Four tools for quiet at-home drum practice and recording
Bang on the drum all night.
There’s no need to be a nuisance when it comes to vibing on a drum set. Those who get their kicks playing this notoriously loud musical instrument will be glad to know that it’s now easier than ever to jam out in close proximity to neighbors and roommates thanks to new quiet innovations that keep the groove in the room and out of the ears of others. It doesn’t matter if you’re practicing paradiddles or trying your hand at recording a full-on layered drum symphony: these whisper-quiet technologies will keep every drummer and everyone around them happy no matter the time of day.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite gear for quiet drumming.
If you’re going quiet with your existing drum kit, think of the EAD10 as the “brain” that makes the whole operation possible. Simply attach the included kick trigger module to your kick drum, and add extra supplemental triggers (the Yamaha DT-50S, for example) to your snare and toms, and plug them all into the EAD10 to instantly transform your kit into a robust, digitally-controlled sample kit. Choose from any of the 50 onboard presets and apply studio-quality effects like arena reverb, and use the module to jam along with your favorite songs, record your part, and even send the performance to your friends. A recent update allows for three times the recording time—now 90 minutes—a talk-back function, updated processing settings for noise reduction, and new drum kit sounds to provide more natural drum tones. Within the update, there are 42 new kits—with both acoustic and electronic sounds—that can be used with low-volume cymbals, mesh heads, and drum triggers to help you practice quieter without sacrificing feel.
The second essential piece of the quiet-practice-and-recording puzzle is a responsive drum head that reacts to your playing just like a traditional drum head but doesn’t make a peep when you hit it. The Remo Silentstroke line of drum heads are great at this task, constructed of soft, 1-ply mesh, and dynamic enough to be fully compatible with trigger kits. Grab a whole set and outfit your entire kit for some extended at-home playing and recording.
Looking like something out of a dream, these low-volume cymbals from veteran cymbal makers Zildjian sport a specialized design that gives players all the expected tactile responsiveness with barely any of the noise. Available in sets that include crash, ride, and hi-hats, the L80 cymbals are made of a proprietary alloy and are constructed with a distinct pattern of holes that reduce their volume between 70 to 80 percent.
Those looking to practice quietly without bringing a whole kit will love this pack of four Bluetooth-enabled sensors. The hook onto any pair of sticks and come with two straps for your feet—all you have to do is pair them to your smartphone, configure your virtual kit, and play. They work on any surface, and the sound is all generated through the app, making headphone play ideal. If you’re traveling or just don’t have a whole kit to outfit, this is your ticket to quiet play.