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#766656 - 04/03/01 02:57 AM Is there a way to build a drum shield?
KeyboardFreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 58
Hey.... I'm not a drummer.... but our band NEEDS a drum shield. Unfortunately we don't really have the $300 or so to shell out for one. We basically need to just turn the overall band volume down a lot (starting with the drums)........ we play in church where there are a bunch of older people and a couple of them have complained about the general "loudness" of the band. I think most of this is coming from our drummer, and our really reverberant sanctuary.


So, the question is......... is there a way to build something that will function as a drum shield???? Can I maybe buy some clear acrylic sheets at some place like Home Depot and then rig up a simple hinge system??? Has anyone had any experience with building drum shields? Are there some materials that work better for sound control?? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer..................

------------------
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
_________________________
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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#766657 - 04/03/01 11:07 AM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
felix stein Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 962
Loc: Cleveland
Acrylic sheets aren't that cheap.
http://www.acrilex.com

Why on earth do you need a drum shield? If it is that big of a church/sanctuary? Do you have a competent sound man? A set of used noise gates might be cheaper. Why not just take up a collection and buy what you want with a pro look to it?

Felix Stein,
The Token Jew
_________________________
felix's band

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#766658 - 04/03/01 02:00 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
KeyboardFreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 58
Thanks for the reply felix! To answer your questions............

"Why on earth do you need a drum shield?"......... Well, first of all, most of the older people in our church aren't too "hip" about anything besides piano and organ playing in the services. It's only been about a year since we started having drums/guitars/keyboards/etc playing. And we only play about once or twice a month. A few have complained about the noise level of the band. Our whole band really likes to play loud... so that doesn't help the situation any. We can go on without having a shield......but it would probably be better if we got one fairly soon.

"If it is that big of a church/sanctuary?"......... It's not that big of a church. A pretty decent sized medium-largish church......... Definitely not something like a First Baptist of ****** (< < Insert large city here < < ) As far as I know our sanctuary can hold 250 people or so. And there is a balcony.... so it's not some really deep room. I would guess the back wall is around 30-40 feet back from the stage. About 40-50(60 maybe?) feet wide. And about 20-30 feet high. For some reason or another.... the room really echoes and amplifies every little thing.

"Do you have a competent sound man? A set of used noise gates might be cheaper."........ On occasion we have a good sound man, but very rarely in the night services, which is when we play. Basically we just have someone to turn on and off the different mics and do basic volume balancing. The drums are never miked, so sorry if I offend you or anything.... but I don't see how this really matters. If you could explain... that would be great.

"Why not just take up a collection and buy what you want with a pro look to it?"............ I think this is what I may do... I was just looking to see if there was a way to build one for a cheaper price. Apparantly there really isn't ........ thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate it greatly!

------------------
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
_________________________
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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#766659 - 04/03/01 02:24 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
djarrett Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1693
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
Hey, Keyboard Freak:

I feel your pain! I too play for a very large church ( an 8000+ member Baptist) in Nashville. This place is a huge as an arena and we have the very best technology in the world with two sound guys ... and *STILL* the drums are complained about.
I am actually on tympani or percussion most of the time and the guy playing set feels like he has to play with #2 pencils!!

I do not think you offended Felix ... the thing is, we drummers are blamed for the volume level offense all the time, when truly ... (dare I say this!?!) it is the other musicians inability to listen and their selfish need to hear primarily themselves! Felix is correct about listening in a circle ... blending ... NOT competing for the volume!
This would solve a huge amount of your problems. Chances are that adjusting the overall volume down would produce a better product for the listener as well.

Yet I digress. The issue is a drum shield. May I suggest you check out all the options. I will do some checking with my industry buds to find out about a cheaper alternative for you regarding plexiglass. Do not think that this will solve the problem completely or give the drummer free will to wail after you have on! We have one in front and in the back of our set at church as well as acoustic foam on the lower 2/3rds of the plexiglass inside the walls! And we still get complaints.
Might I also suggest you check out auralex max-walls as well. Go to http://www.auralex.com. There is a thread posted in this forum regarding their drum platfoam as well.

The bottom line is this. There is more than one approach to solving this problem, but you guys as the musicians that are serving the Lord with your talent (as a ministry) should not have to dig into your own pockets to find the solution. If folks in the congregation are complaining. Let them fund the solution!!

Once I have more plexiglass answers ... I will post again!
Thanks,
Dendy

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#766660 - 04/03/01 02:56 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
ajcamlet@earthlink.net Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 181
Loc: ,NJ,UNITED STATES
Man, what is it with all guys and the volume of the drums?!? Geez, instead of going out to Home Depot and trying to construct some shield (that wont work in a church anyway re: ceiling heights)......JUST TURN DOWN!!!

If its the drummers fault, ask him or her to play with brushes or hot rods.
if its anyone else's fault, turn the amp down. Twist. That's a lot easier and probably in the end going to be more musical than building a sound dam.

If the drummer is still too loud, or refuses to play with anything other than sticks - fire them.

ajc

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#766661 - 04/03/01 03:03 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
ajcamlet@earthlink.net Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 181
Loc: ,NJ,UNITED STATES
Furthermore,
IMHO, shields for drums were conceived for drums to isolate them in a either a really tight recording environment or in a *live* recording environment. I.e. drum sound bleeding into non-drum mics, and non-drum sounds bleeding into drum mics - it didn't matter who the player was, or how loud or soft they played - it was a matter of isolation.

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#766662 - 04/03/01 05:46 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
felix stein Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 962
Loc: Cleveland
Keyfreak:
I'm not tweaked, don't sweat it...and the gate thing? I thought you might be getting bleed/feedback from the mics.

Well, I'm with AJ on this one...felt beater on kick, brushes or hot rods and a light touch is your cheapest and most sensible out. But like in all churches and political settings, you will have to tread lightly. I'm sure drummers aren't lining up for those high paying, groupie drenched sanctuary gigs!

Felix-
The Token Jew (not from Nazareth)
_________________________
felix's band

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#766663 - 04/03/01 10:13 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
KeyboardFreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 58
Thanks to everybody for your input........ I think a few of you may have misunderstood the problem. Hopefully I can clear it up.......... djarret said "I **TOO** play for a very large church......" Apparantly he thought this was a big church we play for. It's not at all....... our average attendance is approximately 250-300. No offense to you djarrett.... but I don't think we'd have anything even resembling a problem if we were playing in a building as big as yours!

You are all right saying that we should probably turn down the overall volume. But the thing is.... when we try to balance the volumes relative to each other it always seems that the drums overpower everything anyway. (Causing everyone else to turn up some more) I guess I should probably suggest he play with rods.... but personally I don't really like the sound of them. I really like the sound from good ol' sticks.... I was kinda hoping that a shield would produce the same sound at lower decibel levels. Of course, a shield might cause more problems than it would fix. (namely the feeling of being closed in, or not wanted, or what-not)

- -"The bottom line is this. There is more than one approach to solving this problem, but you guys as the musicians that are serving the Lord with your talent (as a ministry) should not have to dig into your own pockets to find the solution. If folks in the congregation are complaining. Let them fund the solution!!"- - < < < LOL, I like that idea! We (our church) are in the process of beginning construction of a new building..... they just ok'd a contract for a (get this!) $300,000 parking lot (I think that was it, maybe less, but it was a lot of dough!!) I would think with that much money for a parking lot they could include a $300 drum shield in their budget.... oh well.

- -"If the drummer is still too loud, or refuses to play with anything other than sticks - fire them."- - I suppose we could kick him out.... NOT! First off, no one's getting paid to play. And second... I don't think we could even find another drummer (We don't want a different drummer anyway!) That may have been a joke, I hope, but in any case..... it's out of the question.


- -"I'm sure drummers aren't lining up for those high paying, groupie drenched sanctuary gigs!" - - Definitely not...... I bought a drum machine (Alesis SR-16) awhile back to use with the band because we just could not find a drummer and we really wanted some kind of rhythm. Unfortunately (or fortunately.... since it prompted us to try harder to find a drummer) we didn't all keep in time with the rigidness of the drum machine. I still love to practice with it at home.... but we don't use it in the band at all.

Again, thanks for all your replies..... I will definitely check out those sites and ideas y'all listed. In the mean time.... I think we'll just stick to using sticks or brushes for softer songs and reserve the sticks for the harder stuff.

------------------
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
_________________________
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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#766664 - 04/03/01 11:34 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
djarrett Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1693
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
>Thanks to everybody for your input........ I think a few of you may have misunderstood the problem. Hopefully I can clear it up.......... djarret said "I **TOO** play for a very large church......" Apparently he thought this was a big church we play for. It's not at all....... our average attendance is approximately 250-300. No offense to you djarrett.... but I don't think we'd have anything even resembling a problem if we were playing in a building as big as yours!<

Hey KeysFreak!

I actually understood perfectly. My point was ... if we get complaints in a huge church ... I know what you are going through in a smaller church.

I really think you should check out the Auralex Max-Wall system. These foam studio panels are free-standing and mounted on modified mic stands. They are designed to be used high or low. I have two behind my kit at head level and one on the floor in front of my kit. I is a "V" of acoustic foam that absorbs sound. It is not as attractive as the front of my bassdrum, but the difference these foam panels make is remarkable! (and by the way ... the Max-Wall is not an unattractive product. I just favor the look of my bass drum! )

Besides using my studio for making music and producing stuff for MusicPlayer.com ... I use the studio for live rehearsals as well. The difference these panels made for that purpose has been enormous. We know can hear what is being played by everyone!

The package for the foam is not expensive -- relatively speaking.
You may also benefit from a couple of their bass traps as well.

DJ

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#766665 - 04/04/01 12:53 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
KeyboardFreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 58
Thanks for clearing that up djarrett. And I think I've seen those Maxwalls in a musician's friend catalog before, I always thought they were kinda for temporarily soundproofing a section of a larger room......... or for making half your living room into a studio. I'll definitely check those out some more... they sound interesting.

------------------
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
_________________________
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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#766666 - 04/07/01 06:34 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
Cymbals Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/06/00
Posts: 286
Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Man o' man! Here's the deal - you're in a church with old people. As mean as that may sound - If they can even hear the drums, you're gonna get complaints from someone. That's just how it is, no matter how quiet they are. Been there, done that. I've had people tell me the drums are anti-religious.

Replace the sticks with drum rods (ya know - the sticks made of tiny thin sticks? Turn down the guitars, and make the vocals dominate the mix.

Good luck.

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#766667 - 04/07/01 09:52 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
KeyboardFreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 58
Cymbals:
I hear you when you say that people have called drums "anti-religious"...... it took quite some time to get our church used to even a guitar in the mix. You're definitely right..... we're gonna get some complaints as long as the drums are there. I'm just hoping if we get a shield, there will be less complaints.

Psalm 150:5
Praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.

Hmmmm.... maybe I should tell our pastor to preach from that passage???

------------------
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
_________________________
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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#766668 - 04/23/01 10:09 AM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
DC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/17/01
Posts: 2706
Loc: here to eternity...
It seems like some of you folks have the tail wagging the dog. A plexy sheild is for isolation when you mic drums, it's gonna totally ruin the sound if you don't mic your drums.

If your room is really 'live' then extremely damp the kit. Put dead ringers on all heads or you can use foam insulation strips with the peel off tape as a poor man's dead ringer. I've also worked with drummers who apply duct tape to their cymbals to quiet them a bit. It's really an art to figure out how much and where to put it, but it can work.

If your drummer goes to this trouble and then the guitarist or who ever is overpowering, then he's gonna be mad and play louder so you're gonna have to learn restraint volume wise. My best advice is to record your performances. Put a stereo mic in the back of the church into a dat or cassette or whatever and all of you listen back later and critique. You'll learn really quickly what's working and not working in your mix.

Good Luck...
_________________________
-David

http://www.garageband.com/artist/MichaelangelosMuse

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#766669 - 04/24/01 12:44 AM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
djarrett Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1693
Loc: Nashville,TN,UNITED STATES
Hey Keyboard Freak!
I normally do not endorse a retail outlet, but I have to let you know about this source. I happen to know the owner of the shop very well and know that he would only carry items of the highest quality. It just so happens that he has plexi screens made local to his shop and has them custom built by drummers for drummers.
Find them on his home page at:
http://www.ajpropercussion.com

Hope this helps!
DJ

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#766670 - 05/08/01 02:04 AM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
DrummerCafe Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 836
Loc: Nashville, TN
Just a couple of points to make:

1) Plexi-glass will NOT make the drums quieter. It will only keep the attacks from spilling over into other mics (like the vocalists) and remove directed sound from hitting the audience in the face. It does reflect the sound back in the drummer's face, which sometimes helps them realize just how loud they are playing.

2) The only real way to make the drums quieter ( ... well, besides playing softer) is through absorption. You need something fluffy to eat up the frequencies; like acoustical foam, insulation, etc. You can put acoustical foam on the plexi-glass which will help a bit. If you use plexi-glass, what you really need to do is put sound absorption material behind the drummer as well. When the sound is reflected back, bouncing off the plexi-glass, the additional material behind the drummer will eat more of the sound.

3) The cymbals are typically the real problem. They are set high enough where the spill out over the plexi-glass, and is usually no where near any foam or deadening material.

4) Don't put the drummer up against the back wall. The sound of the drums will just reflect off the wall and bounce all around the room. All the plexi-glass in the world won't help that. Try setting the drums off axis from any flat surfaces. The more strange angles you can create, the better the sound of the drums will dissipate before reaching the audience; like a bass trap in a studio.

I would think that with a small congregation, with little or no money, the cheapest thing to do is get the drummer to play softer as was mention in earlier posts. If he is using arms when he plays, it's going to be loud. The drummer needs to work on controlling the sticks so that he can groove at various tempos and styles, while only letting the sticks travel a few inches above the drum. The higher the sticks go, the louder it will be.

The shield idea can help some what. If you build your own, be sure to make it in small sections with hinges so you can angle the plexi-glass sections to reflect the sound in various directions. This will help break up the sound.

It's a fact: if you want drums to sound good ... you've got to hit them. Tapping them doesn't move much air ... and isn't very rewarding sound wise. I guess that's why many churches go with electronic drums.

Good Luck!



------------------
Bart Elliott
http://bartelliott.com
_________________________
Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum

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#766671 - 05/18/01 07:23 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
Cymbals Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/06/00
Posts: 286
Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Quote:
Originally posted by Bartman:
You can put acoustical foam on the plexi-glass which will help a bit.


LOL - imagining how this would look is pretty funny. "I hear him, but I don't see him!" Even funnier with the white spray stuff! "What's with that cloud in the pulpit?"

Maybe just hand out earplugs to the crowd

Or say, "If you don't like it, then you can go to hell!"
No...that wouldn't work so well either.

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#766672 - 05/18/01 07:36 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
Steve LeBlanc Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/22/00
Posts: 7381
Loc: Los Angeles, CA,UNITED STATES
I just read this thread for the first time...why are you playing for people that don't want to hear you?

Stop playing for a few weeks...if they want drums they'll ask you back.

I'm an atheist so I don't really understand why people miss basketball games for a church service but if you aren't free to express yourself it makes even less sense to me.

I was raised in Memphis, TN, I used to go to Black Baptist churches a lot because the band just ripped...The congregation was so into the music and the celebration of God, etc...it would be silly to even imagine them complaining about a loud drummer. I miss those days...I used to play the B3 every once in a while at Al Green's church, there was so much spirit there I almost believed .

Sorry about that rant but that's how I feel...

Now for a solution...
Stuff your Kick with pillows, completely fill it up...do the same with your toms...hit your Cymbals really litely...buy a rubber practice pad and place it on your snare.

If you're still too loud after doing this...you'll never win.

A drum shield won't help one bit IMO.



This message has been edited by Steve LeBlanc on 05-18-2001 at 04:43 PM

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#766673 - 05/18/01 09:01 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Think about it. Can you imagine Jesus complaining about the drums being too loud? I don't think so. In fact, it would be just like Him to be the one handing out percussion instruments to all the kids in the congregation and encouraging them to join in. He would lead them dancing around the church and then out onto the streets.

Come to think of it, wasn't it the the dour, self righteous religious people that brought on His only recorded rage of anger in all the Gospels?

He spent much of His leasure time with His friends eating and drinking in taverns. The rest of the time He was out encouraging, feeding, healing and performing miracles for the good of humanity.

I am a believer and was once a "minister". But, while I do not condemn those who need or enjoy institutional religion, nor do I look down on those who for whatever reasons cannot seem to find faith, I do know that I sense a lot more purpose and destiny in my spiritual walk by using my talents out in the marketplace (nightclubs etc.) than I did when I spent much of my time mediating over the arguments of a bunch of spoiled, self righteous and self centered parishoners. If any of these people were God, hell would have to put on a big addition because they would have just about everyone else but themselves going there.

Sorry about venting. It has been 10 years and I don't think I will ever get over the frustration nor my own hypocrisy for being a willing partner in something that was so much about man and nothing about God.

However, if you are determined to stick it out and solve the drum wars, you might tip off the drummer that good dynamics are an essentail part of of any good drummers technic. It takes work, but I've played with a few drummers who have mastered this art and they can smoke those skins at volumes so low you can hardly hear what they are playing without sacrificing a single bit of their performance. The guy I play with now can literally play butt kickin drum solos when we are doing sonic wallpaper gigs!!! Another problem you might want to look at is that you might have the stage monitor volume too loud. You need to spend more time doing stage rehearsals to get your stage volumes down and get everyone used to conforming to those volumes.

Once you solve that problem you might be lucky enough to enjoy a couple of weeks of "spiritual bliss" before you must address some other "demonic" spirit of contention. These things have an insatiable appetite. Good Luck and God Bless. Prayer works

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#766674 - 05/19/01 12:18 AM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
KeyboardFreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 58
WOW!! These last two posts, one by a professed atheist and the other by a professed believer, have really caused me to think about some things. Steve LeBlanc brought up some very good points....

"why are you playing for people that don't want to hear you?"

"but if you aren't free to express yourself it makes even less sense to me."

"If you're still too loud after doing this...you'll never win."

Well... to answer the first, although it may sound kinda holier-than-thou..... but we are playing for God, the only reason we play in the services is to allow people to praise God with us. To answer the second..... that actually doesn't make much sense does it?? I mean, if you can't express yourself... are you really playing music?? But then again.... if "expressing ourselves" means going out and making human sacrifices (not saying that we do, of course).... I don't think that would fly in the church, you know? I mean... I think there's a limit to the "self-expression" rights we can take. For the third point...... we probably will never win, there's always gonna be somebody who says "Drums aren't meant to be played in church", etc, etc.

B3Wiz said....

"Can you imagine Jesus complaining about the drums being too loud?"

"He spent much of His leasure time with His friends eating and drinking in taverns"

"Once you solve that problem you might be lucky enough to enjoy a couple of weeks of "spiritual bliss" before you must address some other "demonic" spirit of contention."

I don't think Jesus would complain at all..... after all, there's a verse in the Psalms that says "Praise Him with a crashing cymbal" or something to that effect. I think I qouted it directly up above. And Jesus did spend a lot of time in bars and taverns, with sinners at that!! .... the church today seems to get off on this thought process that says "Oh my goodness.... he's sinning, we can't let him in our church... he might corrupt us".... but what Jesus did was go to the sinners. I don't know if that really has anything to do with the topic at hand.... but I felt like bringing it up anyway...

The last thing that B3Wiz said is way too true........ if we fix the drums, pretty soon someone will complain about the tempo..... or the attitude.... or the guitar player.... or..... or...... etc, etc. So, I think with all this said, I'm going to completely forget about a drum shield. I mean, if I happen to come across some really spectacular deal on one.... I might get it just for the heck of it. But I'm not gonna worry about it.... if problems arise, we'll deal with them as they come. In fact, we're playing this Sunday night.... and on our "set list" we have one of our fastest loudest songs. And the drummer will be sitting about 5 feet in front of the first row. Maybe handing out earplugs isn't such a bad idea.......

Anyway, nobody else needs to reply about the drum shield issue anymore.... unless you have some REALLY AWESOME deal to report... like $50 for a 5 foot high, 2 inch thick, clear as crystal drum shield. Thanks for letting me ramble on and on about nothing ..... I'm done now.



------------------
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
_________________________
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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#766675 - 05/29/01 07:44 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
Chaoticspaceman Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 5
Loc: fairfax,VT,UNITED STATES
I bet Jesus would have been a punk rocker

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#766676 - 05/29/01 09:48 PM Re: Is there a way to build a drum shield?
BIG B Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 6
Loc: dover,DE,UNITED STATES
FIRST OF ALL DONT USE PLEXIGLASS use LEXAN its more flexable and durable
you can drill it and it wont crack also it can come tinted
cut a 4by 8 sheet width wise into 2 ft cuts and assemble with piano hinge if your on a budget

there you go BIG B

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