Drum isolation/riser materials

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williamsongs
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Drum isolation/riser materials

Post by williamsongs » Tue May 29, 2012 6:23 am

Hi, just finished 98% of the move and build to a new bigger space and spent spent spent on room treatment for three live rooms of medium size and one control room. So with no more budget to play with, I humbly seek the tape-op wisdom on one remaining job: decoupling drum kits from the room.

I was thinking of building a club stage style drum riser, but using something like a wrestling mat but firmer than that, under a plywood surface. Pretty much building a "recoil" type thing for a drum kit.

I want to be able to remove it and stash it when not tracking drums, so I was thinking of three pieces that can be stood and easily moved and stashed. Is this a common thing? And anybody have experience with materials to not bother with? I can make a drum riser, it isn't rocket surgery, but what about the decoupling idea? Not a wrestling mat obviously that's too soft but what about the idea generally? I can't do a floating floor here. Otherwise, everything's great.

Hemorrhaging dollars on this move means I am looking for cheap ass DIY solutions at this point. For this one task anyway. Thanks for any ideas leveled at my situation.
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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue May 29, 2012 7:15 am

We used four plastic warehouse palletts (free from my buddy's work), plywood top, covered in industrial blue carpet. Works great.

GJ

PS-- Where are you in Upstate NY? Did I ask that already? If so, sorry. I'm in Buffalo.

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue May 29, 2012 9:19 am

Hi,

Let me play Devil's advocate:

1.- Why was the floor not considered when doing the room treatment?

2.- Does a drum kit in the current layout with no treatment on the floor, sound good?

3.- If the answer to question no.2 is no, what then, is wrong with the sound? This will clue you in as to a cheap option to solve that acoustic issue.

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

williamsongs
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Post by williamsongs » Tue May 29, 2012 1:24 pm

I'm a little crabby as the 90% humidity and 90 degrees are brutal today, but I'll go ahead and assume that taking the time to post a reply means that Nick's intention is to be helpful, so here goes:

1. Lease agreement prohibited floating floors or otherwise messing with the hardwood tongue and groove flooring that is currently in place.

2. Yes, the rooms are well treated and sound good, including drums. Decoupling the bass drum of a lead footed masher is the only thing we are looking to do. The place is in a mixed zoned area, and close enough to residential sites that we very much wish to meet the noise code under all circumstances. So far so good, but wishing to attenuate what might trip a DB meter at the property line without permanently dedicating a sonic dead zone just for an occasional situation.

3. As above, rooms sound very good. Would like attenuation only, where a lead footer is involved, without killing an otherwise wonderful sonic space.

Any pertinent info on materials or other approaches is welcome, I guess just a drum riser on vitamins could suffice. Thanks.

Gregg, 20 minutes east of Syracuse deep in the cultural doldrums.
"Sounds to me like you're just a little bit cranky"

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue May 29, 2012 9:32 pm

I'm intrigued and entranced... This lead-footed masher, is he (or she) substantive in the physical universe; an instantiation of a live biological specimen, or simply conjectural (i.e.-- "What if we get a lead-footed masher?"). Is he your own, or someone else's? Foreign or Domestic? A Red-Breasted, Pin-Billed Lead-Footed Masher, or a Northern Horn-Billed? (OK, now I've obviously gone much too far... But dang, that was fun).

Ok, ok, seriously-- Try the pallette thing? Do you want me to ask my partner (non-domestic) if he can get some more of them? If so, are you willing to drive up to get them? (I don't foresee a trip to Syracuse in the near future for me, or I could bring them to you)... Maybe you'd better e-mail me.

Gregg@MightyNoStars.com

GJ

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed May 30, 2012 6:18 am

If you're looking for extra cheap (and slightly ghetto) I've seen people build a platform that sits on used tires. Hell, I've played in ballrooms where the dance floor was floated on tires. It does work but it would be more of a pain to take down and stash. It might be the ticket to decouple the bass amp though.

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed May 30, 2012 7:09 am

Hi William,

Yes, I am trying to be helpful, in my now famous sarcastic-bombastic way.

I was looking for some more info on your situation.
In your case, decoupling the drums from the floor will probably attenuate the vibrations that will travel via the floor.
However, it will not do much when it comes to attenuating the aforementioned "lead footer" when it comes to the vibration of the kick skins.

Also, try to test said "lead foot" with a spl meter at the property line, so you have the actual SPL figure before you start in on acoustic treatment. This is one case in which "guessing" at what you are doing not only is counterproductive, if you guess wrong, you can lose your lease. So get your facts before you start please.

How many dB are you trying to reduce Mr. ThunderFoot?

The thing to do, is to isolate the drums with some gobos. You can make some yourself, according to your budget.

Isolating the floor from said lead foot... might or might not help. Without knowing how that hardwood floor is constructed... Is this floor just hardwood stuck directly onto concrete? I there some noise reducing underfloor (hopefully there is)? How hard does this floor feel when you step on it, when you hit it hard? Does it give a bit, or does it kill your foot?

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

williamsongs
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Post by williamsongs » Wed May 30, 2012 7:59 am

This is greatly reassuring. Thanks Nick, Gregg, David, et al. We have a lot of gobos made expressly for this purpose, and the flooring is over a garage space that could take some more insulation, and also the option to tile the surface below that. It's a solid, solid hardwood tongue and groove, but it's old (1960's) and there's no underfloor insulation. We can change that.

At the nearest property line with someone bashing away, only the kick triggers a needle on an "A-weighted" meter. This was without even using the gobos. While this doesn't technically violate the code until after midnight, what I want is total incognito operations. I want to avoid anyone ever knowing there is a session going on in that building over there. (For a lot of different reasons)

I am encouraged that somewhere between going totally ghetto, and shoving more money into dressing an occasional problem, will lie the solution. Looking for only 3-5 db of reduction, it seems like the simplest solution might even do it. A riser and the gobos we already have. Perhaps some more insulation in the space below, some tiles. Call it a day.

Thanks you guys. Encouraged that this will get solved pretty painlessly.
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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed May 30, 2012 9:09 am

Hey again William,

>>>> I want to avoid anyone ever knowing there is a session going on in that building over there. (For a lot of different reasons)<<<<

This is what we're _all_ going for in our clandestine double-secret probation studios, and you will be able to attenuate and get things very, very reasonable in regard to spl... BUT, bear in mind, without a purpose-built studio building, or a lot of work, energy, and money into a floated floor and walls within walls, you will still have some low end escaping. You can treat for sound within the room, and you can severly mitigate sound that escapes from the room, but you will never "soundproof" entirely, without serious bucks and building materials. Hopefully your neighbors can work with you on that end (as far as acceptable volumes and recording times).

GJ

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Post by Gregg Juke » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:07 pm

Hey William,

Talked with my buddy today. He can score you four more plastic pallets if you want them. You'll just have to pick them up. Let me know. E-mail at the previously posted address, or PM here at TO, and we can set it up.

GJ

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Post by JWL » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:25 pm

Gobos almost certainly will not affect dB readings at the property line, and there is a very good chance that even a perfectly-constructed riser won't help much either.

The key is to find out how the bass is getting out of the room. Most likely there are several factors at play.

A riser will help only if flanking noise is causing the leak.

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:20 am

What about a layer (or 2) of plywood on top of one of these? (You would need 2x that to create an 8'x8' decoupler.)

Image

I bet you could get them the same size, that stuff is super light which would make packing it up after easier. I believe Rod Gervais recommends this for floating a floor on the cheap and on the light [weight].
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Post by kslight » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:01 am

Did the OP ever complete a drum riser? I'm curious to see the final product, made with pallets? I definitely have access to pallets if that is an adequate solution on the cheap.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:37 am

Hey K,

I don't know about William, but we've been happy with a drum riser and also a percussion riser with plastic cargo pallette bases, with plywood covering. Works great, and very simple to make.

GJ

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Post by kslight » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:31 am

Any reason why regular pallets wouldn't be effective (don't have access to any plastic ones...)?

Thanks

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