8 Cheap Ways to Soundproof a Room for DrumsPosted by Mike Schuck
These days it is terribly hard to find a music studio that does not charge an exorbitant fee. So, if you are an aspiring drummer looking to find the perfect space to practice your drumming, look no further than your own room!
But what about all the noise complaints your neighbors and roommates are bound to make? Well, we have the perfect solution for that as well. Soundproof your room and play away!
Drums are arguably the loudest of all commonly played musical instruments. And to add to that, drum noise easily gets passed on to the room’s infrastructure. What does that mean? It means that the ceilings, floors, and walls of your room will start acting as conductors of sound, creating vibrations through the rest of your residence and even the immediate surrounding areas.
These factors make soundproofing your room for drums a super challenging job. So we figured we would help you out with giving you a list of 8 cheap ways to soundproof a room for drums.
1. Close All Major Gaps and Cracks
When they hear "soundproofing," people often think that they need to add something, like acoustic treatment, foam, etc. In reality, the best place to start isn't in adding a bunch of treatment – it's about taking away unnecessary space left by windows and poorly-fitting doors.
So first things first, be a good detective and find out how sound is escaping from your room. Seal all the cracks, any sort of openings and all crevices in every corner of the room.
Use your hands to feel around your room and doorway and target the areas where the air is flowing freely. You can also use a flashlight to find those evasive cracks and gaps in windows and doors.
Even though an airtight room is simply perfect for soundproofing, you cannot possibly seal off your room completely because that will make it really stuffy and warm.
What you can do is find all the major openings and seal them up using gap fillers or airtight adhesive foam tapes.
As for the bottom of your room’s door, use a commercial grade door sweep to seal that large gap. If that is not sufficient enough, take some more adhesive foam tape and wrap it around the frame of your door and windows to entirely seal the entrance.
2. Install Carpets
For wooden floors, you will require carpeting. Installing wall-to-wall carpeting will not only dampen noise but also cut down the echo. Another option is to place thick rugs, with a few extra rug pads, to trap the noise. Place your drum set on the carpets rather than the floors to reduce the vibrations.
3. Invest in a Solid Core Door
Unless you live in a brand new, fancy house that was made totally custom for an audiophile, chances are your doors "hollow core." This means that your doors technically aren't solid wood, and are actually hollow in the middle (or are filled with some sort of cheap material that doesn't isolate sound well). Most homes are built using hollow core doors simply because they're cheaper than solid core doors. Unfortunately, most homes are built not with audiophiles in mind, but with profits – if your builder can save a few bucks by using hollow core doors, they will!
The doors with hollow cores can amplify the noise through other parts of your home. So if your room door has a hollow core, simply try replacing it with a solid core. You can do it yourself to save on the cost of installation.
4. Line your Hollow Door
If you're serious about soundproofing your drum room, the best move here is to just replace your hollow-core door with a solid core one. An alternative is to insulate your hollow core door if you do not want to spend on a solid-core one.
There are two ways to achieve insulation. First, you can add weight to the door. Buy quilted soundproof fiberglass panels or mass loading vinyl – both will act as sound barriers. You can attach these with a strong adhesive. But if these are too pricey for you, then you can definitely look into some drywall and fix it to your door.
As for the second way, you can try inserting some form of padding manually. You can do that by drilling a hole and then stuffing the insulation inside the door.
I've actually done this before in my Portland recording studio – we drilled a fat hole in the door and slowly but surely added a bunch of Owen's Corning 703 (our preferred acoustic treatment @ Jam Addict) inside. After taking care of the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor also, the door was just as effective as a wall in terms of preventing sound from leaking out into the hallway.
5. Invest in a Drum Rug
Sound mostly vibrates through your drum set into the flooring of your room. Then it echoes through your walls, floors, and ceilings in low frequencies. If you place a special drum rug under your kit, it will absorb the escaping noise and vibrations. These rugs will also offer added protection to your floors.
6. Make Your Ceiling and Walls Compact
An exposed area in your room, be it the walls, ceilings or floors, is bound to magnify the sound of your drums. The only way to counter that is to add mass. Cover your walls and ceilings with dense material to soundproof your room.
You can try installing acoustic foam base straps in the corners of your room. They will absorb the low frequencies emitting from your drums. The difference it creates depends entirely on how much room you cover.
7. Soundproof Curtains and Noise Absorbing Paint
Attach soundproof curtains to the windows in your room. They will help stop the sound that escapes your room to enter the world outside. Make sure that these thick curtains are covering every inch of your window. Apply two coats of any soundproofing paint on the walls of your room to soundproof your room.
8. Raise the Floor, Lower the Ceiling
Simply use some thick plywood and place it under your drum set. This will significantly reduce the noise because the plywood will trap the noise emitting from your drums.
Now how to go about lowering the ceiling? Simply suspend some soundproof panels from the ceiling, to give the illusion of a lowered ceiling. The key is to hang them directly over your drums to catch as much noise as possible.
All of these cheap ways to soundproof your room for drums are a much better option than getting your room professionally soundproofed, which can cost you a considerable amount of money. Even though these ways will not soundproof your room completely, they will create a considerable difference. So have fun trying these various tricks to create your very own soundproof drum room.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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