They sound different because of their different resonances.
When I’ve interacted for the first time with music, I wanted a machine that would be able to produce as many types of sound as possible!
With what I had back then, I was so limited, that at a certain point i got bored!
When I found FL Studio I felt like my dream came true!
At least partially, because this program is not able of making anything that I would want.
The soundwaves resonance is a fascinating domain.
It is the place where music intersects with math.
As strange as it might sound, music and math have a lot in common. They are connected.
I do not know if you are one of those people that hates math or you aren’t!
Sincerely, math is not something I’m very good at either.
What is sound resonance?
Resonance is nothing else but fundamental reflexion on high frequencies.
Basically the fundamental note is projected on the high frequencies.
Let’s take a simple example.
The chord of a guitar doesn’t vibrate only on it’s entire length.
It also vibrates on quarters, thirds, etc. These secondary vibrations represent the resonance of the guitar.
Any sound in nature has resonance!
When you hear a certain sound, you don’t hear only a single frequency!
The simplest sound is represented by the sinusoidal, which is only a single vibration.
I don’t believe there is any simpler sound.
On the other hand, the most complex sound is the white noise.
This sound covers 100% of the sound spectrum and is mostly perceived a continuous sound close to those of the waves.
Even further, it is a sound that most electronic music producers use.
Why? Because the white noise has a certain regularity that the human voice doesn’t have.
The human voice is a very complex signal that can’t be so easily described.
I made a few spectral analyses and I could tell you that they look very complex.
The resonance of sounds doesn’t stop at 18 KHz.
That is just the max that we can hear.
They actually seem to keep going endlessly.
When we are young we can hear sound that have an approx frequency of max 18KHz.
I’ve noticed that some music producers remove on purpose high frequencies.
In some tracks that I have analysed I have noticed that frequencies over 15 KHz were cut off.
The truth is that there is the air of most sounds, which doesn’t really have what to do in a mix.
I’ve seen tracks that had frequencies only up to 12KHz.
This kind of music relies mostly on bass, so it doesn’t really need high frequencies.
Probably you have tested a lot of sounds, and most likely you have noticed that they sounded frail.
Weak sounds usually don’t have resonance.
These sounds have their high frequencies diminished, at a lower number and at a reduced volume.
There were moments in which I was looking after something strong, but I was unable to find it.
Many music producers and sound engineers complain that they can’t find that power in the mix.
This happens because their own sounds has a weak resonance.
I want to make a simple comparison.
Anything that you have seen in the nature and in the universe relies on resonance!
Look at an old tree and tell me what do you see?
A thick trunk, a few diversified branches, then other thinner branches.
That is exactly how the sound looks.
The fundamental (the principal sinusoidal) is similar to the trunk of a tree.
This comparison might sound a bit odd, but it is a very good one.
The fundamental frequency is the most important.
It defines the key. For example: what is the fundamental of A5?
It is A5, meaning 440hz.
The fundamental is the frequency that should have priority over the others. Why?
Because your key is represented by the fundamental frequency, not by the other harmonics.
Normally, the higher the frequencies, the lower the volume must be.
It is not a rule, but that certain warmth is given by the medium resonance.
When I say medium resonance I’m referring to the first 4 or 5 harmonics.
As a closing I would like to know what is your opinion about this article.
Did this information help you?
What other interesting things do you know about resonance?
Please let me know what you think!