Questions tagged [tone]

The characteristic quality of sound produced by an instrument or performer.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
36
votes
6answers
8k views

B flat minor - the key of death … seriously?

My music teacher always rambles on about B flat minor, endlessly repeating how it is the key of death and is therefore used in movies for death scenes. Alright, I understand that it is minor, no ...
28
votes
4answers
5k views

Do different synthesizers have different timbres and/or produce different harmonics for the same given waveform?

All basic synthesizers can produce the basic waveforms: sawtooth, square, triangle, and sometimes sine. Does each synthesizer "injects" its own character to the waveform? Are all sawtooths ...
24
votes
7answers
843 views

Is there any way for my to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing

When I'm playing my flute I sound fine, but when I listen to a recording I sound terrible. Is there any way for me to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing, I want to be ...
20
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the manner in which you release a tone on the piano affect its sound?

Watch how, for instance, Valentina Lisitsa releases her final chord of Chopin's Op. 9, no. 2 by pulling her hands up from the keyboard. Such a lift isn't reserved for slower music; this even happens ...
19
votes
12answers
87k views

How to obtain a Clean yet Distorted guitar sound?

I'm kind of a guitar effects noob so sorry if this is an extremely stupid question. How do you obtain a clean and distorted tone using pedals and amp? An example of the kind of sound I'm looking for ...
19
votes
7answers
9k views

Does capo quality make any difference?

I feel I was fooled by a music store. They made me buy a really expensive capo saying that it gives a better tone than normal cheap one. However, I recently bought a cheap wooden capo and I could not ...
19
votes
5answers
14k views

How do you play loud notes on the piano without slapping the keys?

How do you play loud notes on the piano without generating a harsh, slapping, or percussive sound? I read about pressing down from the surface of the keys rather than from above. And my piano teacher ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

I'm tonedeaf. If I sing to my baby, will I damage his/her musical ear?

I'm amusical - I cannot discriminate between higher and lower pitch even when there is a large difference between them. I want my child to develop musical abilities. I know that an out-of-tune piano ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there anything quantitative/qualitative about tone?

Warm, mellow, bright, loose, tight, fat, bright, rich, muddy, crunchy, bite, edge, smooth, full, rigid, dark, crisp, attack... I'm lead to believe that these types of descriptors are subjective, but ...
13
votes
6answers
633 views

What are some of the things that influence a player's “tone”?

Listen to Larry Carlton, Jeff Beck,Steve Morse, Grant Green, Freddie/BB/ King, Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, Dave Gregory ect.. - love'm or hate'm they all have very distinctive tones, Why? It's ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What does it mean to be tone-deaf musically and how does one improve?

I had a vocal session over the weekend and I couldn't get the sound right on the song I was supposed to present, it was "Nothing like Heaven" by Men of Standard. My instructor said I needed to ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

The skinny on neck constructions. Is it all about tone?

I recently went from a Peavy bolt-on classic bass to Warwick Thumb NT. The tone difference is completely out of this world, and comparatively, so was the price. I want to understand the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Effect of nickel cover on Telecaster bridge pickup?

Traditionally telecaster guitars have the neck pick-up covered in a nickel/chrome cover, and the bridge pickup left with exposed pole pieces. What is the origin/logic of the nickel cover? What ...
12
votes
2answers
8k 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
7answers
21k views

What factors contribute most to the tone of an electric guitar?

This question may appear slightly open ended, so I'm trying to word it as carefully as possible to keep it on track. Looking to change pickups in my basses lead me to looking at Seymour Duncan ...
11
votes
1answer
882 views

Why does closing a recorder bell raise the pitch sometimes and lower the pitch other times?

I have been playing recorder for two years now and have recently been using this chart, http://www.dolmetsch.com/efingeringchart.pdf for third octave soprano fingerings. Playing the D or the F# ...
11
votes
5answers
14k views

Do hollow body guitars really sound more “mellow?”

I think my next guitar is likely going to be a self-built Warmoth Thinline Telecaster. My question is for those of you who own or have played hollow body guitars a lot is this: do they really sound ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Why wasn't the actual “semitone” taken as the unit and therefore called “a tone”?

A more practical formulation of the question is "Why do we count by tones, instead of semitones?", but its meaning could be misinterpreted; the target of the question is actually on the concept of "1 ...
10
votes
2answers
270 views

Are all pure tones that are separated by intervals of greater than a minor third equally consonant?

In this Quora answer Why do certain musical notes sound good together? the answerer claims it is important to distinguish between pure tones, that is, simple sine waves, and real tones, such as ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the exponential curve that shows up in the orchestra not overwhelm anything?

So, I've noticed these ratios of range in the modern orchestra, which is primarily strings: Soprano:Alto - Factor of 4 or 5 more soprano than alto Tenor:Bass - About twice as much tenor as bass Alto:...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to generate the tone of a specific waveform?

Most synthesizers can generate the common standard types of waveforms, such as sine, triangle, square, sawtooth, pulse, noise, etc. And these can be used to create various types of timbre in a ...
9
votes
3answers
726 views

Harmonic implications of an instrument's timbre

Is there a study of harmonic implications of an instrument's timbre in western music theory? For example: If i use an instrument with a "rich" timbre, with lots of overtones, then isn't the sound ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How can you distinguish instruments by their timbre characteristics?

What I am trying to achieve is to distinguish instruments by their timbre. What I have read so far made me think that different instruments have different number of overtones. Is it possible to ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do thicker guitar picks result in a darker tone color?

I recently had a vendor send me extra-heavy picks rather than heavy picks. I like the sound so I think I'll keep them but each note picked with the heavier picks definitely has a darker timbre (tone ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Math formulae for organs?

I already know that an organ can be synthesized by using sine waves at specific frequencies. But if you generate sine waves like that, the timbre of the note is very very plain (it sounds just like a ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
11k views

Emulating the tone of a Rickenbacker

I am wondering whether anyone has any knowledge about getting the sound of a Rickenbacker… without actually owning one. Specifically on a Telecaster. I know that the two are completely different ...
7
votes
10answers
21k 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. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the reasoning behind discouraging the use of the pinky finger by some schools of finger-style guitar?

We've had related discussions twice: Fingers to use while playing finger-style guitar Fingerpicking with my pinky finger The general consensus seems to be that any technique is fine as long as it's ...
7
votes
3answers
317 views

How does guitar tone control work?

I'm investigating how tone potentiometer works on my guitar. It's 500k tone pot with 22nF capacitor and passive humbucker pickups. As described in this answer, I expected tone control to act as low-...
7
votes
1answer
689 views

How do different strings (of the same gauge) affect the tone?

Something I've been wondering quite long, but never had the time to really try it out myself: Let's say I buy two sets of strings, both with the same gauge, a cheap one and an expensive one. What are ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Electronic device that introduces harmonic overtones

I play electric guitar but love the sound of violin. I have read articles where violins have been placed under spectral analysis and show rich overtones of harmonics. Is there any device I can use to ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Transposing the human voice

I've been playing around with the pitch changer in Audacity. I noticed that when I change the key on instrumental music, while it may sound off, the timbre is mostly the same. In fact, it only sounds ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Does an SSS standard Strat. sound the same as an HSS one with the 5-way switch on the 4th position?

I was about to buy a Strat. but I'm not sure about choosing the SSS, or the HSS model, let me explain a little bit more the situation. I had 2 Strats., both of them SSS, one was a Squier Bullet, the ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

what kind of equalization is done for different music genres for your guitar tone?

I have articles which say that if you are into classic rock and metal then you should have more of MIDS etc can some one please provide information that for different kind of genres what kind of EQ is ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How does the angle of strings above the headstock affect tone and stability?

The situation: I'm about to widen the slots in a new nut for a 12-string guitar. I'm using .015 strings (up from .011 or so), and tuning the guitar down significantly; my test-run with .014 strings ...
6
votes
2answers
218 views

Why are tortoise-shell picks prized?

As a mandolin player, I have discovered that the type of pick (plectrum) one uses makes a noticeable difference to the sound. I personally prefer thick (1mm) plastic picks, like Golden Gate, to get a ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a general explanation for why my timbre varies when I choose to sing at different ranges?

I'm a woman who has generally fit more into the alto range, and I haven't sung formally for more than five years. For the past few years, I've noticed that I've generally found it more comfortable to ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to distinguish light vs dark tone?

I have been playing the flute for 2 years and I can't get my head around the concept of tone colors. I'm learning with Trevor Why books, which describe 3 beginner exercises with which to practice 2 ...
5
votes
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 (...
5
votes
6answers
4k 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
3k views

Do veneered tops on electric guitars really matter?

Flamed, figured wood, or quilted maple AAA top, etc, do they do anything for the sound on an electric guitar, or are they simply an expensive aesthetic feature?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Getting good tone on piano with guitar calloused fingertips

I am playing the piano and I have started to learn guitar. I had asked a similar question asked from the guitar perspective on this site. Do calloused fingertips (due to playing guitar fretboard ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Ukulele tone factors

"Tone is in the fingers." ~lots of people Obviously not all of tone is based on technique, but right now I'm asking about the part of the tone that is based on technique, particularly for ukulele. I ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How can a novice singer develop their tone?

Let's say someone can sing in tune and doesn't have any bad sounds to their voice - but their tone is simply not that nice/interesting. How can they work on their tone to develop it... what actually ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Unable to sing, but not tone deaf

I have always assumed I am tone deaf because I have no memory for music. Although I can harmonize, or sing a long with a song or others, I cannot reproduce it if I am not hearing it currently or ...