Practicing in an apartment

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by x9ret, May 15, 2014.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I wonder how many of us have played that this week ... that is fun!
  2. Charles652011

    Charles652011 New Friend

    Sep 26, 2010
    Indiana, USA
    There are some very good suggestions for sound management solutions for apartment dwellers and homeowners on Youtube.

    I live in a five floor seniors apartment complex located near a busy thoroughfare, and it is surprising that some of my penthouse septuagenarian and octogenarian neighbors can readily discern from their apartments the size, age, sex and mating condition of a tiny rodent by listening to it urinating on a piece of cotton next to the air conditioner in a sub basement utility room.

    Tired, and too cold in Winter or too hot in Summer, from playing in the back seat of my minivan in the rear corner of the complex parking lot, I can now enjoy playing my un-muted trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, alto or tenor sax in my apartment at all hours of the day or night and in all seasons of the year in central Indiana, USA.

    The secret to a good solution is in knowing that expensive soundproof rooms are in fact very expensive and largely unnecessary for responding to noise complaints. When people complain about noise from their neighbor’s apartment or the children in the play room, they are complaining about what or how much sound they perceive. A cheap process for controlling sound emissions can be the objective.

    In order to live in peace, I chose and built fixtures from designs for sound absorption that use rock wool enclosed in wooden frames covered with cloth. One senses that sound production inside my practice area, call it my living room, is very normal, if a little dead. That’s dead as in an acoustically dead room. Fugitive emissions are controlled to less than 65 decibels, about the level of normal conversation or a television broadcast. One can easily hear the sirens of emergency vehicles rolling down the boulevard 30 meters away.

    Neighbors on all sides have not complained for the past two years. In fact, I get comments along the lines of “Sometimes I can hear you very faintly”, “I can hear you when I stand directly in front of your door”, or “It sounds very soft and a long distance away”, or “Don’t you practice here anymore?”

    From memory, a bundle of rock wool cost about $50-60. New wood framing material for four units that are 24”x 48”x 2” and two units that are 24” x 48” x 6” totaled about $20. Cloth for covering and enclosing the rock wool was maybe $15-20. Labor was my own and priceless but not without cost. The comforts of home, my total out-of-pocket costs were less than $100.
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  3. Msen

    Msen Piano User

    Dec 28, 2011
    I live in the Horn
    Lol people can be nasty over the Internet
  4. ♠♥CORNET♣♦

    ♠♥CORNET♣♦ Pianissimo User

    Oct 18, 2014
    New Jersey
    Make a mute out of an airfreshiner there are lots of videos on how to make one.
  5. Tomaso

    Tomaso Pianissimo User

    Oct 2, 2014
    New York City
    I made a mute out of an air freshener - went to all the trouble of washing it clean of odors, fixing it so it fit into the bell, etc., etc., and after I got it done I hated it.
    It was like, "So what?"
    I never used it but it does serve a purpose. It sits on a cabinet shelf with the other mutes I use regularly (mainly a Harmon) to remind me of my foolishness.
    And BTW, I do have a sound-muting "mute" that doesn't change the character of the sound at all, but I forgot what it's called or where I bought it - chances are it was either Dillons or some upstairs store on 48th St.
    It's a large gold-colored plastic disk (larger than the diameter of the bell), inside of which fits a sponge rubber disc about an inch thick with large egg-carton indentations all over it to lessen sound. It fits over the bell of the horn by means of three rubber-covered metal thingies that notch onto the rim of the bell. They keep the whole thing about a half-inch clear of the mouth of the bell. Besides lessening the sound, it directs the sound back to me.
    Clear as mud, right?

  6. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    "Don't leave in a huff, leave in a cab." Groucho Marx
  7. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    That would be a good start. You asked for opinions. So, listen, sort through, and find what works for you.
  8. Tomaso

    Tomaso Pianissimo User

    Oct 2, 2014
    New York City
    I used to treat Stan Getz's maternal uncle, who was the nicest guy in the world. He had a good sense of humor and a very bad heart.
    I used to schedule his visit as the last of the day so we could talk about Stan Getz and I could hear his jokes.
    He told me an anecdote I've never forgotten. When Getz was a kid the family moved from Phila to New York. The Getz's lived in a Bronx walk-up. When Stan was a teen, he used to practice his sax in the bathroom to get those great reverberations, but after a short while, the neighbors began to complain of the noise.
    Stan's mother, a woman after my own heart, would answer the door, hear the neighbor's complaint, go into the bathroom and say,
    "Play louder, Stanley!"

  9. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    All good, sound ideas there, Neal. IMO, that is. Nothing wrong with what you're saying and it sounds like you can play at a normal realistic level as well. If the person is mowing the lawn, no problem bothering them! Right?
  10. Smrtn

    Smrtn Pianissimo User

    Sep 18, 2014
    Sonny Rollins would practice under a bridge near his home. He seemed to do okay.

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