Drum Shields??

Kg_lee

Senior Member
Who on here has used a drum shield? I have to play behind one of these stupid things next week at a battle of the bands and I'm wondering what to expect? Am I going to hear more of myself since it's going to be bouncing back at me?
 

Spectron

Silver Member
They are completely useless in my opinion.

I wish I could get the folks at my church to realize this but they are convinced it helps reduce stage volume and if thats true maybe we should put little plexiglass barriers in around the monitors and guitar amps too....LOL

my new pet peeve actually - drum shields Aaaarrrrgggh!

yeah some sound guys think drum shields help prevent cymbal bleed in the vocal mic's - bra-ha-ha-ha it's funny...unless you are a drummer and have to sit behind one of those things like we're a caged animal...well that's true but beside the point...

Outlaw drum shields - spread the message - save the plexiglass!
I feel your pain man, but don't worry you won't notice much difference.
 

Kg_lee

Senior Member
The stupid club I'm playing makes you use it. It's a stupid idea in my opinion. I hope a drummer didn't come up with this idea!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Take it down and anyone who challenges you....don't give in. Be an asshole if you have to.
Death to those horrid evil things.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Only once have a ever noticed the drum shield do anything sonically as a spectator and I would assume it was a perfect storm or location and building materials.

Sound bounces back at you SO HARD.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
wear ear plugs, your volume just double having to use one of those. All the sound is reflected back at you.

I'm about to have a serious issue with our church. They hired a sound consulting group and even though they told me I play perfectly to the room they plan on putting me behind a soundscreen with a lid on top. I'm not happy about it at all, I can't stand those things!!! Funny the first thing sound guys want to do is put us behind a wall, ticks me off!!
 

drumphile

Member
I use one at practice. Not my choice but the rest of the band want it up so it wont " drown out the rest of the band or the drums project too much" I dont like it and will NEVER use one live. I have a monitor blasting in my face so I can hear whats going on and always say " can you turn up my monitor"
DO NOT use it.
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
I use one every week.

Do I have an intense dislike for it? Of course.

Do they work? Of course they do. They make the people who hired you feel better.

Where does a drummer get off thinking he's more important than the people that hired him to play the gig? Whether you get paid cash, get paid drinks, or simply get recognition or the honor or serving - being an Adam Henry about anything is the fastest way not to be asked back.

Do I hate them? Of course. Having cymbals bounced back at me, and only the highest frequencies of my toms blasted back at me sucks. But you know what? There are a lot of things I hate, but I deal with these things, quietly, because I'm a professional. Being a petulant and whiney child is for singers and guitar players. Its beneath us as drummers.

Screens make nearly no difference, sonically. That is not the measure of "do they work".

If the venue insists on it, and the people there feel more comfortable with it, then I play with it up. What's the big deal?

Until you're the headliner with your own "no shied" rider, shut the hell up, hit your marks, bring the energy, drive the band like a rental, go home and sleep fine.

-Ken
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
Sounds like the conversation we had in http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86373

mo2vation: "Screens make nearly no difference, sonically." Really? Then why do the screens in my church make the drums sound like they are coming from the garage?
Noted: Better, Volume isn't noticeably changed. They don't stop the lower frequencies, and they simply bounce back the highs and mids.

As to why the drums in your church sound like they're coming from the garage, I can't answer that. In my church, I use one and my drums sound like they're coming from a recording studio.

:)


-K
 

makinao

Silver Member
konaboy: Unmiked. I warned my Church that a shield/booth would only work if the kit was fully miked, had monitoring, and if the sound engineer knew what he was doing. But they went ahead and got the shield alone, without the prerequisites. So it has created more problems than it was supposed to solve. When I was invited to play there last week, I brought my own kit, and played outside the shield. No complaints, and quite a few compliments. And the other drummers envied me because I didn't have to sit behind the hot, loud shield where they can't hear the vocals.
 
Last edited:
Hi konaboy,

You are going to have to play behind a drum shield with a lid eh? That's a tough one especially considering they have told you that you already play the room appropriately. It is commendable however that your organization is taking it seriously and is hiring professionals to figure out the sound.

If we accept the argument that a drum shield helps to reduce stage volume and mic bleed and it increases instrument isoloation/seperation it seems pretty obvious to me that all of those benefits would be somewhat negated by the fact that one of the musicians will be playing on stage inside a structure with a roof on it. It's one thing to have a drum shield.....but to put a roof on it is starting to push the boundaries of what looks appropriate on stage for a live musical performance.

If the room is that bad acoustically speaking then maybe something should be done about the room before they consider having musicians play inside plexiglass structures. Maybe try suggesting the following.

1. Acoustic panels strategically placed in the room might be an idea.

2. Even playing an electric kit to trigger some really good acoustic samples off of a laptop wouldn't be terrible.

My point is that there are other ways to solve this issue.

If the musicians need to be this isolated on stage then they could consider doing the show remotely from a separate acoustically treated room and have a video screen in the room with the audience.

That being said if you end up playing inside a shield then you really should have your own monitor behind the shield with you so you can hear the other musicians and you need to make sure you have a good mix in it as well. That is the deal. No monitor/No cage :) Of course using appropriate hearing protection is a must in any musical situation as well.

Isolation is great and I empathize with sound techs. They have to work with a lot of musicians on a regular basis that despite being good players may not be knowledgable on how to maintain and set up their own gear properly (on a technological level) which can result in really poor sound. A good example of this is when a player turns their instrument up on stage in order to hear themselves after the level has already been set at the board by the sound tech (there amp is mic'd). This not only makes their instrument louder on stage but louder out front in the mains as well. What they really should do is ask the sound tech to turn their instrument up in the monitors (which are on stage facing the musicias and don't really affect the mains). It's also very common for bands to play so loud on stage that they are over powering the mains with their stage volume. The sound tech generally puts the mains at a specific volume level because that is the appropriate volume level based on the type of event, type of audience and acoustics of the room. So the sound tech can't realistically put the mains any louder then that. If the bands stage volume is louder then the mains then the audience will hear a lot more of the raw stage sound. This means that the audience is hearing some of the raw unE.Q.'d and un mixed sound from the stage without any effects. Also, different instruments and amps may have different directionality to their sound. So although the mix may seem okay to the musicians on stage it may sound very unbalanced to the audience.

So I understand that sound techs go through a lot and need to come up with solutions to re occuring problems.....but a shield with a roof on it is a bit much of you ask me :)
 
Last edited:
Hi Kg lee

The most important thing is that you get your own monitor behind the shield with you so that you can hear the other musicians. As long as you have your own monitor behind the shield with you and you get a good mix in your monitor then you should be okay. So basically, if you need to argue about anything at the show then pick your arguments and remember that the important argument to win is to get your own monitor/get a good monitor mix. Using hearing protection is also important in every musicial situation. Hope that helps.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Hi konaboy,

You are going to have to play behind a drum shield with a lid eh? That's a tough one especially considering they have told you that you already play the room appropriately. It is commendable however that your organization is taking it seriously and is hiring professionals to figure out the sound.

If we accept the argument that a drum shield helps to reduce stage volume and mic bleed and it increases instrument isoloation/seperation it seems pretty obvious to me that all of those benefits would be somewhat negated by the fact that one of the musicians will be playing on stage inside a structure with a roof on it. It's one thing to have a drum shield.....but to put a roof on it is starting to push the boundaries of what looks appropriate on stage for a live musical performance.

If the room is that bad acoustically speaking then maybe something should be done about the room before they consider having musicians play inside plexiglass structures. Maybe try suggesting the following.

1. Acoustic panels strategically placed in the room might be an idea.

2. Even playing an electric kit to trigger some really good acoustic samples off of a laptop wouldn't be terrible.

My point is that there are other ways to solve this issue.

If the musicians need to be this isolated on stage then they could consider doing the show remotely from a separate acoustically treated room and have a video screen in the room with the audience.

That being said if you end up playing inside a shield then you really should have your own monitor behind the shield with you so you can hear the other musicians and you need to make sure you have a good mix in it as well. That is the deal. No monitor/No cage :) Of course using appropriate hearing protection is a must in any musical situation as well.

Isolation is great and I empathize with sound techs. They have to work with a lot of musicians on a regular basis that despite being good players may not be knowledgable on how to maintain and set up their own gear properly (on a technological level) which can result in really poor sound. A good example of this is when a player turns their instrument up on stage in order to hear themselves after the level has already been set at the board by the sound tech (there amp is mic'd). This not only makes their instrument louder on stage but louder out front in the mains as well. What they really should do is ask the sound tech to turn their instrument up in the monitors (which are on stage facing the musicias and don't really affect the mains). It's also very common for bands to play so loud on stage that they are over powering the mains with their stage volume. The sound tech generally puts the mains at a specific volume level because that is the appropriate volume level based on the type of event, type of audience and acoustics of the room. So the sound tech can't realistically put the mains any louder then that. If the bands stage volume is louder then the mains then the audience will hear a lot more of the raw stage sound. This means that the audience is hearing some of the raw unE.Q.'d and un mixed sound from the stage without any effects. Also, different instruments and amps may have different directionality to their sound. So although the mix may seem okay to the musicians on stage it may sound very unbalanced to the audience.

So I understand that sound techs go through a lot and need to come up with solutions to re occuring problems.....but a shield with a roof on it is a bit much of you ask me :)
yeah we are getting an entirely new sound system, ironically we have an in ear aviom system that's been sitting in a closet for 5 years, we were having too many issues with the volumes (partly because our sound guy won't listen and honestly doesn't know how to mix that well, he's a self taught volunteer) so a few months after getting it we stopped using it. That's part of the revamp that's going to happen

I had a discussion with the consultants and they are already set on the shield with a lid despite the fact they said I played to the room perfectly. I mentioned electronic drums, not an option they said. While I understand the isolating theory for a mic'd kit it doesn't make it any more appealing.

For me besides the increased volume is the fact that I'm not being not only disconnected from being able to communicate to the band but disconnecting me from the congregation who I try and connect with and engage while I'm playing. Kind of hard to do when you are behind glass like a zoo animal on display.

They also want to bury all the amps off stage and put the amps in ISO boxes.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I've never dealt with a drum shield situation, although on one demo recording I was in a perspex room. Not ideal, but it was different and interesting.

If the issue if volume, why can't the drummer just play more softly? Sorry if this is a dumb question - just curious.

Are you supposed to play stadium rock type music (I've read here that church music often sounds like U2) but at small room volume?
 

drummerman42

Senior Member
I too, have always wondered about those things. Maybe they are only good for recording situations if they even work! I don't know, it just makes us feel and looked all caged up on stage. Not cool at all!!!
 

Kg_lee

Senior Member
One thing I would like to point out about this drum shield in this club, it is there for volume purposes. Another thing this place has a beautiful PA which they barely even turn on. Now to me being they have a problem with volume of any kind, why have live music?
 
Top