Questions tagged [sound]

Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through some medium (like air or water), composed of frequencies which are within the range of hearing.

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49
votes
10answers
21k views

Why can't drums produce melody?

A note is a vibration at a certain frequency. A drum produces a tone with a certain pitch much like a string percussed with a mallet. Why is a drum unfit for playing a melody while a string inside a ...
32
votes
5answers
7k views

Why does violin sound differently after playing on it for some time?

I have heard from some of my friends that when you have "fresh" violin, they sound different(presumably, worse) than after playing on it for some time(e.g. half a year). Is this statement true? If so, ...
29
votes
2answers
63k views

How necessary is an USB Audio Interface?

I'm currently recording songs on my computer and the quality of my microphone is awful and the microphone is very quiet. That doesn't surprise me, because it's a 20$ karaoke microphone... I got into ...
24
votes
2answers
120k views

What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?

Being an electronic music producer, file format is something I have to consider at some point. I usually export my songs as .wavs and then convert them to .mp3s later (since they are smaller than ....
24
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I tell when music is live and not recorded?

I was walking past a bar the other day and heard music coming out. I could immediately tell that the music was live, being played in the bar at that moment. This is something I have often noticed, I ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Do sounds from different musical instrument merge together into one wave? [closed]

I am trying to understand what happens when two or multiple sound waves meet up or clash into one and another. An example: Lets say I play middle C on the piano and a C an octave higher on the guitar ...
19
votes
5answers
384k views

What is the difference between mono and stereo?

I've always wondered what the difference between the two is, and sometimes (games, movie players, etc), you are given a choice of mono or stereo sound. I toggle both but don't hear any difference. So,...
17
votes
6answers
24k views

Electronic drums in apartment

I'm a drummer and recently moved into an apartment with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I have a Roland TD-4. I've been researching for ways to be able to practice quietly without disturbing my ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

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: ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Musical systems with more than 12 notes

From what I remember of music theory, all music (at least Western music) boils down to scales that revolve around the 12 notes (circle of fourths/fifths). I know there are scales in different regions ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

How does the Risset Rhythm work?

Many people know about the Shepard-Risset Tone/Glissando, which is a tone that starts low and seems to continue ascending(or descending) when you listen to it, even though it actually is playing the ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

What exactly are complex sounds in terms of audio waves?

If you listen to a song through headphones you have a "right" sound wave and a "left" sound wave, correct? But these waves have a lot of complex sounds combined in them and a digital sound wave is ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Can you turn a recording upside-down?

If I had a recording of some music, I could play it backwards. This is pretty simple. If I had some music recorded, could I flip it around a note like in this image? If possible, how does that work?
10
votes
4answers
22k views

How Can I Replicate The Sound Of An Instrument?

I have experience of basic music theory, guitar and piano. My current project involves creating a computer program that can replicate the sounds of any given instrument (starting with piano). I can ...
10
votes
10answers
4k views

Sound-to-color synesthesia - a good and helpful thing?

In hearing about sound-to-color synesthesia, or rather Chromesthesia1, I have always been rather jealous, and wanted to experience this unexplainable phenomenon for myself. I have read up a little bit ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the pitch-producing mechanism for singing and humming the same or entirely different?

The sound-producing mechanisms in string instruments and the flute are entirely different. Are the pitch-producing mechanisms used while singing a song and humming a song (humming with closed lips and ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I hear what a mathematical function sounds like?

I'm working on differential equations homework right now, and I just came across a solution to a problem that has the form: I graphed the function with my computer and it has an interesting waveform ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Dissonant notes extremely panned - what is that I hear?

I was studying the musical theory and an idea came to me - what happens if I play dissonant chords at the same time, but one of them being panned to the extreme left and the other one - to the extreme ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the name of the phenomenon in which upon hearing same sound repeatedly, one begins to hear a rhythm?

When making non-music recordings, sometimes I listen to a three-second snippet repeatedly and after a few listens, I cannot help but hear a rhythm or a certain musicality. What's this phenomenon ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

Why do F#6 and higher notes ring more than F6 and lower notes?

I learned Overworld Theme 2 from Super Mario Bros. 3 a few years ago, which features the nice bright high notes of A6, G6, and F6: I noticed on my 80 year old upright piano that the A and G rang out ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Which has more overtones: vowels or consonants?

When comparing frequency patterns(e.g. using an FFTSCOPE) for spoken vowel sounds and that of consonants, some of us found vowel sounds to have more overtones(i.e., a larger number of peaks in the ...
9
votes
2answers
816 views

What are the differences between live and separate instrument recording in a studio?

I want to record a song, and I have no clue which is the better choice: Recording of each instrument/vocal separately (by several band members) or all together in one room, well separated, and do the ...
8
votes
10answers
17k views

Why do I feel like I sound really bad when I'm playing Guitar?

I'm going to try and articulate what I feel about myself when I play guitar, whether it be in front of people or by myself. I'm not sure if its a common thing for musicians to feel or if its just me. ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I practice clarinet quietly?

How can I practice clarinet more quietly? Is there a clarinet mute that works well? Particularly good ear plugs? I'd rather not either soundproof a room, or move to the basement / garage. What I don'...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Examples of acoustic instruments producing sounds very close to pure square, triangle or sawtooth waves

I've been able to find plenty of info about acoustic instruments that create sounds close to sine-waves, and I understand that sounds approximating square, triangle and sawtooth waves are produced by ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How do multiple sound waves interact physically to create music?

What happens on a physical level when many notes/sound waves interact with each other at the same time? (For example, a big chord on the piano with all of its harmonics/overtones clashing together.) ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Decay vs Sustain on synths

Could you explain to me the difference between "decay" and "sustain" on synths? I'm using the Korg Kronos 2 and the synth engines have both sustain and decay and they seem to be doing the same thing ...
6
votes
3answers
11k views

Does a trigger trombone sound the same as a traditional trombone?

I own a student trombone, and I am looking to purchase a professional one with a trigger. Does a trigger trombone produce the same sound as a non-triggered trombone of the same manufacturer?
6
votes
4answers
7k views

A bright sounding piano or a mellow sounding one?

When looking for a piano to buy, should I be taking note of the brightness of the sound of the piano? What kind of piano sound would I be looking for for romantic period music and arranged music? ...
6
votes
4answers
978 views

How to monitor a song with a low budget

I'm working a lot with home recording but the loudspeakers of my computer are a bit old, so I might get new ones. The problem I frequently had while recording was, that my speakers had a very full ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the purpose of phase invert?

On many sound cards and mixers there is a button "Phase invert". What is its purpose? When should we use it?
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What type of soundproof setup would I need to have band practice without bothering the neighbors?

I need to be able to play at loud volumes any time day or night. Is it necessary to have a house, or can I accomplish this in a condo or townhouse? If I need a stand alone house, how far must it be ...
5
votes
5answers
857 views

How do you check or correct the FOH sound engineer?

When you're on stage, how do you check the house sound when you have a sound engineer? All you can hear are the monitors.
5
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I get my flute to sound clean?

I'm a beginning flute player. When I play, I often- but not always- have a "shh" sound along with it. I noticed that it usually starts out pretty quiet when I start practicing, but after I play for ...
5
votes
2answers
799 views

How come you can hear individual notes but not overtones?

In my understanding, all sounds are technically made from a combination of sine waves together that form a timbre, and as such any sound can be represented as a combination of sine waves. Let's take ...
5
votes
7answers
12k views

How much to pay sound person? [closed]

My band plays events in small and large venues like a bar to a bike night outdoors. We pay for sound at large events which they bring sound equipment to setup and tear down. is paying 30% of our pay ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

At what rate does the volume (velocity) of a note decay?

Forgive me if this is more a physics question than a music question! My question is: When a note is struck on a piano and held down (or a tuning fork is struck, or any instrument where there is just a ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the math behind how keys/holes on woodwind instruments affect the pitch?

To make this question more specific, I'll provide an example of what I mean. Let's say you have an instrument that's just a tube you blow into, and it has one hole exactly halfway down the tube (I ...
5
votes
3answers
130 views

Are theremin's pitch hand positions unique?

I don't know much about theremins, and wondered about this: given a constant volume, I would like to know if I can produce the same note with different hand positions or if all notes have a specific/...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Headset balancing sound

I am trying to create a short song but everytime i plugin in my USB headset it is balancing sound so the guitars sound goes up and down in volume everytime the basdrum kicks in or snare, I am using ...
5
votes
2answers
630 views

Guitar audio interface matching tone of my old amp, and a problem

I just finally got a decent audio interface (M-Audio MTrack) and now I'm trying to figure out how to make nice sounds with the virtual amps in Logic, and Amplitube LE. I figure now I have creative ...
4
votes
13answers
33k views

Strange guitar warble sound

I have a Jackson Dinky DK2M with two Seymour Duncan Humbucker pickups and a floyd rose tremolo on it. It is producing a strange `warble' noise on G string, especially on higher frets like 12th, 15th, ...
4
votes
5answers
800 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How to get better sound through multi-effects processors

I wondering if sound quality is meant to reduce through multiple multieffects processors. I have a Boss GT10 as well as a Boss RC300 loop pedal running through some decent little 25 to 30 W bedroom ...
4
votes
3answers
146 views

Frequencies that interfere with human speech

I had this interesting question in mind, sometimes when you listen to loud music, there is no problem speaking to a person at an ordinary volume so that he can hear and understand you, but mostly when ...
4
votes
3answers
219 views

Do accidental notes have their own name?

So if I understand correctly in western tonal music we chose 12 lucky notes that we decided use tremendously more than the others, among which we have gloriously named 7 even luckier notes as follow : ...
4
votes
1answer
385 views

How to make “plastic” sounding distorted guitar sound

I usually don't go for that kind of sound because I usually want my distortion to sound balanced and even (like cutting highs a lot and cutting boxy low end) but I'm interested in how can you achieve ...
4
votes
4answers
868 views

Cause of G string on Ibanez JEM sounding dead?

My Ibanez JEM with floyd rose tremolo, this exact guitar: , has a problem with the G string. The open string sounds out more or less properly (though it tends to go 'harmonic', which seems like it's ...