When dealing with a live band, stage volume is always an issue for the front of house engineer. The sound from a drum set often will bleed into the various other microphones on stage, causing feedback, poor monitor mixes, and a plethora of other problems. A drum shield can solve many of these issues and often is preferred. However, drummers aren’t always thrilled.
When to Use a Drum Shield
If your band is on in-ear monitors, I think it’s very smart to use a drum shield. Your players will have better control over their in ear mix and it will sound much better, as well.
Certainly, there will be musicians who won’t totally dig the vibe of using a drum shield, but the front of house audio engineer will LOVE working with you. He or she will have an easier time mixing live and your band will sound much better to the audience.
If your production or band travels often, this setup may not work out the best. I consider drum shields to be more of a permanent solution.
Best Drum Shield – A Quick Glance
We’ve picked out the five best drum shields you can purchase on the market. They do range in price quite drastically, so your budget will ultimately determine how much db reduction you’ll get on stage.
Pennzoni Display Drum Shield DS4 – Most Affordable Drum Shield
- DS4 5 panels Full 1/4" x 24 x 60 Crystal clear acrylic
- Total Height;5 ft.
- Acrylic drum shield and drum screen panels, for Drum sets,
- 4 Full Length Plastic Living Hinges flexible to fold for Storage or Transportation
- MADE IN THE USA ,
The DS4 drum shield from Pennzoni is the most affordable and entry level enclosure on the market. This shield comes with five clear acrylic panels, each of which are 5ft tall.
Noise Reduction – Pennzoni Drum Shield DS4
Since the DS4 has an open back and isn’t totally enclosed, you’re going to have a lot of spillage and bleed. Be mindful that if you setup the drum set in front of a solid surface, the sound will reflect off the wall and onto the stage. It definitely helps if you have a lot of room behind the drummer when using this drum shield.
The DS4 doesn’t provide the greatest sound reduction, but it will lower stage volume a bit, making mixing and front of house much easier.
Other Options From Pennzoni Display
Here’s another drum shield from Pennzoni. You get larger acrylic panels (7ft tall), as well as deflectors with flexible hinges. This enclosure provides a bit more sound reduction, but won’t provide reduction levels as great as a fully enclosed drum shield.
- DS7D Six - 2ft. x 6 ft. Panels w/ Deflectors Drum shields, Total Height 7 ft.
- 6 panels Full 1/4" x 24 x 72 Crystal clear acrylic
- 6 deflector panels 12" x 24" Crystal clear acrylic
- 5 Full Length Plastic Living Hinge which easily attach, Fold, and hold panels tightly
- MADE IN THE USA ,
On the list of most expensive products from Pennzoni Display is the Drum Booth Sound Room. This is a full drum enclosure made from acrylic panels. The size of this drum shield is 6ft x 6ft and is 6ft tall.
- Drum Booth Sound Room , Drum Shields or Drum Shield
- Call us first if possible to discuss Freight Shipment Phone 269-651-9975 / 800-206-6852 We are open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday EST
- If you need this item sooner than the Estimated delivery date please give us a call first 269-651-9975.
- Close to 6ft x 6ft square room to play in also 6ft Tall
- MADE IN THE USA , If shipping to NYC we will have to charge and extra $155.00 for shipping due to special trucking in NYC, Long Island, Brooklyn and surrounding areas. For shipping out of the Continental USA please call or email for a quote on shipping.
You’ll have some room to play with here, but if you’re drummer has a bigger kit, it might be a little tight.
Clearsonic Drum Enclosures – Best Drum Shield
- There are six ClearSonic panels with AX12 extenders in the front, and three S5-2 SORBER baffles in the rear.
- The acrylic panels are a total of 6.5' tall, and the S5-2 baffles are 5.5' tall, so there is a foot of open space around the rear of the booth allowing for air exchange.
- IsoPac A has seven ClearSonic panels and AX12 extenders in the front
- Three S5-2 SORBER baffles in the rear.
- Seven S2 SORBER baffles are attached to the inside lower portion of the acrylic panels.
- The clear panels are a total of 6.5' tall, and the S5-2 baffles are 5.5' tall, so there is a foot of open space around the rear of the booth allowing for air exchange.
- The STC512 twelve inch wide SORBER Lid baffle is added to the standard 3-section lid to yeild 7'W x 5.5'D of lid coverage
Building Your Own Drum Enclosure
The DIY drum shield might seem like an attractive idea to most. However, the level of craftsmanship required may be a little much for the average person. Making something that is quality and attractive is no easy feat. Check out this video from ChurchMediaDesign.tv, who built an amazing drum enclosure.
Alternatives to Drum Shields and Enclosures
If a drum shield is out of the question, there’s a couple options you have for reducing stage volume and getting better PA mixes at every show.
Have Your Drummer Use Hot Rod Sticks
While they aren’t a favorite of many drummers, these types of drum sticks do reduce the volume of a drum kit without sacrificing the velocity of which they drummer hits. I do notice that these sticks tend to break relatively quick, so this might not be the best option.
- Nineteen medium premium select birch dowels
- Diameter: .550" Length: 16"
- Smooth grip for easy playability
- Unique wrap near the neck provides a tight sound with just enough texture and improves durability
- All Promark drumsticks are designed and manufactured in the USA
Switch From an Acoustic Kit to an Electronic Drum Set
If you want to reduce stage volume and make your drummers happy at the same time, consider getting an electronic drum set. I still believe that Roland is the king of the electric drum kit. The V-drums line of e drums just feel so great to play and sound awesome. The TD-50 is an incredible sounding drum brain.
- Flagship V-Drums with advanced sensing technology and SuperNATURAL sounds
- Dedicated "Ambience" fader with new room-ambience and overhead-mic simulation
- Expressive and accurate playability produced by Behavior Modeling
- Snare drum stand, hi-hat stand and kick pedal not included and shown only for photography purposes.
- Professional V-Edit mode for customizing sounds
Conclusion – Best Drum Enclosure
Drum shields are a great way to reduce overall stage volume to help achieve better live mixes at your shows. Some are affordable and some are very expensive. Unfortunately, the more you spend, the more sound reduction you get. Do you actively use a drum shield at your church or place of worship? Leave a comment down below.