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I am looking for a new flat in my city and I want to take my electronic drum kit into considerations when choosing the flat.

I was wondering if going for a ground floor flat would solve the problem of vibrations from the drum kit traveling through the walls? Surely I would have one fewer neighbor to deal with, but do vibrations attenuate if they travel to the side neighbors? Do the top neighbors hear anything at all?

The flat is a new building, although I can't find info about the material or the thickness of it. My drumset is a Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set.

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  • On the ground floor, you're definitely better off for having no downstairs neighbors, but transmission to upstairs and side neighbors will really depend on the type of construction, which even for new buildings varies considerably around the world and even within one region. Concrete and concrete masonry units are probably the least likely to allow transmission. In my part of the world, these would be common choices for fire-resistant partitions between units of a new building.
    – Theodore
    Jan 5, 2023 at 20:08
  • Are we talking about an e-drum that you're using with headphones, so it's just the sound made by the physical motions? I've got to assume that ground floor would be best, since I'm guessing that's mainly about the pedals, and mainly about physical transmission through the floor, not through the air. Jan 5, 2023 at 21:21
  • If it's any indication, I live in Western Europe and it looks like the material used is concrete. Does it matter how thick the wall is? I will be using the e-drum with headphones. From what I understand, it does seem that most of the disturbance comes from me hitting the foot pedal and possibly the rest of the kit to a lesser extent. I didn't have a vibration dampener platform though.
    – truvaking
    Jan 5, 2023 at 22:34

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Using electronic drums with headphones is about as quiet as drum practicing can be. That doesn't mean it's always quiet enough for every environment, it just means it can't be much quieter.

One of the biggest problems that still remains with an electronic drum kit is that the action of the kick pedal on the floor can make a surprising amount of noise in the space below the floor. This means that getting a basement apartment in a building is very helpful in avoiding disturbing your neighbors.

The second biggest problem of electronic drums is the sticks on the pads still make some noise. Much quieter than real drums, but potentially loud enough to bother others. In general, the construction of the floor does not make much of a difference in terms of the loudness of sound of the sticks hitting the pads. Most of that sound is transmitted through the air.

If you can find an apartment that is a basement apartment and is at the corner of the building, that would be your best bet. Set up the kit in the place of the apartment closest to the corner of the building, farthest from the next door apartments. Close all interior doors in the apartment to reduce sound transmission from room to room. After you move in, try practicing on something like a Saturday afternoon. If you're social, meet your neighbors and ask them if they can hear it and/or what times and days would be least bothersome to them for you to make a moderate amount of noise.

That's about the best you can do.

Neighbors to the sides and above will be something to be sensitive about. With upper neighbors, the weight of flooring materials may quiet things down a lot more than the walls to the sides. If the building is composed of concrete decks for each floor, then the upstairs neighbors will probably be unaware of your playing electronic drums. Safer to not assume, though.

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  • Support this. There is a simple test the TO can perform. Stomp heavily, or better use some suitable device, which won‘t damage the floor. Either you hear the problems immediately or from reports.
    – MS-SPO
    Jan 6, 2023 at 9:36
  • On a concrete slab with headphones it's probably fine. Anywhere else, welcome to the club where even your own family members hate you now. - I've an E kit in an attic atm; the kick pedal (me) makes the lights in the whole house flicker. - "ask them if they can hear it" -um, they can hear it.... if they can't hear it then you don't have it sounding like an acoustic does. The best thing you can do is rent a space to do it in. - My Geo E-snare came with a rubber ring for the rim; ate through that on day one; sounds much better w/o it. Meaning: loud ;) .... and the fact that that's real.
    – Mazura
    Mar 23 at 17:38

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