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I've tried the plastic rings which rest on the batter heads, also the 4mm rubber which cover the whole head. Neither does a good job in making them quiet enough for practising.

In the end, I glued the 4mm rubber onto 4-6mm plywood, cut to fit each batter head, and that worked rather well, and could even be turned over for a different feel and sound. (Thinking about marketing the product!)

But - I'm at a loss as to how to mute cymbals - tried the same 4mm rubber, and the 'covers' which go over the edge of the cymbals, unsuccessfully, and the most problematic is the hi-hat.

So, to the question - what other methods have you used to damp the sound of all, or any of the drumkit (that have worked or not!), particularly kick and hi-hat?

I'm aware of a practice kit produced by Bill Sanders, and do have an electronic kit, but would prefer to use a standard kit already set up in the studio. Practice pads are o.k., but to practise moving from drum to drum/cymbal, etc, they're hardly the solution.

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  • There are low volume cymbals but the price of a set is about the same as a decent set of real cymbals. They are pretty quiet and feel just like regular cymbals and sound pretty similar. Technique is the same and you can hear the effect of technique on sound quality and use all the different parts of the cymbal like real ones. Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 20:08

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I recently did an orchestral sidelining job on acoustic bass where we were there being filmed just for looks and “playing” along with a pre recorded track. They did something really interesting with the cymbals which worked very well. They stacked two cymbals (or hi hats) of the same size together and voila! Virtually no sound at all! I was very surprised. Of course you have to have extra cymbals for this but you can just get some inexpensive student quality cymbals for this purpose if you don’t have enough. Try it and let me know how it works for you.

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    Interesting! Wonder whether the same size is so important. As a cymbal preferer, I have a few spare, so I can try different combinations. It may well make the hi-hat too heavy for the spring, though. Still, it's an excuse to buy even more cymbals, isn't it? Did they get you to double up on strings for your double bass..?!
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 17:33
  • These were the same size and seemed to fit into each other like Pringles potato chips but that doesn’t mean it won’t work another way. You just want to avoid vibration between the two cymbals. I think lighter hi hat cymbals would be preferable but the ones they used seemed average. Maybe you can find a pair of cheap paper thin hats and use both of them on top. An 8 string double bass? It doubles itself! Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:25

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