Being a drummer is awesome, being the neighbor of one is less awesome unless proper soundproofing is used.
In this article I will go over all of the steps you need to take in order to efficiently soundproof your drum room.
The best way to soundproof a drum room is by sealing off all the gaps where sound could escape the room. You will need to soundproof the doors, windows and install some soundproofing panels as well as sound absorbing curtains.
Literally sealing off every single hole to get perfect soundproofing is almost impossible and also not advisable because we need at least a bit of natural airflow.
But you can dramatically reduce the sound coming out of the room by just following a couple of steps…
Soundproof the door
The first and most important place to start with is the Door.
If it isn’t sealed perfectly, then the sound will definitely come out of the room. Just a single and small opening in the door can drastically change how much sound is allowed to come through.
A good tip for you to implement is to close the door, same thing can be applied to windows, and have someone use a flashlight from the other side on the edges of the door.
You will be able to tell if there are seems or cracks on the doors and windows this way. If light shines through, you need to seal that crack.
Another way to do this is by feeling the airflow. If there’s any part of the door where you can feel some air coming through, then sound will also be able to. Make sure to seal those parts up!
Apply Soundproofing materials to the door
The best way to seal the gaps between the door and the frame is by using this acoustic door seal kit. It’s really easy to apply and it works wonders.
This takes care of the gaps between the door and the frame, but there is usually a big gap between the door and the floor.
What you need to get here is a door sweep like this one and cut it to the size of your door. They are super easy to install since they have an adhesive backing.
Once the door sweep is in place, you could use the same acoustic seals you used for the door frames and apply them to the door sweep. This will further help seal the bottom of the door.
Reinforce the door
Unless you live in an old house or for some reason you decided to get thick wooden doors for your home, then the doors you have are probably very thin or even hollow inside.
This won’t provide any soundproofing at all!
While changing the door might be a good option, there’s a better and less expensive way which is using these sound absorbing blankets.
Just putting them up on the door without first taking care of any gaps between the door and the frame and also the floor won’t really help that much, but combining all three methods works wonders.
Another good option which is a bit more expensive but looks better and also works great are these fiberglass acoustic panels.
Soundproof the windows
The process of soundproofing the windows is identical to the one of the doors.
You can look for gaps between the window and the window frame by feeling if there is any airflow. The way to seal this is by using the same kit you used for the doors.
Use Acoustic Caulk
You need to get this Acoustic Sealant and using a caulk gun you can begin the installation.
Where to use Acoustic Caulk?
It’s designed to fill small 1/8” gaps to ½” gaps and should be applied between the frames of the window and the walls.
It’s designed for interior use only; it shouldn’t be used on the exterior!
Note: After you have applied it, give it about 48hs to dry completely.
After you’ve done this it’s time to invest in some sound absorbing curtains.
Install Sound Absorbing Curtains
If you are still worried that sound will bleed everywhere, then getting some sound absorbing curtains might be a really smart choice.
To be honest, any thick curtain will help with deadening the sound, but I would recommend that you get these blackout sound absorbing curtains since they are very affordable, plus they actually work well.
The great thing is that they come in a variety of colors, so you can even use them to decorate your drum room.
Install sound absorbing materials on the walls and ceilings
When you have hard surfaces in a room and you make a super loud noise, like a drum would, these soundwaves bounce off every wall. This effectively amplifies the sound.
The easiest way to avoid this is by purchasing some simple acoustic panels which you can hang on your walls and ceiling.
These aren’t particularly expensive, and they can actually look very cool!
There are two different ones I would recommend. The Auralex Acoustics acoustic absorption foam, which you will need plenty of, so make sure to get at least a pack of 24 pieces.
The other ones you should get are bass traps like these ones, which will help control the lower frequencies.
Of course, the more surface you can cover, the better! If you cover the entire walls and ceiling you will definitely notice a dramatic difference.
Acoustic foam, however, isn’t the best way to actually prevent sound from leaving the room, it does help but it’s not the best way.
The best material you can use is some mass loaded vinyl which will do wonders for you. The thing is that it should be placed INSIDE the wall, which is no easy task. This would need some professional to do it and it would end up costing a fortune.
You could simply place it on top of your walls, even though it’s not as effective this way, but to be honest, it still works great. A big plus of placing it inside the wall is that it provides a permanent solution and leaves no traces.
Acoustic Panels DIY
If you don’t have the budget to purchase all of the acoustic foam panels, then you could actually build them yourself.
All you will need are some pieces of wood for the frames and a lot of old towels. These could literally end up costing about $2 for each one and what’s even more amazing is that they work just as good as the acoustic foam panels, if not better.
I found this fantastic video by DIY Perks on YouTube where he teaches you how to make them, so make sure to check it out.
Sound vibrations can easily transfer from one structure to another if they are in direct contact, which makes the problem even worse than it was before.
Here you need to find a way of blocking that transfer of sound/vibration by isolating each structure with an anti-vibration rubber.
Installing any kind of anti-vibration rubber will help tremendously with this.
One tip would be to get one or two thick rugs and place an anti-vibration mat beneath them. You could also take a look at sorbothane, which is one of the best materials available for reducing unwanted vibrations.
The importance of a drum rug can’t be overstated. It will do a lot to further absorb the sounds created by the drums.
Even though you could use and old rug you have lying around, I’d highly recommend this rug designed specifically for this purpose since it’s affordable and of great quality.
All of these drum rugs should be used on top of a carpeted floor, even though it’s not the end of the world if you use them directly on the floor. However, if you want to get the most out of it then either install carpeting or place another rug under it.
Drum rugs are designed in a specific way where it allows for the spurs and stand to not slip and move during long sessions.
If there is one simple solution for drum noise, then it has to be a Drum Shield.
The one issue is that they are really expensive, plus you would still need to apply some of the other soundproofing tips on this list in order to get the best results.
If you really need to lower the volume of your drum set, then you should get the Drum Shield DS4.
If you want a quick solution, then a drum shield would be your best bet, however, even though it prevents sound from going out though the front and sides, it won’t block it from going upwards.
This is why some additional soundproofing is required.
Soundproofing a room for drums is something you absolutely should do unless you want to drive your family and neighbors crazy.
Follow all of these steps and your drum sessions will be extremely quiet in no time!