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location Cologne, Germany
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visits member for 3 years, 1 month
seen 3 hours ago

Functional programming enthusiast, audio engineer & musician. Whilst not busy with any of that, I study physics at Universität zu Köln / Bonn-Cologne Graduate School.


3h
comment Math PI represented musically
music.stackexchange.com/questions/11923/…
14h
comment Electronic device that introduces harmonic overtones
@PatMuchmore: that's mostly true when you play chords. When you distort a simple, cleanly played single note then the extra frequencies are in fact in the harmonic series, or very close to it (as close as in a violin). Perhaps you mean there are dissonant overtones; that's of course true for a violin as well. — Really the main reason that distorted guitar sounds so different from bowed strings is the attack character: a bow gives a quiet but "fuzzy" friction sound, a pick gives a loud and sharp click. Also, the playing technique, phrasing etc. idioms are of course completely different.
2d
comment What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?
How relevant viscous friction is I don't know, but it can't be dominant or all electric guitars would sound pretty much the same.
2d
comment What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?
Where did you take "to leading order the damping is directly proportional to mass density per unit length" from anyway? That's not in your source. Again, it's wrong; for constant friction coefficient the viscous damping goes ∝ 1/ρ as per a simple energy argument (doubling the density reduces the average velocity (and hence force) by 1/√2, so each oscillation by a given amplitude dissipates that much less energy. It also lengthens each cycle to √2 T, so the time needed to dissipate a given amount of energy is doubled).
2d
comment What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?
@ninemileskid: deformation is time-derivative of the string's bending, i.e. ∂ₓ² v rather than v alone. Therefore this damping's efficiency grows ∝ ω², while viscosity-damping affects all frequencies equally. That's a main reason why nylon strings sound mellower than steel strings: plastics deform in a strongly inelastic way. In steel strings, the deformation is mostly elastic (fortunately, for inelastic deformation leads to metal fatigue), so it causes inharmonicity but not damping.
2d
comment What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?
That's a nice reference you quoted there, but it doesn't really discuss dampening as it happens in stringed instruments, only dampening by fluid viscosity friction (unless you're playing underwater guitar, that won't be a relevant factor. And if it was relevant, your conclusion would be wrong: a heavier string is actually attenuated less by this effect, for much the same reason a ball of lead drops faster than a feather). In reality, attenuation on a steel string happens mostly at the bridge and fretboard and on dirt particles on the string. For nylon etc. strings it's more complicated.
Aug
25
comment Best strings for heavy metal (I love distortion)?
Good thinking about the inharmonicity part – but actually the argument doesn't quite work out, because thinner bass strings would need to be driven to higher amplitudes where the oscillation becomes nonlinear, giving you effectively more inharmonicity (and even the fundamental doesn't stay consistent). With fat strings you can keep the amplitude low and still have plenty of output, also you can (palm mute etc.) better concentrate the energy into a few lower harmonics, where inharmonicity doesn't come very much into effect yet. Most harmonics you hear in the end are from distortion itself.
Aug
21
comment When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?
And while we're at readability... does it really make sense to notate a guitar in (octave-) violin clef, if it's tuned down that low? I'd prefer bass clef, those ledger lines are a nightmare.
Aug
21
comment When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?
BTW, what's with this strange C-C♯-C♮ combination? Are you sure the notes shouldn't rather be simply C-C-C-E♭-C-C-D♭-C, e.g. with a key signature of 5 ♭s?
Aug
21
comment Relationship between 3/4 and 4/4
Also, a hemiola switches between 6/8 and 3/4 (or two bars of 3/4 and 3/2, or possibly 10/8 and 5/4 etc.) but it doesn't make sense for power-of-two meters.
Aug
13
comment What factors contribute most to the tone of an electric guitar?
As for active pickups, you're missing the point. A cable, even with really high capacitance, does not by itself roll of any high end. This phenomenon only comes about in connection with a resistor (the cable itself has a resistance, so, technically it does swallow treble... but you need many miles of cable for this to become an issue) or inductance. It so happens that a passive electric guitar has a massive inductance in its signal path, namely the pickup itself; it is this combination of solenoid inductance and cable-capacitor that creates both the pickup's resonance and treble cutoff.
Aug
13
comment What factors contribute most to the tone of an electric guitar?
@Kaz: didn't see you'd commented on my remarks. — Alas, you're wrong here. When we properly design a guitar circuit nowadays, we put a capacitor in, yes. But this wasn't done back in the days, those are not properly designed circuits but (usually) more or less random collections of parts that the luthiers found sufficiently nice in the end-result (with cable, amp etc.). Capacitance in such a guitar cable is needed; when you connect a pickup with just two short wires to a preamp it'll sound rather thin and characterless, the resonance will be so high it doesn't really come out in the amp.
Aug
12
comment Is an inversion a different chord, or a different voicing?
@RolandBouman: no, I'm arguing the fourth doesn't sound dissonant, it merely offers an environment where the composer might put other notes that are dissonant (and because that's often done in classical counterpoint, this may be heard even if no such voices are actually present – anyway two notes a fourth apart, without any context, don't sound dissonant). That's like saying a white light amidst plenty of purple isn't green, it merely looks green because the environment suggests that (not really, but you know what I'm getting at).
Aug
12
comment Is an inversion a different chord, or a different voicing?
Really, what people mean when describing the fourth as dissonant is that it "induces" a dissonant second between the upper note and an implied (or actually played) fifth above the lower note. But this is only relevant when the lower note is really rendered as a proper bass. — OTOH, the first inversion stands out much more obviously even in a guitar strumming: the third is higher up in the harmonic series, so the ear can't as easily add a virtual extra bass to reinstate the I root. Which is of course also the reason why the third should not be doubled in classical 4-voice counterpoint.
Aug
12
comment Is an inversion a different chord, or a different voicing?
While all you say is accepted as rules within classical counterpoint, it doesn't hold much truth for accompaniments with a less pronounced voice layout, like a strummed guitar. Many guitarist will actually default to the second inversion when playing chords like C, D, dm and G, even as a final chord and when there's no extra bass instrument present. This sounds quite fine, because they don't particularly accentuate the lowest note it merely adds some extra "depth" to the sound, without distracting from the root. The fourth is not a dissonant interval, though this is often said.
Aug
11
comment How do I play the synthesizer on my own?
@Dave: but you wouldn't be able to play anything over that bass loop, since the Mininova is monotimbral.
Aug
10
comment Carved fingerboard between frets on a guitar
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalloped_fretboard#Scalloping
Aug
7
comment Are the highest pitches always the easiest to hear in a musical texture?
Laptop switching power supplies tend to be much more audible than I'm happy with... not acoustically, but electrically, interfering with instruments plugged into an audio interface without galvanically separated ground.
Aug
5
comment Peavey XXX amp - weak / overly loud clean channel
@atoth: well, you have plenty of headroom in the master section, so I don't think it should be a problem to get the Rhythm channel loud enough when used only slightly crunchy.
Aug
4
comment When is a note b5 and when #11?
IMO, if they write it as d♭ then it must be a d♭ and not c♯, so it can't possibly ♯11. But then again, Jazz guys tend to treat enharmonics in a way I often don't agree with, so...