If my neighbor raises the volume of his bass do I turn up my pink noise higher?


Apr 27, 2011
My neighbor insists on playing his "bass boom" day and night. just keep hearing thump, thump, thump. I am trying to cancel with pink noise... except when he plays it now I have to turn volume up.. am I doing the right thing?


Oct 15, 2007

is the neighbor behind a wall or in the same room?

because if the neighbor has their own room next door (behind a wall is their dwelling) they have a right to use the room how they see fit.
if you wanted peace and quiet, you would have chosen a location far away from people.

now if the neighbor is in a house next door and you are hearing bass in your house, you can request something be installed to stop the vibration before it leaks out of the house (concrete in the wall is one method, but leaves much to be desired for insulation)
fabric hardly wont do the job, those that can are extremely high class with a price tag to reflect the quality.
most acoustic fabric is designed to reduce the sound, not eliminate it.
so by looking at the fabric route, its like looking for a new vehicle.. you cant buy a honda and expect it to perform like a vehicle that costs close to 1 million dollars.

if you are wanting to reduce the sound transfer, you could talk to the landlord and request an attempt to be made to reduce the acoustic leakage.
as far as i'm concerned, these landlords that dont take care and attention to the acoustic leakage are slum lords.
however, it is possible that you are expected to realize other people = possible unwanted noise.
but with that said, its a code of conduct to have enough sound leakage from one apartment to the other that can reveal personal information.
like, if you are speaking secrets (credit card numbers or personal information) .. the other apartments are not allowed to hear that information.
the judgement ruling is 'irresponsibility of the landlord' when a neighbor steals your credit card information because they heard you saying the number on the telephone.
so, if you can clearly hear the neighbor talking.. try talking to the association that does 'building code'
there should be a rule for excessive acoustic leakage.. because they could be held liable for not enforcing the rule.

there are only two ways to make the thump go away:
1. prevent it from leaking through the wall by using something to block the soundwaves (trying to absorb the soundwaves is probably too expensive, but its worth a look - sound blankets are like $30-40 to start)
2. you can try to cancel the soundwave by playing the same sound in opposite phase.

if it is a 'thump' that doesnt really change much... you can record the thump with a microphone and put it in a sound analyzer to learn the frequency.
a quick attempt would be to play that specific frequency in opposite phase.
the downside is, you have to play the sound at the same amplitude (volume) to make the cancellation effective.

another thing,
you might be able to record the 'thump' and inverse the recording (not to be confused with invert).
see.. if you invert the recording, the program might simply play back the sound backwards to forwards (from end to start)
you need the signal to remain A to B (again, if you invert the recording it would probably play back B to A)
inverting the recording can also flip the signal upside down (again, not what you want)

inversing the signal will keep it A to B .. but it will transform the recording to its exact opposite, and that is what you want to play at the same time to cancel the sound.
if you use a pure soundwave, it doesnt sound the same as the 'thump' ... meaning the cancellation will be much less effective.

you also dont want to playback 'thump thump thump thump' because if the thump from the wall doesnt match the thump being played back from your speakers.. the thump from the neighbor will still be heard.
that means you gotta take the most important piece of the 'thump' and play it constantly as a hum.
usually that means cutting out the spike at the beginning and disregarding the rest.
sometimes the thump doesnt have much of a spike.. but just take the first portion and try it.
if that doesnt work well for you, take the middle section of the recording and play it back as a constant hum.
one or the other will be perfect when the recording has been properly inversed.
a junk microphone will cause a problem, because the recording wont sound exactly like the thump sounds in real life.

when it is all said and done, you will have a hum that prevents any thumping to raise attention.. and it should provide a protection layer to allow you to think clearly without any other sounds begging for attention.

i should know about being annoyed about sound, when i was a child in kindergarden .. i had trouble concentrating on my work when other kids where talking or making noise with the paper.
i had to put on some sound isolating headphones and work in the back of the classroom to keep my mental processing clear (worked a little bit, but the sound isolation wasnt high enough because the headphones leaked)

personally, i dont mind hearing other people's radio or television.
but i have a neighbor who insists on coughing and gagging without covering his mouth (perhaps because he is also puking on the floor .. i heard it splatter on the ground one day)
i find this to be sad, because it relates to death.. and the sound makes me upset because it has been happening for month after month.
i think its because i know good and well in my head, nobody should be coughing for that long.
a person is usually sick (coughing) for 3-4 weeks tops.
so after that time has expired, i simply cannot excuse the instance.

however, people complaining about another person's radio SHOULD be able to excuse the noise.
music is known as a pleasurable thing, as it amounts to fun and joy.
living next door to people, their 'noise pollution' should be expected.

now i dont know your situation.. maybe you normally dont mind the noise, but if you are like me.. you are trying to study and cant think when there is noise begging for attention.
and for that, you should take the advice i posted above to make your study time more pleasant.


Oct 15, 2007
if you make it this far,
the part of the recording that you disregarded can also be used.
one is known as a 'dry' signal (the beginning)
the other is known as a 'wet' signal (the fade to end after the beginning)

all you need to do is continue to play the hum as mentioned above, and take the other portion of the recording and play it back as a second hum played at the same time.

if you play only one chunk from the recording, you will make the 'knock' go away.. but the itty bitty sound that fades away after the loudest beginning 'knock' can still bleed into your room.
usually its not all that bad, but if you are really crazed for silence - you need it.

what's great about splitting the dry and wet signal is, you can raise or lower either one to change the sound of the hum to something acceptable (must be used together with the effectiveness of cancellation)
this means you can play the 'wet' signal a little bit lower in volume than the 'dry' hum.
you can raise the 'wet' signal until it is the exact same level as the 'dry' signal.
when it is done like this, the hum from your speakers doesnt sound like two individual sounds being played back together.
instead it's one solid uniform sound = a unique hum that may be less annoying.


Oct 15, 2007
you can also try to chop the recording into three slices instead of two.
(or four slices instead of three)


you can continue to slice the recording into sections as many times as you want, but your speakers might eventually have a problem playing back all of the hums together. (speaker distortion.. and less efficiency to cancel out the sound)


Mar 8, 2014
One company that makes sound machines told me that playing brown noise (or pink noise) at really high volumes (like I need, more than 80 decibels) will damage your hearing. They actually talked me out of buying their product. I can also tell you that rubber floor mats don't help when it's a really loud bass thump. I even tried putting used tires against my wall and that didn't help either. I'm still looking for a way to mask or block loud bass thumps from the mobile home almost a half acre away. If you find a solution, please post it.
Pink noise will have little effect at low frequency sound masking. The speakers usually don't go down low enough and the volume would have to be louder than the annoying boom. You would need an airtight sealed room to isolate yourself from this noise. If you have no recourse through you building management or the cops you could try noise cancelling headphones that might help. Not a great solution.
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