As a drummer, it’s you and music against the world.
But life’s not so easy, is it? Not when you’re getting noise complaints from your family members or neighbors because of how LOUD drums sound.
That’s why we’ve compiled 6 ways on how to soundproof a room for drums.
A fair warning before we get started: an effectively soundproofed drum room requires your dedication and effort. But we guarantee they’re effective — without having to break the bank.
How to Soundproof a Room for Drums: 6 Effective Ways
1. Choose Your Drum Practice Room
Before soundproofing your room to make it like recording studios, it’s important to choose a suitable room for playing drums.
Granted, you might not have a choice in this. You might pick whatever room is left in your house.
But as much as possible, choose a practice space that will create the least sound. In that regard, make sure your soundproof drum booth is far away from the bedroom or living room.
Keep in mind that, with soundproofing, you’re trying to prevent two types of noise from escaping the room.
So, what are the two types of noise?
1. Airborne Noise
As the name suggests, the sound waves are transmitted through the air. Eventually, the sound waves crash into something solid. This could be your house or building structure (e.g., wall or door) or some object
From there, it causes vibration and creates sound. Some examples include the phone ringing, people’s conversations, and TV or music sounds.
2. Impact Noise
Impact noise is created when two objects collide with one another through physical contact.
Some examples of impact noise include footsteps, doors banging, dishwasher running, etc.
When it comes to drum noise, you’re creating both types of sound.
With the process of how playing the drums work, naturally, drums create impact noise.
For example, hitting the snares with drum sticks. And the result, which is the music, will become airborne sound.
Soundproofing a room won’t be 100% effective. That’s why it’s important to choose a room that has a better build (e.g., thicker walls) to begin with.
Don’t have a suitable room for that? Don’t worry.
Below are easy-to-follow ways to effectively soundproof a drum room or your own studio.
2. Seal the Gaps
Once you’ve decided on a room for drum practice, look around the drum room carefully. You’ll want to look for gaps, cracks, and leaks.
What are they, exactly?
Gaps or leaks are any open areas where sound waves can pass through.
Check where the air flows. The idea is to BLOCK as many air leaks as possible to prevent sound from escaping through the cracks.
Keep in mind that sound waves travel through the air. That’s why blocking sound leakage is EXTREMELY important!
The usual suspects are:
- Gaps in your door
- Cracks on any surface (wall, floor, and ceiling)
- Air vents
- Outlets (yes!)
Seal the air leaks using a soundproofing sealant. A popular choice is Green Glue.
Another is caulk. Caulk is used for filling up cracks or gaps on doors, windows, pipes, etc.
Weather stripping is also a good way to soundproof a drum room. It comes in many forms, with the popular ones being a door sweep and foam tape.
We prefer using a door sweep for convenience, but make sure to choose the solution that’s right for you. You can check out this article on how to install weather stripping.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t block off all the air leaks. Just focus on the big ones that will cause a lot of noise.
Why? Air wouldn’t be able to circulate if you seal all gaps. This can make your room stuffy and smelly, especially during the summers.
3. Soundproofing Your Door
Doors and windows are the biggest sources of sound transmission.
If you live in an old house, chances are your rooms have a thick wood door. This helps contain the sound inside the room.
Sadly, most modern homes use a thin, hollow-core door instead of a solid-core one. A hollow door isn’t good for containing the sound from an acoustic drum.
Weatherstripping and Door Seals
As mentioned, weatherstripping your door is one solution. Using an acoustic door sweep will help keep the sound inside the room.
Normally, a door threshold is used to protect your room against rain or snow while adding rigidity to the door frame. However, this also helps seal the gap between the floor and door to significantly reduce the amount of sound coming through.
Another option is to add mass or density to your interior doors. The thicker the material (i.e., more mass), the better it is at containing sound.
Fiberglass panels are the best materials to soundproof your door.
If you’re tight on budget, acoustic foam panels are a more affordable solution. Granted, they won’t be as effective as fiberglass panels, but it’s better than nothing.
You could also consider a medium-density fiberboard (MDF). These are cheap, and multiple layers of them will help in soundproofing a room for drums.
Replace Your Door
But what if you have money to spend?
Replace your door to have a BETTER. SOUNDPROOF. ROOM.
Upgrading your door with good material will be much more effective than adding soundproofing elements. With a brand-new door, you could also customize it to make sure there will be lesser gaps.
You can either DIY this on your own or hire a professional. Check out this website for approximate costs to replace your door.
You can also watch this video to see how effective solid core doors can be in reducing drum noise:
4. Soundproofing Your Windows
Hang Curtains and Blinds
Ideally, your drum room should have small windows or none at all.
Soundproof curtains are made with a thick material, such as layers of polyester or fabric. Sometimes they also have special thermal insulation in them to regulate temperature. These work great for sound dampening.
Installing a Window Plug
Another solution is to use a soundproofing window plug.
A window plug looks like a panel, and it covers your entire window. It’s made from dense materials, such as mass-loaded vinyl (MLV), to contain any amount of sound that escapes a room.
If you’re planning to DIY it, the good news is that you can use the materials for soundproofing your door for soundproofing your windows as well.
Replace Your Windows
If you have the budget, the best way to have a soundproof drum room is to replace your windows.
If you have a single pane window frame, you could upgrade it to double- or triple-pane windows. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per window.
Laminated glass is also great for noise reduction. But it is expensive and heavy, so you’ll have to hire a professional to do it for you.
5. Soundproofing Your Floor
Most of the vibrations from the drum kit and drum noise will directly come in contact with your floor. As a result, this impact noise will transfer to other rooms.
Carpets and Rugs
The easiest way to soundproof your floor is to put a carpet. In particular, drum rugs are a great choice as they’re designed to absorb sound from drums.
Plus, a drum rug features a non-slip bottom. So even after a particularly vigorous set, it will keep the drum set steady.
You could put the rug underneath the drum kit to absorb the sound. But to make it more effective, we recommend you cover the entire floor area of the room.
Adding a layer of soundproofing material first before the carpet or rug will help a lot. Some soundproofing materials you can consider are acoustic underlayment or mass-loaded vinyl (MLV).
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION: You could also opt to use a drum riser instead to lift your drum set off the floor. This helps prevent vibrations and impact noise directly hitting your floor.
Use Bass Traps
Next up is using bass traps.
A bass trap is a great solution, especially if your drum kit has a bass drum. Bass traps work exceptionally well with low frequencies!
They’re a bit more expensive than standard underlayment, but they’re also a lot more effective to acoustically treat and improve a room’s sound quality.
A bass trap is a type of sound-absorbing acoustic panel. It consists of an insulating material (e.g., mineral wool or glass) and a porous fabric or foam.
Unlike standard acoustic panels, a bass trap usually has a jagged shape or stairs-like shape. The unusual shape helps trap the sound.
Some bass traps have a flat surface. These types of bass traps are suitable to attach to the corners of your walls and floors.
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION: If you have the budget, get a drum shield. A drum shield is a transparent panel that covers your drums. This will help with the sound isolation of your drum heads and cymbals.
6. Soundproofing Your Walls and Ceilings
Last but not the least, soundproof your walls and ceilings. This way, you’re soundproofing a drum room entirely.
Why is this important?
The sound from your drums will bounce off on the surface of the walls and ceiling, creating an echo.
Acoustic Foam Panels
The simplest way to soundproof your walls and ceiling is to use acoustic foam. They’re affordable, easy to install, and you can even construct your own DIY foam panels.
All you need is household adhesive to attach them to the surface. Use an acoustic sealant, such as Green Glue, to boost the effectiveness.
Acoustic foam panels come in all sizes and colors, so it’s possible to decorate them to your preferences. Cover as much surface as possible.
Another option is to use sound-absorbing wall panels or sheets. These are bigger than acoustic foam. In fact, they’re very similar to bass traps.
A sound absorption panel is typically made of wood and then covered in fabric. In contrast, a sound absorption sheet consists of only a fabric made from a thick and dense material.
Attaching these panels to your walls will help reduce echo and reverberations (which are what make things sound louder in the first place), so using these is a MUST!
As an alternative, you can also consider drywall. Drywall is a rigid sheet made with plywood, wood pulp, asbestos-cement board, and gypsum.
Drywall can offer more flexibility when it comes to soundproofing your room for drums.
Why? It’s easy to stack multiple layers of drywall for added mass. Plus, you can pair it with other soundproofing materials, such as mass-loaded vinyl (MLV), for better results.
Resilient Channels and Fiberglass Batts
If you have the time and money, consider insulating your walls and ceilings and attaching resilient channels.
For sound insulation, fiberglass batts are a great option. As an alternative, you can also consider blow-in insulation. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of surfaces to cover.
Resilient channels are thin steel or metal bars designed to reduce impact noise. These create air pockets and dampen sound waves.
Keep in mind that both methods require opening up the walls or ceiling. It’s also trickier to DIY, so you might want to consider hiring a professional.
A soundproof room is a must for drummers. To have a truly “soundproof” room, you will have to remodel the room for drums.
However, most of the tips we’ve shared don’t require that much time, effort, or money.
So just follow these simple and easy-to-follow steps to guarantee the best results!
If you want to pull out all of the stops in trying to practice your drums quietly at home, we recommend you check out our review of the Best Quiet Drum Kits on the Market.
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