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Author Topic: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency  (Read 1172 times)

John McMullen

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Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« on: April 05, 2014, 04:10:22 pm »

We are looking to build a drum cage that will be roughly 8'W 8'L 7'H.
We currently have a brand new 5 panel drum shield (each panel is 2'Wx5.5'H).

I am attempting to design a cage that will be a permanent fixture on the stage (as we are also adding some other items to the stage that require a permanent presence, i'd like to make them smooth with the appearance of the drums).

I have started working on a design that i think would work efficiently, but i'm not a professional in that regard, so i'm not certain. I am attempting to avoid a pre-made cage (due to the ~$3k starting pricetag).

Some basic requirements: 8x8x7', a door entrance, see-through (transparent) on 2 sides (it is on an angle to the audience).

My design (bear with me, as i attempt to describe it).
The framing will be done with 2x4s, and any walls/ceilings will be done with 1/4" plywood.

The FRONT and LEFT walls, will be 8x7 (8' long, 7' high). There would be a 1.5' wall on the bottom with 1" pyramid acoustic foam covering it on the inside (1" is the height). On top of the wall, will be 2'x5.5' plexiglass panels (5 of which will be from the current drum shield we have)--since each of these sides are 8' wide, there will be 4 panels.
The BACK wall will be framed, built with plywood and covered in 1" acoustic pyramid foam.
The RIGHT wall (entrance side) will have the same pattern as the front/left for half teh wall, and the other half will be a door, made with plywood covered in foam. The 1 foot between the door and the back wall will probably be covered in foam as well.
The CEILING will just be a framed/plywood/foam, just like the back wall.
I'll probably add ventilation on the left and right bottom side of the front wall, and maybe some more near the door.... ventilation isn't my focus at the moment... sound stuff is :)

Here's an image i made up real quick just for concept. It doesn't cover the corners, or the roof, but it gives the general layout purpose:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rDHXNEuiW0NzM4Z0pyalRoTEU/edit?usp=sharing ( have it on google drive, just for sharing purposes).


My high-end estimate for the cost to do this is about $1000. I'm just not certain if this would do the job, or if we would be better of buying a pre-designed set, and paying 3x as much... (i'd avoid the higher price tag, and build one ourselves if we could, but not want to waste money on something, only for it to not work.).
It may be good to mention, the drummers we have, are varied. Some have excellent control, while others are extremely loud 90% of the time...which is why we're looking for complete enclosure
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2014, 04:20:42 pm »

Here's an image i made up real quick just for concept. It doesn't cover the corners, or the roof, but it gives the general layout purpose:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rDHXNEuiW0NzM4Z0pyalRoTEU/edit?usp=sharing ( have it on google drive, just for sharing purposes).

I hope you are planning on some air handling for that thing! It is going to get hot, and oxygen poor, in there pretty quickly. Forced air air circulation will need large ducts to keep fan noise down, but I've seen it done.

Mac
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John McMullen

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 06:51:18 pm »

lol, yeah. We're probably going to install 2 AC vents in from beneath, as well as some airflow functionality along the walls (we're gonna be under the stage to do some re-pocketing soon anyways, so we can set up new ventilation for this).

but, we still want to make sure it will do the function it is built for before we start building stuff in, especially since what we go with, is going to be a fairly permanent structure on the stage for the foreseeable future.
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2014, 07:35:47 pm »

Another question would be building codes, Permits,  will the building codes require fire sprinkler installed ?
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John McMullen

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2014, 07:52:08 pm »

Another question would be building codes, Permits,  will the building codes require fire sprinkler installed ?
Hmm...never thought about needing to install sprinklers in the middle of a stage :D hahaha But it'll be something we'll double check :P (i dont think we need sprinklers, as we dont currently have them in the building itself). We already have fire extinguishers right off the stage....so we should be set there.
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Tom Young

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2014, 08:50:48 pm »

I have started working on a design that i think would work efficiently, but i'm not a professional in that regard, so i'm not certain. I am attempting to avoid a pre-made cage (due to the ~$3k starting pricetag)......Some basic requirements: 8x8x7', a door entrance, see-through (transparent) on 2 sides (it is on an angle to the audience)......

I strongly recommend that you buy a copy of the latest edition of F Alton Everest's "Master Handbook of Acoustics" in which he discusses and explains what is needed to build effective gobo's, which are acoustic barriers used in recording studios to reduce leakage. Drum cages are an extension of gobo's and when done correctly will work very well. The drum shields, which have been marketed mostly to churches, are a inexpensive and not very effective means to reduce noise. Given your ambitious plans you need to get this right. The book is not overly technical and is quite easy to read and understand. Amazon probably has used copies for a fraction of the cost.   

Good luck.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 10:58:20 am »

I am attempting to design a cage that will be a permanent fixture on the stage (as we are also adding some other items to the stage that require a permanent presence, i'd like to make them smooth with the appearance of the drums).
It being a permanent construction likely affects the building code compliance issues Jerome noted.  You are essentially building a permanent room that is intended to be occupied and thus there are likely applicable building code requirements for egress, HVAC, electrical, life safety, etc.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 03:16:00 pm »

For safety and convenience, I'd suggest putting doors on both sides.

Other than price, is there a good reason to go with plexiglass rather than tempered safety glass? Real glass is easier to clean and less likely to get scratched up. If you really wanted to isolate sound, you could go double-pane.
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2014, 05:16:22 pm »

Drum cages are an extension of gobo's and when done correctly will work very well. The drum shields, which have been marketed mostly to churches, are a inexpensive and not very effective means to reduce noise.

I think there are two main reasons drum shields don't tend to work well.

First, they're typically used in situations where the problem isn't necessarily drum bleed into microphones, but the un-amplified drum sound in the room. To knock down the level of the drums in the room by even 10 dB (the sort of improvement necessary to begin being worth the hassle IMO), you need to capture 90% of the acoustic energy. Anything less than completely enclosing the drums is not likely to work.

Second, even if caging the drums successfully reduces the level, any musicians on wedge monitors can no longer hear the drums and want them in their monitors.  ::)
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Tom Roche

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Re: Custom Drum 'Cage' Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2014, 06:42:51 pm »

I never understood these drum cages.  I'm also not a fan of the plexi-shields.  Neither one addresses the main reason most churches use them, which is to control volume of drummers who, for one reason or another, won't play at the appropriate level.  I know there are a lot of "one volume" drummers, but if no one is holding them accountable for learning their instrument...  Hello?

Suggestion: Encourage your more experienced drummers—the ones who have excellent control—mentor the ones who think they must play at one volume....LOUD.  That would address the issue more directly and you could save the $$.


I strongly recommend that you buy a copy of the latest edition of F Alton Everest's "Master Handbook of Acoustics" in which he discusses and explains what is needed to build effective gobo's, which are acoustic barriers used in recording studios to reduce leakage.
Thanks for the tip, Tom Y.
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