Questions tagged [acoustics]

For questions about the physical science of sound production, behavior, and mechanics. Generic physics questions should be asked at our sister site Physics Stack Exchange.

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35
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8answers
4k views

Is there a broader term for instruments, like the gong, whose volume briefly increases after being sounded instead of immediately decaying?

For most instruments, their sound immediately begins to decay after they first sound. When you strike a piano key, for instance, the loudest sound is at the very beginning, after which the sound ...
3
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2answers
157 views

How do double-length piano strings sound different?

The Klavins 450i grand piano plays the same pitches as a conventional piano, but its bass strings are about twice as long (and presumably have different density and more tension, to compensate). The ...
8
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1answer
272 views

Do all fundamental frequencies have 1 anti-node and 2 nodes

Given any musical instrument, when a note is played on the instrument, does the fundamental have only one node and 2 antinodes (Theoretically fundamental frequencies should have half wavelength)? If ...
8
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1answer
149 views

What is up with the bell on the English Horn?

What is the story behind the shape of the bell on an English Horn? But first, a quick look at the clarinet family for a comparison. The standard clarinet (in Bb or A) has normal looking "bell-...
6
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1answer
340 views

What are brass instrument “pedal tones” and “false tones”, and how are they different?

The below two questions resulted in some debate, confusion, and consternation: What are the acoustics of brass instrument pedal tones? What are brass instrument “false notes” and how are they played? ...
8
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3answers
117 views

What are the acoustics of brass instrument pedal tones?

The natural range of a standard Bb trumpet, for example, extends down to F# (i.e., concert E), but by adjusting one's embouchure and air, it's possible to produce lower pitches. Those lower pitches -- ...
3
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3answers
513 views

Harmonic Series Interference

I have been analysing intervals to look at the frequency difference between harmonics. Before my analysis I was under the impression that harmonics for 'consonant' sounding intervals contained more ...
10
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5answers
805 views

What is the relationship between where and how a vibrating string is activated?

My understanding is that each string on a musical instrument/chordophone has a "sweet spot", such that when a string is activated at that point, the "best" sound is produced. ...
0
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1answer
144 views

Upright piano: High pitched chime-like ringing noise

On a new upright piano that is freshly tuned, I hear a high pitched chime-like noise specially when I press and release two mid-range notes simultaneously, like B3-flat and D4. The noise is like ...
1
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2answers
56 views

Why do frequencies that follow a base two logarithmic relationship sound the “same”? [duplicate]

We know that frequencies that follow a base two logarithmic relationship sound as the same tone. This seems to be one of the fundamental principles that underlies music theory. For example, ...
2
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1answer
60 views

What to do to improve bass resonance in mid sized piano?

Got myself a mid sized piano (110 height). Great tone in upper area but lower area is collapsed compared to a full size piano (of course). Has anyone tried to reduce acoustic shortcuts in smaller ...
1
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4answers
130 views

It it possible to find the equation of any melody, in principle? [closed]

I was wondering, is it possible to work out the equation of a melody from looking at the soundwave (although I don't know how one could obtain it from the recording)? How hard would this be? What ...
1
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3answers
123 views

Could knocking on solid objects create different pitches and notes? If so, how?

Greetings, my fellow music lovers. I'm not certain if this question is on-topic but it's been bugging me for a long time. When we knock or tap our fingers on wood, or other solid objects, we make ...
3
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0answers
54 views

Experienced Music Organization to Partner for Competition using Animal Sounds? [closed]

I am part of a scientific organization that uses animal sounds to study animals & their environments. In an effort to share our science with a wider audience, we were interested in hosting a US ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Advice re: Music Composition Competition [closed]

I am part of a scientific organization that uses animal sounds to study animals & their environments. In an effort to share our science with a wider audience, we were interested in hosting a ...
4
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1answer
54 views

Why doesn't the flute head joint behave like a Swanee whistle?

I understand the basic physics of a Swanee whistle: shorter tube -> higher pitch. But when I take the head joint off my flute, play a note and poke my finger up the tube, this behaves in exactly ...
5
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1answer
612 views

how to play capo and non-capo chords in the same song?

I've read through many forums and tutorials and am still very confused. I'll give an example to make this easier to understand: I'm trying to learn "Across the Universe" by Fiona Apple (...
3
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1answer
53 views

Would Wrapping Rockwool in Plastic Ruin its Sound Absorption?

I bought enough 3-inch-thick Rockwool to sufficiently treat my studio's walls, but building (ideally) 11 wood frames does not sound fun. If I were to wrap each piece in a thin but sealed plastic (to ...
4
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0answers
108 views

Fiberglass vs Rockwool: What are their pros / cons in making acoustic panels?

I'm trying to decide which material to use for DIY acoustic panels. Rockwool and Fiberglass have comparable sound absorption except for ~125 Hz where Rockwool performs much better. But I can buy 3x as ...
7
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2answers
200 views

What is the physical mechanism by which a chord has a root?

When the tones C, E and G are played, C is perceived as the root. In the case of this major triad, the root is easily identifiable. However, for many chords, there is no identifiable root. For example,...
20
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8answers
2k views

Why is the 5th stronger than the 1st in guitar spectrum?

I was experimenting with spectrum analysis of guitar plucks and this is what i got on an open low E recording: As you can see the strongest peak is at about 247 Hz, which is a B3 while the peak at ...
3
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2answers
125 views

Audio latency in live bands

In computer music one usually says that the audio latency of the system should ideally be less than 10ms… On the other hand, as the speed of sound is around 340 m/s in the air it means that whenever ...
5
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8answers
1k views

Can you change some composition I wrote to whatever music you want just by changing the timbre of the instruments?

Here is my problem: suppose I am a composer you have contracted to create any sheet music I dream of with the unique condition it is not pure silence and that I don't stipulate the instrument section (...
23
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7answers
7k views

When we press a piano key, why does a high pitch note not run for as long as a low pitch note?

When we press the keys on the piano that exist on the ends, one can notice that when we press a high pitch note, it plays for a short bit and then the sounds fades away. However, when we play a low ...
2
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1answer
124 views

Doubt about Harp Sound

I have some doubts about the acoustics of the harp? What is the resonant oscillator and sound effuser on a harp? For example, on a trumpet, the resonant oscillator is the body of the instrument ...
2
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1answer
169 views

Flutes in octaves sounds like an organ? Why does this happen?

I have noticed something when I hear 2 flutes in octaves or a flute and piccolo playing the same notated notes, sounding an octave apart. It starts to not sound like a flute. In particular it sounds ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Transcriptions that (more) directly relate to physical frequencies

Where can I view not traditional Western cleff based transcriptions of music, but rather ones that map directly to the physical differences in pitch being written down? So instead of something based ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Is it a coincidence that the length of the body of a violin is pretty exactly one fifth of the wave length of its lowest note?

The standard body size of a violin is 35 centimeter in length. Its lowest note is G3, which has a wave length of 175 centimeter, five times 35. 35 cm is the wave length of B5, which is a major third ...
4
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1answer
156 views

Creating a xylophone out of copper pipes

I have been trying to create a xylophone out of copper pipes for a school project and have been running into a few problems with calculating the length of each bar. I have been using this paper as ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Acoustic problem of intonation low on neck

I am a bass player for over 35 years. Also play guitar. I have worked on my own electrics, setting intonation, etc. I have an acoustic. When I tune it, the low E, fretted at the 2nd 3rd frets are ...
0
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2answers
107 views

How to make a single instrument fill up a sound spectrum?

I have an instrumental here (not particularly a fan of, but great reference for this question.) This instrumental starts off with and contains a synth pluck with a simple melody. My interest in this ...
1
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0answers
36 views

Could you clarify these statements regarding depth in a mix

I'm trying to establish the correct formula for these settings if you guys could correct them. It is imperative you're 100% sure of the answer as this plays a vital piece in my understanding of reverb....
3
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3answers
218 views

How long do early reflections take to become audible after direct sound [closed]

When speaking in terms of reverb, how long do early reflections take to occur/become audible after the direct sound? Also, do early reflections dictate if a space is long/short or does it also ...
2
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3answers
812 views

How do sound waves travel and their reflections? [closed]

I'm studying reverb from a first principles standpoint and I'm finding it difficult to find this answer in my studies. Firstly is this statement correct? "The quantity of sound waves ejected into a ...
3
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2answers
231 views

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? [duplicate]

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? They didn't have a tuning fork or any other standardized measure. But even without standards they ...
5
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2answers
109 views

how to tune a spring?

So here's the situation I'm in; I had this really weird dream with this really weird instrument in it. It was kinda like half a dulcimer with springs on it. There were 11 springs on it, (But I'm ...
2
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3answers
618 views

Accounting for intervals not present within the chord ratio?

Here are a selection of chord ratios.. Minor Chord - 10:12:15 Root (1:1) - Major 3rd (4:5) - Perfect 5th (2:3) Major 7th Chord - 8:10:12:15 Root (1:1) - Major 3rd (4:5) - Perfect 5th (2:3) - Major 7th ...
9
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6answers
2k views

Do interval ratios take overtones into account or solely the fundamental frequency?

An interval holds two pitches (C an G). Those two pitches have a fundamental frequency which represents their pitch names, along with their harmonic series/overtones. When we turn that interval into ...
1
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2answers
159 views

Harmonic series role in a just intonation interval ranking?

In my studies, I was reflecting on this theory and just wanted your guys clarification.. A pitch in an octave is comprised of a fundamental frequency followed by its overtones. When we focus on an ...
-1
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1answer
314 views

I have questions revolving around the formula of producing chord ratios?

Good day guys! Thanks to the gentleman @willross1 and others contributions, i have now discovered the formula behind turning interval ratios into chord ratios, which allows me to determine the level ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Stability of chords

I wish to understand the connection of music theory to the physics world, or to waves. In this context, I quite understand notion of dominant chords as containing tritone, which is dissonant. What I ...
3
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3answers
87 views

Echo reduction - large room

I was asked to propose a solution to reduce echos in a large event hall measuring 70 feet long by 60 feet wide with ceiling height 14 feet( I have never done anything of this sort before). The room ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How are chord ratios developed exactly?

Major Chord 4:5:6 Minor Chord 10:12:15 Diminished Chord 20:24:29 Are 3 examples of triad chord ratios. My question is how are these ratios developed? If we look at a Major chord in the key of C, it ...
3
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3answers
140 views

Fourier Analysis of varying classical guitar bracings

I am doing a school project right now concerning studying the Fourier Analysis of a sound recording of a few different classical guitars. I am wondering what type of sounds would be the best to record....
4
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5answers
2k views

Physics of Guitar frets and sound

I understand how Guitar works. Pitch/Frequency of sound produced depends on length of vibrating string. So we have different frets to product different notes. Fine. However I am curious to understand ...
2
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2answers
229 views

When the human voice changes pitch are certain interval changes physically easier?

I'm wondering along the lines of physics and how things resonate. I don't know how pitch changes work when something vibrates, especially the voice or wind instruments. I sort of understand that a ...
6
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3answers
248 views

Music Physics Question - Automatic Trumpet Embouchure Mouthpiece

So this might be a bit of a newbie question. I'm a working musician who mainly plays guitar and piano, and uses a lot of sampled instruments and synths as well. I don't mean this to be offensive to ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Scaling an object to change its key

I used a 3D Printer to make a kid's Recorder for my son. It plays surprisingly well. However, it's not tuned to match the common recorder used in schools. Using a phone-app tuner, the base mouth-piece ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Amplitude of a crest and trough in a sound wave?

Lets say we have a sound wave, it has a frequency, wavelength, crest, trough, etc. My question is, is the crest of a sound wave equaled to high amplitude/ high volume and if so, does that mean the ...
6
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1answer
155 views

What are the effects of the shape of a bend in a brass instrument slide?

Some brass instrument manufacturers make a feature of the shape of the various slides - some have a semi-circular wrap, other more semi-elliptical. Some have a tight wrap (the two legs of the slide ...