Questions tagged [acoustics]

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

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13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does a clarinet behaves like a closed pipe?

Saxophones, oboes and generally generally most woodwind instruments I can think of behave like open pipes. That seems logical; when every key is closed, they actually are open pipes and, if I remember ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do people place speaker cabinets or combo amps on top of things?

In a lot of gigs I've played, I have noticed that they have placed the amplifier speaker cab (usually just the bass amp) on top of a chair or a stool or something, so as not to be on the ground. What ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Fret buzz present only at specific situations - how to explain?

I hear a strange fret buzz on my classical guitar, but only at a very specific situation. If I do both of the following, I hear the buzz: Hold 5th string at 8th fret (note F), but not play it Pluck ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Does a note/key/string struck on one piano cause the same note on another piano to resonate?

I need assistance please. Not possessing one (never mind two!) pianos myself, I wonder if someone could test this experiment for me? (Or has someone already noticed this phenomenon?) I am presently ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

Acoustic considerations for positioning an upright piano against the wall?

I know that upright pianos are usually positioned against the wall for aesthetic reasons, but I was wondering whether there are any sound quality considerations. Searching the web it seemed like some ...
4
votes
3answers
186 views

Can the “music of the spheres” be applied (or projected) to instrumental music?

I've read lots of books on Pythagoras and the philosophy of the Music of the Spheres, but it all seems to stop at labeling planets with scale degrees. And then what? If they're all there, filling up ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What factors affect the loudness of a drum?

Is it the size of the drum? The width? The length? Particular body materials? Particular head materials? Given that there are a hundred different kinds of drums in the world with very different ...
22
votes
7answers
85k views

How can I reduce the echo/reverb in a large room if I can't add physical damping?

I was at an event this evening in a restored ballroom - absolutely beautiful, but parquet flooring, high ceilings, solid walls etc all made for terrible acoustics, and in fact I could hardly make out ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

Music Theory: Frequencies related to playing a note on guitar

I am studying the physics related to playing guitar. I need to understand the relationship between the fundamental frequency of a guitar string and its harmonics. For e.g., the top string has the ...
5
votes
3answers
341 views

Trouble understanding loudness diagram

When looking at the Wikipedia article about "loudness", I'm presented with the following picture: From my understanding, this represents the threshold for how loud a certain sound has to be to be ...
4
votes
1answer
301 views

Is there an amp power formula?

I'm looking to buy a new amp for my keyboards, and I was wondering if there's a formula I can use to help me calculate some of the objective specs I should look for. Something along the lines of: I ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Flat-wound vs round-wound strings

What difference can you expect when playing with flat-wound vs round-wound strings on an electric bass/guitar? I know that they feel different - I am asking explicitly in terms of sound.
11
votes
2answers
1k views

brass: bending notes upwards

It is fairly easy - although it requires a bit of strength - to bend notes downwards on a trumpet. For example playing a F#, a F, or even lower notes with all valves open. It does not sound nice, but ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Do cold/hot drinks have any effect on woodwinds and brass performers?

Hey, I saw this question and I immediately remembered one or two teachers that kept saying that drinking cold/hot drinks before and/or during playing any woodwind or brass instrument was a bad thing, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Does environmental (or food/drink) temperature have an effect on the voice?

Does ambient temperature (i.e. winter vs summer) or food/drink temperature (i.e. cold vs hot) have an effect on voice: Texture Pitch/range Strength
8
votes
1answer
499 views

Why is (stiffness/speed of sound-travel of the wood) important for a bow?

High-end violin bows have been made for centuries out of permanbouc (a now rare and endangered brasilian wood) or equivalent woods and now synthetic material. Permambouc wood is praised for is ...
38
votes
2answers
13k views

Why are violin bows longer than viola bows, than cello bows, than double-bass bows ?

What is the logic behind this ? As the larger instruments have larger gaps between the strings, I would have expected a larger bow to accomodate more easily continuous bowing while changing strings.
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get a less directional sound from a loudspeaker?

Normally I play on stage with my pedalboard DI'ed straight in to the desk and use a stagefront wedge monitor for all my sound but some venues don't work like this. In these cases I use the standard ...
13
votes
4answers
178 views

What kind of ear protection offers the best compromise between protection and sound fidelity?

Useful when your drummer is loud. (that china still banging in your head after a session)
9
votes
3answers
13k views

What is meant by “Top-End” and “Bottom-End”?

When guitarists describe the sound of their guitars, a lot of terms are used. What does a guitarist mean when they talk about top and bottom end?