Strange overtones

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Fans and A/C units are my experience as well ... if the fan is an absolute must I will play the horn outside the door jam but sit in the room with the fan.
  2. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I always wondered why my dog (before he passed away) always wanted to be in the same room with me when I played......then proceeded to howl like it hurt his ears? But always wanted to be in the room! He had other choices... too funny. Maybe I was misinterpreting his actions?
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I've seen them called all sorts of things, Tom. 'Sum-and-difference tones' makes some sense with what I've read on the physics. From what I've gathered, there's even no real agreement on whether they truly exist outside of the listener's brain. In fact some research seems to indicate that musicians and non-musicians hear them differently which is interesting.

    You're right though, they can be a bit irritating.

    A French hornist friend I knew at school made a big thing about singing harmonies into his horn while he was playing. Mind you, he was the only French horn player in the school and he probably felt quite lonely.

    It's an interesting idea, Wayne, but I don't think I'm playing a double note here. I hear it coming from a strange direction, and it's sort of too stable to be a tired flutter.

    The 'buy a new mouthpiece' bit was a joke, Gary. We call it irony ;-)

    That's a very noble thing you did there, Tobylou. The minds of the low brass can wander off in strange directions when they're bored. It's good to humour them now and then. :-)
  4. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Perhaps so. But a mouthpiece dropped accidentally while cleaning it on to the middle valve tuning slide will undoubtedly create an unwanted dent. This has been proven, in a study of one sample, however I will not reveal my source.......;-)
  5. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    Why look for complicated explanations? Your dog just loved good music ...
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    ... or wanted to play the horn!:roll:
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Frankly, anyone who says that they don't exist is an idiot. It's a heterodyne effect; when you mix two frequencies, you get two new frequencies, one above and one below. The one above is nearly impossible to hear because of the spectral output of a trumpet; the one below is a lot easier to hear.

    Simple physics.

  8. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    Of course, since it's a Getzen!
    tobylou8 likes this.
  9. sj3209

    sj3209 Piano User

    Nov 22, 2006
    Amador County, Calif.
    How about a sound from the valve springs? I've heard that on some horns and find it annoying. I'm not sure if others could hear it. I should record it next time it happens.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Sum and difference tones are exactly that the sum of the frequencies (producing a higher tone) and difference (producing a lower tone). Chapter 3, section 2 of Hindemith's Craft of Musical Composition is all about what Hindemith calls "combination tones" and we can predict what the lower resultant tone will be. A major third produces an octave below the lower tone (c+e=C), a perfect fourth an octave below the top note, a perfect fifth an octave below the bottom note, etc.

    The are best discovered playing intervals with another player (flugelhorns work great for this) and listening for the resultant tone. They are annoying: to make them go away we just need to be out of tune. When the two note chord is perfectly in tune it sounds at the same time rich and "hollow."

    The ring-modulator is an electronic version of sum and difference tones. Don Ellis used it to good effect. around the 4:26 mark, followed by trumpet and octavider. Fun stuff.

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