My last semester of college I purchased a digital drum set. Looking back this was mostly a purchase of a whim but I seem to collect musical instruments that way. Living in a college apartment, it really didn’t matter that I had a drum set in my third floor apartment. I was by far not the loudest or most obnoxious neighbor. After I graduated and purchased a second story condo, that became another story. Since I own my condo and presumably will be neighbors for a lot longer time than the drunken fraternity pledges and future college dropouts that always seemed to lease the apartment next to mine. On the contrary most of the residents of my apartment complex are medical students, doctors, or surgeons. By comparison I feel like the college dropout (I mean just one bachelors degree, what’s that?). Long story short, I don’t want to make the neighbors angry. For this reason my drum set has just become a rather large contraption used for storing dust.

Digital drum sets do make noise. Sound is energy and there are two types of sound that come from a drum set. There is acoustic noise that comes from hitting the pads and kinetic noise that comes from the transfer of energy from the pads, through the rack, and into the floor. (This is a really over simplification of what sound energy is I know.) What I am concerned with is the kinetic noise since the acoustic noise with a digital drum set is minimal. To solve this problem I began looking for a solution.

I came across several interesting you tube videos and this blog post that suggests using tennis balls to absorb and dissipate the kinetic energy. I decided to give it a try last weekend.

The construction is rather simple. A dozen or so tennis balls nested between two sheets of medium density fiber board. Rather then tell you about how I built this. I will just show you.

These are the supplies used for creating the drum stand. The medium density fiberboard was cut at Lowes to 3'x4' sections.
These are the supplies used for creating the drum stand. The medium density fiberboard was cut at Lowes to 3'x4' sections.
I cut ten 1.5" holes into each fiber board.
I cut ten 1.5" holes into each fiber board.
Here is a view of the fiberboard after drilling. The friction from the drill caused the board to catch fire a few times.
Here is a view of the fiberboard after drilling. The friction from the drill caused the board to catch fire a few times.
Going with a traditional flat black.
Going with a traditional flat black.
Added some feet that I bought through amazon. The are 2" wide at the base and are designed for guitar amps. This should help isolate more noise.
Added some feet that I bought through amazon. The are 2" wide at the base and are designed for guitar amps. This should help isolate more noise.
Tennis balls and cable ties are added to the boards.
Tennis balls and cable ties are added to the boards.
The boards are now fully assembled. The tennis balls rest nicely.
The boards are now fully assembled. The tennis balls rest nicely.
Added a 3'x4' rubber stationary bike mat to hold gear in place and to help isolate acoustic noise.
Added a 3'x4' rubber stationary bike mat to hold gear in place and to help isolate acoustic noise.
Fully assembled with the drums in place. The throne doesn't sit on the stand as the extra weight of the player reduces the ability of the tennis balls to absorb energy.
Fully assembled with the drums in place. The throne doesn't sit on the stand as the extra weight of the player reduces the ability of the tennis balls to absorb energy.

So far it seems that this does it’s job. It’s weird because the stage add quite a bit of movement to the drums however this is a good thing. The energy that would normally be sent into the floor is now dissipated through this movement.