Drum Room

Pylot

Senior Member
I recently acquired a killer set of early 70's Ludwigs in good to excellent condition. I have not played drums since about the same time.

Got em set up in my basement and quickly found out that I would get kicked out of the house or the neighborhood depending on who got to me first, the wife or the neighbors.

So I set about creating a drum room in my basement. I initially thought oh yeah two weekends and I will be back at it. Well, here we are about 10 weeks later and I still have one layer of drywall to apply to the ceiling before I am actually done! I have a whole new level of respect for people who frame and drywall houses!

It has been an interesting experience so I thought I'd share the story.

I did a lot of homework and decided on a floor with a mass loaded vinyl (MLV) layer under particle board and then a standard frame of 2x4's and double sheets of drywall with green glue on the inside walls and ceiling. The floor dimensions are 10 feet by 10 feet. The walls are 7 feet three inches high. My basement is a raised wood floor.

Craigslist has a fair amount of stuff on it from other peoples projects and I found some MLV for about half price. Also scored 23 tubes of green glue and 9 tubes of sound sealant for less than half of retail. You have to be aware of the manufacturing date, the green glue is guaranteed for 12 months from date of manufacture and should last longer but may not depending on how it is stored. Mine was 11 months old, stored inside and has worked fine. I did have to order 6 more tubes to complete the project.

It took about 70 2X4's and 28 sheets of 5/8 drywall that was in 4'x8' sheets. At 70 pounds a sheet it is about 2000 pounds of glue, screws, wood and drywall!

I got a 4 foot drywall T square, had a 2 foot drywall right angle ruler, a tape measure, a box cutter, a 20V battery powered drill, a pair of knee pads and the large tube dispenser for the glue. I also used a large bucket with a few inches of water that the green glue cleans up with.

I laid out the MLV and placed the chipboard over it. I had the chip board pre cut at Home Depot so this part was pretty easy. I put the box in a corner of my basement but it is only connected to the floor and is otherwise free standing to reduce vibration transfer. Had to think it over for a while to get the placement right. I minimally screwed the chipboard thru the MLV to the underlayment.

Then I commenced framing the walls. I ended up with two walls the full length and the front and back walls capturing the side walls which caused me to give up about 6 inches of width. Engineering on the fly. I used 2 1/2 inch Teflon coated deck screws instead of nails. I bought 6 pounds of screws and have probably used 3 pounds of them. As the frame came together it stiffened up nicely. I used 24 inch spacing on the vertical 2x4's and a semi random spacing of braces between the vertical studs.

I built a couple of what look like ladders for the ceiling and used four additional 2X4's to tie the ceiling and walls together.

Each wall takes 2 1/2 sheets of drywall to make a layer. I had all of the wall sheets trimmed to 7' 3" at Home Depot to save some work.

Several things have to be considered. Electrical, lighting and ventilation. When you vent you let sound out so I used a 2 1/2 inch hole saw and cut a hole in the upper corner and one in an opposite lower corner. I have a short vent hose to change the direction of the vents and have rocked it in with some insulation on the outside of the box. I pulled an extension cord in thru the upper vent. I used an overhead led light that looks like a florescent light and so far one seems adequate.

I bought 5 pounds of 1 1/2 inch drywall screws and have probably used half of them.

I put up three walls and left the front wall open so that I could get more drywall into the space. Instead of a door I created a hatch that is about 3 feet wide and about 5 feet high. Getting a door to seal up is not an easy exercise and would add to the cost.

I fitted the drywall to the front wall but left it unattached.

I used the sound sealant to cover every seam and screw head and to put a bead in every corner of the dry wall. The idea is to totally seal up the cracks and the screws in the first layer because they will transmit sound into the wood and outside of the box.

You have to let the sound sealant cure for 48 hours before you cover it. So after it cured I double rocked the three walls and used the green glue. I used the equivalent of about 2 1/2 tubes per sheet, five tubes to a wall.

It gets to be a bit of a puzzle at one point. I ended up moving all of the drywall into the box then putting up the front wall and building out the hatch. I rented a drywall jack for $22 for four hours and got the first ceiling layer put in place.

Then I sealed the ceiling and the front wall. Next I double rocked the front wall and hatch.

Now I am down to just putting the second layer on the ceiling and I will install one more layer of MLV under carpet.

I secure the second layer of drywall with screws but they will all come out and the holes will be plugged with sound sealant.

I am putting up the ceiling tonight so I will have my drums moved back in there by tomorrow or Thursday.

Total cost has been about $1200 thanks to some scrounging. I had figured about $1500 if I had to go retail on everything. But between Craigslist and getting half off on some damaged pieces of drywall (we cut the damage off when they were shortened) I managed to save some on the total.

The big test will be this week. The green glue is supposed to improve with time and be optimum at about 6 months.

I have a carbon monoxide detector I will put in there for the first few months to make sure the ventilation is adequate.

If this does not work the wife and the neighbors will be getting free earplugs from me! But I am hopeful that this will let me keep the peace.
 

2underpar

Silver Member
Wow, that was a project! 10x10 should be plenty of space.

Are there any windows in the rest of the basement? I also play in the basement and replaced my windows with solid glass block (no vents). Though my neighbors never complained before the replacement windows I figured it was the least I could do (our houses are not that close).

Also, do you have any photos of before, during & after construction. All the folks on the site seem to like pretty pictures.

Also a few of your kit all set up in the drum room would be cool also.

Welcome to the forum.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Wow nicely done, would love to see pics of the room an pics. Never thought to look on craigslist for materials
 

Pylot

Senior Member
These appear unremarkable. They are the outside of the box, one of the ceiling (I green glued the last two big sheets to the ceiling tonight so you can see the edge of one of the pieces) a shot of the hatch from the inside and a shot along the bottom edge on the outside that shows the mass loaded vinyl base.

I am going to put down one more layer of MLV and cover it with some outdoor carpet. I will finish the ceiling tomorrow and then move my kit in there!

I do have windows in the basement. One of them is now obscured by the room.

Later on I am going to make some bass traps in the corners but for now I can't wait to get my drums in there and see if it was all worth it!
 

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calan

Silver Member
I understand why you did the hatch door, but I really hope you don't have to load in or out very often.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Now that you've built your torture chamber, you might consider some plants that will make it breathable, something like a Phos under the lights will help you not die in there.

Green glue sets up in a few weeks. My room took about 6 weeks to set up. Rap on the wall now and compare the sound when you rap on it in a few weeks.
 

Pylot

Senior Member
Here is a pic of my kit in the room. I just basically placed it in there and closed the hatch and gave it a test run. It has official wife approval.

I don't gig so I expect it to stay there for about five years which is my retirement target at which point I will move it out. There is enough room for my brother to come over and plug in an amp so we can jam once in a while. I will figure out something to make that hatch easier to move because I am pretty sure it weighs over 50 pounds.

Putting some plants in there is a good idea. Maybe one of those creeping vines around the top to get started. I have a large ceiling poster coming that looks like you ripped it open to sky and clouds.

In the meantime I will get busy swapping out the heads and getting them all tuned.

The kit is two Ludwig sets. One is about a 72 set with clear lacquer inside and the other is about a 74 set with the gray paint inside. There is a 12/13 tom pair on a dual mount, a 14/15 ride (I only have the 14 mounted) and 16/18 floor toms. The bass is a 16x24. The cymbals are all Paiste, 15 inch sound edge hat with a ching ring, 16 inch crash, 18 inch crash and a 24 inch ride. I got a refurbed speed king pedal from a fellow who puts bushings in em, better springs and really tightens them up.
 

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Kenflux

Member
What a great read that was, i"m currently half way through building my own room and you have given me some good ideas.
 

Pylot

Senior Member
If I were doing this again I would have gone 12X12. You lose a bit with the second layer of drywall and you need to treat the corners for standing waves which takes a 24 inch wide panel in each corner from floor to ceiling. So 10x10 is already getting a little cramped.

I never heard of a standing wave until my brother warned me that I would have to deal with them.

I was tuning a tom a couple of nights after he told me of these waves and I generated the standing wave. Just a me me me me me me me me me me me me when I was hitting a C note on my tom. I would stop tapping the drum and the standing wave note would continue on and just become quieter and eventually stop. Really strange to hear it and it repeated every time.

I have some free internet plans for a limp mass bass trap that should catch the lower frequencies which is where most of the standing wave problems are. But I have to build them and it will take a while to get em done. I am going to make one this weekend and see if it helps. I have read that at least two are needed.

Otherwise it works great and I am not really bothered by the standing waves but if we jam in there it will be a problem.
 
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