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How Do I Choose the Best Drum Shield?

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  • Written By: K. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
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In choosing the best drum shield, one should first consider the location that the shield will be used the majority of the time. Acrylic sound shields are best used on stage while isolation booths fitted with absorption panels are best used for studio recordings. Note that the choice of drum shield will play a role in the instrument's sound quality; therefore, it is critical that a good shield is used in order to enhance the performance and make it enjoyable for the audience.

When shopping for a shield, it is important to purchase one of good quality. The main purpose of a drum shield is to streamline the drum sound to satisfy the audience, both those who are in close proximity to the drummer and those who are located at the back end of the arena or concert hall. The beat of the drum needs to mesh with the sounds produced by the vocalist and accompanying musical instruments like the guitar or piano. This is where drum shields come in handy, as they allow drummers to play the rhythm of song without overpowering the other instruments or the vocalist.

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Different drummers have different styles and preferences — therefore, it is important to compare a variety of drum shields. One thing that can be compared is the construction material. Common construction materials include Perspex®, acrylic, and plastic. Although plastic is notorious for its poor quality, there are various methods that can be used to improve it. One of the ways to improve the quality of a plastic drum shield is by wrapping it in sound absorbing material; however, it would be prudent to get the advice of a sound technician who is well versed in the science of acoustics.

Drum shields are available in different sizes and generally have between four and six panels; shields with more than six panels are available if needed, however. Although it is important to obtain the best drum shield, a concentrated effort must be made to acquire additional top quality sound equipment, such as microphones, in order to complement the quality of the drum shield. This would ensure that the sound quality of the performance is top notch, because a sound system is only as good as its weakest link.

An uncontrolled and chaotic drumbeat could easily ruin a performance and this is why choosing a great drum shield is critical. Imagine that a church congregation was listening to the choir perform but the sound of the drums overpowers the voices of the singers. Regardless of how good the vocals sound, the enjoyment of the performance would be minimized due to the excessive drum cadence. This is just one small example of how serious an uncontrolled drum sound can be, and why it is a good idea to invest in the best drum shield.

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