DIY Drum Room

codydee12

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So I debated posting this yet because I am not quite finished but I thought this might also be a good opportunity to have some folks weigh in as I look to finish the project.

I created a room within my office to be my practice/recording space and I freaking love it! It’s 3 layers of drywall, with green glue, plenty of sound panels and so on. At some point I will post a before and after video and some of the problem/solutions I ran into that I had not seen addressed elsewhere.

In the meantime, I am having trouble keeping the low end isolated to the room. I have since bought more of the material used to create the “higher end” bass traps in hopes to negate the low frequencies escaping. I have not finished these traps yet but you can see the 3 original traps in the below.

Any advice on how to further isolate the room? How to keep more of the low end confined to this space?

Thanks!
8B094B9F-225B-4B28-8B41-66B4541CAA9F.jpeg
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Downbeat

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A lot of your low end will be transmitted mechanicaly as well as sonically. I'd try lining the floor with something that will dampen the mechanical transmission.
Just my 2 pennies.
Great little space, hope you get it sorted out.
 

KevinD

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Are you in a house and looking to mute your playing from the rest of your family? Or are you in an apartment where you are trying to keep the sound from bothering your neighbors?

In general, the practice is usually to decouple the sound/vibrations from your low freqs from the actual flooring to prevent it from resonating with the rest of the structure. One way to do it is to place the drums on some type of platform.

Here are two examples showing what some people have done.


 
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codydee12

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A lot of your low end will be transmitted mechanicaly as well as sonically. I'd try lining the floor with something that will dampen the mechanical transmission.
Just my 2 pennies.
Great little space, hope you get it sorted out.
Thanks for this insight! I have the floor lined with 2 layers of plywood, a layer of gym flooring (the thick rubber), and my drum rug. Any suggestions of another layer?
 

codydee12

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Are you in a house and looking to mute your playing from the rest of your family? Or are you in an apartment where you are trying to keep the sound from bothering your neighbors?

In general, the practice is usually to decouple the sound/vibrations from your low freqs from the actual flooring to prevent it from resonating with the rest of the structure. One way to do it is to place the drums on some type of platform.

Here are two examples showing what some people have done.


Yes! Man, I saw this guy and thought that was a wild experiment. I am in a slab built house looking to keep the sound isolated from my family. I have a handful of layers on the floor but perhaps in the room itself, I could try adding another floor similar to the videos you attached.
 

codydee12

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I'm just glad to see someone else in a tiny space. I'm set up in a ten foot section of a cargo container which is also my shop. No sound issues as the 40' container is hidden in trees a hundred feet from the house.
That’s my dream - to have my own building/container of some sort. Our little 1/3 acre lot doesn’t really allow for that adventure. Haha.
 

Sequimite

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That’s my dream - to have my own building/container of some sort. Our little 1/3 acre lot doesn’t really allow for that adventure. Haha.
It's nice having a couple of acres. My dream is a little practice shed where a half dozen can get together to play. Here in Sequim we can build an 11 1/2 by 20 shed without a building permit. I've collected lots of windows for the project.
 

Downbeat

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Thanks for this insight! I have the floor lined with 2 layers of plywood, a layer of gym flooring (the thick rubber), and my drum rug. Any suggestions of another layer?
Something like this:

1616958816985.png
 

dcrigger

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Yes - bass traps will not help with transmission at all - they may improve your sound, but will have no effect on soundproofing.

Cody - you're smack dab into the 800 lb gorilla when it comes to containing the sound of drums - the low end.

In my semi-amateur opinion, I don't think your floor is the problem - concrete slabs are great performers in general and with the rubber gym floor acting as a gasket (is it on top or in the sandwich??), my guess is your floor transference is pretty low.

But let's talk walls - by three layers of drywall, are you talking one layer facing out and two in? Or one layer facing out and three in? Or what? Did you use resilient channels? And by walls, I'm also meaning ceiling as well.

Honestly regardless of the answer, it simply is probably not going to be enough.

I would expect the main limitation is that each side of your walls are sharing the same framing member. Thus the common use of room within a room construction for this - and even that you have to do right, in order for it to work. (I'm alluding to the common "more than two leafs" problem that folks can often make - assuming that more will always be more).

If you haven't I would strongly suggest joining the John Sayer's Studio Design forum - https://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/index.php This is THE place for info on this - considering that you've already invested in your build - I would post a topic regarding what you've done and see what advice you can get (from folks way more knowledgeable than I) as to what you can do moving forward. Some of it may likely not be what you want to hear - but better to know where you stand and why - before chasing after solutions that won't work and will just cost even more money.

Though - if you want to post more details (as the details define everything) here, I would glad to put in another 2 cents.
 

codydee12

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Yes - bass traps will not help with transmission at all - they may improve your sound, but will have no effect on soundproofing.

Cody - you're smack dab into the 800 lb gorilla when it comes to containing the sound of drums - the low end.

In my semi-amateur opinion, I don't think your floor is the problem - concrete slabs are great performers in general and with the rubber gym floor acting as a gasket (is it on top or in the sandwich??), my guess is your floor transference is pretty low.

But let's talk walls - by three layers of drywall, are you talking one layer facing out and two in? Or one layer facing out and three in? Or what? Did you use resilient channels? And by walls, I'm also meaning ceiling as well.

Honestly regardless of the answer, it simply is probably not going to be enough.

I would expect the main limitation is that each side of your walls are sharing the same framing member. Thus the common use of room within a room construction for this - and even that you have to do right, in order for it to work. (I'm alluding to the common "more than two leafs" problem that folks can often make - assuming that more will always be more).

If you haven't I would strongly suggest joining the John Sayer's Studio Design forum - https://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/index.php This is THE place for info on this - considering that you've already invested in your build - I would post a topic regarding what you've done and see what advice you can get (from folks way more knowledgeable than I) as to what you can do moving forward. Some of it may likely not be what you want to hear - but better to know where you stand and why - before chasing after solutions that won't work and will just cost even more money.

Though - if you want to post more details (as the details define everything) here, I would glad to put in another 2 cents.
Thank you so much for this insight! Here are a few more details:
1) it is a room within a room - my office is at the front of the house with its own door. As you walk in, you are greeted with another door a few feet in - the drum room.
2) the walls (and the ceiling) are comprised of one 5/8 outer drywall, r13 insulation between 2x4s, 16 off center, layer of 5/8 drywall, green glue, 5/8 drywall and then sound paneling.
3) the floor is 2 layers of 3/4 OSB, green glue, 3/4 rubber gym flooring, drum rug
4) the door is a solid core door (truthfully, I think this is most of the sound transition)
5) ventilation is a 4” hole in the ceiling connected to a 6 feet of insulated tubing that is housed in a drywall box with more insulation surrounding the snaked tubing.
6) I put weather stripping inside the door jamb and a layer or leftover rubber flooring/weather stripping to line the door jamb.
7) I have 4 inches between the drum room walls and the two interior walls that it is closes to. The other walls of the home are at least 5 feet away.

I will certainly check out the forum you mentioned!

With that added detail, your 2 cents is invited and anticipated!

Thanks again for everyone helping very grateful for the DFO community.
 

dcrigger

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Thank you so much for this insight! Here are a few more details:
1) it is a room within a room - my office is at the front of the house with its own door. As you walk in, you are greeted with another door a few feet in - the drum room.
2) the walls (and the ceiling) are comprised of one 5/8 outer drywall, r13 insulation between 2x4s, 16 off center, layer of 5/8 drywall, green glue, 5/8 drywall and then sound paneling.
3) the floor is 2 layers of 3/4 OSB, green glue, 3/4 rubber gym flooring, drum rug
4) the door is a solid core door (truthfully, I think this is most of the sound transition)
5) ventilation is a 4” hole in the ceiling connected to a 6 feet of insulated tubing that is housed in a drywall box with more insulation surrounding the snaked tubing.
6) I put weather stripping inside the door jamb and a layer or leftover rubber flooring/weather stripping to line the door jamb.
7) I have 4 inches between the drum room walls and the two interior walls that it is closes to. The other walls of the home are at least 5 feet away.

I will certainly check out the forum you mentioned!

With that added detail, your 2 cents is invited and anticipated!

Thanks again for everyone helping very grateful for the DFO community.
OK - thanks for all of that info. So please take everything I'm going to write in the speculative, amateur trying to help way that it is intended. My main advice is to get some advice from those that really know what they are talking about - again cheapest way.... John Sayer's site.

So I would call what you've done is more build a booth within a room more than traditional room within a room construction style. But looking at it from a room within a room build perspective (which is about the only way anyone ever contains drums). There are ways you've deviated from common practice that may or may not (again amateur writing here) be compromising your results.

So to review - the basic idea of "room within a room" as I understand it is this... from inside out there are the following components (describing walls at this point.... 1. your family you're trying to keep the sound away from - then 2. the outer wall made up of one, two or three sheets of drywall type material sheathing the OUTER face of the wall framing - that sheathing can be a sandwich of drywall, lead sheeting, green glue - but whatever it is it is all stuck on the outside of that outer wall. 3. An air space - actually a closed air space - no leaking into the inner space or the outer space (I get we have to make exceptions to that for ventilation, electrical, etc. but the idea is still an enclosed air space. then 4. The inner wall... again some sort of sheathing sandwich, this is time placed entirely on the INSIDE of the wall then 5. the noisy thumping drums.

The point is - and there's lots of discussion and articles on this on that site - between the noisy drums and the people you don't want to hear them, the idea is to have three things Two big heavy, dense, dampened sandwiches of building material separated/decoupled by an air space. This is what is referred to as having two leafs (each sandwich being a leaf).

I believe you may four. the inside of the inner wall, the outside of the inner wall, the inside of the outer wall and the outside of the outer wall.

As you can tell, it is not as though your material arranged that way will have no effect - obviously it is. But possibly that same material arranged differently would produce a better response.

That said - even if you had removed the drywall comprising those extra leafs - I'm afraid that you were still underestimating what it would take to stop drums.

And you're right - no matter how well you do the walls, ceiling and floor - doors and windows are always the weak link. And remember this system relies on your outer wall as much as the inner. Thus the door to the booth matter - but so does that one to the rest of the house (or is that outdoors). Same bit with that window - though that's going to be more a neighbor problem than an in the house problem.

This can be done. Though I doubt to the point of not hearing the drums at all - that's very hard to pull off particularly in a residential space. But as an example, 20+ years ago, I built a two room studio in an attached garage. And you could walk outside that space while drums were roaring inside and it sounded like being outside someone's house and you can tell the TV or stereo is on. Now walk around to where the door to that building was and it was quite a bit louder (but door pointed away from the neighbors, so it worked fine).

So what was the basic construction - the outer shell was 2/4's covered in stucco - inside that I built an entirely separate structure - walls with ceiling joists setting on top of them. The walls sat on 1/2" neoprene rubber - and were bolted to the slab with rubber gasketed fasteners (so there was play - but they couldn't "get away" in an earthquake). All of that inner and outer framing and air gap (about an inch or so) was then stuff with fiberglass. then the inner walls were covered with a sandwich of 5/8" drywall - 1/2" sound board and 5/8" drywall. Each wall had it's own door and threshold (all sealed and weather stripped) - and each of those door were made of Two solid core doors bolted together. So a sandwich of two 1-3/4" solid doors for the inner wall and another for the outer wall.

Needless to say - there were no windows to the outside. Though there was a window between the two rooms - and that was as time consuming and complicated to put together as anything else was - but even that was two leafs - inner and outer.

And don't get me wrong - I totally get how daunting this stuff is - short of hiring someone that really really really knows what they are doing, you never really no how it's going to turn out.

I spent 9 months building that old studio - I didn't know to the last few days of finishing it how good the sound-proofing scheme was going to work. Because you can't tell until every last hole is caulked and door seal is installed. Because supposedly a one inch hole in a whole will let as much sound pass as an 8 foot hole - it is very daunting for sure.

Anyway - that's all I got - which I'm afraid in a practical sense was 100% unhelpful - except to say - get on Sayer's site and see if they can be any help.

Best of luck - David
 

amosguy

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codydee12

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OK - thanks for all of that info. So please take everything I'm going to write in the speculative, amateur trying to help way that it is intended. My main advice is to get some advice from those that really know what they are talking about - again cheapest way.... John Sayer's site.

So I would call what you've done is more build a booth within a room more than traditional room within a room construction style. But looking at it from a room within a room build perspective (which is about the only way anyone ever contains drums). There are ways you've deviated from common practice that may or may not (again amateur writing here) be compromising your results.

So to review - the basic idea of "room within a room" as I understand it is this... from inside out there are the following components (describing walls at this point.... 1. your family you're trying to keep the sound away from - then 2. the outer wall made up of one, two or three sheets of drywall type material sheathing the OUTER face of the wall framing - that sheathing can be a sandwich of drywall, lead sheeting, green glue - but whatever it is it is all stuck on the outside of that outer wall. 3. An air space - actually a closed air space - no leaking into the inner space or the outer space (I get we have to make exceptions to that for ventilation, electrical, etc. but the idea is still an enclosed air space. then 4. The inner wall... again some sort of sheathing sandwich, this is time placed entirely on the INSIDE of the wall then 5. the noisy thumping drums.

The point is - and there's lots of discussion and articles on this on that site - between the noisy drums and the people you don't want to hear them, the idea is to have three things Two big heavy, dense, dampened sandwiches of building material separated/decoupled by an air space. This is what is referred to as having two leafs (each sandwich being a leaf).

I believe you may four. the inside of the inner wall, the outside of the inner wall, the inside of the outer wall and the outside of the outer wall.

As you can tell, it is not as though your material arranged that way will have no effect - obviously it is. But possibly that same material arranged differently would produce a better response.

That said - even if you had removed the drywall comprising those extra leafs - I'm afraid that you were still underestimating what it would take to stop drums.

And you're right - no matter how well you do the walls, ceiling and floor - doors and windows are always the weak link. And remember this system relies on your outer wall as much as the inner. Thus the door to the booth matter - but so does that one to the rest of the house (or is that outdoors). Same bit with that window - though that's going to be more a neighbor problem than an in the house problem.

This can be done. Though I doubt to the point of not hearing the drums at all - that's very hard to pull off particularly in a residential space. But as an example, 20+ years ago, I built a two room studio in an attached garage. And you could walk outside that space while drums were roaring inside and it sounded like being outside someone's house and you can tell the TV or stereo is on. Now walk around to where the door to that building was and it was quite a bit louder (but door pointed away from the neighbors, so it worked fine).

So what was the basic construction - the outer shell was 2/4's covered in stucco - inside that I built an entirely separate structure - walls with ceiling joists setting on top of them. The walls sat on 1/2" neoprene rubber - and were bolted to the slab with rubber gasketed fasteners (so there was play - but they couldn't "get away" in an earthquake). All of that inner and outer framing and air gap (about an inch or so) was then stuff with fiberglass. then the inner walls were covered with a sandwich of 5/8" drywall - 1/2" sound board and 5/8" drywall. Each wall had it's own door and threshold (all sealed and weather stripped) - and each of those door were made of Two solid core doors bolted together. So a sandwich of two 1-3/4" solid doors for the inner wall and another for the outer wall.

Needless to say - there were no windows to the outside. Though there was a window between the two rooms - and that was as time consuming and complicated to put together as anything else was - but even that was two leafs - inner and outer.

And don't get me wrong - I totally get how daunting this stuff is - short of hiring someone that really really really knows what they are doing, you never really no how it's going to turn out.

I spent 9 months building that old studio - I didn't know to the last few days of finishing it how good the sound-proofing scheme was going to work. Because you can't tell until every last hole is caulked and door seal is installed. Because supposedly a one inch hole in a whole will let as much sound pass as an 8 foot hole - it is very daunting for sure.

Anyway - that's all I got - which I'm afraid in a practical sense was 100% unhelpful - except to say - get on Sayer's site and see if they can be any help.

Best of luck - David
That is really helpful! I am wondering if something like mass loaded vinyl to the outer layer then another layer of drywall would help. I recognize there are several other items you also listed that I have not done but I am trying to think of what steps can be taken at this point without going through and stripping it down to the original floor again. haha.
 


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