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Ask Slashdot: Hacking Urban Noise? 474

Posted by Soulskill
from the simply-remove-eardrums dept.
b1tbkt writes "I live at the corner of one of the busiest intersections in my city (pop. 350k). Although I've replaced all windows, insulated, and caulked every square inch of the place, the fire trucks and cars with obnoxious stereos still regularly intrude on my home office. Most of the noise comes in through the windows. I'm considering mounting an oblong parabolic reflector in the ceiling above the windows with a steady feed of white or brownian noise directed into it (e.g., via a small speaker placed within the reflector) to create a 'wall' of sound that would act as a buffer to the outside world. Active noise cancellation would be nice, too, but that's probably more than I want to take on. I don't see any products on the market for this sort of thing. Does anyone have any experiences to share with similar homebrew noise remediation efforts?"
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Ask Slashdot: Hacking Urban Noise?

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  • Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:35PM (#41499383)

    Quit being a downtown hipster and move to a nice house on a quiet street.
  • by Frankie70 (803801) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:38PM (#41499407)

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

  • by RotateLeftByte (797477) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:41PM (#41499435)

    I used to live right on the A10 highway into London. I move about 400 yds away and the traffic noise was a distant hum. I know that for some /. readers 400yds is beyond the pale when it comes to walking but around here parking spaces were like gold dust so people walk to the top of the street and take the bus, another 200yds there was the train station. 5 mins on the bus took you to a Tube Station.
    Many of my neighbours at that time didn't have a car. They didn't need one.

    More fool you for choosing to live where you do.

  • by BenoitRen (998927) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:49PM (#41499531)

    400 yards? More like 365,76 metres.

  • move (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:53PM (#41499561)
    "I live at the corner of one of the busiest intersections in my city "

    Why? If you value peace and quiet and fresh air, move to the countryside and you won't have to insulate yourself from your surroundings. A city of 350,000 can't be that big that you would have a long commute when you needed to get into the city.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Saturday September 29, 2012 @01:00PM (#41499605) Homepage

    You won't be able to cancel out road noise for an entire room. Noise cancelling basically only works with headphones and in certain controlled industrial environments. For a room with road noise coming from different directions from moving sources with a moving listener it just won't work.

    I'm afraid you are basically screwed. The only option is to move.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @01:12PM (#41499677)

    My adaption to fart mufflers and loud base was a sound detector and a machine gun. If the passing car got too loud, it would track and fire.

    I havent built it yet, but one day...

    I wouldnt shed a tear for these obnoxious people. They disturb hundreds of people daily, so fuck em.

    And the motorcycles.

    It's all about our narcissistic society. "Hey look at me! I'm special!"

  • Re:Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @01:16PM (#41499699)

    (plus soundproofing increases the resale value)

    Unfortunately, I've discovered (to my annoyance) that practical home improvements like insulation, thermal windows, high efficiency HVAC and appliances, etc., etc. just don't impress the average buyer nearly as much as painting all the walls beige and replacing the hardware with something in brushed nickel or, my personal bete noire: "oil-rubbed bronze."

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @01:23PM (#41499767)

    Motorcycles aren't about narcissism, they're about freedom. With the exception of Harley Davidson bikes, which are deliberately tuned badly to make noise, most of the good bikes (think Honda orr BMW) are actually pretty quiet, and, especially among older motorcycle drivers, they are far and above the most courteous drivers on the road, which seems kind of counter to the notion that they're narcissistic.

  • by Onymous Coward (97719) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @03:25PM (#41500845) Homepage

    I'm considering mounting an oblong parabolic reflector in the ceiling above the windows with a steady feed of white or brownian noise directed into it (e.g., via a small speaker placed within the reflector) to create a 'wall' of sound that would act as a buffer to the outside world.

    Wait... would that actually do anything?

    Are you saying that a curtain of sound (perhaps not even directed so that you can hear it) inhibits the passage of other sounds through it? I don't know anything about acoustics, but this seems untrue.

  • by element-o.p. (939033) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @03:33PM (#41500897) Homepage
    I ride too, and you're full of crap.

    A loud pipe isn't going to keep an idiot driver from cutting you off. I've been cut off by idiot drivers more than once, and generally speaking, it's by a young kid with a ten thousand watt stereo cranked up to 11. Your loud pipe isn't going to phase him in the least, but it will piss off everyone else around you, leading to onerous restrictions about what can and cannot be installed on a bike, where bikes can go, etc. As far as only being excessively loud under extreme acceleration, yeah, I call B.S. on that, too. If you're running a straight pipe with no muffler, it will be loud even at idle. It's only ear-splitting at high manifold pressure settings (i.e., acceleration). Regarding "it is the driver...not the bike itself..." well, yeah, but that's a tautology since the rider is the one who has to remove the stock muffler to install the obnoxious one, it is the rider who has to thumb the starter button, and it's the rider who has to twist the throttle to get the bike to accelerate.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @03:52PM (#41501039)

    I disagree. I ride, and standing next to a harley with loud pipes is crazy. They're ridiculous, such that you can't even talk over them at a stop light. "Hey, you wanna turn left up there or keep going?" has to get done half with hand signals. And yes, the "loud pipes save lives" thing is total bullshit. Anywhere over 25mph, everyone merges into you anyway... they just don't hear you.

    Quick experiment, next time you see a cruiser coming up behind you, certainly keep your eye on them, but turn your stereo off and see if you can hear them. You'll see.

    That said, half mile away, you can only hear squids. I live near two highways, and that awful, high pitched whine they make travels right into your living room. It does not help that those kids travel in packs.

    So if your neighbor has a loud cruiser and regularly comes home at 1am every night, that could be annoying. If you live anywhere near a busy street, you learn to hate sport bike riders. The good part is they ride like morons, so over the course of a riding season it's an ever-diminishing population.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @04:18PM (#41501195) Homepage Journal

    I guess the Founding Fathers were all motorcycle riders then.

    I think we can safely assume that most of them rode carts and wagons instead of ponies.
    Much like most people today prefer the freedom from the elements and the freedom to bring a bag or two.

    In the past, there were motorbikes that offered freedom - you could drive them on paths where no car could go. Modern motorbikes, however, tend to demand more of the pavement than cars do.

    By all means, I can see reasons why some people want a motorbike, but freedom is not one of them, no matter how often repeated.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @04:32PM (#41501281)

    Motorcycles aren't about narcissism, they're about freedom.

    Bullshit. I don't need to hear your "freedom" in a residential neighborhood at 3am on a Saturday morning from five miles away.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @04:37PM (#41501329)

    I disagree. I ride, and standing next to a harley with loud pipes is crazy. They're ridiculous, such that you can't even talk over them at a stop light.

    Such that you can't even talk over them at a stop light? Dude, you can't even talk over them from a mile away in your own home. These mother fuckers are so god damn fucking loud that, even in the comfort of your own quiet home, you have to pause the conversation for 30+ seconds while they finish arriving from a mile or two away and then get a mile or two away to the other side and out of ear-shot. This shit is so ungodly loud that it should not only be a fucking ticketable (and patrolled-for) offense, but a fucking jailable one.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @04:46PM (#41501389)

    I've come to accept the loud bass ---- when you were a teen and you enjoyed it in your own car, or your friends' car, you basically asked for it.

    When I hear the loud annoying bass cars go by, I get frustrated, and then I reflect on the youth, including my youth, and I sympathize with their carelessness and then forgive.

    Reflect on your own foolish crap with honesty. You'll understand that you, too, used to piss off a lot of people doing something you thought was fun. And then maybe some tolerance and understanding can help...

  • Small Peckers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @05:48PM (#41501781)
    Admit it - You put loud exhausts on your cars and trucks because you have to compensate for your tiny penis. Why else? Or is it just that you like to annoy people? You want "raw power"? Try flying a military jet. As to "freedom", how about your understanding that others lose their freedom to peace and quiet because you're an asshole. You want loud noise? Put a stereo on your bike (undoubtedly a Harley piece of crap) and some ear phones. You get the "loud" you want without annoying other people.
  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:55PM (#41503165)

    I ride, and always hated the "loud Pipes save lives" saying.. Unless you bend the pipes completely around to face forward, they aren't easily heard by people in front of you.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @11:23PM (#41503537)

    Sorry, I *NEVER* played music so loud it could be heard out of my car, nor at home. So forgive me for not forgiving people that annoy the crap out of me with such noise.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @11:41PM (#41503607)
    That omission should have been fixed long ago. Assholes like you really disturb hundreds of people.

    And actually there ARE laws in most of the states regulating the noise. If your vehicle is too noisy then it can't be certified.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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