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Jan
18
comment Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?
Amplitude, at any rate, is rather useless as an indicator for loudness. (Otherwise, there would be no point in compressing/limiting record masters.) If anything, you need to talk about amplitudes of some single frequency, but I also don't think that's helpful – after all, white noise sounds louder than any sine wave of the same ampliture, though it's Fourier transform is lower at every single frequency. (Do correct me if I'm thinking wrong here!) That's why I discussed power (i.e. RMS), but as I said the argument can't really be true in that sense, since energy is conserved.
Jan
18
comment Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?
@jjmusicnotes: I don't know; as I said I just heard this claim "it makes you louder", and I'd like to know in which sense of "loud" this is true or whether it's simply bogus.
Jan
17
comment Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?
I mean by "phase-locked channels", each channel can be interpreted as the result of an LTI transformation applied to the same signal. So for any given frequency, there is only a fixed (and often small!) phase difference between both channels. Whereas when instruments are playing together, each note will, regardless of pitch, have a completely random phase difference.
Jan
17
comment Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?
What do you mean by a "true stereo signal"? For an ordinary stereo-mic recording, the channels certainly are locked (at some complex, but fixed relation, for any stationary source). For a mix with signals not panned hard left/right even more so. — If you record the stereo channels as completely separate takes, then there is indeed no phase correlation, but that's almost never done (and for such a signal, you would in fact not notice a difference when reversing one channel's polarity).
Jan
17
comment Violin E string
Pretty sure it's the higher one. I don't think you can possibly have tuned the e-string one octave too high, it would break either the string or the violin...
Jan
17
comment Violin E string
And once you've got that right, acquaint yourself to the sound of fifths that each pair of neighbouring strings should produce. (Incidentally, those are just fifths, so the e is actually 660 Hz rather than 659.3, unless you want a meantone tuning.)
Jan
17
comment Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?
If you connect one of two stereo speakers with inverse polarity, the speakers are still phase-locked together. That's what never happens with instruments in an ensemble, regardless of intonation. (And FWIW, the "clear effect anywhere" of phase reversal only happens in the bass range, due to wavelength>≈separation; for treble frequencies the switching of the phase may be notable as some change in sound, but only near-field monitors make it really obvious which polarity is correct.)
Jan
17
comment Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?
ANC uses a known phase relation between a microphone on the outside of headphones, and the hp-speakers on the inside to always generate destructive interference at one single spot, namely the eardrum. This does (of course) not violate conservation of energy: summed over all space, the active NC actually makes the noise louder. Just because only your eardrums notice the sound at all, you feel it's made quiter. — Real musical instruments, even when played in perfect just intonation, don't phase-lock. Even if they did, room reflections would scramble the phases. So this argument doesn't work.
Jan
11
comment Trying to understand a nice harmonic end
@Tim: labelling from one is crazy, because it makes adding intervals a complete mess... but oh well, as long as we're being consistent about it. But no, for the tritone we cook up a completely different ratification. WTH.
Jan
11
comment Which type of microphone is optimal to use for the singing piano player?
Why use an omni? Large-diaphragm cardioid is much better for voice in particular when you want to sing from a bit further away.
Jan
11
comment Trying to understand a nice harmonic end
To expand, tritone refers to an augmented fourth, not to some three tones. Why this is called tritone, I always found crazy, it's about as logical as numbering intervals starting from one (instead of, as would be correct, zero).
Jan
11
comment Is there a name for a minor scale with a raised 3rd or a major scale with a lowered 6th and 7th?
All scale names are unfortunate... it's not like ancient-greece Aeolian music probably sounded much like present-day tunes in a natural-minor key.
Jan
3
comment Is guitar action affected by tuning?
While this should ideally be true for all guitars, in practise tightening the truss rod can cause a couple of problems if the neck quality isn't very good. I would ask the shop to tune the guitar to standard before buying it.
Jan
2
comment What is the terminology for how we identify numbered notes like C4, E3, D6, etc?
I'd advertise using the name American Standard Pitch, because there really isn't much about this system that makes it particularly scientific.
Dec
27
comment Would it be worth buying better pickups for a cheap bass guitar?
"Of course it will improve the sound" – actually not "of course". In fact most good pickups would probably not make that instrument sound any better; some might even make it worse! For magnetic pickups there isn't really a meaningful way to rate "absolute quality": they all sound different, but what's good depends only on how good a pickup fits a particular instrument. — Sure, super-cheap pickups may have objective problems (microphony) or simply not work because the wire's broken. But as far as the sound itself is concerned, good/bad isn't really correlated with cheap/expensive at all.
Dec
27
comment Would it be worth buying better pickups for a cheap bass guitar?
Honestly, the pickups are basically the only part of a bass that can be manufactured with decent quality for a price that makes a £20 instrument. Perhaps it would overall sound better with a particular replacement PU, but that wouldn't so much mean the pickup is better as it's more forgiving, as in, it simply ignores parts of the signal where that bass particularly sucks. I would call such a pickup rather worse, in the general picture (since for a good instrument, you don't want any frequencies swallowed). — Don't spend any money on trying to "improve" that bass, better get a new one...
Dec
25
comment What is the difference between portamento and glissando?
I meant contiguous for glissando (but not necessarily for portamento), and continuous for portamento (but not necessarily for glissando).
Dec
25
comment 2 x Mono vs 1 x Stereo Quality
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_line
Dec
24
comment What is the difference between portamento and glissando?
I daresay it's rather the other way around. Glissando means, a contiguous pitch transition from the beginning note to the next specified pitch. Ideally, this should be a continuous slide, but instruments where this isn't feasible may approximate it with a chromatic or even diatonic scale run. OTOH, portamento must be a smooth "pitch bend" (if a composer writes something about "portamento" in a piano score, it simply means they've mixed up the term with portato, which is something different), but it doesn't really need to connect the specified pitches, only aim in the direction.
Dec
24
comment What is the best way to learn to sing harmony?
Alternative to Twist And Shout: Vocational Guidance Counselor...