Cops were called... because the bass was too loud

Discussion in 'Bass' started by KoskoArts, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    Sorry, I'm really new to these forums. This is my first post actually. I was referred here by TalkBass. So I have some questions about this room I have.

    So, the cops showed up at the door, consistently, when we played. It is my house we play in and when they showed up and said the bass was heard down the street, I couldn’t help but smile. I love my Ampeg, that sweet creamy syrup of sound that can be enjoyed for blocks.

    But, were a considerate group of guys. We want to play uninterrupted so we decided to move everything in the basement, I even picked up renters insurance just incase of flood or anything.

    Just so you all understand this as well, were not close to our neighbors. It’s a suburb, north is a creek, west is one house about 20 feet away, east is a road then a street of houses roughly 100 feet away, south is our backyard then a house, likely another 100 feet away.

    Now we use one half of the basement, the other half is storage and whatnot. It’s an old style house, thick beam construction, and stone foundation, half above half below ground. The house is two stories, basement, first floor (kitchen, living and bath) then the upstairs is the bedrooms and another bath. Now the problem is that the cops showed up still. Moving into the basement didn’t solve the problem, though it is a tad quieter.

    What I’m thinking is to create a wall to section off the half of the basement we do use, cover that wall and the ceiling with sound foam, a couple bass traps and maybe even that vinyl looking stuff that you can use as another layer. So we would be surrounded by walls with sound protection and foot thick stone walls around the foundation.

    Does anyone have experience with this stuff? And does it work? How do you all get around people calling the cops on you when you try to practice? We like the energy of playing loud, so we don’t really want to turn down. And were not even death metal for that matter, were more like classical jazz rock / prog. Go figure.

    Kind of funny though, almost all the cops that have showed up have said, “Man, I’m sorry, I was out there listening for 15 minutes and really enjoyed it… but some of your neighbors have complained. So I have to ask you guys not to play right now. But man, it did sound pretty cool.”
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Don't have any advice for you in the construction department. I just wanted to share a similar story I had.

    Back in the days of my youth, I pretended to be a guitar player. My brother however, was on the road to becoming quite a damn good drummer but this is way before either of us never become famous.

    We used to jam in our garage. Generally it was 45 minutes of Wipeout with a little Rush thrown into the mix. We had this neighbor who would constantly complain about the "noise". We wouldn't be playing for 10 minutes with the coppers would show up. They would be all apologetic and ask us to turn it down and agree that the guy making the complaint must be a pain in the ass...cuz we weren't that loud. time this officer shows up and he's casing the joint, snoopin' around looking for whatever. Mind you, I was 13 and my brother was 11. The officer comes up to me and asks if I'm on drugs. Back then, drugs weren't as prevalent in middle school pre-teens as they seem to be now. Then he asked to check my arm looking for needle tracks. I showed it to him. He told us to turn it down or else and left.

    So my mom comes home and we tell her the story. She flipped. She was beside herself with anger and immediately called the police station and demanded to speak with the Chief. She got him on the phone and layed into him about this officer and how dare he accuse her two young sons of being druggies. The rant went on for about 10 minutes or so.

    Just after dinner, the doorbell rings and its the officer at the door come to apologize to me, my brother and my mom. After that day, the police never came to our house about any noise complaints.
  3. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Okay, here's the deal...mass and density are your friends. Trust me, I live in a townhouse style condo where I share one wall with my nieghbor and the next unit is about 20 feet to the other side. I have sessions all the time with absolutly no complaint.

    Here's the plan aside from turning everything down.

    Pack the ceiling in the basement with as much R-30 insulation as you can. Then, if you can afford it (I couldn't), buy a few rolls of mass-loaded vinyl and staple it up over the insulation. Then install a suspended ceiling with tiles of an NRC rating of .70 or higher.

    For the walls, I used normal stud construction. However, I packed in Owens Corning Quiet Zone insluation, mass-loaded vinyl, and (2) layers of 5/8 drywall on each side. Added to this I used silicone caulk and expanding foam (in the can) to seal off all cracks. Right now, the door is the wakest link, I may have to install another.

    Think of it this way. Fill your room with water (not literally), any leaks? That's where the sound will creep out too. Get as much density in the walls and ceiling as possible, and you might want to prop up that ampeg on some foam pads, too. Foam will NOT soundproof, only absorb reflections.

    Lots of work, but well worth it!
  4. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    One more point that I forgot. You can't do anything about your neighbors complaining. Unfortunately, they have the right to call the cops if they are disturbed. You will need to either find a practice space or find a way to keep your sound in.
  5. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    thanks for the help guys, I appreciate the suggestions
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    You need to try to seal the room off. Sound travels through air, cut off the flow of air and you have eliminated most of the audible transfer. Keep your windows and doors closed! Don't forget the weatherstripping. Get some good headphones and amplifier and take the bass direct. Then you can destroy your hearing without upsetting your neighbors. People don't turn that far up in the studio. Get smart. Don't be rude. Be considerate of others! Rent a rehearsal space!

    Listen to your mother!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    I would suggest you repost this on the acoustics and design forum, they've got a lot of experience with just this sort of thing.

    Before you spend a lot of money on this problem, please do some more research as well as the good advice you're getting here. From what I'm hearing about your problem, it sounds like you need to de-couple your practive room from the rest of the house, more than anything else. Soundproofing is a two-way street; when you isolate a room from sound leaking in, you'll also stop it from leaking out. (You'll essentially be creating a room within a room; using things like rubber motor mounts to isolate the flooring for starters. Making physical space between two walls will do a LOT more than insulation alone, and so on.)

    And I'm sorry to say, it also sounds like it's just too loud overall, if that much bass is still leaking out and being heard down the block. (either that, or you've got some really crazy neighbors with nothing better to do than harass your efforts to make music.)

    Remember, bass can leak out as well as it can pentrate; it's not easily absorbed or deflected off walls, etc.; it just doesn't work that way, and soundproofing alone isn't going to do it. (That's why a car with a loud, hot sound system will sound like all-bass and thumping at red lights and even a few cars away; it's because the higher freqs are being absorbed and blocked INSIDE the car, while the bass freqs are leaking out through the thin body of the car itself.)

    Good luck with it, for sure!
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Fredericksburg, VA
    Just a quick note --

    Renters' insurance (HO-4 Policy in the states) does not cover flood. If you're worried about a flood, you would need to pick up a seperate policy for that. As well, the standard policy (again, HO-4) does not cover for water or sewer back-up. This is a $25 per year addition on all carriers' policies throughout the US. (Of course, if you're not in the US, please disregard...)

    If you're close to a river, you might want both extra coverages and what's known as an "Inland Marine" or a "Rider" for your gear. Inland Marine policies are all-peril (including flood, volcanic eruptions, acts of war... yes, these are typically not covered under any standard (HO-2, HO-3, HO-4 or HA-6) policy). The cool thing about a rider is that you often have no deductible as well!

    Sorry - in a past life, I was a Licensed Property and Casualty Insurance agent....Please don't think less of me.... :oops:

  9. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't EXCEPT you also play French Horn....

    I think there might be a reality TV show in your future Jeremy.

  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Fredericksburg, VA
    That cuts deep Phil....

    Oh wait - it's an insult from a throat's meaningless. :lol:

    Why was it, that in sight-singing courses in college, the ones that could never sight-sing were the choral majors??? I always found that to be ironic. :twisted:
  11. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    That's because "Sight Singing" is for amateurs. Real Singing is for us

    If it can be sung "at sight" it doesn't need much practice, now duz it?

    DUH! Whut wuz the question agin?
  12. PhiloBeddoe

    PhiloBeddoe Guest

    Aha, finally some insurance expertise from a recordist.

    I have trouble explaining my situation to my agent, maybe you can help.

    My recording equipment is in the basement of my home. The home's lot has a creek running through it. It's a pretty harmless little creek and it's often dry, but in 1996 (prior to me living here) there was a catastrophic flood that pretty much nailed the whole town. I guess the basement of the home took about 18" of water and it primarily came in through the basement windows.

    The home itself is not in a flood plain, but the creek obviously is. My agent says I don't need flood insurance because my home isn't in a flood plain, but instead recommended water and sewer backup. I have the maximum available insurance for water and sewer backup, but my understanding is that water and sewer is for mechanical failure like a water line breaking or a sump pump backing up.

    So the question is - if there was another catastrophic flood and water was coming in through the windows would I be covered?
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Yes you would be covered........if you lie on the floor during an "event". So don't lie on thr floor in the basement and that way you won't be covered.

    Glub glub pitooey

Share This Page