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Questions tagged [tone]

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

32
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6answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
817 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
2answers
1k 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
7answers
5k 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
4answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
18
votes
12answers
70k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
566 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
5answers
953 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
782 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# ...
10
votes
5answers
13k 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
2answers
215 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
4answers
397 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
485 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
2answers
925 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
3answers
509 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
8k 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
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
597 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
10answers
13k 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. ...
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
6answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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
1answer
211 views

Drum tuning/timbre?

How integral to the harmony of the music is the tuning/timbre of the drum-set? It must be more aesthetically pleasing, even on a subconscious level, to have the drums tuned somewhere in the vicinity ...
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
1k 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
2answers
167 views

Is it possible to start out on a nonharmonic tone then play its resolution?

For an example if I used an escape tone from F major to C major, using a B-flat note to G, once the chord changes from F major to C major. In all examples I've seen on non-harmonic tones it seems you ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
895 views

Does a SSS standard strat sounds the same than an HSS One with the 5-way switch on the 4th position?

Hi Guys 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, ...
5
votes
4answers
659 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
662 views

Bass Clarinet: Rubber vs Plastic Mouthpiece?

I play Bass Clarinet for a school band, and may have to buy my own mouthpiece. I'm wondering what the difference in tone quality is between a plastic and rubber mouthpiece, and if a rubber one is more ...
5
votes
2answers
408 views

Which way do I tilt the bow hair?

I've been playing the viola for quite a few years. Recently I got a 16.5" viola and noticed that it was harder not to get a scratchy tone, especially on the A string. I noticed that tilting the bow ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
13answers
28k 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
2k views

What's the difference between timbres built from sine and square waveforms?

Once again I've come across some ambiguous concepts,which I'm not sure if I've got their meanings right. It says that a sine wave has a pale timbre whereas,for example,timbres built from a square ...
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
2answers
3k views

How to make Electric guitar sound like a saxophone

I'm not talking about midi or synthesizers. I have a Digitech Rp 500 processor. I want to know what settings I must do to make my guitar sound (atleast in a rough way) like a sax.
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does the recording of distortion guitar sound different than what I hear through the amp?

I write music using Nuendo and by connecting my electric guitar to my tonelab LE pedalboard and then to my focusrite scarlet 2i2 audio interface. I feel that there is something that I am missing. I ...