condo/townhouse/house and drum noise?

poochiebpoochieb Unsigned
edited January 2010 in Rock Band
Hey everyone,

I'm going to be buying a townhouse, condo, or house in the coming months, and I am looking for some advice on how much RB noise is a problem for each (first two really). Clearly a house is the best solution, but since I'm 29, single, and in semi-eastern MA, probably won't happen.

And yes, I have searched around and found some story threads about being loud, but I'm looking for more organized answers.

It would be sweet if anyone who lives in a townhouse or condo could comment on noise complaints. Additional information like what floor you're on, how many shared walls you have with neighbors, and how loudly you think you play would be awesome.

This is mainly about drums, since I play them the most, and by myself (no friends in the area).

So far, my thoughts are a ground level townhouse with the living room/rock band room not sharing a wall with any neighbors. Is that good enough?

I also have a Roland electronic drum set (due to RB), a real guitar (due to GH1/2 and RB), and play some intense DDR/Stepmania, so they're also somewhat included under, "potential noise issues".

Thanks.

Comments

  • DubaskinDubaskin Opening Act
    edited March 2008
    Hmm, I can't really give you a first hand opinion on this. But just from a logic perspective, it would make a difference how "in to it" you get. I mean, some songs, like Won't Get Fooled Again and Flirtin' With Disaster, it's easy to start making a little too much noise. And the bass pedal, on a second floor which I can atest too, can be a little noisy as well the more "in to it" you get. My suggestion would be in a room as far away from a shared wall as possible, and ground level.

    Also, if you have parties with people coming over, it can get really noisy, really quickly. One thing I've found, though it looks horrible, is purchasing some cheap, thick rugs, and hanging them from the ceiling. It dampens the noise, but you'll have to be able to tolerate the hideous-ness of it.

    And whatever dwelling you settle on, don't decide based on Rock Band ;)
  • trilidartrilidar Opening Act
    edited March 2008
    First, there's no functional difference between a single family house and a townhome: both do NOT share a wall and are insured the same. Your largest concern would be with a condo, since they do share walls.

    I live in a Ryland townhome and my neighbor has NEVER complained about the noise (and I work second shift and rock out almost every night).

    tril
  • King_NuthinKing_Nuthin Road Warrior
    edited March 2008
    trilidar;450868 said:
    First, there's no functional difference between a single family house and a townhome: both do NOT share a wall and are insured the same. Your largest concern would be with a condo, since they do share walls.
    Actually this is a regional thing, and in MA where the OP is from what are called "townhomes" (also called "row houses" in other regions) do indeed share walls. A townhome may or may not also be a condo which is actually a form of ownership where the common areas are owned in partnership. In the West Coast there are frequently groups of stand alone houses that are legally condominiums, its a term that is widely misused as a building type when it is really an ownership arrangement.

    I currently own a house, but I have owned a condo in Boston (essentially an apartment where I owned my unit) as well as what the OP refers to as a townhouse (in California). When I lived in the townhouse I shared walls with 3 neighbors and never had a complaint despite having a somewhat decent home theater set up at the time.
    So far, my thoughts are a ground level townhouse with the living room/rock band room not sharing a wall with any neighbors. Is that good enough?
    I would say this arrangement would be just fine. Just remember - you are buying this place - so do your due diligence to investigate the wall thickness and noise isolation levels. Talk to the neighbors if you can before you even think of making offers. Find out these things because you'll be stuck with it if you don't like it. I think the market still may fall a bit, or optimistically hold steady for a while so make sure you're going to live in this place for at least 5 years or it isn't worth the time and investment.
  • depthdefydepthdefy Opening Act
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, If you buy a place in a newer building the insulation between floors should be adequate enough to not have to worry about noise complaints. The ideal would be a concrete building (as far as apartments go) since concrete does a good job of insulating noise between units. Putting some type of mat under the drum set would help foot-pounding noise from disturbing lower-level neighbors, and neoprene or gum rubber pads help the drum-strike noise. Do that and you should be golden. Just don't crank the TV/stereo up too loud and you'll be fine. Of course, some neighbors are rediculous and will complain about anything. I've had a neighbor complain about me dropping a fork on the linoleum floor when I was doing the dishes.
  • jeccanekojeccaneko Headliner
    edited March 2008
    From experience, DDR isn't an issue, especially if you keep it on the bottom floor of a townhouse. If you're in an apartment and you're not on the ground floor, you'll probably have problems. Actually, real guitar shouldn't be a problem either. Just keep your amp at a reasonable level. If it's acoustic, it's not going to get loud enough to bother anyone.

    I have no idea what to tell you about the drums. Rock Band wasn't out when I still lived in an apartment and then a townhouse. I've owned this house for a couple of years now. It's not connected to anything so I can turn stuff up loud and no one cares.
  • bluGillbluGill Unsigned
    edited March 2008
    If your neighbors have kids they will tend to be more tolerant - but you will have to tolerate their kids as well. (which isn't a problem for me, but might be for you)

    Your best bet is to find neighbors that are worse than you, or take over from such people, as then you are an improvement. If your neighbors are fighting all the time, your rock band game won't be a problem. If everyone else lives in silence you may be a problem.
  • jeccanekojeccaneko Headliner
    edited March 2008
    bluGill;451175 said:

    Your best bet is to find neighbors that are worse than you, or take over from such people, as then you are an improvement. If your neighbors are fighting all the time, your rock band game won't be a problem. If everyone else lives in silence you may be a problem.
    It's hard to find a place based on neighbors though.

    I loved my connected neighbor at my townhouse. I was on an end townhouse so was only directly connected to this one guy's townhouse. He was pretty much never home. It felt like he just used his townhouse to store his stuff in and once in a blue moon to sleep in. It didn't really matter the volume we played things at. The apartment sucked though. No matter how quiet we tried to be doing anything the neighbors surrounding us loved to complain. At times it felt like you could sneeze and they'd complain. :(
  • poochiebpoochieb Unsigned
    edited March 2008
    Good, good. Thanks for the replies so far...

    Definietly not going with an apartment, too many college memories of noise complaints.

    I've also heard there are townhouses around here that do have concrete between the divisions, which would be ideal. Certainly some in-depth research will be needed.
  • King_NuthinKing_Nuthin Road Warrior
    edited March 2008
    depthdefy;451157 said:
    've had a neighbor complain about me dropping a fork on the linoleum floor when I was doing the dishes.
    In my condo in Boston (glorified apartment) I could not WALK in my friggin home without the jerk downstairs coming up and screaming at me. I wound up dropping a grand or so on a rug that covered 80% of my hardwood in the living room because of this douche. People like this simply should not live in shared living environments.

    That said, always be respectful of your neighbors, even the jerks. It pays off in the end.
  • MdubMediaMdubMedia Rising Star
    edited March 2008
    Man, let me just say that right now I rent an apartment. It is a four family unit, I am on the 1st floor, with a retired older man above us. He's ALWAYS home, but stays up late ( I actually hear him walking around right now ) It's always quiet in our apts. My wife and I are the youngest couple at only 24. We pretty much play loud, but not too loud until 8 or 9pm. Sometimes later, like tonight, we played until 11ish without orrying about the noise. I have yet to have him complain, but I don't want to make him either. It sucks tho.

    For example, after my friends left, I decided to jam out on the drums...threw my headphones on and started playing. Not even into half of Smokin' my wife comes in to tell me I'm playing loud and she hears the neighbor bove walking around...now I'm paranoid, take off the headphones and start tapping. It totally screws me up when I have to play "quiet" but you gotta do what you gotta do I guess.


    Basically it depends on each situation. If I were you I'd shoot for an end unit or a condo/townhouse with a finished basement :)
  • stickshadystickshady Opening Act
    edited March 2008
    Get a house the markets great for buyers right now and you can get a two story or split level. My friends split level hes has rb cranked(he works for pioneer) and you cant hear it upstairs because off the floor plan. My new place is about to close and yes again a 2 story with the rb room away from the bedrooms.
  • darkangeldarkangel Opening Act
    edited March 2008
    My wife and I have been renting one half of a duplex and while my neighbors (who share a wall with us) have not complained, they have said they can hear the music and drum hits through the walls. I guess if you are going with a condo or townhouse... make sure you have cool neighbors. I am closing on a house next month so I can actually unpack my dusty acoustic set soon (finally):D
  • kev500kev500 Opening Act
    edited March 2008
    I moved from a house into an apartment complex a few weeks ago. It took only 3 days before my downstairs neighbour came up to complain about the thumping on his ceiling (from my bass pedal).

    Luckily, I am moving to a different apartment complex in a few months, and that building is made of concrete so I'm hoping I will not bother neighbours there.

    In the meantime I'd love to get playing again. Has anyone who lives in an apartment (that is not concrete) actually tried playing with their drum kit on top of a foam pad plus blankets or anything else? Does it help at all?
  • yamikarasu13yamikarasu13 Unsigned
    edited August 2008
    My friends and I split 3 ways the cost of rock band for ps2 with the hopes of playing the ps3 version sooner or later. We've been playing for less than a week and already we've had complaints from 2 different neighbors every time we play drums. In fact, it came to a head last night where after a half hour of playing they called the police on us. We live in a studio apartment complex on the 3rd floor and get complaints from the neighbor next to us due to noise and the neighbor below us due to vibration. We've tried putting the drum kit on top of phone books and blankets but we don't know if it's been working or not. We've never gotten any complaints the last year we've been here before we got rock band and we've occasionally had our games pretty loud. We're all really pissed because if we don't find a quick solution we either have to just give it up altogether or we'll be prosecuted, we're just 21 year old college students. The issue seems to only be the drums and that the "entire room is shaking" or so they claim >.> *their claim seems only a bit exaggerated since i BARELY hit the pads and i don't stomp. they don't complain about subwoofers and the volume is very reasonable. So, any ideas would be more than welcome, it hasn't even been a week yet and the cops are at our door! *sadface*

    D.C.
  • Oscar-RioOscar-Rio 0/10
    edited August 2008
    i live in an apartment, and i don't give a **** how loud i play the drums nor at what time i choose to do so.
  • elizabeth0213elizabeth0213 Unsigned
    edited August 2008
    buy some drum pads, put something like a box underneath your amplifier and tell your neighbors of your musical interest and say if its annoyingly loud to please let you know.
  • Able-XAble-X Unsigned
    edited August 2008
    I live in a really old apartment that's actually a converted motel, so I only have side neighbors as the building is only one story. So far I've not had any complaints about rock band, though I do try not to play after 9 as a courtesy. I am thinking about getting those pads for the drum set though, just cause their loud even when i'm playing and its distracting.
  • nmitsthefishnmitsthefish Opening Act
    edited August 2008
    I had an apartment, on the 4th floor, and the woman downstairs who was older than christ came up ALL the time to ****. Apparently it was loud enough to bother her even without her hearing aid. It was such a terrible experience for me as all I do is play rock band drums. But now I moved into a 5 bedroom house with a bunch of other guys and made sure I got the basement bedroom and I couldn't be happier. Ground floor or underground is the way to go =) The sticks hitting the pads isn't something extremely hard to tune out where as stomping on the ground for a person below you is apparently horrible.
  • TwitchtheDjTwitchtheDj Opening Act
    edited August 2008
    poochieb;450825 said:
    Hey everyone,

    I'm going to be buying a townhouse, condo, or house in the coming months, and I am looking for some advice on how much RB noise is a problem for each (first two really). Clearly a house is the best solution, but since I'm 29, single, and in semi-eastern MA, probably won't happen.

    And yes, I have searched around and found some story threads about being loud, but I'm looking for more organized answers.

    It would be sweet if anyone who lives in a townhouse or condo could comment on noise complaints. Additional information like what floor you're on, how many shared walls you have with neighbors, and how loudly you think you play would be awesome.

    This is mainly about drums, since I play them the most, and by myself (no friends in the area).

    So far, my thoughts are a ground level townhouse with the living room/rock band room not sharing a wall with any neighbors. Is that good enough?

    I also have a Roland electronic drum set (due to RB), a real guitar (due to GH1/2 and RB), and play some intense DDR/Stepmania, so they're also somewhat included under, "potential noise issues".

    Thanks.
    I actually live in a 3 story townhouse. The first floor is our lower neighbor. What we do is since wi have the 2nd and 3rd floors, we turned the master bedroom into a sort of game room. (the master shares no walls with the next door neighbors) So we have no issues with drumming sound with either neighbors. DDR may have some issues though due to the walla shaking a bit.

    Btw, I happen to drum rather loudly and play with pretty high volume
  • RagAndBoneRagAndBone Rising Star
    edited August 2008
    I'm moving into a Boston apartment next month, and I'm already worried about the potential noise problems. I purchased a rug to cover my floor, but I feel like that might not be enough. I know this has been somewhat asked already here, but what else do people use to muffle the bass pedal's noise? I'm looking for anything at this point to avoid any confrontations.
  • CoreymysterCoreymyster Rising Star
    edited August 2008
    well i live in a loft with hard wood floors, so i have taken these steps to reduce noise while playing drums on rock band.

    first off, these pads will greatly reduce the noise made when the drumsticks make contact with the drum pads: http://rockbanddrumsoft.com/mcudual.html
    they were the best investment i had made for rock band and they really do make a difference.

    for the foot pedal, i just put down a small rug and put my drum set on top of the rug so the foot pedal doesn't make as loud of a noise against the floor when i hit it.

    hope these help
  • moneypmoneyp Road Warrior
    edited August 2008
    I live in a condo, second of three levels, one adjoining neighbor on my level, but only bordered by the bedroom wall. Just to give you some idea about how the sound carries, when I moved in, I had the neighbor leave me a note about "stomping" around at night, which I definitely don't do (I don't even wear shoes in the house). I think he was the sort that was irritated by the smallest sounds when trying to sleep, because when he moved out, the guy who moved in never complained. I had to bang on the ceiling a couple of times when the people upstairs decided to let their dogs run around at 3:00 in the morning. But aside from the vibrations of people walking around, I don't actually hear much noise.

    But I think we only received one complaint related to Rock Band, someone knocking on our door at around 12:30 to find out "where the music was coming from." I also had a neighbor ask if I was a Dead fan. :) He apparently heard some of the songs from outside on the stairs.

    The short answer: It depends on the construction of the building, the layout, and the tolerance of those people who live around you. You won't find out about the latter until you move in.
    poochieb;450825 said:
    Hey everyone,

    I'm going to be buying a townhouse, condo, or house in the coming months, and I am looking for some advice on how much RB noise is a problem for each (first two really). Clearly a house is the best solution, but since I'm 29, single, and in semi-eastern MA, probably won't happen.

    And yes, I have searched around and found some story threads about being loud, but I'm looking for more organized answers.

    It would be sweet if anyone who lives in a townhouse or condo could comment on noise complaints. Additional information like what floor you're on, how many shared walls you have with neighbors, and how loudly you think you play would be awesome.

    This is mainly about drums, since I play them the most, and by myself (no friends in the area).

    So far, my thoughts are a ground level townhouse with the living room/rock band room not sharing a wall with any neighbors. Is that good enough?

    I also have a Roland electronic drum set (due to RB), a real guitar (due to GH1/2 and RB), and play some intense DDR/Stepmania, so they're also somewhat included under, "potential noise issues".

    Thanks.
  • moneypmoneyp Road Warrior
    edited August 2008
    Oh, an addendum: I'd definitely save the DDR/Stepmania for ground floor living. A friend of mine dislodged his downstairs neighbor's ceiling fan with that game.
  • ExtremitusExtremitus Unsigned
    edited August 2008
    According to my neighbours it's the actual tapping of the drum pad as opposed to the bass pedal that drives them crazy. That said I'm sure the pedal makes plenty noise. Additionally - a great way to offset neighbour complaints is give them a chance to play the game - you'll be surprised how many will be won oer and start counting they days til they can buy the "kid"'s christmas present.
  • tidutidu Rising Star
    edited August 2008
    moneyp;1042543 said:
    Oh, an addendum: I'd definitely save the DDR/Stepmania for ground floor living. A friend of mine dislodged his downstairs neighbor's ceiling fan with that game.
    Oh, I have to hear more about this.
  • moneypmoneyp Road Warrior
    edited August 2008
    tidu;1042557 said:
    Oh, I have to hear more about this.
    Not much more to say about it (I only heard the story secondhand). I know he confined himself to playing it during the day while she wasn't home, but he actually heard it when it happened. The sound of the fan becoming dislodged and the crash when it landed on the floor. He figured out what happened and called her at work, she called a neighbor with a key to her apartment, they went in and saw the damage. Demolished fan (lamps shattered, one blade busted) and a scratched up wood floor. He paid to have all of it replaced/fixed.

    It should be noticed that this happened after months of DDR. The repeated vibration over that time must have loosened a few screws somewhere.
  • BassistaBassista Unsigned
    edited August 2008
    Speaking as someone who owns a house ...

    The drums carry pretty well. You normally can't hear us playing Rock Band inside unless you're within a 10-foot radius of the house. But if there are drums going, you can hear the clacking on the pads all the way to the street, and that's without being an AN-I-MAL on them, too.

    We try to be courteous to our neighbors and only play drums before 10pm. (I'm sure drum pad dampers would help, but we haven't gotten any yet.)
  • Froggy21786Froggy21786 Opening Act
    edited August 2008
    I live in a two story townhouse by our definition, I have neighbors on both sides with connecting walls. Our walls are 8 in thick and insulated, and I play Rock Band on the second story in a fully carpeted room.

    No complaints from neighbors yet. That said, you can DEFINITELY hear the pedal if you are downstairs. If I shut the door to the RB room you can just barely hear the pads downstairs, with the TV on you can't hear them at all. The bass pedal cannot be covered up by the TV sound.
  • 2rkdnsss2rkdnsss Unsigned
    edited April 2009
    If you desire to be fair to others, and it sounds as if you are concerned about disturbing your neighbors, check with the local government. They will have a Noise ordinance. Tell them your situation and get their advice. Violating the noise ordinance is a Misdemeanor. Also, whatever unit you move into will have legally binding covenants which you agree to before you move in. They usually cover loud music. You are bound by those covenants. I see you already recognize you will be loud. Try not to think of it as music, but as a sound. Low frequency impulse sound will travel though walls and floors, higher frequency sound will be filtered out first, leaving the pounding low frequency that is the most annoying. Recognize that one man's music is another's noise pollution, and reflect on the dB levels that are produced by today's music, if in a work environment, would require hearing protection.
  • redlummadaredlummada Rising Star
    edited April 2009
    I live in a third floor condo and play rockband fairly loud on the tv (I don't use surround sound though) and I've only ever had 1 complaint from the people who live directly under me. The noise generated from the foot pedal on the drums on the hardwood floor is enough to be bothersome. It's actually quite funny because the people who live down there also have rock band. I'd say you're definately safe with a townhouse. And just put a rug under your drums when you play and you should be good if you're going to live in a condo/appartment.
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