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38 votes
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Do different synthesizers have different timbres and/or produce different harmonics for the same given waveform?

They are not identical. The differences are suble, but often audible. Different implementations of both oscillators and specific waveforms will yield slightly different timbres. The rest of the signal ...
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21 votes
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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 ...
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18 votes
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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 ...
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17 votes

How to obtain a Clean yet Distorted guitar sound?

The sounds in the songs you've listed are actually pretty different to my ears, but I'll try to generalize and go through some examples. Here is the raw line for reference. This is a modified strat ...
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  • 293
16 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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16 votes
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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 ...
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14 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; ...
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13 votes

I'm tonedeaf. If I sing to my baby, will I damage his/her musical ear?

Unlikely, because unless your child has a genetic reason for being unable to distinguish pitches (which you apparently may, if what you say is true), he or she will soon learn to identify the ...
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  • 3,707
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 ...
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13 votes
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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 ...
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  • 4,727
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 ...
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  • 13.6k
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. ...
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12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 17.5k
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 ...
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12 votes
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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" ...
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  • 4,500
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 ...
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  • 173k
10 votes

I'm tonedeaf. If I sing to my baby, will I damage his/her musical ear?

You should pay attention to your singing. Tone-deafness is a result of a disconnection between what are you hear and what you produce. It is generally fixable through conscious attention. I work ...
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  • 985
10 votes

How to obtain a Clean yet Distorted guitar sound?

The dirt and grime that comes from distortion is a result of notes with frequency relationships beyond those that are very simple ratios (e.g. 2:1=an octave, and 3:2=a fifth) going through the ...
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10 votes
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Why does the recording of distortion guitar sound different than what I hear through the amp?

Always remember one thing: the sound that you hear depends on the device you are getting the output through. As you say, you like the sound through your amp but not from the software, this is because ...
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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 ...
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  • 173k
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 ...
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  • 11.9k
10 votes
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What is 22 equal temperament?

In the common 12-edo tuning, the octave is divided in 12 equally-spaced steps (hence equal divisions of the octave). What's meant my “equal” is that the frequency ratio between subsequent notes is ...
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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 ...
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9 votes
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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.
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9 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 754
9 votes
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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 ...
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8 votes

B flat minor - the key of death ... seriously?

Bb is the natural scale starter for brass combos, so Bb minor is a natural for funeral marches. Brass instruments are decidedly not equally tempered, so different minors have different characters. ...
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