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H.R.Fisher

Acoustical Glossary

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In reading posts regarding sound post adjustments I come across many acoustical terms that I am not sure I understand.It would be of intresting to have an acoustical glossary to define these terms more specifically . Following is a list of terms,many more could be added:

Dark

Mellow

Sweet

Response

Focus

Sustain

Ring

Tonal control

Balance

Resonance

High harmonics

Carrying power

Gritty

Punch

Wolf note

Dampening

Screaming treble

Timbre

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There's a fairly full listing of these terms, with descriptions, in the thread of Reference Sound Qualities/Terms.

A more recent term (more for playability than acoustics) that I've heard is "cushion", which I understand has to do with the range of bow speed and pressure that still makes an acceptable sound.

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some people use vowel sounds to describe violins. It can also be useful for recalling the sound of a violin.

A, E, I, O, U,

might be interesting to associate dominant frequency range to each letter. Or even certain descriptors.

An acoustic 'alphabet' would be more useful than an ever growing list of words.

Oded

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some people use vowel sounds to describe violins. It can also be useful for recalling the sound of a violin.

A, E, I, O, U,

might be interesting to associate dominant frequency range to each letter. Or even certain descriptors.

An acoustic 'alphabet' would be more useful than an ever growing list of words.

Oded

HR, are you looking for understanding of these terms?

Oded, With my voice,(Home alone)sounding out the vowels,in the same pitch,I hear them in this order of harmonic content,E A I U O from high htz harmonic content to low htz....some feel like they have a broader spectrum than others as well...Is that what others hear?

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Thanks for thinking of me bmcviolin. smile.gif
Great idea Oded!

I hear A as more open, E is more nasal, I more midrangy but somewhat open, O has a bit of head, U nasal and head...well my descriptions do not describe well...

It is good to have terms to communicate what one hears, sometimes the more broad terms say more, the ones that come to mind at first are:

Bite
Balls
Sweet
Air (the ultra highs)
Low Breath
Fairy
Nauseous
Plain
Boring
Fast Transient
Thump
Complex
Standing waves
Bow induced distortion
Happy
Good, but no cigar
Fckn'A
The bow is possessed (lots of screetching)
Manowar level (ear-splitting loud) laugh.gif


edit - just read Don's link, lots of good descriptions, many of them common to the audio industry.

Edited by carlobartolini

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I'l try a few I am comfortable with

Dark = opposite of bright.

Mellow = opposite of harsh; woody tone.

Sweet

Response = time it takes for a string to respond to the bow

Focus = strong clear fundamentals

Sustain = note continues to resonate after bowing stops

Ring = a short high pitched sustain

Tonal control

Balance = tonal balance between upper and lower strings

Resonance = vibrations transferred from the string to the corpus

High harminics

Carring power = ability to be heard at long distance

Gritty = not sure, but light vs dark rosin, dark is more gritty Punch = popular drink; puppet co-worker of Judy

Wolf note = blanket term for unexpected harmonics.

Dampning = absorption of sound waves

Screaming treble = unbalanced in favor of the treble; harsh treble

Timbre

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HR, are you looking for understanding of these terms?

Exacly,I hear these terms used and wonder sometimes if they are more than subjective fiddlespeak.Is my sweet the same as your sweet,is my sonorous the same are yours? Perhaps sound bites would be a good way to give better definition.

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I'l try a few I am comfortable with

Dark = opposite of bright.

Mellow = opposite of harsh; woody tone.

Sweet

Response = time it takes for a string to respond to the bow

Focus = strong clear fundamentals

Sustain = note continues to resonate after bowing stops

Ring = a short high pitched sustain

Tonal control

Balance = tonal balance between upper and lower strings

Resonance = vibrations transferred from the string to the corpus

High harminics

Carring power = ability to be heard at long distance

Gritty = not sure, but light vs dark rosin, dark is more gritty Punch = popular drink; puppet co-worker of Judy

Wolf note = blanket term for unexpected harmonics.

Dampning = absorption of sound waves

Screaming treble = unbalanced in favor of the treble; harsh treble

Timbre

I'd say tonal control is linked to a idea of 'How many violins,are inside in that ONE fiddle'.

high harmonics is linked to the Timbre or....the total composition of the sound.The best way to understand is to think of a flute tone (an almost pure sine wave)and then something more complex like a violin, that has a very full compliment of sub harmonics. Both can play an A442 but have very different VOICE. More highs= sound sharper and cutting and also linked to carrying capacity.

I like the link Don sent. It would be nice to create a page that would be a 'mostly' agreed upon descriptor and possibly pin it for reference.Language is a defining factor in our culture and indeed sovereignty to to know the language is to know the culture.

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You don't think it predates that?

Yes, it most likely predates Michael. what I should have said was that I heard it from him.

Do you have a mnemonic for remembering or describing a violin's sounds?

Oded

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Do you have a mnemonic for remembering or describing a violin's sounds?

Oded

Not so much when it comes to memory assistance.

For the purpose of communicating with string musicians, unless we are both present to hear the sound being discussed, I try to keep it simple, and that seems to avoid the confusion of using words with vague or non-agreed upon meanings. For instance, if I describe a general violin sound quality in terms of what would happen if one turned the bass, midrange, or treble up or down on a music reproduction device, that seems to communicate well, since most people have experience with that.

Other terms I frequently use are clear, focused, high-definition (versus fuzzy, unfocused or blurred) because again, these seem to relate easily to other common shared experiences, with little confusion or misunderstanding.

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Using vowels to form an acoustic vocabulary originated with Michael Darnton, not my idea.

Oded

It is in use in the early german violin acoustics literature. Guy Rabut uses it in his descriptions too e.g. describing sound during setup. He also use the term 'Minnie Mouse', which probably describes a not exactly so positive trait. :D

Edited by Anders Buen

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It is in use in the early german violin acoustics literature. Guy Rabut uses it in his descriptions too e.g. describing sound during setup. He also use the term 'Mickey Mouse', which probably describes a not exactly so positive trait. :D

We feel enriched...

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1332184326[/url]' post='537838']

We feel enriched...

Well, I certainly do. If you do too, I suppose that justifies the plural "we." wink.gif

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1332187586[/url]' post='537848']

The europens too for the great american cartoon culture you have to brought us. :)

Don't forget Coke and Pepsi. laugh.gif

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It is in use in the early german violin acoustics literature. Guy Rabut uses it in his descriptions too e.g. describing sound during setup. He also use the term 'Mickey Mouse', which probably describes a not exactly so positive trait. :D

:lol: I understand EXACTLY what a Mickey Mouse violin sounds like. :lol:

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Not so much when it comes to memory assistance.

For the purpose of communicating with string musicians, unless we are both present to hear the sound being discussed, I try to keep it simple, and that seems to avoid the confusion of using words with vague or non-agreed upon meanings. For instance, if I describe a general violin sound quality in terms of what would happen if one turned the bass, midrange, or treble up or down on a music reproduction device, that seems to communicate well, since most people have experience with that.

Other terms I frequently use are clear, focused, high-definition (versus fuzzy, unfocused or blurred) because again, these seem to relate easily to other common shared experiences, with little confusion or misunderstanding.

This is very sensible. I understand this very much. It's important to speak the same (minimally ambiguous) language. B)

Stay Tuned.

Mike

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In case anyone's unsure as to what a Micky Mouse violin sounds like, here's the man himself giving a rare performance on a. . . . . . Mickey Mouse violin :blink:

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The europens too for the great american cartoon culture you have to brought us. :)

The alternative would've been listening all day to Russlandlied and Erika on whatever youtube we would've had.

I'll take cartoons, pepsi and coke any time.

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So, anyway, back to our topic...

does ö sound the same as ø? Is a equivalent to é? Or ä and å? Or maybe descriptive terms are better, if we are willing to discuss them, instead of complaining about, well, you know, you've read the topic... rolleyes.gif

I like the cartoon descriptions, BTW. They are all based on voice distortion. cool.gif

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