#1
I think an A is 440hz right, and then a B is double that, and C double that? Why can't there be a note that's 480hz, or 300, or 485? And how come when you go up an octave it's the same note, when you've just changed teh frequency a massive amount? Also, how can you play the same note but have a different tone, dont soundwaves just change the volume and the pitch? lol maybe im a bit nerd for UG
#3
Fail. Also there's no reason why there can't be a tone that's not a note (just get one of these babies). It's just "notes" have been assigned to different frequencies, like colours. Soundwaves with different lengths change the pitch, soundwaves with different widths change the volume, and differently shaped soundwaves change the timbre (you can imitate practically any instrument with a load of sine waves actually, it's just a pain to program ).

Seriously dude this is pretty basic physics. Don't even think of going into sound design without reading up some more.
#4
Quote by tom1thomas1
I think an A is 440hz right, and then a B is double that, and C double that?
Nope
Why can't there be a note that's 480hz, or 300, or 485?
There are although they are not described by western musical theory
And how come when you go up an octave it's the same note, when you've just changed teh frequency a massive amount?
To go up an octave you double the frequency of the note. A4 is 440hz, A5 is 880hz and so on
Also, how can you play the same note but have a different tone, dont soundwaves just change the volume and the pitch?
Tone is affected by a number of things including attack, decay, sustain, release. I think Harmonic overtones play a part as well
lol maybe im a bit nerd for UG
Nope

GCSE triple science FTMFW!
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#5
^^ Tone or timbre if you'd like, is dependent on overtones.

It's why a C note on the piano or on a guitar sound totalyl different.

It's all in the overtones.

decay, attack etc. is the dynamics part.

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#6
Quote by xxdarrenxx
^^ Tone or timbre if you'd like, is dependent on overtones.

It's why a C note on the piano or on a guitar sound totalyl different.

It's all in the overtones.

decay, attack etc. is the dynamics part.
ADSR(attack, decay, sustain, release) envelope anyone?

From the wikipedia article on ADSR
Quote by wikipedia
A synthesizer's ADSR envelope is a way to tailor the timbre for the synth, sometimes to make it sound more like a mechanical instrument. A quick attack with little decay helps it sound more like an organ; a longer decay and zero sustain makes it sound more like a guitar. While envelopes are most often applied to volume, they are also commonly used to control other sound elements, such as filter frequencies or oscillator pitches.


Attack, decay, sustain and release all play a part in timbre
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Last edited by Nietsche at Jul 9, 2009,
#7
Quote by Nietsche
Attack, decay, sustain and release all play a part in timbre

Of course, only synthesizers use true ADSR. Real instruments are much more complicated than that. Don't forget AR on drums too.
#8
Quote by Nietsche
ADSR(attack, decay, sustain, release) envelope anyone?

From the wikipedia article on ADSR


Attack, decay, sustain and release all play a part in timbre



Yes, but the quality of the note is changed, and not the actual tone of it.

Whether I play a C note on guitar with long sustain or not, or strong attack or fade in, you will still hear that it's the sound of a guitar.

The actual sound does not change on a characteristic level.

Not in a million years will you change the guitar tone to a piano or harp or w/e tone with ADSR.

Maybe an inflection (like the organ), but not the actual sound.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 9, 2009,
#9
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Yes, but the quality of the note is changed, and not the actual tone of it.

Whether I play a C note on guitar with long sustain or not, or strong attack or fade in, you will still hear that it's the sound of a guitar.
That is because of the way the guitar is built to favour certain tonal characteristics. Whatever you do to the sound short of plugging the thing into about a thousand effects pedals it will still sound like a guitar because of the way it is built. It doesn't mean that attack decay etc don't effect the tone. Just that your options on traditional instruments are limited.

If you read the whole of that quote you'll see that it is common to manipulate the ADSR to create the sounds of certain instruments that favour certain tonal qualities because of the way they are built.

All you have to do to see the effect of these things is to play the guitar first with a pick and then fingerstyle and note how the tone changes. Of course it still sounds like a guitar because of the way the guitar is built. But you have still changed the tone of the sound however slightly
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Last edited by Nietsche at Jul 9, 2009,
#10
Quote by Nietsche
That is because of the way the guitar is built to favour certain tonal characteristics. Whatever you do to the sound short of plugging the thing into about a thousand effects pedals it will still sound like a guitar because of the way it is built. It doesn't mean that attack decay etc don't effect the tone. Just that your options on traditional instruments are limited.

If you read the whole of that quote you'll see that it is common to manipulate the ADSR to create the sounds of certain instruments that favour certain tonal qualities because of the way they are built.



Yes, the dynamic inflection of other instruments.

slow attack to mimic the fade-in like sound of a violin and stuff like that.

You only mimic other instruments on a superficial level (inflection).

Everyone subconsciously agrees to this, or else synths replaced all instruments a long time ago.

EDIT;

All you have to do to see the effect of these things is to play the guitar first with a pick and then fingerstyle and note how the tone changes. Of course it still sounds like a guitar because of the way the guitar is built. But you have still changed the tone of the sound however slightly


True, but you said what I mean.

It still sounds like a guitar.

Thus the sound doesn't really change.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 9, 2009,
#11
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Yes, but the quality of the note is changed, and not the actual tone of it.

Whether I play a C note on guitar with long sustain or not, or strong attack or fade in, you will still hear that it's the sound of a guitar.

The actual sound does not change on a characteristic level.

Not in a million years will you change the guitar tone to a piano or harp or w/e tone with ADSR.

I think he was saying that ADSR also comes into it, it's not just tone and pitch.
#12
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Yes, the dynamic inflection of other instruments.

slow attack to mimic the fade-in like sound of a violin and stuff like that.

You only mimic other instruments on a superficial level (inflection).

Everyone subconsciously agrees to this, or else synths replaced all instruments a long time ago.

Actually additive synthesis like I explained in my first post can imitate anything. Only problem is noone wants to bother programming them but sample-and-synthesis is being used in studios across the world to good effect.
#13
Quote by Union Of V
Actually additive synthesis like I explained in my first post can imitate anything. Only problem is noone wants to bother programming them but sample-and-synthesis is being used in studios across the world to good effect.



I know that, but that's not ADSR

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#14
I think we need to get a working definition of timbre going before we continue this discussion
Quote by Wikipedia
The American Standards Association defines timbre as "[...] that attribute of sensation in terms of which a listener can judge that two sounds having the same loudness and pitch are dissimilar".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbre#American_Standards_Association_definition
Quote by Hyperphysics
Sounds may be generally characterized by pitch, loudness, and quality. Sound "quality" or "timbre" describes those characteristics of sound which allow the ear to distinguish sounds which have the same pitch and loudness
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/sound/timbre.html
Quote by The Free Online Dictionary
The combination of qualities of a sound that distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/timbre

I'd say those definitions sound about right. So to sum up timbre is that which allows us to distuinguish between two instruments playing the same note at the same volume. It is what allows us to distuinguish between say a saxopone playing A4 and a piano playing A4. Or even to distuingish between for example an A4 played by Dizzie Gillespie and an A4 played by Miles Davis because of course people will naturally play the instrument in subtly different ways which affect the timbre of the sound produced.
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Yes, the dynamic inflection of other instruments.

slow attack to mimic the fade-in like sound of a violin and stuff like that.

You only mimic other instruments on a superficial level (inflection).

Everyone subconsciously agrees to this, or else synths replaced all instruments a long time ago.
Two things -
1) The definition of dynamics from wikipedia -
Quote by Wikipedia
In music, dynamics normally refers to the volume of a sound or note,
This first part is irrelevant to discussions of timbre since of course timbre is about differences that don't fall under volume or frequency of the notes
Quote by Wikipedia
but can also refer to every aspect of the execution of a given piece, either stylistic (staccato, legato etc.)
I think this is what you where talking about when you said 'dynamic inflections' and the thing is that all of these things because they help to distuinguish between sounds of equal volume and frequency are a part of timbre

2) As to synthesizers - The ADSR envelope is a very basic device and of course musical instruments are many more times complicated than that. The reason synthesizers don't sound like real instruments yet is because they simply don't have the computational power necessary to mimic all the subtleties of real instruments and even then it would take even more computational power to mimic the natural deviencies in sound that occur when a human being approaches the instrument it really isn't worth the effort. Especially when you can just give someone an instrument and a decent teacher and wait a few years. Or approach one of the countless numbers of people in the world who are already sufficiently skilled at their instrument and get them to play it.
Quote by xxDarrenxx
True, but you said what I mean.

It still sounds like a guitar.

Thus the sound doesn't really change
But the sound does change. The fingerstyle/pickstyle thing was basically to demonstrate the principle in a way that you can see for yourself. Of course it still sounds like a guitar because of all the other things that influence the envelope of a guitar. The principle still remains that ADSR does affect the tone/timbre of the instrument because ADSR is a part of timbre.

EDIT: It even says so on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbre#Envelope
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Last edited by Nietsche at Jul 9, 2009,
#15
Quote by tom1thomas1
Why can't there be a note that's 480hz...


Well, 480 Hz to me is a B, being a Just 15:8 major seventh above C 256.
#16
Quote by Dodeka
Well, 480 Hz to me is a B, being a Just 15:8 major seventh above C 256.
I thought B was 493 hz?
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#17
Quote by Nietsche
I thought B was 493 hz?


B is approximately 493.8833 Hz in 12-edo, where A4 is 440 Hz. I'm using a C 256 as a reference and a 5-limit Just ratio.
#18
TO Nietsche;


I don't want to discuss semantics, and I assumed you'd understand what I meant.


It molds the sound, and doesn't change the actual sound.


I don't know the right words, but yes.

I used dynamics in the normal term of the word, as in, all those things dynamically alter the sound.

Timbre I used as the character of sound; ie. difference between sax and piano.

Anyways, I Gotta go now, I'd love to discuss further, although I don't see where it's leading, I post back tommorow or later tonight

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#19
Quote by Nietsche
As to synthesizers - The ADSR envelope is a very basic device and of course musical instruments are many more times complicated than that. The reason synthesizers don't sound like real instruments yet is because they simply don't have the computational power necessary to mimic all the subtleties of real instruments and even then it would take even more computational power to mimic the natural deviencies in sound that occur when a human being approaches the instrument it really isn't worth the effort. Especially when you can just give someone an instrument and a decent teacher and wait a few years. Or approach one of the countless numbers of people in the world who are already sufficiently skilled at their instrument and get them to play it.

I have to correct you there, being the eminent philosopher you are - synths can imitate wind instruments very well, and with the use of sample analysis and wavetables can technically mimic any instrument. However as you said there's more to it than that - most of it is actually how you play the instrument, hence why "controllerism" has become a new buzz-word in electronica circles (using drum pads, touchscreens, gloves etc to control synths).

Of course imitating an instrument perfectly is really pointless in most cases, and the reason I hate those s****y Yamaha keyboards is if I want the sound of a violin I'll play the ******* violin I think it's notable that the most famous synth in the world is also one of the most basic...
#20
Quote by Dodeka
B is approximately 493.8833 Hz in 12-edo, where A4 is 440 Hz. I'm using a C 256 as a reference and a 5-limit Just ratio.
Gotcha
Quote by xxdarrenxx
TO Nietsche;


I don't want to discuss semantics, and I assumed you'd understand what I meant.
I did understand what you meant but I wanted to clarify what I meant
Quote by xxdarrenxx
It molds the sound, and doesn't change the actual sound.


I don't know the right words, but yes.

I used dynamics in the normal term of the word, as in, all those things dynamically alter the sound.

Timbre I used as the character of sound; ie. difference between sax and piano.

Anyways, I Gotta go now, I'd love to discuss further, although I don't see where it's leading, I post back tommorow or later tonight
I see what you're trying to get at. My point was that dynamics do affect the character of the sound as in the pickstyle/fingerstyle example. Of course it still sounds like a guitar because of other factors. But the point remains that by altering the attack I can change the tonal quality.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts
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#21
It still sounds like a guitar.

Thus the sound doesn't really change.


It sounds like a guitar because the listener knows that a guitar can make that sound. Taking your reasoning to its logical extreme, I can say that both John Petrucci's lead tone and John Mayer's clean tone "sound like a guitar". Therefore, the sound is not really different.

If the two tones can be distinguished despite being identical in pitch and amplitude, the timbre is different. I can tell a fingerpicked note and a picked note apart even when they have identical pitch and amplitude, therefore, the timbre is different.
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Last edited by Archeo Avis at Jul 9, 2009,