Need help with an investigation in intonation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Markie, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi all,
    At the present time we're doing a study looking at intonation.
    The concept deals with sound waves and how they either reinforce(constructive) or cancel(destructive) each other out when the sound comes from two different sources.
    Here's what to do if you want to check it out:

    1) get two trumpet players that can play in tune and warm up.
    2) both play a tuning note while standing about 4 to 6 feet apart
    3)while playing the notes together, start to balance the volume.
    Balanced volume will be when you can not hear one trumpet over the other.
    4)Here's the idea, if the intonation is perfect, and the volume of the two trumpets are perfectly balanced, an intresting phenomenon should happen.
    5) You can look at the bell of your trumpet and hear or feel the sensation that the other persons trumpet sound coming through YOUR trumpet.

    A way of to think of it is "when I play my trumpet exactly in tune and in perfect balance, the other guys trumpet sound is able to get inside my sound".

    It's not easy and it takes serious listening but if you have the time, let me know what you hear. We've tried it on individuals with clinically measured perfect pitch and they sense the phenomenon.
    Have fun and let me know what you hear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Markie,
    cool thread!

    Are you aware of Chris Leubas book on intonation? He was with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has the best explanations I have read anywhere!

    Playing major thirds and fifths causes resultant tones that are in the key that you are playing in. The closer the notes are together, the deeper the resultant tone. Minor intervals produce resultant tones not in the same key.
     
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    I Rowuk,
    Thanks for the tip on Chris. I just checked out Leubas on O,J,'s site and it sounds like a great learning tool. My ears are very familiar with what he calls "the beats". I HATE to hear beats.
    Speaking of resultants, I've heard two Flute players do some neat things when it comes to these ghostly third tones.
    What we're investigating is in the same vein but when a resultant tone arises, it's hard to identify from what player it comes from. As we know, it comes from the combination of both players.
    Now, imagine playing with someone (who can play in tune) and balancing your volume to the point to where you are not louder (or softer) than the other trumpet player.
    We hypothesis that the other person's sound is allowed into your sound due to the the waves from the two instruments matching up. It's a weird phenomenon and the overarching response from the study group of people with perfect pitch is that they hear or sense the other person's sound emanating out of their trumpet.
    One way to look at it is to think of tuning and balancing the volume as turning your trumpet into a radio reciever. When the frequencies and volume match up, you can hear each other coming out of your trumpets. You can identify not only the tone, but who it comes from. Also, some of the study subjects reported that the trumpet feels(vibrates?) a little different in their hands when it is performed correctly.
    Once again, thanks for the tip on Chris.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Markie,
    this is what made Bud Herseth and Vince Chicowicz, Gil Johnson and Seymour Rosenfeld and countless other monsters so good. In music 1+1 can be much more than 2!

    That synergy can only be achieved by experience. It is awesome when it lines up!

    I am not sure that both players have to have the exact same volume. I think for the desired result each interval has its own balance. It makes a big difference if an A and C are tuning up an F major or an a minor chord.

    The long tones my students are required to play, get partners during lessons. We freely pick the tones and adjust until they have the most impact. Much more fun than boring exercizes!
     
  5. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

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    Markie if the players are faceing each other and a third observer is in between the two as the volume changes between the two musicans the third observer can feel the preesure inthe air change in relationship tot he volume fluctuations between the player's. It will feel and sound like their is an invisable but solid mass between the two horns moveing in relationship tot he volume difference of the resultant tones. They we fill like they could actualy reach out and touch the wave's that are created have the players vary their volume so while one is increaseing the other is decrease back and forth and see if you can feel the effect I described. When I worked doing sound work I used to play all kinds of games by myself when setting up the equipment some times. I used to use a signal generator to inject specific sine waves intothe system for general tuneing. By injecting multiple pure freq.'s you can mimic the sound of real instruments.

    Nick D if I recall had an interesting demonstration of some of this stuff in one of his video's on Youtube if I recall. I think it was about reinforcment though cannot recall.....? SOunds like you are haveing fun.
     
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi lovevixen,
    I've not had my first cup of coffee yet so forgive me if I'm off base but If I'm reading correctly, this sounds related but not exactly what we're investigating. However, it sounds pretty darned intresting and I'll be sure to give it a try. Thanks!!
     
  7. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

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    Oh I did not mean to make it sound exactly like what you are doing only along a simalar train of thought. When I was on my sound engineering kick long ago I got preety deep into everything and I was always trying different things with friends and with electronics trying to understand sound and how I could shape it to create different effects. SOund understanding of theory and a creative mind and their are all kinds of things you will stumble upon while research one thing that leads to another experiment and yet another experiment and so on.

    My point in the above is that changeing volume changes where the pheanom occurs in realitive space follow? Instead of feeling the other trumpet player inside your own horn it can also sound like a third player is floating in space when we know their are only two etc....
     
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi lovevixen,
    Oh, I understand now. Sorry for not understanding the first time, I probably wasn't up to my typical lethal dose of coffee yet. Thanks for the new concept to play with. It's amazing all the things that can be discovered with sound.
     
  9. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

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    Had roomate in college that used to drink 20-30 Expresso's aday once he got his own machine!! We had to hold an intervention for him the signs of caffiene poisining where all over the place!!! Twitchy as could be talked like the guy from the Match Box Micro Machine commercials etc....... When he would finaly crash a hot match to his feet wouldnot wake him!!
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    COOOOL expresso, I never really thought about getting a machine! Crack Coffee!!! sign me up!
     

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