Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

The Drum Condo in Pictures

Yesterday we left off at the construction stage. I thought I would share some pictures and show you how we finished up. First, let me remind you of our design goals.

Project Design Goals

  • Attenuate drum volume significantly (meaning >20 dB SPL; >30 would be even better).
  • Modular construction so it could be taken apart easily and moved out of the room.
  • Visually appealing–it should look built-in (we were hoping we might not have to move it if we made it pretty enough).
  • Big enough to hold our standard 2 tom, 3 cymbal kit
  • Cost less than $1,500.
  • Easily built with stuff we could by at Home Depot.

With the walls all put together, we felt pretty good both about how it looked and how we could take it apart and move it around. The next challenge was the roof. Our worship pastor, Jon, had the idea of building a frame within a frame, that when put on the walls, would hold everything together. Essentially what we did was put it all together, and take the inside dimensions, subtract a half-inch and build frames from 1×4. We then took 2 pieces of 3/8″ plywood, and cut them to overhang the outside walls by 1 inch. I then attached the outside frame (again, 1×4) to the plywood at the edges. I placed that on the condo, marked the inside locations of the walls, then attached the inside frame to the plywood. Perhaps a picture would help. Click on any of the pics to enlarge.

The roof from the inside. The roof from the inside.
The roof is in the background...it might give a better idea of what I'm talking about. The roof is in the background…it might give a better idea of what I’m talking about.It was about this time I realized I made a slight calculations error. The outside dimension of the condo, once we got it all sided, ended up at 98 1/2″. We intended to build the roof in 2 parts; however, if you divide 98 1/2 by 2, you get 49 1/4″, which is, unfortunately, 1 1/4″ more than a sheet of plywood is wide. Since the other dimension is just over 72″, we needed to run the plywood in such a way that we ended up with an inch and a half gap down the middle. This is why I don’t like to design on the fly at Home Depot…

Faced with this dilemma, I came up with a simple solution. I took a length of 1×6, and fashioned it into a shallow U shape. I put foam gasket on the inside of the U, and when placed upside down over the seam, completely covers the seam, air seals it, and looks good. Problem solved!

Oops, there's the gap. Oops, there’s the gap.
Almost finished, it looks like it belongs there. Almost finished, it looks like it belongs there.
The finished condo, complete with band. The finished condo, complete with band.To finish things off, I ordered up 48 square feet of Auralex 3″ foam Wedgies. We placed those inside the frame on the roof, and covered the inside of the hollow core door. We also lined the inside walls with fiberglass, then covered that with some really nice linen fabric.

Getting back to our goals, I feel like we hit every one pretty well. I’ve actually had people ask me if the condo was there previously. Some can’t believe we built it because it matches so well. The ultimate test was when the pastor of the host church decided that it would look better than a stack of chairs sitting there, and authorized us to keep it in place all the time. Score one for attention to detail!

Tomorrow, I’ll finish up with a quick post on how it actually works/sounds.

12 Comments

  1. real_tt@yahoo.com

    Did your team not consider plexi-glass booths.

    http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Clearsonic_Drum_Isolation_Booths.html

    We use one similar to what is on this link and it works great.

    Just wondering.

  2. real_tt@yahoo.com

    Did your team not consider plexi-glass booths.

    http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Clearsonic_Drum_Isolation_Booths.html

    We use one similar to what is on this link and it works great.

    Just wondering.

  3. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Tim–We did consider it, but to get one the size we needed with a roof was out of reach of our budget. We built ours to look like it’s always been in the sanctuary for about 1/2 what a commercial one would have cost.

    Which is not to say the commercial solutions are bad. I’ve seen some that are quite amazing and work great. It was just not as good a fit for us in our application.

  4. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Tim–We did consider it, but to get one the size we needed with a roof was out of reach of our budget. We built ours to look like it’s always been in the sanctuary for about 1/2 what a commercial one would have cost.

    Which is not to say the commercial solutions are bad. I’ve seen some that are quite amazing and work great. It was just not as good a fit for us in our application.

  5. mikeallenmusic@gmail.com

    For what it’s worth I took a friend to UR for the first time last week and she asked what the drummer was in, then asked if it had always been there. You guys did a good job of matching it to the sanctuary!

  6. mikeallenmusic@gmail.com

    For what it’s worth I took a friend to UR for the first time last week and she asked what the drummer was in, then asked if it had always been there. You guys did a good job of matching it to the sanctuary!

  7. dmcoopknx@comcast.net

    Looks good.

    I’d love to see pictures of the inside. What have you done for cooling the drummer? Are there any vibration issues you have had to resolve?

  8. dmcoopknx@comcast.net

    Looks good.

    I’d love to see pictures of the inside. What have you done for cooling the drummer? Are there any vibration issues you have had to resolve?

  9. mckewjw@gmail.com

    We stuck a little fan in there to blow on us. The first week, the condo was about 10-15 degrees warmer than the rest of the room. I thought I was going to melt. I’m told the bigger fan they’ve since added keeps it a nice comfortable temperature, even cooler than the rest of the sanctuary.

  10. mckewjw@gmail.com

    We stuck a little fan in there to blow on us. The first week, the condo was about 10-15 degrees warmer than the rest of the room. I thought I was going to melt. I’m told the bigger fan they’ve since added keeps it a nice comfortable temperature, even cooler than the rest of the sanctuary.

  11. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Dean–What Joe said. Joe is one of our drummers at Upper Room (and took the condo for it’s maiden voyage). With the fan in there, it hasn’t seemed to be too bad. I was concerned about noise from the fans getting into the mics, but it hasn’t seemed to be a problem.

    I’ll try to shoot some pics with everything set up this weekend.

    –mike

  12. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Dean–What Joe said. Joe is one of our drummers at Upper Room (and took the condo for it’s maiden voyage). With the fan in there, it hasn’t seemed to be too bad. I was concerned about noise from the fans getting into the mics, but it hasn’t seemed to be a problem.

    I’ll try to shoot some pics with everything set up this weekend.

    –mike

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