It probably never occurred to you before buying that there would be a need to ‘soundproof’ your electric drums.
You bought an electric drum kit because they are much quieter than acoustic drums.
You thought your neighbors or family members would be happy but even now, they’re complaining about the noise.
The fact is that even with electronic drums, there would be noise issues.
An electric drum set is not completely noise-free and there is some amount of ‘soundproofing’ which would be required which can help solve the noise problem.
Typical Noise Problems of Electric Drum Sets
The main problem that you will face with E-drum sets is with sound transfer through the floors. If you have an upstairs room or live in a multi-story apartment, this is the major issue you will be dealing with.
Yes, electric drum sets are designed to keep the noise down by using rubber pads on the cymbals and mesh heads on the drum heads.
However, the kick pedal is the main culprit. Electronic drum manufacturers find that these are the most difficult to deal with.
The thumping sound produced by the kick pedal will get transmitted through the floors and the walls and this is what you will need to address.
How To Soundproof Electric Drums
In this article, I will cover four different ways by which you can soundproof your electric drums.
The first one which is the tennis ball drum riser is the most effective and its build will be covered in a bit of detail.
These methods, however, will not be as effective as a soundproof room.
Option 1 – Tennis Ball Drum Riser
This is the most popular and effective way of drowning out the vibrations of an electric drum kit. Here, you are building a riser which will have tennis balls that will act as a sound deadener.
The raw materials are listed below along with the Amazon links where you can purchase them (except for MDF or OSB boards).
- 4’x8’x.75″ MDF or OSB sheet – The sheet will be cut into two pieces. Each piece will form the top and bottom of the riser respectively. The size of each piece should be sufficient to place your electric drums on.
- Scatter Rug – This is not essential but will prevent scratches on the riser and will also look and feel good.
- Zip Ties – You will need the longer ones.
- Bumper Feet – Will be used for the bottom of the riser.
- Velcro Band 2” x 4’ – Handy to stick the carpet to the MDF.
- Tennis Balls – Best to get the cheaper ones.
The tools that will be required are standard. These can be easily found in any local hardware store.
- Tape Measure
- Metal Yard Stick
- 2” Hole Saw
- Drill and Drill Bits
- Trigger Clamps
How to Build the Tennis Ball Riser
The step by step procedure for building the tennis ball risers is shown below.
Cut the MDF or OSB sheet into two pieces of 3’ x 4’ sheets. If these are not large enough, then you will need to have ones which will be large enough for your kit.
One sheet will form the bottom of the riser on which the tennis balls will fixed. The second sheet will become the top portion of the riser on which the scatter rug will be fixed.
Place one of the sheets on the floor and mark out a six inch grid with a pencil. The purpose of the grid is to get an even distribution of the tennis balls on the sheet.
Place the balls on the intersection and mark the spots. You will be drilling holes over these marked spots. You can use a larger grid to save on balls but the smaller the better.
Or you can just place the balls randomly linke in the pic below and mark the spots. A grid will be better for more accuracy though.
Clamp the two boards together and use the hole saw to drill the holes in the marked spots.
The next step is to fix the bumper feet or rubber stoppers on one of the sheets which will form the base of your riser. Distribute them evenly. For a 3’ x 4’ surface area, it’s best to have at least 12 of these.
Make sure to have screws with a nut and long enough so that they penetrate fully through the sheet.
Place the board with the bumper feet on the floor and place the tennis balls in the holes. The two inch holes will be large enough for the balls to go inside only a bit.
Place the top board and align the holes over the balls already placed on the bottom board.
The next step is securing the two boards together. The easiest way to do this is by using zip ties. Drill holes along the edges through both boards and insert zip ties to secure them.
In the last step, you will be attaching the scatter rug on the top. Instead of gluing the rug, you can use Velcro. All you need to do is cut small pieces and distribute them evenly.
And that’s it. Your soundproof tennis ball riser is ready. Place your electric drum kit over the riser and you’re good to go.
Option 2 – Interlocking Foam Floor Mats
Another option is to use interlocking foam floor mats which can be useful to deaden the sound vibrations of your electric drums.
The ones recommended are the heavy duty types which are used for gym floors or you can get these ones from Amazon.
Purchase enough that will be required for your electric drum kit to fit. You will also need some Masonite sheets to cover the foam so that they do not get damaged by people walking on them.
Lay out the foam mats on the floor where you want to keep your electric drums and cover them with Masonite sheets. Tape them together so that they do not shift and that’s it, you’re good to go.
Option 3 – Sorbothane Pads
Sorbothane pads are good vibration dampers and can be effective at soundproofing electric drums enough that they do not transmit too much sound. An 8 pack set is available on Amazon for about $25.
All you have to do is place these under all surfaces of the electric drum kit that make contact with the floor.
The pads will then dampen the vibrations and reduce the amount of it being transferred through the floor.
Option 4 – Use a Thick Rug
This is one solution which easily comes to the mind. If none of the options above can be exercised for whatever reason, you can simply place a thick rug under your electric drum kit.
This is effective to quite an extent, though not as good as some of the options given above.
Tips to Make Your Electric Drums Quieter
It would be a good idea to take a look at the equipment you have and identify the problem areas that are creating noise. Here are some general tips to make your drum kit quieter.
Get Rubber Cymbals
Even if they are electronic, metal cymbals will always make some noise. We all love metal cymbals but it would make more sense to have rubber ones to quieten things down.
Get Quieter Playing Surfaces
Quiet playing surfaces such as silicone drum pads can make a lot of difference.
Get Lighter Mesh Drums
The lighter your mesh drums, the quieter your electric drum kit will be. Also, the thicker the mesh drum head is, the louder it will be. So, get mesh drums which are light and thin.
Get Smaller Size Drumshells
Large drum shells tend to be noisier. So, it’s best to go for smaller ones if you can.
Use a Silent Drum Beater
Sound absorbing drum beaters like the KAT Silent Strike Bass (check price at Amazon) can be very handy for indirect soundproofing of an electric drum kit.
It uses a rubber-filled beater which makes a lesser sound when it strikes the drums. Not only that, as it is soft, it will reduce wear and tear of the bass drum pad.
Electronic drums are much quieter than acoustic drums, there is no doubt about it. But, they are not quiet enough to be played in any room.
An ideal room for playing drums will be one that has been soundproofed. You may consider soundproofing the room if you have the inclination and the budget.
The tennis ball riser is a great way to soundproof your electric drums and is the recommended method.