DIY Isolation platform for doublebass

Hi there ! I moved to a new place and the guy living on the lower floor said it bothers him if I play in the evening and early in the morning because he sleeps right below the room in which I study.
I already use the biggest rubber mute available so the problem is really just the low frequencies diffusing into the floor through the endpin.
Playing in other timeframes is not an option unfortunately so I was thinking of building a platform to isolate the bass from the floor. Could you help me develop something useful?

My plan is to build a box large enough to fit me and the bass comfortably upon it. Filling it with sound absorbing materials, maybe fine sand could be enough. Then place a solid top over the sand inside the box. The top will be smaller than the box so that It lays flat on the sand but doesn’t touch the outer frame. The box will be further separated from the floor by rubber pads like the ones that are used for pianos.

What do you think about it? will it work?

I have no experience that might help you. But I did find this archived discussion. There are some reasonable sounding suggestions.

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ok I’ve read the topics linked but they still find themselves in the same situation I am. Uncertainty. I’d like to build something that works because of science not because of trial and error and opinion of the neighours.
I believe I have to read some acoustic books and learn the actual physics behind this stuff.

I will keep the thread updated when I make any progress.

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Looks like the problem are the low vibrations, try to look for ways to attenuate them, i’m sure you will find stuff about this on the internet. Some friends of mine had stuff fall from shelves when neighbors would play music with sub woofers on, but they found a way to “trap” the lowest vibrations smh. Good luck on your research and playing :wink:

I’m no acoustics guy by any means but I’d think you’d want research the concept of floating the floor" (as I see it commonly referred to). My understanding is that if you want isolation, you want a dense, rigid material, an air gap, and another dense, rigid material below. The idea is you’re decoupling the fake/floated floor from the floor below to prevent vibrations, and the air gap between the two rigid surfaces should kill the bleed. To isolate a recording studio from outside noises, you’re encouraged to build a room within a room and float the floor, so this is a similar concept. In your case, you’ll probably be able to get away with an elevated platform versus the entire floor, but the decoupling part may be the challenge.

My totally amateur understanding is that low frequencies are the hardest to absorb, so if your neighbor is hearing the sub-frequency thump from your bass, playing directly on top of absorption materials (without an air gap) may not solve the problem as absorption materials may not reach those frequencies (unless you’re standing on a lot of them). Hence why I think the decoupled floor would be key. If you already have a large rubber pad, maybe try to DIY a small elevated platform on top of that with an air gap below (think: wide, shallow upside-down wood crate), and test with your neighbor to see if that does the trick. The trick would be to keep the platform smaller than the dimensions of your rubber pad so the edges of the platform are never directly touching the floor below. Maybe throw another rubber pad at the base where you’ll actually play on so you’ll have (from top to bottom): bass, rubber pad, elevated platform with air gap, rubber pad, floor.

Now, if the noise your neighbor is hearing isn’t just from the direct vibrations of the bass on the floor, that may not be effective enough. But the good news would be that type of approach may be inexpensive enough to build that if it doesn’t work, you’re only out a few bucks in lumber and some time. Whatever you do, I’d look to include the neighbor in the test phase “is it better now - if not how much worse?” I’d also try to hear for myself if I had anyone who could play notes on the double-bass while I stood in the neighbors room for a before/after. I mean, if I were down there and heard that the bass was pretty darn loud and wasn’t limited to sub frequencies, I’m not sure I’d even bother with this approach. If it was just a low-frequency thump, I’d give it a shot though.

Note: I’m not speaking from any direct first-hand experience. I’ve bought bass traps and broadband absorbers to improve the acoustics of a room, but never had to build an isolated space, which is something else entirely. I’ve read stuff on forums about the concepts at a high level and that’s the only reason I’m suggesting the decoupled floor approach. If I were in your situation, I’d try to start with an elevated platform because it may be the cheapest and easiest way to potentially get the right results, and if not, you’re only out a few bucks in lumber and time before looking into more expensive alternatives like trying broadband absorption or consulting pros.

Worst case: ask to switch apartments. :stuck_out_tongue:

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It’s amazing what air from a relatively small surface can do. A friend has a very nice home theater rig. He has a fairly expensive audiophile 15" subwoofer. This thing literally rattles the walls and floor boards when it encounters loud content. A fiber cone the size of a large dinner plate moving enough air to nearly loosen nails in the wall.

If that’s analogous to what you’re dealing with, good luck isolating it.

I guess there’s always headphones. Confine the booms to yer cranium. :crazy_face:

With a Double bass, i think headphones are not an option haha :sweat_smile:

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I don’t even know what “doublebass” is … :thinking:

Like a Cello but enormous :slight_smile:

Oh! :upside_down_face: Totally missed that one! I thought this was in reference to a speaker of some sort.

I’ll go away now.