Those plastic walls in front of the drummer...

Eman101

Member
We all know the Wall of Shame...that acrylic abomination that stops most (or all) of the drum sound travelling forward, so the soundman can control the drums through his mics.

I know they generally work. My question is: has anybody tried them at home as a practice noise reducer? If I put my kit, say, in the corner, and surrounded it with one of those acrylic walls, would it significantly reduce the volume heard by neighbours? Or would I need a roof aswell, in which case, how do I breathe? :)

I'm just wondering if they can seriously work as a volume controller in a practice venue. Or if there are there options other than muffle heads/practice pads on the kit?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You could go even more budget and just get sheets of wood, and put some kind of foam on the inner side facing you. It won't be completely sound proof but the baffling will cut down on errant sound waves bouncing around the room and going through the walls to the outside world.

The acrylic really only helps in live situations and it helps the sound man the other way as well - it keeps the excess sound of other instruments from getting to the drum mics, which could cause a bit of feedback in the system. If you've noticed, the drummer always seems to be in the middle of the guitar and bass amplifiers, and those can go louder than anyone really needs!
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Sound is energy. The law of conservation of energy says that it cannot be destroyed, only converted into some other energy. Meaning you have to do something like convert it into heat by forcing the sound energy to vibrate something that doesn't want to vibrate, which then converts that sound energy into internal heat. This is what dampening materials do.

Reflecting sound energy does not make it go away. It just makes it go somewhere else. Acrylic being a somewhat "dead" material, it does convert some vibrational energy into heat, but not much.

Bottom line, there are no cheap and easy solutions to dealing with the acoustic energy radiated by a drum set that someone is using the thermal energy of their body to pound on. If anyone could come up with one, they would be rich and everyone would know about it.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Sound is energy. The law of conservation of energy says that it cannot be destroyed, only converted into some other energy. Meaning you have to do something like convert it into heat by forcing the sound energy to vibrate something that doesn't want to vibrate, which then converts that sound energy into internal heat. This is what dampening materials do.

Reflecting sound energy does not make it go away. It just makes it go somewhere else. Acrylic being a somewhat "dead" material, it does convert some vibrational energy into heat, but not much.

Bottom line, there are no cheap and easy solutions to dealing with the acoustic energy radiated by a drum set that someone is using the thermal energy of their body to pound on. If anyone could come up with one, they would be rich and everyone would know about it.
:-0

I think the translation here is no it won't help. The sound is going to still bug your neighbors if you use an acrylic shield. You need mass and air to reduce sound transmission, no easy way around it.
 

Hercules

Senior Member
The manufacturers of those shields estimate about 50% SPL reduction (to those outside). Some models do have a roof too.... but last time I looked they were about $3,500USD.

If you're handy you could build a room within the room - laminated glass and double glazing is a good sound barrier and some acoustic treatment would complete it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think you should just be better friends with your neighbors and help them to understand that there is a guy playing drums next door. Maybe throw a BBQ or something once a month.... ;)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
The manufacturers of those shields estimate about 50% SPL reduction (to those outside).
That sounds more than a little generous to me. Having played behind one for several years at church, I would say it rolls off some of the highs (which again, we are less worried about) but does little to prevent mids and low frequencies from transmitting. As previously mentioned, they are more to separate the drum microphones from stage noise, than to prevent drum noise from escaping. I can hear the drums just fine on stage from outside when I play bass instead of drums on Sundays.

This topic is tied for number one on this forum, with "which double bass pedal should I choose?" and I think the man who wrote the book on how to do the ultimate drum sound room is Brundlefly. If I learned anything from his ordeals, it's that (1) true sound insulation of a drum room is VERY involved, and (2) it's VERY expensive.

Putting foam on the walls isn't going to do anything but give you a deader sounding room in which you play. Glassing in your kit isn't really a solution, either. And if you live upstairs from anyone, none of the methods mentioned thus far will help the bass pedal thump.

I submit that the answer to this question will be more social engineering than acoustic engineering.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
I agree with Alparrot, you're gonna be fighting an endless battle trying to eliminate the sound. What I've done is put foam all over the walls in my jam room and that seems to help keep some of the sound levels down within the room, and somewhat outside. But to eliminate it is almost impossible without a deep wallet.

If you choose to use a sound shield or something like it, you also have to take into considertation the volume factor on you. If you're sitting with your back against a wall/corner like you suggested with the shield in front, the sound is gonna be bouncing right back at you. And with a wall behind you, right back at you from there too. It's gonna probably be unbarably loud on you with still the same effect outside.

So based on that, I would say save you're money. Maybe buy a little foam for your jam room, but otherwise just be kind to your neighbors. Most people are easy to deal with if you are willing to workout set times you will not play. For instance, from 9pm-9am or something.
 
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