Tips on drum rooms?

billofdrums

Junior Member
Hi everybody. I just moved into a house and I'm going to set up a room in the basement as a drum room/practice room. I would like to make it sound nice acoustically for possible recording situations in the future, but I don't want to spend thousands doing it (if possible).

The room now has a drop ceiling which I think should be a good thing. There is that cheap 70's style wood paneling on the walls and the floor is just wood planks set over the original stone floor of the foundation. They are not directly on top it should be noted, they are sort of framed in and "floating" above it.

What do you guys think?
 

coolhand1969

Senior Member
Hi everybody. I just moved into a house and I'm going to set up a room in the basement as a drum room/practice room. I would like to make it sound nice acoustically for possible recording situations in the future, but I don't want to spend thousands doing it (if possible).

The room now has a drop ceiling which I think should be a good thing. There is that cheap 70's style wood paneling on the walls and the floor is just wood planks set over the original stone floor of the foundation. They are not directly on top it should be noted, they are sort of framed in and "floating" above it.

What do you guys think?
I am no studio engineer, so no real suggestions, except the 70's cheap wood paneling is an absolute classic. Congrats on the new house!!
 

ncc

Silver Member
Yes, congrats on the new house. You are probably going to get a lot of reflection from the concrete and/or block foundation walls, unless the paneling is framed over thick insulation.

You may want to consider shopping for studio foam like Sonomatt acoustic foam panels.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
First off congrats on the house!!

You'll have a lot of sound reflections in that room. The drop ceiling won't really stop much sound from getting out, it will just provide a small amount of absorption of the reflective sound. You will also have a lot of sound getting out unless there is treatment under that paneling like a heavy insulation like roxul mineral wool, the pink fiberglass insulation isn't dense enough to help reduce sound transmission.. Even then with as thin as paneling is it won't really stop sound from getting out. Real question is what is your budget and how much work do you want to do to the room.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
If you are not worried about "soundproofing" then you are lucky.

Rectangular or square rooms cause many problems. Your first step would be to put bass traps in the corners. You can make these yourself from 4" thick Rockwool. They are placed diagonally across the corner, from floor to ceiling.

I used two stacked on top of each other, I use corner beads and adhesive spray to frame it and speaker cloth to cover it. I have one in each corner, they look like the monolith from 2001.

That's the first step and the most crucial.
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
A few years ago I built a home studio (added a room to the house). The first step is to determine what you need. Do you need to keep the volume level down for the other occupants or is it strictly acoustical treatments for better sound? The former can be very expensive if done right. The latter you can do DIY for not so much.

Volume control is a rather extensive topic and I won't bother with it unless that's one of your goals (I can talk for hours on the subject so to be fore-warned). As far as acoustical treatments, the drop ceiling isn't going to do much. The cheapest thing you can do is load in some old stuffed furniture and thick drapes for absorption, and then include some bookcases (filled with books and whatnot) for dispersion. That's not particularly scientific but it helps and costs little.

The easiest way I know of making bass traps is to get some 2" thick Owens-Corning 703 rigid fiberglass and cover it with loudspeaker cloth (Guilford of Maine). Here's a short blog entry I wrote about it:
http://chimprefuge.com/2011/01/29/diy-bass-trap/
Best to put these in the corners but you can also hang them on the walls.

The thread about my studio construction can be found here: http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/performance/in-the-studio/56139-studio-construction-project-gas-raised-to-the-gas-power?61588-Studio-Construction-Project-(GAS-raised-to-the-GAS-power)=
 

billofdrums

Junior Member
Thanks guys! It's pretty exciting being in a new house (first one for me) so I appreciate it! Right now I just want acoustical treatments. Sound proofing isn't my goal at all. Unless I get major complaints from the neighbors I'm not really going to worry about it. I'm not really a metal guy or anything. Hmm well I thought the drop ceiling would be a good thing. Jim-I'll check out that blog. I know I can google this stuff, but a lot of the suggestions are for that very pricy foam. I'll look up some of these suggestions.

Basically I want it to be an all in one room for drum things. It's rectangular shaped so I wanted to put a little workbench for working on and tuning drums. I'm also going to be storing all of my drums in their cases as well. The hard plastic cases may be reflective. I'm thinking I could drape something over them to absorb if I were to be recording.
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
The best book I have seen on the subject is "Home Recording Studio, build it like the pros" by Rod Gervais. I have a few others but this one has the most detail and options.

As far as the pricey foam goes, the fiberglass traps will be more effective and cheaper.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
The best book I have seen on the subject is "Home Recording Studio, build it like the pros" by Rod Gervais. I have a few others but this one has the most detail and options.

As far as the pricey foam goes, the fiberglass traps will be more effective and cheaper.
Great book, I learned a lot from it.
 

lsits

Gold Member
Another thing to keep in mind is the fireproof rating of any material you may put in the room. It would be worth spending a few (or a lot of) extra dollars just for the peace of mind.
 

ncc

Silver Member
Real question is what is your budget and how much work do you want to do to the room.
+1. I just did a quick internet search and Sonomatt acoustic foam panels can be found for under $100 per 4x8 panel. So for a 12 x 8 room, that's under $1000. is that too much?
 

Bobrush

Senior Member
Another thing to keep in mind is the fireproof rating of any material you may put in the room. It would be worth spending a few (or a lot of) extra dollars just for the peace of mind.
FYI, know that most residential cloth and foam products (upholstery, curtains, pillows, etc.) that are "fire-resistant" are really only geared to withstand a smoldering cigaret. An actual flame or good-size electrical spark (i.e. not just static, but actual household current, badly wired amp, broken light blub, etc) will start a fire. Also, they use some pretty nasty chemicals just to get to that "fire-resistant" stage. Some people actually try very hard to get fabrics and foams that are not "fire-resistant" in order to avoid toxic chemicals.

If anybody tells you they have a "fire-proof" fabric or foam, be highly skeptical and demand to see it in writing, with an endorsement you trust, e.g. Underwriters Labs. I am not sure, but I highly doubt such a thing exists and is reasonable for consumer purchase.

Personally, I think you're much better off just being careful about open flames and electrical wiring.
 

ncc

Silver Member
Yeah if a fire breaks out we're screwed either way. ncc-$1000 is probably the max I would want to spend.
If you do the labor yourself, depending on the room size,you should be able to come in under the 1K mark. $850 for foam, $100 for carpet (remnant) if you need it and $49 for in-wall cabling. Since you have drop ceilings, consider using overhead mics coming down from that rather than on mic stands.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
Take a look the great room design of big studios, just as a stepping off point. Over muffling rooms is a sound killer. Reflections in a room are just natural reverb and some is desirable,too much and it echoes, too little and it will sound lifeless. Rectangular rooms, to me, sound the best, but placement is important. If you set up on a short wall with the full length of the room in front of the kit, you are essentially playing in a hallway. You might like hall reverb, but I think its terrible for drums. Set up with your back against a long wall, facing the other long wall, in the middle of the room, with more space in front of the drums than behind (as much as you can and still play comfortably). If your getting echo now, baffle the upper corners first. Add more baffles as necessary. If the room is overly dead sounding there really isn't a lot you can do.
 

willc87

Junior Member
I have use audimute products in the past with great success. I use their sound absorption blankets to cover about 75% of the drywall in my drum room. You can sort of tune the room with the blankets fairly easily. Not too expensive and you can move them around if you want.
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
I imagine you are looking for more than this but in my unfinished basement I simply hung up large thick quilts as "walls", creating a room about 12' x 12'. The quilts are overlapped slightly and barely touch the ground.

For the floor I simply laid down thin carpet to cover the concrete slab in the 12 x 12 room only. I am slowly working on the ceiling - taking carpet squares that were thrown out by a local carpet retailer and nailing them to the rafters, again in an overlapping pattern such that all nails are covered up.

I won't say how I found some of the materials used but I will say they were all laundered when possible before coming into the basement... one man's trash is another man's treasure right?

I have had guitar players come over and all were impressed by the acoustics. I dunno if it is recording-quality acoustics but it works for me.

Congrats on the new house! I hope you enjoy all the perks of home ownership and none of the problems! You are the man now - if that toilet starts leaking there is no landlord to call! ;-)

MM
 

gregcon

Member
If you can acquire some office cubby panels, get them. I learned to make good use of these. You can move them about, as necessary. Experiment. I got a bunch when some place went out of business and told me to just 'take em'!
Greg
 
Top