Those of you who have "sound proofed" a room for your drums...

CRS556

Member
...how did you do it?

Here's my situation:

I will be moving into a condo soon and want to take my kit with me. The apartments are set up like town homes, but are all connected together. My unit is on the end of the building. Also, there are no units above mine, they are all one floor.

I have read many threads on "sound proofing" and have figured out nothing is quite sound proof unless you build a room inside a room. The room I want to put my drums is 14'x14' roughly and closer to the outside wall of the unit, not the wall closest to my neighbors.

I was wondering what kind of products those of you who have done soothing like this used. Did you get a contractor to help or did you do it yourself?

I have read about putting a sound barrier product between the existing drywall, then putting another layer of drywall over it, would something like this work?

Any idea on what kind of budget I would be looking at?

I plan to talk to a contractor about this, but wanted to get some input on here first.
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
The fact that you're on the end and have no one above or beneath you is a plus. On the downside, anything that will be effective probably won't be allowed as you're not the owner. You would literally have to cover the entire common wall surface (and probably more) with extra drywall and a viscous damping agent like Green Glue. Every. Square. Inch.

You might be able to build a room-within-a-room, but 14x14 doesn't give you much space. The walls in my studio are one foot thick. They're made from a pair of 2x6 walls with a one inch gap. All of the electrical boxes are enclosed with fire rated clay to prevent sound leakage. Construction is double dry wall with Green Glue, all seams overlapping. The windows are double pane on the exterior with a thick plexiglass panel at the interior wall. The entire floor is floating on 2" of rigid fiberglass and the finish floor and its base do not contact the subfloor or inner walls at any point. It is a very quiet room but it's still not "sound proof".

If you're serious, buy or borrow a copy of Rod Gervais' book "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros". It is worth every penny and then some.

A quick estimate, given the room location you've described, I think you might be able to get away with a building a drum booth. Basically, think in terms of building a room with 2x6s inside this room. Both the inside and outside of the room would use double sheets of drywall and GG. You would not use any of the existing walls. Also, you'd have to come up with some trusses for the ceiling (can't piggyback on the existing ceiling). Unless you have high ceiling to start with, the booth is not going to have a lot of headroom. Good thing you're sitting down. You'll also need a good door but a sound rated door can be very expensive. You can build your own or modify an existing solid core door. You could also use an exterior door, not quite as nice but whatever you do avoid the basic hollow core door. It would be like poking big holes in your watering pail. You'll also have to do something about the floor otherwise you'll get structural transfer. You could do the fiberglass suspension trick. On top of it lay down two thicknesses of 3/4" plywood, seams overlapping and with GG between. The put on the finish floor.

The sad thing is the whole thing will need to be destroyed when you move, assuming you can get permission to build it. The other route is to use the money to buy an e-drum kit for practice and make an iso riser.
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Or you could use those Sound Off pads on your existing drums. I did that when I lived in a condo and it was great. I was on the ground floor so I didn't have to worry about floor vibrations, and I got to play my existing drums - just with these neoprene pads on everything. Cost me about $100 back then.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
If you're serious, buy or borrow a copy of Rod Gervais' book "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros". It is worth every penny and then some.
.
^ This.

And everything else Jim has said.

Simply putting up more dry wall isn't going to do much given the structure of your room is still attached to the rest of the building.

And there are unknown factors, such as how the building is constructed, the foundation, framing, etc, most of which would be impossible to know without tearing it down.

As Jim said, your best best is built a booth and float it so no walls are touching the existing building. Use Aurlex Platfoam to detach the booth from the floor.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
The fact that you're on the end and have no one above or beneath you is a plus. On the downside, anything that will be effective probably won't be allowed as you're not the owner. You would literally have to cover the entire common wall surface (and probably more) with extra drywall and a viscous damping agent like Green Glue. Every. Square. Inch.

You might be able to build a room-within-a-room, but 14x14 doesn't give you much space. The walls in my studio are one foot thick. They're made from a pair of 2x6 walls with a one inch gap. All of the electrical boxes are enclosed with fire rated clay to prevent sound leakage. Construction is double dry wall with Green Glue, all seams overlapping. The windows are double pane on the exterior with a thick plexiglass panel at the interior wall. The entire floor is floating on 2" of rigid fiberglass and the finish floor and its base do not contact the subfloor or inner walls at any point. It is a very quiet room but it's still not "sound proof".

If you're serious, buy or borrow a copy of Rod Gervais' book "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros". It is worth every penny and then some.

A quick estimate, given the room location you've described, I think you might be able to get away with a building a drum booth. Basically, think in terms of building a room with 2x6s inside this room. Both the inside and outside of the room would use double sheets of drywall and GG. You would not use any of the existing walls. Also, you'd have to come up with some trusses for the ceiling (can't piggyback on the existing ceiling). Unless you have high ceiling to start with, the booth is not going to have a lot of headroom. Good thing you're sitting down. You'll also need a good door but a sound rated door can be very expensive. You can build your own or modify an existing solid core door. You could also use an exterior door, not quite as nice but whatever you do avoid the basic hollow core door. It would be like poking big holes in your watering pail. You'll also have to do something about the floor otherwise you'll get structural transfer. You could do the fiberglass suspension trick. On top of it lay down two thicknesses of 3/4" plywood, seams overlapping and with GG between. The put on the finish floor.

The sad thing is the whole thing will need to be destroyed when you move, assuming you can get permission to build it. The other route is to use the money to buy an e-drum kit for practice and make an iso riser.
All excellent advice. The Gervais book really helped me.

One great new tool in the "soundproofers" arsenal is Green Glue. It is a great product. I have a room with 3 layers of sheetrock with Green Glue applied liberally (3 tubes per 4 x8 sheet) between the layers. It is an excellent, lower cost alternative to more invasive construction. Still might have to remove it when you leave though so be beware.

Definite must on decoupling from the floor as well. That kick drum will get you into trouble every time.
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
Does your condo have a garage? If so, you could put your set off to the side, and put in some fiberglass insulation on the inside of the garage door. I personally did this for my garage, and it now sounds like a studio! Not to mention that it also helps control the temperature, so that I can still play for a whole day even in the muggy Florida weather.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Can't add much beyond what has already been posted. Excellent advice. Because you are on the end of the condo you may consider using a product like QuietRock ($40 to $50 per 4 X 8' sheet) on your walls and ceiling. Soundproof? No. Sound reduction? Significant, especially if you use their higher end THX sound reduction sheets. This would eliminate the need for Green Glue, although it obviously costs more than standard sheetrock, it would be a fairly simple install. I've seen this used in town homes and it significantly reduced noise levels. Again, it's not sound proof. If that's what you're after then it may be a wise use of money to consult with an Acoustic Engineer for your particular application first before diving into this project.

Let us know how it turns out and be sure to post pictures.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I've had a room within a room built using fire rated gyprock and rock wool insulation.

I'm worried that you will have to go to great lengths and expense if your condo is still pretty small and/or your neighbors irritable.

You might wanna consider e-kits or stuffing your drums with cloth, also I've seen ready built booths for sale online.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Or you could use those Sound Off pads on your existing drums. I did that when I lived in a condo and it was great. I was on the ground floor so I didn't have to worry about floor vibrations, and I got to play my existing drums - just with these neoprene pads on everything. Cost me about $100 back then.
This has to be the most cost-effective option, and the simplest by a country mile.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This has to be the most cost-effective option, and the simplest by a country mile.
I was involved with a friend's project of converting his back patio and neighboring bedroom into a studio, and the work he and his contractor did to make it completely sound proof was just mind boggling and too much for me to tackle on my own - let alone the most expensive sound-proofing upgrade I've ever seen. They sand-loaded the floors, tore out the drywall and treated in-between, then installed bass traps and birch wood on the inside walls. It was insane. But when he was done, I could bash away on a set of drums at two in the morning and you couldn't hear anything outside of the house. Which was cool, except for the $30,000 price tag.

Hence why I opted for the pads.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
If you're serious, buy or borrow a copy of Rod Gervais' book "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros". It is worth every penny and then some.

.
I just ordered this book. It looked pretty cool. I will be looking to do something similar sometime in the near future. I am looking to buy my first house. I am trying to find something with a basement. I figure that I could either finish a basement, or that it naturally lends itself to soundproofing better than above ground rooms. I don't know, but I hope there is a section in the book about this. Anyway. I have not been able to play my drums where I live, for years. I would love the piece of mind knowing that I could get up at anytime day or night and play away. That would be fantastic.

I don't have a ton of money, but I figure that I can make something happen over time. I would rather do things right and get it so that I can get the most out of it.

I would think that trying to soundproof a condo would be very difficult just do to shared support beams. All the vibrations will travel unless they are isolated. I picked up a DW practice kit for my apartment a few years ago. I had to take it back because the kick pedal sounded like I was stomping my feet as hard as I could on the floor.

Does anyone have experience sound proofing a basement?
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
The Gervais book is the bible. There's a forum called GearSlutz with a section on folks who've build studios and rooms. And folks who have sunk a fortune into a build only to have a couple of simple mistakes mean they only get 30 odd dB of noise attenuation. Drums are tough. Loud and lots of bottom end that goes right though structures.

The trick drywall costs more than conventional with Green Glue and you can build more mass for less money with standard 5/8ths. The only thing I've seen improve on that was a fellow who had a line on the lead lined drywall used to build hospital x-ray booths. That room works great, but you have to make sure what's underneath can support it, and the cost is way more than the damped drywall.
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
I'd go with the pads or an electronic kit. When I was living in a condo I just got an electronic kit off eBay that has Hartke pads and an Alesis DM5 module. Works just fine...and is actually easy to record demos/ideas with at home because you don't have to mic anything...just plug it in.
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
I have partially DIY soundproofed our studio in our house, using these:

Pro Acoustic Foam Tiles AFW305 24 Tile Pack Studio Sound Treatment by Pro Acoustic http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006I1J25E/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_bL11tb01MTEYE

Advanced Acoustics Soundproofing Mat 3m by 1.25m by 2mm thin by Advanced Acoustics http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BSBMFBM/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_XL11tb0NBVQFC


It takes everything down by about 25dB.
I also use rubber pads for practicing.

I say partially, because it's not completely sound proof but takes the sound down to a level you get if a CD is playing on mid-volume or the TV is on... Acceptable for residential living...

I'd add I'm not a heavy hitter...

Spread out over a few months this cost about £200-300 so far, so I'd say good value for money.

I think this also depends on your budget. Getting is done professionally will get you the best result.

Good luck, and keep is posted on how it goes.
 
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Grolubao

Senior Member
Greenglue is an amazing product. I created a platform with 2 plies of wood with green glue in the middle and it fixed my vibration problems to the bottom floor
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
I'd go with the pads or an electronic kit. When I was living in a condo I just got an electronic kit off eBay that has Hartke pads and an Alesis DM5 module. Works just fine...and is actually easy to record demos/ideas with at home because you don't have to mic anything...just plug it in.
^^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^^

I also did this when I lived in a condo.

Also consider this: you spend $XXXX dollars (right up to your budget, whatever that is) to do this project, then find out it's still not enough and you're getting complaints. Now what do you do?
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
I just ordered this book. It looked pretty cool. I will be looking to do something similar sometime in the near future. I am looking to buy my first house. I am trying to find something with a basement. I figure that I could either finish a basement, or that it naturally lends itself to soundproofing better than above ground rooms. I don't know, but I hope there is a section in the book about this.
Gervais covers pretty much everything and lots of people redo their basements. That is an ideal location but typically presents one problem: low ceilings. If you wind up building new, get the basement dug an extra two feet deep. Sounds crazy, I know, but I had my basement dug about a foot deeper than typical and it wasn't really enough. I wound up building my studio over my attached garage. As a rule of thumb, proper construction will wind up doubling the cost per square foot compared to a conventional build.

The general consensus regarding QuietRock and similar products is that conventional sheet rock plus Green Glue is cheaper and more effective. It does require a little more work but on the flip side, QR is very heavy and it's not as easy to hang as regular sheet rock. So for DIY, standard sheet rock plus GG typically is the best route.

For a large scale project don't bother getting GG by the tube. Buy the 5 gallon pails and the jumbo applicator gun. Makes things much quicker.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
building my studio I double studded the walls.... heavily insulated ... double studio doors ....double sheet rocked with green glue between sheets and hung the rock using this system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf5syq09qa0&feature=related

worked out great

"sound proof" is a strong term.... you will pretty much always hear something unless you are just tapping away lightly

sound controlled is what I like to use

my studio is right next to the kitchen and when a band is playing inside it sounds like maybe we have a radio on inside

successful build indeed

good luck
 

CRS556

Member
The fact that you're on the end and have no one above or beneath you is a plus. On the downside, anything that will be effective probably won't be allowed as you're not the owner. You would literally have to cover the entire common wall surface (and probably more) with extra drywall and a viscous damping agent like Green Glue. Every. Square. Inch.

You might be able to build a room-within-a-room, but 14x14 doesn't give you much space. The walls in my studio are one foot thick. They're made from a pair of 2x6 walls with a one inch gap. All of the electrical boxes are enclosed with fire rated clay to prevent sound leakage. Construction is double dry wall with Green Glue, all seams overlapping. The windows are double pane on the exterior with a thick plexiglass panel at the interior wall. The entire floor is floating on 2" of rigid fiberglass and the finish floor and its base do not contact the subfloor or inner walls at any point. It is a very quiet room but it's still not "sound proof".

If you're serious, buy or borrow a copy of Rod Gervais' book "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros". It is worth every penny and then some.

A quick estimate, given the room location you've described, I think you might be able to get away with a building a drum booth. Basically, think in terms of building a room with 2x6s inside this room. Both the inside and outside of the room would use double sheets of drywall and GG. You would not use any of the existing walls. Also, you'd have to come up with some trusses for the ceiling (can't piggyback on the existing ceiling). Unless you have high ceiling to start with, the booth is not going to have a lot of headroom. Good thing you're sitting down. You'll also need a good door but a sound rated door can be very expensive. You can build your own or modify an existing solid core door. You could also use an exterior door, not quite as nice but whatever you do avoid the basic hollow core door. It would be like poking big holes in your watering pail. You'll also have to do something about the floor otherwise you'll get structural transfer. You could do the fiberglass suspension trick. On top of it lay down two thicknesses of 3/4" plywood, seams overlapping and with GG between. The put on the finish floor.

The sad thing is the whole thing will need to be destroyed when you move, assuming you can get permission to build it. The other route is to use the money to buy an e-drum kit for practice and make an iso riser.

Forgot to mention, a family member owns the condo and I have been talking to them about buying it. So permanent soundproofing would be an option.

But as some have said, it would suck to spend all that money/ time then have problems with noise.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Because you are on the end of the condo you may consider using a product like QuietRock ($40 to $50 per 4 X 8' sheet) on your walls and ceiling. Soundproof? No. Sound reduction? Significant, especially if you use their higher end THX sound reduction sheets.
Quiterock works very well, particularly with the whole Quite system of products.

But unless one OWNS the condo, there would be no point in installing it.
 
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