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How To Treat A Drum Booth

So it has arrived, that shiny new drum kit with all the kit and caboodle.  You have got your room lined up to put the drum kit in, freshly painted, good stable solid floor.  Everything is coming together as planned.  You spend some time carefully setting up the kit exactly as you like it, the cymbals just so, stool the exact height you prefer, you are ready to rock and roll.  And off we go with a good session of drumming. 10 minutes in and it’s starting to hurt, not your arms or back, it’s all good in that sense but boy are your ears hurting!!  There might be something we have overlooked in our planning, acoustic treatment.

In an untreated room reflections and echoes can be very strong especially in a room being used for practising or playing the drums.  With all those hard surfaces – plastered wall, wooden floor, plastered ceiling, windows to allow glimpses into the outside world – reverberation time in the room can be quite severe and considering the SPL level a drum kit can reach it can become quite painful for the ears.

When you have a room dedicated for instruments acoustic treatment could never be more important and the same is the case for drum kits.  There’s no need to go down the expense of a professional studio set-up unless that’s your intention later down the line.  Instead by following some simple guidelines you can have your room treated with acoustic foam and you’ll soon have a space which is much more comfortable to work in.  This more comfortable space will result in better results from you, you can spend longer in there without suffering from fatigue and the time you do spend in there will be more productive.

So what’s required in you room?

A drum booth/room on most occasions will only require between 40% and 60% coverage of the four walls and the ceiling.  Because of the wide range of frequencies involved when it comes to recording or practising a drum session effective acoustic treatment is a must.  Acoustic treatment that can absorb the full range of frequencies is also a requirement. So this involves the effective use of bass traps in all the available corners both the vertical and the ceiling height horizontal corners.  The recommended bass traps to use in a drum booth are the Quadrant Bass Trapshowever if budget is an issue then the Original Bass Traps would be a suitable alternative.  In a standard height room of around 8ft we would recommend that you install a bass trap corner kit per available tri-corner and an extra 3ft bass trap below that.  You will also need one bass trap for every 4ft on every ceiling horizontal corner.  If you are building your own drum booth then square rooms are not recommended as these shaped rooms can be very difficult acoustically as the dimensions of the room will mean you will have very severe room modes and standing waves.  While we understand that this is not always possible if you do have the means to do this we would highly recommend it.

So once the bass control is taken care of with effective placement of the bass traps the next areas to cover are the four walls and the ceiling.  As we have said earlier you will need between 40% and 60% coverage and the acoustic foam tiles need to be at least 2” thick to be effective in your booth.  So the best acoustic tiles to use for a drum booth are the Tegular Acoustic Tiles, the S.E.A.M. Acoustic Tiles or theHexaTile.  If budget is an issue then we would not recommend you use any thinner a tile than the Wedge PRO Acoustic Foam Tiles or the F.A.T. PRO Acoustic Foam Tiles.  So you need to create small clusters of acoustic tiles.  These clusters of tiles can be arranged in any way you wish however you need to keep the room as balanced as possible so if you install 3 clusters of tiles on one wall you need if at all possible to install 3 clusters of tiles on the opposing wall.  Even coverage over the whole space is the most effective way of treating a room.  If a temporary installation is required then you can mount the acoustic tiles onto a sheet of 6mm MDF.  This panel can then be hung on the wall like a picture using picture hooks.  This means that when you come to move or change the use of the room you don’t have trouble removing the tiles from the wall.  It is just a case of un-hooking the panels.  You can then use these acoustic panels again if you wish.

There’s no voodoo or secrets when it comes to treating any room and there’s no need to get stressed about how to treat a room or whether you are dong something wrong.  As long as you follow the basic principles above then you have a room that is comfortable for working in no time.  And if you’re not sure whether you taking the right route or using the right product don’t panic, just get in touch with us guys atAdvanced Acoustics and we would be more than happy to lend you a helping hand.

Hopefully this has helped you in determining the amount of acoustic treatment you require for your room and also what products are best for your room.  Obviously every room is different but the aim of articles such as these are to guide you in the right direction without needing a degree to understand them.