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What's the best microphone to record noisy neighbours?

global001

Novice Member
I don't know if this is the right section to post but I need to find out what the best microphone is to use with a camcorder or digital SLR to capture the noise coming from my noisy downstairs neighbour. She's an older woman who is going deaf but she refuses to admit it & insists, stating its her right to have her TV beneath various rooms including all bedrooms, unreasonably loud until at least 3am.

I have an 12 year old Canon XM2 camcorder which although has a stereo microphone doesn't capture the level of sound adequately. I also have a Canon 5D Mk II DSLR. Although we have had the council record the noise on their equipment & it is going to used to issue her with a noise abatement notice I need video proof for civil action.

This is driving me mad. :suicide: Can anyone please advise on the best way to capture this type of sound?

Thanks
 

SBT

Banned
Can't offer any advice on mics,but can understand the noise problem.Once live in a flat that was a converted house.You could here the floorboards creeking as they walked about,and their tv sounded like it was in my room.Used to have it blaring out all day then put the bedroom one on to try to cover up their bedroom activities,it didn't :blush:
 

cornish

Active Member
Can't offer any advice on mics,but can understand the noise problem.Once live in a flat that was a converted house.You could here the floorboards creeking as they walked about,and their tv sounded like it was in my room.Used to have it blaring out all day then put the bedroom one on to try to cover up their bedroom activities,it didn't :blush:

lol... record it then play it back on a good quality amp with nice speakers in the middle of the night right after they have finished their session! just as they are about to go sleep!
 

cornish

Active Member
Thanks, only problem would be as the DSLR doesn't pick up the sound, proving the sound seen on the meter is her. May work with the XM2 though.

your canon 5d ii has excellent video capabilities, sound in any video regardless of whether a mic is used or not, is not really evidence enough as you rely on the volume level of playback through a tv or speakers. a sound pressure level meter will show with the sound recording from your camera how loud it really is.

normal speach is about 65dB so if you do use a spl meter then you might have a minimum of about 50dB which would be about normal background noise.
 

global001

Novice Member
your canon 5d ii has excellent video capabilities, sound in any video regardless of whether a mic is used or not, is not really evidence enough as you rely on the volume level of playback through a tv or speakers. a sound pressure level meter will show with the sound recording from your camera how loud it really is.

normal speach is about 65dB so if you do use a spl meter then you might have a minimum of about 50dB which would be about normal background noise.

Good point! Thanks.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
When I was having problems my local council would not even listen to any recordings I had made and I had to use their recording device which was locked inside a metal briefcase so it couldn't be tampered with.

Any recordings you make yourself will be open to suggestions that you've tampered with them in any court of law :(
 

global001

Novice Member
Thats true. They've done their own recordings in the box which helps with their case but they said they couldn't help in a civil case which she is forcing us to go to, hence trying to gather evidence myself. She's already tried to claim that the councils recordings were faked. I think the meter with video would be the best option but you're right she'll still counter it in court.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Can you get the council to confirm in writing the levels that they recorded & that their equipment is suitably calibrated? That's likely to carry more weight than any DIY approach, or at least will re-inforce the accuracy of what you produce if the levels are similar.

Why are you having to consider civil action if the council have recorded evidence of the nuisance?
 

global001

Novice Member
Can you get the council to confirm in writing the levels that they recorded & that their equipment is suitably calibrated? That's likely to carry more weight than any DIY approach, or at least will re-inforce the accuracy of what you produce if the levels are similar.

Thats a good idea, thanks. They've said they can't help us in a civil case so assumed they couldn't provide us with the evidence. Its for their own noise abatement case.

Why are you having to consider civil action if the council have recorded evidence of the nuisance?

The council has told us that their noise abatement case will take a very long time (years) & is full of pitfalls but we could go the civil route. However I think that won't be easy either but may be quicker.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
The council has told us that their noise abatement case will take a very long time (years) & is full of pitfalls but we could go the civil route.
Sounds like (typically) someone at the council doesn't want to actually do the job they're being paid for. Saying it could take years is cobblers. They have the authority to issue a Noise Abatement Notice themselves & confiscate equipment if it's not complied with.

I'd be looking to escalate with them through the head of department, you're local councillor & the leader of the council if necessary. They will also have a formal complaints procedure.

If there's civil action to be taken maybe it should be against the council for failing to perform their statutory duties?

Edit
I'd suggest having your threads merged to avoid duplication.

Does he have her own external aerial or are you on a communal system?
 
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global001

Novice Member
Sounds like (typically) someone at the council doesn't want to actually do the job they're being paid for. Saying it could take years is cobblers. They have the authority to issue a Noise Abatement Notice themselves & confiscate equipment if it's not complied with.

I'd be looking to escalate with them through the head of department, you're local councillor & the leader of the council if necessary. They will also have a formal complaints procedure.

Thanks, think you might be right there. I'll exhaust that line before civil action.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
As for the aerial question, if she has her own, I was just wondering if you have easy access to her down cable? A pin inserted in it to short it out as you go to bed should give you a good night's sleep & then remove it in the morning... :devil:
 
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PoochJD

Distinguished Member
Hi,

FWIW, to the OP suffering from a noisy neighbour, use your local MP, and if need be local radio and/or TV stations, and even the local newspaper, to get the Council to pull their finger out.

Media pressure can be a pain in the backside of Council's, but a boon for you! :thumbsup: Hope you get the problem sorted out.


Pooch
 

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