Drumming is a great way to relieve stress and tension, but it is also a brilliant form of music, and one that needs to be practised just as much as any other instrument.
However, family and neighbours can be left feeling frustrated by the seemingly endless sound your kit makes, and soundproofing your practice room might be your best option.
To help you out, we’ve put together this handy guide to soundproofing your room so that you can drum in peace without disturbing those around you.
Soundproofing vs Sound Absorption
Before we do anything else, it is important to determine the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption, for while they both work there are some areas where they need to be clearly defined.
When you soundproof your drumming room, it means that no sound is going to be able to escape at all at any point.
It can be a more expensive task, and often one that needs to be undertaken by professionals, but it does also mean that you can enjoy your time drumming without any concerns about the sound leaking out and disturbing anyone.
Sound absorption works in a similar way, but it doesn’t prevent all of the sound from leaving the room. Instead, it muffles the sound and just reduces the amount that is escaping.
It’s a really good way to keep the neighbours and your family happy, as well as an excellent method for ensuring that you don’t have to spend a fortune on getting the place soundproofed.
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Sound Absorption: The Affordable Way to Reduce Sound
If you are looking for an affordable way to keep things quiet in your practice space, and don't have an outdoor cabin or office to retreat to, you might want to consider sound absorption methods.
While these don’t eliminate the sound, they do greatly reduce it so that it won’t bother those around you. Here are the steps you can take to creating better sound absorption for your room.
Step One: Getting Sound Absorption Sheets
First, you need to find a good quality sound absorption sheet that can be attached to your walls in order to dull the noise and keep things quiet.
Usually, they aren’t very invasive to install (perfect for rental properties) as the sheets just hang from a clip around the perimeter of the room. You will also find that they tend to be the perfect combination of environmentally friendly and affordable.
Step Two: Finding and Sealing Leaks
Now, you have to locate any areas in the room that are leaking sound and seal them up. All you need to do is use a flashlight along doorways, windows, and wall seams to see if there is any space for air to leak out.
If you find major leaks, use some acoustic tape to seal them up and ensure that they are all blocked up. You can also use caulk for really leaky sections.
Step Three: The Rest of the Room
Finally, you can move onto the rest of the room and set about securing it nicely with absorbent materials. Here are the areas you can improve on:
Sound Proofing: The Room Within a Room Option
If you have a little extra cash, or are willing to do the work yourself instead of hiring a professional, then you should definitely consider full soundproofing. There are a few ways you can do this, but the most popular of them is the concept of a room within a room.
Step One: The Walls
When it comes to solid walls, the best results are with a 10mm timber frame in front of the existing wall, complete with an isolation strip to keep it away from surrounding surfaces.
Following this, the frame is filled with acoustic mineral wool before soundproofing clips, and furring channels are secured. If you have stud walls, the plasterboard layer of the wall is removed to expose the timber frame.
Then, it is filled with the aforementioned wool and secured accordingly.
Step Two: The Ceiling
Honestly, the process for the ceiling is exactly the same as the walls if you have one with wooden joists. The only area where there is a difference is if the ceiling is concrete.
In these cases, the soundproofing clips can just be placed directly on the area without needing to remove anything.
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Step Three: The Floor
The first thing that needs to be done here is adding the acoustic mineral floor to the area under the floorboards as this will stop sound resonation with void space.
After, mass needs to be added to the floor in order to block the airborne sound, followed by a resilient layer that will absorb vibration. However, if the floor is made of solid concrete, all you need is a mat that will absorb vibrations.
Step Four: The Windows and Doors
The ideal situation is that your drumming room will have no windows, but if you want or need the natural light just make sure you go for triple glazed glass or specialist acoustic glazing. If the noise is too loud, consider more advanced methods. Take a look at the amazing guide for soundproofing windows yourself at Soundproof Panda.
It should also be fitted in such a way that there are no gaps between the frame and the wall. With doors, you need a heavy mass material, so something like a fire door is the optimal choice.
Things to Note: Remember Ventilation
Ventilation is so important, especially as both soundproofing and absorbing can lead to limited amounts of air being able to enter and leave the room. You can still have reduced (or removed) sound with ventilation; you just need to go about it the right way.
The best thing to do is install a high-quality acoustic ventilation system, and these can be implemented either by you or a professional.
They allow for good airflow without compromising the work you have done to get the room soundproofed. They are absolutely necessary, and they don’t cost a massive amount either, just make sure you buy a reputable one.
If you feel treating an entire room is still too much of a hassle, then you may want to consider an electric drum set to keep the noise down.
We hope that this guide has given you a great insight into the ways in which you can soundproof your room when you are drumming – giving your neighbours and housemates a welcome break.
It’s really easy to do, and even with the more expensive options, it is perfectly possible to get it done yourself. All you need is a little time, patience, and dedication.