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Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Acoustics help for making a drum louder


really appreciate any help here. ive got a drum called a dhol drum. it a horizontal barrel with 2 skins either side. one treble (plastic) and one bass (goats skin). the issue i have is that the drum is too quiet- traditionally this drum is very loud. ive tried changing the skins and its not had much of an effect and i was wondering if there was anything else i can do?

ive tried to find information on drum acoustics within a drum but not had much luck. the barrel is made of wood, varnished on the outside and untreated on the inside. ive had a suggestion that varnishing the inside may mean that the drum wood will absorb less sound and hence will be made louder?

can anyone help? thanks so much


RE: Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Do you have the correct tension? Do you have the correct or normal tension strands/chords material; that can affect tension and vibration damping? Did you remove the two peripheral bands/straps (top and bottom) that may add damping and reduce sound? Moisture/humidity can affect material damping goat skin and wood? Perhaps drying within a dehumidified room.

Just a few ideas from an acoustical guy and not a drummer!


RE: Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Hey walt

thanks for the reply! Yes ive got the correct tension and agree that humidity can have an effect. I notice that in summer months the drums louder and more crisp.

Its the inout from an acoustic engineer that im after in terms of what happens when I strike the drum, and therefore how the volume can be improved.

do you think varnishing the wood on the inside would help with volume? make it a 'harder' surface? might sound a big messy though too because the bass and treble skins are on the same drum effectively. its a single barrel with a skin either side.


RE: Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Are there supposed to be holes that we don't know about for these drums? Seems to me that loud drums are typically open-ended, or have extremely flexible far ends. With both ends tensioned, you pretty much have a sealed box with rigid walls. Is there a way to non-destructively remove one skin to see how the volume is affected?

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RE: Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Here are some resources:
Google Search: acoustics of a drum

Includes strings, pipes and drums

Percussion Acoustics and Drum Tuning

Acoustics of Drums
Pasted from <http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/phys...;

Analysis of drum sound construction

I doubt coating the inside of the drum would help much. I don't know if you are an accomplished drummer or just beginning; I am neither. I believe that sound quality and loudness is most affected by tuning and technique. Perhaps the goat skin needs replacement or special attention to improve its surface tension and vibration characteristics. A low cost microphone and PC sound analysis (FFT) software would help with accurate tuning; see the references.


RE: Acoustics help for making a drum louder

Coating the inside of the drum with lacquer will change the character of the sound, but will not have a significant impact on volume.

The only real way to increase volume directly is through shell mass and stiffness. The heavier and thicker the shell, the more volume the drum will generate, because less energy will be consumed by vibrating the shell in sub-aural frequencies.

There is an upper limit, however- when you strike a head you are putting a finite amount of energy into the system. You are only going to get so much of that energy back out as sound pressure.

In short, if the drum needs to be that much louder, you need to hit it that much harder.

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