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Author Topic: What is tone?  (Read 1306 times)
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #40 on: Nov 10, 2017, 01:15PM »

What is tone?

It is obviously a very good question.

Go practice! Yes, a very good advice.

... but

some of us are thinkers for better and for worse.

I think Geezer is on to something here. The problem I have with your statement is I do the complete opposite association. Probably it is the language barrier  Good!

As Svenne says: yes, in swedish "Sound" (which is an English word we use in swedish) could mean the description of quality of tone, but if a swede said to me "you have a beautiful sound" as in swedish "du har ett snyggt sound" I would still not understand if it was the actual quality of my tone or if it was the over all quality of my playing he was referring to which includes vibrato and good taste. To me "vacker ton" describes "a beautiful sonourous played note". Maybe the swedish "ton" is not equal to the English "tone".

Nuances in the english language is difficult for us non native.

As Geezer says: a mother could say to a child "jag gillar inte tonen du använder mot mig". It would be the same use of the word as in English,  and it would address manners, as to remark on the abcense if manners on how to speak respectfully to the mother (so our languages are not THAT different)

... still when speaking about music I do think "sound" i's the wide concept and "tone" is the narrow concept. Tone is just the quality of how a note is played (or "WHAT note should be played here?" as in "Vilken ton ska det vara här?" ... hmm real confusing Don't know


... yeh, should go practice..

/Tom

Lol. I don't like the sound of your tone.  Evil

Got you to thinking, didn't I!

Would anyone say, "I don't like the sound of your sound!"? Maybe, but that would be redundant, wouldn't it.

Break time over. Time to make Svenne proud!   Way cool

...Geezer
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Andrew Meronek

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« Reply #41 on: Nov 11, 2017, 05:45AM »

Guys, go practice!   Idea!

In all languages many words can be intercangeble. Tone can mean different things, so can sound. Noice for example.
When we talke about trombone music sound and tone can be the same, not necessary, but in this discousion it is mostly the same thing.
"I think tone is overrated", that depends. In some bands tone/sound does not matter much, can you play your part? Good, you are hired. In other band/orchestras the sound/tone makes the difference between getting the gig or not.

When I, and lots of other people listen to trombone music the sound/tone is very important.
Good trombone sounds depends on gengre and taste. Yes it does.

Yes, yes. This was just to try to clear up a point of contention in another thread, and I thought it might make for an educational discussion. :)

I think that when you talk about the quality of tone, you can look at it from a scientific concept.

To me, the best sounding tone, of any instrument, not just trombone, is where there is a mix of harmonics that are perfectly aligned up with the primary root tone.

When I was in High School, I would sit in the practice room for hours, playing long tones into the Conn Strobo tuner to achieve that all the harmonics lined up perfectly. IOW, I would learn to stop all the harmonic wheels in synchronocity. That was my desired goal then.

I think when you do that, your tone will be at its best, for what your situation produces. All the harmonics will be balanced.

When you play a long tone, and you achieve the root tone to be in tune, but the other wheels are spinning in different directions, your sound takes on different aspects. Good? Not so much.

Strobe tuners are awesome!  Good! It's too bad the real ones are so expensive, although there are some good tuning apps out there that do a good job of recreating the effect. When I was in school, I never tried what you describe: deliberately change my tone and see how the strobe changes. I always used them more as an ear training device, to sounds its drone and play intervals with it.

Along the lines of a scientific analysis of tone, in terms of the sustained waves, harmonics are important but I think there may be some subtle physics going on there. Any actively driven sound (via a bow or via pushing air through membranes) always produce harmonics of the harmonic series, in contrast to something like a drum which produces harmonics not of the harmonic series. In terms of trombone, I think a big part of achieving a good tone, in the physical sense of looking at the waveforms, is to reduce as much as possible random noise in the sound. There are other things that can happen, too - a big thing in electronic recording is the distortion of chopping off the tops of the peaks of waves above some amplitude - but at least this effect requires additional processing to achieve and as far as I know isn't possible to do just by playing a trombone.
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davdud101
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« Reply #42 on: Nov 11, 2017, 06:43AM »

FWIW, I've spent a good amount of timing using a spectral analysis app to see similar effects - how intentionally deadening the tone by choking it off or opening it up way too wide can affect which overtones are present and how strong they become. Definitely helped me understand a bit better what to aim for as far as tone because the overtones appeared must stronger-more solid when the tone was what I'd consider 'better'.

Fun stuff! I gotta try with a strobe tuner myself sometime.
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« Reply #43 on: Nov 11, 2017, 07:23AM »

Dave, where to get that app? Is it for Windows ?

Leif
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« Reply #44 on: Nov 11, 2017, 07:36AM »

Yes, yes. This was just to try to clear up a point of contention in another thread, and I thought it might make for an educational discussion. :)

Strobe tuners are awesome!  Good! It's too bad the real ones are so expensive, although there are some good tuning apps out there that do a good job of recreating the effect. When I was in school, I never tried what you describe: deliberately change my tone and see how the strobe changes. I always used them more as an ear training device, to sounds its drone and play intervals with it.

Along the lines of a scientific analysis of tone, in terms of the sustained waves, harmonics are important but I think there may be some subtle physics going on there. Any actively driven sound (via a bow or via pushing air through membranes) always produce harmonics of the harmonic series, in contrast to something like a drum which produces harmonics not of the harmonic series. In terms of trombone, I think a big part of achieving a good tone, in the physical sense of looking at the waveforms, is to reduce as much as possible random noise in the sound. There are other things that can happen, too - a big thing in electronic recording is the distortion of chopping off the tops of the peaks of waves above some amplitude - but at least this effect requires additional processing to achieve and as far as I know isn't possible to do just by playing a trombone.


Not just reducing random noise, but to make sure the harmonics are also in tune, and to line them all up, and stop them. This indicates the harmonics are also in tune. If you could get in front of one, and blow a note, you will see, that the different harmonics can go in both directions and never line up with your root tone. You can create special effects with your tone that make musical sense, but at least be able to play a tone with your harmonics lined up.


I've got an APP on my iPhone, let me see, called 'Strobe Tuner' but I can't testify as to how accurate it is. Well, I just got a message that it isn't available in the APP Store anymore because it's not updated of IOS 11. Go figure.

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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #45 on: Nov 11, 2017, 08:03AM »

Not just reducing random noise, but to make sure the harmonics are also in tune, and to line them all up, and stop them. This indicates the harmonics are also in tune. If you could get in front of one, and blow a note, you will see, that the different harmonics can go in both directions and never line up with your root tone. You can create special effects with your tone that make musical sense, but at least be able to play a tone with your harmonics lined up.


I've got an APP on my iPhone, let me see, called 'Strobe Tuner' but I can't testify as to how accurate it is. Well, I just got a message that it isn't available in the APP Store anymore because it's not updated of IOS 11. Go figure.


Amazon has real strobe tuners and Black Friday is coming!

Thanks for the info on this. Yet another high-tech learning aid!

...Geezer
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Andrew Meronek

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« Reply #46 on: Nov 11, 2017, 08:31AM »

Not just reducing random noise, but to make sure the harmonics are also in tune, and to line them all up, and stop them. This indicates the harmonics are also in tune. If you could get in front of one, and blow a note, you will see, that the different harmonics can go in both directions and never line up with your root tone. You can create special effects with your tone that make musical sense, but at least be able to play a tone with your harmonics lined up.


I've got an APP on my iPhone, let me see, called 'Strobe Tuner' but I can't testify as to how accurate it is. Well, I just got a message that it isn't available in the APP Store anymore because it's not updated of IOS 11. Go figure.

How do you do this and control for not playing sharp or flat compared to the strobe's reference?
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« Reply #47 on: Nov 11, 2017, 11:33AM »

How do you do this and control for not playing sharp or flat compared to the strobe's reference?

I learned what it feels and sounds like when on the strobe, then when I'm practicing or playing I try to match. After recording myself, I begin to learn to trust what I hear behind the bell. It's not something you have to do every day for the rest of your life, or anything like that. When I got it spot on, I paid attention to the sound I was getting, and what I was doing to get it spot on.

Then, I would work through all the pitches matching the sound for each partial. When I got my Kanstul, it reacted totally different than my King 2B+, so I had to start over for several months to get my tone back to where I wanted it. I can listen to my tone now, and know when I'm getting the harmonics close to spot on.

As far as playing in tune, I still use the drone every now and then to relearn how the sweet spot sounds, so I know what to shoot for when I'm playing. But when your harmonics line up with your root tone, you can tell better when you're in tune or not. 

I just purchased the iStrobeSoft which is from Peterson's design, and tried it out. I noticed that each harmonic (only 4) always rotated in sync, but they didn't all light up at the same intensity until the harmonics were present. I guess. So, I can't say for sure if this will perform as good as the old Conn did. It did seem to respond to my tone as to whether the harmonic bands were equally lighted or not.

It was $9.99 - can't say if it was worth it or not. LOL!
 
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