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thoughts on sound damping in an apt?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pigpen02, May 17, 2002.

  1. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    i know there's a similar thread somewhere here, but i'd like to hear from people with a noise control problem in an apt or townhouse setting, or any shared living setting really.

    i'm getting ready to move into the top floor of a new apt., and am already dreading not being able to crank my 2x15 cab up a bit, at least enough to feel something. what can i do?

    i've checked out some of the dampening materials available, but my biggest issue is going to be with the floor. what can i use to keep some of the rumble from being disruptive to my neighbors? i was thinking build a stand for my cab that separates it from the floor by a couple or six inches, wider/longer than the cab by about six inches, and covering the stand and packing the space underneath the amp and extended wings with good dampening materials. maybe a couple of bass traps in each corner.

    anybody got any ideas for me? thanx.
  2. A good headphone amp, and a pair of good 'phones.

    I use a Korg Pandora PX3B and a pair of Sony MDR-V600's myself, even though I don't live in an apartment anymore. Nice'n portable, keeps peace in the household.
  3. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    uh....erm....what's that? never heard of dat stuff? forgive my tech ignorance and explain por favor.
  4. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I have similar questions, only I need to worry about bass, drums, guitar, and vox disturbing the downstairs neighbors.

    Any ideas for cheap, portable, reasonably unobtrusive damping options for the practice room as well as individual instruments/amps?

    (And before anyone else bothers saying it: I know the obvious solution is to just turn down and have the drummer use wussy sticks. Unfortunately, if we're going to really practice/rehearse, we need to play the music like we're going to play it live.)

  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I use a simple headphone amp (Dean) for late-night practice. I used to have a PX3B, but moved it on because I wasn't using the effects at the time.

    I was looking with interest at the new Pandora PX4B, and noticed it has a great idea - an infrared link for wireless headphones! What an idea?

    I'm going to look at what's available in wireless cans for practice - getting tangled up in the headphone wire is a regular and annoying thing for me.
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    LushFreak, your biggest problem may be the bass drum, not the snare and cymbols. My neighbor next door, a pro drummer who tours with country acts, did everything under the sun to dampen his rehearsal room upstairs in his house...all to no avail. I can still hear his bass drum and sometimes the bass guitar. Even the neighbors across the street hear it.

    When he rehearses or practices it sounds like a carpenter is hammering nails, steadily, for hours. It isn't loud, but a steady low frequency thump. I've never complained to him, but it can be annoying after awhile.

    I can't imagine this will make big friends of your downstairs neighbors. What to do? Maybe if you can elevate the drums on a dampened (quilts, blankets, towels, carpets) stand to get as much acoustic cushion between yourself and the downstairs neighbors as possible.

    Also, I'd get the bass speakers off the floor if at all possible. Bass frequencies vibrate right through a floor.

    Lastly, don't rehearse after nine or ten PM at the latest or before eight in the morning or you may really have some hot and angry folks banging on your door.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Here's some advice I read in today's Sunday paper! It is from professional handyman, Lou Manfredini who often appears on TV with home maintenance and repair advice.

    He explains the problem. "Sound is a vibration that passes through the solid structures of your home. If you jump up and down upstairs, the vibrations literally travel through the floor, the subfloor, joists and sidewall, then out toward someone else's ears downstairs. Laying carpet or putting cork tiles on the walls can muffle the noise, but you will still be able to hear it."

    Manfredini says the best way to muffle noise from UPSTAIRS is to have a contractor build a separate "drop ceiling" that attaches to the adjacent walls rather then the joists above. The air in between can be filled with sound dampening insulation. Walls between yourself and noisy neighbors beside you can be built the same way to block sound vibrations.

    Here's the rub. A false ceiling or walls will cost about $2000 to install and take up about six inches of ceiling height or floor space.

    If YOU are the one upstairs making noise, maybe you could build a false floor using the same principles described by Manfredini above, but do you have $2000 to spend? You could rent a pretty good rehearsal space for that and not make any structural changes to your apartment---ones your landlord might not approve. You'd also have to check your local building codes.
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'd try building an insulated platform for the amp like you suggested in your initial post...

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