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Home Recording Studio Drum Platform Design

Controlling drum leakage in your recording space, is probably the biggest problem in the home recording studio.
One way to solve the problem is to record the drums in the studio area while the rest of the band is recording in the control room. No more leakage but the scratch tracks are pretty much useless because of the leakage in the control room.
One problem solved and another problem is created. There has to be a better way.
If you isolate the drums properly, the leakage in the adjacent mics is not a problem. So what is the best way to isolate the drums?

The Solution: Build This


This drawing depicts a good design for isolating the drums.
The first thing to do is place the platform which is isolated from the studio floor on vibration-isolated medium (such as fiberglass, celotex, or prefabricated isolators) to decouple it from the floor. It should be placed in the dead area of the studio in the corner. The adjacent walls should be treated to absorb high frequency reflections from the cymbals and high hat from entering the studio area. Don’t forget to decouple the platform from the adjacent walls as well
The next thing is the platform needs to have some mass, not only to provide the necessary isolation but to help create a solid thudding kick drum sound. That is why you fill it with sand or concrete.
The booth should have an overhead canopy to absorb and prevent misc reflections from entering the studio area. The lower the canopy the better the isolation will be, but remember that a canopy lower that 7’ can be oppressive to drummers. Bass trapping in the canopy interior should be applied. The amount varies with personal taste.
An additional layer of isolation can be applied by placing gobos in front of the drum area.

This is also the best set-up for live recording or just for live sound. Controlling the drum volume and spill into the stage area will greatly reduce the overall volume of the stage. The biggest complaint I get from the vocalists is that the stage volume of the instruments overpowers the monitors and they can’t hear themselves.

I will be building such a drum isolation area on the stage of Christ Life Center Church in Tacoma. Look for picture and report soon.
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