January 13, 2021
I’ve been doing some research for a while on how to solve this problem, and just stumbled across this incredible forum and all the great videos on YouTube and figured I’d post for some advice.
I’m an apartment drummer who’s been getting complaints from the neighbors downstairs about the noise. I use an electronic drum kit, so the sound being transferred isn’t so much the higher frequencies of the kit, but the actual impact noise of the foot pedal/drum sticks on the ceiling below. Apparently it’s been so bad that there’s dust/chips of pain coming off of their ceiling, a crack forming, and products falling off of their shelves. I feel terrible about this, as this is my first apartment and I honestly didn’t expect this from a (supposedly) “silent kit”.
I’ve done some research about how others have solved this in the past, and I’ve heard relatively good things about “tennis ball risers” () but I’m a little bit skeptical, specifically because I can’t imagine something so cheap working so well. I’m also a little bit worried about stability, as I’d like something as firm as possible to play on. I admit, I don’t understand the principles at play here, so that could be impossible. I know from the video “low frequency absorption ” that this kind of thing is tough because “the lower wavelengths overpower” regular foams and such.
Basically, I’m wondering what I can do to attenuate low frequency noise transferred through my floor. I’m not sure how to measure exactly what gets through – is it as simple as recording from below while I play and analyzing the waveforms? Additionally, I see that the actual design/size of the room matters here. I assume since this isn’t about reverberation in the room, but between the floor and ceiling of the room below, it’s actually that space in which the acoustics play a role. The drum kit takes up about 25sqft in my apartment, in a kind of 60”x60” alcove. The floor is hardwood, and this is an old NYC apartment building, c1900 construction, so I’m unclear what’s actually between the floor and ceiling below; I sort of assume it’s thick wooden beams, but it could be concrete or steel I guess.
So far I’ve bought two layers of 3/4” MDF, and a carpet. I also purchased some industrial rubber floor mats and green glue, however i think I’m doing to return both after watching some of the videos . The floor mats are for higher frequency ranges, I believe, and apartment green glue is bunk.
If anyone has any suggestions or solutions, or could advocate for/against a tennis ball riser, please let me know.