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Do you need a Drumshield? – ClearSonic

Do you need a Drumshield?

Drum Shields: What are they and What should you consider before purchase?


Drumshields do not reduce the sound energy created from a drum, it will just redirect it in the direction the acrylic is angled.  

When you strike the drum head, the sound energy is created and is driven out from the drum.  The sound energy then hits the acrylic and reflects in the direction the acrylic is facing.  This will direct the sound away from the non drum microphones on the stage.  This is when sound absorption is important.  The sound energy will just continue to reflect between the acrylic and the wall behind unless sound absorption is introduced.  Eventually, the sound wave will lose energy and will dissipate, but controlling the direction and intensity of the energy will reduce the bleed into the singers and guitar players microphones. 

Sound also travels up and out of the drum shield, so we highly recommend adding a drumshield lid pack to your drumshield.  This dramatically reduces the loss of energy through the top of the shield.  

As you begin to examine the many gear options that go along with being a musician one item that many consider is purchasing a drum or amp shield in order to help with both live performances and create high quality recordings.  Before making such a purchase there are basic questions and concepts it is helpful to understand in order to get the most out of your new equipment.  This article looks to answer a few basic questions so that customers have a better understanding.

 The A2466x5 drum shield isolating a blue 5-piece drum set.

What is a drum shield?


Simply put, a drum shield is an enclosure made to direct the sound of the drums away from unintended recipients such as an audience, microphones for the guitarist and singer, and away from band members ears.  The portable ones are typically 5-7 acrylic panels held together by flexible plastic hinge.  The height can vary depending on the need, as can the hinge style.  Some hinges are mechanically locking and others are simply held in by friction.  


 How do drum or amp shields work and why are they important to use?


Take a moment and picture a still clear pond in your mind.  Now imaging that you throw several stones into the pond at different points.  Each stone produces a series of waves that continue to expand outwards.  Eventually, these waves will run into each other and change the power and speed that each is headed to some degree. 


Now picture three large barrels full of water arranged near one another.  If you throw stones into each of them they will produce waves like before but the waves are unable to interact with one another changing speed and power. 


That is essentially how a drum shield works.  It allows the musicians to control what waves are interacting and helps to limit the waves that would cause too much interference.  Remember, sound waves travel in all directions and reflect off any surface they encounter.  That is why an enclosed drum shield is so   important because it contains the waves and keeps them from bouncing off ceilings, floors, walls, and even other instruments.  You can picture a loud drum vibrating guitar strings when they are not being played and why you would want to avoid this scenario. 


Drum shields are also very important to recording and broadcasting.  Microphones are designed to pick up all sound, not just the vocals of a singer.  Imagine trying to turn up the vocals during a recording or broadcasting session.  You cannot do this without turning up all the sounds the microphone is catching.  A properly used drum shield helps to isolate the powerful percussive waves coming off the drum so they do not interfere with any vocals or other recordings. 



What to consider when purchasing a drum or amp shield?

There are several important things to consider when making your drum shield purchase. 


First, consider the reputation of the company providing you these items. 
Drum shields prices can fluctuate and this is an industry where you are paying for quality and the reputation of the company behind the product.  What do the professionals use?  There’s a reason our brand is chosen so often.   Small differences such as adding a base channel on the bottom of the shield to protect the acrylic from the floor to having mechanically locking hinges all add to the level of quality of the shield.  


Second, is the company making your drum shield one that has great customer services and is there to address any questions or issues that may arise in using their drum shields.  What is the warranty of the product? How long does it take to get replacement parts if an accident happens?  Again, there is a reason we manufacture our products in the USA and keep a good dialogue with our suppliers.  We are all musicians and we want to be part of making a product that we would proudly use in our own performances.


Third, consider how modular your system needs are.  Do you need to add on? Reduce size?  Our drumshields are modular in design and are set up to be built into IsoPacs so if the need ever arises, you can simply add on accessories to take it to the next level.  


Finally, consider if you are going to use your drum shield in a permanent installation or if you want something with more portability.  We offer a wide range of sizes and well as case and carrying options to make your shield perfect for whatever way you chose to use. 


We hope that this brief article has helped to answer any questions you may have and give you more insight into choosing the right drum or amp shield.  We invite you to contact our offices if you have any further questions.  Our staff is always eager to talk with people about our products and help you make the best decisions for your needs. 


Have any questions or need a consult?  Please call (330) 650-1420 or send us a message below: