Questions tagged [acoustics]

The physical science of sound production, behavior, and mechanics.

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1answer
89 views

Why are pedal notes in the lower, not in the higher, register?

At church today I listened to an organ piece that had a constant pedal note from the beginning to the end of the piece. The strange (and very unpleasant) thing about this pedal note was, that it was ...
7
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2answers
761 views

What makes some instruments louder than others?

Main question: are longer pianos actually louder? Context: When a musician plays on an acoustic instrument, I expect that the loudness produced corresponds to raw energy (as measured in Joules or ...
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3answers
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How did baroque music sound at the time?

Historical context Let's for example consider Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (click here to enjoy). It was composed at the very beginning of the 18th century in Germany. At that time: ...
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6answers
8k views

Does piano soundproofing require floating walls? Getting conflicting answers from professionals

I have just placed a new hybrid piano in a small 9x13 room in my apartment. I want to use the room for playing and for singing. Costly steps have already been taken, and, much to our dismay, we ...
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2answers
3k views

How do uncovered tone holes in middle of a flute work?

As a (mediocre) guitarist just starting to dabble with other instruments, the first several fingering diagrams for flutes, saxophones, etc make good intuitive sense to me because you're effectively ...
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1answer
132 views

Why do farther notes resonate more than closer notes?

Source: 30:05 juncture. Prof. Steven Cassedy. The following is based on YouTube's transcript that lacks formatting, and whose errors I corrected. Sorry for the strange numbering; I originally deleted ...
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3answers
256 views

Why do lower instruments speak “slower”?

Why do lower instruments, such as double bass and cello in an orchestra or chamber setting, are discerned by the ear slower than higher instruments (violin, flute, etc)? Does it have to do with the ...
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1answer
345 views

How does the pitch of the reed relate to the resonant frequency of the pipe in a woodwind instrument?

I'm a wind player who is interested in constructing musical instruments, and I've been studying acoustic physics and instrument design on my own time. I haven't been able to find the answer, and (...
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1answer
252 views

How accurately can a good musician judge an interval to be out of tune? [closed]

This is for a music/physics crossover experiment. Almost everyone will be familiar with the Doppler Effect, even if they don't know the name. Imagine that a vehicle is blaring its a siren or ...
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1answer
917 views

My guitar instrument produced a perfect sine wave?

My homemade guitar was producing perfect sine waves, most guitar waves arent perfectly sine. Anyone have any suggestions for why? Physics project))
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2answers
4k views

Studio monitors: Should we break them in and why?

Having just acquired a spankin' new pair of monitors for my home studio, I'm currently in the process of "breaking them in". Being an inquisitive mind, I started wondering: what is the purpose of ...
4
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1answer
359 views

How to lower the tone of a natural horn?

I've received as gift a hollow natural cow horn, similar to those anciently used for signaling before metalworking was discovered. I'd like to know if, given it simplicity (natural carved material ...
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4answers
801 views

Why is a Perfect Fourth Considered Consonant? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research into the harmonic series lately. What I've come to understand is that the lower the ratio between the harmonics, the more pleasant/consonant the interval is. So, an ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do Talkbox and Autotune effects sound similar?

Talkbox and Autotune are completely different effects. In the former sound of an instrument is modulated through a hose in the singer's mouth, in the latter the frequencies of the singer's voice are ...
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2answers
93 views

Can a soundboard, if designed with the right shape and materials, be as accurate as a series of tubes for filtering/amplifying desired frequencies?

By cascading tube resonators of different cross section areas, it is possible to have a lot of control over the filtering of the sound, e.g. vowels in human voice can be approximated by cascading only ...
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10answers
5k views

Can music time signatures really be irrational?

In this video around the 5 minute mark, the presenter mentions that "irrational units of time cannot exist because of Planck's constant", and therefore music time signatures like 2:√2 cannot be ...
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9answers
4k views

Why do listeners hear the lowest note of a chord most distinctly?

Source: Prof. Bruce Taggart (PhD in Music Theory, U. of Pennsylvania), 58 s of his Coursera video. The lowest note of a chord is the most important one. It's the one that the listener hears most ...
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3answers
2k views

Any bed sheets thick enough to be used as sound proofing?

I am curious of anyone has any alternative ideas to standard/typical sound proofing. Currently I do not feel like constructing anything elaborate and I really can't do to much were I live. Noise isn't ...
4
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1answer
182 views

Is this theoretical “reed” acoustically possible?

I suppose this isn't exactly a reed, but it seems like a method of producing a sound that I've never seen on any instrument, at least on any commonly known instrument. This "reed" consists of two ...
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2answers
136 views

Pickups with Acoustic Instruments

I've been told when playing live not to mic an acoustic instrument because of the feedback you can get, and that using pickups would be a better way to amplify the sound of an acoustic instrument. So ...
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3answers
97 views

How do I curtail the reverberation in my church

My church sits about 2500, normally we had drapes on stage and behind stage to help absorb the sound but then the ceilings were not in place, I gave specifications to my boss to use perforated ...
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1answer
1k views

At what point in history did the relationship between pitch and frequency become well-known among musicians?

I think I've read that even very ancient cultures were able to discern that an octave difference corresponded to a pipe of twice the length, and so on. But at what point were musicians and composers ...
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6answers
4k views

Should low frequency players anticipate in orchestra?

"The bigger the instrument, the heavier the strings, the bigger the bow, the bigger the mouthpiece, the more you should anticipate." This concept is expressed occasionally by double bass players, ...
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3answers
1k views

Physical volume of instruments

I am aware that this might be a slightly unusual question, but just today I was wondering about the physical volume (meaning the capacity, NOT the loudness) of some musical instruments. In particular,...
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1answer
1k views

Harmonium (Indian accordion) Synth, Sound design

I wanted to design the harmonium sound in Logic Pro and I needed some help. If some of you have idea of how to make the sound, which might be according to me as follows. There would be a saw tooth ...
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1answer
155 views

What exactly is it that is so magical about rosin for a bow?

We all know that rosin is the main cause of friction on a string-instrument bow, but it also seems to have other properties. For example, when I have a good coat of rosin on my bow hairs, they tend ...
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1answer
103 views

Acoustics of woodwinds with centered mouthpieces/openings

Common woodwind instruments, as you know, are blown into from one of the two ends; the acoustic studies for air columns mainly center around these. But I am attempting to understand the acoustics of a ...
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1answer
251 views

does a 3-D printed plastic electric guitar, in comparison to a normal hardwood one, have more inferior tone, or other bad qualities?

I've started looking into 3-D designed musical instruments (yes that's apparently a thing now) and wanted to know if it's a good direction, if I want to customize my own electric guitar
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2answers
4k views

What is the unit for sound intensity?

I hear people say "decibel" for sound intensity, but a dB is just the ratio between two sound intensity levels, so it's really not a unit. So, if r and p represent the reference power level and ...
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5answers
347 views

A seriously difficult question about mistakes and intepretation of music

I just came up with a question that I've never seen asked or talked about. It maybe obvious to everyone else in the world but I realized I simply can't answer it except with the non-answer. This is ...
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1answer
1k views

Is a wind-string instrument (such as the one I will explain) acoustically possible?

I've always had this concept of an instrument, but I am wondering if such an instrument is even acoustically possible. The instrument is a tube, like most other woodwinds, but inside of the tube is a ...
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4answers
2k views

Is 440hz always perceived as the same note no matter the vibrating medium, athmosphere and environment?

When I produce a 440hz signal is it in all conditions (air-pressure, medium or compositon of the athmosphere, on a mountain, on alien planets etc.) perceived as the same note? Assuming a human can ...
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4answers
5k views

Will a marching band on the go sound out of tune to an observer due to the Doppler Effect?

Upon reading Simon Singh's Big Bang, I came upon an explanation of the Doppler Effect (besides the known Formula 1 and ambulance sirens examples): Trumpeters were split into two groups and asked to ...
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5answers
674 views

Are the inharmonic frequencies of an instrument in addition to or instead of the theoretical overtone frequencies?

I'm working on some computer code to detect musical notes and have just found out about in-harmonics (up until now I was under the impression that the overtones were always integer multiples of the ...
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2answers
473 views

Are some instruments more tonal than others? How do you measure tonality?

If I consider the range of musical instruments, one thing that seems to vary is tonality. For instance, a snare drum clearly doesn't produce a tonal sound whereas a piano does. How does one measure ...
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2answers
386 views

What contributes to the roughness of a sound?

I know this is a little subjective in regards to what roughness is. So, imagine the sound of a sine wave, you could say this is the purest, or cleanest sound there is. Now contrast that to a ...
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2answers
78 views

Note Accentuation (Dynamic) - When should/shouldn't you apply accentuation?

I am having some concern over whether it is appropriate or not to apply accentuation to every part of the song, apart from of course the drums, It's innately intuitive that these beats should be ...
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1answer
175 views

What properties of a material make it ideal for acoustic foam or paneling?

I want to make some acoustic foam/paneling substitute but I'm wondering makes foam paneling "good" or not? I know that if it's too dense or stiff then the sound won't "trap" and will just bounce right ...
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2answers
305 views

How can I visualise the effects of EQ as a curvature represented on a graph?

I have just started diving into the magic world of EQ. Basically, I can hear what the effects are, and see them via a freq-analyser, however, what i'd really like is a way I can represent any sound ...
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4answers
10k views

Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
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6answers
464 views

What does it mean to play a note for half a second?

This is my first serious look at the science side of music, as I am getting started with audio programming, and I am greeted by an awkward bouncer first up. I know that a note is simply a certain ...
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1answer
3k views

How does a pipe organist deal with latency or delay?

I've seen church setups (choir loft in back) where the organ console is 30 Meters or more away from the pipes. That implies that there would be a minimum of 100 milliseconds from pipe sounds back to ...
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3answers
1k views

How do I make drums sound satisfying in a room without soundproofing?

First of all, I am beginner drummer that joined a band that already goes live from time to time and has its own great author songs. So what's happened? These guys jam in a penthouse apartment, which ...
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4answers
2k views

What are the characteristics of a signal from a typical electric guitar?

A standard electric guitar utilizes passive induction pick-ups, which generate fluctuating voltage as the vibrating string moves in a magnetic field. This is high-school physics. Because it's passive, ...
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2answers
159 views

Vocal Resonance and the Acoustic Chamber

As a student of vocal singing, I've had trouble developing a full resonant sound, especially across my entire range. On accident I had my guitar hole placed near my head and I noticed in a particular ...
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2answers
5k views

What's the purpose of a sound post?

Almost all bowed string instruments have a sound post. It is said that this adds stability to the instrument and also "transmits vibrations to the bottom". Interestingly though, guitars do not have ...
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5answers
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In Pythagorean tuning, what's the frequency of the tonic of each key?

When playing a fretless instrument (like violin), what frequency should be used to tune beginning of each key? I believe that for A major and A minor, 440Hz is the tonic. What will be the frequency ...
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2answers
1k views

Why does palm muting give a higher output than a normally played power chord?

Assuming you have the same amount of (high) gain, and the same amount of distortion, a palm muted strum gives a higher output than when you hit the same chord with the same amount of energy, non muted....
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4answers
5k views

Why do certain rooms/vessels respond to specific frequencies?

Since I was a kid I was always wondering why is it that when I sing in a small room (i.e. bathroom!), whenever I touch a certain frequency, the whole room vibrates sympathetically. What are the ...
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3answers
558 views

What characteristics of a single-coil (Telecaster) sound to consider for simulation?

I am in the course of simulating a Telecaster guitar with supercollider, i.e. electronically. I started with the low E-String and results were satisfactory. Then I tried the high e-String and had ...