While it might seem like a trivial matter, sounding proofing for drums is an important aspect of improving your drums playing skills. And while there are plenty of ways to go about it, very few work perfectly.
Herein we will explore why you need soundproofing and the very best ways of doing it.
For you to become good at something you love, you must put in a lot of effort and dedicate a lot of time in practicing your craft.
You might be passionate about something, but passion will only take you so far. You need to practice; after all, practice makes perfect.
This is very much relevant when it comes to drums.
If you want to hone your skills, you need to practice quite a lot, a feat that can only be achieved by installing a drum set somewhere at home.
For many of us, the best place to practice playing drums is in the confines of our home.
And when you install a drum set, the question of soundproofing comes up.
Soundproofing your drum room is quite an expensive affair and a time-consuming endeavor.
Nonetheless, it will go a long way in giving the peace of mind you need to play your drum any time of day or night, without worrying about whether you are disturbing other people in your home or in your neighborhood.
Understanding Soundproofing And Sound Absorption
For the most part, many people use these term interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences.
Soundproofing, which is the focus of this read, is the process of using specific structures and materials that do not allow sound waves to permeate through them and, therefore, pass spread outside the room.
As such, it is the process of making it difficult and even impossible for sound waves to escape a room.
Sound absorption, on the other hand, involves the use of structures and materials that absorb the sound waves rather than blocking the sound vibrations.
By absorbing the sound, the material transforms the sound vibration energy to heat energy.
As such, this method is used to get rid of the echo.
As such, while you might be interested in reducing sound vibrations being transmitted outside your drum room (soundproofing), you might want to consider adding a touch of sound absorption to deal with the echo.
In using both soundproofing and sound absorption, you not only reduce the noises coming out of the room but also improve the sound quality inside your room.
Understanding The Types Of Sound Vibrations You Will Be Soundproofing
Playing drums usually results in two types of sounds, and therefore, you need to take steps to prevent against both of them.
The first type of sound is Airborne Sound.
This is the type of sound produced when the vibration at sources energize the air around, creating vibrations in the air, better known as sound waves.
The sound waves are then transmitted through the air from the source.
This type of sound is the most prevalent when playing drums.
It is also very effective at passing through gaps and transmitted outside the drum room.
As such, much of your efforts should go into soundproofing for this type of noise.
The second type of sound is Impact Sound.
Impact sound is the sound that is transmitted through solid materials after you hit the object.
When you play drums you produce impact sound which is then transmitted throughout the floor and, thereafter to the entire house. As such, you should also consider soundproofing your home for this type of sound.
The Steps To Soundproofing A Drum Room
Step #1. Choosing A Room
While the room you choose will depend on your personal needs and your current circumstances, it is always best to choose a room that is as far away from the living areas as possible.
The goal is to use a room wherein you can play drums without having to worry about disturbing people in the house.
This makes the garage a good choice.
Your garage is a good option, first and foremost due to its secluded nature.
Typically, the garage is usually constructed on one end of the house, which is furthest from the living room.
Furthermore, the lack of or reduced number of gaps (door and windows) makes it relatively easier to soundproof.
This means you will not have to spend a great deal of money and time in soundproofing garage.
Another option is the basement.
The basement is the best option to use as your drum room if you do not have a garage or if you do not have space in the garage.
It does not have a lot of gaps to be concerned about. Furthermore, it is in a secluded part of the house.
Therefore, you will find it relatively easier to soundproof this room.
However, you will need to put some extra effort to reduce noise to the ceiling.
Since the ceiling is also the floor of the room above, you need to ensure that no sound passed through the ceiling.
After choosing your drum room, the goal now is to apply the best soundproofing technologies and methods to negate the possibility and instance of sound escaping your dorm room.
Herein we will link the best methods, technologies, materials to use in soundproofing the walls, the floor, and the gaps
Step #2. Soundproofing The Floor
Soundproofing the floor is an important element of your overall endeavor.
This is especially the case when you choose a drum room located in a room that has other rooms below, where impact noise will because of concern.
As such, when you live in an apartment, or when you install your drum in the upper floor of your house, you need to ensure that the impact noise generated by playing the drums is not transmitted to the floor and thereafter to the entire structure of your house.
The materials you need to soundproof your floor is a material that not only disrupts the sound waves but also absorbs some of them.
Off-the-shelf floor materials include foam rubber padding and PVC padding materials that have been developed to absorb sound.
These materials absorb the vibrations from the impact of the drum set.
Another effective method of dealing with the impact noise is to make a soundproof platform for your drum set to sit atop.
To this end, you can make a box platform wherein you fill with sound absorbing foam.
The foam will be very effective at absorbing impact vibrations, and, therefore, negating the need to use widespread padding.
The thickness of the padding will obviously be in relation to the materials used to construct the floor.
The easier it is for your floor to transmit vibrations, the thicker the padding should be.
Step #3. Soundproofing The Wall And Ceiling
The biggest problem arising from playing drums is the airborne noise.
Not only is this noise disturbingly loud, but is also very effective passing through walls and ceiling thereafter escaping outside.
Furthermore, it tends to bounce off the walls, creating an echo that only makes things worse.
As such, soundproofing your walls is one a must.
To do this, it is recommended that you use acoustic foam to soundproof the wall and ceiling.
This particular material is not only effective absorbing sound waves, but it is also very effective at dealing with the echo.
For instance, the popular diamond style acoustic panels have small pyramid-like structures on the surface.
These small pyramids cause the sound waves to bounce around many times on the material.
With each bounce reducing the energy of the sound waves, the noise is significantly diminished by the time it reaches deeper into the material.
Other soundproofing materials in use today include wallpapers, sound absorbing blankets, and fiberglass panels.
Step #4. Finding The Gaps (The Doors, Air Vents, And Windows) And Sealing Them
Once you soundproof the floor and walls, it is paramount that you find any sound leaks and block them as well.
The most common sound leaks in any soundproofed room are the windows, doors and air vents.
These are the spaces where sound vibrations will escape easily and transmit outside.
The windows and doors are not made with soundproofing as the number one priority.
For instance, to increase the insulation capability of both the window and the doors, modern windows and doors are made with hollow internal structures; they are not solid.
This, however, makes it easy for sound to transmit through them.
A good way to go about it is to replace the existing windows and doors with high-density alternatives.
Alternatively, you can opt to glue a fiberboard on the door using soundproofing glue.
And for the windows, you can cover them with thick blankets or thick soundproofing curtains and or drapes.
Thereafter, you want to find all the leaks and seal them.
Any gape that you see, for instance, the gap under the door should be sealed with a soundproofing acoustic tape.
While you might try to soundproof the air vents, you need to be mindful of the quality of air.
Step #5. DIY Solutions
While materials that have been developed specifically for soundproofing is the most effective method, it is not always feasible as it is quite expensive.
Considering you have to sound the floor walls, and the gaps, your project cost may easily run into the thousands.
As such, it makes sense where substituting the soundproofing material with other cheaper materials, you do it. Here are some ways of DIY soundproofing.
The Floor – When soundproofing the floor, instead of using the rubber or PVC padding, you can use thick materials such as carpets that have a soft, fuzzy and fibrous structure.
Such a material will be effective at absorbing sound vibrations with ease. In this regard, if you have a fluffy oriental rug, place it under the drum set.
If you do not have one, you can buy one of the affordable ones.
This only works when the entire floor is carpeted. If the floor is not carpeted, you might have to purchase rugs to fit the entire room.
The Walls And Ceiling – Soundproofing the wall is a very important part of the overall project.
However, the cost of acoustic panels tends to be very prohibitive.
Covering the entire wall and ceiling surface might be very expensive.
You can reduce the cost by covering a portion of the surface with the acoustic panels and using thick curtains and sound blankets in the remaining surfaces.
This hybrid will be effective in that the most sound-absorbent positions of the walls are covered with acoustic panels and the remaining part of the wall is covered in cheap materials.
You can also opt to apply additional layers of drywall to increase the density of the wall and thereafter use soundproof blankets and thick curtains only.
The Bottom Line
Drums are notorious for being noisy. If you intend to enjoy playing drums at home, soundproofing your drum room is critical for everyone’s peace of mind.
There are various options available and each option will yield varying degrees of effectiveness.
As such, ensure you match the soundproofing capabilities with your soundproofing needs, keeping in mind your budget.