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wooden drum platforms
Old 28th December 2010
Gear Head

Thread Starter
wooden drum platforms

Apparently, Buddy Rich used to carry around a big piece of plywood he would always setup his drums on. He said it gave the drums more power.

I am recording my drums in my living room and was thinking of building a small stage for them to help their sound. Has anybody done this before? Would simply putting piece of wood on the floor be enough, or is reaised better etc. etc.

Many Thanks
Old 28th December 2010

Just make sure that there is a solid surface under the drums - not carpet.

Plywood is nice because you don't care about gouges and dings from the feet of the kit.


Old 28th December 2010
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Okay, thank you.

So thats all that is required?
Old 28th December 2010
Lives for gear
I would suspect that such a thing would be like a floppy stage. It would resonate and add to mid bass build up. Might make the drums sound "bigger" to the drummer, but probably wreak havoc on the sound any overhead or room mics would pick up.

On the Drummerworld forum, folks are in love with the Pearl isolating feet for floor toms. Either you want to mass couple something so it is non-resonant as much as possible, or isolate it so that it resonates freely by itself, which those feet do. Adding another resonant element to an instrument might make certain aspects of it sound better. But it's going to take a lot of trial and error to cook up a synergistic recipe that sounds good over an entire kit.
Old 28th December 2010

Plywood laid on the floor does not resonate. It's only there to reflect the sound from the drums - especially the resonant heads.

Concrete floors would be even better, except then you need rubber feet so that your kit doesn't move around.


Old 29th December 2010
Lives for gear
johndykstra's Avatar

Forget a stage or piece of plywood altogether. Spend some time collecting a couple of boxes worth of river rocks. Various shapes and sizes. Lay them around and under the kit, as densely as possible. Much more interesting reflections than a flat piece of ground. Plus, you can still have the drums on a rug, so it won't shift around... and the rocks can even help hold the kick drum still.
Old 29th December 2010
Lives for gear
Looking at some youtubes, it appears that Buddy does have some painted hard surface on his drum riser. I had presumed that the OP was referring to some sort of small riser that would be put over the stage. Most theater stages where a big band would be playing were hardwood anyway. But in a big band situation, the drums were almost always up on some separate riser. The extra sheet of plywood would both stiffen up the riser, and provide a more reflective surface for the sound of the drums.

What I hate most is playing drums in places where they stick you in a corner and some clever person has put carpet on the wall behind you to "help" the sound. It kills the sound of the snare drum and if you don't have the snare mic'd, it can easily get lost. Or you wear yourself out bashing on it.
Old 3rd January 2011
Gear nut
timothyclee's Avatar


I know Simon Phillips suggests the wood floor under the drums, but as a drummer I don't see how the kit doesn't slide around? Seems like you would have to make custom clamps to hold the kick/hi-hat/snare in place??? Those metal spikes built into the stands will not hold a kit on plywood???

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