Being a drummer is awesome, being the neighbor of one is less awesome unless proper soundproofing is implemented.
In this article I will go over all of the steps you need to take in order to efficiently soundproof your drum room.
So, let’s get straight into it!
How to soundproof a room for Drums?
To keep the sound of a drum kit from leaving the room you will need to seal off all the possible ways where it can get out, which means that soundproofing the doors, windows, walls, and installing sound/vibration absorption materials such as a rug will be required.
Now I will go into the specifics and also tell you what you should prioritize soundproofing, starting with the door:
Soundproof the door
The first and most important place to start with is the Door.
If it isn’t sealed off perfectly, then the sound will definitely come out of the room. Just a single small opening in the door can drastically change how much noise 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 gaps between the door and the frame 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!
Steps to soundproofing a door
I wrote a complete guide on how to properly soundproof a door that you can find by following this link and I highly suggest you read it to learn more, but here’s a quick summary:
- Weatherstrip the door: Weatherstripping tape is by far the best tool to create an air-right seal between the door and the frame.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: While not as important, acoustic caulk can help you seal off any gaps that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.
- Install a Door Sweep: A door sweep will cover up the gap left between the floor and the door.
- Add Mass to the Door: Cut a piece of Rigid Foam insulation to the exact size of the door and nail it to it.
- Use Moving Blankets: Moving blankets are good at dampening sound, and hanging one or two of them on the door will lower the level of sound coming through.
Soundproof the windows
The process of soundproofing the windows is almost identical to the one of the doors, but if you want a full guide on how to do it, here is my guide on how to soundproof windows.
Again, here’s a quick rundown on how to soundproof a window:
Steps to Soundproofing a Window
- Use a Weatherstrip: Same concept applies here; attach the weatherstrip to the frame and this should create an air-tight seal when closing the window.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: If there’s a small gap between the frame and the wall, which tends to happen on older windows, use caulk to seal them.
- Install A Window Plug: Window plugs are pieces of foam that are slightly bigger than the window and are inserted into the frame to cover it up completely.
- Install Acoustic Curtains: Hanging good-quality acoustic curtains will absorb some of the sound.
- Use Moving Blankets: Same concept as before; moving blankets are great sound absorbers.
There is a lot more to it and if you really want to soundproof your windows properly, then check out the post I linked earlier, but as long as you weatherstrip the windows and cover them up with a really thick material, you should be set.
While it may be quite expensive and time-consuming to add some drywall to your existing walls in order to add another barrier that the sound would need to go through, it might be the best way to go about it in some cases.
Drywall will act as an additional barrier, and this reduces the amount of noise that is allowed to leave the room drastically, and as far as soundproofing goes, installing materials that block sound instead of absorbing it, like acoustic panels would, is the best way to do it.
One additional thing you might consider doing is adding some soundproofing compound to the back of the drywall to block sound even further.
These are the best steps to follow since they are designed to keep sound from getting out.
Installing sound absorption like acoustic panels can help, but those are actually designed to reduce how much the sound is allowed to bounce around IN the room, but not to control how much should be able to leave.
Still, sound absorption can reduce how much of the drum kit’s sound is able to get out, which is why you may want to consider adding it to the room.
Install sound absorbing materials on the walls and ceiling
When you have hard surfaces in a room and you make a loud noise, like a drum would, these soundwaves bounce off every wall, and this is the “echo”, otherwise known as reverb, that you hear when you’re in an empty room.
The easiest way to avoid this is by purchasing some simple acoustic panels that 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, and some bass traps like these ones, which will help control the lower frequencies a bit better.
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, like I already mentioned, isn’t the best way to actually prevent sound from leaving the room, it does help but it’s not the best way.
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.
Here you have a couple options, but I’d recommend to either make them using towels Rockwool.
I did both and I have to say that they work incredibly well, especially the ones I made out of rockwool (link to the guide on how to make them).
Here’s a guide on how to make some using towels:
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.
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.
Not only will a rug absorb sound, but more importantly, vibrations, and these can definitely create a lot of unwanted noises on their own.
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.
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.
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!
Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo