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  • Feb 4th, 2021 8:20 pm
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[OP]
Member
Nov 28, 2019
489 posts
231 upvotes

Decibel Meter?

Hi

I have a new upstairs neighbor that just moved in and they don't seem to know how to walk properly and instead of on know how to stomp around and dropping heavy objects randomly. All previous neighbors never heard a sound.

If it was only during the day, I probably would be more ok with it but when it is happening at 12:30am, 3am, 5am, 6am and it wakes me up with almost giving me a heart attack.

I made already complaints to strata about it and so have other neighbors but I don't have faith that multiple people complaining will be enough evidence for strata to do something. Especially now the owner is calming we are the ones who are harassing their tenants.

I want to get some noise recording or some decibel readings but now sure what tool or tools I need to buy.

I tried to record the sound with my webcam, cellphone and tried decibel meter phone app but either they don't pick it up or it missing alot of the depth so anyone listening to it would not even realize it is stomping and items dropping.

I also do live on a busy street so that does make it a bit harder to record things as the cars and buses get picked up so I would need to a way to try to isolate that stuff out if possible.

Any suggestions?

I see this on amazon but still not sure if it will be able to do the job: https://www.amazon.ca/Decibel-Mengshen- ... NrPXRydWU=

I also don't want to spend a fortune on tools
10 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
14810 posts
6080 upvotes
Ottawa
a new meter isn't going to tell you anything that the cell phone app wouldn't pick up. I don't see how that would help. Unless it's very loud, it will probably just show up as a small blip on the meter which doesn't prove anything. A better recording is probably a better way to go.

If the sound is low in pitch, probably your cell phone or webcam wouldn't pick up the full extent of the thud or whatever sound you are hearing. You also have to play it back on the device which can reproduce a full range, so a cell phone speaker isn't going to help.
RFD is not just for cheapskates. Those who want their expensive toys don't want to pay full price either.
[OP]
Member
Nov 28, 2019
489 posts
231 upvotes
warpdrive wrote: a new meter isn't going to tell you anything that the cell phone app wouldn't pick up. I don't see how that would help. Unless it's very loud, it will probably just show up as a small blip on the meter which doesn't prove anything. A better recording is probably a better way to go.

If the sound is low in pitch, probably your cell phone or webcam wouldn't pick up the full extent of the thud or whatever sound you are hearing. You also have to play it back on the device which can reproduce a full range, so a cell phone speaker isn't going to help.
well sometimes they do it for a long stretch, sometimes yeah it would be thud.

Recommendations on a recorder, we probably will do both options, we just want to capture it and get the proof.

I was right my strata is useless and wants to monitor the situation.
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15039 posts
2644 upvotes
Why don't go upstairs and make a polite request they reduce the noise level? If you have any very big burly friends/family members, bring them as a guest.
[OP]
Member
Nov 28, 2019
489 posts
231 upvotes
warpdrive wrote: a new meter isn't going to tell you anything that the cell phone app wouldn't pick up. I don't see how that would help. Unless it's very loud, it will probably just show up as a small blip on the meter which doesn't prove anything. A better recording is probably a better way to go.

If the sound is low in pitch, probably your cell phone or webcam wouldn't pick up the full extent of the thud or whatever sound you are hearing. You also have to play it back on the device which can reproduce a full range, so a cell phone speaker isn't going to help.
Are you talking to about something like this: https://www.amazon.ca/Microphone-Conden ... NrPXRydWU=
eldiablo wrote: Why don't go upstairs and make a polite request they reduce the noise level? If you have any very big burly friends/family members, bring them as a guest.
We written letters, other neighbors have gone in person to ask them to try to be more quiet (in which they responded by becoming more louder).

They just don't know how to walk and the kids run around too (but I doubt it is them walking around 3am...but who knows).

I sadly don't know any strong burly friends and with COVID it makes it harder to bring people. I also don't trust these people, from what I seen the guy is an alcoholic, they smoke weed (apparently while their kids are in the house) so there is no telling how these people state will be if you go and try to talk to them (they might be so high they might try to stab your or something).

I am actually now trying to get this evidence together as I want to sue my Strata as they are doing nothing to rectify this situation...... these tenants have multiple complaints against them, they broken other bylaws and their owners broke some of our bylaws as well all within like 1.5 months and the stratas solution is lets send them another warning letter.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
14810 posts
6080 upvotes
Ottawa
I don't think any of the popular microphones that you see for podcasting would work well, because they are designed to capture vocal sounds talking in front and filter out background noises like keyboard, which would not capture the sounds you are after. Your webcam or phone mic is only designed for capturing voices mainly. Some phones have pretty decent mics for general sounds, but that's not their intended use.

You need a microphone that can pick up soft noises (higher sensitivity), and wide frequency response (full range of sounds, not just voices) . Normally people don't shop for mics to record just noises, and good wide frequency response mics cost more money.

Honestly what I would do is just use your phone. Capture a file and save it on your computer and try to edit the sound using a sound editor such as audacity. In the editor select the part of the sound file that has your neighbours noise, and amplify the noise (making just that part louder...essentially you are "zooming in"). Playing it back on bigger speakers will make it sound more like what you are hearing.

If you want a mic, at least get one that is omnidirectional (designed to pick up sounds from every direction)

I'm not sure what I said will work for you because I've never tried such a thing. You could try buying a mic and see if it helps. https://www.amazon.ca/AmazonBasics-LJ-U ... ics&sr=1-3
RFD is not just for cheapskates. Those who want their expensive toys don't want to pay full price either.
Member
Apr 8, 2020
394 posts
190 upvotes
What I would suggest is that you and the neighbors get together and "harass" strata every single time (document everything) - it may work better than the mike
[OP]
Member
Nov 28, 2019
489 posts
231 upvotes
warpdrive wrote: I don't think any of the popular microphones that you see for podcasting would work well, because they are designed to capture vocal sounds talking in front and filter out background noises like keyboard, which would not capture the sounds you are after. Your webcam or phone mic is only designed for capturing voices mainly. Some phones have pretty decent mics for general sounds, but that's not their intended use.

You need a microphone that can pick up soft noises (higher sensitivity), and wide frequency response (full range of sounds, not just voices) . Normally people don't shop for mics to record just noises, and good wide frequency response mics cost more money.

Honestly what I would do is just use your phone. Capture a file and save it on your computer and try to edit the sound using a sound editor such as audacity. In the editor select the part of the sound file that has your neighbours noise, and amplify the noise (making just that part louder...essentially you are "zooming in"). Playing it back on bigger speakers will make it sound more like what you are hearing.

If you want a mic, at least get one that is omnidirectional (designed to pick up sounds from every direction)

I'm not sure what I said will work for you because I've never tried such a thing. You could try buying a mic and see if it helps. https://www.amazon.ca/AmazonBasics-LJ-U ... ics&sr=1-3
I was already using audacity before (using the amplify feature) and trying but it was very hard get some good sounds and such with my little webcam mic. Yesterday was a very good day in terms of getting recordings, I am going through them (got lots of hours to go through) and then I will decide if that is enough or if I need to try and get higher equipment.

I am not gather evidence for a murder trial here, the bar should in my mind not be that high.....but will see, I also have evidence that I am waiting to use to further show the tenants are not truthful (they broke another bylaw and waiting for their response....hoping they will say they never did it as I got photo proof).
reefer123 wrote: What I would suggest is that you and the neighbors get together and "harass" strata every single time (document everything) - it may work better than the mike
One of my neighbors has been doing that and the property manager wrote back please stop emailing me so much....

Will see what happens waiting for another response from Strata and I will go from there.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
14810 posts
6080 upvotes
Ottawa
yeah, if you could get a recording from your phone, just go with that. Sounds like you are on the right track. The phone mic should suffice, a separate mic will be better but it might not be worth it. I've noticed that recent phones have very good mics,

Buy a mic if you have another use for it. I bought a good Yeti mic for work at home, and it's paid off, everybody can hear me clearly and I'm repeating myself less.
RFD is not just for cheapskates. Those who want their expensive toys don't want to pay full price either.
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2015
689 posts
503 upvotes
Toronto
What type of building is it?

You taking all types of recording won't mean anything. You will need a noise consultant to come in and do proper measurements or an ASTC test depending on the building. (Lived in a condo with noise issues). Generally it will be up to the tenant to hire a lawyer for the Strada to actually get the consultant in.

Just to point out too, your generally looking at an instantaneous level on your phone, the specs are based on an average over time.

Pros use B&K and NorSonic meters.

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