Noise Control: Happy Neighbors = Happy Drummer

Noise Control: Happy Neighbors = Happy Drummer

As many of us have encountered, the biggest reason for not buying a drum set (or alternatively, playing your drum set) is the NOISE! Well, that excuse won’t work anymore. Companies have recognized this barrier and continue to use modern technology to develop more ways for us to control the noise on our drums so we can play anytime and anywhere our heart desires. To feed the drum kit playing need, here are some things to consider when you are shopping for a drum set or get that late night craving to play your kit. Keep in mind these are just a few options that I personally recommend, but that there are many other ways to lower the volume of your drums and with time, I have no doubt more options will continue to emerge. Hopefully these are helpful methods that can help you convince yourself or someone else that buying a drum set and playing it won’t bring a headache to everyone around you J

Electric Drum Set ($300 – $8000)

This is the obvious choice at first glance when it comes to buying a drum set that you plan on playing in a small apartment. Electric drum sets are amazing. Keep in mind however that they are nothing close to the amazing feeling it is to sit behind and play an acoustic drum set. Nevertheless, they give you all the basics of a drum set but with the option of using headphones so only you can hear your drumming.


– Recording is very easy

– You can play around with different kits and sounds

– Allows for use of headphones or an amp

– Takes up less space than acoustic drum set

– Volume control is very easy


– Transitioning from electric to acoustic drums can be awkward

– You can still hear the sticks hitting the pads of the electric pads (depending on the model this can be loud for late night practice)

– The feel of the electric kits falls way short of an acoustic kit

-The high hat feels awkward.

REMO Silentstroke Drumheads ($100 for a 4 piece kit)

These drumheads were one of the main leaps in the market to allow drummers to play acoustic drums without the loud noise. The concept is simple; these drumheads are made out of a mesh material, similar to the ones used on Roland electric kits, and function like any other drum heads except that they are roughly 20 times more silent than a typical drumhead. The cool thing about these is that they still retain the tone of the drum so you can hear the difference between playing a snare, the high, low tom, and kick drum.   You only need to put these on one side of the drum, not both the resonant and batter head. Keep in mind these still leaves your cymbals at regular volume.


  • Allow you to play an acoustic kit and maintain tonality and feel
  • Affordable alternative to electric drum set
  • You can put it on the resonant side of the drum and flip the drum around every time you want to practice silently
  • These do not need tuning, just slightly tighten them


  • Constantly taking these on and off takes up time and becomes a burden
  • Leaving it on the resonant side can make the drums sound odd when playing a standard drum head on the batter side
  • The bounce of the head is not identical to a standard drumhead
  • *****Cymbals are still loud – you would also need to purchase silent cymbals (i.e. Zildjian L80 or Generation 16), which can be pricy******

Aquarian Super Pad Drum Mute and Practice Pad (Roughly $50.00/pad)

Aquarian has recently launched a serried of Super Pad Drum Mutes that can serve as mutes for the drum kit, as well as practice pads. These silencer heads strap onto the drums and produce an almost completely muted sound. At the same time they also still allow the snare wires to function so you can hear the variation between the snare and the toms/kick drum, although not quite as distinctly as you can with the silentroke heads mentioned above. These are a slightly more expensive alternative, but you don’t have to worry about changing drumheads all the time and you can also use them as practice pads.


  • Function as mutes as well as practice pads
  • Easy and quick to strap on and off the drums
  • Virtually mute the drum kit completely


  • Feel is more like that of a practice pad than drum set
  • *****Cymbals are still loud – you would also need to purchase silent cymbals (i.e. Zildjian L80 or Generation 16), which can be pricy******

    Mahru Madjidi

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