rods vs silencers
When you need to cut volume on the drums for those late night practice sessions or someone in the household has had enough of your volume, you should try using a metal brush hybrid called the Rods by Pro Mark (http://www.promark.com/products/drumset-alternative-rods/). These wooden brushes come in different sizes and can drop up to 75% of the volume of the drumset without losing feel. Much better than tape, pillow cases or drum silencers. You want the drum to sing and have a certain feel, not choked and no rebound.
The rebound feel of the rods allow buzz and double strokes easily, which are very difficult with regal tip metal brushes. You just use your current grip and angle with the rod and play your drums and the volume is cut. No need to learn a completely new technique. No need to play two inches off the drum. The Rods allow you to play at the same height you practice or perform at giving you confidence during your session.
I have used rods for acoustic set performances live and the drums blended perfectly with the lightly amplified acoustic guitars and bass.