h a l f b a k e r y
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I'm not entirely sure this is the right category, but since the
IS a musical instrument of sorts, and microphones ARE a
that is essential for this Idea....
First, anyone who hears a recording of his or her voice is usually
surprised by how different it sounds, from when using
her voice to make sounds. A lot of people could save
significant public embarrassment by listening to a recording of
their voice before auditioning for something like "American
Now here's the thing. If someone THINKS their voice is good
enough to go public, it must have something to do with how it
sounds, internally. We know that there is a resonance effect in
the skull bones that each person hears, that affect how their
voice is perceived by self. So why not try to record THAT
Which is where this Idea's product comes in. Attach microphone
to skull, and record. Also, a second mike is needed to record
external sounds, so that they can be combined (via appropriate
electronic manipulations) with the cranial-
mike sounds in such a way as to exactly match how the person
hears their own voice. Using this tech, anyone might be able to
sell a decent-sounding voice-recording.
However, here is the kicker. We all know how nice a good
voice sounds. But how much better does it sound, to the singer,
that we never get to hear?
If THAT was recorded with this gadget, and made available for
Perhaps the title of this Idea could be "Electric Voice" (like
"electric guitar" is an instrument)?
Tuning Timbre Spectrum Scale by William A. Sethares
Actually analysing and modelling "in tune" rather than bullshitting about "anything goes" or mystic ratios. [pocmloc, Jan 16 2016]
Alas, it appears I've copied my own old Idea [Vernon, Jan 20 2016]
||Great, I'll be able to share the voices in my head !
||Presumably for best playback, it uses direct cranial excitation rather than a conventional loudspeaker?
||I think there's more to hearing one's voice when one speaks
than simply the sounds in your ears. For a start, it seems
to me that one's own voice ought to sound a lot louder than
it seems to when one hears it. One is also forewarned and I
wonder if something like the ossicles getting moved a bit
happens to damp it down. One's judgement is also bound to
be biassed. When one sings out of tune, it doubtless sounds
in tune in one's head, for example.
||//In reality, anything is in tune if you adopt a
scale in which those frequencies are legitimately a
part of the structure.//
||Sorry [Ian], but that's just not true. Certain
frequency combinations are simply unpleasant,
regardless of musical scale definitions. Yes, there
are many different musical scales, but they share
many properties, including integer-multiple
relationships between many of the notes. You can
devise a scale that contains frequencies A and
2.01*A, and it will sound ugly.
||In nature, fingernails can scrape down a
blackboard and everyone complains, regardless of
their preferred musical scale.
||Okey dokey. Find me someone who enjoys fingernails
down a blackboard.
||Failing that, find me someone who enjoys the
combination of 840Hz and 1628Hz.
||Ah right. So it's just coincidence that all musical
scales include a lot of nice simple-fraction frequency
ratios. Well, that's that cleared up.
||Why exactly is it easy, again?
||Sorry [Ian] and [Max] you are both only half-right, for the wrong reasons.
||//the combination of 840Hz and 1628Hz// Are you talking of pure sine-waves or complex tones? Two pure sine waves at those two frequencies sound no better worse than any similar adjacent frequencies, i.e. if the first is 840, it makes almost no difference to their consonance or dissonance if the second is 1628, 1666, 1680, or 1681.
||Its not the numerical ratio between frequencis that counts, its the matching or mismatchng of harmonics.
||So if they are complex tones with harmonic overtones (such as from a vibrating string or column of air) then the harmonics of your two tones would clash.
||On the other hand it is "facile" to engineer a non-harmonic chime tone so that the overtones of these two pitches line up perfectly
||See the work of William Sethares for more info <link>
||But the art school idea that something viscerally unpleasant and deliberately so, is not actually bad, merely "interesting", is bollox and we all know it.