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Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby grab » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:47 am

FWIW, it does sound like you're doing everything right.

Some friends had the same kind of problem with a neighbour. They had to go to court too, bcos the council (South Cambs) were wasters. It took a while, but they got her slung out.

Also worth getting the police onside if you can. If you ask them to turn the music down and they threaten you, report it. If she's dealing drugs, they might even be happy to have a reason to go into the flat, bcos it would let them "accidentally" discover things! For our friends, having their Community Support Officer on their side was a real bonus.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:01 pm

I concur with those who say move out. I was in a similar situation, we went as far as suing the council and got exactly nowhere. They won't want to evict because it's a breach of human rights- how mad is that? The flat might be discounted, but it is not worth it if it's literally driving you mad.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Mixedup » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:08 pm

You really have two options:

(1) Cut your losses, as you say.

(2) Pursue this thing through the council complaints processes — because you won't get any joy with legal action until you've gone through that. (I should mention that I've worked in a public sector body in a unit handling complaints). Whatever the complaints procedure that is published by the council, I'd be half inclined to ignore the first bits: the only way to get any joy IME is to always address your complaint(s) directly to the Chief Executive. Their private office will put a rocket under any obstinate/arrogant officials so that they make the problem go away. They're too busy to want to have to deal with this correspondence, so the greater nuisance you make there, the more pressure they'll put on the department in question.

Personally, I'd make copies of *all* the evidence you've gathered; in particular your diary. I would then send a clear letter to the Council's CE stating that the Environmental Health department are failing in their obligation to assess the noise problems. I know that some councils will install measuring equipment in your flat, so that they can monitor noise issues over time — even when the EH department is not at work. You should not be having to pay for the equipment yourself! Complain about whatever you want — the actions of individual officers, for example — but always keep your main point clear: you just want them to discharge their responsibilities as landlords.



When it comes to the legal side of things, I'm sure your solicitor has given you some advice, but the law is muddy at best. So be clear about what it is you're complaining about! There's the statutory/regulatory side of the law, both in terms of EH and in terms of freeholder/leaseholder/tenant rights and responsibilities; and there's the tort of nuisance. Perhaps you could even demonstrate that you are suffering financially by the council's failure to act... I'm sure that the sort of figures that that *could* result in being awarded if successful would persuade the council to act... which at the end of the day is what you want them to do!

In terms of the action itself... well, the council could do several different things. They could evict. They could install noise-proofing (eg installing a lower ceiling in the neighbour's house... though that's not likely to help too much with the bass and structure-borne vibrations.)

On the recording... well, you don't really need to do that. The idea of an videoing an SPL meter is a good one. In terms of a diary, you could even store these videos online as part of a blog... then you can clearly see when the footage was uploaded.


...the bad news is that all of this will take a long, long time. When I had a nuisance neighbour, I moved. And haven't looked back.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Quaver » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:41 pm

I used to have a problem neighbour who was oblivious to anyone else in the street playing music at ridiculous volumes at random times of the day,sadly I lived next door to him so had the brunt of it,thankfully I worked shifts so never really had to endure it at night that often,although it did disrupt my sleep at times,I spoke to him and was greeted with a barrage of abuse along the lines of if its too loud your too old.

After about 18 months of crap and the local council insistent of saying I need to to a log,before they would look at it,I had had enough,being a musician I'm open to loud music and an appreciattion of it,however not at the expense of someone elses privacy and livelihood(and sanity)after a week of my sleep being disrupted I'd finally had enough,came home on the friday/Early hours of saturday,after a real [ ****** ] week at work,decided it was payback time,so cranked my amps up to almost max,lined them up to the joining wall,of his bedroom and strummed away for half and hour on my guitars mostly playing power chords and using my distortion pedals to great extent,at 2.30 in the morning must have been a real shock to the clown next dooor I could hear doors slamming(obviously in frustration)and what sounded like someone with lead feet,funnily enough it had cured the problem,never had a peep out of him after that,thankfully the arse has now moved elsewhere!!!


;)
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby John Willett » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:13 pm

Jeff Ling wrote:If you have an iPhone or something similar, there are a few free spl or dB meter apps that might work. I've got several and they work great for me.

No good at all as the bass is rolled off and won't register the frequencies he needs. :frown:
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby necromunger » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:10 pm

after a week of my sleep being disrupted I'd finally had enough,came home on the friday/Early hours of saturday,after a real [ ****** ] week at work,decided it was payback time,so cranked my amps up to almost max,lined them up to the joining wall,of his bedroom and strummed away for half and hour on my guitars mostly playing power chords and using my distortion pedals to great extent,at 2.30 in the morning must have been a real shock to the clown next dooor I could hear doors slamming(obviously in frustration)and what sounded like someone with lead feet,funnily enough it had cured the problem,never had a peep out of him after that,thankfully the arse has now moved elsewhere!!!


haha the op should get something like this along his wall and let it rip for a few days and see how they like it 500% louder.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TurboSound-TSW-721-Speaker-soundsystem-1-speaker-only-not-funktion1-/140731525226?pt=UK_ConElec_SpeakersPASystems_RL&hash=item20c440a86a#ht_500wt_1413
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Jimmy T » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:57 pm

I'd record a video of a sound pressure meter using two omni mic's such as MKH20 and stick them 5 feet apart and record with a quality mixer and when played back through a decent system the sound of noise and footfall above will be startlingly realistic.

I recorded my flatmate (from front room below), upstairs dancing, just for fun and when listening to it back above her in the attic it was so realistic that I you could not tell it was a recording. Even when listening too it I thought she was at it again.
Was not a problem though, just a test.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:03 pm

Jimmy T wrote:I'd record a video of a sound pressure meter using two omni mic's such as MKH20 and stick them 5 feet apart and record with a quality mixer and when played back through a decent system the sound of noise and footfall above will be startlingly realistic.

I recorded my flatmate (from front room below), upstairs dancing, just for fun and when listening to it back above her in the attic it was so realistic that I you could not tell it was a recording. Even when listening too it I thought she was at it again.
Was not a problem though, just a test.

Actually! A dummy head recording would be the best possible answer. Downside is that it only "works" replayed on cans but these can go down to really low frequencies. No need for a fancy dummy head setup, just wear the mics!

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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby boymarsh » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:48 pm

You mentioned that this vibrates the arms of your chair. Can this be seen? e.g., a glass sliding off the chair, or the vibration of a bit of tape stuck to the side. That might add some nice dramatic flair to your evidence...
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Creep_Joint » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:31 pm

You could always have a go at remotely blowing up their speakers:

http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/k62sc/i_feel_bad_for_this_guy/c2hyp6r
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/other/4218221/noisy-neighbor-disruptor-circuit

(please, please, please try to remotely blow up their speakers)
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Meizy » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:58 pm

You could contact these guys who may be able to help.

http://noiseabatementsociety.com/

I'm sure I read somewhere recently that they helped a lot in a case in London similar to yours.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:05 pm

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but everything about it is what I am going through right now.

Is technomonkey around? Would love to know if he got any success, or how he coped in the end, I feel close to breaking point at the moment, it's been a bad week. I get disturbed during the night also, so I'm only getting around 4 hours every night and it's been going on for a couple of years.

I have decided to move but I can't do that right this instant.......and that's how bad things have got :-(

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:06 pm

Sorry I got the OP's name wrong, techmonkey, not techno. :headbang:
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:46 pm

Techmonkey has not contributed to these forums for over six years. I know it's difficult and frustrating, but if you've pursued polite neighbourly requests without success and the council can't help, then relocating really is the best option.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:51 pm

Thanks Hugh!

I found the thread on a google search and everything he's attempted is where I'm at.....and yes, at least due to reading about his efforts I'm realising I'm going to get nowhere with the council even if I complain (which is the impression I had anyway)

thanks again.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:04 pm

Hugh is probably right but moving is not always an option. I have a little personal experience as I live in a Victorian semi with pretty thin party walls and have had some issues with neighbours (kids not music, and both ours and theirs TBF). The best possible option is always to talk to the neighbour causing the problem, most people do not like to cause upset to people they know and if you can get to the point where you are on pleasant speaking terms or even a cuppa every so often they may be much more inclined to be considerate. An angry attitude (however much it is justified) is counter productive (and, believe me, that was very much mine at one time), avoid it at all costs if possible. Should the neighbour be intractable then you options narrow so read back over the thread and approach your local EHO dept.

Good luck.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:33 pm

thanks Sam

I've tried talking to the neighbour for over 2 years. I've been polite the whole time. I told him that the council will be looking into it further (as he's claiming not to know what's causing the noise), and I've kept an open mind that it might not be him but some kind of generator or something like that. So the council contact him as part of their investigating the problem and he gets annoyed at me, slamming doors, putting an angry note through the door, etc.

No more nice person from me. I won't argue, I'll just move, but I will let my landlord have my contact details so that their next poor tenant will have a witness to the problem.

But yes, in general I totally agree, it's always best to be polite with people, it's gets the best response usually (unless they have something to hide)
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby ef37a » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:06 am

Since the tread has bobbed up again...

No mention was made AFAICT in all the previous text that an A weighted SPL meter would probably not show the OP's noise levels with any kind of accuracy because of the severe LF attenuation. Image

A meter with a C curve would be needed.

Secondly, there has come onto the market a VERY cheap LDC mic. Generally known as the "BM-800" these mics are £20 or so and can be plugged directly into a laptop mic jack and recordings made with Audacity.

LDCs are notorious for picking up ground vibrations hence the "cat's cradle" isolation devices. I think simply laid on the floor, such a mic would grab a decent level I am sure, in fact I have a BM and will try it out later.

N.B. The mics ARE cheap and this reflects in the quality control. Lot of posts of them being noisy, low sensitivity or simple not working. I have been lucky and had two that work fine.

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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby John Willett » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:39 am

There are various free apps for the iPhone that are a noise level meter.

I have compared the one on my iPhone with an expensive Neutrik one and they are pretty accurate.

So - I would suggest recording the noise and also getting a noise level reading - if you have two smart phones available I suggest also doing a video recording showing the noise level meter app in action.

This will help you with the Council and your neighbour.
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Re: Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:08 am

RoseQuartz wrote:thanks Sam

I've tried talking to the neighbour for over 2 years. I've been polite the whole time. I told him that the council will be looking into it further (as he's claiming not to know what's causing the noise), and I've kept an open mind that it might not be him but some kind of generator or something like that. So the council contact him as part of their investigating the problem and he gets annoyed at me, slamming doors, putting an angry note through the door, etc.

No more nice person from me. I won't argue, I'll just move, but I will let my landlord have my contact details so that their next poor tenant will have a witness to the problem.

But yes, in general I totally agree, it's always best to be polite with people, it's gets the best response usually (unless they have something to hide)

Apologies for my 'preaching to the choir' you have obviously taken all the reasonable steps you can.

Forgive me for asking this but do you actually know what the source of the noise it beyond any doubt or is it just possible that he is not responsible? If the former then you should carry out your threat of involving the council's EHO if only for the benefit of the next tenant (so they at least have a chance of starting off on the right foot with him)?
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