The quietest kit? What to stick in a rehearsal room.

DrummerAt125

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Hello,

I’m kitting out a rehearsal room. As we all know, it’s generally the loudness of the drums that brings up the volume of everything else to match it. In short, manage the volume of the drum kit and you manage the volume of the room as a whole. I appreciate there are other variables but that’s a topic for another day.

So, taking a look at specifically the drums, I ask the question; “What would be the quietest?”

To explain the question further, I don’t mean what brand or specific model, nor do I mean acoustic v electric. And I’m moreso thinking about the residual noise which’ll escape into the surrounding area, rather than the internal volume in the room. I’m trying to be kind to my neighbours you see. Looking solely at acoustic conventional kits, I’m seeking advice on:

-Depths
-Wood/Material
-Head Ply/Style
-Miscellaneous

that would result in a noise reduction externally. At this stage, I’m not considering electric kits, mesh heads, or other non-conventional options. I will be doing muffling and other such things to further manage the volume of whichever kit gets used, but I’d like to start with the best option. Cymbals are a different topic which I’ll manage separately.

Genre is rock/metal. Normally, I play a Pearl Masters Birch 22/12/14 with a 14” brass snare. I’m feeling like a 20/12/14 with 14” wood snare might be a good starting point, but it’s the depths/head/wood choices which I’m unsure of.

Over to you!
 

Dumpy

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Isolation from the floor could be a start if you’re not considering mesh heads or e-kits. It’s the boom connecting to a solid floor that will make it resonate. There is a tutorial on making a tennis ball floor some place. I use L80 Zildjian cymbals and it seriously quiets the kit.

My fun trick is to play mesh heads with reso heads on. You do get implied sounds. I use the Roland trigger/mics to amplify the sound.

Some people take the reso heads off, but you can get pretty barky sounds from concert toms. You could make practice heads that use Kemmler gel underneath so you have a muffled head. Never tried that, myself. I use the Kemmler foam to pad my goalie masks and make mods to equipment when padding is either worn or lacking. It does muffle the sound of a puck hitting me in the mask.

These are points to jump from, and by no means a total solution. But my contribution that I stand behind is isolating the kit from the floor.
 

DrummerAt125

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Isolation from the floor could be a start if you’re not considering mesh heads or e-kits. It’s the boom connecting to a solid floor that will make it resonate. There is a tutorial on making a tennis ball floor some place. I use L80 Zildjian cymbals and it seriously quiets the kit.

My fun trick is to play mesh heads with reso heads on. You do get implied sounds. I use the Roland trigger/mics to amplify the sound.

Some people take the reso heads off, but you can get pretty barky sounds from concert toms. You could make practice heads that use Kemmler gel underneath so you have a muffled head. Never tried that, myself. I use the Kemmler foam to pad my goalie masks and make mods to equipment when padding is either worn or lacking. It does muffle the sound of a puck hitting me in the mask.

These are points to jump from, and by no means a total solution. But my contribution that I stand behind is isolating the kit from the floor.
Floor isolation is something which had slipped my mind but is a very good point!
 

Dumpy

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@DrummerAt125 Cover your drum riser with a heavy rubber pad, then carpet. Treat the bottom the same way to enhance isolation. And maybe a 60s Stencil kit.
 

Ox Han

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Can you tell us more about the space? Is it in an apartment building, your home and what kind of home, or business park/stripmall?

Do you have a budget?
 

deegeebee

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I think for Rock/Metal genres muffling is going to be much more effective at reducing overall volume than choice of size or wood, and still not out of line with the style of music. Muffle it enough and it doesn't much matter what the kit is. That and basic room treatment.
 

Dumpy

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I think for Rock/Metal genres muffling is going to be much more effective at reducing overall volume than choice of size or wood, and still not out of line with the style of music. Muffle it enough and it doesn't much matter what the kit is. That and basic room treatment.
If everyone buys into going direct into the PA, that would reduce volume by s fair bit.
 

dboomer

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There are primarily two ways sound escapes from your practice room ... vibrations through the air and vibrations through the ground (or other solids). Vibrations through the ground go a lot further and vibrations through the air attenuate very quickly.
 

Ox Han

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Is a 20” bass drum quieter than a 22” ?
No

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news to many of you, but muffling and drum shell material aren't really going to make an audible impact in terms of how much noise/vibration escapes the room. Sizes might, but I'd be willing to bet if neighbors hear a 22/13/16 they will hear 18/12/14 almost as much. Maybe slight less shaking, but all drums will go through the walls/floor/ceiling about the same.
 

Houndog

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No

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news to many of you, but muffling and drum shell material aren't really going to make an audible impact in terms of how much noise/vibration escapes the room. Sizes might, but I'd be willing to bet if neighbors hear a 22/13/16 they will hear 18/12/14 almost as much. Maybe slight less shaking, but all drums will go through the walls/floor/ceiling about the same.
Yup , this subject has been discussed several times .

But nevertheless,here we go ....
 

Squirrel Man

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I used mesh heads and they were fine. Rebound is a little different but not enough that you couldn't get a workout on them. I don't need them now but would readily go back to them if I had to.
 

Ox Han

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I was waiting until the OP could clarify budget and space details, but.....

To reduce the volume of your drums the best bang for buck is going to be practice heads and practice cymbals. Everyone else in your band has a volume knob. I think the RTOM black hole heads sound better and feel better than the remo silent strokes. They also just slip right over your drum heads, so you don't have to change heads and you can go from practice to full fledged ROCK OUT in a minute or two.

Zildjian L80 are pretty good but really quiet. If you have the cash I'd go for the agean silent R. They sound more realistic and still much more quiet than real cymbals. They are more expensive though. That should get you in a good practice zone. Good luck
 

Tornado

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that would result in a noise reduction externally. At this stage, I’m not considering electric kits, mesh heads, or other non-conventional options. I will be doing muffling and other such things to further manage the volume of whichever kit gets used, but I’d like to start with the best option. Cymbals are a different topic which I’ll manage separately.
Without going to mesh heads, your only real option is something like Aquarian Super Pads, RTOM Black Holes, or SoundOff Pads (the cheapest option). There's just nothing else that's going to work, and that's the hard truth of it. I wish it weren't so.
 


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