First of all, I am beginner drummer that joined a band that already goes live from time to time and has its own great author songs. So what's happened? These guys jam in a penthouse apartment, which is approx 150 sq. meters. Here is a pic of its "working zone", which takes 1/4 of the whole room area:

It also has hand-made istanbul cymbals set, which sounds amazing in drum room. Here comes the trouble. From what I heard while playing on the set in this room, drums (some well-tuned) sound bad and cymbals are just disgusting. As far as I understood, room acoustics is an issue here. How can I try to enhance the way the whole thing sounds here?

3 Answers 3


A lot depends what you mean by bad or disgusting. What sounds bad to you might sound great to someone else, but there are a few things you should think about.

Rooms tend to be hard edged, and rectangular - and this means you get reverberations at frequencies which fit into the space, as the sounds reflect off the walls. You also have that fireplace and the alcove off to the left there - these will also add tonal characteristics.

So generally what people do is add absorbent acoustic foam, especially in the corners (look up bass traps) to remove some of this reverberation. Hanging rugs on the walls is also a great idea.

  • 2
    To go along with Mayhem's answer, unless you're recording in that space, I wouldn't worry too much. Worry about the drum sound for recording or live performance - practice rooms are made to sound terrible anyway. I also agree that it depends on what you mean by "bad or disgusting". To me, a bad sounding cymbal is one with few resonant overtones...solution = buy a better cymbal. Without rebuilding the entire room, all you can do is make it more / less echo-y. If you're really after an amazing sound, you'll have to change your instruments themselves. Moral: sound changes from space to space. Feb 21, 2015 at 14:44

Doktor Mayhem's answer is good but you do have a couple other options with varying effectiveness:

The biggest improvement without adding treatment is simply playing more quietly. It's up to you whether that's worth it or not.

Getting the drums out of the corner could help a bit too.

In addition, you can tune the drums based on the room itself. Making sure the snare at least is tuned 'against' the boomy frequencies in the room can go a long way in cleaning up the sound of the whole set. This process is a bit of trial and error, though, especially if your ear's not trained to pick up on that kind of thing.


There is the age old practice of taping individual drum heads to cut down on unwanted resonance from the drums themselves. Also pillows inside a kick drum do the same thing. Removal of the front head on your kick will affect how it sounds. Cymbals can also be taped up to affect how they sound. A post-it pad on a snare head changes how it sounds, play the head, not the pad. Just like in a studio, trial and error, because every situation is different, but they can usually be made better.

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