Ever been in that situation where no matter how much you try to play the drums “softer”, and how many blankets and pillows you use to absorb the sounds in the room, you would always wind up getting complaints from your neighbors? In this article, we will discuss about how to build a soundproof drum room for home practice.
You may have had no issues soundproofing when practicing on your guitar or even piano, but drums are a different story altogether. Drums can produce more volume than any other instruments commonly used in a band, and the lower frequencies produced by the bass drums are also a challenge to the soundproofing process. What works for a range of frequencies may not work for another. Most of the common materials used to soundproof a practicing room, such as carpet and blankets, can do nothing to rival the mighty sounds of your drum kit. This explains why you struggle to soundproof your practice room or garage when it comes to the drums.
Another issue is air currents and ventilation. A perfect soundproofing system is where air cannot pass out of or into the room. However, making the practice room airtight is not an ideal situation as you will need ventilation, especially if you will be practicing with the rest of the band. This is another challenge when building a soundproof room for practicing drums. As such, it is worth doing a separate research on air ventilation in an airtight room to make sure you are not caught off guard when the issue surfaces.
There are really no easy and quick ways to build a soundproof garage or room for drums. However, there are methods that are relatively low cost and beginner-friendly. This article will focus on these methods.
If you are using a garage for your drum practice, be sure to clear away the unwanted stuff inside the garage first!
Low cost methods to build a soundproof practice room/ garage for drums
Below are several suggested methods on how to soundproof a room for drum playing.
#1: Green Glue
Laminate the walls of your room with Green Glue is a good place to start soundproofing an existing practice room. Green Glue needs to be sandwiched between rigid surfaces in order for it to work, so you will need to add another layer of drywall in addition to the existing one (if you’re using an existing room), or use two layers of drywall (if you’re building a practicing space in a garage). Green Glue takes some time to take full effect, so don’t panic if you don’t notice an improvement in noise levels and leakage for a couple of days or even a week.
Apart from the walls, you can also insulate the ceiling with Green Glue for further sound leakage reduction.
#2: Sound Absorption Sheets
Also referred to as sound absorption blankets, these sheets are another cost-effective way to soundproof your room for drum practicing. A good source of these blankets are Audimute Sound Absorption Sheets, which are both affordable and effective in absorbing sound.
#3: Acoustic Foam and Bass Traps
Insulating your walls with acoustic foam can help a bunch in keeping sound from getting out. Bass traps, usually installed in the corners, can help absorb the lower frequencies coming from the bass drum. Using a combination of these two materials, in conjunction with Green Glue, dropped ceiling and raised floor, can help tremendously in soundproofing your drum room.
#4: Seal Up The Gaps
Look for major gaps in your walls and doors: these can cause air and sound leakage. Fill up the gaps using caulk or tape. You can also use acoustic door sweeps or seals to seal up the gaps between the door and the floor.
#5: A Room Within A Room
This method may get a bit more pricey than the rest, but it is by far the most effective method of soundproofing for drums.
Start with “dropping” the ceiling, or building a false ceiling under the real one. The air in between the two ceilings will act as a dead space to trap sounds. There are a number of different ways to achieve this: it will do you good to experiment a little bit to find out what works best with your room or garage. For instance, you can attach some wooden chips to the existing ceiling to create the gap, attach a layer of sheetrock onto the strips, and then attach another layer of sheetrock after the first layer, with Green Glue sandwiched in between them.
Using a similar principle, you can create a raised floor for maximum sound proofing. Besides Green Glue, you can also isolate the ceiling and floor with other sound blocking materials such as Audimute Peacemakers.
Giving your room or garage an acoustic treatment is an essential step in converting the room or garage into a practice room for drums. While it is impossible to achieve perfect soundproofing, minimizing the flow of sound into and out of the practice room is entirely achievable, and highly recommended. This article has discussed some of the most budget- and beginner- friendly ways to soundproof a room or a garage for drums. However, these tips are just barely scratching the surface: there are an enormous amount of information available on acoustic treatment for your drum room. Spend some time consulting as much materials as you can, to determine the best treatment for your own practice room.
Also bear in mind that serious acoustic treatment for your drum room will come at a rather serious cost, usually in the range of a few thousand dollars, even with the supposedly low cost methods discussed in this article. Be sure to do your research as thoroughly as you can, to make sure you have enough budget for your chosen acoustic treatment.