How to soundproof a room for drums: Turn it into a reality now!
I finally caved and bought my son a drum set. He had been asking for a couple years and studied it in school and was in a band with his friends. When I said yes, I could see how happy he was– and I could see the concern in the faces of the rest of my family.
When he got the set, we put him in a room right at the end of the hallway, where we hoped the sound would not carry. However, after being interrupted on numerous work conference calls, and being woken up early in the morning, we decided something had to be done.
I wondered: Can you soundproof a studio against something as loud as drums? What does soundproofing cost? What materials could possibly block out that noise?
Below, I’ll share what I found out in answering these questions.
Suffice to say, you can soundproof a room for drums and you can do so on a moderate budget.
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Why should you soundproof a studio for drums?
Drums are loud. A standard drum set comes with six or more primary parts: a snare drum, multiple types of cymbals, tom drums, and the bass drum.
Each of those make a different type of sound, from high and crashing, to low and thumping.
Together, they are a hurricane of sound.
A standard drum set gives off roughly 100 to 125 decibels!
To put that in context: brushing your teeth gives off 40 decibels, an alarm clock 80, and a chainsaw 120. So if someone says the drum set in the house is too loud — chances are their concerns are completely justified.
If you live in an apartment and want a drum set, or you live with roommates or family members, you’re going to want to soundproof against the noise of your drumset.
Whoever is drumming will want to do so with reckless abandon, without concern for the noise of the drums but the rest of the people will not want to hear it.
And chances are you do not want to spend a fortune. This article will address those concerns: how do you soundproof a room against drums without it being too expensive?
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Ways to soundproof a rooms for drums
The biggest culprits in letting sound escape from a room include the door, the walls, flooring, and the air ducts. Obviously, the drum set itself is also a culprit here, but we will get to that.
I have identified the main areas that you need to look at, and you can try them out individually to see its effect, or implement them all at once.
My personal experience is getting a drum rug first before soundproofing the door and hanging a soundproof curtain. Once I have more time, I might look into the other areas.
1: Gaps and cracks
Gaps and cracks between walls and vents, floorboards and walls will let sound out of the room no matter how much materials you put up, so start there.
Carefully go through the room and look for anything that could use some extra caulking or sealing.
Caulking actually just means sealing up gaps so that there won’t be any leakage or seepage, and in this case, we don’t want air to escape easily.
There’s a special material that you can use here that will enhance the effectiveness of this step, which is to use Green Glue, a sort of soundproof caulk.
It is odorless, works fast and is highly effective at sealing gaps and adding a layer of protection against noise.
Besides that, you can use foam tapes for sealing as well.
Acoustical Caulk Green Glue
Foam seal tape roll
2: Door soundproofing
Once you have gone through the room and addressed all the tiny leaks and gaps, it’s time to address some of the biggest gaps in the room: the doors.
You will want to seal the gaps along the sides and bottom, and then insulate the door itself since it is likely hollow.
To do that, you may consider insulating foam and door sweeps. Door sweeps will address that big gap between the bottom and the floor.
Heavy soundproof blankets can be hung against the door to block sound from getting through, which I feel is the best and most cost effective method.
Take note though, if your doors are the hollow type, it will be tougher to prevent noise from escaping, but the heavy blankets does help tremendously.
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Door Draft Stopper
3: Walls and Air vents
How do you soundproof a wall or an air duct?
When it comes to soundproofing walls and vents, you have several options at your disposal: these include sound absorbing wall panels, which come in different shapes and sizes, sound absorbing paint, and more blankets.
The panels can be used to cover air ducts as well. It may make the room a little warmer or cooler than the rest of the house, but now that sound will not travel through the air ducts.
My favourite of these 3 materials is the sound absorption wall panel. It makes the room look pretty cool!
Related: DIY Sound Panels: How to make your own
Sound absorption wall panel
4: Window soundproofing
Depending on the shape of your house, or the proximity of your neighbors, you may want to soundproof these as well.
Your best bet is insulated curtains.
These are typically known as blackout curtains because they are thick and heavy and block out light– but they stop sound too.
And of course, don’t forget to seal off any gaps too using the foam tape mentioned eariler.
Ceilings are a little more challenging than walls simply because of, you know, gravity.
Firstly, using soundproofing paint throughout the room does help.
Another lightweight option you can consider is to stick on foam tiles or panels like the ones mentioned earlier.
Or, assuming you have a decent sized budget, you can consider installing an acoustic cloud. They add a design element to the room and while it is not the best solution, you need to consider that every bit helps to drown out the loud drum sounds.
On the other end of the spectrum, just for fun, you can look at incorporating egg crates in your project too.
Related: Egg Carton Soundproofing: Busting the myths
Foam egg crates
6: The drum set
Soundproof drum rugs are specially made to sit below drums to help hold them in place so they do not move during play– and they make a great additional sound absorber.
To me, this is the first thing you should buy when acquiring a drum set. Not only does it absorb sound, it also prevents scratching on the floor, especially if you have wooden or worse, marble flooring!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much does it cost to soundproof a room for drums?
To really have an impact with soundproofing, you do need to invest a small bit, otherwise the results will not be satisfactory. My recommendation is to first place the drum room as far away from the rest of the household as possible. Maybe you can consider building your drum room in the garage.
Next would be to have a good drum rug, followed by a solid wood door. It can be further reinforced with plywood or MDF, or hanging a moving blanket over it. This 2 methods will set you back roughly between $100 – $200.
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What’s the cheapest way to soundproof a room?
Blankets. Lots of heavy blankets. You may have some in your home, but if not consider the blankets referenced above. Hang these on the walls, over vents, and over doors. It will have a noticeable effect. While this may be cheap, it might not be the best.
Can I make my drums quieter?
While there’s a lot you can do to soundproof a room, a simpler more direct approach is silencing your drumset itself. Although this removes some of the appeal, it might go a long way towards goodwill in the house. You can purchase pads specifically designed to make the drums quieter without affecting much of the “feel” of drumming. This can be especially useful for beginner drummers who wants to get the hang of the activity first.
Are electric drum sets silent?
Yes, they can be. An electronic drum set looks much like a regular drum set, except everything is fat and black. The sounds are synthesized just like on an electronic keyboard. You can plug these into a headset so that only the player can hear the drums, while everyone else will just hear light tapping.
Conclusion: How to soundproof a room for drums
Drums can be a lot of fun, but primarily for the people playing them.
For everyone else– neighbors, friends, roommates– they can be quite the headache.
Luckily, as you can see above, you have many options, from simple to complex.
All of these products are available on Amazon, so hop over to learn more and start your soundproofing project now!
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