Neighbors

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RSteve

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Spoke to an old friend this morning. He's retired and quite affluent; lives with his wife in a very upscale suburb. He's a year older than me, but we were in the same grade in school. In the 4th or 5th grade, our elementary school offered musical instrument lessons. I took trumpet lessons. He chose drums. We both played in the Jr.H.S. and H.S. bands. I absolutely stunk; always playing 3rd seat. He was extraordinary, played in city youth orchestras and in various rock bands. By college, I was pretty well done with the trumpet. In a pinch, a local polka band might ask me to sit in and play my b-flat baritone horn, when they couldn't get a tuba player.
Over the decades, he continued to play drums, as well as hand drums, conga and bongo. It was never his occupation. His family had a successful business and he moved into it after college. He did, however, continue to play drums and sit in with local bands when asked.
When he built his expansive suburban home, he built a heavily sound insulated drum room in the basement, where he could play without disturbing the rest of his family.
One late night, this past weekend, he related that he was in the drum room playing while wearing earphones and listening to a music track. His wife came downstairs to inform him that the police were at the door. Their next door neighbors had complained about the late night drumming. (I had to laugh...) Apparently, he'd used the bathroom adjacent to the drum room, opened the bathroom window "just a crack" and left the bathroom door open.
The neighbors didn't have his phone number and didn't want to get dressed and knock on his door, so they called the police.
If I were his neighbor, trying to sleep, I'm not really sure what I would have done.
 

Zeno Marx

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The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I'm a sound guy. I like the idea of sound rooms and isolation from sounds. I can't stand to listen to other people's sounds, the sounds of the house at work, etc. I want to hear only what I want to hear. If I was a rich fella, building a home around the idea of "I want the quietest furnace or heat source available, and then I want it made even quieter" would be my mantra to every detail in the home. Absolute silence, but for my music or TV or whatever.
 

RSteve

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My house has a tuck under garage. Directly behind the garage is a laundry room and a bathroom. Behind the laundry room is a dining room and an adjoining TV room. Many years ago, in the "TV room" I had a fairly sophisticated audio system set up. The amplifier was an original U.S. made Scott that pumped out 100 watts RMS per stereo channel. My speakers were massive EPI sound towers. Late one night, I played a promotional CD that I'd received from a friend at a radio station. On the jacket, there was a caution for radio stations that there was sub-audible bass on the CD, down to 10 Hz units. I played the CD at what I thought was normal listening level, but to reach that level, I had to turn the volume control on the amplifier beyond where I usually had it. That portion of my house is on frost footing with no basement and beneath the carpeting/pad is concrete. Between my house and the house directly to the west is an unbuildable city lot with many trees. After about 10 minutes of playing the CD, near midnight, my house phone rang. It was the neighbor on the other side of the empty lot.
"Sorry to bother you, Steve, but are you playing your stereo really loud?"
"I am playing it, Brian, but not any louder than normal."
"My house is shaking. Will you turn off your stereo for a moment to see if that's what's causing the house to shake?"
"Sure..."

"That's it. As soon as you shut down your stereo, the shaking stopped."

Apparently, the tree roots were transmitting the sub-audible bass and shaking the neighbor's house.
 
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