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#2353592 - Today at 02:57 PM Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 252
Hi Everyone,

I need some ideas about reducing the sound of the ‘thump’ of my digital keyboard keys through the floor. I live in an apartment, and my downstairs neighbour has been good so far but she does tell me it sounds like I am ‘exercising’ up here—I told her no, that was just me playing the piano. In any case I want to keep her content and am tired of feeling like every time I play it might be a bother. I hold back on practicing and avoid certain pieces entirely because I don’t want to drive her crazy.

My keyboard is an old Roland--very heavy--and sits on a wooden stand where there is contact with the floor 15.5 in long by approx. 1.5 in. wide on each side.

I’ve seen these roland sound eaters for drums:
https://www.long-mcquade.com/50588/Drums/Accessories/Roland/Noise_Eater_Pad.htm

And these for subwoofers:
http://www.amazon.com/Auralex-SubDude-II-Subwoofer-Acoustic-Isolation/dp/B00DI5AXNI/ref=pd_cp_MI_1

Do you think either of these would work for the digital piano? Is there any way I could make one of these sound reducers myself for cheaper?

I found this thread with some ideas:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1815651/Key

But was not sure from this what actually works and what doesn’t. Would putting some dense packing foam under a piece of plywood under each side of the stand be effective?

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#2353605 - Today at 03:13 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: Valencia]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 851
Loc: Darlington, UK
Swap the wood for concrete.
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2353633 - Today at 04:14 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: Valencia]
Scott Hamlin Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 568
The big problem with the "thumping" noise is the low frequency - the sound just penetrates everything. There are special "decoupler" floor coverings that will help, but unless you make a "floating floor" with acoustical treatment, it will be very difficult to eliminate the noise 100%.

Maybe try including your neighbor in the process - See what room they are in when you usually practice (maybe moving the DP is possible to reduce the sound)... Asking what times are better for you play. Also let them know what you are doing to reduce the noise.

Just some ideas. smile
_________________________
Personal Site: http://DulceLabs.com
Casio PX-5S Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Casio.Px5s/

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#2353651 - Today at 04:38 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: Valencia]
MeghanM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/14
Posts: 19
I haven't dealt with this sort of problem, so take what I suggest with a grain of salt.

At $100, that Roland Noise Eater Pad looks like a ripoff. Maybe worth trying if it were 1/4 of that price, but not at $100.

Do you at least have a rug under the DP?
When I got a new aquarium pump a few years ago, I found that the noise it was generating was unbearable. I put several very thick, folded towels beneath it, and that muffled most of the noise. I then put the pump, with the towels, on a small PVC-sort of cart that is on rubberized wheels. With that, you can barely hear the pump when it's on, unless you are right next to it.

So it might be worth at least trying some folded towels and/or rugs, if there's a way to do that that would not be too unsightly.

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#2353664 - Today at 05:17 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: Valencia]
emenelton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 532
I had the problem. Privia 575(a lot of brands have the same issue), 2nd floor tabletop stand.

It sounded like a rubber mallet was being pounded on the floor in the room above you and the continuous arhythmic patterns just sounded weird. If you didn't know what it was you probably couldn't guess. It sounded like a big typewriter being operated by a dummy.

If you were going to build a new stand, there are a lot of improvements you could make called decoupling.

Use the screw in spikes found at the bottom of some speakers. You can get those. You would need the threaded insert for the bottom of your stand as well. The point minimizes the volume of the mass that transfers the energy from the piano to the floor. On the floor use, on each side, front to back lengths of 2 x 4 that sit on a few strips of thin carpet. Your stand with the spikes would be set on the 2 x 4's that are 'decoupled' to the floor by the carpet pieces.

That gives you 3 decoupling stages.

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#2353673 - Today at 05:51 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: Valencia]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2423
Loc: UK
Put the DP and yourself on a platform (MDF, ply, wood, etc), with holes cut in it that in turn locate on and rest on top of tennis balls. Problem solved.

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#2353678 - Today at 06:21 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: spanishbuddha]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1445
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Put the DP and yourself on a platform (MDF, ply, wood, etc), with holes cut in it that in turn locate on and rest on top of tennis balls. Problem solved.

That looks like a good idea. There's one here but I wonder if it's necessary to have the complete 'sandwich'. Could it work just as well with the board on only the upper side, tennis balls in contact directly with the floor and secured to the underside of the board with an adhesive? That would reduce the cost and the weight of the contraption. Also, I guess this could work just as well built as two separate pieces side by side to reduce the weight/unwieldiness.

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#2353679 - Today at 06:27 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: dire tonic]
emenelton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 532
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Put the DP and yourself on a platform (MDF, ply, wood, etc), with holes cut in it that in turn locate on and rest on top of tennis balls. Problem solved.

That looks like a good idea. There's one here but I wonder if it's necessary to have the complete 'sandwich'. Could it work just as well with the board on only the upper side, tennis balls in contact directly with the floor and secured to the underside of the board with an adhesive? That would reduce the cost and the weight of the contraption. Also, I guess this could work just as well built as two separate pieces side by side to reduce the weight/unwieldiness.


It sounds a little unstable.

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#2353680 - Today at 06:32 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: emenelton]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1445
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: emenelton
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Put the DP and yourself on a platform (MDF, ply, wood, etc), with holes cut in it that in turn locate on and rest on top of tennis balls. Problem solved.

That looks like a good idea. There's one here but I wonder if it's necessary to have the complete 'sandwich'. Could it work just as well with the board on only the upper side, tennis balls in contact directly with the floor and secured to the underside of the board with an adhesive? That would reduce the cost and the weight of the contraption. Also, I guess this could work just as well built as two separate pieces side by side to reduce the weight/unwieldiness.


It sounds a little unstable.


- would it be unstable as a single piece? Making sure that the four outermost balls are set at the extremes of the corners?

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#2353687 - Today at 07:05 PM Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: dire tonic]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1480
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
FWIW --

That tennis-balls-between-plywood idea has good physics behind it. Note that the plywood is pretty thick, and he uses a solid foam pad (on top of the top plywood piece) as well.

You _must_ drill undersize holes for the balls to sit in, but if you do that, they won't roll.

It should work with one layer of plywood, balls underneath it, sitting on the floor. The thicker the plywood, the better -- you don't want it acting as a soundboard!

If you check the Yellow Pages (or the Internet) for "vibration isolating pads", you'll find lots of industrial-strength (and cost) rubber pads. They're designed for the purpose -- very high-loss rubber is used.

. Charles

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#2353731 - 33 minutes 37 seconds ago Re: Thumpy keys and downstairs neighbours [Re: Charles Cohen]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 252
Thanks Charles Cohen, Scott Hamlin, Emenelton, LarryShone, dire tonic, spanishbuddha and MeghanM for these ideas! Regarding the tennis ball method, I found a video where they cut the balls in half and then put a wood platform over them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upww1-I4sD4

I wonder if something like this would work? Wish I would have paid more attention in school to the physics so I could understand exactly how something would work or not work. For example, why would the concrete work better than the wood? And why do the tennis balls work? I'll continue to do some reading and see if I can figure this out.

Emenelton, thanks for the suggestion of decoupling. I didn’t think of trying to alter the stand itself but maybe I can do that.

Scott Hamlin, I read about the floating floor on this webpage: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may08/articles/soundproofing.htm

“Concrete floors already offer a reasonable amount of sound isolation, although as with wooden floors, they can be further improved — this time by building a so-called 'floating floor' on top. There are many ways to do this but a simple and effective solution for those on a tight budget is to lay 30mm or 60mm high-density Rockwool or glass-fibre slab (the rigid type used for cavity wall insulation) directly onto the floor and then to create a floor on top of that using two layers of chipboard (three-quarter inch or 16mm) glued and screwed together, making sure the joints in the bottom layer are bridged by solid sheets in the top layer. If you don't plan to carpet the floor, then plywood may make a more attractive and more durable upper surface….
If you're working on a wooden floor and sound transmission to the room below is a problem, you may get a worthwhile improvement by laying 20kg per metre squared barrier matt on the floor before putting down the Rockwool…..”

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