How To Soundproof A Drum Room On A Budget
An increasing number of musicians are choosing to set up rehearsal rooms and sound studios in their homes. While this can be an effective and affordable way to practice, it does present a few issues. One of the most notable of these is that the noise could upset your neighbors.
Naturally, this will mean that you should want to make a rehearsal space as soundproof as possible. This can be relatively easy with electric guitars that can have headphones etc. plugged into amps or have their volumes turned down low. However, drums could pose quite a large issue.
The most important reason for this is that they can be quite a loud instrument, with there being no possibility of adjusting the volume. However, soundproofing a rehearsal room will be able to avoid this, though you might not be able to afford to hire a professional to do this.
There are a few ways around this, though, with the most effective being to soundproof a rehearsal room yourself. You might believe that this will be an expensive and challenging process, although this isn’t true.
Instead, the materials that you’ll need can be quite affordable, and the overall process could be relatively simple. As a result, you should be able to soundproof a home studio or drum room easier than you might have expected.
You’ll need to follow a few specific steps, with there also being a few tips to take advantage of. When you’re doing so, you’ll need a few specific materials, including:
Though you’ll be able to buy all of these items in a DIY store, the price of them can add up quite quickly. This could make the process much more expensive than you might have thought. As such, it can be recommended that you buy them online instead.
While doing so means that you’ll have to wait a few days before you can start soundproofing your drum room, the savings can be worth the wait. As such, it’s recommended that you buy each of the materials you need online and then start the process.
What Makes Drum Noise A Problem?
You could be wondering why drum noise will be a problem for many people. There are two notable reasons for this, with both seemingly making the other worse. The first is the airborne noise, also known as the sound that the drums create.
What makes this a problem is that drums can be much louder than the majority of other instruments and can travel farther. This could be an issue for others in the house, as well as neighbors.
Alongside this is what’s known as impact noise, which travels across physical surfaces. This is the kind of sound that’s typically generated when a glass is dropped, for example. It’s also a noticeable sound when playing the drums. This can then travel across a building and easily create disturbances for other people in the home and even your neighbors.
Since playing the drums creates both of these sounds, you’ll need to soundproof a drum room against both of them.
Drum Room Acoustics
When you’re looking to soundproof a drum room, it’s important to not the difference between this and sound absorption. While you might think that these are the same, they’re different things completely and cover different materials and surfaces.
Soundproofing refers to the elimination of any sound and preventing it from escaping, which is what you should be aiming for with a drum room. Sound absorption, however, refers to a surface that takes in the sound and turns it into heat. This also prevents an echo from being developed.
This is something that you should want to capitalize on, especially if you plan on recording music in your drum room. The main reason for this is that it helps to dampen the sound of your drums.
When creating your drum room, you should aim to use both of these techniques, which will mean using a variety of materials during the process.
Soundproofing Tips For Drum Rooms
While all of the above can be helpful to know, you should now want to start soundproofing your drum room. Though the process may seem quite intimidating when you first start, it can be much easier than you might think.
To make sure that you do so properly and easily, you should take advantage of a few tips and tricks, each of which could be quite helpful in soundproofing the drum room.
Choose The Right Room
Choosing the right drum room can be a vital aspect of the process, as it can have a large impact on how much noise your neighbors and others will hear. While much of this can depend on your personal circumstances, there should be a few factors that play a role in your decision.
Ideally, your drum room should be located as far away from any living spaces as possible. It’s for this reason that the majority of people choose a basement or even a shed for the purpose. Regardless of where you set up, you’ll need to soundproof the walls and ceiling.
If you choose the basement, you can cut down on much of the work you’ll have to do, as you’ll be able to skip soundproofing the floor. Typically, the process will involve adding soundproof materials to various areas, which you can find out more about below.
When choosing which room to set up in, you should aim to pick one that’s as clutter-free as possible. This is because the soundproofing materials could take up a lot of space. If you can, it’s also recommended that you choose one that doesn’t have any windows, as this will make sure that no noise gets out when you’re playing the drums.
Sealing The Drum Room
Once you’ve chosen which room you’ll be using, the first proper step will be to seal the room, which is something that can often be overlooked. What makes this vital is that a large amount of noise can travel through even the smallest gaps.
This is also one of the reasons that you should avoid rooms with windows, as there should then be fewer gaps and cracks. Outside of this, there are a few areas where cracks are more likely to appear, with the first being around a door, which are typically found between the door itself and its frame.
The easiest way to find these gaps is to make the room as dark as possible, close the door, and leave a light on the outside. The light should then travel through each of these cracks, which makes them quite easy to find. These should then be filled with an acoustic sealant.
One of the easiest ways to do so is with medium-density fibreboard, which should be attached with a noise-proofing Green Glue. You should also add this medium-density fibreboard to the door itself, as it will help cut down on the amount of sound that travels through it.
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You could also consider having a thick door installed instead, which is much easier, although it could be quite expensive. Next is the air vents, which will also need to be soundproofed. However, this could pose a problem, as it will block any airflow into the room.
This could make the room more uncomfortable to stay in, which means that this could be a tough balancing act. However, it’s recommended soundproofing the air vents and taking regular breaks to leave more air into the room, which should solve the problem.
Soundproofing The Walls
Once you’ve got all of the room’s gaps sealed up, it’s time to start soundproofing. There are several ways that you can do so, with many of these focusing on adding mass to the walls, with medium-density fibreboard or drywall being quite effective at this.
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Following this, you’ll need to add soundproof materials to each of the walls, with soundproof blankets and padding being some of the best ways of doing so. However, you shouldn’t put just one layer of these on. Instead, it’s recommended that you put up several layers of drywall and then adding the soundproof insulation.
This should mean that almost no sounds leave the room while you’re playing the drums. The number of layers that you need could vary from case to case, which means that you might need to experiment. This should mean adding a layer, testing the soundproofing, and then adding layers as necessary.
When you’re doing this, you should use a high-quality adhesive. While you’ll be able to find a variety of affordable options, these can often underperform, especially with several layers. This should mean that it can be better-recommended that you use a more expensive option, as this will provide a much stronger hold.
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There can be a few other ways that you’ll be able to minimize the amount of noise that escapes your drum room, some of which you might not have thought of. The most notable of these can be soundproof blankets and curtains, both of which can be much more effective than you might think.
These are also relatively affordable, which should make them a cost-effective addition to your drum room.
Insulating The Floor
Depending on where your drum room is located, you may need to soundproof the floor. Naturally, this shouldn’t be the case if you’re on the bottom floor, and nobody lives below you. Outside of this, however, this can be a vital part of the process.
This is predominantly because a large amount of sound and vibrations will travel through the floor, with anybody below you being affected. The materials that you’ll need for this can vary drastically depending on what kind of floor you have. In each case, however, the thicker the insulating layer you have, the better.
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Having a thick carpet can be useful for this, although you might need to add a few layers under this to ensure that your floor is sufficiently soundproof. Foam rubber padding or mats can be quite useful for this, as it will absorb the majority of vibrations and prevent them from traveling through the floor.
Like the majority of other soundproofing methods, layers can be a vital aspect of this, so you might need to have several of them.
Use Bass Traps
While each of the above tips should have quite a significant impact on soundproofing your drum room, there’s a chance that you could have a problem with the bass drum. This is a lower sound that can often travel much farther than others.
However, you’ll be able to avoid this by using bass traps, which are acoustic foam products that are placed at each corner of the room. The main purpose of these is to capture the sound from your bass drum and turn it into heat.
- High Quality foam bass traps will help eliminate reverb and unwanted sound in any studio
- Professional design, aimed to target the low/mid frequencies
While this will mean that your drum room will be slightly warmer than you may have planned, this shouldn’t be as noticeable as you might think. Though it will be impossible to eliminate this sound completely, they should have a drastic impact on how much of it escapes the room.
These should be placed on both the ceiling and the floor to achieve the best results possible.
Build A Separate Space Inside The Drum Room
While this could be an expensive process, building a separate space inside your drum room could make sure that it’s as soundproof as possible. Though it’s a significant investment, it’s something that could reap dividends, especially if you want to make sure that you don’t irritate neighbors or anyone else inside your house.
You might think that this will be a complicated process, although it might not be. Instead, you’ll simply need to set up new walls and a special ceiling, which can be done with either sheetrock or drywall.
When you’re doing so, you’ll need to add a certain amount of soundproof insulation to each of the walls, as well as the ceiling itself. You should also do the same for the floor, although this might not be needed if your drum room is on the bottom floor of the home, and nobody is living below you.
Alongside this, you’ll need to make sure that the space is as airtight as possible. While this will mean that you can only stay inside it for short periods, it should ensure that there’s no sound leakage while you’re playing.
Even compared to the majority of other instruments, drums are notorious for being loud. Naturally, this could mean that you might irritate many of your neighbors when you’re playing them, regardless of how good you are.
While each of these steps will have a positive impact on how much they’ll hear, using each of them should minimize it significantly. As such, it’s recommended that you implement as many of them as possible. Though this will take a lot of effort, it could reap dividends in making sure that you get along with your neighbors.
This doesn’t mean that it will cost you a lot of money when doing so, however. Instead, buying each of the materials you need online, and doing it yourself should be a cost-effective approach to the process. This should mean that it will be worth the time it takes to do so.