4 basic properties of sound
Now, let’s open the book, we will see that sound has 4 basic properties: pitch, duration, intensity and finally timbre. Explained simply:
- High. Pitch helps us distinguish between high and low notes
- Length. The duration tells us whether the note or sound is long or short. You can also understand endurance as sustainability.
- Intensity. The sound is loud or low, that’s the intensity
- Tone. My voice and yours are different, it’s easy to see that even if I sing the same pitch, the same pitch as you
So how do these factors relate to acoustic processing as well as the application of acoustic processing? More than we think.
Relating to the context that needs to be handled with acoustics
When it comes to the relationship between the four basic properties of sound and its application in acoustic processing, we often have to consider all four, not just any one factor.
The pitch of the sound helps us distinguish which note is playing. Notes with high pitch have high frequencies and vice versa. This is very important in clearly hearing the performance of the instruments in the recording.
The problem becomes more important when combining pitch and intensity or all three of the other factors. If the sound environment is not good, it will be difficult for us to hear the specific pitch of some notes or some “suddenly” highs that sound too clear, overpowering other pitches.
What chords are you playing on the guitar?
Imagine, when a guitar chord is played. Is there 1 of the 2 notes of the chord dominant while the other 3 or 4 notes… are lost? This affects how we perceive or make decisions about sound processing. Instead of leaving it as it is because the original chord sounds very balanced, we try to reduce the intensity of the two dominant notes. When you go to another sound system or another room that doesn’t have the same acoustic problem, that chord resounds with the 2 notes you just interfered with.
The bass is so weird, isn’t it?
Or in another context. When listening to a piece of Jazz Trio, the bass player has an attractive melodic playing style. However, due to the acoustics of the room you are not good. So some bass notes are too um while others are… lost. As you know, playing with strong, subtle nuances is very important in expressing emotions. But here, the room is too crudely involved in the bass player’s expressive process. Leads to the feeling of your recordings being wrong. If you are a sound engineer? You are trying to re-balance something that is (probably) already balanced!
Why is Kick like this?
In terms of vibrancy, which is something the human ear perceives quite sensitively. Suppose the kick drum (bass drum) in the song is very compact. But your room makes it sound uncertain, um, long-tailed. So you are trying to find a way to cut it to make it more compact. The result is a kick drum sound that is both thin, dead, and lifeless when heard on other systems.
What’s with the thin sounding voice???
If your room has too many flat, hard surfaces and the room size is small, it is common for the sound to come out in the room to sound thin or have an unnatural timbre. This phenomenon is caused by the sound reflected from the wall to your ears along with the original sound, but with a slight difference in time, resulting in the sound being stained, not intact. The specific reason, I will gradually suggest in the following articles. This article is intended only to “raise awareness” of the importance of acoustic processing.
So many problems?
Sadly, there are many more.
These are just a few simple examples illustrating the impact the room has on your sound and recordings. But don’t worry. Follow Aural Logic’s blog. I will share more knowledge and experience to help you gradually become a sound player, a knowledgeable sound engineer. You will be able to solve all these problems on your own without having to rob the bank.