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  #1  
Old 10-18-2017, 08:40 AM
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Josidiah Josidiah is offline
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Default Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Hi guys,

I find myself practicing more and more and to be honest, I can't wait to get myself a drum kit for home use. The problem with that is, of course the volume levels. Here in Tokyo, even living in a detached house probably won't be enough as the walls tend to be paper thin with no sound isolation (literally none). I live on the first floor and my landlords live upstairs (separate doors and complete privacy, but like I said, super thin walls).

I have been looking at Rtom Black Hole, Aquarian Super Pads and Remo Silentstrokes. I am 100% convinced that none of them will reduce the volume to an acceptable level by themselves. Do you think using them in combination would do the job? Say, Silentstrokes + Rtoms or Super Pads? I don't really care about the price to be honest, I am spending quite a bit on studio rentals for practicing by myself already.

Is this pure nonsense, do you think it might work? I am open to any suggestions, of course, if you have any.

(The thumping sounds from pedals and all that is a separate issue, but I think a platform will do the job).
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Donít think youíre going to get satisfactory results by combining these products - they just donít work that way. 80% volume reduction is massive, but youíre still rhythmically hitting stuff with wooden sticks. Even an electronic kit creates noise and yes, pedal thump can be reduced, but not eliminated.
My boy plays on mesh heads and L80 cymbals in our loft and we can hear him playing in every room of our small house in London. But itís a very different thing to be aware of his playing, than it is to be bothered by his playing - we can still watch TV, have conversations at normal volumes and get on with life.
We get no complaints from the neighbours. He plays at reasonable hours (no later than 9:00pm) and I ask him to consider his audience at all times (keep it musical and vary long practice sessions, so itís not just a solid two hours trying to nail one groove/fill.)
Youíre not going to be able to hide your playing from your landlords or neighbours, so if theyíre dead set against it, your only option is a practice pad (preferably not the classic Remo pad). But if your landlords are reasonable and youíre considerate about the times and durations that you play for, low volume solutions should make the noise manageable. You probably need to start with a conversation - show them the Zildjian video of the Silent Strokes and L80s on YouTube and go from there.
Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2017, 10:45 AM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Yeah, it probably won't bring the volume down enough.

I understand the need for realistic practice at low volume, and just as a pad the Super-Pad is great as a stand alone great feeling pad.

Pedals are more difficult, the noise and vibration is hard to do anything about. My home made SP on a Realfeel stand feels more real and is quieter than the standard Realfeel, but you'll need an isolation platform regardless. I also have one of the discontinue DW pedals which is small and not too bad. They should have kept making that one.

I'd try to define what I'd like to be able to practice at home, put that together and then rent a studio of my off days.
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2017, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

I can tell you that the bottom floor makes a big difference in bass drum pedal sound. As for other drums, I've tried the Aquarian but they feel too much like practice pads. Finally built a set using Silent Stroke and the Zildjian 80's. I'm very happy with this kit. The "timpani" feel of the silent stroke heads does not bother me. I have a V-drum kit so I'm used to it. It is better than the practice pad feel. I'm on a half acre lot and my neighbors don't hear anything.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

I have a SS+L80 kit and its pretty quiet. I would imagine if you took off the reso heads and only used the silent stroke heads, the sound would be reduced considerably more. Roland makes an isolation pad that can go under your bass pedal. It suposedly does a great job of absorbing and preventing the sound from getting to the floor.

The L80 cymbals still have a tapping and slightly high pitched sound to them, but they are still really quiet. If someone gets upset about you playing with this setup, then you should complain every time they turn on their television, because this setup is really no louder than your average tv at a normal volume.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2017, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Thank you all for the pieces of advice. I'll be sure to keep them all in mind.

For now, I guess I'll start with a Silentstroke on my snare to see how it sounds in my place and go from there.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2017, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
I would imagine if you took off the reso heads and only used the silent stroke heads, the sound would be reduced considerably more.
^^^ this. Also consider playing with multi-rods instead of sticks. And be sure to pick up a few of these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Large-Rim-Stick-Guard-Rubber-Drum-Hoop-Rim-Protector-Silencer-/251974825827?hash=item3aaadeb763:g:aQIAAOSwBLlVZfq o


Hopefully that should do it. But if the L80 cymbals are still too loud, perhaps some of these might help:

https://cymbomute.com
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2017, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

The answer is a Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit, with the mesh heads installed.

The cymbals that come with the PRT are beyond dreadful, so I use the plastic top half of the high hats over a 'proper' bottom hat, with a neoprene pad stuck to the plastic hat.

I have a crash cymbal with neoprene mute on an extension thingy off the high hat stand, and a ride cymbal on the right, both with neoprene mutes.

That gets me quiet enough to be able to play while my family watches TV, but SWMBO gets a bit tense if she's gone to bed and I fancy some perfectly silent drumming. Then again, we are talking about a lady who can hear a small ant (wearing slippers) two rooms away.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2017, 11:13 AM
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Josidiah Josidiah is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Thanks for all the additional suggestions guys, I'm checking out all the options at the moment.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2017, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Since band recently went on hiatus and with a 18 month old at home I wasn't able to get a whole ton of practice, so I went and looked at possible practice solutions as well. I ended up getting a good deal on some a NFUZD Audio Nspire set, basically electric drum pads that just snap on to the top of your drums. I haven't gotten them in yet, so I can't say how well they work, but here's the website for them if you want to check them out at least.

http://nfuzdaudio.com/
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2017, 07:39 PM
BruceW BruceW is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

My old Roland e-kit and headphones allow me to practice without bothering anyone. Is it perfect, no. Is it quite a bit different of a feel than playing acoustic, yes.

Does it allow me to at least do things in a similar manner and play to music whenever I like to, absolutely.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Quote:
Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?
Remo Silentstroke + triggers + headphones+ module = hours of quiet practice time.


I can't imagine playing the just silent strokes for very long since there is really no tone being produced. You might as well practice on your screen door :)
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2017, 11:32 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

I just set myself up with Silentstrokes and L80s, but I live in a single family house, so my goals were different. After fiddling with them to get optimal drumlike sound and feel, the whole kit averages about 85 dB per my phone's meter app (which I don't trust). As mentioned, there's going to be some transfer of the thump of the kick pedal through the floor, but in my opinion, less so than an e-kit, and the Remo heads absorb and disperse almost all the impact. My cats sit in the next room with both doors open.

Before my tweaks, the cats would sit in the same room. If your goal is quiet, go with no reso heads, use the foam practice tips or the felt tipped sticks, and angle all your cymbals so you only hit with the tips. This drastically reduces overall volume, and does away with the clanking attack that is otherwise prominent.

I'm having headaches with my computer, so I can't get clips up right now.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2017, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ermghoti View Post
... After fiddling with them to get optimal drumlike sound and feel, ....
I'd be interested to know what you've done. I added Remo falam pads to the heads to get more tone out of them.
The L80s are a reasonable volume for me, but the SS heads are *too* quiet compared to them. The BD is especially disappointing.

I'm also struggling to balance drum volume with practice music volume. I'm used to playing my Roland e-kit with the iPad plugged into the aux input. I was thinking about mic'ing the kit and going through a mixer, but that's getting rpetty involved for a practice kit and I don't want to add the cost of triggers if I can help it.
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Old 10-21-2017, 04:59 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

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Originally Posted by 73Rogers View Post
I'd be interested to know what you've done. I added Remo falam pads to the heads to get more tone out of them.
The L80s are a reasonable volume for me, but the SS heads are *too* quiet compared to them. The BD is especially disappointing.

I'm also struggling to balance drum volume with practice music volume. I'm used to playing my Roland e-kit with the iPad plugged into the aux input. I was thinking about mic'ing the kit and going through a mixer, but that's getting rpetty involved for a practice kit and I don't want to add the cost of triggers if I can help it.
Long story, should probably be its own thread, probably will be when I can get my posting straightened out.

Short version: the best compromise among the factors of volume reduction, feel, instrument balance, and drumlike sound has been all Quietstrokes over Muff'l rings, with foam tips over the sticks and a layer or two of gaffer up the shank of the stick to kill the clanking. The toms get a variable amount of additional "muting," first with gaffer, then once the size is fine tuned, I put pieces of either the clear Aquarian Dura Dot (adhered better than the white), or Falam Slam bits (when I was out of Dura Dot; they perform about the same) on the underside of the Quietstrokes, away from the impact area. This yields a somewhat choked sound, like roto-toms or hydraulic heads, moreso on the 8" and 10" toms, but not offensive, especially in full context. Avoid a dead center impact point for best results. The toms need to be tuned very, very loose. I tightened each lug carefully, just until it stopped rattling. Then, I barely budged each lug, probably twice around. The lows will bloom, and the bounce will seem about normal when you're dialed in. Adjust the pitch with the reso heads, I found I had to tighten them a little, not much. They need to be exactly in tune with themselves, of course, so take some time here.

The kick took a bit of work. I have a Kickport, I haven't tried a full head yet, as I believe it will boost volume. The Quietstroke and Muff'l alone sounded pretty ungratifying, and I really wanted to reinforce the beater area due to durability concerns. Most pads introduce a stark boxy attack that overwhelms the note on doubles or double bass work. I found the Aquarian Super-Thin Kick Pad to have nearly no effect on attack, while protecting the head (a felt beater sounded best, but is known to eat mesh), and adding some bass due to the "muting." About a half a moleskin sheet below the beaters results in a kick drum sound that would likely pass uncommented if you didn't know it was under 80dB. Gaffer won't stay on. In fact, gaffer was unpredictable about where it would or wouldn't stay. 8 and 10 inch toms, it was eternal. 12 inch tom and the 14 floor, fell off constantly, worst was the 12, not my most used target either. 16 inch floor, stuck for good. It is also tuned loose, as above. Tightening it brings out the boxiness. I think I very slightly tightened the front head.

The snare took the most work. I started with a Sabian Quiet tone, which, with the pad and resn cranked, and the snares adjusted, actually sounded pretty good. Short, snappy and bright, the feel was nearly indistinguishable from a drum. It was useless for sidesticking or rimshots, but most problematically, its volume was noticeably low compared to the kick and L80s (if hit with the stick shank vs the foam tips alone). I finally opted to try the Quietstroke and Muff'l. There is a decision to be made about the Muff'l. Without it, the sound is not as good, and can actually be a little weird by the time you tighten the snares enough to not be overwhelming, but the volume is great. With the ring, there is a better variety of tuning options, the peak sound quality is much better, but the kit starts to get a little loud. Either way, the best sound is with a Super-Thin patch in the center, striking it. Off center is a little quieter. The Aquarian dots are highly re-adherable, so you can take them on or off and move them around quite a bit as your needs at that moment change. In it's final form, you can definitely sidestick and rimshot the thing. It's tuned almost normal; the snare-off sound is very convincing. I'm not a crank-the-reso guy normally, but it helps a lot. Fiddle with snare tension until you get the snap without excessive sustain or choking the reso.

The Muff'l-ed head is also a little quieter tuned a little down. Since I already had the Sabian Quiet Tone, I can always just throw it on for quiet time or for when perfect rebound is critical for practicing; it's not quite as good sounding as on a normally headed snare, but good enough. Otherwise, I'd consider using it without the ring, and living with the reduced sound quality.

I accidentally left part of the sheet I cover my kit with laying half across the snare, this quieted it down a lot, unexpectedly. I haven't experimented with this as a super-quiet option.

As for the cymbals, I mentioned the best sounding route is the practice tips and some gaffer on the shanks. This screws up the balance badly, of course. I tried several layers of Plasti-Dip, which sounded worse than tape and was just as heavy. If you can't deal with the weirded up sticks, you can just use the practice tips, and avoid the shank completely. If that messes with your technique too badly, you'll just have to live with the clanks. I did end up with a few dots of gaffer on the top hat, and on the Gen 16 china. I had some long, thin strips on the ride, which quieted it and made in darker and trashier, but took them off after I taped the sticks. The thin gaffer strips are a neat way to re-voice the cymbals if you aren't liking the bright/clean sound.

70s 5x14 Supraphonic, turn-of-the-millenium all-birch Starclassics, 8-10-12-14-16-20x18, L80 14" hats, 16" crash. 18" crash/ride as second crash, 10" splash, 20"ride, 16" Gen 16 china.

Last edited by ermghoti; 10-21-2017 at 05:11 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-22-2017, 01:13 AM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

See if this works.

H4N, about 4' in front of the kit, just above the level of the tom resos, pointed straight at the middle tom. Phone's dB meter was high 70s to just into the low 80s. I converted the wav to an mp3 with an online thingy.

Laptop speakers sound gross, get your earbuds or phones.

I could never play drums decently, and I just unpacked everything for the first time since I lost my rehearsal space after moving, so it's worse than you think.

[EDIT: As I thought it might, the original link broke, I need to dust off my soundclick account]

Mostly with the padded stick tips, a bit of the shoulder on the crashes. I was hitting the snare right on its top-mounted kick pad piece. That's the snappiest sound.

I think using the kick pad chunk on the toms as the target might improve things a touch more. Also, I believe I chopped up a Super-Thin, not a Falam Slam for the small toms.

Last edited by ermghoti; 10-24-2017 at 10:49 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Having been through this a few times over the years, I would say if there's any way at all you can find somewhere you can play a real kit, do it. Find a local rehearsal studio and see if they have a "residence room" you can rent. Try a few, beg them! Say all you want is somewhere to practice drums for a couple of hours a day. See if they have a small store room or something you can use.

Failing that, some rehearsal studios charge far less per hour for someone just coming in to practise drums compared to a whole band.. It is obviously less convenient than having your own place but still, you should do it perhaps once a week rather than spending all your time on whatever concoction you come up with.

Sometimes the money you spend trying to make silent kits, or buying electric kits, can pay for the rent on a room for nearly a year!

It can be hard work hunting around, constantly asking, but IMHO it's worth it if you can find somewhere.

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:56 AM
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Josidiah Josidiah is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Thank you for all your wonderful replies on topic, guys.

Mark, for the time being, I go around checking studios near my workplace in Tokyo and pop in whenever I can find an available rehearsal room. Just like you said, they charge much less per hour (650 yen to 860 yen, roughly 6 to 8$) and I think that's a very good deal overall. The problem is, I can't book rooms in advance, understandably so, because they'd rather keep it available for the throngs of bands in Tokyo and charge more. So I end up being unable to play when I really want to and just try to find any open slots on the same day.

The one reason I want to practice at home is that literally, drums have been at the forefront of my mind for the last 2 years or so, which historically has not always been the case. This is when I can make progress in leaps and bounds (I think I have been making some noticeable progress) and I don't want to let any of that energy got to waste, because I know it won't last forever or I just may not have the time and energy for it (priorities change, as we all know).

In Tokyo, where space is always at a premium, I haven't seen any "residence rooms" or any other alternatives I could use as a long term drum practice solution.

I'm still trying to digest everything you guys have mentioned and come up with something that may work for me. Again, thank you all.

Last edited by Josidiah; 10-26-2017 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 10-25-2017, 01:03 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_S View Post
Sometimes the money you spend trying to make silent kits, or buying electric kits, can pay for the rent on a room for nearly a year!
That's valid, but you have to factor in accessibility as well. I certainly wouldn't like to spend what I just did every year, and I have no idea how long the Silentstrokes will last. However, my last rehearsal space was 45 minutes away, and in Boston, so much longer than that at peak hours. Some spaces have had parking shortages, so there were times I would avoid, even if it were nominally 24/7. I can now grab a pair of sticks literally any time day or night, which is a big motivator. Time I'd spend rewatching a Simpsons episode before bed can be spent smoothing out a groove.

I think for the OP, with a first floor apartment, getting the kit to a level that it can be played at an acceptable volume during reasonable waking hours is attainable, maybe a tennis ball platform will be needed, maybe not. If you're willing to get a small-sized kit, it would help, maybe even putting a 16" floor tom on a lift for a kick. A 10-12-16 four piece, with a Quiet Tone mute and Silentstrokes would be very quiet, and going with no resonant heads would be extremely quiet, although the L80s would be the limiting factor if you want to maintain anything like a cymbal sound.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

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Originally Posted by ermghoti View Post
I can now grab a pair of sticks literally any time day or night, which is a big motivator. Time I'd spend rewatching a Simpsons episode before bed can be spent smoothing out a groove.
That factor is HUGE and I increased my playing time 100 fold.....maybe 1000.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:51 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Remo Silentstroke + something else = ?

Hi Josidiah,

I just want to reiterate what is said before; if you go the route of pads or silent heads at home only try and get that one session in per week on the kit. This is how I am practicing now and have been for 6 years. I have never owned a kit; just lots of pads at home and then a rehearse once per week for 2 hours using a band room. You can get results this way but the session on the kit is needed to tweak what you do at home.

Best piece of advice I have; pay close attention to stick heights. This is why you need to play the acoustic kit once per weeks. Calibrate your stick heights on the kit, I.e know 'I need to play one inch away from the hi-hat to play at this dynamic', 'I need to play 10 inches from the floor tom to play at this loud dynamic' e.t.c.

Then make sure you incorporate these stick hight concepts into your pad/silent head at home. Otherwise if you ignore dnamics at home your play on the kit can become undynamic.

I did this for years playing very hard on the pad all the time and wonder why the drum heads were detuning within seconds when I got on the kit!
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