bass problems.
#Method5: A room inside a room
Above methods are some of the cheap ways to soundproof a room for drums- but did you know that the same methods are not as efficient as creating a separate space inside the practice room?
How to build a soundproof room within a room
However this DIY method needs some serious investment but in the end, give you the best results. You will need to create a room inside an existing room for your drum lessons. You will need walls and ceilings to separate such a space.
You will also need soundproof materials such as Sheetrock or drywall for constructing the walls and ceiling. The adhesive material used should as well be soundproof.- Green Glue should serve you right. The small room you create should be airtight to prevent sound leakages.
Decoupling involves doing a modification to the existing structure to reduce the amount of noise that leaves your drum practice room. If you’re renting a basement, apartment a loft or you’re in a condo, I would recommend you to seek permission before you do any structural modification.
Additionally, you will need to approach any structural modification with caution simply because increasing the load on ceilings, floors and walls can be dangerous depending on the materials used, where your room is located and the age of the building. It’s important to seek a structural engineer advice before embarking on decoupling journey.
#Method7: Invest in a good drum rug
This is also one of the cheapest, simplest and easiest techniques. You can place a rug below the drumset to absorb some of the sounds before it leaves the room. Drum rugs are designed specifically for this job. The Meinl Cymbals MDR-BK Drug is a good example of what you can use.
The rugs are designed in such a way that they firmly keep the drum set in place so you don’t have to worry about your drums tipping or sliding. If you find black colors too boring, you’ll like the Meinl Cymbals MDR-OR Drum Rug.
Is soundproofing a room for drums necessary?
In my honest opinion, I think soundproofing your music practice room is only necessary- only if you’ll be practicing often. As you can see above, some of the best methods of sound insulating a room require money, time, and skills that most people simply lack.
Which is why most studios and homes skip it entirely, or use simple techniques to keep the noise down as possible- and that’s totally understandable.
How to quiet drums for practice
If soundproofing the room is not your thing- here are seven on how to quiet drums for practice. These are cheaper alternatives compared to the whole idea of sound insulating your practice room.
Step1: Use low volume cymbals
If you’re not a fan of rubber cymbals, Zildjian got you sorted with the different types of non-rubber low volume cymbals. The cymbals are covered in small holes which reduce the cymbal overall weight and they give up to 80% less noise. Incredible, right?
You can get this Zildjian L80 Low Volume 13/14/18 Cymbal Set to solve your drum room noise problem.
Step2: Muffle your bass drum
To dramatically reduce the volume of the bass drum, you’ll need to remove the resonant head- one facing away from you when playing. You should then stuff the drum cavity with something that will dampen the sound.
You can use old household rags, pillows, towels, and duvets. But remember that the bigger the material used the more you’ll be able to dampen the sound and make the neighbors happy. Alternatively, you can stuff the bass drum using these sound dampening blankets available on Amazon.
Step3: Use practice pads
Another great way to silence your drums is to use these Silence Pads. You will need to attach these rubber silence pads to your acoustic kit and it will muffle the sound. This is a great option especially if you’re looking for a temporary solution and the good news is that you’ll not need to re-skin your drum set every time you need to practice.
Step4: Mesh the drum heads
The tech behind the mesh heads found on electronic drums can also be implemented on acoustic kits. You can rig your acoustic kit with these UKS Audio Mesh Drum Heads or a set of Roland’s Mesh Heads and you’ll be amazed by the noise reduction.
The two drum heads are similarly priced and cost same as other sets of batter heads. So this seems a cheaper alternative than replacing the drum kits.
There you have it, friends, methods to help you soundproof a room for drums. Some of these room dampening techniques are simple to implement while others will require some expert advice before commencing.
However, if you find sound deadening your room for drums, you can choose the second option- quiet the drums themselves.
Now my question is- have you tried any of these techniques? Are you willing to implement any?
Please let me know in the comment just below.