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53 votes
Accepted

Can eggboxes really be used to treat a room? If so, how?

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 ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
34 votes
Accepted

When we press a piano key, why does a high pitch note not run for as long as a low pitch note?

That's true not only for pianos, but for every instrument where a string is plucked, and the reason is basic physics. When you hammer a string with a piano key, or pick it with your finger, or with a ...
MMazzon's user avatar
  • 6,339
30 votes
Accepted

Why do two identical notes never cancel each other out?

If you play two sine waves of constant amplitude at the same frequency, then the result will be another sine wave. If your two sine waves are in phase, then you have a louder sinewave. if your two ...
Нет войне's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Is there a broader term for instruments, like the gong, whose volume briefly increases after being sounded instead of immediately decaying?

That's weird... apparently there's no English term for this exact phenomenon, but there is one in German: Einschwingvorgang (pronounced eyn-shving-fore-gung). Wikipedia wants to have it translated ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
27 votes

Does piano soundproofing require floating walls? Getting conflicting answers from professionals

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....
coteyr's user avatar
  • 1,436
26 votes
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Trumpet Peculiar Frequency spectrum

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 ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
22 votes

Should low frequency players anticipate in orchestra?

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 ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k
21 votes

Can music time signatures really be irrational?

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 ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 1,723
20 votes

Is the ear really phase insensitive?

You don't notice the phase of a particular note that arrives in one ear. But the brain can detect phase differences between your ears. That's the main mehod your brain uses to work out which ...
Simon B's user avatar
  • 1,911
20 votes

Why don't two Boomwhackers with a one-octave pitch difference have a 2:1 length ratio?

Elementary acoustical theory is based on the 'ideal string' with zero mass and no stiffness and the 'ideal tube' with zero diameter. Real strings and tubes behave slightly differently. The discrepancy ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.3k
20 votes

Does the audio an instrument emits above 20 KHz affect how the instrument sounds?

As far as I know up to this point there is exactly 0 scientific indication that any human will perceive music differently due to ultrasonic sound content, no matter what turntable producers want to ...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 20.9k
20 votes
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How does pitch bending work on keyboard percussion

For those who are really curious and not afraid of math, there is a full research article about the subject. The short summary is that pitch bending by pressing a flexible mallet against the bar works ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 3,270
19 votes
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Why do listeners hear the lowest note of a chord most distinctly?

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 ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
19 votes
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Can music time signatures really be irrational?

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 ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

At what point in history did the relationship between pitch and frequency become well-known among musicians?

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 ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Bridge intonation patterns on stringed instruments

I'm actually planning to make a YouTube video about intonation to delve into this phenomenon. The short answer is that is depends upon the cross-sectional area of the tension-bearing part of the ...
Jemenake's user avatar
  • 346
18 votes

Does natural amplification TRULY exist in acoustics or does it have to be turned into an electrical signal first?

Previous answers have already elaborated how mechanical means can improve the efficiency of sound transfer from source to ears (or transfer from vibration to sound). From deflectors, to horns to sound ...
Kris Van Bael's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Bass guitar: Fret distance formula

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, ...
Нет войне's user avatar
16 votes

Why are end-blown flutes shorter than their ideal length?

The vibrating air column in the bore extends past the openings of the tube. Any calculation of the pitch needs to take this into account and add end corrections for both ends of the flute. There's one ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Studio monitors: Should we break them in and why?

The only measurements of speaker parameters made before and after alleged break-in periods I could find online support the notion that break-in is almost entirely a myth. The essence is that any ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
15 votes

How did baroque music sound at the time?

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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 17.8k
15 votes
Accepted

How did baroque music sound at the time?

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 ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,782
15 votes

Can eggboxes really be used to treat a room? If so, how?

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. ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,782
15 votes
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Does shape of waveform affect sonic perception?

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 ...
cloudfeet's user avatar
  • 518
15 votes
Accepted

Why is the 5th stronger than the 1st in guitar spectrum?

This answer can hopefully be useful as an additional perspective on top of the existing ones. Note that the spectrograph is a plot of (the log of) power output vs frequency (power being energy per ...
Kai's user avatar
  • 273
15 votes

Is the ear really phase insensitive?

I used to be a sensory neuroscientist, and I teach systems physiology. The ear is phase sensitive at low frequency, which is why inter aural time delay is the dominant mode of horizontal auditory ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar

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