Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

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Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by gdaigon »

I live in a basement condo in a townhouse apartment. Above me lives a very noisy teenager who stomps around for long periods of the day and late evening. I am trying to record his noise so I can make my case before the condo board. I purchased a Blue Yetti microphone and mounted it on a stand that reaches to within about a foot below the ceiling where the kid does his stomping. I have the volume nob turned all the way up, the GAIN nob turned all the way up, and have the setting set on "omnidirectional" as recommended. The Blue Yetti mike picks up noises within my room and in the rest of my apartment very clearly. However, it barely picks up the noise of the kid, even when he is stomping directly above me. This was the most powerful microphone on stock in Guitar Center. Does anyone know of a microphone better suited to record noises in adjacent rooms? I would appreciate any helpful information you may have.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by CS70 »

Your problem is likely that the Yeti won't pick much below 75Hz, probably starts rolling of before then, and the stomps you hear are mostly below that frequency. The little high frequency that there is is dissipated quickly. You may get more of it if you put your mic really near the ceiling (like, 1mm near) and you're lucky that the kid jumps directly over it. In other words, not really worth trying.

Measurement microphones (say the Earthworks M50) may give you something but they don't come cheap. And then you'll have another problem - findiing a playback system that can actually reproduce these frequencies in such a way that they are discernible... which is even less cheap.

Even if you did, you would still have some random recording and if the neighbors deny, it'd be your word against theirs. If they don't deny - or they are simply unaware of the discomfort they create, it's best to talk with them. In other words, the main way to handle these things is to talk with the neighbor, or talk with the board. If the noises have some predictable periodicity, you could ask a member of the board to join you.

Technically is doable, but expensive and without a chain of custody it wouldn't' really prove much.

In some countries there are government institutions to help with these things - but it's usually not an easy path to take anyways, and not a fast one.

Maybe someone will have some better ideas.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by gdaigon »

Thanks for the information.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by Tigerhawk »

Hello,

You recommend the M50 Earthworks microphone. It is quite expensive. Would the cheaper M30 do? It has a frequency response of 3HZ to 30 kHz, while the M50's frequency response is 3Hz to 50 kHz. Would the higher frequency response in kHz of the M50 not matter because the stomping sounds are in the lower frequency of Hz?

When you said "a playback system to make the sounds discernable", are you referring to an Audio Interface? What Audio Interface do you recommend to connect with an Earthworks measurement microphone? Will a FocusRite Scarlett Solo do? Is a cheaper Audio Interface or a more expensive one work better for a Earthworks measurement microphone? Do I need an Audio Interface with the same frequency response range as the Earthworks microphone because the FocusRite Scarlett Solo's frequency response is 20 Hz to 20kHz, which is different than the Earthworks measurement microphone frequency response; thereby, making the microphone not work properly?
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by Bob Bickerton »

The problem with nuisance noise is that if it’s audible at all, and perceived to be a nuisance, then it’s a problem. A circuitous argument I know.

Regulations tend to be based around noise levels, and so you would need to measure the noise using a properly calibrated SPL meter. Simply recording it may only prove you have high quality recording gear (as an example I can record ducks clearly at a distance of 500m and make them sound quite loud ;) )

Probably best to take a diplomatic approach………

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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by ManFromGlass »

I had a similar problem years ago with a young kid jumping and stomping. She would only stomp when mom wasn’t home.
Mom constantly said “My kid would never do that”
One day I had Mom come visit just before the usual stomping time and guess what she heard.
The stomping stopped when Mom went back upstairs. I was lucky that it was an easy resolution.
Part of the problem is that even if you get a great recording you would need one monster sound system to make people fully appreciate how the sound is not only in the ceiling but also the walls and possibly how your entire room is resonating with sound. Almost like the ceiling was the skin of a giant drum.
Good luck.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by resistorman »

Laws and regulations are tied to SPL measurements and difficult to prove. Diplomacy is the only real solution to stuff like this.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by Goldsmith Audio »

One thing you could try is getting an SPL meter, like Bob said, and record a video showing how high the meter goes when your neighbor gets loud. Make sure to use C weighting if you do it.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by Tigerhawk »

Goldsmith Audio wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:10 pm One thing you could try is getting an SPL meter, like Bob said, and record a video showing how high the meter goes when your neighbor gets loud. Make sure to use C weighting if you do it.

Thanks for the helpful suggestion. Why use C weighted instead of A weighted?
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Tigerhawk wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:40 am
Goldsmith Audio wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:10 pm One thing you could try is getting an SPL meter, like Bob said, and record a video showing how high the meter goes when your neighbor gets loud. Make sure to use C weighting if you do it.

Thanks for the helpful suggestion. Why use C weighted instead of A weighted?

A-weighted meters do not reflect the true energy in the higher and lower frequencies towards (and beyond) the range of human hearing and the frequency response of the meter drops off below about 700Hz.

C-Weighted meters have a flatter response at high sound levels (like the human ear).

More info here.
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Re: Recording Noise in Adjacent Rooms.

Post by Tigerhawk »

Eddy Deegan wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:47 am
Tigerhawk wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:40 am
Goldsmith Audio wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:10 pm One thing you could try is getting an SPL meter, like Bob said, and record a video showing how high the meter goes when your neighbor gets loud. Make sure to use C weighting if you do it.

Thanks for the helpful suggestion. Why use C weighted instead of A weighted?

A-weighted meters do not reflect the true energy in the higher and lower frequencies towards (and beyond) the range of human hearing and the frequency response of the meter drops off below about 700Hz.

C-Weighted meters have a flatter response at high sound levels (like the human ear).

More info here.

Thanks for the clarification.
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