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  #1  
Old 05-03-2010, 04:35 AM
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Default DIY soundproofing?

Hey there drummers! First off, I'm a Marine living on a Marine Corps base and I'm getting ready to move into apartment-like housing.

I'm looking to sound proof the room that I'll set my kit up in and I was hoping I could get some pointers from fellow drummers/musicians that may have had some experience in soundproofing.

I've never soundproofed a room before and there are a few restrictions on what I can do to the room (Marine Corps won't allow me to knock out walls to install insulation for example).

I'm looking more towards DIY basstraps and sound absorbtion that could be nailed/stapled to the walls or hung on the walls.

Any and every bit of advice is helpfull!

Thanks everyone!
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2010, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Unfortunately, to soundproof a room to a great extent involves building a room inside of a room. Expensive and labor intensive!
That being said the only thing that you can do is to install things like thick padded carpet on the floor and thick foam pads and carpet on the walls. Seal all windows and doors also in the same manor.

Your drums will still be heard throughout the building!
You will be at the mercy of the other people who live in or around the apartment building.
At least you will be able to reduce the sound level.
You will still have to work out with your neighbors when and if you can play.
An electronic kit may be your only solution.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2010, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Most fellow Marines will understand my situation and I hope when I do get to meet my neighbors they will work with me.

I figured already that I'm not going to be able to block out all the sound. What about specific materials that could be used for making bass traps?

I found this video and I was thinking following it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gw

Does anyone know how well this would work?
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2010, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

You need isolation. There is no such thing as soundproofing, only reduction of transmission. Get Rod Gervais book on Home Recording Studio. He pretty clearly spells out what works and doesn't work.

At the very minimum, you would need to rip the sheetrock off the walls, install iso clips and channel, and put a couple layers of sheet rock back on (after insulating the walls of course). If you leave the existing sheetrock on the walls (an unfortunate requirement if you don't own the wall) you lose around 10 dB of isolation due to a triple leaf wall system. And that's just for the walls. The ceiling gets the same treatment and the floor can be a real headache if it's someone else's ceiling (to paraphrase Paul Simon)

There really isn't any way to create isolation in a rented temporary space. You can absorb some noise, but it won't allow you to play the drums when you want.

I recently ordered a set of sticks and a trick beater that is supposed to sound fairly normal (better than hot rods) while producing brush like volume levels. When I get them, I'll post a review in the drums gear section.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2010, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Most fellow Marines will understand my situation and I hope when I do get to meet my neighbors they will work with me.

I figured already that I'm not going to be able to block out all the sound. What about specific materials that could be used for making bass traps?

I found this video and I was thinking following it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gw

Does anyone know how well this would work?
Bass traps reduce the amount of bass that is reflected off walls. They do very little to prevent bass from traveling THROUGH the wall.

I've built two rooms before, and my 1st room didn't work out very well, and that was with tearing out the walls and starting from scratch. It's very difficult and expensive process.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2010, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Drums seem to cut right through an entire neighborhood. The only soundproofing that you're likely to be able to afford will be an electric kit. Putting soundproofing into an apartment that you don't own doesn't add up for most folks.

The video you posted won't help at all really. Those are used to control reflection, they won't do too much for silencing your set to the outside world.

An electric kit has many advantages, but like me you just might not be a fan. You could certainly make a nearly-silent drum set by stuffing the shells with fabric.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Most fellow Marines will understand my situation and I hope when I do get to meet my neighbors they will work with me.

I figured already that I'm not going to be able to block out all the sound. What about specific materials that could be used for making bass traps?

I found this video and I was thinking following it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gw

Does anyone know how well this would work?
I would seriously think about electronic drums in your position.
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2010, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

i 3rd the electric drums! ive got a pair for my apartment, they are great!! yamaha has the most realistic sounds, that why i went with a yamaha, its important to me because i record with it and im more then pleased with the sound, on the other hand i prefer the feel of the Rolland's mesh pads more but i sacrificed the feel for the sound due to my circumstances.
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2010, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2010, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

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Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
You really should have asked questions before the purchase. To put it bluntly, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you'll be able to quite an acoustic drum kit to the extend that will satisfy other tenants living in the same apartment complex, unless they are deaf. Your drum sounds will emit in every direction, especially through the floor. I don't know how many units are going to be in the complex that you're moving into, but if it's only a duplex, you may be able to drum while the other tenant is away. This is a job for either an electronic kit or suitable communications with your neighbors prior to a possible breaking of the lease agreement because of excessive noise.

Many people still have problems with their neighbors using an electronic set of drums when living in an apartment because of noise being transmitted through the floor. I really dislike being so negative but these are the facts when living in close quarters to other individuals.

Dennis
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2010, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

unless you want to build a room inside of a room, electronic drums would probably be the quickest, cheapest answer. you could get mufflers for the kit you just got, but the feel won't be the same.

if you go about building a room inside of a room, you have many variables to consider. you'll need to think about various materials which absorb different frequencies the best, to layer between the original walls/floors/ceiling and the walls/floors/ceiling you'll need to construct. also, there are ventilation issues to address, as sound will pass through air ducts/vents. moreover, there is a consideration about power...where to put electrical outlets and so on. doors in and out of the room need to be sealed, as ANY gap will let sound through.

if time, expense and manpower aren't an issue, there are many books available through amazon that cover studio acoustics and design...
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2010, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
Then you should look into renting a practice space. Having built three sound proof rooms myself, I'll back up what audiotech said: there is no way you're going to be playing an acoustic kit in an apartment-like situation without disturbing your neighbors. What you'd have to do to that apartment to achieve even moderate success would be extreme, expensive and is surely prohibited by the building's management.

Even an electric kit with mesh heads is pretty a non-apartment friendly scenario. Find somewhere else to play.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2010, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Great comments. Definitely take the advice here. I used to live in base housing myself. I'll tell you it isn't all it's cracked up to be. When you move out of base housing, they expect you to return everything back to it's original condition as when you moved in. much more anal than a normal apartment would be. For me, this included painting walls back to their 'approved' colors. I didn't think white was a bad choice... Anyways... Not to mention having someone come by once a week and measuring your grass with a ruler.

Is there any way you can rent a house somewhere as opposed to the base housing option? Otherwise you may have invest in an e-kit or rent a practice space.
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  #14  
Old 05-03-2010, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

I just noticed your address says Kailua. Are you at Kaneohe MCAS? I grew up just down the street. My dad owns the Willow Tree restaurant in the shopping center at Aikahi Park right outside the gate.

You should check with the local music stores (I used to work at Easy Music) to see where cheap practice space is available. There's a store in Kailua which I think is mostly acoustic guitars but they may know something. Got to be lots of storage locker type places. Folks in Hawaii are looser about things like that then on the mainland. Just approach folks as a musician, not a Marine. There's kind of an unfortunate anti-service local bias from the few yahoos that get off base and don't respect the local culture.
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  #15  
Old 05-03-2010, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
Wait wait :) there is many creative tips I can give you:
- first to practice most of the times u can use pads on the drum. After all u don't need to hear yourself over and over playing double on snare with no pads..
So only when u want to try something new that u want to hear normally remove the pads( it will sum up to one hour MAX a day)..
- if u don't want to use pads or want to play more with out them use rots , they are less powerful then sticks, much stronger then brushes, and have wonderful sound!( this is how I play most of the times).It doesn't make so much noise.
If that doesn't help u can always transfer the heads of the kit to triggers and use electrong console, don't sell them!!! :) hope that helped
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  #16  
Old 05-03-2010, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
I feel your pain on that one. When I was stationed in San Diego, I bought a new Tama set and couldn't find anywhere to play it. I managed to set it up for a day here and a day there but for the most part of 3 years, it sat in storage. Good luck!
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2010, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
Ouch. well i think it's already been said. Either rent a practice space or see if there is any private housing to rent in your price range?
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2010, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

just do a trade in or suck it up and sell it used, if you really really want to play, and it turns out you really really cant with your acoustic kit.
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2010, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

I think I'll check into renting a practice space. It makes the most sense to me. Perhaps I can have others chip in if I decide to start a band again one day ;)

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I appreciate the help!
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2010, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

don,t forget about those dampening pads either
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  #21  
Old 05-04-2010, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

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don,t forget about those dampening pads either
If he's in an apartment complex i doubt it will help just having practice pads on.
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  #22  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Good idea, some muffles like these:
http://www.steveweissmusic.com/produ...f/drum-muffles

For low-cost electric, I would bet you could find a set of TD7s on Craigslist or ebay pretty cheap. Set up both sets in your practice space, and play the real drums when you can get away with it.
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  #23  
Old 05-05-2010, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
At least you should get a good price for it when you trade it in for an electronic kit then :-)

Seriously though hang onto it, so you've now got a great kit for when you start gigging again which you wouldn't use an electronic for and pick up a second hand electronic kit rather than splashing out on a new one - you don't need the top of the range just something that'll do the job and you can practice your chops so they're better when you sit behind your real kit !!!!
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  #24  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

If you do pick up an electronic kit, or one of those DW practice pad sets, and you are not on the ground floor, you will still need to make up some sort of isolation platform for the floor. While hitting a pad doesn't make much acoustic noise, the shock gets transmitted down the stand, though the floor and makes the ceiling under you into a giant drumhead, transmitting every impact. Upstairs it sounds like tick, tick, tick. But downstairs it sounds like someone jumping up and down. Especially the kick triggers that invert the beater so that it swings downward.
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  #25  
Old 05-05-2010, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

You probably will not want to do this seeings how you probably bought an acoustic kit for the sound, but if you need to really dampen the sound and maintain relatively the right feel of the acoustic drum this might work.

Get pearl meshheads for all of your drums. On the toms you can also use soundoff sound baffles. With the soundoffs on top of the mesh heads I find that the feel is not bad, however, less bounce than normal heads and waaaaaaaaay less bounce than just a mesh head on its own. I do this for the snare as well, and then put a practice pad on top. For the bass, I use just the mesh and then push pillows up against it so I don't get too much bounce. I put the soundoffs on all the cymbals as well.

You will find that this makes your kit practically soundless. My girlfriend was in the room the other day and we were talking in normal voices while I was playing all over the kit.

I put tape on my bearing edges to protect them from from the mesh heads.

Again, not a great solution for you as you probably want to hear those nice new acoustic drums but this has worked great for me. I actually practice way more than I ever have as I am not worried about the noise affecting others and I already have tinnitus so its a lot easier on that as well.
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  #26  
Old 05-10-2010, 10:27 AM
gilbertbuttos gilbertbuttos is offline
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Hey BOOMBOXNOTATOY
Adding mass can help soundproof a room.
Mass can mean a layer of drywall or a layer of Quietrock etc. You'll use a series of techniques to add QuietGlue damping compound and drywall or quietrock to the walls and ceilings. You can soundproof an existing room. All you have to do is apply the Glue to your existing surface (as it is), screw the new drywall over top, fill in the seams with acoustical caulk, spackle, and repaint.
Hope this helps
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

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Originally Posted by gilbertbuttos View Post
Hey BOOMBOXNOTATOY
Adding mass can help soundproof a room.
Mass can mean a layer of drywall or a layer of Quietrock etc. You'll use a series of techniques to add QuietGlue damping compound and drywall or quietrock to the walls and ceilings. You can soundproof an existing room. All you have to do is apply the Glue to your existing surface (as it is), screw the new drywall over top, fill in the seams with acoustical caulk, spackle, and repaint.
Hope this helps
This would definitely help if the person wasn't going to lease the property. Also the other major sources of sound leakage is through the floors, ceilings, windows and doors. Even if he was the owner of the property, it's a major expense to try to sound deaden a room to prevent leakage to another residence that is close by..

Dennis
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  #28  
Old 05-11-2010, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
This would definitely help if the person wasn't going to lease the property. Also the other major sources of sound leakage is through the floors, ceilings, windows and doors. Even if he was the owner of the property, it's a major expense to try to sound deaden a room to prevent leakage to another residence that is close by..

Dennis
/agree.

Even without considering the lease, just slapping on new drywall is quite short-sighted advice. Mass alone is only one-third the formula required to significantly address the issue. Yes, it would get somewhat better, but the multi-hundreds of dollars spent on QuietRock would be undone by all of the unaddressed flanking issues. ANd even if you did seal everything up well, directly applying drywall over old is probably the worst way to put that material to use. Well... besides ingesting it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertbuttos View Post
Hey BOOMBOXNOTATOY
Adding mass can help soundproof a room.
Mass can mean a layer of drywall or a layer of Quietrock etc. You'll use a series of techniques to add QuietGlue damping compound and drywall or quietrock to the walls and ceilings. You can soundproof an existing room. All you have to do is apply the Glue to your existing surface (as it is), screw the new drywall over top, fill in the seams with acoustical caulk, spackle, and repaint.
Hope this helps
Is that you, Jennifer?

The previous posts are on target. You're not going to do much without reconstruction. And as previously posted, it would be a waste to apply very expensive drywall to an existing wall, as this omits the necessity of decoupling.
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  #30  
Old 05-13-2010, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

My guitarist said that his old drummer built a room that was amazingly soundproofed. What he did as built new walls using sounproof drywall and in between the studs and the drywall, he filled each wall completely with sand. Some sound escaped, but it was reduced considerably. I wasn't exactly sure on the specifics, but I can ask him tonight at practice.

They do sell sound chambers, that come with ventilation shaft and everything, but WOW they are expenseinve.

I, myself, bought a set of V-drums and couldn't be happier. I can bang away for hours in the middle of the night while the wife and kids are sleeping. I use my Gretsch kit for gigs.

Semper Fi. By the way, I was on Marine1, the chopper yesterday. It's in Niagara Falls. Obama is here in Buffalo, New York today. It was really cool!!!!!
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

So if some sound escaped, it wasn't really "soundproof" was it.

Just teasing a bit to make a point I did earlier. There's no such thing as soundproof. Filling walls with sand adds appreciable mass, which is one of the tennents of sound isolation. Mass-space-mass. The more of each you can create, the more isolation you will get. So in each situation, you have to work out practically, how much you can achieve of each.

Remember that the walls are only about 64% of the surface area of the room. And unless the building can withstand 2" of sand in the ceiling and floor, you are still going to have sound getting out. It's a weakest link equation.

Also, the figures are in Rod Gervais' book, but the weight of even sand in the walls will be bearing on the foundation and structure of your building. Actually, any realistic sound transmission reduction tactics are considerably above the typical weights most structures are designed for. Something like filling a room with people standing shoulder to shoulder. This is taken into account when professional studios are built, but folks adding second walls and such to existing structures should really think about it. Kind of a waste if you build something in your garage only to have the slab settle and crack under the load.
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  #32  
Old 05-13-2010, 09:20 PM
Ted White Ted White is offline
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post

Actually, any realistic sound transmission reduction tactics are considerably above the typical weights most structures are designed for.
Well, for sure nothing is soundproof. And to your point really nothing built in a residence will stop very low frequencies very well.

However, double stud walls with double 5/8" drywall on each side is is in the high 60s for STC, and admirable LF isolation. Not too shabby.

Last edited by Ted White; 05-14-2010 at 05:05 PM.
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  #33  
Old 05-14-2010, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

[quote=Aeolian;699973]So if some sound escaped, it wasn't really "soundproof" was it.

LOL, good point. I asked him last night about it, and his buddy did it in the basement, which probably helped. I remember in band in high school, we had practice rooms that seemed pretty close to soundproofed. They had glass doors and weird walls with small holes in them. So, the products are out there, but as most people here had said, it's expensive. Best bet are go with V-drums or some equivalent. Although, they make noise too. The sound of drumsticks hitting mesh or rubber.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
Just spent nearly $2000 on a new acoustic set literally 5 days ago. :/
I was in the army and had the same problems. Two questions/tips////
1. Does your post/camp/fort have an MWR? While I was stationed at Ft Benning, I used the MWR facility. Some posts have formal music rooms, sometimes staff will be cool and let you play on the back.
2. Ask your Platoon SGT, 1st SGT, CO if you can play in the company area. When MWR would close, my skin would crawl from lack of playing. I asked my 1SG, he said sure.....its worth a try Marine, the worse they can say is no....and it won't kill you...
Best and happy playing_
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  #35  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: DIY soundproofing?

UPDATE: My wife and I just got our house yesterday. Move in is on the 28th of June, but the best news is that it's the 2 Story / 3 Bedroom that I needed to be able to play drums. I AM SO RELIEVED!!!!!! I can play whenever I want without having to worry about disturbing any neighbors.

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. Luckily I won't have to go with any of them but I'm still very appreciative :)
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  #36  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMBOXNOTATOY View Post
UPDATE: My wife and I just got our house yesterday. Move in is on the 28th of June, but the best news is that it's the 2 Story / 3 Bedroom that I needed to be able to play drums. I AM SO RELIEVED!!!!!! I can play whenever I want without having to worry about disturbing any neighbors.

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. Luckily I won't have to go with any of them but I'm still very appreciative :)
Haha that's great. Well at least this thread wasn't entirely a waste- I learned some good advice here instead. Keep Drumming!
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