Disturbing the neighbors

Maybe you could get some SoundOff's...and Sundays can become "SoundOff Sunday's". Muting the drums for a day is better than not playing at all.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I live in NYC and one of my neighbors down the block has been practicing the drums--in an apartment building! 2nd or 3rd floor so it carries too. It doesn't bother me and this is a noisy city after all, but it sure makes me feel silly for being too self-conscious to practice at home even with mesh heads and L80 cymbals...
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Specifically, what he asked is that I don't play on Sunday. This is not unreasonable, although it's 50% of my days where I can actually play for any extended period of time. So I do have the option of basically doing nothing except laying off on Sunday. This last Sunday I spent my practice time sitting at the kit with a pad going through "Great Hands for a Lifetime", which is fine.

Honestly, my real issue now (aside from losing Sunday) is simply that I feel self conscious. I'm trying to work through some fast, aggressive songs and sometimes I need to get into a loud/aggressive mindset to drill into them, but the back of my mind is thinking about how the guy may be listening: a) being annoyed, and b) hearing me scr ew up repeatedly as I try to figure out the parts. It's not conducive to productive practice.
So ..... you could do a room within a room. I don't know how much that would cost.

Something like this, might be cheaper. https://www.markertek.com/product/iso-a/clearsonic-isopac-a-drum-acoustic-isolation-booth-w-closed-roof?ne_ppc_id=1812431939&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI09WVzsn55QIVWB6tBh0SNgcoEAQYBiABEgIIG_D_BwE

Drums typically produce 90 - 130 dB level. We don't know what the noise level is outside your current structure. Cutting that by 50-60 % might be golden.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
I poked around a little at those booths. I'm skeptical they do all that much for sound isolation, outside of taking the edge off at church or something. I could be wrong. Technically, 50% is 3 dB, so when they say 50-60% reduction, that's ambiguous to me.

My main concern with room in a room is just doing it right. The materials are not especially expensive, but if you spend a bunch of time and money and do it wrong, it's all for nothing. My room is "roomy" now for a drum set, probably 8x10'. Putting a room inside might make it tight, but usable, depending how much gap/spacing is required. I have reading to do before I go down that path. Or I hire it out to an expert and open the wallet...
 

TomR

Junior Member
I poked around a little at those booths. I'm skeptical they do all that much for sound isolation, outside of taking the edge off at church or something. I could be wrong. Technically, 50% is 3 dB, so when they say 50-60% reduction, that's ambiguous to me.

My main concern with room in a room is just doing it right. The materials are not especially expensive, but if you spend a bunch of time and money and do it wrong, it's all for nothing. My room is "roomy" now for a drum set, probably 8x10'. Putting a room inside might make it tight, but usable, depending how much gap/spacing is required. I have reading to do before I go down that path. Or I hire it out to an expert and open the wallet...
Your playing hours are very reasonable in my opinion. My normal cutoff time is 9 p.m., but I also play in a basement that keeps the noise level down rather well.

What does your local noise ordinance say? Some are vague or do not specify how it should be measured (A or C weighted). My city's ordinance simply says that sound amplification devices and musical instruments may not be heard at the property line of a residential premises between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. And they may not be used in a way that at any time is clearly audible inside of a residential premises, when all exterior doors and window of such dwelling unit are closed. So the SPL meter doesn't matter in my city.

FYI: Though it is frequency dependent, half as loud is -10dB. Twice as loud is +10dB. If referring to power and loudness, then reducing power in half results in -3dB. Doubling power increases by 3dB.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
FYI: Though it is frequency dependent, half as loud is -10dB. Twice as loud is +10dB. If referring to power and loudness, then reducing power in half results in -3dB. Doubling power increases by 3dB.
Total tangent. I know very little about audio, but have been engineering RF systems for decades as a career. Technically, dB is a ratio, and to be totally clear, you should say what you are referencing. dBW is dB-watts, and 3 dBW is 2 watts, 10 dBW is 10 watts. The equation is 10*log10(x/y) where y is the reference. In doing a little Google research, in audio, dB references the sound power, so 3 dB of attenuation (ratio inside to outside) cuts the power of the sound waves in half. They have another scale in audio that is the "perceived loudness", and that one doubles at 10 dB as you state. So when these manufacturers state a "50%" reduction, it's a bit ambiguous which units they are talking about.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If there is a noise ordinance where you live, have the police come out with a decibel meter. They can measure the sound from the source of the complaint (the neighbor's house) while you play. If you are within the ordinance parameters, the neighbor is being a pest. If you aren't within the parameters, then you figure out how to reduce the sound.

If you call the police, it looks like you are trying to play nice and remedy any issues in order to keep the peace. If he calls the neighbors and tells them it's everyday and has already asked you to keep it down, you will look like the bad guy and get a ticket.
you can find a decibel meter on your smart phone. Play a little and have someone stand out side at the edge of your property , and find out the level for your area.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Clear as mud:

1574348903455.png

Which is it, 125 ft, or the property line? Are drums excessive, unnecessary or offensive? ;)
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
I agree with the others about using an electronic kit. I don't play my acoustic kit at home, other than occasional tuning. I've been using Roland kits to practice for the past 25+ years. And if these had been an option when I was learning to play, I would have used them then. I'm a drummer, and I personally wouldn't want to hear someone banging on acoustic drums next door either. It's really moot anyway for me. I ENJOY how it feels and sounds playing to songs with headphones on, with the iphone plugged into the brain's input. Perfect mix, and it's just fun. I do agree the feel's different. But not different enough such that the practice doesn't do a world of good. And I learn all of my parts playing my electronic kit. If I wanted to bang on my acoustic drums, I'd go to a studio to do it. Like others have posted, I wouldn't WANT to play when I know it's disturbing others. In this day and age, with the availability of electronic drums, at a range of prices...well you know what I mean. :)
 

slhanks04

Member
in Gilbert, 20 minutes east of Phoenix.
I guess I'm lucky. I'm in Gilbert, too and my drums are set up in my den/office. That's on the north side of my house and there's a green space between our house and our neighbors to the north. However, my neighbor closest to my drum room is a DPS cop and he works nights, so I try to limit my playing to later in the day out of consideration. I don't know if he can hear it or not, I just don't want to be "that guy".
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Clear as mud:

View attachment 88584

Which is it, 125 ft, or the property line? Are drums excessive, unnecessary or offensive? ;)
Some of the locales around here have a similar layout. You are playing drums, not music. You can make that argument. Being that there is no designation for 125' other than property line, you don't have to draw a direct line from the source, rather from the property line closest to his house. The music portion is to just keep people from bumping the stereo. No one wants to hear someone else's music.

Does he mow his lawn between 7am and 10pm? What about power tools? Or a loud vehicle (a Harley for example)? Can you hear it? If so he is breaking the ordinance also, but I bet he doesn't really care, even if people are sleeping, trying to watch TV, relaxing, whatever.

If your other neighbors are okay with it, then it isn't unnecessary, offensive, or annoying.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Clear as mud:

View attachment 88584

Which is it, 125 ft, or the property line? Are drums excessive, unnecessary or offensive? ;)
125 feet from the properety line. Your property line. They just didn't write "125past" in the second instance. So basically the second house past yours. You next door neighbors will have to tolerate some sounds. And that is really lenient.
 
I rent a practice space to drum in but I like being able to play when I'm inspired without having to drive twenty minutes to get there. The problem "used" to be I live in a brick rowhouse and if I played loudly -- my neighbors would definitely hear it. Well, a funny thing happened three months ago - our neighbors sold their place and some guy bought it with the sole purpose to renting it out. That's fine and dandy but for the fact that his renters are four twenty-somethings from Serbia. They REALLY enjoy living here because two or three times a week they come home at 2:00 am all buzzed up and proceed to party for a couple more hours. In the process not only do they wake me and my wife up - but more importantly, my ten year old son. Anyway, I mention all of this because after a few times of asking them respectfully to tone it down a bit -- cultural differences considered -- I've taken a new approach: I pound my drums now harder than I ever have in my life. And I do it early in the morning particularly after they've kept us up. So my suggestion to anyone looking to play drums is get a few douchebag neighbors who don't respect your kid's (normal) sleeping patterns -- and then play your butt off all morning. (YES - I'm venting.)
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
I rent a practice space to drum in but I like being able to play when I'm inspired without having to drive twenty minutes to get there. The problem "used" to be I live in a brick rowhouse and if I played loudly -- my neighbors would definitely hear it. Well, a funny thing happened three months ago - our neighbors sold their place and some guy bought it with the sole purpose to renting it out. That's fine and dandy but for the fact that his renters are four twenty-somethings from Serbia. They REALLY enjoy living here because two or three times a week they come home at 2:00 am all buzzed up and proceed to party for a couple more hours. In the process not only do they wake me and my wife up - but more importantly, my ten year old son. Anyway, I mention all of this because after a few times of asking them respectfully to tone it down a bit -- cultural differences considered -- I've taken a new approach: I pound my drums now harder than I ever have in my life. And I do it early in the morning particularly after they've kept us up. So my suggestion to anyone looking to play drums is get a few douchebag neighbors who don't respect your kid's (normal) sleeping patterns -- and then play your butt off all morning. (YES - I'm venting.)
A long time ago when my wife and I lived in an apartment, the lady below us would have people over and blast their stereo so that floors and walls would literally shake. So, I got my acoustic bass drum out, and retaliated. I stomped on that bass drum as loud as I could. Oddly, they turned the stereo down.
 
Top