How to set up drum room to reduce noise for neighbors

just_a_bucket

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I'll be renting a house in a suburb, and want to design a drum room as to reasonably reduce what the neighbors hear. Since I'm renting this place, building a room within a room or otherwise permanently altering the room is not an option. I'd also like to keep it somewhat affordable, and don't expect to completely sound proof the room - I simply want to reduce the noise my neighbors hear while I'm playing during non-quiet hours. This room will mostly be for solo practice, though I do intend to occasionally jam/record in there as well.

I was already considering acoustic panels, bass traps, hanging insulated curtains over the windows, and putting a draft stopper at the door's base. From what little I know, it appears these measures are more geared for changing the noise within the room... will they make any appreciable difference for the neighbors as well?
It's a pretty standard sized bedroom, and it currently has carpeting. I have the option of changing the carpet to hardwood, which I believe would be better for recording, but I expect that would go against my main goal of sound reduction. What additional steps should I take/what materials should I purchase? Thanks for your advice!
 

Tornado

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Most of that will not have an appreciable difference to the sound coming out of your house. The heavy curtains may help cut some of the higher frequencies from getting out of your windows.

Your biggest problem is the low frequencies. The only thing that really stops them is mass, and your room needs to be pretty tight to keep sound from escaping. Focus on the windows, that's your biggest leaker of sound. You might be able to build window plugs that are dense and tight fitting.
 

Deafmoon

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If you are not going to build a room inside the room, its impossible to jam in there with respect to neighbors quiet. Unless you can alter your schedule around your neighbors schedule, neighbors will hear it. One answer I found over my 50 years was to take 5 guys and split the cost of rent in some space in an office building and rehearse and jam at night. You will have alot of questions to answer though because most management does not rent space to musicians. They generally think noise, alcohol, drugs, parties. So you have to find the right management. But they are out there and once you find a place where by 7pm the buildings a ghost town, you can play til whatever time the local laws allow.
 

Matched Gripper

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Most of that will not have an appreciable difference to the sound coming out of your house. The heavy curtains may help cut some of the higher frequencies from getting out of your windows.

Your biggest problem is the low frequencies. The only thing that really stops them is mass, and your room needs to be pretty tight to keep sound from escaping. Focus on the windows, that's your biggest leaker of sound. You might be able to build window plugs that are dense and tight fitting.
To the OP, agree that the window(s) is/are the biggest source of noise leak. I know that impact windows do an excellent job of keeping sound out. I would think they would also do an excellent job of keeping sound in.

But, assuming you have the owner’s consent, do uou want to spend that much on a rental house? A large window can cost up to $1,000.
 

Tommy D

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Fill the windows with Roxul and hang heavy sound absorbing curtains around the whole room. That's about the best you can do with a rental. Or... buy an electronic kit. At least with the electronic kit you can jam until all hours and you can still have light in the room.
 

Vistalite Black

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If the O.P. has ever been annoyed at a stoplight by a nearby car with a subwoofer actually making your car vibrate, that's what you're up against. You may be able to cut the drum noise your neighbors hear, but they may still be annoyed by your bass drum rattling their dishes.

I hate to say it, but you might consider an electronic kit.

 

BobDrummer

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I just re did my garage to make a music room. Took out the garage door and walled it in with an entry door, put big thick curtains over the windows. Haven’t had a complaint yet, but I’m also at least 100 feet from the nearest neighbor. How close are you?
 

hefty

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e- kit or mesh (silent) heads on the drums and low volume cymbals.
Yeah pretty much this^. Or just go talk to your new neighbors and find out what works for them, if anything.

My neighbors are very close-- on one side about 12 feet separates my house from my neighbor's. And my house is 100 years old with thin windows in the basement where I play. But I haven't had a single complaint in 20 years, playing a regular kit almost daily. Partly I have really great neighbors... But I also keep my playing time to a strict window of about 5 - 6:30pm and rarely play more than an hour at a time.
 

Vintage Old School

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I'd recommend building several freestanding "walls" within the room (essentially making it a room within a room) using the type of drywall used in THX movie theaters. It's not a sound proof solution, but it will significantly reduce the amount of noise, especially if you hang some heavy duty sound blankets over them. When you move out, it's a quick disassembly and the room is back to its original condition.
 

JazzyJeff

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Avoid Indow window inserts at all costs. Garbage.
you’re only solutions here, as others have said, are an eKit, a pod (expensive), or a remote storage facility/empty space that is sympathetic to musicians.
Space helps - the further the neighbors are away, the less overall annoyance.
 

robthetimekeeper

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If you practice less than an hour a day in the afternoon, you should be fine.
In my experience, neighbors mostly complain if it's non-stop or at bad times.
Being friendly and respectful to your neighbors will stop most complaints before they start.
 

Ox Han

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I'll be renting a house in a suburb, and want to design a drum room as to reasonably reduce what the neighbors hear. Since I'm renting this place, building a room within a room or otherwise permanently altering the room is not an option. I'd also like to keep it somewhat affordable, and don't expect to completely sound proof the room - I simply want to reduce the noise my neighbors hear while I'm playing during non-quiet hours. This room will mostly be for solo practice, though I do intend to occasionally jam/record in there as well.

I was already considering acoustic panels, bass traps, hanging insulated curtains over the windows, and putting a draft stopper at the door's base. From what little I know, it appears these measures are more geared for changing the noise within the room... will they make any appreciable difference for the neighbors as well?
It's a pretty standard sized bedroom, and it currently has carpeting. I have the option of changing the carpet to hardwood, which I believe would be better for recording, but I expect that would go against my main goal of sound reduction. What additional steps should I take/what materials should I purchase? Thanks for your advice!
What's your budget? give us a dollar figure or a price range that isn't too broad.

Really though, Deafmoon & TommyD basically have told you all you need to know. To paraphrase; First, if you aren't building a room in a room, you are not soundproofing. Second, electronic drums will be the easiest, and possibly cheapest, solution

Acoustics panels, roxul/fiberglass, etc... don't reduce noise escaping. These things just make the room sound better.

Electronic drums are the way to go. Or, you could try something like practice cymbals and mesh heads. Agean make very nice, and expensive, practice cymbals and the RTOM black hole heads are pretty good for practice. But these might still be too loud at night

One last suggestion, if you have the cash, is to buy something like the taytrix 8x8 room. But it ain't cheap and while it will be pretty quiet, it isn't "soundproof".

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Good luck
 

Tornado

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I don't think it's futile, as long as (and he already said so in the OP) the goal isn't total soundproofing. The difference between tolerable and intolerable for the neighbors might only be a few dB in reduction. And so going with an "every little bit helps" mindset, there's no harm in making some common sense improvements to the room. Covering the windows with something really dense would be where I would start. It may be diminishing returns after that though.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I've found that if I don't drum too early or late, and if I sound really good, I don't get complaints. In fact, I usually get compliments.
To new neighbors: "Sorry about the hours of drumming."
"No problem. It sounds great. If it were terrible, that would be different."
"Well, thanks. Nonetheless, I promise to not practice or schedule lessons late."
 

Pat A Flafla

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I don't think it's futile, as long as (and he already said so in the OP) the goal isn't total soundproofing. The difference between tolerable and intolerable for the neighbors might only be a few dB in reduction. And so going with an "every little bit helps" mindset, there's no harm in making some common sense improvements to the room. Covering the windows with something really dense would be where I would start. It may be diminishing returns after that though.
Growing up, it was mostly about making it tolerable for my family members. Mom said it helped a lot when I packed the bottom of the door with towels and flipped my mattress in front of it. I was drumming loudly 2-3 hours a day, so I guess it was the least I could do.
 

Tornado

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Growing up, it was mostly about making it tolerable for my family members. Mom said it helped a lot when I packed the bottom of the door with towels and flipped my mattress in front of it. I was drumming loudly 2-3 hours a day, so I guess it was the least I could do.
Exactly. I mean, the difference between even an open hollow core door and a closed one inside your house is huge. Let's not throw our hands up because it's impractical to achieve total silence. You just have to be realistic about it, and know you're still not going to be able to play at midnight.
 

mebeatee

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Before buying and building.....have you spoken to or met (with) your neighbours?
Ya never know.....one of them could already have a music room you aspire to....and need a drummer...
It's possible to luck out so you can do (a) minimal amount....if your neighbours are cool or even a trade off.
During this last year and a half my neighbours complained about the lack of sounds emanating from our house. There's no real super sound dampening of any kind really and I taught drums 4 daze a week and had some rehearsals here as well. My partner had a marimba band and a Balkan singing group that practised here also. It was known as the neighbourhood music house. I've had some drumming folks over in the past month with thumbs up and smiles from the neighbours..... My partner has had her singing group distanced on the back deck and again all good....but then again acapella Balkan music wafting through the air is a sound to behold....unlike bipwhomptingkerplunk.....flam rest...
I have a friend whose neighbour has a small wood mill so there's a nice trade off...plus they can jam....my friends chainsaw guitar tone and a band saw next door......my kind of nieghbourhood soundscape...;)

Quasi unlikely situations...very lucky on our part really...but any open communication is paramount in nieghbourhood noise issues so they don't become issues. And again ya never know what lurks in the nieghbourhood....the guitarist of your dreams, a vocalist who doesn't need tambourine, a tambourine virtuoso....
bt
 


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