Drums in apartment?

need some ideas

Long time no post… My name was no longer registered. But I’ve been at college and have not been able to record.

I’m now a freshman in college and I was unable to bring my drums/ recording stuff which is a real drag. (At least I got my guitar/bass/trumpet here). Next year I’ll be living in an apartment, but I know the noise is going to be an issue, so I can’t bring my kit.

But does anyone have any suggestions about rigging up a silent kit? Thanks. I miss the feeling of hitting stuff with sticks.

Quote (SteveM @ Nov. 01 2004,16:39)
But does anyone have any suggestions about rigging up a silent kit? Thanks. I miss the feeling of hitting stuff with sticks.

Hey, you pobably already know about all the new elctronic kits that have just as good if not better sound then acuostic ones.--I don't like them either way, just an idea.
Anyway, most drummers I know(myself included) try to rent a place in the sticks, so no-one care's about the noise.
There are ways to minimize the amount of sound that travels out of your room. First make sure there's a carpet on the floor, the more padding down there the better. You can tape gause pads to the skins (usually helps muffle some of the sound.) or drap a sheet over the toms, pillow case on the snare ect.
There's also things like isolation booths you can build out of stirophome, plexyglass..ect. Tape on the cymbals helps too.
You can also hang blankets in front of the windows(that's were alot of the sound leaves a room.)
If you did all of these things a kit should sound no louder than a good stereo. Just respect your neighbors, and work around their scheduls. I know when my left side neighbor goes to work, right side to church ect.
As long as there's no sound ordinance in your town, shouldn't be that hard to do. My little village rolls up the streets at 10pm, so I'm limited to that.
Another idea that's way of topic but might help.
You can rent a storage bin (Uhaul) for say $35 a mo. Keep the set in there, and whenever you feel like a primal scream go over there and pound one out...on the set of course!


If you can spend a little money, look at:
or build one yourself

these will help isolate your drums from vibrating the floor sympathetically. This should help big time I think.

for the air noise, try these:

and for cheapness, this type of device can’t be beat:

those will be most detrimental to your sound though.

and of course if you happen to have a rich uncle… get a v-drum kit :)
there are cheaper electronic drums though-pintech is pretty inexpensive. the spendy part is the module.

maybe you can use your computer to play drum sounds using an electronic kit? not sure how you can hook up the drums to the computer but that’d be really cool :)-you could record them that way too.


There isnt much chance of stopping the sound of real drums in an apartment unfortunetly…

I fill mine with plastic peanuts – seriously. Stuff 'em in until they are touching both heads (got to use double headed drums). Tune then up until the rebound feels right. Play on them a little to settle the peanuts, then add a few more peanuts and tune it up again. They can be very quiet, and can serve as great feeling trigger pads. The down side is that the peanuts tend to squish over time, so you may need to add more peanuts every so often. Bottom head tension isn’t too critical, as you can imagine. It works for all drums, including snare and kick. for cymbals I just put towels on them, but that’s not a good solution except for the ride, since it really screws with the way they feel. On thing else I did, was to cut out a circle of thin foam rubber to put on top of the peanuts, and under the batter head. That made the drum feel like a practice pad, which is more springy than a normal drum. It almost completely killed any sound except the stick noise, and would probably be a good idea for actually converting real drums into trigger pads.

I’m aiming for maximum cheapness here (hey, im a college student). So I think radical acoustic treatments are out of the question. I don’t really care if it sounds kinda crappy. I want it to feel right, though. I’m kinda aiming for a little louder than conversation level at the absolute max. Are those tama heads mesh heads? And has anyone dealt with the cymbal mutes? Thanks everyone for the advice. Keep it coming!!

Are those tama heads mesh heads?
Yes, they are. I tried to find a review of them, but came up short. I did see two customer reviews. One was sold on them and the other thought duct tape and towels was a better alternative (easier to remove and sounds about the same). Neither review gave much insight though.

I haven't actually used the cymbal mutes. They look like foam that lays on the cymbals.

I saw some cymbal mutes a long time ago that looked pretty deadening. They were larger heavier foam and were placed under the cymbals. Essentially they were almost as large as the cymbals and when mounted the cymbals laid on top of them. I got the impression that they'd kill the sound like laying the cymbal on a carpeted floor. That's probably not good for playability but good for dead sound. I know nothing about the brand or even if they were ever available commercially. The description might help with do-your-owns though.

I actually saw something very similar years earlier in an old Beatles video. They were playing "live" on BBC TV. Ringo's cymbals were mounted on stands so they looked normal, but in some shot you could see big pieces of light colored foam rubber under them (B&W TV). It was obvious that they were singing live, but the backing music was taped and they were happily playing along.....lip syncing in the 60's....who woulda thought...at least they were singing, and Ringo was really bashing the drums, but what you heard was mostly taped. I think the sound of the real drums was bleeding through the vocal mics quite a bit.

Since this is a recording forum, my guess is you would want to actually record these drums not just have something to hit. So my suggestion would be to look for a suitable brain on e-bay (alesis or low end rolands are usually reasonable), Then head here: http://edrum.for.free.fr/ You’ll find plans for building pads from scratch or converting your current set to mesh heads on the cheap.

man… that would be so cool to build an electronic kit from scratch (minus the brain). I should seriously make it a summer project. Unfortunately, these things tend to fall through with me though…:frowning:

Here is a cheap BUT cheezy idea. I had a friend in Vietnam that played drums and this is what he did.

Using 2x4s and any kind of padding (he used rubber innertubes) he essentially built stands and place a 1’ x 1’ x1/4" wood piece covered with innertube rubber for every component he wanted. It was never to simulate a kit but just keep his feet and arms in motion. He would put on headphones and jam. Very low tech…but cheap