You've just bought a new drum set and set it up in the garage. Before you've even finished belting out your first song, the neighbours have worn their knuckles down on your front door. Of course, you didn't hear them. If the neighbours have to come back again, they may decide to call the police and make a noise complaint. You don't need that sort of drama in your life. It's time to build a drum booth.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- 15 pieces of drywall or wooden panels - wall panels (5 feet wide x 10 feet high)
- 15 pieces of wooden panels - ceiling panels (5 feet wide x 20cm high)
- Multiple pieces of foam or insulation (the wider the better)
- 2 solid pieces of wooden flooring (20 feet x 20 feet)
- 50 to 60 feet of carpet
- Strong wood glue
- Super glue
- Wooden saw
- Someone to hold things for you
Lay a double layer of solid foam as the bottom foundation on the floor of your garage. The total area should cover 20 feet by 20 feet.
Place dozens of dabs of glue a few feet apart on top of the foam. Lay one of the solid 20-foot timber flooring panels over the solid foam foundations. Allow a few minutes to dry.
Hammer the first dry wall or wooden panel (5 feet x 10 feet) to the bottom left edge of the wooden foundation. It will be a lot easier if you've got someone to hold the panel while you hammer in at least four nails.
Place wood glue down the right side of the wooden panel or dry wall. Have someone hold the next wooden panel or dry wall beside the first one, while you hammer another four nails into the bottom wooden foundation.
Repeat the previous step until all 15 wooden panels are up. This should leave you with a 5-foot hole, where you will be able to enter and bring the drums in and out.
Place a ceiling panel (5 feet wide x 20cm high) lengthways on top of the first wall panel. Make sure the lip overhangs as far as it will go toward the centre of your drum room. Hammer four nails into it. Repeat with the remaining 14 wall panels.
Foundation & Side Walls
Ask someone to help you lift the other 20-foot x 20-foot wooden panel onto the top of your drum room. It should sit nicely on the 15 ceiling panels you placed on top of the wall panels. It wouldn't hurt to put wood glue on the ceiling panels before you place the 20-foot x 20-foot roof panel on top. Wood glue may be enough to hold it in place, otherwise you may want to nail it down.
Use super glue to cover the entire inside and outside of the drum room with the remaining pieces of foam or insulation. If you are short of foam, be sure to cover at least the entire outside--including the top--of the drum room with foam.
Use carpet inside the drum room. If you've recently won the lottery, you could purchase brand new Persian carpet to line the inside of your drum room. But, if you're like most drummers starting out, you can usually ask your local carpet store for all the bits they don't need. Usually they'll give them to you for free if you ask nicely, as they're only going to throw them in the trash anyway. Line the floor, the walls and the ceiling with carpet. Use the glue and nails to hold the carpet in place.
Use a piece of carpet to hang over the gaping doorway. Mount it from the ceiling on the inside. This will allow you to enter and exit just by walking through it. Make sure the carpet is a lot bigger than the hole so that there are no gaps for the sound to escape from.
The Roof and Insulation
Tips and warnings
- The key to reducing noise levels is to use foam or carpet surfaces to catch the sound as you're creating it. Any flat surface left without carpet or foam just echoes the sound and allows it to continue existing. If you find that you need to reduce your sound further, try adding another layer of carpet on the inside, or another layer of foam on the outside.
- It may be a good idea to think about adding some form of insulation to your drum room. Consider running some form of pipe or tubing from the outside into the room through the doorway.
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