How can I play drums without annoying my neighbours?

Let’s face it – drums are loud. Of course, that’s part of the fun. But the sheer volume of an acoustic kit can make it a challenge for drummers to practise at home – not to mention a headache for housemates, neighbours and anyone else in the postcode.

It’s frustrating when you can’t hit as hard as you like or play when you want – but the good news is that drummers no longer need to suffer in silence. Read on for our noise-busting solutions to five common problems, allowing you to practise without disturbing your neighbours – even if you live in an apartment.

1. Can’t play acoustic drums at home due to noise
2. Replacing noisy acoustic drum heads
3. Excessive floor/ceiling vibrations caused by drum pedals
4. Cymbal hits are too loud
5. General noise from mechanical vibration

Problem #1: Can’t play acoustic drums at home due to noise

The obvious solution to combat acoustic drum noise is to go electronic. Back in 1997, Roland launched the original TD-10 V-Drums kit, making it possible for drummers to play a complete kit in a small, non-soundproofed room at practical volumes.

Roland V-Drums give players the feel of a full-size drum kit without the noise issues. Even better, electronic drums never need tuning, while the headphone option means you’re free to play along with your favourite music when it suits you.

The V-Drums range takes in everything from the all-in-one TD-1K and compact fold-up TD-4KP, to the fully expandable and editable flagship TD-50KV. Whatever your level, budget or drumming style, you’ll find a V-Drums kit to suit you.

The module included with V-Drums kits delivers larger-than-life sound, while the integrated pedals and racks combine with electronic hi-hats and cymbals that react just like their acoustic counterparts. Meanwhile, pad surfaces are rubber, cloth-feel or adjustable mesh for the ultimate bounce, response and quietness. They’re simple to record with – no need to mic up the kit, for example – and can be customised using the module to create your own signature drum sounds.

Roland V-Drums sound and feel totally authentic – whether you’re practising silently in private or performing loud and proud onstage.

Explore the entire range here

Problem #2: Replacing Noisy Acoustic Drum Heads

Mesh Heads
Acoustic drum heads sound great, whether it’s the whip-crack of the snare, rattling toms or the kick drum’s ability to move some serious air. However, a drummer’s idea of heaven is usually their neighbour’s idea of hell, so if you want to keep the peace, you’ll need to find a way to compromise.

With their satisfying feel, plus durability that far outlasts conventional plastic Mylar heads, Roland’s dual-ply mesh heads have been a key feature of V-Drums for many years. Try them for yourself and you’ll be impressed by the familiar response and bounce – without the usual noise of acoustic heads and the cost of replacing them.

Roland’s latest PowerPly mesh heads can be tensioned to suit the individual player and come in a complete range of standard sizes to fit out your entire acoustic kit. Plus, you can attach acoustic triggers to PowerPly heads to generate any sound you like from a sound module.

How to make your drum kit hybrid with PowerPly mesh heads

Problem #3. Excessive floor/ceiling vibrations caused by drum pedals

For drummers living in close quarters, pedals cause problems. The mechanical vibration from both the foot stomp and the beater hitting the pad can easily transmit through floors and walls, even if your drums are set up on a rug or carpet.

All V-Drums kits have been designed with either shock-absorbing rubber, cloth-feel or mesh head kick trigger systems to minimise airborne noise and vibration. In 2016, a new series of beaterless pedal designs make it easier than ever to drop the decibels.

Kick Pedal Solutions

► KT-9 Beaterless Kick Trigger Pedal

Slim and easily positioned, the KT-9 offers a realistic swinging action, footboard feel and a near-silent trigger system that’s compatible with any trigger input module.

* 85% less noise than kick trigger Roland KD-9 pad and conventional with drum pedal beater combination
* Can be used with any trigger module
* Durable and lightweight

Drum pedal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

► KT-10 Heavy Duty Beaterless Kick Trigger Pedal

This top-of-the-range, adjustable hammer-action pedal is designed to imitate a conventional beater and head combination – without the noise, complexity and space requirements of a separate pedal and trigger pad setup.

* Heavy Duty Design
* Low noise hammer action
* Adjustable spring and cam action
* Linkable for multiple pedals

Hi-Hat Pedal Solutions

Hi-hat pedals generally cause fewer volume issues than their kick pedal counterparts. When you’re playing energetically though, they can still generate enough vibration to bother your neighbours.

To combat this, you should try a Roland hi-hat controller. These connect to the HHC input of the sound module and allow progressive control of the opening/closing of hi-hat sounds in the module, for a convincing performance.

The following pedals feature both smooth action and incredibly low noise – perfect for silent practice without sacrificing hi-hat feel.

► FD-8 Hi-Hat Controller

The FD-8 comes as standard with V-Drums kits featuring the rack-mounted CY-5 hi-hat – including the TD-4KP and TD-11K/KV – but will work on any module with a HHC input. It allows progressive action from open to closed, and even allows for foot splashing techniques as performed on acoustic hi-hats.

* Standard hi-hat controller compatible with all HHC module inputs
* Progressive and smooth control from open to closed
* Spikes to stop movement and slippage
► FD-9 Silent Hi-Hat Controller

The FD-9 represents a new generation of hi-hat controllers. Its near-silent action and authentic feel lets you play all day or through the night – without sacrificing the feel of a conventional hi-hat.

* Realistic hi-hat controller action
* Smooth and silent design
* Compatible with all HHC module inputs
KICK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problem #4: Cymbal hits are too loud

Roland’s V-Cymbals are designed for drummers who need to reduce practice volume but refuse to compromise on performance. Available in sizes ranging from 5” to 15”, they offer a realistic swinging motion and satisfying weight, alongside a rubber coating that dramatically reduces impact volume and prevents broken sticks.

FRONT

BACK

 

 

 

 

 

 

CY12C 12” V-Crash cymbal

The CY-8, CY-12C and CY-14C all use one TRS output jack to give you two trigger regions for bow and edge hits. This makes them perfect for use as crash cymbals. Alternatively, this single dual output can be connected to any trigger input module where any sound – not just crash – can be assigned for maximum creativity.

Also available are the 13” CY-13R and 15” CY-15R Ride V-Cymbals, featuring two TRS trigger outputs for bell, bow and edge triggering. These can be connected to any module with ride and bell trigger inputs for three-way triggering.

Hi-Hat Noise

A major turning point for electronic drums arrived in 2004, with the introduction of the conventionally mounted VH-11 V-Hi-Hat, with its authentic opening and closing motion and breakthrough trigger response.

The hi-hat is the most frequently played element of a kit – and the most challenging component of any electronic kit to perfect, due to the range of nuance required.

VH-11 hi-hat

 

 

 

 

 

VH-11 hi-hat

Supplied with the TD-25K/KV and TD-30K V-Drums kits, the VH-11 features a single top hat and mounts on a conventional hi-hat stand.

Together with the included hi-hat controller unit – which mounts on the hi-hat stand below the top hat – the VH-11 can be connected to the hi-hat trigger input of all Roland drum modules.

HIHAT

 

 

 

 

 

VH-13 V-hi-hat

Supplied with the TD-30K/KV kits, the VH-13 features two cymbal pads that offer the familiar feel and bounce of twin acoustic hi-hats – without the noise.

By combining either of these hi-hats with a compatible V-Drums sound module, you’ll be able to enjoy authentic feel and performance – whenever it suits you.

FULL KIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CY-5 hi-hat trigger and FD-8 hi-hat controller pedal

*Tip: For a more compact hi-hat setup, combine any standard V-Crash (eg. the CY-5) with an FD-8 or FD-9 hi-hat controller

 

Problem #5: General Noise from Mechanical Vibration

 

Drum Mats

Designed to minimise slipping and absorb vibration from either acoustic or electronic drums, the TDM-1, TDM-10 and TDM-20 V-Drums mats combine a rubber backing with a heavy-duty velcro-style closed loop carpet on the top. They’re available in three sizes to suit your personal setup.

MATS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noise-Eaters

Even with the quietest pedal, pad and cymbal setup, mechanical vibration can still make its way through the floor or wall to disturb your neighbours. In this situation, you need a solution that goes straight to the root of the problem.
Noise-Eaters provide an impact-absorbing buffer between the drum stand, the drum pedal and the floor, to eliminate transmission of mechanical vibration before it even begins.

NOISE EATER

 

 

 

 

 

 

NE-1 Noise-Eater

Compact and discreet, NE-1 Noise-Eaters are rubber isolating feet that attach to the legs of stands, racks and kick triggers. By allowing the stands to effectively float on air, they stop vibration from transmitting through the floor.

Your next step is to use NE-10 platform-style Noise-Eaters. These are an ideal solution for noisy kick and hi-hat pedals, raising them off the floor and dramatically reducing foot stomp and beater noise. The result: less volume and more flexible practice sessions.

PEDAL AND KICK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NE-1 & NE-10 Noise Eaters

So however far you want to go to reduce the noise you make while playing drums, there are many solutions to suit all budgets and scenarios. Check out the product links to get started.

Noise – The Drummer’s Biggest Problem