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how to record noisy neighbour?


Standard Member
dont know where to post this, sorry if it's in the wrong section.

my parents have had problem with this noisy neighbour for months now since he moved in! he keeps playing loud music from 3 (he is a doormen, thats when he finishes) till way past 8 in the morning - when they go to work. also, he is always swearing and arguing with his girlfriend and shouting on the street. When i go home i can hardly sleep at all!

when trying to talk to him or knock on the door he will ignore you, or even if he answers he just gives u the worse depressed face and turns music back up later.

they have tried to call the police, but there really nothing they can do about it, as soon as the police are gone they get worse, shouting "call the police you *******"...

the police advised them to record it when he is been deliberately noisy like shouting and swearing to intimidate, unfortunately i dont know anything about recording at all.

can anyone advise the best and cheapest way to record them?



Active Member
Sorry to hear of your problems , sounds like a case for the council , that's if your in council property . There is laws against things like this but I dont think it's really a police matter unless there are threats of violence or violence itself. go to the CAB [ citizens Advice ] , they may be able to help you further .
As far as recording the noise is concerned you will need some sort of recording device , a tape recorder is ideal .you can get voice recorders [Alba] from such places as Argos quite cheaply and may suit your needs .
hope this helps.


Well-known Member
That sounds awful, sorry to hear about that.

Personally I'd say that it'd be good to capture video with the audio recorders if you can, especially if he is out in the street shouting and things like that. Also it can help prove that it is infact him in your recordings, you can use the images to prove things like the time and date, and for anyone watching (or listening) it will be more 'real' if they can actually see you having to struggle with this.

So, what kinda kit do you have already? For instance, if you have some sort of video recorder then it might be worth adding a decent microphone to it perhaps to help out - or if you have a laptop with a built in webcam you could use that, and feed it sound (again) from an external mic?


Active Member
Not sure how your council treats these things, but ours is pretty good and helped me in the past.

Speak to your local Environmental Health Officer and seek advice.

They have many ways at their disposal including putting recording equipment into your (or Mums) house to record the levels of noise.

Hope this helps a little, and good luck


Distinguished Member
Doug_1986 is right, IMHO.....you could spend over £100 to buy a sound recorder with a video camera - the sound will be better than a cheap Vid recorder....PalmTrack has one, as does Zoom.

They will be useful kit when the problems are over.

BTW does any neighbour know where he came from....there may be a similar history.

Sadly, noise is something way down on Officials priorities....so you need good evidence....the Police probably know best what to do. An injunction is an alternative as you can include a snap of a TV (time/date) to provide robust info....or add the "speaking clock" if that's still running......of course you "could" edit that in later - that's the problem with Digital Evidence.

Be prepared that what is "noisy" to you will not record! Recorders need considerable additional "gain" to record next-door and there might "even" be a legal issue . . . . few cheapo camcorders have provision for an external audio input....so this aspect favours a PalmTrack/Video. You will need to source an external mic with gain....and everyone needs to keep quiet (and clocks).....as these could ruin your arguement if the Court thinks you have clocks that are equally loud.
Cassette tape has the advantage it's harder to fake*...but it's noisy and only runs a short time like 45mins.
A PalmTrack can go for 8-hrs on decent AA batteries (Video version is less). . . . . But if the neighbour is regularly swearing outside in daylight that may be enough to prove your case. Camcorders have a Date system, but I don't think these audio recorders do....DYOR.

Good luck.

*sadly anything can be faked. You could ask your neightbourhood Bobby to come and see your set-up, providing any talking is in the next room.....again keep the sound-balance in your favour or the arguement is lost. This provides a "date Marker", but make sure he's aware you're recording.

Milkmanchris - may be Spot-On too, - but I think Councils only come on a specific day (and that's when the git's away) - it's less likely they'll leave expensive kit as it could become compromised/broken. Well worth checking out, as it's free.
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Distinguished Member
Many good points.
Unless you can have a "time date stamp" it can be argues your recording is fake
Also unless you have a decent sensitive microphone it wont pick up low frequecy noise ( vibrations to you)
Still, nothing ventured nothing gained


Active Member
Many good points.
Unless you can have a "time date stamp" it can be argues your recording is fake
Also unless you have a decent sensitive microphone it wont pick up low frequecy noise ( vibrations to you)
Still, nothing ventured nothing gained

The equipment my local council use measures the vibrations and time stamps them.

Its a carriage clock sized box that sits against the wall. (and leave it a few days/week)

Well worth an email, I had a problem with a shop opposites intruder alarm at all times of day night that ended up with a court notice being served, as others have aid nothing ventured nothing gained
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Active Member
arnoldma, so sorry to read this. My new noisy neighbours seem like angels by comparison.

No further advice to add to the excellent suggestions from the other members here.


Distinguished Member
You may well find that any recordings you make yourself will not be accepted by either the police or the council as evidence.

You need to contact the council's Environmental Health dept. They will probably suggest that you parents keep a log of incidents initially & may write to the "offender" based upon that. As for their own recorders, another member here reported that when he had recording equipment installed by the council, they wrote to the offender warning them that they were being recorded! Unsurprisingly there was nothing to record during that period. :facepalm:
Hopefully not all councils are that stupid.


Well-known Member
I have a similar on going issue with my neighbour.

I tried recording it with my Sennheiser MK400 mic and Pan TM300 camcorder with auto gain on and also off but the recording sounded nothing like I heard, It was very low compared to the loud thumping music coming from behind the wall (at 4.00am !!).

I've contacted my council who sent me a 'diary sheet', which i'd already been keeping of my own plus I contacted a few other neighbours who have submitted statements backing me up. More have come forward since word has got around. I now have 5 other witnesses who I've also submitted to the council

I'm pretty sure it's irrelevant if they live in council, private rented or owned property, nobody is above the law! But I thinkit only becomes a police issue if the noise occurs off the premises (on the pavement or road)

I'm now awaiting the council's response.

Good luck


Distinguished Member
The problem is that LF recording is not easy - and that's where most of the annoying energy is....your brain slips in the harmonics, so you think you're listening to a full hi-fi set up...but realistically your walls have a freq response from 0.01hz to about10Hz (somewhat more if it's only plasterboard- but this would breach Fire Regs anyway).

Most expensive mics (even costing £100's) have quite poor LF response

But I did get a Promo CD (no connection, I hasten to add), from a US company selling

seriously expensive mics that were better at LF as well as HF. They are chararacturised by a strange snoot-shape.
I'll edit in the name if I find it.....but these are double the pro-kit prices. . . . . so I suspect well outside practicality.

Another solution might be to use a loudspeaker, something 8" or more as a microphone,

Kevo the reason for poor recording.... is that your wall is many sq ft and radiating energy that your ears pick up - so the noise "sounds loud" (Loudness isn't the right term, but it's all we have)....your mic responds to the energy acting on a small area - hence your recording is probably "burried in noise" - you might hear your breathing if you stand too near the wall(mic).
That;s why I suggested some techniques (earlier post), to attempt to balance the neighbourgh's sound.

Anyone been successful in moving these noisy neighbourghs on....or are they deaf to all reasonable requests?
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