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Can I have a drum kit in my apartment? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 2nd August 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Can I have a drum kit in my apartment?

Hi all!
I've just been thinking bout getting some real minimal drum kit on my apartment, something like a bass drum, snare, hi hat and a ride to play with. But there are two problems:
1. I don't have much space, so the bass drum can be the biggest.
2. I live in an apartment, so obviously I can't make much noise; however, the walls here seems really good and sound usually don't bleed much through them.

So, Is there any way to have a drum kit under these conditions or should I just throw the idea away?

Thanks!

Ps: Sorry for my english, I'm brazillian.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #2
Gear Guru
 

yes you can have a drum kit in your apartment. You just can't PLAY it!

Unless of course you are the landlord of the building and can tell everyone else they will just have to deal with it.

I once saw an article about Anton Fig, the drummer for the Late Show with David Letterman. He built an iso booth in his apartment, a floating room within a room within a room, it was crazy elaborate and crazy expensive. It had floating floor and ceiling, double isolated doors, specially baffled air. It probably would have been cheaper for him to move to a house, but of course he needs to stay in Manhattan.

I had a drum student who could not even play her electronic kit via headphones in her apartment without getting complaints. The vibration of the kick pedal hitting the pad - over and over and over - was apparently too much for the grouchy neighbors.

Most city dwellers I know rent a practice space and keep their drums there.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
yes you can have a drum kit in your apartment. You just can't PLAY it!

Unless of course you are the landlord of the building and can tell everyone else they will just have to deal with it.

I once saw an article about Anton Fig, the drummer for the Late Show with David Letterman. He built an iso booth in his apartment, a floating room within a room within a room, it was crazy elaborate and crazy expensive. It had floating floor and ceiling, double isolated doors, specially baffled air. It probably would have been cheaper for him to move to a house, but of course he needs to stay in Manhattan.

I had a drum student who could not even play her electronic kit via headphones in her apartment without getting complaints. The vibration of the kick pedal hitting the pad - over and over and over - was apparently too much for the grouchy neighbors.

Most city dwellers I know rent a practice space and keep their drums there.
Hm, that's sad. I don't have the money to rent a practice space yet, and have even less money to do something crazy like Anton Fig did.
Guess I'll just have to deal with it so.

About the complaints, I think it's important to say that my neighbors have never complained about the noise. The architecture in this building is kinda different. The apartments are not directly glued to each other, they have a space between them. I really tested the noise letting music play loud and going out of the apartment, and it was really quiet from outside! So with a electronic drum with headphones I'm pretty sure no trouble with the neighbors would be caused.

Even so, I think the sound of an acoustic drum might be really too loud maybe... Thanks for the reply!
Old 2nd August 2014
  #4
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JohnRick's Avatar
As stated - even electronic drums will be frowned upon by neighbours, mainly because of the kick which will resonate throughout the walls and floor.
I have a drum riser for that purpose though for my e-kit, so it has actually helped quite a bit.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #5
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nyandres's Avatar
Even electric drums are a problem. However you can build a base that gets rid of the problem.

Attachment 409645

Arg... how can I get the attachments to show....

Anyways I build a base. The bass lays atop a 1 inch thick rubber mat. Also the top of the bass is made of thick gym mat foam to soften initial impact. Its the only way to play drums. I practice with my band in my studio at home. The one pictured in the attachment.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #6
Gear Addict
 
takka360's Avatar
 

In the uk they cant stop you,but you can only play after 8 in the morning I think,dont know what time you have to stop.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Thank you all for the replies!

Quote:
Anyways I build a base. The bass lays atop a 1 inch thick rubber mat. Also the top of the bass is made of thick gym mat foam to soften initial impact. Its the only way to play drums. I practice with my band in my studio at home. The one pictured in the attachment.
Wow, sounds good. You made the base yourself?
As an option, could I pile up two of those rubber mats directly on the ground and the drums upon them? Or would the kick still resonate through the floor?
(Good studio btw!)


Quote:
In the uk they cant stop you,but you can only play after 8 in the morning I think,dont know what time you have to stop.
Here in Brazil I think the same applies, but I really don't want to bother the neighbors with stuff they don't want to listen.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #8
Gear Guru
 

the issue is not sound going "through" the walls, it's the sound traveling "in" the walls - and the floor and ceiling. The frame of a shared building helps to transmit the sound, just at the same time as the walls help to block the sound.

I agree the biggest issue with an electronic drum is going to be the physical vibration of the kick pedal strike transmitting through the floor. Once the sound is in the frame of the building it can travel up down or sideways. Decoupling that will certainly help.

I made a similar platform so I could practice on my pads while my girlfriend was asleep. Without the platform, the strikes on the pads (I also have a kick pad) would transmit right through the pad, through the stand and into the floor.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #9
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nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gucoutinho_ View Post
Thank you all for the replies!



Wow, sounds good. You made the base yourself?
As an option, could I pile up two of those rubber mats directly on the ground and the drums upon them? Or would the kick still resonate through the floor?
(Good studio btw!)




Here in Brazil I think the same applies, but I really don't want to bother the neighbors with stuff they don't want to listen.

RUbber is of one of the best impact absorbers. I think that should work, but I would highly recommend the tennis balls as well. The air in between would decouple the impact massively.

Here are some pictures of the base as it was assembled.

The rubber mats underneath. I use two separate rubber pieces actually to help create some air inbetween. One 3/4 and another thinner one: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.n...05342188_o.jpg

The bottom of the wood base: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...77546892_o.jpg

The layers above I actually have more layers (A thin rubber layer. Two more thin rubber layers with a space to allow the cables to go through, a thick gym puzzle style matt layer):
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...96248872_o.jpg.

Final layers on top: (Drum mat, and a bit more padding for kick, I think this is overkill, but I already had the materials. Why not right?)
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...30371275_o.jpg

If your place is also your recording studio use your acoustic treatment to help out also absorb the airborn sound from coming out. This is not as big a deal as the impact but it helps.

We practice everyweek till really late. Only time a neighbor complained was when actually building it. And once before. Never after and it has been over year
Old 4th August 2014
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyandres View Post
RUbber is of one of the best impact absorbers. I think that should work, but I would highly recommend the tennis balls as well. The air in between would decouple the impact massively.

Here are some pictures of the base as it was assembled.

The rubber mats underneath. I use two separate rubber pieces actually to help create some air inbetween. One 3/4 and another thinner one: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.n...05342188_o.jpg

The bottom of the wood base: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...77546892_o.jpg

The layers above I actually have more layers (A thin rubber layer. Two more thin rubber layers with a space to allow the cables to go through, a thick gym puzzle style matt layer):
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...96248872_o.jpg.

Final layers on top: (Drum mat, and a bit more padding for kick, I think this is overkill, but I already had the materials. Why not right?)
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...30371275_o.jpg

If your place is also your recording studio use your acoustic treatment to help out also absorb the airborn sound from coming out. This is not as big a deal as the impact but it helps.

We practice everyweek till really late. Only time a neighbor complained was when actually building it. And once before. Never after and it has been over year
Great, that's exactly the thing I'm looking for, not to bother the neighbors. This looks awesome not really difficult to build!

But one last question: would it work only for e-drums or I can use it with acoustic drums as well?

Thank you so much for the answer!
Old 4th August 2014
  #11
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nyandres's Avatar
It would help with both acoustic and electric in stopping the loud thump caused by the drums. With acoustic drums however cymbals are and just airborne loudness is also a problem. For that reason this wont be very effective with acoustic drums. I don't think there is a way to fully mute an acoustic kit. Maybe you could try creating a floating (as in the way this platform is floating using the tennis-balls) room inside the room. In that room you can put fiber glass all around. I don't know if that will be enough, but that is as quite an environment as I can think of.
For your sake of possibly not wasking your time I recommend just building the simpler platform and sticking with an electric kit. The TD30 feels really really real.
Old 4th August 2014
  #12
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gucoutinho_ View Post
But one last question: would it work only for e-drums or I can use it with acoustic drums as well?
seriously?
Old 4th August 2014
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
seriously?
What I mean is, would this be enough for me to use an acoustic drum or even with this the sound will be too loud for an apartment?
Old 5th August 2014
  #14
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nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gucoutinho_ View Post
What I mean is, would this be enough for me to use an acoustic drum or even with this the sound will be too loud for an apartment?
It would be way too loud
Old 5th August 2014
  #15
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gucoutinho_ View Post
What I mean is, would this be enough for me to use an acoustic drum or even with this the sound will be too loud for an apartment?
of course it will be too loud. The "platforms" described here were specifically intended to isolate merely the mechanical strike of foot pedal against the drum pad of an electronic kit. As quiet as that is, you will get complaints.

Have you ever stood next to someone who is playing an electronic kit tapping the pads while he is listening only with headphones? How loud was that tapping? Not very loud, was it? Now, have you ever stood next to someone playing an acoustic drumset full bore?

How loud was that? The sound is now going out in every direction. It won't be just your downstairs neighbors complaining! You will probably have complaints from the building next door.

We have already mentioned how drummers who wanted to play drums in their apartment had to construct a fully isolated, decoupled room-within-a-room, front back sides top and bottom, airtight sealed doors and special isolated ventilation systems.

You can't possibly believe a couple of tennis balls UNDER the drum set could somehow "stop" all the other sound from coming out? Talk about wishful thinking....
Old 5th August 2014
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
of course it will be too loud. The "platforms" described here were specifically intended to isolate merely the mechanical strike of foot pedal against the drum pad of an electronic kit.

Have you ever stood next to someone who is playing an electronic kit tapping the pads while he is listening only with headphones? How loud was that tapping? Not very loud, was it? Now, have you ever stood next to someone playing an acoustic drumset full bore?

How loud was that?

We have already mentioned how drummers who wanted to play drums in their apartment had to construct a fully isolated, decoupled room-within-a-room, front back sides top and bottom, airtight sealed doors and special isolated ventilation systems.

You can't possibly believe a couple of tennis balls UNDER the drum set could somehow "stop" all the other sound from coming out? Talk about wishful thinking....
Ok, I think I have all the answers I need. No, of course I have.
Old 5th August 2014
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyandres View Post
It would be way too loud
Hey nyandres, thank you very much for your help. I'm really new to drums, but you helped me a lot, thanks!
Sad for me, I don't have money to buy a TD30 now, so I think the drums are gonna wait a little. But your platform with the tennis balls will help me some time from now when I have the money to buy some e-drums.

Thanks again!
Old 5th August 2014
  #18
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nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gucoutinho_ View Post
Hey nyandres, thank you very much for your help. I'm really new to drums, but you helped me a lot, thanks!
Sad for me, I don't have money to buy a TD30 now, so I think the drums are gonna wait a little. But your platform with the tennis balls will help me some time from now when I have the money to buy some e-drums.

Thanks again!

No problem. I highly recommend the td4 kit in that case (also called td4k2, and not to be confused with td4kp). I gave mine to my bands drummer. I replaced the drums in my studio with the TD30.. To be honest while the td30 is awesome, so is the td4. You can find the td4 for about $500 to $650. That kit with the platform will definitely be quite enough for an apartment. Once you have more saved up you can always upgrade to the td30, or in the meantime you can build a fiberglass walled inner room so you can use your acoustic drumkit once that is done. I would do that if I could, but im too lazy, plus I am afraid even then it may not be able to fully muffle the type of cymbals we like, which would suck considering how lazy i am about doing that hehe.
Old 6th August 2014
  #19
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nyandres's Avatar
Try the TD4
Old 8th August 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyandres View Post
No problem. I highly recommend the td4 kit in that case (also called td4k2, and not to be confused with td4kp). I gave mine to my bands drummer. I replaced the drums in my studio with the TD30.. To be honest while the td30 is awesome, so is the td4. You can find the td4 for about $500 to $650. That kit with the platform will definitely be quite enough for an apartment. Once you have more saved up you can always upgrade to the td30, or in the meantime you can build a fiberglass walled inner room so you can use your acoustic drumkit once that is done. I would do that if I could, but im too lazy, plus I am afraid even then it may not be able to fully muffle the type of cymbals we like, which would suck considering how lazy i am about doing that hehe.
Thanks! I'll try the TD4 for now and then maybe upgrade for a td30!
Old 15th August 2014
  #21
Gear Head
 

didn't read thread, but I Ctrl+f and couldn't find 'mesh'. mesh pads are quieter than rubber pads, bass drum also.
Old 15th August 2014
  #22
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JohnRick's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bussy233 View Post
didn't read thread, but I Ctrl+f and couldn't find 'mesh'. mesh pads are quieter than rubber pads, bass drum also.
1) The posts above are talking about the Roland TD-30 (which have mesh heads)
2) The TCS-heads from Yamaha are even quiter than Roland's mesh heads, and feel far better in terms of playability than both mesh and rubber.
Old 21st February 2016
  #23
Gear Addict
 

I thought id resurrect this thread for those still looking for a solution to playing real drums in an apartment. I live in an apartment in Taipei City, Taiwan and have a 2 month old infant. I don't play electric drums nor a full set. The two most important things for successfully playing drums in an apartment are the time when you play and your volume. Control those hands and feet!

I'll share my way of apartment drumming and give some other suggestions. Here is my method for playing:

1. I only use a kick, snare, hi hat and one ride/crash. No toms, yet. I put a bandana over the snare and play with light hands and a light foot. i.e. I don't play loud. The bandana makes my snare sound fat even though I'm hitting it softly. You probably can't play hard rock/punk/metal volume. You can certainly practice that speed, but not volume.

2. I use a hotrod stick for my cymbal hitting hand and a regular stick for the snare hand. This keeps the ride and hi hat treble and volume way down. Sometimes I use two hotrods but the snare loses its body. Even if you smack the snare hard with a hotrod stick, it just doesn't have weight to the sound.

3. I usually put some foam pads under the "set" I use. I bought packs of 6 foam pads from a local hardware/general store. I think they are designed for small children crawling or learning how to walk. I hope these pads reduce the noise and thump in the apartment below me. I don't know if it works, they haven't complained though.

4. This might be most important. Time of playing!!!! I will only play between 10am and 6pm. Most people won't mind a little noise during these hours, if they are home. My volume and noise is probably the equivalent to fixing something, moving furniture, or kids playing. I know when people get home from work or whatever, they want to relax. So, i try to cut off the drumming at 6pm.

Here are some other options for practicing.
1. Remo silent strokes. They are silent. They work well for practice, but you won't do any recording and real jamming in your place with them. One of these heads on a snare still gets a snare sound, but one on my kick was hard to get any real thud. check out the video on youtube from sweetwater of their drum tech dude playing the silent stroke heads with gen 16 cymbals. Perfect for quiet practice.

2. You could go electric, but that can be really expensive. I looked into it and decided it was way too expensive for what I wanted. I bought my kick off eBay and had it shipped to me in Taiwan for less than USD $420. It's a 1966 ludwig and I love it! My snare and cymbals I had from playing in bands around town. Then, I bought the stands I needed here locally for less than USD $100. I don't think you'll find any electric drums for less than $550 that are good.

Pictures below of my set ups and an mp3 of a live recording I did in my apartment with an amped acoustic and singer. All recorded live in my untreated room. Yeah, it sucks, but I'm playing in my apartment. AWESOME!!
Attached Thumbnails
Can I have a drum kit in my apartment?-12063387_10204662431668022_6462231706078452782_n.jpg   Can I have a drum kit in my apartment?-img_0212.jpg   Can I have a drum kit in my apartment?-img_0205.jpg  
Attached Files

freight train.mp3 (5.65 MB, 4849 views)

Old 21st February 2016
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Check aerodrums.com
I've just ordered mine so wouldn't be able to tell you if they're any good or not however it's only about £120 so I thought it had to be worth a go.
Old 22nd February 2016
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Check aerodrums.com
Thanks for sharing that. I've never heard of aerodrums. Honestly, I'm super skeptical as to how accurate they are and how well one could use them in a recording or jamming situation. Make sure to update us after you get them and try them out. We'll keep this thread active. I think we could help a lot of other drummers and small home studios
Old 22nd February 2016
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I went and met all of my neighbors, introduced myself, gave them my phone # and told them I am a musician and I want to make sure that I don't bother anyone with noise. I said please let me know if I am bothering you and I will make sure and stop... I made some great friends and never had anyone complain.
Old 10th March 2016
  #27
Gear Head
 
Keith6's Avatar
Hi all,
I've had a set (?) of Aerodrums for 6 days now, and haven't stopped playing with them. I've played bass for around 30 years, but played drums in my teens and have wanted a kit ever since. Can't afford the money or space for a decent acoustic kit & the only electronic kits I could afford just don't make the grade, either for response or sounds, so when I saw these I bit the bullet and went for it. I won't take up space here trying to describe them in detail (after all, there's nothing to see!) - search 'Aerodrums' on YouTube & you'll find a few vids there. Suffice it to say that IMHO they are freakin' AWESOME. I'm running them on my very average desktop PC, although I think a lot of users go the laptop route.
The responsiveness is almost unbelievable - on my system the playstation camera that tracks your drumming gestures runs at 125 frames per second, so it misses nothing. It comes with a few default kits with very decent samples, which you can clone and then edit, or build your own kit from scratch. Each drum and cymbal has something like 127 samples at different volumes, so it's as sensitive as a baby's bum, and means the expression you can get is almost indistinguishable from an acoustic kit. If you play through headphones, it's silent. Yes, SILENT. The only noises you'll make will be your feet tapping on the floor (no pedals involved, so no whacky thumpy noises to transmit through floors/walls) and the loud HOLY CRAP you'll probably shout the first time you play it.
All kits are totally customisable and you can place drums wherever you want. It outputs MIDI too - I haven't got into this yet, but from the Aerodrum forums it looks like many people use it with ezdrummer and the like.
Drawbacks? 1) Well, it's a bit weird playing drums without hitting anything - you have to adjust your grip technique & use a kind of overhand 'German' grip, but I haven't missed the rebound sensation - I'm not a pro drummer tho, and having not played for years maybe I found this easier to accept. Their website has a short video describing this.
2) From what I can gather, it's a very small company set up by the two guys who had this genius idea in the first place. I think they're having trouble keeping up with demand at the moment, so you may have to wait a little while if you live outside the UK (although I ordered mine last wednesday and they arrived on the friday!)
Despite what some may think, this is NOT a toy, it's a very very serious tool and could become a real monster in the 'virtual' drum world.
Cost at the moment is around 120 UK pounds, and the fresh blisters I have on my fingers testify that it's worth every single penny.
Happy to answer any questions if anyone has any, and I'll try and post my further experiences (especially the MIDI side) when I've had more playtime!
Finally, I DON'T work for this company in any way - I just think it's bloody genius.
Old 20th March 2016
  #28
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Funny Cat's Avatar
I'm glad you're having lots of fun! But there is absolutely no way "aerodrums" can compare to wailing on a kit. I'm just not buying it. Pun intended.
Old 26th March 2016
  #29
Gear Head
 
Keith6's Avatar
Hi FunnyCat,
I'm sure, or rather, I know, there are numerous differences between Aerodrums and a real kit. Analogue all the way - you'll get no argument from me on that score (pun intended!).
However, the OP was talking about his problems with lack of space and noise issues. From that point of view, I have so far seen no better solution than Aerodrums. For anyone with neighbour problems due to noise, they're a godsend. They really are silent (assuming you're using headphones and not a 3k p.a. rig to play them through!) and imho the experience is just awesome.
Yes, if I had the space, the sound-proofing, and most importantly the money, I'd have an acoustic kit.
But I don't, and I'm sure many others don't either. For £120, I don't think there's anything that comes remotely close.
Old 26th March 2016
  #30
Gear Nut
 
scifiwiter4's Avatar
 

You could run into a noise issue, because acoustic drum kits can be VERY loud. You'd be better off with an electronic kit.
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