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  • Noise Recording

    I have a serious noise problem and would like to record my noisy neighbours. Obviously I have PC, and can record from it, but I don't know what microphone to buy. Some are very expensive.

    I live in a small mid terrace, and the recording solution is for indoors only.

    Can anyoe help?

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum PP.

    Sorry to learn you're experiencing noisy neighbours, it's a literally sickening thing to live with for sure.

    Recording on a PC may not be formally admissable evidence, but definitely useful for your own purposes or maybe to demonstrate to your local authority EH Dept. I would have thought any microphone really would do the trick, one on a stand maybe?

    Have you had a read through our comprehensive Noise Help article here?:

    Hopefully it will be useful to you, but a warm welcome to the forum board.



    • #3
      Hi PP and welcome to the NFHiB Forum

      Sorry to hear that you're suffering from noise nuisance .

      If your only query is about the microphones, I'm afraid I can't help with that , but hopefully some of the IT whizz members might be able to offer you some great advice. I know that some members have recorded onto PC.

      However, have you been through the stage of contacting the Environmental health department regarding the noise? Because after a complaint has been received, they can bring in noise recording equipment (not straight away admittedly, but down the line of a complaint, they will).

      It might help us to get a bit more from you about your current problem if you are suffering from noisy neighbours, because then we can offer you so much more advice and support.

      Anyway, it's up to you! And over to you !


      • #4
        Hi Powerpenguin and welcome,

        Sorry to hear that you are having noise problems. I used to live in a mid-terraced house, and sometimes used to get it in stereo :badmood:

        It's a bit tricky, as most PC microphones are directional and you have to speak right into them for them to pick up the sound, so you really need to find one that is non-directional so to speak (don't know the proper technical term??).

        If you are having noise problems, then environmental health will be able to help with the correct recording equipment.

        Good luck

        Blue Cow


        • #5

          My problem with noise isn't the usual type. What I mean is that with most problems, the noise wouldn't be DELIBERATE would it. I feel this noise is deliberate.

          The noise is of various taunts over and over agin. The same words. Made up of some taunts and some threats, but mostly taunts. :angry:

          I have a BIG problem, in that a couple of years ago, I experienced similar taunts and threat from the previous occupants of the NFH's house. So I made logs and sent them to the Environmental Health dept. However, the Environmental Health Dept., looked at the logs and instead of sending me equipment to record the sounds, they referred the matter to the mental health authorities, as a result of which I recieved a vist from a mental health team (doctor, GP and social worker).

          The psychiatrist said the Environmental Health had "never seen the like" of the logs I had sent them. So anyway, the mental health team sectioned me and said in effect that the noise was in my MIND. (This is without evidence, but I guessed they made the decision because I have a "mental health history" so to speak.

          Anyway, back to the hear and now, and I am suffering again from the same taunts and threats. Is it coincidence that the new tentants (the new NFH) are close friends of the person I had trouble with a last year? I think not.

          However, some good news is that my psychiatrist, who visits me at home, has said she would back me up on any claim to the Environtmental Health Department, should I make it. What this means is that she WON'T throw me into hospital.

          I really feel at a loss. Imagine my situation if you can? Nauseas and terrified in your home because of threats and taunts (e.g. "Kill him") and insecure because when I complain, they say the sound is in my MIND. (I can assure you it's not!)

          This is to explain really, why I made my first post about microphones without really explaining the situation (to Hollygolightly). It is SO important to me that I get HARD EVIDENCE to prove to the metal health team that I am not hallucinating.

          OK. So I'm at the point now where I feel like striking back and taking matters into my own hands for example by letting the tires down on the NFH's car and scratching the paintwork. I really am afraid to do this because of the repurcussions and the feeling it would give me that I would be as bad as them. I'm sure anyone who has experience "NFH syndrome" is aware of this feeling. :rant:


          • #6
            hi powerpenguin

            I am sorry you have had difficulties in what ever form.

            we are not here to judge you, and I think you have been very honest with us, so thanks.

            is there any one who can witness the noises with you? a friend or relative or support worker?

            at this point I suggest you record the noises any way you can.

            we actually recorded the first noises on our phone, on the memo function. it wasnt able to be used and the EHO did say that we could of made the noises our selfs, so it couldnt be proved.

            why dont you have a look at prices of dictaphones, just to get the ball rolling.

            what ever you do please do not confront your neighbours, we can not support you if you are causing damage to their cars or property, no matter how tempted you might be to do something.

            you will be the one ending up in touble if you follow these thoughts through.

            stay safe


            • #7
              Hi PP

              Sorry to hear of your situation. It sounds terrible :sad: and your NFH sounds like they are using a very cruel behaviour against you.

              I hope you will find the members' advice here useful .

              You must be very frustrated if they don't believe the voices are real and an independent witness would surely help your case :unsure: .

              If it's at all possible, I would try and get someone round without the NFH noticing (a friend, a different neighbour or member of the family perhaps ??) to see if they can hear the noise too and verify it to ''the authorities''.

              I just wanted to say please don't retaliate in any way to your NFH.

              They will only turn it against you and make you look as though you are the villain.

              I know it's hard and frustrating and I am very sure most of us here have had ideas to 'get back' at our NFH's, but we know it just is not worth doing anything. You just remember, you are better than your NFH!

              Best wishes



              • #8
                Hi Powerpenguin

                Thanks for your honesty in giving a full picture of the problems with your neighbour. I do think it would be good if you can pick up any of these threats etc on microphone and record them, after all, it could give E.H. a taster of what you are enduring. In fact, if it's threats, it would give the police a good idea too. Glad you have your psychiatrist on side this time. Maybe that will make it feel easier to deal with E.H. this time?

                Pleas steer clear of retaliation, it will only give your neighbour ammunition against you, and that isn't going to help your case at all . Have a look at the self-help articles on noise and Protection from Harassment, for when you can get some evidence.

                Good luck with collecting some evidence, and do log everything, and let us know how you go.




                • #9
                  Hi Powerpenguin, sorry for your troubles, you must get some evidence somehow. I really don't know how which is frustrating. As you say much of that type of equipment is expensive, but you have good advice from here. The sooner you get all this recorded the better, then you can have peace of mind, I remember those days and look forward to them again.

                  Maybe a little background music of your own just enough to take the edge off, would help. Sorry not to be of much use, but you came to the right place.

                  Take care



                  • #10
                    Hi powerpenguin and thanks for giving a bit more information about your circumstances

                    It's great that your psychiatrist will support you in this. If they are visiting you at home, I take it then that they have also witnessed these taunts? The more independent witnesses you have to the noise nuisance from next door the better .

                    Please, please, don't do anything to your neighbours car (or them, or any of their property). Like Beth has said, it will be you that gets into trouble, not your neighbours. That will just make the situation so much worse for you.

                    Try and get your independent witnesses and then follow it up again with the Environmental Health department.

                    Take care and keep us posted.



                    • #11
                      Hi Powerpenguin and thanks for giving more background to your story.

                      From what you have said, I don't think that a PC mirophone is necessarily going to pick up the sound that you need it to, and a dictaphone well be the way to go. A dictaphone would be easier to use too, as you can carry it to th place where the sound is at it's loudest and you wouldn't have to wait for it to boot-up etc.

                      You have said that you had problems with the previous tennants, were there any other problems with them other than the noise?

                      Please do not retaliate in any way to your neighbours, as you will only end up causing more problems for yourself.

                      Take care

                      Blue Cow


                      • #12
                        Hi powerpenguine,

                        You can pick up a range of mic from


                        Just hit "Mics". Be careful which type of microphone pick up (omni, cardioid etc).

                        You may want to ring them and have a chat with the shop assistant for advise.

                        I found resonably priced db meter (both analog & digital). This one has mic and phono output so that you can record the noise with your pc, walkman etc.


                        Also, I found out from the Defra and the EHO that they wouldn't really go by the noise level (db) but rather go with how YOU are affected apparently. However, 10db more than the background noise, be it during the day or at night would be considered nusaince.

                        There is an example of "Sound Levels in Decibels" (see bottom of the page.)


                        Also the following page may be useful for anyone suffering from NFH noise.




                        • #13
                          Just to add something - as someone said - PC microphones and such are uni- directional - they wont pick much up. You need an omni-directional microphone..but... I wouldnt use a pc, because its incredibly easy to alter the data you record and you could be accused of doing so. As you're doing this yourself, you might be better off using a camcorder with an omni-directional boom (or just one with a good mic on), with a date/time stamp to prove you havent altered it in any easily conceived way - that way there will be no doubting your evidence. A dictaphone is useful in a face to face situation as the sound is directly aimed towards you, but not so useful if the noise is through the walls, due to the way sounds travels through them. Are they shouting through the walls or saying these things outside? (so to speak)


                          • #14
                            They shout through the walls.


                            • #15

                              So, we could have a situation where someone is deliberately targetting someone with history of mental illhealth. That is assault and harrassment.

                              Contact your MP. You can fax your MP at Faxyourmp

                              I'll do some research on the sound equipment and see what I can find.