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How do i keep the neighbours pleased?

Member for

21 years
Really this is a big problem. Where i rent now I can hear pretty much everything that goes on on the floor above me, so I'm sure the people below me can hear me too. That has a big impact on me, I can't just let go and sing, experiment etc, so I just hold back when singing. I'm a terrible singer but I feel the need to experiment a bit anyways. What do I do. Any ideas? Where do you guys buy all that foam stuff you put on you walls? Would that help?


Member for

15 years

VonRocK Mon, 11/19/2007 - 15:02
The foam is treatment, not sound isolation. It's to make a room sound better, not keep sound in.

You will not be able to achieve sound isolation from your neighbors without some serious construction. Not an option for most people who rent in an apartment.

I hate to say it, but maybe you have to move. The other option is to get over your fear of "letting loose" (and any fear of annoying your neighbors) and just let loose. There's not much room on a stage for insecurity.

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 11/19/2007 - 15:23
I know how you feel, I too live in an apartment and I am a terrible singer.

The studio I am building is in my bedroom and I am going direct for everything except vocals and some little extras like a tambourine and harmonica.

My room is a little dead already due to the wood furniture and a lot of guitars and amps, of course all made of wood.

What I would recommend is a carpet or rug on the floor. Some Auralux on the walls would help, or at least one wall. Also hang some blankets or rugs on other walls and windows. You could also build a partition to put behind you and a the wall with the Auralux. It's easy, all you need is some hinges and build a 3 panel room divider, or they sell for about $100.

I guess you could use those Auralux panels on your ceiling. try to find out when your neighbors aren't home and belt it out.

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 11/19/2007 - 15:24
Hey, Keokeo. I'm also a bad singer who insists on making vocal recordings, and I had this very problem around a year ago. Insecurities aside, some instruments (read: drums and recording-level guitars) just cannot be feasibly played in a place like an apartment. You might have to accept that you'll need different places to live and to be creative.

In my case the only option was to move. I rented a house with good insulation on the outskirts of town with a guy who also plays in bands. A few other options are: if you're involved in a church, find out if you can do cleaning or anything like that in exchange that you can use the facilities after hours; rent a storage building that has extended-hours-access (and if you're lucky enough to find one with temperature control and power source nearby, use it to record); if you go to a university or are friends with someone who does, utilize the practice rooms.

If you're not intending to record and just want a place away from people, take a portable music player or an instrument to a park or lakeside at a time when it's most desolate.

Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Mon, 11/19/2007 - 17:22
Don't know where you live, but even here in a town like Blacksburg there are all kinds of practice rooms suitable for vocals that are empty several hours a day. (Bands and drums are a different story.) I bet you could get rooms for less than $5 an hour (maybe free if you paid for lessons once a week) if you are willing to be flexible.

If you want to read about what you are ultimately getting into, buy Rod's book. Making a room sound good is relatively cheap and easy. Keeping sound isolated is expensive and hard.

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 11/20/2007 - 08:10

I agree with what others have said here; find a house to rent. I lived in apartments for many years and wasn't able to play my drums, so I just sold them. When I finally rented a house with a basement, I got back into playing and recording and I've never been happier.

The rent is a couple of hundred bucks more a month than a 2 bedroom apartment, so I found a roomate that works opposite hours from me. It works out really well.

Also, I found that moving into a college campus area is really conducive to playing music loud at all hours. At least it is at OSU. I used to walk throught the campus neighborhoods on summer evenings and I'd hear several drummers practicing and a few bands too.

Good Luck.

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 11/24/2007 - 03:44
Thanks for all you suggestions guys, I've been looking for another place to rent (maybe even a house) ever since I posted. Maybe I'll move after all. Maybe.

I'm thinking of buying a laptop and first experiment in my father's car. Think that will work?

I mostly want to give it a go and see if I could do something as a pop songwriter (and eventually producer). This is easier to do in my country, Greece where standards are low, but still I don't have much of an experience as far as vocals and recording goes because all this time I've been experimenting with the software, beats, melody and lyrics. It's just that it seems like a shame to just give it up and let all that time and research (and creative brainstorming) I put into this go to waste, without even the slightest factual try (ie letting a few people hear a demo) and the unavoidable rejections and maybe even successes that could come.