Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
63 registered (BachToTheFuture, augustm, anotherscott, 7uturu, 12 invisible), 1517 Guests and 15 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#920002 - 02/21/04 08:16 AM For Musicians, Solid Walls Make Good Neighbors
Piano World Offline

Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 6089
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
© New York Times

Published: February 21, 2004

Jay Braun, a guitarist for a New York City rock band called the Negatones, is well versed in the science of soundproofing.

"Sheetrock, sound board and plywood, over and over," said Mr. Braun, a fast-talking 32-year-old who has put up soundproofing in two New York City living spaces. "We really did want to be good neighbors."

Although musicians began recording in their homes as early as the 1970's, the migration away from professional studios to homes expanded in the 1980's, as drum machines and multitrack tape recorders came into widespread use. Now that computers and recording software are household items — new Apple computers come with a program called GarageBand — recording at home, for musicians, has become routine.

"It's becoming harder and harder to find people who do not have their own home studio," said Alan Fierstein, a SoHo-based acoustic consultant, whose own professional studio, Sorcerer Sound, recently closed.

"Twenty years ago, a studio was the only place you could make music," said Russell Simins, drummer for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a New York City band.

"Ten years ago that was less true," he said. "Now studios are being avoided. People have computers. They sit at home."

But with home studios came the noise. And the efforts to contain it.

"It's the neighbors that create the soundproofing equation," said Gary Silver, a sound designer who has been soundproofing homes and professional studios since 1984. "New York being what it is, that really makes it a problem."

For Michael Mehler, who lives directly below a home studio in a building on the Lower East Side, the most frustrating thing about the musician upstairs is his choice of instrument.

"Jumping up and down with the electric guitar is different than playing Bach," Mr. Mehler said on a recent Saturday. "It's not like he's a violinist."

Mr. Mehler added that the musician "could do it with headphones."

That is precisely the advice offered by Richard Murdock, a property manager in Manhattan, who has had to handle complaints about a tenant with a studio in a Lower East Side building.

"That boom boom boom, and the rattling of the dishes," he said. "Most of these old tenement buildings are not steel and concrete. Playing live music in an apartment, it's impossible not to encroach upon your neighbors."

Muffling music is often harder than it seems. The first mistake, Mr. Silver said, is the assumption that sound can be trapped in a room by putting up some carpets.

"I constantly have people talking about foam, fabric and egg cartons," he said. "You need mass. Sheetrock, concrete, wood. Expensive, heavy things have to be built."

Mr. Braun, like most people, began on the low end of the learning curve.

His first attempt at soundproofing came in 1996, when the band rented part of an artist's loft in Williamsburg. The band members marched to a Home Depot and bought plywood, and slabs of Sheetrock and layers of soundboard.

"We thought we were so sophisticated," recalled Mr. Braun, dressed in a rumpled suit jacket and sneakers on a recent Thursday afternoon. "We were all high-fiving each other up to the time we brought in the bass and the drum set."

But the new walls had a puzzling effect. Instead of sounding softer, Mr. Braun said, the music "seemed to have gotten louder."

It was a defining moment. Mr. Braun realized that "there is, in fact, a reason for science."

The band left the building. For a while, they rented part of a woodworking studio, where they played among table saws. Meanwhile his peers were playing in rented Manhattan Mini Storage spaces.

Mr. Braun began wrestling with physics in a basement space on Stanton Street. He hired a carpenter to design an elaborate semi-suspended ceiling in the space, which was not supposed to be lived in, but often was — several of the band members called it home from time to time. The ceiling was made of five layers of material: particleboard; two layers of sound board, which functions as a thick cushion; plywood; and Sheetrock.

Rest of the Story
- Frank B.
Founder / Owner / Host
Find Us On:
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190 w/ ProRecord, Yamaha P-80, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

#920003 - 03/17/04 09:51 PM Re: For Musicians, Solid Walls Make Good Neighbors
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2524
Loc: NYC

I remember reading this in the Times.

A paradox of the digital age. At some level, recording at home is sort of ludicrous -- although the recording equipment and software has gotten cheaper, you'd still have to invest in all that sound abatement technology that the pro studio already has in place, not to mention a fine-quality piano, if you need that for your music, quality mics, etc. And of course, it's most ridiculous of all in Manhattan, where people live on all sides of your apartment. It possibly makes some sense if you're in a one-family, unattached home.

And then you still have to learn to be your own recording engineer.

The sound-penetration thing has always been an issue for NY musicians, long before home recording. What are in demand are apartments in pre-war buildings with lots of heavy concrete construction.



Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.
Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
Pierce Piano Atlas

A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai to preview NOVUS NV10 hybrid piano at Musicmesse 2017
by Kawai James
03/30/17 12:38 AM
Speed Tuning Lever (Schaff/Hale) wanted
by Robert Crowson
03/30/17 12:25 AM
Headphone jack vs line out sound quality difference?
by bojangle
03/29/17 11:51 PM
What would you consider "major" 20th-century works?
by luebella123
03/29/17 09:52 PM
Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
by luebella123
03/29/17 09:38 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
87,190 Registered Members
44 Forums
178,676 Topics
2,611,101 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission