Apartment Living - Electric kit vs Mesh Heads LV cymbals

GnarlyBeats

New Member
Hi all,
Ive lived in an apartment for 2 years and use headphones with a Roland TD1 for 'practise at home' (mesh heads - rubber cymbal pads). I alternate between a Yamaha Stage Custom and Ludwig Breakbeats acoustic depending on gig requirement (size etc).

Recently - a 'noise disturbance' was put in after I took some time off work and was practising 3-4 hours a day at home on the electric kit. The practise was during the day (business hours) and is the first time Ive had such an allegation regarding noise. My partner tells me she does not have any issues with the noise (aside from light tapping) whilst a room away. I just have a standard rug under the electric kit and felt beater on the kick pedal.

My query relates to the potentially looking at replacing the electric kit with dbOne mesh heads and LV cymbals on another kit to try and eliminate any noise complaints. My partner suggested some rubber mats potentially under the rug? and maybe some acoustic panels?

Just wondering what suggestions you may have in helping me with some acoustic improvements?
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
Hi all,
Ive lived in an apartment for 2 years and use headphones with a Roland TD1 for 'practise at home' (mesh heads - rubber cymbal pads). I alternate between a Yamaha Stage Custom and Ludwig Breakbeats acoustic depending on gig requirement (size etc).

Recently - a 'noise disturbance' was put in after I took some time off work and was practising 3-4 hours a day at home on the electric kit. The practise was during the day (business hours) and is the first time Ive had such an allegation regarding noise. My partner tells me she does not have any issues with the noise (aside from light tapping) whilst a room away. I just have a standard rug under the electric kit and felt beater on the kick pedal.

My query relates to the potentially looking at replacing the electric kit with dbOne mesh heads and LV cymbals on another kit to try and eliminate any noise complaints. My partner suggested some rubber mats potentially under the rug? and maybe some acoustic panels?

Just wondering what suggestions you may have in helping me with some acoustic improvements?
Are you upstairs?
 

EssKayKay

Senior Member
How sad. I have no suggestions but am truly interested because as an "oldster" I am considering moving into condo or some other local where someone else maintains much (if not all) of the property. I really don’t want to give up my drumming. Then again, I don’t want to be the annoying new neighbor.
 

roncadillac

Member
Thump noises and vibrations seem to carry more 'down' then they do 'out' in my experience. To your neighbor downstairs it probably sounds like you are running in place above them. The easiest option is to try and move the kit, maybe explain your willingness to come to a mutual agreement and ask if there is an area of their apartment that is typically less occupied during that time and try to set up above there. Realistically buying/building some type of isolation riser is going to have the most dramatic effect.

Another option is to switch to more of a trigger type bass pedal that doesn't use a beater striking a pad, I know it doesn't feel the same as a proper pedal but most of that carrying noise is going to be coming from the pedal and beater.
 
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Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
Yeah I'm on the 5th floor - however - never had issues with the owner
I think the mesh heads and cymbals are cool, but not sure if they are any quieter.
You can build a drum riser/platform like this to try and decouple from the floor—a 2” thick piece of styrofoam sandwiched between two 3/4” sheets of plywood, with some indoor/outdoor carpet nailed on the top portion.
9E50A039-EF12-48A6-AF7F-9822E78F5ADF.jpeg
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
I think the mesh heads and cymbals are cool, but not sure if they are any quieter.
You can build a drum riser/platform like this to try and decouple from the floor—a 2” thick piece of styrofoam sandwiched between two 3/4” sheets of plywood, with some indoor/outdoor carpet nailed on the top portion.
View attachment 126621
I can attest that they are a lot quieter. There's still a bit of noise - particularly with the cymbals - but I could happily go out to my office at 2AM and feel like I could play without waking the neighbours. Absolutely not true of my normal cymbals and heads. The volume is slightly more than that of an e-kit but not a lot more. My low volume cymbals are cheap knock-offs and the industry-leading ones from major manufacturers are (from memory) quieter still.

The drum riser idea is a good one. There's a design that's floated about (pardon the pun) for years involving tennis balls on the base as well to further decouple it from the floor that apparently gets decent results.
 
If you've ever been bothered at a red light by someone's pulsing subwoofer, you've experienced the fact that it's the vibration more than the actual sound penetrating your car ... You neighbor isn't bothered by noise, it's the thump, thump, thump, and I'm afraid that's almost unsolvable.

Also, five hours is likely beyond the limit of what you should expect your neighbor to endure.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
There are other options to make your kit quieter but in your case I'd have to agree with the tennis ball riser to stop vibrations going through the floor as much (strange that it's not the downstairs neighbour complaining though, would have thought they'd bear the brunt of the "noise").
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
My bet no matter your solution it won't quiet the person complaining-I hope I'm wrong though. I bought my ekit because my next door neighbor complained (the only person in neighborhood to complain about my acoustic kits-even his wife doesn''t hear me), I obliged because he was working from home during pandemic and I want to be a good considerate neighbor-the complaints only started during pandemic . But I've never met him-he always sends his wife to complain-and she always tells me she doesn't hear me. Man that's annoying on so many levels. I was playing it only though headphones but one day I played them low volume through my bass amp to music on my iPhone through a tiny bluetooth speaker at low volume and I saw the SOB out my window peering up at my window. He didn't come to door but he looked annoyed. My bet his wife wasn't home to complain. It's been a real test of patience and anger management. But I'm getting sick of the ekit and want to play my acoustic kits again-so on weekends I'm going to set them up for playing at decent hours. I think if he would just talk to me in person, so we can reason together, then we can reach a compromise that we would both be happy. But I think that's being optimistic and that won't happen. My neighbor on other side and I are great friends and he never complains and his home is closer to mine. I'm thinking I have an ass for a neighbor-but he probably feels the same about me.
 

GnarlyBeats

New Member
If you've ever been bothered at a red light by someone's pulsing subwoofer, you've experienced the fact that it's the vibration more than the actual sound penetrating your car ... You neighbor isn't bothered by noise, it's the thump, thump, thump, and I'm afraid that's almost unsolvable.

Also, five hours is likely beyond the limit of what you should expect your neighbor to endure.
I've asked for further information as to whether it is the kick 'thumping' and reached out to upstairs/downstairs direct neighbours.

When I politely spoke to them face to face to hopefully understand the acoustics that may be bothering - I was informed that they hadnt even heard me (except when I occasionally re-head an acoustic snare)
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
We need a damn floating riser for stuff like this. A tensegrity platform might work:

20221110_070041.jpg

This is just a pic to convey the idea. Imagine the drums on top of this table. To get to the floor, the vibrations must transfer to the base through the chain. The chain can be decoupled even further with rubber isolation washers.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
I've asked for further information as to whether it is the kick 'thumping' and reached out to upstairs/downstairs direct neighbours.

When I politely spoke to them face to face to hopefully understand the acoustics that may be bothering - I was informed that they hadnt even heard me (except when I occasionally re-head an acoustic snare)
In that case, maybe not bother with the riser at all if both upstairs/ downstairs neighbours can't even hear the kick pad (usually the the loudest pad in any e-kit)?

So the culprit must be one of your next door neighbours on the same floor who can hear the tap-tap-tapping (probably barely even audible) so maybe light plastic drum sticks are the way to go...
 

moxman

Silver Member
When I lived in an apt. I used to hear a guy practicing on a pad through the air vent. Thought it was the guy below, but turned out it wasn't.. could have been from anywhere in the building. Pretty good pipe band drummer though!

Other than finding a band with a practice space.. there are other quiet ways of practicing. I've been doing hand practice for years while watching TV.. using my knees or a pillow.. or going outside and using a chair. Another solution is invisible drums.. where a pair of e-sticks and headphones hooked on to a phone or device senses the position and allows you to play air drums!

 
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SVBJECT

Active Member
When I took up the drums at 14 my parents more or less soundproofed my bedroom (loft conversion so was already a "room within a room" with a load of insulation between.

It did not work for an acoustic but I've lugged a few bits of the heavy rubber mating house to house ever since.

Right now I play an electric kit on one of these, but my downstairs neighbours still commented a while ago (doesn't help that my wife dances flamenco too) but our house is a very old and quite cheap victorian house london rental type place so all the floors and walls are pretty thin.

I was thinking about sandwiching a shipping pallet in between two of these rubber matts as an improvement.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I've been using mesh heads and LV-style cymbals for the last couple of months in my outdoor office.
I use the same..... mesh heads on an old 4 piece and use just LV hats and one cymbal - the basics. To quiet the bass drum I use a fleece beater on a mesh head. Somebody could hear me in next room but not another floor.
I never found the pads on e-drums to be all that quiet.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
I use the same..... mesh heads on an old 4 piece and use just LV hats and one cymbal - the basics. To quiet the bass drum I use a fleece beater on a mesh head. Somebody could hear me in next room but not another floor.
I never found the pads on e-drums to be all that quiet.
I have a crash too but I didn't to start with. Originally was going for a 3 piece but have added a rack tom. Being absolutely quiet isn't entirely necessary so I've put a cross of duct tape on each drum as it gives a more realistic head feel that way. You get a bit more volume (obviously - it's like you're adding a small section of head) but it seems like the most realistic compromise I can come up with without buying much more expensive mesh heads. I just bought the cheap Tama ones.

Pretty happy with the setup. I'm using the 16", 10" and 12" from an old Pearl Export shell bank that I have. I have a riser on the 16" but I've made some fairly drastic modifications in the shape of a few large holes to the drum to get it to fit properly without having to buy proper bass drum hoops. The drums aren't worth anything anyway and it's not like the sound matters.
 
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