Are electronic drums feasible in a dorm-suite setting?

rpt50

Member
My son has been a very active gigging drummer, but it's time for him to go off to college. Although he has become a reasonably accomplished guitarist and can certainly play that in a dorm, he is very concerned about not being able to play drums (his main instrument) while at school.

For his freshman year he will be living in a suite, which while far more spacious than anything I had in college, is still not much room. Are those electronic drum kits a feasible option for such a setting? How much do you have to spend to get something decent?
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I'd lean more to no if its an apparent like setting.

My girlfriend gets annoyed upstairs when I play downstairs.... If he was to play very very light he could, but as any drummer will, he will start to hit harder and get complaints.

the kick pedal still vibrates the floor so it helps if your on a lower level.

I'd look in to mesh pads as they are quieter, but you still have the cymbals that make noise too..

you could go to a music store and ask someone to play them while wearing headphones and you can hear how loud the pads are... just make sure they are actually hitting them and doing fills, not just quietly playing a beat.

if your son ever had a rubber practice pad picture hitting a bunch of those.


also consider this, for the cost of an electric kit often in the thousands, he could rent a rehearsal space for pretty cheap. even a shared space with other drummers. That way he could even use a real kit. I would personally go this route if I could find something close by.
 

audioragegarden

Senior Member
I had a cheap used Simmons E-kit in my dorm while in college, only ever had one noise complaint and it was during finals week when everyone's a little more picky about noise than usual. How much the noise carries depends a lot on the construction of your son's dorm. It could range from inaudible to mildly annoying for neighbors depending on the wall material. I was lucky enough to have cinder block style walls in my dorm.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Currently living in a single-room double-occupant dorm with thin walls and I could not get away with anything louder than a single-ply mesh-head single-headed drum. I think even a Roland e-kit with mesh heads would be too loud for my situation (having played one extensively elsewhere). However, as said, it depends on the walls and such. Having the kit in the middle of the space with plenty of room on either side might be fine if the walls are decent. Approach with caution.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Completely depends on the attributes of the dorm building.

The sound of hitting the pads is one thing. But the thud from hitting the bass drum can travel pretty far and loud.

I got away with about 20 seconds of it in my first apartment before my new neighbors downstairs shut me down.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Completely depends on the attributes of the dorm building.

The sound of hitting the pads is one thing. But the thud from hitting the bass drum can travel pretty far and loud.

I got away with about 20 seconds of it in my first apartment before my new neighbors downstairs shut me down.
THIS.


most people don't realize that when you hit the bass drum it is sitting on the floor, usually the rack too. Although it doesn't sound that loud in the room, the vibrations travel in the floor and are audible in other areas.

I was air drumming on the couch in a buddy's house tapping my feet on the floor. It didn't sound loud to me, but downstairs they were asking why I was stomping on the floor up there. haha
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Just tell him to quit school.

He can make a lot more money playing guitar/drums :)

And it's easy :)




The E kit pretty much depends on the structure of the building.

With mesh heads, neighbor to neighbor might not be a huge issue if the floors are concrete and the walls are insulated properly. Room to room in the same dorm could get annoying with the slappity slap of the pads.

He can experiment by purchasing one $15 mesh head for his acoustic kit to see what it sounds like.
 

gallonsloth

Senior Member
I got away with about 20 seconds of it in my first apartment before my new neighbors downstairs shut me down.
20 Seconds? Wow, they must be a joy to live above.


As for kick pad noise...

I use a tennis ball beater like this on my acoustic kick when I want to get less impact volume, but not have the boomy-ness of a bomber style beater...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/kat-percussion-silent-strike-bass-drum-beater

I've never used it on an e-kit before, but they are marketed towards e-kits, and I'd imagine they would act similarly.
 

Intruder

Senior Member
20 Seconds? Wow, they must be a joy to live above.


As for kick pad noise...

I use a tennis ball beater like this on my acoustic kick when I want to get less impact volume, but not have the boomy-ness of a bomber style beater...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/kat-percussion-silent-strike-bass-drum-beater

I've never used it on an e-kit before, but they are marketed towards e-kits, and I'd imagine they would act similarly.
The reviews on this are terrible and Never Ever use it on a mesh head.
Common complaints are it leaves a black mark, eats through the head, and falls apart after time, also does not fit some pedals.
That is one expensive tennis ball!
 

jwildman

Senior Member
Check out the possibilities of practice rooms. My college has them, though I don't think your allowed to bring an acoustic set to them, as itd be too loud. But I imagine an e kit, if its small and portable enough on a rack, you could keep folded in your room then take it down to the jam space.

Or, join the school band or bands around town, as someone will have a jam space.
 

gallonsloth

Senior Member
The reviews on this are terrible and Never Ever use it on a mesh head.
Common complaints are it leaves a black mark, eats through the head, and falls apart after time, also does not fit some pedals.
That is one expensive tennis ball!
Hmm... yeah, if it won't fit in all pedals that is a pain. The one reviewer said it didn't fit in his Tama. It will work with DW9000s, I know that much. But if you have no idea if it will fit in your pedal or not, yeah you'd probably want to steer clear.

Strange though... I wonder if mine is from a different manufacturer The one I have is quite plush, more rubbery with much more give than your average tennis ball. If people are damaging their kick pads with it, I'd imagine they'd have to be hitting insanely hard.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There are many ways to go about it.

Yes, digital kits make noise and good ones are quite expensive.

Many ways to reduce noise. Isolation platforms as mentioned, different beaters, you can do that to sticks as well... They also take more space, though. With a platform you might also need some sort of wall on the sides to cut further.

I'd move in and understand the exact situation before I decided. Maybe there are other solutions available. Band rooms, a place where he can store and play a digital kit or even his regular kit without problems. Talking to the headmaster, the janitor or whoever I've always been able to find solutions for practicing. Maybe there's an empty basement in the dorm..

Renting somewhere is agood option if that's possible, but hey, if you get to know people and you only practice in the evenings and weekends there might be many options.

My super silent optionis just one of my pads and Hansenfutz pedals. It only allows for a certain type of practice, but it's lightweight and you can bring and use it anywhere. Band bus, airport etc...etc.....
 

Roostar

Member
The roland hd3 lite is very small and quiet. I would move in first before comitting, but this is what i use for home practice, but i also practice in a studio with a real kit too. It is obviously limited but serves my purpose fine practicing independece, rudiments etc. Not so good for soloing but as i say its fits my needs in a small flat
 
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