You are here

Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Moderator: Moderators

Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby I Just want to practice » Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:27 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm moving into a new build house in a few months (Scotland, U.K) and I'm desperate to have a soundproofed outhouse of some sort for me to practice drums in.

I've contacted a few companies and local builders whose quotes have varied wildly.
A few mates who are builders or musicians have told me its easy to do and to build it myself etc but I'm really not a D.I.Y kind of guy and after doing some research and reading a couple of threads on here, it seems that going cheap or cutting corners will cost me dearly in the long run.

So my questions are

What is a ballpark price for soundproofed outhouse for a drum kit ?

Secondly, can anyone recommend a company/individual in Scotland that offers such a service?

Thanks for any help guys,

I'll pray my budget is close!
I Just want to practice
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:13 pm

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby blinddrew » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:51 pm

Rule 1. Anyone who says that it's easy doesn't understand exactly what needs to be done and will not provide a satisfactory result! ;)

Sound treatment is easy, sound proofing is not. And drums are probably the hardest thing to handle.

Studio Support Gnome (who knows his stuff), a couple of years ago, said on here between £25k for a small mixing room to around £70k for a band room if I recall correctly.

The key thing is that for sound proofing there are no short cuts. You need mass, isolation and air-proofing. Compromise on any of them and you're compromising everything.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14144
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:49 pm

New build suggests close proximity to other dwellings and relatively lightweight construction. The latter won't matter if you are building a separate structure for your drum room but the only way to be reasonably sure it will work, and to have some comeback if it doesn't is to employ a professional and follow their advice to the letter (they will have professional liability insurance).

A much cheaper alternative would be to buy the most expensive electronic kit you can find.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15597
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby James Perrett » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:54 am

I built my studio just over 10 years ago and I did it in two stages. The first stage was to employ a local builder to build the outer shell which was built far more solidly than most outhouses. This cost around £13k. The second stage was the internal soundproofing and treatment which I did myself. The materials came to around £7k but, if I had employed someone to do the job I would have expected it to cost around £30k (though the finish would probably have been better than mine).

My studio is larger and slightly more complicated than a single drum room needs to be but much of the build process remains the same so don't expect it to be massively cheaper. There are people who say they build soundproof garden rooms but often they simply don't have the required sound attenuation. My place is in a quiet neighbourhood and drums are just about impossible to hear outside unless you are close to the door.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10534
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby resistorman » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:52 am

Might be cheaper to rent time at a rehearsal studio or a storage facility...
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:00 am
Location: Asheville NC

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby resistorman » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:53 am

How about building one underground?
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:00 am
Location: Asheville NC

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby CS70 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:50 pm

You might consider a high-end electronic kit. It's not gonna be cheap but it's gonna be cheaper (and with resale value).

It's not completely noise free (there's the tic-tic on the rubber cymbals. the "conk" of the kick on rubber etc) so you may still need some dampening, but it's far less loud than an acoustic kit.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7714
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page


Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:36 pm

For a ground-up build with sufficient sound isolation that a drum kit genuinely won't be audible outside I'd seriously estimate (wet finger in air and sucking through teeth) on budgeting £50k plus. It would need to be built very solidly indeed, and in exactly the right way... and you'd need planning permission. Accidentally linking inner and outer shells, air leaks, and poor constructional design would all substantially reduce the intended sound isolation, and would be very hard to rectify after the build completion.

Cheaper would almost certainly mean some noise would be audible outside... and that might be acceptable under some circumstances, depending on proximity and tolerance of neighbours.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 30630
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby ben howes » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:56 pm

Instead of a big brand electronic kit, you could fit triggers and mesh heads to your acoustic kit, then connect to a vst instrument with a device such as this
https://www.audiofront.net/eDrumIn.php
You might want to add low volume cymbals instead of electronic triggers.
ben howes
Regular
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:00 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:22 am

I did give low volume cymbals a demo as I considered them for my studio kit but they're still quite loud. At least the high end is comparatively easy to contain in a building. Mesh heads (on e-drums or 'real' drums) OTOH are as close to silent as anything you hit could be. We tried that route in the studio, as well as an electronic kit, for a while but ended up with a small conventional kit* and old, jazz style, cymbals.

* Mapex VX Voyager, 18 x 14 kick, 12 x 12 floor tom, 10 and 8 inch rack toms and a 12" snare
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15597
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby S2 » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:40 am

Hi

Years ago when I wanted something identical, I did some research and found that it was just too expensive - for something just to practice drums in. I'm a fairly competent DIYer so would have done most of it myself and I still couldn't justify it. If you aren't a DIY type of guy then unless you have a very decent disposable income then I'd imagine it would be far too costly.

I went down the electric kit route, though it was before the days that these Roland kits were around. I read a brilliant article by the editor here - Paul White, about how to build an electric kit for the price of a Mars bar (and he wasn't far wrong) so I built and used that for many years. (If I ever met him then I'd quite happily buy him many beers for that article, it was fantastic!)

Latterly I bought a Roland kit and along with others here, I'd definitely recommend that as the way forward. I had a fairly basic one which is a little tough and unforgiving on the wrists and fingers after a while, so I'd definitely go for nearer to the top of the range with mesh heads.
User avatar
S2
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1043
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Surrey

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby I Just want to practice » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:19 am

Just want to say how grateful I am to everyone responding with their ideas and experiences.
I didn't get the answer I wanted to hear but I got the truth. It looks like my practice shed is a no go.

I will have to look into renting a practice space and I could entertain am electronic kit but having played a few I'm pretty sure they aren't for me. I'd rather just use practice pads for a fraction of the cost.

I'll buy a few lottery tickets too, just in case.

Thanks everyone.
I Just want to practice
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:13 pm

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:09 pm

Sometimes the depressing decision is the right one. But think how depressed you'd be if you'd spent 10s of thousands pounds and the first night you went to practice the neighbours came banging on the door asking you to turn it down.
Depending on how long ago you last played an electric kit, it might be worth looking at them again. They are improving all the time.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14144
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Building a soundproof outhouse to practice drums in

Postby Luke W » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:18 pm

blinddrew wrote:Sometimes the depressing decision is the right one. But think how depressed you'd be if you'd spent 10s of thousands pounds and the first night you went to practice the neighbours came banging on the door asking you to turn it down.

Definitely this :thumbup:

A few Google searches will find lots of posts across the internet from people in exactly that position as well.
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:00 am
Location: Northamptonshire, UK
Studio - Techical Services - Bespoke Construction

Next