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The answer is No Empty egg cartons have lots of problems when it comes to being used as acoustic treatment. They are a fire hazard! - This should be enough right here. They only do anything to fairly high frequencies - they don't have the mass, size, or stiffness to affect mids or lows very much, if at all. They don't do anything very good to high ...


26

Noise cancellation never works on scales larger than the sound's wavelength, so it's only useful for headphones. Modifying the hall physically is the only real solution to this problem. Short of that, the first thing to try is indeed to bring the sound as directly to the audience as possible, by using a suitable PA arrangement. Big, single speakers located ...


25

On some types of whistle if you blow really hard you can get the second harmonic, sounding one octave higher than the fundamental. A recorder is essentially a whistle with the length of the resonating chamber controlled by the fingers, and you can very easily overblow an octave. Brass instruments more easily play their overtones because you're in direct ...


25

alephzero's answer is pretty spot on, but from reading your question I think you are buying the wrong kind of product. In my read, you asked to help quiet the piano for your neighbor. Which was done. You may have even inadvertently asked for the best sound reduction X amount of money can buy. It does sound like you asked for the best options that doesn't ...


23

Excellent find! Trumpet, as well as the acoustically similar trombone, are very peculiar instruments when it comes to physics. They are cylindrical tubes closed at one end, so they should have a fundamental wavelength that's 4x the length of the tube, and then only generate odd overtones. Look at clarinet for an instrument that actually obeys this1. But ...


22

I don't have an answer for you with measurements in milliseconds, etc., but as a tuba player I can give you my experiences. I'm not consciously thinking of anticipating anything in order to get my sound out because my instrument is bigger. Instead, the training I've received over time just naturally tells me what I need to do in order for my sound to come ...


21

The pitch difference will be very slight, so some very good ears might notice, but it's likely that many of the instruments will be slightly out of tune to a greater degree than the doppler effect caused at marching speed. Based on the fomula from the Wikipedia page, and assuming a marching musician moves about .5 meters per second away from the listener, ...


21

He's just showing off. There's a few major reasons why what he describes doesn't matter. First and foremost, sheet music is a guide. It's not actually the music. You are always expected to put your own experience into the notes before they get called music. Thus, you would never want to play an exact transcription of the black toner on the page. It ...


19

Because of dynamics called room modes. Room modes are the collection of resonances that exist in a room when the room is excited by an acoustic source such as a loudspeaker. (...) each frequency being related to one or more of the room's dimension's or a divisor thereof. To keep things simple, we will assume the room has 6 parallel walls (right prism or ...


19

I'll give this another spin: Can music time signatures really be rational? Which I'd answer: no, not really. Rationality is a mathematical concept, depending on an exact, axiomatic notion of numbers. Now, sure, any ordinary piece of music will use a rational signature given by integer numbers on paper, or in the DAW you use. Time is conceptually divided ...


18

The answer lies in the realm of Psychoacoustics and/or Music Psychology. I studied a little of this in Audio Engineering, and from what I remember it has to do with how our primary auditory cortex in the brain processes vibration pulses that we hear as a tone. Lower tones are given more "weight" than higher frequencies, especially when determining what ...


17

The perception of a pitch is due to the frequency of vibration of the hairs in the cochlea (the spiral-shaped organ in the inner ear), which is, in turn, driven by the vibration of the eardrum. Anything that drives the eardrum at a given frequency, say 440 Hz, will be perceived as the same pitch, regardless of medium. What the medium does affect, however, ...


17

If you have access to a good academic library, then the following article appears to be on point regarding the Western tradition: S. Dostrovsky, Early Vibration Theory: Physics and Music in the Seventeenth Century. Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Vol. 14, No. 3 (5.XII.1975), pp. 169–218. Here are a few pertinent pasages; I have bolded the TL;DR ...


16

It's because of the pseudo-compression that using distortion effect gives. The same will be true if you use a clean channel with a compressor, or if your amp has a natural compressing effect, as many do. What's happening is... You play a chord normally: You get quite nice mid-range strum of the strings, nothing surprising there. You play a palm muted ...


16

Yes; if you move each pitch by the right interval, you can move from C major to C♯ major, then D major, etc. But there is one main caveat to this: assuming you move each pitch by the same interval, this only works in an equal-tempered tuning system (see edit below). Within equal temperament, each half step is precisely 100 cents and each whole step is ...


15

The crucial difference in this regard, between guitars and bowed strings, is in which direction the strings vibrate. A bow causes vibration in the plane you're moving (it moves the string by friction: the string sticks on the rosin and is "dragged along" some way; perpendicular vibrations are strongly damped by the bow-hair). Because you can't vary the ...


15

Your suspicion that this is a learned skill is correct -- and this even applies when performing as a soloist! The organist must learn to disregard the timing information coming to their ears, and execute playing technique all relative to what their internalized musical image (and fingers and feet) are telling them. Also consider that (especially with ...


15

In many respects technological progress in music has been less about the very best sounding better than about it becoming more and more feasible to produce "good" sounds at lower and lower cost. In terms of equipment, keep in mind that Stradivarius violins (et al.) were constructed at about that time, so it was possible for people to construct instruments ...


15

In a 12-tone, equal tempered scale, we want our frequency to double (become an octave higher) every 12 semitones, and we want our semitones to be evenly-spaced. As each fret represents a semitone, and the fundamental frequency of oscillation of an ideal string is proportionate to the reciprocal of its length, this means that every fret should be a factor ...


15

Your uncle may be a composer, but he clearly is not very knowledgeable about music technology, recording and acoustics. The misunderstanding comes from so-called "eggbox foam" panels like these. They are designed to eliminate higher-frequency reflections in a room, as part of making the space more acoustically "dead". The foam absorbs the air pressure ...


15

Yes, but not directly - instead, we perceive the different amounts of energy in different harmonics. :) To illustrate the differences, here are some graphed waveforms, and here's a YouTube video which demonstrates some basic waveforms. A square wave only has odd harmonics (the base frequency, 3x the base frequency, 5x, 7x, etc.) and that gives it a ...


14

Saxophones and oboes are conical, and behave like closed conical pipes. They are closed at the reed, just like the clarinet. Flutes are cylindrical, and behave like open cylindrical pipes. The sound is made by blowing across the opening at the head joint, and it is not closed like in other woodwinds. Clarinets are cylindrical like the flute, but closed ...


14

It is so the speaker is pointed more towards your head than your feet and so you can hear yourself better. If a small combo-amp is on the ground, the sound has to bounce quite a bit to actually get to your ears and if you are at a band practice or a gig it may mean bandmates can hear you better than you can hear yourself. If your speaker is pointed at your ...


14

First of all, when using or abbreviating a unit named after a person (in this case, Alexander Graham Bell), it is customary to capitalize the abbreviation, so the most respectful way to write the common measurement of the ratio between to values is dB. Capitalization is not used when the unit is spelled out with a scale prefix ("deci-", in this case), but ...


14

It's not as much as a "perfectly synchronized start". Low instruments have a slow attack both physically as well as taking longer to register in hearing. At the same time, they are providing the fundamental anchors for the harmony. If they swing into full attack way later than the higher-pitched instruments, the context for the higher-pitched instruments ...


14

There are numerous groups such as The Academy of Ancient Music who perform baroque music using instruments constructed in the same way as baroque instruments (or in a few cases with genuine baroque instruments!). If you want to find out how it would have sounded, buy their music! As far as the quality of musicians goes, there are many factors against your ...


13

The reason that you can get multiple notes from a bugle is that you can vary your embouchure. If you tighten your mouth, and blow harder, you'll get a higher note because your lips move faster. The bugle is essentially an amplifier of the sound that you make with your lips. It can only amplify frequencies that it resonates to, which is why the bugle has a ...


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