Hot answers tagged

68 votes
Accepted

Why can't drums produce melody?

Instruments don't just produce one frequency at a time. When you play a single note on a melodic instruments (like piano, wind instruments, string instruments, etc.), you produce many different ...
user avatar
  • 11.1k
51 votes

Why can't drums produce melody?

The drums CAN play melodies, but the number of pitches and notes you have available are limited by the number of drums you have (not counting creative applications of "bending" the drum head to ...
user avatar
  • 2,568
47 votes

What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?

Wave is an uncompressed or lossless format, whereas MP3 is compressed or lossy. Technically .wav is just a container format and can hold various types of compressed or uncompressed audio, but ...
user avatar
  • 2,437
31 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between mono and stereo?

The difference is in the number of channels (signals) used. Mono uses one, stereo uses more than one. In monaural sound one single channel is used. It can be reproduced through several speakers, but ...
user avatar
  • 15.9k
30 votes

My guitar has no sound when the gain knob is turned off. Do all amps need need a little gain to be able to output sound?

Gain is the input level control, it decides how hard the input signal hits the preamp. Guitar amps often exploit the effect of hitting it HARD, overdriving it into distortion. Volume controls how ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Are sharp keys "bright" and flat keys "dark"?

It certainly holds some truth, irrespective of tuning system, in the following sense: modulating to a key with more sharps evokes a “bright” sensation; modulating to more flat evokes a &...
user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

How does Sitar produce sound while it doesn't have any sound holes?

The sound holes on stringed instruments are not there so that the sound can be heard. They are there to tune the resonances of the wooden bodies that amplify the sounds. It is true that there are ...
user avatar
  • 51.6k
23 votes
Accepted

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

This is a heavily-researched, and (sadly) highly inflammatory topic. There are some people who swear it takes 50 years for the varnish to reach a stable structure & stability; there are others ...
user avatar
22 votes

Why can't drums produce melody?

No-one's mentioned pans - aka steel drums They certainly are used to play melodies. The main problem is that melodies usually contain long and short duration notes, and drums generally can only ...
user avatar
  • 176k
22 votes

Do all periodic or "natural" sounds contain major chords?

No. A trivial counterexample for periodic sounds would be a sine wave, which has only one tone and therefore cannot contain a major chord. Now, many (most?) naturally created periodic sounds will ...
user avatar
  • 4,633
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 ...
user avatar
  • 17.6k
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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,404
15 votes
Accepted

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

You can try this for yourself. Sing a note, to any vowel sound (try them all) and whilst doing so, close your lips. Now you're humming that same note. Feel any difference? Probably not, because the ...
user avatar
  • 176k
15 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 508
14 votes
Accepted

What is the unit for sound intensity?

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 ...
user avatar
  • 51.6k
13 votes
Accepted

What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?

The executive summary of Charles' very detailed answer is: Use WAV for recording and editing. Use your audio editor's native file format with references to the WAV files to keep disk space under ...
user avatar
  • 542
13 votes

Are sharp keys "bright" and flat keys "dark"?

It may have made a subtle difference in the days before ET but since then, F# = Gb, for example, so how can two identical sounding keys portray different emotions, or indeed sound different? I'm ...
user avatar
  • 176k
13 votes

Why do two identical notes never cancel each other out?

I think the other answers underemphasize the number one factor why this doesn't happen in real life - phase. For this to happen, both waves need to arrive at your ear precisely in phase AND STAY THERE....
user avatar
  • 593
12 votes

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

Most musicians constantly fuss over how they sound. It is understandable, given the way we communicate using sound; we want our sound to be the best sound we can create. So, you are not alone here. ...
user avatar
  • 25.2k
12 votes
Accepted

How can I hear what a mathematical function sounds like?

As naught101 says, your particular case here is a sinusoidal wave with a quiet third harmonic. To hear what this sounds like at an audible frequency, go to http://meettechniek.info/additional/additive-...
user avatar
12 votes

Why can't drums produce melody?

In contrast to the question, the timpani are a drum set that can play melodies (although they are almost always given accompaniment parts only). Indeed, they are tuned to pitches (one pitch per drum) ...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
12 votes

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

As Tim suggested, here is some additional information. His answer, by the way, is (sorry in advance) pitch-perfect. While the fundamental pitch depends only on the vocal cords, the overtones and ...
user avatar
12 votes

What word describes the sound of an instrument based on the shape of the waveform of its sound?

It seems to me that the definition of timbre that uses "overtones" to describe qualitative differences between sounds of the same frequency and amplitude does not take into account the shape of the ...
user avatar
12 votes

Can you turn a recording upside-down?

Theoretically, this could be done by adapting the techniques used in a vocoder. A vocoder works by measuring the amplitude of different frequency bands in a modulator signal (e.g. vocals), and then ...
user avatar
12 votes

Horse hooves sound in the song background

In the old days, someone woud have two halves of a coconut shell, and tap them on a hard surface. As pointed out by Tetsujin, this was back in the day - 1957, so I suspect here, it's produced in that ...
user avatar
  • 176k
11 votes

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

This sounds similar-to (but more general than) the so-called Speech-to-Song effect, a musical illusion discovered and described by musical psychologist Dr. Diana Deutsch, whereby a repeated phrase of ...
user avatar
  • 20.3k
11 votes

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

While sound proofing can be very effective, sound can be very easily transmitted through air and solid like walls or floors. So in a condo you may be able to sound proof your walls to limit the ...
user avatar
  • 36.4k
11 votes

What makes some instruments louder than others?

Musical instruments are transducers, which means they change one kind of energy into another. All transducers have an efficiency, which means during the change of energy, some portion of the input ...
user avatar
  • 51.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible