/ / 7 Best Drum Shields 2021 To Keep The Noise Controlled At Church Or Home

7 Best Drum Shields 2021 To Keep The Noise Controlled At Church Or Home

Drums | Music Instruments And Tools
Best Drum Shields

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“The drums are too loud!”

For better or for worse, drummers often find themselves having to make compromises to ensure they aren’t overpowering a band or playing at a volume that isn’t suited to a specific venue.

This often occurs at churches, where a drummer might be welcomed, but is asked to play in a non-disruptive way.

And, it’s always nice to have a drum shield in a home-based practice environment too, just to keep the volume levels reasonable.

So, here are seven of the best drum shields to keep noise controlled.

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Drum Shield DS4 5 Panels 2 Fee x 5 Feet Chrome Hinges

Drum Shield DS4 5 Panels 2 Fee x 5 Feet Chrome Hinges

The DS4 drum shield is made of crystal-clear acrylic and is five feet tall. It comes with 12 bright chrome hinges. It measures 1/4” x 24 x 60.

Buyers liked that this drum shield helped with controlling volume. They also found it easy to put together.

Some found the hinges to be a little flimsy, but aside from that, this Pennzoni Display product doesn’t appear to have any flaws.

Item weight: 151 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

Drum Shield Drum Screen Drum Panels DS6L

Drum Shield Drum Screen Drum Panels DS6L

The DS6L drum shield is six feet tall and comes with six panels at 1/4” x 24 x 72. It’s made of crystal-clear acrylic and full length living hinges, which allow you to fold the shield flat. This makes it easy for transportation.

Positive reviewers liked that this cage made their drums sound better and that it worked as advertised.

Less enthusiastic buyers said the quality wasn’t great and assembly wasn’t as straightforward as it could have been.

Item weight: 190 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

Drum Shield DS5D Chrome Hinges

Drum Shield DS5D Chrome Hinges

The DS5D drum shield comes with six panels at 1/4” x 24 x 48 and is made of crystal-clear acrylic. It has a height of five feet and arrives with 10 bright chrome hinges.

The good – drummers thought this was great shield at a fantastic price point.

The bad – we can’t find any.

Item weight: 155 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

Drum Shield DS65 Living Hinges 5 Panels

Drum Shield DS65 Living Hinges 5 Panels

The DS65 drum shield comes with five 2 ft. x 6 ft. panels with full length living hinges. It has a total height of six feet and is made of crystal-clear acrylic.

Although buyers were mostly enthusiastic about this product, some said they had issues with assembly.

Item weight: 160 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

Drum Shield Drum Screen Panels DS5 Living 6 Panels

Drum Shield Drum Screen Panels DS5 Living 6 Panels

The DS5 drum shield comes with six 2 ft. x 5 ft. panels, five full length plastic living hinges and is made of crystal-clear acrylic.

Many drummers said this product worked well for them. There are no critical reviews for this drum deflector.

Item weight: 155 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

Drum Shield 6 Panel Drum Shield With Deflectors DS5DL

Drum Shield 6 Panel Drum Shield With Deflectors DS5DL

The DS5DL drum shield comes with six crystal-clear acrylic panels at 1/4” x 24 x 48. Its total height is five feet.

Buyers said this drum shield works well but it can take some effort to set up. Some found it to be a little short, as well, so you might prefer a taller drum shield if that’s what you need.

Item weight: 155 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

Drum Shield DS3C 5 Panels 2 Foot X 4 Foot Chrome Hinges

Drum Shield DS3C 5 Panels 2 Foot X 4 Foot Chrome Hinges

DS3C drum shield comes with five 2 ft. x 4 ft. panels, 12 bright chrome hinges, and has a total height of four feet. The panels are made of crystal-clear acrylic at 1/4” x 24” x 48”.

Customers said this drum shield worked well for them. Some said what arrived in the mail didn’t reflect what was shown in the pictures.

We always recommend checking the product details before purchase, as this will save you both time and money.

Item weight: 151 lbs.

Package dimensions: Unknown

What Should I Look For In A Drum Shield?

Curved Drum Shields Panels

Drum shields are relatively simple products serving a simple need.

It’s quite common for a church to bring a drummer in to the worship team only to discover they are too loud and can’t contain the noise. Or, they can’t get enough separation from other instruments and voices, which is causing issue with the sound.

A drum shield can be a helpful solution in a situation like that, though it should not be viewed as a one-size-fits-all solution for noise, because that it is not.

Anyway, choosing a drum shield shouldn’t prove too difficult, but if you’re looking for addition info, you’ve found it.

We will be looking at the following key factors, so you can make a better purchase decision:

  • Size
  • Material
  • Dampening
  • Price

Let’s get into it.

The Right Size

The size is probably the most critical component when it comes to drum shields. If you get a product that isn’t the right size, then it might not give you the desired effect.

Keep in mind that the four to six feet range is still relatively short for a drum shield, and you may require something with a little more height.

Additionally, you need to ensure that the drum shield fits around the kit you’re using. So, while taking measurements can be kind of tedious, it’s always a good idea.

Finally, the drummer needs to feel comfortable behind the drum shield. It sounds silly, and I’m not suggesting that your drummer will feel anxious behind the shield, but you’ve got to make sure there’s enough room for the kit and for the drummer to maneuver around it.

Otherwise, it’s going to affect the drummer’s technique and overall performance.

The Right Material

Virtually every product on this list is made of acrylic. This is because there aren’t a lot of products available.

We carefully choose the best products for our guides, so even if you can find others, their quality might be suspect.

If you go looking for them, you can sometimes find shields or deflectors made of other materials. To that extent, it could be worth paying a visit to your local music store and see what they have.

You can also keep an eye on online stores, as their product selection is constantly changing.

The Right Amount Of Dampening

Obviously, if you’re looking for a drum shield, you’re probably looking to control noise on some level.

Again, this isn’t to suggest that your drum shield will completely cut down on noise from the drums, and you wouldn’t want that anyway, because the drums still need to be heard, even if it’s at a lower volume than they would be otherwise.

But you’re looking for a certain amount of dampening, and that’s to be expected.

For better or for worse, there aren’t many products to choose from, and they are all the same thickness and material, so we can’t do much in this regard.

But as new products become available, this is a variable you might give more thought to as you’re shopping around.

The Right Price

Drum shields aren’t expensive by any means, but they still cost several hundred dollars. So, we’d encourage you to stick to your budget. Avoid spending money you don’t have.

Gear may solve an immediate problem, but if it causes a long-term financial problem, it’s probably not worth the hassle.

If you don’t have enough money to put towards a quality drum screen right now, then take your time and save up. The product will always be waiting for you.

Why Do I Need A Drum Shield?

Drum shields are often used in churches, theaters, community halls and a variety of smaller venues, and for good reason.

Drum shields offer some relief in terms of overall noise and volume.

In venues where the primary purpose isn’t to put on a rock show but rather to have music that encourages and facilitates a specific atmosphere, it’s important that music doesn’t overshadow or overpower other elements, such as presentations or speakers.

Of course, a drummer behind a drum shield can’t always hear the band, which means he or she needs a monitor or maybe even in-ear monitors and a mixer to be able to know what’s going on and hit the right notes at the right time.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a drum shield, it’s probably because there’s a practical reason.

You can use a drum shield in your garage or practice room too, but don’t expect it to kill the sound completely.

These rooms are not designed to absorb sound (though a garage is sometimes better than other rooms), so if you’re expecting the shield to do all the work for you in that regard, you’re going to be disappointed.

Drum shields can also help with isolation, and therefore, to some extent, recording. I’m not suggesting that shielding will eliminate bleed altogether, as that’s not the case. But if you’re in a band that likes to record live off the floor, this can be a helpful solution.

Ultimately, you may need a drum shield, you may not. It depends on your situation and what you’re planning to use it for.

With that overview established, I’ll summarize the chief advantages and disadvantages of using a drum shield.

Advantages Of Using A Drum Shield

With a drum shield, you can have more control over the overall volume of the drumkit.

Since drums can sometimes overpower other musicians, whether it’s bassists, guitarists, keyboardists or otherwise, it’s nice to be able to keep the drums at a level that allows others to play without having to bring in big amps or crank up their volume.

Likewise, vocalists need to be able to hear themselves, and if the drums are always infringing on their sonic territory, it can make it hard for every musician to play their part and create a cohesive whole the audience will enjoy.

Plus, musicians can take advantage of in-ear monitors for even more control over the mix.

Additionally, your sound engineer will probably appreciate putting the drums behind the panels. This will give them more control over the overall mix, and since live sound is challenging to get right, this is a good thing.

Drum shields can create more isolation, which is incredibly valuable when you’re using microphones. Drums are so loud that they can easily bleed into microphones, increasing their overall volume.

Disadvantages Of Using A Drum Shield

Drums are naturally loud. So, putting them within a container can make matters difficult for a drummer.

Since sound will stay somewhat contained within the acrylic paneling, it will bounce around. As you can imagine, this can make it difficult for the drummer to play with precision, which is what they’re called to do.

This makes in-ear monitors, or at the very least floor monitors, a must-have when using drum screens.

Another factor you should be aware of is that it can take a while to set up and tear down drum paneling. This isn’t an issue in a venue where you can leave it permanently set up. But even if you need to move it to change the stage configuration, this can add to your workload.

Further, if you ever need to take the drum shield with you, you’d better be prepared with a few helpers and a large enough car to put the shield in.

Finally, can a drummer feel a little weird separated from the rest of the band? Absolutely. This will mostly be a matter of getting used to playing with a drum shield, but it’s always good to be aware of the potential challenges involved.

Can You Make Your Own Drum Shields/DIY Drum Deflectors?

So, knowing that your options are limited, you may have come up with the idea of making your own drum shields.

The main advantage of doing so is that you get to customize the size to fit your venue and/or stage. You can make it out of whatever material makes the most sense to you, and you can even control the thickness of it.

As well, most drummers prefer custom shields that have been built specifically for their kit and playing style. This way, they can have the assurance that the paneling isn’t going to affect their performance in any way, or at least to the minimal extent possible.

There are some cons to building your own, of course.

First, you’d better have the necessary craftsmanship skills, or at the very least have access to some good tutorials.

Second, you’d need to be prepared to put the time and money into the project. There’s a good chance this is going to take a while, and if you need the drum shield as soon as possible, it would still be faster to order one online.

Third, there’s a good chance you’re not going to save much money by making your own drum shields. Acrylic isn’t the cheapest material.

Basically, it’s just a matter of weighing your options and figuring out what’s going to work best for you.

What Types Of Drum Shields Are There?

Drum shields for live use need to be clear. This is so the drummer can take cues from the band and know what’s going on.

So, drum shields are typically made of plexiglass/acrylic. Standard glass is impractical for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it’s heavy and breakable.

The three types of drum shields are: 1) full coverage, 2) full front and 3) partial front.

A full coverage drum shield prevents sound leaks from all sides and offers roughly a 65 to 70% reduction in noise.

Because it’s full coverage, however, it means the paneling will effectively be installed around the drums, and it will even have a roof.

Full front shields are most common, so when you’re shopping around, you’re most likely to come across this type of shield. These shields go in front of the drums.

Partial front shields are like full front shields, but height wise, they’re not as tall. These panels will help reduce noise of some of the kit but not all components.

So, while partial front shields may not reduce as much noise, they do make it easy for the drummer to have a view of the stage and be able to read their body language and cues.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Reduce Noise Coming From The Drums?

Chiefly, yes. You still need to be rational and practical about this, as simply putting a drummer in an enclosure, especially one that isn’t transparent/translucent, is unlikely to get you the results you want performance wise.

But if you’re on a budget, or if you’re looking for alternatives, you might find the following suggestions helpful.

Use Drumstick Alternatives

Drumsticks are typically made of wood, metals and other materials. Drummers are typically accustomed to using sticks, so the harder they hit, the louder the drums will be.

But there are alternatives.

You could ask the drummer to use thinner drumsticks, rods, brushes or other similar options, which should reduce the noise level. Not all drummers will be thrilled about having to do so, mind you.

Try Low Volume Cymbals

Some cymbals are exceptionally loud and piercing, leaving anyone close to drums on the verge of going deaf. I exaggerate slightly, but sometimes this isn’t far from the truth.

The good news is there are low volume cymbals out there, and while they probably won’t feel as satisfying to the drummer, they can go a long way towards containing the high end.

Take Advantage Of Mesh Drumheads

Drumheads do make a difference when it comes to the sound of the snare, toms and kick/bass. Mesh drumheads can greatly reduce the noise of these components while still offering a nice sound.

Mesh drumheads still feel a lot like standard drumheads, so they shouldn’t feel weird to the drummer either.

The main downside is that these specialty drumheads can take a while to install.

Get An Electronic Kit

I’ve already talked about this at length, so there’s no sense in dwelling on it, but an electronic kit can be a valuable tool when you’re looking to get more control over your drum sound, and it gives sound engineers more flexibility too.

The main downside is that drummers don’t always like playing on electronic kits, but if that’s all you’ve got, then they don’t have much choice.

Get The Drummer To Adjust Their Technique

“When I play the drums, I like to beat the crap out of them.” This is what Rockstar role models like Dave Grohl are teaching the world.

I jest, but it’s true that a lot of drummers don’t have control over their dynamics, something that is often ignored when it comes to becoming a better musician.

But this is one of those factors that separates the amateurs from the pros, because the best drummers in the world know how to play dynamically and know when to take it down a notch and when to kick into high gear.

Getting your drummers to adjust their technique could take time, and while it’s important for them to get an education in this regard, it may not solve all your noise woes. So, don’t put all the onus on the drummer.

Other

Other DIY solutions are worth experimenting with and may provide some relief when it comes to reducing and controlling the noise coming from drums.

So, embrace an experimental spirit, test things out and don’t be discouraged if some of your ideas don’t work out.

What Is The Best Drum Shield Brand?

As you’ve probably seen from the above, there aren’t many providers out there right now. The only one we covered here is Pennzoni Display.

In addition to drum shields, Pennzoni Display makes a variety of cases and display cases – for baseball bats, jerseys, guitars, footballs and more. Basically, you would go to them if you wanted to get a special item framed or encased.

Drum shields are useful, but there are a couple of reasons they probably aren’t as in-demand as they used to be.

First is because of electronic drum sets. Electronic drumkits can work just as well in smaller venues and church environments, as it gives the sound engineer complete control over the volume and tone.

Drummers may squirm a little, because playing on an electronic kit doesn’t feel anything like playing on an acoustic kit, but sometimes compromises must be made.

The other reason is because of affordable acoustic paneling. It used to be expensive to invest in paneling, but these days you can buy 48 panels for just $44 on Amazon.

It’s not a catch-all solution by any means, but it works great for home studio environments.

And, there are a variety of other solutions we looked at earlier.

So, while drum shielding may not be in vogue right now, it can still be useful depending on what you’re looking for.

Best Drum Shields For Churches And Home Practice Sessions, Final Thoughts

The two keys to getting what you need out of a drum shield are:

  • Knowing what you need – dimensions, height, size, panels, materials, etc.
  • Knowing where it’s going – in a room, garage, theater, church, small venue, etc.

With this information in hand, you’re more likely to be able to find the exact product you need for your situation.

Happy shopping!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you’ve learned will matter if you don’t know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career’ ebook emailed directly to you!

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