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location Illinois
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visits member for 1 year, 7 months
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May
17
answered Why does a piano have only one or two strings per note in the bass register, but three for other registers?
May
6
answered How to play together online?
Apr
30
comment Glossary of Guitar Effects
As it is, it seems most distortion effects have a fairly small "sweet spot" of levels where they work well, and cause dynamics in one's playing to translate primarily into changes in timbre rather than volume.
Apr
30
comment Glossary of Guitar Effects
One type of "effect" I've thought would be useful to have in a multi-pedal, though I've not seen it, would be to have a configurable automatic gain control (level compression) which would be applied before a distortion effect, followed by a gain adjustment after the distortion which would undo some or all of the effect of the previous AGC. For example, things might be set up so that playing at a level of -20dBm would boost the signal by 21dB (clipping slightly) and then reduce volume by 20dB, while playing at -10dBm would boost by 12dB (clipping a bit more) and then reduce by 12dB.
Apr
16
comment Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?
@Tim: When an instrument is played at fundamental frequency, there will be one pressure wave at a time travelling in the tube. If one plays e.g. the third harmonic, there will be three. The bell of the instrument serves, among other things, to spread out the reflection of the pressure wave such that if there are three not-quite-equally spaced pressure waves in the tube, the ones that are further from their predecessor will be bigger and pull the lips open faster. This will tend to balance out the spacing of the waves.
Apr
16
comment Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?
@Tim: When playing into an instrument, what should happen is that the pressure difference between the mouthpiece and the mouth should be such that the lips are about ready to open when a low pressure wave arrives at the mouthpiece. In this way, the exact timing of when the lips open should be determined by the arrival of the pressure wave. That will send a high-pressure wave down the instrument which will echo back as a low-pressure wave, repeating the cycle.
Apr
16
comment Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?
@Tim: The pressure wave that echos into the mouthpiece after traveling down the instrument, hitting the far end, and travelling back, will try to alternately push the lips closed and pull them open. When blowing a raspberry in open air, the pressure inside the mouth builds until it is sufficient to push the lips open; the lips then let through enough air that the pressure will drop until it is insufficient to keep the lips open. The frequency is determined by how quickly the air pressure builds up and drops.
Apr
15
comment Managing batteries for live performances
While I understand that running batteries until they fail is not an option, replacing after each performance a battery that could last many dozens seems wasteful. I would think that if doing daily performances one determines that the shortest-lived battery can be expected to last a month, replacing all the batteries on a fixed weekly schedule should be as good as replacing them daily. Not that batteries are hugely expensive, but why waste them needlessly?
Apr
15
comment Performing Copyrighted Music
A couple of notes regarding the compulsory mechanical license: such licenses are only available for music which has already been released commercially as a "stand-alone" audio recording, and such recordings are restricted to using lyrics which have already appeared in licensed recordings. Subject to those constraints, anyone who pays certain price per copy per song (I think it's about 8 cents nowadays for songs up to 5 minutes) may produce and duplicate stand-alone audio recordings at will, regardless of how much the original copyright holder likes or loathes their rendition.
Apr
15
comment Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?
...an increase in the pressure at the mouthpiece will push the lips closed, while a decrease in pressure will draw them open. While a change in pressure would produce a certain change of airflow even if the lip opening remained uniform, such change in airflow would translate into a smaller change in pressure than the original one. By contrast, when the opening and closing of the lips is added to the equation, there's enough change in airflow to cause a change in pressure larger than the one which caused it.
Apr
15
comment Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?
@Gauthier: Resonant-air-column instruments (pipe organs, flutes, reed instruments, and "brass" instruments) all work on the principle that sound can travel smoothly down a uniform tube, but changes in the tube will cause some of the sound to be reflected. When this reflection reaches the base of the tube, that will change the air pressure there. To produce a tone, there must be something at the base of the tube which will cause such a change in pressure to produce a change in airflow. In the case of a brass instrument...
Apr
12
comment What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?
@NReilingh: If there were some convention that every other ledger line should be longer (e.g. when going up from treble, the C, G, D, and A) I could imagine that playing ledger lines might not seem so bad. I'm curious, though--how can someone without really good vision be expected to tell at a glance whether the first note on a staff has five or six ledger lines?
Apr
8
comment Why do we need note names like B♭, D♭ etc.? Why not use only A♯, C♯ and so on?
It's worth noting that with handbells, the C# above middle C will be played with the same bell as would the Db, but the former note would generally be played by one person's right hand while the latter would be played by the next person's left hand. Assigning each person's left hand to a note written on a "line" and the right to the note written on a "space" will ensure that each person in the middle of a diatonic scale will play two notes--one with each hand.
Apr
3
comment What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?
She might like my tuning. G-D-d-f-g#-b (bottom two strings reversed). On the top five strings one can easily play a major or minor chord in any inversion, or a root-position seventh chord; second-inversion chords (e.g. G-G-C-E-G) don't sound great, but just extend the first finger to the sixth string to get C-G-G-C-E-G.
Mar
27
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
@Archival: How many venues have acoustics such that the character of the house mix perfectly matches the character of the sound heard by the audience? If one determines that in some venue a woman's vocals need to be boosted by 1.2dB to counteract the fact that e.g. the material is more reverberant at lower frequencies, I would think one should change the house mix without changing the monitors. Boosting the vocalist's mic gain by 1.2dB in the monitor mix would likely make her sing more quietly, counteracting the desired effect (if the soloist wouldn't react to the monitor, why have them?)
Mar
27
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
Some types of audio effects induce an unavoidable delay between when the musician produces a sound and when it comes out the mix. If the audience hears sounds 100ms late, they're not going to notice, but a monitor mix which is delayed by 100ms would for many musicians be at best useless. They may be able to tune it out, but if that's going to be the case why bother with it. Better I'd think to have a zero-delay monitor mix, have a sound guy tell the musicians in rehearsal what they need to do for a good final mix, and have musicians perform so the monitor sounds like it did in rehearsal.
Mar
27
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
@Archival: Different musicians need different things to achieve their optimal performance. If Bob can give a decent performance given the house mix, and no other mix would improve things, and if Joe could give the same performance as Joe using the house mix, but could give an even better performance with something else, I see no reason to regard Joe as an inferior musician; I'd say that if practical he should be given whatever mix would allow him to give the best performance. BTW, another problem I'd see with using the house mix is delay.
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
...performing along with. If for reasons of tonal quality, one wants to take the sound of singer Bob up a third and Joe down a third, Bob should hear a mix that includes himself at pitch, the orchestra down a third, and Joe down a fifth, and Joe should hear a mix that includes himself at pitch, the orchestra up a third, and Bob up a fifth. Then if Bob and Joe each sing in tune with the pitch he hears for the orchestra, the audience will hear them sing in tune. I would not expect singers to be able to maintain reasonable intonation any other way.
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
@Archival: Many good musicians would find it very difficult to perform given a monitor mix in which they weren't included. If the sound of each musician is readily identifiable in the mix (e.g. because each is playing a different part), a good musician should have no problem with a mix that includes him the same as everyone else. My concern would be in cases where a mix contains two or more instruments that cannot be identified by sound. As for something like the detuning scenario, I'd posit that the musician should be given a mix which includes sounds that are at the pitch he should be...
Mar
26
comment Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance
...each might think he was flat and raise his pitch, so that both would hear that the player that had been flat was in tune, and the one that had been in tune was now sharp. Perhaps the ideal if the equipment could handle it (with digital technology this should be possible if the equipment designers wanted to provide it) would be for each player to receive a pair of mixes for the left/right ears in which the overall levels of the players matched the house mix, but the stereo placement heard by each player would clearly isolate his own sound.