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Alternative to tennis ball platform

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  • Alternative to tennis ball platform

    Hi guys,

    is there anyone here using any alternative to the "tennis ball platform" with good results?

    I found quite a few suggestions about different materials for the platforms and was curious about the real world experiences.

    Thanks a lot.

  • #2
    Here's a link to an alternative to the tennis ball platform.

    Greetings all My name is Brian Jackson. I was a member here years ago but just recently re-registered after purchasing a new e-kit. Thought I'd take a moment to


    • #3
      Hi EssKayKay,

      one alternative is to increase the volume of your edrum-kit to encourage you playing softer at your pads.

      For physiology and physics behind I suggest http://www.vdrums.com/forum/general/...72#post1126372 ... Yes, I do not believe in the effectiveness of tennis ball raisers, when it comes to reproduceability and repeatability (i.e. different people trying this concept at home AND reporting considerable change for the better (AND may be not talking about changes for the worse)).

      Best, Michael
      td-30 user ;-)


      • #4
        Click the link in my sig for one I made

        Edit: images reuploaded
        Last edited by soccerdude84; 02-08-16, 01:21 PM.
        Modules/VST: DM10(BlueJay), DM8, Trigger iO, Superior Drummer 3; Audio: Shure SE215 IEM's, Simmons DA50 Amp, Alto Professional ZMX862 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen; Hardware: Tama SpeedCobra, Vic Firth 7AN, Roc-N-Soc Original Throne; DIY: Dual Layer Tennis Ball Drum Riser, Cymbal Felt Drum Beater, Footswitch Cymbal Choker


        • #5
          You can try this type of material http://www.floormats.co.uk/rubbermats/structural-protection-rubber-mat-15mm

          You will find it cheaper at your local home depot store, around 10$ a piece, and you need up to 3 layers to get a good rubber pad to absorb vibrations on a concrete construction. It's made for washing machines, to absorb the strong vibrations from transmitting too much to the flats around, so with the standard size you need typically 3X2 mats to cover you drums. You will be sitting outside the area so you need to raise your throne as much.

          It's important you cover the entire area under the kit so that the vibrations are spanned across the large surface area, if you just cut rubber feet under the rack it's transmitting right through with virtually no attenuation.

          I use such a rubber pad under my drum set and the neighbors below told me they can't hear anything at all anymore (during the day, at night it's another story.) It's comforting for them as much as it is freeing for me because I know I don't disturb them and they don't get nervous about me playing drums. I covered the surface with simple 2 red rugs the same size from Ikea, 7$ each, it's comfortable for the feet and good looking.

          Now neighbors upstairs can hear as well, but it's not a headache as it can be for people living underneath a trembling ceiling.

          So it's a cheaper and easier solution that works in real life yes.

          For a wood construction though I don't think this can be efficient, but nothing will be really in such situation, or maybe a very soft foam mattress, much thicker and less stable.


          • #6
            Hi, thanks for the replies.

            EssKayKay the Jackson Pad looks impressive, but it seems to be harder than the tennis riser to put together. I was looking for a less DIY solution. But thanks anyway!

            MS-SPO yes, hitting lighter is always a solution. I'll keep that in mind.

            soccerdude84 Thanks, but also a lot of DIY involved. I'm really not skilful at any kind of cutting and drilling.

            Rhappy-dude Great to hear you had good results with that anti-vibration mat. I've heard from a couple of people that also had decent results with it and decided to give it a try. I have just ordered a version with 100 x 25 cm and 20mm thick. I'm planning also to add a 18mm plywood board on top of it to help dissipate the vibration. I got the plywood idea from this guys: http://www.soundservice.co.uk/vibration_pad.html

            I'll let you know the results once I have everything set up.


            • #7
              Anti-vib mats:

              Where do washing machines usually work: in a cellar or in a small side room. How do the floors differ in these rooms from the rooms where we usually place our drum kits? A cellars floor is stiff, just like a fixed membran is, which lies directly on all the sand put under the cellar. A small side room has a very small area, which, when stomping on it, gives a quite high resonance frequency. All these are favorable conditions coming from the floors dimensions and layout, not from the matress.

              (The reason why it works is that there is some mismatch between the rotation frequency of the washing machince and the Eigen-resonance of the matress, which results in a few dB of attenuation, sent to the floor. An indication is that I couldn't find a diagram dB versus frequency on that page, which quantifies their claims ... should it be there, it probably won't be impressive.)

              Now, a normal room has a big floor area, and this floor is attached somehow to the buildings wall, and is able to oscillate freely when excited (i.e. stomped on it) at a very low (= unfavorable) resonance frequency. To avoid floor excitation you'd need a super-super-soft material under your drum kit, which the anti-vib mats obviously aren't. So don't expect much from it, but just the few dB you'd be able to abtain in many different ways.

              In the model I mention just put a piece of anti-vib mat, sized like the tip area, under the stick that touches the snare. Hit it and compare the difference: it won't be much of a difference ...

              My credo: think physics, understand physiology of the listening process, discard hope and wishful thinking.
              td-30 user ;-)


              • #8
                Platform for Decoupling Drums This podium eliminates the transmission frequencies that are generated when playing an electronic and acoustic drum set. This relieves the pressure on roommates and neighbours in particular, as they will no longer be...


                • #9
                  Yeah, hard rubber mats won't help as much as something soft, with give, like tennis balls, inner tubes, etc.

                  In my case I used polyurethane foam (memory foam) from mattress toppers as a layer between two MDF boards.
                  Stiffer toppers work better.
                  It is limited in how much weight it can handle (you musn't compress the foam), but it stopped all noise and nothing else did.
                  It is also a little wobbly, but I can play anytime day or night and they don't hear a thing downstairs.
                  Mini-kit: TD-9 + Alesis Control Pad + Alesis Sample Pad + PDX-6 snare
                  Micro-kit: Handsonic HPD-20 + an old pair of hands.
                  Speakers: QSC-K10 "thumper", DBR-10 "little thumper"


                  • #10
                    We discussed it in another thread word for word already, but washing machines are mostly in bathrooms where I live, or in kitchens, not in non-existing cellars or garages. The mats effectively bring back the noise to something acceptable for neighbors.

                    I used to live in an old flat with a wooden floor (it was the last floor of the building and the entire floor structure was made of wood.) It was extremely noisy of course, and drumming in here was causing major annoyance to the neighbor below. But with a spare sleeping dense foam mattress underneath the drum kit, the noise and vibration were perfectly acceptable during the day. The drum kit was a bit shaky and the throne was to be set much higher than usual, but it worked very well.

                    Today in a recent building, the drum set is in a small room with neighbors on three sides. The outer walls from flat to flat are construction walls, so they can accommodate noise up to 55dB. Three layers of anti-vibrations mats (plus the rugs) do the job for the neighbors below (2 wasn't enough), and it makes a very stable riser so that there's no need to add extra stiff layers like a ply wood top. But the neighbors upstairs can hear the drumming.

                    You have to try, once thing is certain, there is no solution to fit all building construction situations, but there is maybe a satisfying solution for each.

                    I doubt very much only one layer of anti-vibration mat will suffice though. The anti-vibration mats is a cheap solution, you don't need tools to build a large wooden platform, you don't need a car to transport the wood (I have a bike but not a car for instance), you can install it in no time in a small area, it's a one step ready made solution you get away with for less than 75 $ and it's efficient enough so you can stop worrying about this issue after it's done.

                    Also about this

                    (The reason why it works is that there is some mismatch between the rotation frequency of the washing machince and the Eigen-resonance of the matress, which results in a few dB of attenuation, sent to the floor. An indication is that I couldn't find a diagram dB versus frequency on that page, which quantifies their claims ... should it be there, it probably won't be impressive.)
                    Mind you MS-SPO, if noise reduction in home construction was a sure science, it would be applied in industrial standards nowadays. There are standards, but there are so many factors at stake, it's not relying on science to the point it comes to the real situations, but on practical measures. I know in the US there's a trend in education to revere science as a religion, and you can read the consequence of that in science blogs all day long, but it's not the way things work in real life or in real science labs, and you couldn't find an actual scientist to make this noise reduction science in a lab, nor could you find a real lab physicist to tell you definite assertions about such or such noise reduction method without considering the practical situation. And for one thing science can do very little about : we don't all perceive noise the same way, depending on the age and personality of your neighbors, you will have different results in the same physical situations anyway. Rooms are not furnished the same way from one neighbors to another, and so on, even from a phisics point of view, the parameters are so many no science out of the blue could rule them all. All in all, this "science" argument thing appears to be pretty about truisms and it doesn't seem to be so effective at offering any kind of practical help. That said with no intention to harm your feeling

                    So maybe let's build positively from the physical point of view, how would you build an affordable yet efficient drum set noise reduction strategy, and how would it vary from one situation to another, what could we expect from these measures in term of noise reduction, how much would it modify the perception from the neighbors point of view?
                    Last edited by Rhappy-dude; 02-10-16, 03:12 AM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rhappy-dude
                      So maybe let's build positively from the physical point of view, how would you build an affordable yet efficient drum set noise reduction strategy, and how would it vary from one situation to another, what could we expect from these measures in term of noise reduction, how much would it modify the perception from the neighbors point of view?
                      Just couldn't agree more! I also believe that we're much better off discussing practical solutions that worked for some and might work for some others or at least serve as a good starting point.

                      So far this post has helped me tremendously! I've ordered the rubber mat (just one layer for now but will order another one for sure). Also considering trying the plywood on top. And if it doesn't do the job will go for the 'polyurethane foam'.

                      xtrust Thanks. But they are extremely expensive and I haven't read one single positive opinion about it.

                      kurth83 Thank you for your input on the polyurethane foam


                      • #12
                        Hi Rhappy-dude,

                        thanks for your comments. No, you don't hurt me ; -)

                        You see, a theory and an experiment deal with the same thing viewed from different perspectives. A good theory enables prediction, indicates flaws in experiments, suggest experiments never done before. A good experiment confirms a theory (i.e. a consistent description of past observations without contradictions), shows flaws in a theory, suggests new or better theories, points towards things overlooked or ignored so far.

                        Take away one component, and you quickly get lost, have to rely on guesswork, luck or wishful thinking. It's good to be fluent in both worlds, theory and experiment ; -) which may take some effort.

                        * * *

                        The underlying generic problem, which led to this post, I perceive like this.

                        The majority of drummers doesn't seem to or seem not to need to care. May be there is nothing to change for most of them. That's fine.

                        A minority of drummers does care (careful personality), or has to (polite hints from neighbours, spouses etc.).

                        What is the situation for this minority at that point in time of enlightment?

                        Everyone has to start from scratch. Come up with own ideas and considerations. Ask others. Find starting points. Dig something out. Find so called "cures" and "solutions", "try this and that"-suggestions, find evergreens, has to rely on them, has to try something. Perhaps it takes only a few USD or EUR, perhaps it takes hundreds or more. The outcome is more than uncertain: sometimes the solution decided for works (good enough), sometimes it doesn't make a difference at all (while it should), sometimes it makes things even worse (which happens). Uncertain results for zero, thenths or hundreds of USD or EUR.

                        Who would say: "Hey, that's a perfect situation! Couldn't be better! Let's try, it's a lot of fun."

                        Well, it can be, but reality is different and many times more sobering.

                        Rhappy-dude, you described perfectly the variability involved, which vary from drummer to drummer, from play to play, from room to room, from neighbour to neighbour, from day to day, from floor to floor, from building to building etc.

                        Coming back to the tight couple theory-experiment or experiment-theory, and approaching your final comment (positively ...), this variability is no bad situation at all. There is a way to deal with it. In a nutshell all we need to do as a community of (e)drummers is to find out, how to set things up we CAN decide upon to certain levels, SO THAT all variabilities mentioned above simply don't hurt any more. Or hurt less. At least make the outcome and the effort required more predictable beforehand.

                        That's called ROBUSTNESS. Robustness of edrum noise reduction. Predictable. Repeatable. Reliable.

                        Knowing that by numbers AND by valid enough theory gives answers to questions like these:
                        * for whom will a few foam matrices do more than enough?
                        * who has to spend considerably more effort?
                        * what kind of effort? what can be obtained from it, what not?

                        Would that be a good thing to know for said minority?

                        Probably there is a certain limit, plus minus variations around it, of what can or cannot be achieved on a practical level. But isn't it better to know this limit in advance? To know before any spending if "the solution" will be good enough for my situation as a disturbing edrummer or never ever?

                        (As indication: about 2 out of 3 technical systems do have such a reserve of unbelievable robustness (noise insulating power in this thread), and about 1 out of 3 doesn't. The 2 give quick and reliable results, the 1 gives innovation - if you know how to continue with it.)

                        * * *

                        The way to achieve this knowledge is simple but not without effort. It can start with all (e)drummers out there who already tried this or that noise insulation approach.

                        One component is to encourage and to enable them to take data (dB vs. frequency) in a repeatable (standard) way. Several times. In different places (next to, in the room(s) below, in the room(s) above etc.). With AND without their noise-insulator. And so on.

                        Another component is augmenting information. We'd need to know about the building one way or the other, about the environmental noises (dB vs. frequency), about sensitivity of people feeling disturbed and so on.

                        Another component is understanding what their individual anti-noise-measures are, how they built it, how much it costs and so on.

                        Certainly more. The more, the better.

                        Big field data, if you like. Big effort. But it carries this information and it can be revealed. (That's one of my strengths BTW ; -)

                        * * *

                        So comparing the as-is-situation of said minority of us ... with what's possible to obtain if we join forces (big field data, robustness, reliable design considerations etc.) ...

                        ... what do you think?

                        Is it worth a try? Absolutely useless? Anything else?

                        My personal view: we can change the situation for the minority who has to do something effective and cheap on noise insulation. Or we can continue as-is, and believe in "it worked for me"-testimonials, guesswork, hope, wishes, miracoulous explanations etc. and let everybody continue to spend any amount of time and money for uncertain results on an individual base.

                        I prefer the first one, but obviously I can't approach it on my own. However, I know a path towards it, and this path could be organised.

                        (And from my praxis, having and analyzing just a few field data already can change something. At least it will raise more focused questions, which demand for better data and/or better explanations (valid enough theories), which reveals something new and so on ...)

                        Best, Michael
                        td-30 user ;-)


                        • #13
                          So I'm sorry to say you have absolutely no clue about what can or cannot be done to reduce noise, and that was to be demonstrated indeed. (But nice writing)


                          • #14
                            Anti vib mats DO A LOT to reduce the noise at low cost and no-effort and in a concrete building with hard floor they can be sufficient completely. I am still using such on concrete flooring and they do significant job. On wooden stuff I don't think they will be that effective though.

                            What was most effective for me, believe or not was moving from the KD-9 kick to a converted real kick (16" in my case, on a riser).
                            My conversion does not use a central rod and foam block that the beater to strike on - that I believe is the thing that transfers/generates most of the noise with the "original" kick pads.
                            I have my reso heads intentionally On on all drums and the room noise is high .. but in the next room or downstairs - nothing, completely - I was amazed .

                            I don't have any explanation why that happened, but I also don't mind at all, so I didn't think that much about it. But somehow the rack and the kick pad used in regular e-sets, seems to contribute a lot to the impact noise level that is transferred to the walls and the floor .
                            Last edited by pumpal; 02-11-16, 01:50 AM.
                            1982 TAMA Superstar


                            • #15
                              pumpal thanks for the input!