What can I do about a noisy DJ neighbor?
December 13, 2003 11:19 AM   Subscribe

OK, so the guy who lives beneath me thinks he's a DJ, and he's driving me and my GF nuts. Any advice on how to set up an electromagnetic field that is a>powerful enough to fry his equipment, and b>directional? [more inside] Oh yeah, this is all hypothetical

I've tried everything else, asking politely, talking to the management company, offering a crap load of cash if he'll just stop it, nothing works. The management claims the volume is at an acceptable level. I agree, an hour of that is perfectly acceptable, its when you suffer through 8 hours straight of bass that shakes your windows and endless drum loops that I start contemplating murder. This just seems like a less drastic but still satisfying solution.
posted by Grod to Home & Garden (58 answers total)
HERF guns are illegal (but hypothethically speaking, they're pretty cool).

I would take the matter up at the next town hall meeting, or invite the cops over and file a complaint.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:25 AM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: The cops are happy to take complaints, and they even come out occasionally. As far as I can tell the subjective nuisance laws in my area only apply to things like garbage collection at odd hours and traffic noise. Like I said, the noise level is theoretically acceptable, in reality its maddening. Sound dampening is an option I have considered, but the amount of mass loaded vinyl and/or lead that I would need would put a serious strain on an 150 year old building, and the delivery cost for 600 some odd pounds of material (for 1 room) is unrealistic. I'm a student, my finances fluctuate wildly, and at this point I have no desire to do this politely. I've tried. If I can't destroy his equipment and I can't block the noise (which being bass travels through the walls as well as the floor, making true sound proofing impossible since I don't own the building and can't undertake the kind of construction necessary), well, let's just say blunt instruments are looking really attractive these days.

ON PREVIEW he thinks he's a hip-hop artist but its a hobby, one he indulges constantly, point being, six months and he hasn't stopped, I don't think he cares about getting gigs.
posted by Grod at 11:40 AM on December 13, 2003

this is illegal and nasty, but if you have access to the circuit breakers, you could trip em each time it gets too loud.
posted by amberglow at 2:29 PM on December 13, 2003

hmm... I wouldn't advise doing anything that invites equal or greater retaliation.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:33 PM on December 13, 2003

There was an article about something like this in the New Yorker a few weeks ago, and it details the civil legal action that members of a swank Manhattan co-op took to prevent noise emanating from an upstairs apartment. The take away lesson: legal wrangling may or may not work, but the subpoena might drive home a message. I can't find a link to the article, and it may not have been part of their online content. Can anyone else find/provide the proper linkage?
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:37 PM on December 13, 2003

Grod, if you and your GF are out of the apartment and he's in his, then i would suggest a good bass quality sound system. Turn it on loud when you leave. If that doesn't make a point, then find a big confident friend who plays an unrelated neighbor threatening him. nothing violent of course, but it's amazing what a few words between a big man and a little wannabe DJ can do for you. seriously. it's worked for me.
posted by poopy at 2:45 PM on December 13, 2003

If the bass coming from downstairs shakes your windows, I doubt it's at an acceptable level, particularly if it's for prolonged periods. I would agree that notifying the police is your best option. Call them an hour or so after it starts, let them come into your apartment and experience it for themselves, and explain that it generally continues for hours on end. I would also point out to them that the management has chosen to do nothing about the disturbance after several requests.
posted by Danelope at 2:50 PM on December 13, 2003

Dude, you are so moving.

As you mention, management says the levels are acceptable, you've asked nicely and offered cash, the noise levels are subjective and he doesn't seem to be in violation of any ordinance -- you don't have a leg to stand on unless you want to apply a little more 'pressure' with the subsequent potential repercussions.

Take some of the bribe money and sound dampening cash and look for another place to live. Unless your willing to escalate this to the point things get ugly it's a losing battle. I know this, ten years ago I was your neighbor. Today I'm a landlord who goes to great lengths to avoid tenant disputes and tends to favor the teneant who doesn't bother me.
posted by cedar at 2:51 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: These are all good, keep 'em coming, please. I've thought of flipping the breakers, but they're in the basement, he's on the first floor, and I'm on the second. I might get away with it once or twice, but sooner or later I'd get caught. There are only six units in my building, but the scary friend idea could still work, since the building abuts two others. I know just the guy, too.
posted by Grod at 2:52 PM on December 13, 2003

I had a shitty nextdoor neighbor where I lived before, and I was polite to him for two years, occasionally knocking on his door and meekly asking if he could keep it down, it being 3am on a wednesday. He was polite about it -- he'd turn down the stereo, then turn it up again fifteen minutes later. I would lay in bed fuming about it, thinking I was going to kick his ass or do something nasty to get back at him, but I always ended up falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion and thinking differently in the morning. Eventually I moved out, and the situation never came to a satisfactory conclusion. In fact, I've felt like something of a chickenshit about it ever since, because ultimately the issue was that I didn't have the guts to get confrontational when I needed to.

Grod, people are saying not to escalate the situation, to wait it out. I'm going to advise you to do the opposite. We're taught to be polite about everything and never make a fuss, but that only works when the other guy is polite too. When he is an asshole, you have to be an asshole too. Don't imagine you're going to solve the problem with radio-shack energy weapons, cause you're not. Get in his face, be aggressive, threaten legal action, put him in a headlock if you have to. Do something cathartic. Bring the situation to a head. You pay as much rent as he does. Be strong, brother.
posted by Hildago at 3:05 PM on December 13, 2003

Buy him a pair of headphones.

If that doesn't work, tell the cops that he's running a child pornography ring from his apartment.
posted by majcher at 3:06 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: ceder The one's who don't bother you are the source of the problem, of course they're not going to bother you. I'll move when my lease is up, if I have too, in all other respects this is the perfect apartment for us, location, size, and price, it really couldn't be beat. We were here first, which doesn't count for much except that on some level it becomes an issue of fairness. What right does this person have to disturb his neighbors? Is the creation of "music" more important than a peaceful and quite living environment? If he were playing actual drums rather than looped recordings of drums, would that be appropriate for a residential zone? If he's serious about being a musician he should find the proper space to learn his "art." I like to listen to music, too, but no one hears it, I know, I've asked both the people below and above me. I am not blasting it, but it isn't that quiet either. He has every right to enjoy the noise he calls music, I have an equal right to enjoy silence and the illusion of privacy. His noise is intrusive, disruptive, and distracting. If you were my landlord you'd hate me and love him. The ideal tenants is not the one who leaves you alone, it's the one who respects his neighbors and expects the same respect from them. Of course I'm going to be outraged when i don't receive it. I don't normally advocate killing people, but this guy needs to be shot. If he survived it would help his career, and if he didn't the world would be a better place, or at least a quieter one, which is the same thing when its two in the morning and you're trying to finish a twenty page research paper for 9 am.
I've lived in squats, I've lived in places where people are shot in the alley by my window, and I've never had problems with my neighbors. This is the first nice place I've lived since I moved out of my parent's home. I'm not leaving without a fight.
posted by Grod at 3:12 PM on December 13, 2003

This happened to me in college. Someone was driving me nuts by playing Philip Glass' Koyaanisqatsi over and over again (he knew I hated it). He would put it on when he was going out and let it play till he returned. Didn't matter if he was going to the store or to classes.

One day, he turns it on and goes to the shower (it was a dorm, shared shower). I crazy glued the locks on his door. He came back, wet towel wrapped around his middle but couldn't get in his room. He had to sit outside like an idiot and wait for the locksmith to come, the music still blasting out from inside the room.

I returned from class, walked past him on my way up the stairs and said, "Didn't see you in English class. Life out of balance?"

I had to pay for the locksmith ($60), but he never played his stereo loud again.

I've often felt bad about the incident (it was terribly embarassing for him to sit on the public steps wrapped in a tiny towel, waiting for the locksmith, but at the time, he was driving me crazy. In those days, I was a big fan of Harlan Ellison, who has written an essay or two about revenge tactics. No doubt that influenced my actions. I've since learned to like Philip Glass, too. :)

on preview: What Hildago says reminds me of something I once heard a comedian say: I was flying into LAX and the guy behind me took off his shoes and put his smelly sock feet up on my arm rests. Did I turn around and tell him to take them down? No. I took off my shoes and socks and draped my socks over the back of my headrest. He took his feet down.
posted by dobbs at 3:14 PM on December 13, 2003

Hildago: "Grod, people are saying not to escalate the situation, to wait it out. I'm going to advise you to do the opposite."

This is a bad idea on so very many levels.

First, there is the risk of personal injury or property damage. You can't stay home all the time and even providing your physically capable of intimidating him, he may seek retribution on your property.

Secondly, there are legal issues. Put the guy in a headlock and if he calls the cops, guess who's going in cuffs?

Thirdly, you have to live with the nitwit. Starting an escalating feud is not exactly going to make your home life more relaxing.

It's really very simple. Grod, you are the one with a problem, not him. He's not breaking the law, the building management doesn't see an issue and he is not receptive to modifying his behaviour. That, "you pay as much rent as he does," business goes both ways.

This is a losing battle. I've been on both sides and one thing that I've noticed is the asshole always wins. Why, because he's an asshole who doesn't care about the way others percieve him.
posted by cedar at 3:16 PM on December 13, 2003 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I offered him a pair of studio headphones, he already has a pair. He uses both the headphones and the speakers simultaneously. Apparently this helps with mixing or eq'ing or something.

Ceder As a landlord, don't you feel you have an opportunity to insure that the asshole doesn't win in your building(s)? Yeah, it may be more work for you, but the majority of your tenants, the decent people who pay their rent on time and bug the hell out of you when they're bothered or they see a mouse, will respect you, and may choose to live in your building for years, rather than break their lease to escape the pest from 1A. In the long run, sticking up for the annoying tenant would mean less hassle for you, not more.
posted by Grod at 3:21 PM on December 13, 2003

Grod: "The ideal tenants is not the one who leaves you alone, it's the one who respects his neighbors and expects the same respect from them."

Wrong. The ideal tenant is the one who doesn't expect me to mediate in silly squabbles.

The guy is not breaking the law, management feels he is in compliance and so far it seems like your the only one with a problem. There is a concept know as "reasonable enjoyment". In a nutshell it means that a renter has the right to use his leased space as he sees fit providing he is within the law and any stated bullding policy.

It seems to me that your nemisis falls well within those guidelines and it is not up to me to determine, based on musical taste or personal tolerance, who is in the right. My advice to you would be larger speakers (possibly face down on the floor) and copious quantities of Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Michael Bolton.
posted by cedar at 3:24 PM on December 13, 2003

I would have to disagree with cedar in this kind of situation. this is NOT a losing battle. it's okay to play rough, just play it smart where you don't have to worry about retribution.
posted by poopy at 3:27 PM on December 13, 2003

this says you should get together with neighbors and do a team approach..altho i think a burly friend to scare him may work better.
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: Cedar please elaborate on reasonable enjoyment. If my idea of reasonable enjoyment is to prepare a candle lit dinner for me and my sweetheart sit down with a decent bottle of wine and Mozart playing quietly in the background so as not to overwhelm the conversation, is that a reasonable expectation? How can I enjoy that if a club beat is coming up through the floor, at a frequency that is as much felt as it is heard?
Likewise, if I'm curled up on the sofa with a good book and the cat and my teeth start buzzing from the bass, is that an acceptable level? Were talking about barely audible frequencies, but you sure as hell can feel it. Is that acceptable?
posted by Grod at 3:36 PM on December 13, 2003

here are some noise-reducing options from tenant.net--there should be other helpful things there too.
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: Soundproofing.org has some great stuff. Unfortunately they're on the left coast, and I've yet to find something similar here on the east side of the country. Secondly, to do the job properly would mean making some renovations, and while I am capable of replacing the walls and floors, it isn't my building. Besides, the building is on the historical register, and they don't like it when you mess with that stuff. I could do a half assed job with sound dampening fabrics, tapestries, and carpeting, I could even put sound dampening material under carpeting, but I have no way of knowing in advance how effective it will be. Renting is flushing money down the toilet, improving a rented space doubly so.

amberglow great link, thanks.
posted by Grod at 3:51 PM on December 13, 2003

I was wondering why management finds the music at an acceptable level if it's causing so many problems? It's obvious you have gone way beyond duty trying to work it out with your neighbor and other than Hildago's excellent suggestion I doubt you ever will work it out with him. So you have to change your energy and start raising hell with management. It's not the neighbor you have a legal agreement with and truly management is the only one who can resolve this issue. Just make sure it's the neighbor being unreasonable and not yourself.
posted by oh posey at 3:54 PM on December 13, 2003

"Cedar please elaborate on reasonable enjoyment."

Well, that's really the crux of the whole thing. Your ideas and his obviously don't mesh -- however, at the risk of repeating myself, his concept of reasonable enjoyment does not seem to be barred by either policy or law. I'm not without sympathy, but am not clear on what you expect anyone to do about it.

As you yourself say, "Were talking about barely audible frequencies, but you sure as hell can feel it. Is that acceptable?"

What do you expect management to do about music that can barely be heard? Okay, the building seems to have some structural issues, but it's historical so it's not you can expect them to rip up floors to add insulation and/or refloat joists.

I keep coming back to, "barely audible frequencies." WTF, you want somebody take action over something nobody can hear? Vibration travels, it's the price you pay for all that historical ambience.
posted by cedar at 4:03 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: You're right, of course, and I don't mean to sound unreasonable. But it tends to be the lower frequencies that bother people the most.

Everyone's suggestions are appreciated, reading them over and based on my own experience, I find that my options remain the same. Either invest a lot of my own money into blocking/dampening the noise, or move. I'd still like to destroy his speakers though. It would feel so damn good.
posted by Grod at 4:08 PM on December 13, 2003

You mention the building is historical. Do you pay for electricity independently (metered, not a flat rate)? If not, you and he may be on the same power circuit.

Is his equipment on a surge protector?

Now, that is arguably illegal, but you can strike back with your own reasonable enjoyment. The japanese sound artist Ryoji Furui made an hour-long song which was a filter being opened over white noise. At the beginning, it feels like an earthquake (literally), at the end it sounds like an airliner taking off. If you do it while he's doing his DJ work, he probably won't be able to get anything useful done. If it loses its value to him, he may stop.
posted by j.edwards at 4:10 PM on December 13, 2003

There are table-top speaker elements which turn the entire table into the speaker. I am sure you can emulate that, turning your entire floor into a speaker.

Then you can play really good music.

I suggest the theme song from All in the Family. In endless loop.

Actually, your HERF gun idea is the best option. Nuke the fucker from orbit. After a half-dozen amps go fritz, he just might gain a clue.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:23 PM on December 13, 2003

Grod, brother, first of all I feel for you. I've been in similar situations and the memory of it makes the bile rise in my throat.
I agree with oh posey that if the situation is as bad as you describe then the onus is on the management to deal with the neighbor. He plainly is not getting it and to continue to reason with him is pointless. The management is not providing you what they are legally required to. You are getting ripped off and the law is on your side. Be prepared to get legal help - either on your own in small claims court or contact a lawyer. You may be entitled to back rent, which may mean a lawyer will take on your cause on a contingency basis.
Don't consider retaliation because it is risky, it isn't likely to work, it will make your living situation even more stressful, and it will only undermine your legitimate claims.
Good luck.
posted by TimeFactor at 4:35 PM on December 13, 2003

most consumer audio equipment is very poorly shielded. develop a sudden interest in CB radio.
posted by quonsar at 4:40 PM on December 13, 2003

Hon, you may have to move. I remember when Deep Purple was doing a concert in the civic arena about a mile from where we lived. I could stand on the front stoop and hear the bass. Man, that sound travels.

I have been told by a sound engineer that it is the lower frequencies of sound that damage your ears. Just sayin'.
posted by konolia at 4:55 PM on December 13, 2003

Do other tenants around you have an issue with the wannabe DJ? It's been mentioned before but having a group of tenants knocking on his door, politely reminding him that other human beings live there could sway his opinion on playing drum beats at 3 in the morning, especially if other tenants have kids and big dads.
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:56 PM on December 13, 2003

Don't do anything that could be used against you in any way. Document everything. Keep a written log specifying each time the problem occurs. Go so far as to make recordings, although the bass probably will not come through all that well. Get neighbors to sign statements saying that the noise also bothers them. Present what you've collected to the management company in a professional way and tell them you are considering hiring a lawyer, even if you're not.
posted by anathema at 5:11 PM on December 13, 2003

Also document the duration of the excessive volume and any conversations you have with Mr. DJ: what was said, date, time, etc. In other words, anything pertaining to the problem regardless how trivial you think it is.
posted by anathema at 5:17 PM on December 13, 2003

Have you actually taken a look at your city's noise ordinance? I know I have a similar problem with my next door neighbor whom I share a bedroom wall with, who insists on doing all his music listening and TV watching at loud volumes in his bedroom and while I still can't stand the noise I did take a look at my city's noise ordinance which specifies that after a certain time at night you're not supposed to play your music, etc., at a volume that is clearly audible to others. Perhaps your city has a similar rule. At least that might shut him up late at night when you're trying to sleep.
posted by gyc at 6:15 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: My neighborhood does have a similar rule, the time is 10pm, the problem is proving that it is clearly audible. It's hard to get someone out here and catch him in the act. The cops rarely even respond to complaints unless it is much later, like three in the morning, despite the 10pm law.
posted by Grod at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2003

I've heard that your DJ neighbour has been smoking pot, and might be running a small grow. Friend of a friend told me, and now I'm telling you.

You're in the USA, right? There are payphones in your neighbourhood, right? There are children in the complex, right? Terrible thing to do, growing pot in that complex. It'd be a shame if the cops found out, oh yes, it would.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:11 PM on December 13, 2003

I smelled it coming out of his apartment. Damn, that ain't right. Drugs are bad news, dude.
posted by Hildago at 7:31 PM on December 13, 2003

I hear he hides it in his DJ equipment.
posted by j.edwards at 7:42 PM on December 13, 2003

Response by poster: Oddly enough that never occurred to me. I do occasionally smell weed in the stairwell, so there is a good chance that a raid would turn up at least a couple dime bags of the stuff, and possibly a plant in the closet. I don't want to fuck up his life the way drug charges, even possession of marijuana, would, but I'll keep that in mind.
posted by Grod at 7:43 PM on December 13, 2003

Dude, havent you noticed the black grow lights? It's not pot bro, it's shrooms.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:26 PM on December 13, 2003

When you can "feel" the bass, man, I tell you that is unacceptable. That is bordering on assault. Comes down to a lack of respect for your fellow human.

Anathema seems to have the best idea, I think. If you can get your neighbors together. Otherwise you gotta ride it out like XQUZYPHR said or move as cedar, konolia, et. al. suggested. I went through something like this years ago...did the circuit breaker thing. I only did it two or three times and it might not have been because of my actions, but the music went away soon after that.
posted by jaronson at 8:53 PM on December 13, 2003

I think I'd go after the fucker with a baseball bat, myself. Failing that, I'd hire Rocco to do it for me.

Or, if you're warming to the idea of narcing on him (which sucks, I'd say, worse than a beating), I'd at least tell him first, in reasonable tones, what the lay of the land is - in other words, you are ready to take extreme measures, which may include an anonymous drug tip as a first step, if he doesn't stop with the noise. Immediately.

Which wouldn't work worth a damn if he doesn't actually have any.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:11 PM on December 13, 2003

Boy, why not just call and say you hear arabic coming from that apartment? (narcing on him is pushing it, i think)
posted by amberglow at 9:30 PM on December 13, 2003

As they say, what goes around....
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:39 PM on December 13, 2003

Play this at an ungodly volume. Takes care of my dumbass neighbor every time.
posted by angry modem at 10:17 PM on December 13, 2003

The wannabe DJ has to sleep sometime, right?

Get an old tube head unit, some old shitty (big, if possible) speakers, a 1/8" miniplug-to-RCA cable, and a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. Plug the RCA's into the phono jack, and the 1/4" plug into the headphone jack. At certain volume levels, you'll get a piercing shriek. At others, you'll get a rumble that would digrace the Northridge quake. Have fun.

If possible, get an old Genie garage-door opener (1970's) transmitter. They actually switched the 120 power to the opener. Now, you can turn on the screamer at a distance.
posted by notsnot at 10:23 PM on December 13, 2003

Play this at an ungodly volume. Takes care of my dumbass neighbor every time.

merzbow is good for that too.
posted by juv3nal at 1:47 AM on December 14, 2003

hi there ,

ive got neighbours that are noisy sometimes and ive called the police and ive been told to keep a written record of every single time they are noisy.
I would dispute the noise being reasonable .
One time we had somebody come up with equipment and actually measure the sound levels around here , they were above reasonable limits.
im not sure what the limit is but its a certain amount of decibels anyway in uk law which may be different in us.
dont get too heavy with the guy is my advice , he might bring his mate up to see you ! maybe you can work out a time when he can play his music together like when youre out workin or something, be nice to him , help him out with something, give him some records , he'll listen to you then.
dont let the guy know his music is getting to you.oh earplugs help too. pray if all else fails.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:07 AM on December 14, 2003

Just remember, all the people suggesting intimidation, possible violence, and narcing, are not the ones that have to actually carry this out. This is all on you.
If you take any of those suggestions you may forever forclose any possibility of a reasonable solution and also risk damaging your credibility, not to mention possible legal problems associated with some of those acts.
posted by anathema at 4:55 AM on December 14, 2003

I don't know anything about this, but it seems that many cities have neighbor-to-neighbor mediation services. Add your city into the search string and see what pops up.
posted by anathema at 5:24 AM on December 14, 2003

(I didn't suggest the use of violence. I would never suggest that to anyone. I just mentioned what I might be inclined to do, even at the gasp! risk of damaging my credibility.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:39 AM on December 14, 2003

DJ's are bastards....thats all...
posted by mattr at 5:44 AM on December 14, 2003

whew. very late to the party here, but I'm just wondering: if the other tenants don't seem to have as much of a problem with this, it could be that there is something about the acoustics that is making it unbearable in your apartment, but not in theirs. This could possibly be solved by some soundproofing only in certain areas, or by getting him to move his stuff a bit. I've personally experienced some pretty wacky stuff and known others who have had strange problems* due to acoustical dynamics before, so it could be that the guy really isn't going overboard.

(*For example, I know of one club on the ground floor of an apartment building that had huge problems because of complaints about the noise nuisance, but not from the apartments directly above it; it was the fifth floor that was going crazy...)

Do you know any sound engineers/technicians? Maybe they could check the situation out. Before you go with the more extreme actions, I would say that it is definitely worth examining this possibility...
posted by taz at 5:51 AM on December 14, 2003

I suppose narcing isn't ever a good idea down in the USA. Up here in Canada it would basically carry neglible penalty. Might get an hour in court and a small fine. No parole, no jailtime, no community service. Might go on his record, but it's not like anyone would ever care about that.

Down in the USA, I hear you throw people like that into the woodchipper. That is, perhaps, overkill for what's essentially a problem with the guy's bass adjustments.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:10 AM on December 14, 2003

Response by poster: five fresh fish, exactly why I am reluctant to narc. I don't like the guy, and I don't personally advocate even minor drug use, but I sure as hell don't agree with the drug laws in this country, and despite my dislike for the guy, I would not feel good about myself if I ratted him out for drug use.
The most logical suggestion I've heard is to document the incidents. Unfortunately I have not been doing that during the last five or six months--is it too late to start now? While I would be willing to accept the consequences of unarmed physical assault, physically I can't take this guy on without some type of weapon, which carries much stricter penalties.
I've tried the fire with fire method, a software based tone generator hooked up to a decent pair of speakers face down on the floor, everything from earth rumbling to earsplitting, didn't work. At the moment I'm dead broke, when I have some spare cash I'm going to experiment with sound dampening, unless someone knows of a way to fuck up all the circuits in his apartment without the use of tactical nuclear devices.
posted by Grod at 11:51 AM on December 14, 2003

is it too late to start now?

posted by anathema at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2003

Response by poster: All right, I'll start documenting. Does anyone know of an accurate way to measure sound? I'm not talking just volume but also frequency range and decibels in each frequency. This will be useful for both documentation and figuring out what kind of material will make the most effective sound dampening. I know there are thousand dollar devices used in industrial settings to determine if workers are exposed to dangerous levels of sound, but I need a more home grown approach. Something I can do with a radio shack mic, a computer, and inexpensive (or free!) software.
posted by Grod at 12:10 PM on December 14, 2003

everything anathema is suggesting is right on, i've gone that route in the past and it's been totally successful. luckily we have noise police where i live now, so if 3 legit complaints are made the city can evict the noisemaker even if the landlord doesn't care.

in the past my current landlord used to be like cedar, but i wore him down. whenever shit goes wrong around the building (the apt next to me has an incredibly high turnover, and the various tenants are always maniacs - we've all come to the conclusion that unit 17 is cursed) he knows he's going to hear about it politely, rationally but unendingly unless he gets on it. i love the awful little troll now and will miss him when we buy a house in the spring. as a parting gift i'm letting him be my real estate agent, heh.
posted by t r a c y at 12:27 PM on December 14, 2003

So this floor, it vibrates? (couldn't resist)

I had a terrible music neighbor once. I know you're broke, but I will just note that if you go for the minimalist look in your apartment (no carpeting, little furniture) that bass will be louder. I do think carpeting with a rugpad beneath it would do some good.

You might also go back to your management company and note that this was not the condition of the apartment when you decided to rent it (no eternal bass from downstairs), and that you feel entitled to a rent reduction. (Don't actually start paying less rent unless they agree, though -- that could get you evicted. But it could get the mgmt company interested enough to talk to the dj.)

Finally, I don't think the retailation tactics (louder music, etc.) are going to work. If anything they'll just piss the dj off and make him think anything goes.
posted by onlyconnect at 1:11 PM on December 14, 2003

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