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drum head dampeners

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drum head dampeners

Postby Camaro on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:54 pm

I just bought a drum kit, and here is my dilemma (besides not knowing how to play drums): I don't have anywhere to play drums for the time being. Has anyone had any experience with sound dampening head covers like these? Has anyone made their own? It doesn't seem like it would be that hard. Would the difference in response matter if I just cut a carpet remnant up to fit my drum heads?
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby m.koren on Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:45 pm

Camaro wrote:I just bought a drum kit, and here is my dilemma (besides not knowing how to play drums): I don't have anywhere to play drums for the time being. Has anyone had any experience with sound dampening head covers like these? Has anyone made their own? It doesn't seem like it would be that hard. Would the difference in response matter if I just cut a carpet remnant up to fit my drum heads?


I used some pads like that 10 years ago , and it was still too loud for folks on the other side of the wall (or floor). Definitely go the homemade route and see if that will give you what you want. Do you plan to do just basic rudiment practice ? Or do you need to play the whole kit ? If you're just starting out , you could just dampen the snare drum with some foam , pillow, blanket or whatnot , put on your favorite tunes (or a metronome), and play along. As an alternative, you could see if someone has a warehouse space where you could leave the drums and be able to play them after hours and weekends. Maybe throw down a hundred bucks or so a month for rent ? Good luck.
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Postby eliya on Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:51 pm

take old t-shirts and such and put on the drums, it's really killing them, more than the rubber dampeners.
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Postby burndaddy on Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:16 pm

Mouse pads work well and are free or cheap if you know someone in IT. A sheet over the kit also works/helps. There are things you can do to the room to assist isolation -- blankets on the walls, thick carpeting underneath, seal doors & windows, etc..

Be aware that practicing with heavily dampened drums may be good for coordination/patterns, but it will not help tone control and may even establish bad habits.
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Postby steve on Sat Mar 24, 2007 4:45 pm

You can buy "silent" drumheads made of screen mesh that make no sound, but fit and feel like conventional drumheads. Just swap them for conventional drumheads when you get a rehearsal space.
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Postby Peter on Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:07 am

Yep. Mesh heads are great.
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Postby beard rock on Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:19 pm

hmmm...

this could be another topic but... no.

i've never used 'em, or know anything about drum triggers, but with these special mesh heads you speak of i'm thinking i could take an old beater kit and make some kind of electronic practice drum kit? should be cheaper and feel more 'right' than any one you can buy, right?
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Postby scott on Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:57 am

TECH ROOM! Yay!!!
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Postby Peter on Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:20 am

beard rock wrote:hmmm...

this could be another topic but... no.

i've never used 'em, or know anything about drum triggers, but with these special mesh heads you speak of i'm thinking i could take an old beater kit and make some kind of electronic practice drum kit? should be cheaper and feel more 'right' than any one you can buy, right?


It may take some time to find the right balance between head tension and trigger accuracy/sensitivity, but it works perfectly. Grab an old Alesis DM5 module on ebay and some good ddrum triggers and heads and you're on.
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Postby Camaro on Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:32 am

Thanks for all the good advice! The T-shirts work much better than I expected and no one has complained so far. Effective and free!

Image

The mesh heads are something I'll eventually invest in. Regardless of disturbing the neighbors, I've found it easier to practice drums without making lots of terrible sounding noise. Plus, it'll be a better simulation. Plus, the giant eyesore in my living room won't look like I'm drying laundry on it at all times.

We've found a free(!) rehearsal spot for the summer, so hopefully I'll have some chops by the time I can play them for real.
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Postby nick92675 on Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:35 am

i had no idea those mesh heads existed. this looks like it'd be a good deal for someone.
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Postby TheMilford on Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:36 pm

If you are learning to play drums you may want to play on surfaces that actually make the sticks bounce... it's a HUGE part of how drums are played properly.

It's all about the bounce.
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Postby the.bowlox on Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:46 pm

Mesh heads will make your sticks bounce a little too much at first, but then they wear out pretty quickly. At least mine did, but I got the cheapest ones from musician's friend.

Also, mesh heads don't sound very cool with contact mics. That's neither here nor there.
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby andyman on Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:33 am

With the long gap since the last post here, has anyone got any updated information on the state of mesh heads and the like? Getting a kit to start learning has only become an option recently and I want to make sure I don't develop bad habits that'll become glaringly apparent down the road with an unmuted kit. These mesh heads have realistic enough response (e.g. bounce) and high enough resolution/precision? Is there a mesh equivalent for cymbals? I'd guess muting them would raise problems in the area of learning strike accuracy, which is what I suspect also happens with the t-shirt over drums option.
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby Adam I on Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:27 am

Decent silencing pads are (in my experience) fine (and cheaper) so long as you get maybe 1/3rd practice time without them. They're obviously simpler/cheaper than mesh heads. You still get decent bounce, although not identical to real heads, it's close.

Practice pads (solid, silent, stand-alone) are almost exactly the same, feel-wise as real drums - unless you can be arsed with switching heads all the time (I can't) then I'd go with a practice pad for rudiment practice, and silencing pads for kit practice.

So long as you get some reasonable time with regular heads on your kit, unsilenced, I reckon practice/silent pads offer a good compromise.

YMMV etc.
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby eliya on Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:02 pm

Adam I wrote:So long as you get some reasonable time with regular heads on your kit, unsilenced, I reckon practice/silent pads offer a good compromise.



+1. Pads, mesh heads, dampers, whatever, they won't be bad if you get enough time with your kit. Like Adam said, 1/3 of the time play with pads, 2/3 of the time play with real drums.

I don't like practice pads, they don't feel EXACTLY the same as drums to me, but they're not bad for stick control practice.
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby andyman on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:00 pm

Thanks guys. How do you handle the cymbals? As well as that, my main worry is that the pads will move everything into one big muffle sound, meaning It'll sound the same in the centre, the rim, and everywhere between. This is bad.
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby eliya on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:22 pm

andyman wrote:Thanks guys. How do you handle the cymbals?


Put a shirt on the cymbals, or a heavy fabric, it'll dampen them.

andyman wrote:As well as that, my main worry is that the pads will move everything into one big muffle sound, meaning It'll sound the same in the centre, the rim, and everywhere between. This is bad.


You got that straight, jack. :D
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby andyman on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:33 pm

Well la di da! "Lookit me! I'm in Israel. I have a big shack for practicing the drums in."

Kiss my ass, El. I'm playing the drums one way or another - the world doesn't need another guitar player.
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Re: drum head dampeners

Postby Bubber on Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:00 pm

--------
Bump.

Hey, what's a good middle ground to attenuate the shit out of a snare, way quieter than a t-shirt over the top, but not silent like the mesh heads? (I guess I'm assuming that since the upper head would be mesh, it wouldn't activate the snare wires on the bottom head?)

Line the interior of the shell with foam plus a t-shirt on the bottom head? Something, something?

It's OK if it sounds like shit but I still want it to basically sound like a snare. My bass drum has the shit dampened out of it and it sounds like a quiet bass drum with the shit dampened out of it. I want the snare version of that.

My neighbor is an awesome drummer and I can hear him play his practice pads from the next house. Thin walls. My goal is to be only twice as loud and a quarter as awesome (inverse square law, basic physics)

THANKS IN ADVANCE
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