Monday, May 16, 2016

The Physics of Sound Pt 2

A musical note has two meanings.  The first definition is a reference to the pitched sound itself.  The second is a reference to a symbol in musical notion that defines the pitch and duration of a note.  The pitch is the quality of a sound governed by the rate of vibrations producing it.  The higher the frequency the higher the pitch; the lower the frequency the lower the pitch.


The next major characteristic of sound is the timbre.  Timbre defines the unique tonal characteristics that distinguishes it from another. Timbre has four primary characteristics; attack, decay, sustain, release.


The envelope of a sound has the following components and would look something like this:
  • Attack - The time it takes for the note to reach the maximum level.
  • Decay - The time it takes for the note to go from the maximum level to the sustain level 
  • Sustain - The level while the note is held.
  • Release - The time it takes for the note to fall from the sustain level to silence or zero dB.


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