You are here

Evil Neighbors

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Evil Neighbors

Postby kyobona » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:38 pm

Hi all,

I need some advice to basically my neighbors our have been recently harassing us by using a stereo system and an microphone. They have been using low to high frequencies and whispering into their mic, which has been projecting right into our home. We have tried an shotgun mic but unfortunately we're unable to captive the sound as it's too directional. The sound feels amplified in our house but difficult to record.

We have two decisions but need to advice to pick which one.

We were recently recommended the following:

We were recommended to rent out an sound meter, that could detect a range of sounds. It was advanced, with 24 hour watching..we were thinking about renting for an month.

or

Slowly buy an reference and preamp to attempt to record the voices and frequencies at the same time then upload the results to Upwork for an professional to review.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
kyobona
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:48 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:00 pm

kyobona wrote:Any recommendations would be appreciated.

In all seriousness, MOVE. Find a new place to live.

We see a depressing number of this kind of problem and it's really not fixable. You'll end up spending a lot of money buying or hiring equipment that is unlikely to prove your case, and even if you did, you still have to live next to 'evil neighbours' who will then be even more 'evil' in even more inventive ways.

Don't waste your time or mental energies. Just move on and leave them behind.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25823
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby kyobona » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Hello,

A large number of people this has happened to them before? Well that is really depressing but sadly moving is really not an option for us at the moment. Our neighbor owns an slashing maintenance company and is local to us - We need to report them to the police instead and maybe gain some form of order.

Thankyou for the advice but do you think renting an sound meter would be ideal or buy the reference mic instead?
kyobona
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:48 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:06 pm

kyobona wrote:A large number of people this has happened to them before?

Yes... we get relatively innocent and benign stories complaining about noisy kids in a nearby nursery, or a neighbours dogs, or neighbours playing music in the small hours, moving up to really sinister warped deliberate stuff... At least three or four a year on the forums, and more come direct.

We need to report them to the police instead and maybe gain some form of order.

Then you'll need to find out specifically what kind of evidence the police would accept -- there's no point in buying or hiring equipment if your recordings and logs aren't admissible as evidence.

It may well be, though, that the police aren't able to help. In the UK, neighbour noise is dealt with by the council and they have their own specialist department and their own specific requirements for evidence.

So I think you need to talk to your local agencies first and foremost to find out what can be done, and how to do it.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25823
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:21 pm

Unpleasant though the prospect may be, I would think that the first sensible course of action would be to talk to them and find out what their problem is before escalating to the local authorities (or moving, for that matter).

Communication is much underrated!
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3314
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works.
Please consider supporting the SOS Forum Album project.
 

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby kyobona » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:30 pm

Thankyou for the advice all, I'll take what you guys recommended to heart. Unfortunately I wish communication was possible but sadly it wouldn't be wise for general safety.
kyobona
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:48 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:34 pm

kyobona wrote:I need some advice to basically my neighbors our have been recently harassing us by using a stereo system and an microphone.

Hei, apologize in advance as I may be completely off, but this kind of harassment sounds suspiciously like a well know reaction to very noisy people who don't want to turn down stuff... I recall a case with a lady who was a pro accordion musician and was making a friend of mine's life unbearable, by practicing at all times. After trying to talk with her unsuccessfully, and even less success with the local authorities, the friend ended up taking a week off and setting up a subwoofer against the wall, buy ear isolation props and proceeding to pump insane amounts of bass towards her flat. She got the message very fast.

While I do not recommend this course of action, it's not unheard of and it's kinda typical of these "noisy neighbor" cases.

It's a totally different matter if they're just playing loud music of course. But the fact that they're using a complicated sound set up to annoy you is kinda odd.

Again apologies as you most likely are the victim of psycho neighbors, but had to ask.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4781
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby The Bunk » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:05 pm

Who has recommended hiring a sound meter and to whom would you be actually complaining?
I'm unfortunately on the receiving end of such complaints where I work (health club with M+E plant, extract fans and dance studios etc); in my view they're not justified and the way we try to address / deal with the complaints is to liaise with the complainant until it gets to the point where it is clear that is not going to work. Touch wood that hasn't happened yet. BUT I've read up on our Local Authority's policy with regard to noise complaints and they say the first step is to at least try to deal with the person causing the noise to address the issue. If that doesn't work (and you've suggested it won't in your case), then you can go down the "official route" so I would check exactly what that involves for your local authority. If whatever you do does not comply with their requirements, it is highly unlikely you'll get anywhere with them.
User avatar
The Bunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:00 am
Location: SW London


Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby Folderol » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:08 pm

The thing is, people that are on the crazy fringe can be pretty dangerous. For the description of what they're doing it looks like they are well over the fringe, so if there really is no possibility of moving then be very, very careful.

Me, I'd move quietly and specifically instruct the estate agent no signboard!
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9733
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby ore_terra » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:27 pm

CS70 wrote:
kyobona wrote:I need some advice to basically my neighbors our have been recently harassing us by using a stereo system and an microphone.

Hei, apologize in advance as I may be completely off, but this kind of harassment sounds suspiciously like a well know reaction to very noisy people who don't want to turn down stuff... I recall a case with a lady who was a pro accordion musician and was making a friend of mine's life unbearable, by practicing at all times. After trying to talk with her unsuccessfully, and even less success with the local authorities, the friend ended up taking a week off and setting up a subwoofer against the wall, buy ear isolation props and proceeding to pump insane amounts of bass towards her flat. She got the message very fast.

While I do not recommend this course of action, it's not unheard of and it's kinda typical of these "noisy neighbor" cases.

It's a totally different matter if they're just playing loud music of course. But the fact that they're using a complicated sound set up to annoy you is kinda odd.

Again apologies as you most likely are the victim of psycho neighbors, but had to ask.

That’s also how I got my neighbours to get the message, back in 2013 when I had 2 guys next door whose weekends started on Wednesdays. They used to party almost every night with loud EDM music. Other than that (!) they wete nice guys so I went to speak with them many times, but never worked.

One morning after, when I assumes they would be in hangover mode sleeping whatever they had the night before, I plugged an iPod to my guitar amp input, put it in the under stairs cupboard right towards their wall, and played “como el agua”, by Camarón with Tomatito & Paco de Lucía on guitars (great song by the way) on a loop for 8 hours (I basically went to work).

When I came back home they were laying on the front yard as apparently they could not sleep inside. :mrgreen:

They then told me that they would do incoming parties at a mate’s :wave:
User avatar
ore_terra
Frequent Poster
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:56 pm
Location: Seville - Spain

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby BJG145 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:49 pm

I think I'd have to agree with Hugh; if you regard them as unapproachable and dangerous and they're deliberately harassing you, then leave. I really can't imagine that engaging in any kind of feud or reporting them to local authorities will do any good.
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4014
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:31 am

Are you renting or the home owner? In the UK if you own the property and want to sell you are obliged to disclose any neighbour disputes to the buyer before contracts are exchanged so your situation would be very difficult. Hopefully you are renting in which case moving may be the only way to resolve the problem. I hope you find another way.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11141
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Evil Neighbors

Postby N i g e l » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:35 am

probably not relevant in this case but my experience of local authorities is +ve (as an offender :o )

I returned to my flat after a weeks holiday to find my ansaphone in a funny mode, microphone & speaker both engaged giving a nice organic fedback sine wave.

Within minutes of reseting the machine a neighbour appeared, quite aggitated !
It seems the tone had travelled throught the building causing annoyance & stress.
Going through my mail later, I had recieved a shut the F**k up order from the council. had I been on holiday for 2 weeks, they would have entered the premises and sorted the problem out themselves.
N i g e l
Regular
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm
Location: UK