As working musicians in our early teens, my brothers (both drummers) and I (singer/guitar player) faced the same live performance issues that many musicians face today. To solve some of those issues, we made our first drum shield in the mid 70’s. Today there is still confusion over what a drum shield, cage or surround actually does. These products do NOT absorb sound, they redirect sound. So how do they work then?
The overall volume of the drums is typically reduced by blocking the direct path to the microphones located on stage thus reducing the bleed of drums into the sound system. This bleeding of drum noise usually makes the drums sound tinny and the cymbals proportionally louder. None of these is a good for the mix and overall sound of the group. A good way to test this effect is to have drummer play with the stage microphones off and compare that to what happens when the microphones are on. If you happen to mic the drummer, leave those mics on during the test.
With the right size drum shield, the overall stage volume can be reduced. This occurs when musicians located in front or to the sides of the drummer have relief from the sound levels of the drums. This can for example, allow for the lowering of a guitar amplifier volume because the musician can distinguish the sound of their guitar over the drums. This stage volume reduction can also benefit audience members that are located in a close proximity to the stage.
Drum Shield Sizing
To achieve any of the effects mentioned above, sizing of a drum shield is critical. Too short or not enough panels and the change in stage volume or reduction of mic bleeding may be minimal. There are a number considerations. For example, where other musicians are located or is there are drum riser? For more on sizing visit our guide at www.DrumPerfect.com
So the above effects are great and can improve your sound, but again drum shields, cages or screens, do NOT absorb sound. Therefore the effect on overall room volume and specifically room echo can be less than desired. To achieve both the deflection and absorption our customers choose our Performance Drum Booths.