How to Soundproof a Drum Room or Booth
I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind when I think of soundproofing are drums. Let’s be honest: drums are obnoxiously loud, especially when cymbals are involved! Yet they are the backbone of all of our favorite music—from film scores and classical music to the hardest and heaviest of rock bands to the pop anthems of Taylor Swift. Likely they were the very first instrument, and thus how our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago first made music and birthed civilization. Important indeed, but man, they are noisy!
Many of my customers are drummers and studio professionals who are seeking a way to soundproof their studio to contain that noisiness. There are many benefits to doing this, not least of which is making sure no one outside of the drum room is annoyed! More professionally speaking, it’s important to properly soundproof your drum room so that the rest of the music studio can function without the intense low rumblings of drums and piercing high frequencies of cymbals clouding the rest. When it comes to recording, it’s also paramount to soundproof appropriately before applying sound control in order to “tune” the wild sounds of drums so that they sound as perfect as possible when recorded.
In this article, I’ll share the best ways to soundproof a music room for drums—and build a drum booth—to make sure your studio space is properly acoustically treated for the best results for your recordings and the well-being of everyone’s ears!
Understanding Soundproofing a Studio and Drum Kits
To really understand soundproofing a space where drums are playing, we need to think about the whole studio space. Let’s imagine a standard 4 person band: 1 drummer, 1 vocalist and rhythm guitarist, 1 lead guitarist, and 1 bassist. This means we have one vocal channel (maybe two, if the bassist or lead guitarist provides backup vocals), 3 guitars being amplified, 1 of which is the bass playing low frequencies, and 1 drum kit.
You could really break the drums down into many components as it hits most of the audio spectrum: low frequencies with the kick drum and floor tom, mid to low frequencies with the remaining toms, and mid to highs with the snare drum and cymbals that contain harmonics of very high frequencies.
In short, that’s a lot of sound! The first step before getting to the drums is to soundproof the space, meaning the walls, ceiling, floors, and doors and windows. This will ensure that sound doesn’t leak out of the room, and, most importantly for band practice and recording, that no external sounds leak in.
Now that we’ve got our room soundproofed, let’s focus on getting the drums under control. An important difference between drums and our 5 other channels in this example (vocals 1, vocals 2, guitar 1, guitar 2, bass guitar) is that they are all coming through audio equipment and can therefore be adjusted electronically. Lead guitar amp too loud? Turn down the volume! The engineer also can control the entire output at the mixing board. Are the low ends too much, that causes muddiness in the mix? Slide up and filter out that low end instantly.
Next we have those pesky drums. There are no knobs available to turn down the volume, but what we can do is create a drum room, known as a booth, but often just an enclosure around the drums, that will limit the sound. It’s not going to completely eliminate the sound, and we definitely do not want that, but it will make it manageable enough so that the rest of the band can properly hear themselves and their instruments during practice. Let’s explore some fantastic drum enclosures that can quickly provide the ideal soundproofing setup for a studio or practice room.
ClearSonic Drum Shield Panels
ClearSonic Drum Shield Panels are an excellent way to rapidly “soundproof” a drum kit. Simply unfold the panels and place them around the drums to instantly reduce the decibel level of the drum kit. You may even get away with just cordoning off the front and sides of the drum kit, but a full enclosure is ideal for the best results.
The starting level of the drum sounds were measured at 93dB. After installation of the ClearSonic Drum Enclosure, the ending level of the drum sounds were measured at 77dB. Remembering that decibels are on a logarithmic scale, a 10dB decrease actually means a 50% reduction. Since the reduction in this example was measured to be 16dB, that’s about a 75% reduction in loudness! I heavily suggest checking out the video as the results are something you can absolutely hear.
You’ll notice in the video that the ClearSonic Drum Enclosure is a fully wrapped enclosure that makes use of sound proofing foam in addition to the panel shields for maximum soundproofing. The soundproofing squares are stacked all the way to the top of the back of the enclosure, as well as added to the top. We call this the ClearSonic IsoPac MegaPac, the best way to achieve maximum soundproofing via a drum kit enclosure.
We offer the ClearSonic Drum Shield in numerous setups based on your needs and how much soundproofing you require:
- ClearSonic IsoPac MiniMega
- ClearSonic IsoPac A
- ClearSonic IsoPac B
- ClearSonic IsoPac C
- ClearSonic IsoPac D
Find the Best Drum Room Soundproofing Options with Acoustical Solutions
It would be strange for me to have a career in acoustic materials and products and not love music! I do, indeed, and helping budding musicians and studios step up their acoustic game is one of my favorite parts of the job. Taking music from the garage to a studio is only easy when the acoustic setup is just right, and that’s where products like drum shields to create “soundproof” drum booths come in handy, especially when they are so easy to set-up.
In addition to soundproofing drums, soundproofing the entire studio to achieve optimal recording is a rewarding task. We have a great write up that explains the steps and products you can utilize to get your space record-ready.
Contact me today and let’s discuss your unique space so I can help you find the ideal soundproof drum enclosure to get your studio and/or band sounding even better!
To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.