Partial List of Job Types

Overview
We could just say "If you can hear it we can measure it", and that would be true. But many people call us with problems that they are afraid no one has ever encountered before; noises that seem too unusual or intermittent to be measured. We've added this page to our site to show people with such problems that their situation is not unique. 

See also: We Get Letters, a collection of actual questions that have come in on our web site.

Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment Noise

These units are a common source of complaints. We serve as consultants for owners of equipment who have received complaints or violations. We also suggest solutions to owners when we work for neighbors affected by the noise. Most of our jobs in this area involve correcting installation mistakes and soundproofing blunders. If a Building Code violation exists we can pinpoint it and include photos in our report. 

See: Acoustic Troubleshooting, Residential Noise

Air Handler Noise

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Aircraft Noise

We do not do surveys of Aircraft noise, but we can recommend specialists if you like.

Architects

We often work with architects, some of whom hire us on behalf of their clients. Buildings often require an acoustic consultant's report before they will approve a renovation. See Services for Architects

Animal & Pet Noise

Outdoor dog runs, kennels, neighbors' pets.

Bar Noise

Noise from live and recorded music, noisy patrons on the street, ventilation and cooking equipment.
Building a bar or lounge? Call us first. Taking the proper steps during the initial construction can save a great deal of money and trouble in the future.

See: Bars, Restaurants and Clubs, Residential Noise, Expert Witness Testimony

Bass

The lower frequencies or "bass" is the part of musical sound that most often penetrates into neighboring living spaces from nightclubs and loud stereos. Unfortunately, the DEP generally uses meters that do not accurately measure these frequencies

See: DEP

Boards of Standards & Appeals

Alan Fierstein of Acoustilog has extensive experience preparing evidence for and testifying for clients at the Board of Standards & Appeals

See Community Boards, Boards of Standards & Appeals and Liquor Licensing

Boat Horns

One job involved measuring the level of a tugboat's horn blast.

Bus & Truck Noise

We can measure traffic noise of all kinds, short term or long term. This can be especially useful to developers seeking to show that special district designation is unnecessary, which can save a great deal in construction costs.

See: Developers & Contractors

Chillers and other Rooftop Equipment Noise

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Churches, Synagogues, Houses of Worship

Such facilities frequently have rooms that are used for public gatherings such as weddings, dances and other parties. Live music and DJs can disturb nearby residences. Some church services involve lively music and singing as well. The large indoor spaces typical of houses of worship often have acoustic problems due to excess reverberation, which make them sound overly noisy and make speech hard to understand.

Club Noise

Noise from live and recorded music, noisy patrons on the street, ventilation and cooking equipment.
Building a new club? It's an expensive proposition. Don't risk noise violations that may require you to close down for extensive rebuilding. Attention to proper soundproofing design in the planning stage can save a great deal of money and trouble later. We can also appear on your behalf before Community Boards and the State Liquor Authority.

See Bars, Restaurants & Clubs, Club Acoustics and Community Boards, Boards of Standards & Appeals and Liquor Licensing

Community Boards

Alan Fierstein of Acoustilog has extensive experience preparing evidence for and testifying for clients at local Community Boards

See Community Boards, Boards of Standards & Appeals and Liquor Licensing

Construction Noise

We can monitor and measure construction noise to determine if it exceeds the relevant noise codes.

Cooling Tower Noise

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Co-Ops & Condos

Co-Op and Condo Boards can be held liable for legitimate noise nuisance complaints. Addressing the issue without resorting to litigation can save everyone money and aggravation.

See a recent court decision re: Skytrack Condominium.

Dance Class Noise

We have worked on both sides of this issue, helping design gyms and similar facilities to avoid problems with their neighbors and in one case, getting a gymnastics school closed due to interference with a recording studio in the same building.

Decibel, (dB) Decibel Test

The decibel is a unit used to measure sound. There are many different ways to use a sound meter: one kind of reading can give a different number than another. An improper measurement method can de-emphasize or over-emphasize the sound reading. Sometimes the wrong method is used out of ignorance or for lack of the proper equipment, other times to deliberately skew the results. We hear of people being told that “the noise level is within legal limits”, when a proper measurement would show a violation. If a noise is loud enough that other people besides you find it annoying, it is usually in violation of some section of the law. You'll need a consultant who knows how to spot such errors, especially in an adversarial situation

See: DEP

DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection)

The DEP inspectors do not yet have the more sophisticated meters that are necessary to properly enforce all the provisions of the new Noise Code. The DEP told you your noise problem is not a violation? They may be wrong.

See: DEP

See: Residential Noise

Disco Noise

See Night Clubs

Drums

One of our clients had a neighbor who played conga drums, and in fact taught percussion in her apartment. As the noise was unpredictable, we set up our calibrated recording system to capture the disturbance when it happened.

See: Residential Noise

See: Long-Term Recording

"E" Designation (Zoning)

See: Developers & Contractors

Elevator Noise

Elevators and their associated motors, pulleys and other equipment can cause humming, knocking, grinding and clanking sounds.

See: Residential Noise

Exercise Equipment Noise

We have worked on both sides of this issue, helping design gyms and similar facilities to avoid problems with their neighbors and, in one case, getting a gymnastics school closed due to interference with a recording studio in the same building.

Fan & Blower Noise

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Fitness Rooms

These are attractive amenity for building residents, except for those who live close to a facility that was installed without proper attention to noise and vibration issues. Treadmills whir and thump with each footstep. Free weights are dropped on the floor. Adjustable weights in exercise machines clang together with each "rep".

See: Residential Noise

Footstep (Footfall) Noise

We have the proper equipment to determine if the floors in your building meet the requirements of your co-op or condo agreement as well as city codes.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Garbage Truck Noise

New York City has an ordinance regulating the noise from Refuse Compacting Vehicles. We have tested these trucks for compliance.

Generator Noise

Some localities require a noise test if you want to install an emergency electric generator for your home.

See Residential Noise

Gunshot Noise

One job involved a dispute between a shooting range and its residential neighbors

Gym Noise

We have worked on both sides of this issue, helping design gyms and similar facilities to avoid problems with their neighbors and in one case, getting a gymnastics school closed due to interference with a recording studio in the same building.

Harassment

We can set up long term monitoring and/or audio recording to catch intermittent deliberate noise. Expert witness testimony and calibrated playback of the recordings in court are available.

See Documentation, Residential Noise

Hearing Damage

We have been called upon to document the level and frequency content of noises that were alleged to have caused hearing loss.

Hotels

Hotels have a wide variety of noise and sound issues: Community board approvals, guest privacy, lounges & nightclubs, fitness centers, air conditioning and mechanical systems, outdoor spaces and more.

See Hotels

Hum

A hum, frequently caused by mechanical equipment, is an example of a "pure tone", a sound that is composed primarily of a single frequency or pitch. Such sounds are considered particularly disturbing. They are frequently the result of improper equipment installation. We can measure the noise and recommend solutions.

See Residential Noise

Hunting

One job involved a dispute between a shooting range and its residential neighbors. 

Impact Noise

We have the proper equipment to determine if the floors in your building meet the requirements of your co-op or condo agreement and city codes.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Intermittent Noise

When you can't predict when a noise will occur, we set up recording equipment that can do the job. This recording can be transferred into graph form with the decibel level charted.

See: Residential Noise, Long Term Recording & Monitoring

Late Night Noise

We are available to take measurements nights and weekends. We can also set up long-term monitoring and calibrated audio recordings for intermittent noise that is difficult to predict.

See Long Term Recording & Monitoring

Laundry Rooms

This is another building amenity that can be good for everyone except the residents of adjoining apartments. Improper equipment installation and poorly built partitions can transmit machine noise at unreasonable levels into nearby dwelling units. As these facilities typically offer "convenient" (read: "Early" and "Late") hours, the disturbance can be hard to live with.

See Residential Noise Problems

Liquor Licensing

Restaurants and Clubs often need to address noise issues in order to be approved for a Liquor License.

See Community Boards, Boards of Standards & Appeals and Liquor Licensing

See Bars, Restaurants and Clubs

Live Music Noise

We recommend appropriate soundproofing and sound quality solutions for live music establishments.

See: Nightclub Noise

Martial Arts Classes

We have worked on both sides of this issue, helping design gyms and similar facilities to avoid problems with their neighbors and in one case, getting a gymnastics school closed due to interference with a recording studio in the same building.

Music

We recommend appropriate soundproofing and sound quality solutions for commercial music establishments.

See: Bars, Restaurants and Clubs, Nightclubs, Studio Design

Neighbor Noise, Long Term Recording & Monitoring

It is best to get the cooperation of your neighbors if you want to have us test to determine the right soundproofing. If you're not on speaking terms, we can still help, including by recording the offending sounds, even late at night or at unpredictable times. These recordings can be powerful legal evidence.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Nightclubs

Night clubs and their neighbors are frequently at odds due to noise. We work for night clubs to help them avoid problems with their neighbors and also for residents and businesses that are affected by a noisy establishment. It is our preference to solve the problem to the satisfaction of all parties through proper sound isolation, sound system redesign and the use of electronic limiters. In situations where the parties resort to legal action we can provide Expert Witness Testimony.

See: Bars, Restaurants and Clubs, Residential Noise, Expert Witness Testimony

Noise Abatement

Whether it's a bass beat, a motor hum or the irregular thumping of the kids upstairs, people just want it to end. That's what "abate" means: "put an end to". But there are no "one-size-fits-all", or "priced by the square foot" solutions. Successful noise abatement can only be accomplished after an assessment of the properties of the noise (frequency, level) and a thorough inspection of the building construction and noise transmission paths. If there is machine noise involved, then the equipment and its ancillary pipes, ducts and other structures must be inspected as well. Only then can recommendations be made that address the particular situation. We invite you to visit the various pages on our site that describe noise problems like yours, or to give us a call.

Noise Code, Noise Violations, Noise Testing

Both the NYC Noise Code and Building Code have provisions to limit noise. Unfortunately, the City DEP inspectors do not yet have the proper meters to enforce all of the provisions, especially those that deal with bass frequencies. We have the equipment and expertise to document any violations of the noise provisions of both codes. We can also make measurements as specified in the codes of other municipalities.

See DEP

Noise Monitoring

We have equipment that can keep track of noisy contractors, excessively loud bars and nightclubs, or monitor your new home for unusual noises before you close on the purchase.

See Long Term Recording & Monitoring

Noise Recording

We can make studio-quality recordings of offending noises for playback in court.

See Long Term Recording & Monitoring

Office Privacy

Sometimes the sound isolation between rooms in office buildings is so poor that conversations may be overheard. This is especially problematic where confidentiality is important.

See: Professional Offices

Outdoor Cafés

Even moderate music and patron noise can cause a problem for residences near an outdoor commercial business.

See Residential Noise, Expert Witness Testimony

Parking Garages

We were involved with a case in which a parking garage was located in the lower levels of a residential building. Banging sounds caused by moving cars in and out of the garage elevator disturbed the residents.

See Residential Noise, Expert Witness Testimony

Penthouse Apartments

Top-floor apartments often receive excessive noise from rooftop equipment

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Pets

We work for people who want to soundproof their homes so neighbors aren't bothered by their pets (Dogs, cats, birds and fish tank pumps), and people who are disturbed by noisy critters next door.

See: Residential Noise

Plumbing Noises

We have dealt with kitchens, bathrooms, air conditioning and radiator noise. One common complaint that we see a lot is noisy boiler rooms.

See: Residential Noise

Printing Press Noise

We have experience in measuring this equipment and in recommending solutions.

See: Industrial Noise

Pump Noise

Many buildings have internal noise in occupied spaces caused by water pumps in the mechanical room. We know how to measure these sounds and recommend the right solutions.

See: Residential Noise

Recording Studios

We design studios, and specialize in fixing design errors in existing studios. We can help with soundproofing, room acoustics and speaker tuning.

See: Studio Design

Recycling Centers

We measure indoor and outdoor noise from trucks and equipment.

See: Industrial Noise

Restaurant Acoustics

Sometimes the problem isn't noise that leaks out to the neighbors, but a loud, unpleasant acoustic environment inside the restaurant itself. Patrons who have to raise their voices to be heard by their companions may not come back a second time. We can help by designing the right acoustic treatment.

See: Bars, Restaurants and Clubs,

Restaurant Noise

We can deal with noisy internal acoustics from patrons, or sound that leaks outside to neighbors. Sound sources include voices, music, kitchen and air conditioning equipment.

See: Bars, Restaurants and Clubs, Residential Noise

Rooftop Equipment Noise

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Second-Floor Apartments

Second floor apartments in New York often have a commercial business as their downstairs "neighbor". Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are a common source of complaints, but retail stores sometimes play loud music as well. And music isn't the only kind of disturbing noise that a business might make. A busy supermarket that gets frequent deliveries and moves stock around can produce banging noises that travel upstairs. Pots and pans clang in restaurant kitchens, dirty plates clatter together in busboy carts and exhaust fans are often mounted improperly.

See: Residential Noise, Bars, Restaurants & Clubs

Special Purpose Districts ("E" Designation Zoning)

See: Developers & Contractors

Stereos

We can help with soundproofing your stereo or protecting you from your neighbor's home theatre. However, we do not design home theatres.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Televisions

Even something as common as a television set can sometimes bother people in adjacent apartments. In one case we were able to modify the speakers on one tenant's TV so that both parties were happy.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Tents

Some restaurants and catering facilities have expanded their usable space by covering a backyard or courtyard with a tent. It may look like an indoor space, but can transmit sound more like an outdoor space. Yet some of these spaces even have DJs and live music. In dense enough areas, even patron noise and clanking dishes can disturb nearby residents. We can document the disturbance and design more effective sound isolation.

See: Bars, Restaurants & Clubs

"Thin walls"

Sometimes the problem isn't the neighbors, but the construction of the building. We can test, inspect and recommend solutions.

See Transmission Loss

Top Floor Apartments

Top-floor apartments often receive excessive noise from rooftop equipment

See Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Traffic Noise

We can measure traffic noise of all kinds, short term or long term. This can be especially useful to developers seeking to show that special district designation is unnecessary, which can save a great deal in construction costs.

See: Developers & Contractors

Transmission Loss

We can measure Building Code STC (Sound Transmission Class) requirements in the field, as well as Impact Noise Reduction (INR) and Impact Insulation Class (IIC) field tests. We get calls from apartment and condo owners as well as developers, unfortunately, most of these calls come after the building has been constructed poorly. We can document the results and recommend solutions.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Vibration

Many people call vibration the lower frequencies or "bass" sound that is not currently measured by city inspectors, and it can shake your body and apartment. We measure this and can compare it with the legal limits

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Voices

There is currently no law against talking too loudly in New York. However, the new Noise Code recognizes "Unreasonable Noise" as noise that is "plainly audible" with certain decibel readings involved.

See: Residential Noise, Noisy Neighbors

Water

Water pumps, boilers and other plumbing can transmit noise through pipes and building structures to apartments far from the original noise source.

See: Residential Noise

Weekends

If necessary, we can test noisy clubs and bars late at night and on weekends.

See: Bars, Restaurants and Clubs, Residential Noise

Whine

A whine or hum, frequently caused by mechanical equipment, is an example of a "pure tone", a sound that is composed primarily of a single frequency or pitch. Such sounds are considered particularly disturbing. They are frequently the result of improper equipment installation. We can measure the noise and recommend solutions.

See Residential Noise