Recently, I purchased and read The Bruce Swedien Recording Method, a book and DVD set about the legendary recording engineer Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson’s Triller is in his resume). Although the book is not a must-have, there are a number of important take aways in it:

  • Educate your ears… by listening to live classical / accoustic music performed in the best purpose-built spaces.
  • Be fanatical about the quality and maintenance of your gear… No sharing!
  • Michael Jackson sang on a Shure SM7…

Ok, sorry… That last one is not an important take away. There is just one Michael Jackson, right!?

Beyond my silly jokes, Bruce Swedien does go into his drum recording technique and describes some of the tools he uses to get great drum takes. One of those is systematically building a drum platform:

“… I use my drum platform whenever I record drums. It’s eight feet square and it’s built out of plywood sheets on top of a frame constructed out of 2×8 boards. The platform gets the drums off the floor and helps minimize the amount of sound that transfers from the drums through the floor into other microphones in the room. It also helps minimize the transgerence of other sounds recorded in the room into the drum mics…”

DYI

I decided to build one of these drum platforms for my home studio. I am using a simplified design I devised with my friend SketchUp:

3D rendering of drum platform

It uses:

  • 6 units of 2 inch x 4 inch x 8 feet
  • 22 units  2 inch x4 inch x 1’9 inch (taken from more of the above 2″x4″x8′)
  • 4 23/32 inch x 4 ft. x 8 ft. RTD Sheathing
  • 15 isolation rubber pads
  • A rug

Note: with these specs, it does not fly despite what is portrayed in the above 3D rendering 🙂

Going commercial

If you do not feel like taking out your saw and hammer, you may be tempted to go for off-the-shelf solutions… Not that there are many…

Here is the english Advanced Acoustics and there “Drum kit Isolation kit platform” for a simple £48.00 + shipping:

Advanced Acoustics - drum kit isolation kit

It may save you from your neighbors too 🙂