The Rock Band Drum “In-between Sock Mod”

April 23rd, 2008 by Tommy Gun


One of the most popular drum mods is the “sock mod” created by DBV. This uses the same concept, but applies it slightly differently. The sock mod is for QM drums only, and that applies here as well.

Here’s how the traditional sock mod works:

To get better response from the drums, you need to compress them a bit. If you do it too much, you’ll get “cross talk” (hitting one drum will set off another), and also double-hits. To counter this problem, DBV came up with the sock mod, which both compresses the heads (with rubber bands), and also dampens the vibrations (with socks). So you get better response without the cross talk/double hits.

I have “Gum Rubber Composite” pads on my drums, which gives great rebound and dampens the sound. I didn’t want to have to play on socks, so I came up with this variation of the sock mod, which I’ll just call the “in-between sock mod” even though I used shirts.

How to do this mod:

I simply took an old shirt (XL size) and cut three strips off the bottom (cut all the way across so you have loops, about 2 inches wide). You don’t need to use shirts, any cloth should work. If you wrap the cloth in-between each of the drum heads, you should get the same vibration dampening (to avoid cross talk), but you won’t have to play on the socks/material. I wrapped them pretty tightly around, and just tucked them into themselves at the end (if they fall out you can tape them or whatever). It’s fine if the cloth is touching both pads on each side, in fact, it might even be better that way, to absorb the vibration.

You will still need to do the tape mod, use rubber bands, or whatever method you want in order to compress the heads. You can see the gaffer’s tape I put on my drums in these photos; I’m still adjusting to find the right amount, so don’t necessarily copy where I have it here.


This mod has a few benefits over the traditional sock mod:

  • You don’t have to hit directly on the socks/rubber bands, so you can have the nice feel of gum rubber (or other) pads.
  • It’s easy to adjust the tape/rubber bands since they’re separate from the socks.
  • You only need three socks instead of four!
  • It looks a bit better since you don’t have socks down the middle of the pads, and you can hit anywhere on the pads now (which is also true if you use towels or shirts instead of socks with the traditional method).

Again, most of the credit here goes to DBV for coming up with the original mod (thank you!), and this is just a variation, I don’t think it’ll work better or worse, it’s just a different way of doing it.

I haven’t thoroughly tested this yet, but I was able to get higher scores on a whole bunch of songs, and rolls worked really well! I’m still adjusting the tape to find what works the best for my set. I’ll update this page with more info if more people try it out and give feedback!