I would like to record evidence of annoying sounds from downstair apartment (Please no judgment, legal or diplomatic advices). I need a recording setup using AFFORDABLE equipment that will capture thumping and slamming sounds what i hear in my room.


Sounds appear randomly and may propagate (I assume) through my walls and floor. The sounds by order of annoyance are

  • thumping (kid running in the corridor),
  • door slamming,
  • dog barking

The sounds are very clear to me and my wife but for whatever reasons (you can explain me) I am having difficulty getting a good recording. I tried to record without success using

  • the dictaphone of my iphone 5S left on the floor
  • A ps2 singstar microphone plugged (USB) to my laptop and post-processed with Audacity ( Gain + low pass filter)


I am very confused on what to buy and why.

  • Dynamic versus condenser microphone (large or small diaphragm ?) versus contact microphone on the floor ?

  • Many post suggest a condenser microphone (best cheap ones seem to be Behringer B-1 or Audio-Technica AT2020) but when i read some articles i found that "Dynamic microphones are best used for booming sounds and powerful vocals."

  • Omnidirectional or Cardioid ?

  • Do i need a preamp or any type of supplementary equipment between the micro and my laptop ?

  • What kind of post-processing should i performed and with what DAW ?

Thank you in advance. Please consider that i am not a sound engineer with many years of expertise. Just looking for a decent solution :)


  • So where should i post it then. I am asking for technical advice related to audio recording
    – jojo45
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:33
  • Unfortunately i want to record some sounds that are considered a nuisance by many but seem very difficult to capture with adequate setup, so i thought this forum of expert would be the best choice
    – jojo45
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:41
  • Thank you Tetsujin but i am not even sure the nuisance i want to record are in this frequency range
    – jojo45
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:42
  • If you can feel it as vibration, then, yes, it's waay down the low end of the spectrum, far below anything an off-the-shelf amateur setup will capture. The linked question is totally different, but the info underneath may help you.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:46
  • Thx. I read this post previously but i doesnt really adress my question: Will I be able to record thumping and slamming door sound with a decent condenser microphone (if it is the good type to choose), do i need some additional equipment too ?. Like many I am not able to afford professional or scientific grade microphone ( e.g., to record earthquakes)
    – jojo45
    Apr 3, 2020 at 13:03


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