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

Targalx

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I just bought the Zildjian L80 + Silent Stroke pack. (The first brand new Zildjian cymbals I've ever bought—I've had dozens of Zildjians in my life and none were ever new.) Waiting for the box to arrive to try it out in my condo. What should I expect from this setup? I'm into the idea of "real quiet" as Ox Han said.
 

Tornado

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I just bought the Zildjian L80 + Silent Stroke pack. (The first brand new Zildjian cymbals I've ever bought—I've had dozens of Zildjians in my life and none were ever new.) Waiting for the box to arrive to try it out in my condo. What should I expect from this setup? I'm into the idea of "real quiet" as Ox Han said.
I walked into a Guitar Center a few years ago without ever having heard of them, saw a kit set up with L80s and Silent Strokes. I was blown away at how quiet they were. They are really cool products. The Silent Strokes are way bouncier than a real head, but the L80s are metal and feel like metal. Pads on cymbals just feel terrible to me, and the L80s are pretty damn close to a real cymbal as far as feel.

I just took a chance on the cheap new Wuhan low volume cymbals, and should get them tomorrow. I expect the Wuhans will be a little louder than the L80s. I'm still really impressed with how quiet they are.
 
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DrummerAt125

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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?
It'll be an outbuilding in the garden that's getting constructed with significant acoustic treatment. That'll manage most of the volume, I'm just working on the mantra that 'every little helps' so if I can reduce the drum's volume by an extra 10% by choice of heads, another 10% by drum depths, etc.
 

DrummerAt125

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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.
I should clarify, I’m not looking at muted heads, instead when I mentioned heads I was talking more in terms of coated versus clear, and 1 versus 2 ply, what heads would be quietest?
 

Deafmoon

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Here’s the only real answer I know...go find a different space. Unless you are going to invest heavily in sub flooring, dead space under a drop ceiling and staggered beams for a second wall all the way around, you are going to get leakage. Even then, it will still seep through. Electronic kits could help, mesh heads or rTom heads could help or marching out 1000 yards into the woods would help too. But seriously, if you could rent a space in a basement room of a closed office building at night, you will be more focused and at ease in rehearsing. I know it’s another expense but I remember a few of my bands doing this and splitting the share every month.
 

owr

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My advice would be to switch to Bluegrass, that will help a lot...

Joking aside, if you are actually building the structure, there is a lot you can do that will help much more than gear selection, but it's generally not cheap. With that said, being very selective on what you do can make a difference. You need good physics, not necessarily expensive specialty products. Lots of threads from the last year on here or even more in the general internet world.

Good luck and have fun!
 

Ox Han

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It'll be an outbuilding in the garden that's getting constructed with significant acoustic treatment. That'll manage most of the volume, I'm just working on the mantra that 'every little helps' so if I can reduce the drum's volume by an extra 10% by choice of heads, another 10% by drum depths, etc.
If you’re building a new construction then hopefully you’re doing it right and won’t need to do anything else.

When it comes to regular cymbals and heads, they are all pretty much the same in terms of volume and what spills out of a space. Maybe Sabian FRX will cut a few db’s? I don’t think it would be significant.
 
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Ox Han

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I just bought the Zildjian L80 + Silent Stroke pack. (The first brand new Zildjian cymbals I've ever bought—I've had dozens of Zildjians in my life and none were ever new.) Waiting for the box to arrive to try it out in my condo. What should I expect from this setup? I'm into the idea of "real quiet" as Ox Han said.
The L80’s are pretty great for practice. They really are quiet and feel like cymbals. Your set up will be fine. You might still have issues with tapping sounds or a stomping sound with your downstairs neighbor if you have one, but you can get away with that much more easily and later into the evening.

That said, I thought the silent strikes were a pain. They lacked tone and are very springy. And they replace the real heads. You’ll spend a lot of time changing heads and retuning to play real drums. RTOM Black holes keep the tone of your actual drum head as they just slip over it. I thought they had a more realistic feel than the silent strokes and they can be adjusted for feel. The tone of the RTOM comes from the real drum head underneath. As always YMMV

You’ll achieve what you want with your setup through. No worries on that front
 
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Elvis

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Use any kit you want....all you have to do is put Remo Silentstroke heads on the batter sides and fit the stands with Zidjian L80 cymbals.
It'll still make some noise, but it will be MUCH quieter than your normal setup.

Elvis
 

Targalx

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The L80’s are pretty great for practice. They really are quiet and feel like cymbals. Your set up will be fine. You might still have issues with tapping sounds or a stomping sound with your downstairs neighbor if you have one, but you can get away with that much more easily and later into the evening.
Good to know! No neighbor above/below me, just one next door to me (I only share 1 wall with the neighbor, as I'm the end unit of the condo building).

Yeah, I'll try the Silent Strokes out and see how they feel. The only problem is that I bought the head and cymbals together as one package. If I don't like the heads, I hope I can return them separately and keep the cymbals.
 

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Why is everyone so talking about sound leakage and low volume heads and cymbals? OP doesn’t care about either! He’s looking for a good start to not have the house drums overpower the rest of the band. Real drums, heads, and cymbals. Leakage not an issue. Lmao. Everybody’s like “The neighbors want you to get L80’s” wtf?

There isn’t gonna be a huge difference, but some drums are thought of as louder. Oak is known for its loudness, metal drums... I’d go for mahogany, it’s mellow and likely to feel ‘quieter’. Gretsch Catalina would be a good quality, affordable house kit. The 30 degree edges mellow things out a bit too. If budget is unlimited, C&C Player Dates? 30 degree or roundover edges would be good, it’s a more fuzzy, less in your face sound.

Maybe try coated 2-ply over coated 2-ply. It’ll be fat, but muted. A good rock/metal sound too. Studio rings bring things right down a notch too, and would work well for your needs.

Thin, large cymbals. Bigger isn’t louder, it’s less cutting generally. Thin, big crashes are much more laid back than thicker, smaller cymbals. Lightweight cymbals get out of the way faster and dont crowd. Go as mellow and thin as you can without getting too jazzy - K lights? Kerope? Istanbul? Idk, but thin/light and large will be a good place to start (15 or 16” hats, 18 and 20” crashes, 22 or 24” ride?)

You’re best choice though will be a drummer with dynamics. It sounds like you need someone who can play with a light touch and still get some feeling and intensity. That’ll come down to the drummer. But yeah, may as well give him or her the best start you can so they’re not fighting a megaloud kit.
 

bpaluzzi

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Why is everyone so talking about sound leakage and low volume heads and cymbals? OP doesn’t care about either! He’s looking for a good start to not have the house drums overpower the rest of the band. Real drums, heads, and cymbals. Leakage not an issue. Lmao. Everybody’s like “The neighbors want you to get L80’s” wtf?
Maybe try reading the original post again. Slower this time.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Maybe try reading the original post again. Slower this time.
Me?!? You mean 96% of the replies! I reads good. (My reading comprehension is even better than my drumming) He wants a quiet-er, real kit with real cymbals. He’s worried about the guitar and bass having to go to 11 to compete with drums. He doesn’t want the drums to dominate the room, thereby requiring the band to get even louder. He mentions being kind to the neighbors in that context, he doesn’t want the band to have to get all beast-mode. Not asking how to make the building quiet for the neighbors, or alternatives to real drums, or any of that. His acoustic treatment and the space and materials and design is going to dictate leakage to outside.

“How do I keep real drums and real cymbals at a 7, so the whole band can play at a 7? What’s the best acoustic kit and head combo to do that?” That’s the OP’s question! No mesh heads, no flour-sifting cymbals, no e-kits. Instead, he promptly gets an in-depth analysis of every mesh head, a discussion of low volume cymbals, and architectural advice lmao. Literally everything he didn’t ask for.
 

bpaluzzi

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Me?!? You mean 96% of the replies! I reads good. (My reading comprehension is even better than my drumming) He wants a quiet-er, real kit with real cymbals. He’s worried about the guitar and bass having to go to 11 to compete with drums. He doesn’t want the drums to dominate the room, thereby requiring the band to get even louder. He mentions being kind to the neighbors in that context, he doesn’t want the band to have to get all beast-mode. Not asking how to make the building quiet for the neighbors, or alternatives to real drums, or any of that. His acoustic treatment and the space and materials and design is going to dictate leakage to outside.

“How do I keep real drums and real cymbals at a 7, so the whole band can play at a 7? What’s the best acoustic kit and head combo to do that?” That’s the OP’s question! No mesh heads, no flour-sifting cymbals, no e-kits. Instead, he promptly gets an in-depth analysis of every mesh head, a discussion of low volume cymbals, and architectural advice lmao. Literally everything he didn’t ask for.
Doubling down, eh? Wow. Interesting strategy.
Here’s the direct quote from the original poster:
“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.”
 

DrummerAt125

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Why is everyone so talking about sound leakage and low volume heads and cymbals? OP doesn’t care about either! He’s looking for a good start to not have the house drums overpower the rest of the band. Real drums, heads, and cymbals. Leakage not an issue. Lmao. Everybody’s like “The neighbors want you to get L80’s” wtf?

There isn’t gonna be a huge difference, but some drums are thought of as louder. Oak is known for its loudness, metal drums... I’d go for mahogany, it’s mellow and likely to feel ‘quieter’. Gretsch Catalina would be a good quality, affordable house kit. The 30 degree edges mellow things out a bit too. If budget is unlimited, C&C Player Dates? 30 degree or roundover edges would be good, it’s a more fuzzy, less in your face sound.

Maybe try coated 2-ply over coated 2-ply. It’ll be fat, but muted. A good rock/metal sound too. Studio rings bring things right down a notch too, and would work well for your needs.

Thin, large cymbals. Bigger isn’t louder, it’s less cutting generally. Thin, big crashes are much more laid back than thicker, smaller cymbals. Lightweight cymbals get out of the way faster and dont crowd. Go as mellow and thin as you can without getting too jazzy - K lights? Kerope? Istanbul? Idk, but thin/light and large will be a good place to start (15 or 16” hats, 18 and 20” crashes, 22 or 24” ride?)

You’re best choice though will be a drummer with dynamics. It sounds like you need someone who can play with a light touch and still get some feeling and intensity. That’ll come down to the drummer. But yeah, may as well give him or her the best start you can so they’re not fighting a megaloud kit.
The end goal is to reduce the volume of the rehearsing, so that my neighbours are less influenced.
However, your suggestions are the sort of thing that I’m after.

I’ve not played 2-ply over 2-ply before (currently I use UV2 over Clear Amb) but I can make that switch.

It’s not an unlimited budget, but the building will be built by a professional company who specialise in studio construction. They reckon it’ll give about 50dB reduction which would mean that if you’re outside you’d still just about hear what was going on inside, so I’m trying to think of little things that can help a small amount extra, like say choosing birch because it’s less bassy and it’s the bass that escapes a room more.

For example, using Auralex stands underneath the guitar amps and such.

However, seeing as we’re on drumforum I’m asking about the drum specific stuff :)
 

Supernoodle

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In my experience any acoustic kit played with sticks will be extremely loud. Drum heads and sizes, small sticks, etc... make no substantial difference. It is possible to play quietly but few drummers can do it without losing feel/fun.

 
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ThomasL

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It'll be an outbuilding in the garden that's getting constructed with significant acoustic treatment. That'll manage most of the volume, I'm just working on the mantra that 'every little helps' so if I can reduce the drum's volume by an extra 10% by choice of heads, another 10% by drum depths, etc.
Just to clarify: acoustic treatment is about making the acoustics inside the room pleasant by avoiding standing waves, flutter echo etc. It doesn't reduce the volume a whole lot. It does cut down the highs that sound harsh inside the room, but those are generally not the ones that escape and disturb neighbors. Sound proofing is something completely different.
 

DrummerAt125

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Just to clarify: acoustic treatment is about making the acoustics inside the room pleasant by avoiding standing waves, flutter echo etc. It doesn't reduce the volume a whole lot. It does cut down the highs that sound harsh inside the room, but those are generally not the ones that escape and disturb neighbors. Sound proofing is something completely different.
Acoustic treatment AND sound proofing is what I should have said. Moreso the later.
 

Tornado

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It’s not an unlimited budget, but the building will be built by a professional company who specialise in studio construction. They reckon it’ll give about 50dB reduction which would mean that if you’re outside you’d still just about hear what was going on inside, so I’m trying to think of little things that can help a small amount extra, like say choosing birch because it’s less bassy and it’s the bass that escapes a room more.

50dB of reduction is incredible. I hope I'm not telling you what you already know, but every 10dB of reduction equals about a 50% reduction in volume. So if it's 100dB Inside the building, it's about 1/32 of the volume outside. At 50dB, the volume is equivalent to that of an indoor conversation. Really man, that room gets built and it does what the builder claims, you're done.

Yes, some drums may produce more or less of certain frequencies, but not to the degree that it makes one bit of difference in your situation. Tell your bass player to turn down. Stick some laundry in your kick. Done.
 


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