Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

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simonb
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Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by simonb » Thu May 10, 2012 4:19 pm

I moved into my new place a couple of weeks ago... got the decks and production gear set up in the living room as soon as I could and I've had some nice quality time with them in the evenings. Today I was heading out and bumped into my downstairs neighbour who asked me if I was the one who plays dance music every night, and said the bass is pretty loud in his bedroom (directly below my living room). He was pretty nice about it and just told me to keep it down after 10pm but I might as well nip this in the bud...

Thing is I've not even been turning my music up that loud but I can tell that all the bass is going straight into the floor, I can feel it without having the speakers up much. Is there anything I can do to reduce this or am I at the mercy of the construction? At the moment the speakers are on these stands: http://www.gale.co.uk/arc/index.html (the middle one on the picture, straight single column) and each one is then propped on top of a turntable flightcase to give them a bit more height. The floor is carpeted.

Ideally looking for something I can just prop the speakers or stands on, although I own the place so doing something to the floor/under the carpet is possible, just a bit more of a pain.

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by blizt » Thu May 10, 2012 5:53 pm

Bad news for you. The only way to prevent bass to go through the walls is completely isolating the whole room. Stands, bass traps or any other kind of absorption wont do nothing to prevent that, I'm sorry :(

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by tone-def » Thu May 10, 2012 6:17 pm

Isolating the floor will be a big and possibly expensive job.

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by lem » Thu May 10, 2012 6:35 pm

The only way I know to isolate the floor is to build a floating floor, which is basically building a whole new floor on top of the current one with neoprene 'pucks' to isolate the floors.

I can imagine this would be a big job for possibly very little gain.

Sometimes there isn't sufficiant insulation between the floorboards. Which you can do something about, but i wouldnt recomend it if u rent. Re-laying flooring can be a pita...
I have heard this can make a big difference.

In a similar vein, maybe thick heavy carpet/rugs would help? maybe several layers....

I feel your pain mate... at least your neighbour was really good about it.. if only there were more like him!!

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by Phase Ghost » Fri May 11, 2012 2:08 am

Bass travels so well it's crazy. Sometimes when I'm upstairs in my studio and go downstairs to take a piss or whatever, I can't believe how well I can hear the bass up there.

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by NoAffiliation » Fri May 11, 2012 9:21 am

good luck man, this is why i rent a studio outside of where i live. i've been psuedo evicted (asked to leave by landlord) from three apartments for this. i had one neighbor that use to go to the basement to kill the power to our apartment on a daily basis and her boyfriend once pulled a shotgun on my roomate for trying to turn it back on. bass is a bitch, find a cheap studio space and move your stuff into it

think about those assholes who have systems in their car that you can hear three blocks away before you even see their car, it's a losing battle

im telling you, if you can afford it get a studio, i rent one for less than $300 a month. if you just moved in and your neighbor noticed it that quickly it means your building isn't well insulated, you can put all the carpet down you want, it's not going to fix the problem

djing is a bit more neighbor friendly but working on music and constantly stopping and starting the track is a surefire way to make your neighbors want to kill you

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by simonb » Fri May 11, 2012 1:29 pm

NoAffiliation wrote:good luck man, this is why i rent a studio outside of where i live. i've been psuedo evicted (asked to leave by landlord) from three apartments for this. i had one neighbor that use to go to the basement to kill the power to our apartment on a daily basis and her boyfriend once pulled a shotgun on my roomate for trying to turn it back on. bass is a bitch, find a cheap studio space and move your stuff into it

think about those a$$holes who have systems in their car that you can hear three blocks away before you even see their car, it's a losing battle

im telling you, if you can afford it get a studio, i rent one for less than $300 a month. if you just moved in and your neighbor noticed it that quickly it means your building isn't well insulated, you can put all the carpet down you want, it's not going to fix the problem

djing is a bit more neighbor friendly but working on music and constantly stopping and starting the track is a surefire way to make your neighbors want to kill you
I'm tempted to look into a studio space. I quite like having my stuff at home as it's obviously very convenient, and to be honest I wouldn't use my living room for much else otherwise! But if it's impossible to do it without getting complaints (especially late into the night, we all know that can be the best time... especially for me, I work at my job during the day so late evening/early night is my music time) then it might make sense to get somewhere away from home. I'm sure there's some spaces near here, I know there's definitely artists' studios, startup office space, etc going so it can't be unfeasible...

Don't think the DJing disturbs them much less tbh, when the guy spoke to me he seemed to be referring to the constant beat (although you're right, stop-starting tracks, EQing kick drums, etc must be at least as bad...).

Last night I was doing my thing with headphones on for a few hours, which is do-able but not ideal especially for DJing.

That's unlucky that you've had so much trouble - I've lived in quite a few different flats in the last 7 years or so since leaving home and very rarely had any complaints, and when I have it's only been due to having parties late at night and so on, never just playing/making music at a normal level. Guess I've been pretty lucky until now.

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Re: Acoustics question - Isolating bass from floor

Post by jessejames » Fri May 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Throw a high pass on the mix during "shared" hours and don't work on low end material. Find times when your neighbor is gone to bypass the HPF. I go so far as to know my neighbor's work/family schedule so I know which days and hours I can bang it. His toddler's room is right above my studio room.

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