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25 votes
Accepted

What is the reason a given note can have different "sounds"

Simple answer - overtones or harmonics. Each sound producing machine (instrument) has the propensity to produce not only the fundamental (first harmonic), but others too. The mix of whichever these ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
21 votes
Accepted

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

There's a little bit of key noise and the rate of damper drop and any resulting damper noises are affected by release. At the highest levels of performance and tone, these noises are important even if ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
21 votes

What is the reason a given note can have different "sounds"

There's more to an instrument's waveform than the over-riding 'perceived pitch' frequency. There's lots of other frequencies mixed in there. And apart from the sustain portion of a musical note (...
Laurence's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

Is it accurate to say synths have timbre?

Certainly, electronic instruments have timbre. Every audible sound does! The aspects of timbre that are measurable and quantifiable can be measured and quantified for all sounds. One of the most ...
Нет войне's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Does capo quality make any difference?

Capo quality matters, but not for tone. A better capo may give you more even tension on the strings, it may be more convenient to use, or maybe it's made of more durable materials or components that ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
16 votes

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

This is a terrific, and very important, question! Have you ever heard a recording of yourself speaking? Did it come across as odd to you? Did you ever think "that's not how I sound!"? The same is ...
Richard's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

Guitar - How to switch from clean to hi-gain

Around time stamp 0:46 he steps on a gain/distortion/fuzz pedal with his left foot. Watch his leg under his fretting hand. Then he plays single notes in the neck pickup with a higher gain sound than ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
16 votes

Do pianos have a generally recognized "bass register"?

No, there’s no generally recognized split point — by manufacturers or musicians. Early pianos, up until at mid 1800s at least, had three very distinct registers, each with starkly different timbres. ...
Aaron's user avatar
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15 votes

Guitar - How to switch from clean to hi-gain

You can get (mostly) clean tones from a high-gain amp setting if you go into the amp with a very low-amplitude signal. To put it simply, the amp has a maximum signal level that it can handle cleanly; ...
Richard Metzler's user avatar
13 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 ...
Нет войне's user avatar
13 votes

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

It is mainly because increasing the number of instruments in a section does not actually make the section much louder, mostly it just makes it sound “denser”. Any doubling of the number of unisono ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How important is brand name and type of string to the overall sound of a guitar?

Brand doesn't matter at all, in my opinion. Most of the big names do make their own strings (contrary to some rumors you'll hear on the internet) but they're all using the same processes, similar or ...
Tom Serb's user avatar
  • 4,817
13 votes

Is it accurate to say synths have timbre?

Is it accurate to say synths have timbre? Yes. an identical note played on piano versus a cello can epitomize timbre whereby the material and playing method of the instruments can be heard to be ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 23k
13 votes

Can smoking allow a singer to sing in a way a non smoker couldn't?

Late edit: Paul McCartney smokes. At 80, & after his gig at Glastonbury this year, where he's still doing everything in the original key, that rather lends more weight to my argument that smoking ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
13 votes

Can smoking allow a singer to sing in a way a non smoker couldn't?

Smoking affects singing in indirect ways negatively. Smoking reduces the lungs capabilites and CO will reduce the bloods abilities to bind oxygen, which most likely means that smoking will reduce the ...
Lazy's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

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

Thicker picks (tend to) remain in contact with the string longer. The impulse provided to the string is of longer duration. A longer duration pulse imparts more lower frequency and less higher ...
Dave's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

Pan flute using straws : all notes measurements?

These measurements aren't totally accurate, as they've rounded to the nearest half inch to make it look nice. It also looks like you've built a "transposing" pan flute- your "C" ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,562
12 votes

Do pianos have a generally recognized "bass register"?

One element of answer might be the number of strings behind the different keys. Pianos have generally one heavy string per key in the low register, two per key in the middle, and three thin strings ...
Nicolas Sénave's user avatar
12 votes

What is heard when a tuning fork is struck?

Although tuning forks produce very pure tones compared to other instruments, they do not produce actual pure tones. One reason that you can hear the overtones easily, despite how quiet they are, ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,562
11 votes

Does capo quality make any difference?

There are many different styles and types of capo, all with the same end product in mind. However, they do differ a lot. Some are dead straight, to work with flat fingerboards. Others have a radius ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
10 votes

Does leaving the excess string uncut, affect the guitar's tone?

No difference. The strings vibrate from where they're fretted, or the nut when open, to the saddles on the bridge. If they had a centimetre or a metre hanging off - no difference, apart from getting ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
10 votes

Can you change some composition I wrote to whatever music you want just by changing the timbre of the instruments?

Destructive interference would effect what you hear, but that doesn't change the composition. You could do other things to make a performance or playback inaudible, like move very far away or put a ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
10 votes

Where did the term 'Tone' originate?

The relevant part of the etymology of tone is: from Greek tonos "vocal pitch, raising of voice, accent, key in music," originally "a stretching, tightening, taut string," related ...
Athanasius's user avatar
  • 12.6k
9 votes

How to generate the tone of a specific waveform?

The zero-skills option is to just freehand-draw the waveform in a dumb GUI editor, even Audacity will do then copy&paste it a couple of times and play that in a loop. This isn't really ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Clarinet A/B trill with fuller sound

You are correct that the side-key trill is not a very good sound. There is really no way to produce a better trill for that one combo of notes. We all live with it.
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
9 votes

How to achieve a wet snare drum sound?

As suggested in the comments, this is far more down to how the snare is being recorded than any particular properties of the drum itself. The 'attack' of the snare hit is broader and less focussed ...
Judy N.'s user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

How does an electric guitar waveform differ from a pure tone?

I know that instruments exhibit an overtone series Yes - but even talking about 'the overtone series' of an instrument is a big simplification. In reality, each of the overtones might be considered ...
Нет войне's user avatar
9 votes

How does an electric guitar waveform differ from a pure tone?

I'd like to start with a note that if I knew a good answer to this question, I would be spending my time earning money on selling guitar emulation virtual instruments, rather than sharing the ...
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.8k
9 votes

Can smoking allow a singer to sing in a way a non smoker couldn't?

I don't think anyone would argue against the fact that smoking can change the voice. And that the change could sometimes be artistically attractive. And I don't think anyone would argue against the ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.5k

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