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can someone explain about frequency on music?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I'm curious, let say if someone can only hear up to 15k hz or 13k or 18k, how much are they missing out on a typical song? and how high does a normal music recording go up to? what sound is being produced up in those frequency? Does it change the way a person hear the music much vs someone who can hear perfect? feel free to explain more if you want please. Thanks!

post #2 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeffect View Post

I'm curious, let say if someone can only hear up to 15k hz or 13k or 18k, how much are they missing out on a typical song? and how high does a normal music recording go up to? what sound is being produced up in those frequency? Does it change the way a person hear the music much vs someone who can hear perfect? feel free to explain more if you want please. Thanks!


From what I know, the fundamental frequencies rarely go beyond 12K Hz (Cymbals). Harmonics beyond this point (up to and beyond 20K Hz) may not matter as much.

For instance, the high pitched sound of a CRT TV is somewhere around 16KHz. In my opinion, that kind of sound may contribute to the overall sharpness of some lower frequency sound, but it won't be a fundamental on its own.

post #3 of 34

 

These are the fundamentals. The harmonics extend a little ways higher. Past 14kHz or so, there isn't much left.

post #4 of 34

Here is another visualization which I find useful:

 

post #5 of 34

That chart starts to go south at the bottom.

post #6 of 34

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but keep in mind that 10 kHz to 20 kHz is just one octave.

 

As noted above, it's just some of the sound of cymbals (maybe some other percussion and synthesized sounds of course too) and some of the top harmonics of some relatively high-pitched instruments when they're playing in the "wow they're assaulting my ears, it's so high" range of the instrument.  With some music, because of instrumentation, it'll be nothing up there.  No sound intended for music will have the majority of its energy in the very high range—cutting off those frequencies would just alter the timbre and balance of some sounds somewhat.  

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

That chart starts to go south at the bottom.

 

My understanding is that the bottom of the chart assigns audio terms to frequency ranges, are those assignments wrong?

 

BTW, here is the original source (with the appropriate legends for fundamentals, harmonics, and so forth): 

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm


Edited by ultrabike - 1/23/13 at 10:36pm
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

interesting, I will check out those chart.

post #9 of 34

You can get an idea what it sounds like to lose high frequency information by listening to these files:

 

lpf.zip

 

These were all generated from the same sample, by applying a steep minimum phase lowpass filter with a -6 dB cutoff frequency ranging from 10 kHz to 22 kHz in 2 kHz steps (the last one is actually not filtered at all). Compare them to the 22 kHz version, and find the threshold where you no longer hear the difference. Edit (now fixed): highpass filtered files are also included, to show what is removed from the sound.

 

Here is what the frequency response of each filter from 10 to 18 kHz looks like (the 22 kHz one is perfectly flat):


Edited by stv014 - 1/24/13 at 12:08pm
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeffect View Post
if someone can only hear up to 15k hz or 13k or 18k, how much are they missing out on a typical song? and how high does a normal music recording go up to?

 

Recordings can contain frequencies up to and beyond 20 KHz, but the importance of hearing stuff higher than 13 or 15 KHz is minimal IMO. If you have audio editor software, you could easily check this out for yourself. Add a plug-in to create a steep roll-off at those frequencies and see how much it degrades the sound.

 

Many top mastering engineers are 50 years old or older, and few of them hear above 13-15 KHz because of that. Yet they're able to do their job.

 

--Ethan


Edited by EthanWiner - 1/24/13 at 9:46am
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeffect View Post

1. I'm curious, let say if someone can only hear up to 15k hz or 13k or 18k, how much are they missing out on a typical song? and

2. how high does a normal music recording go up to?

3. what sound is being produced up in those frequency?

4. Does it change the way a person hear the music much vs someone who can hear perfect? feel free to explain more if you want please. Thanks!

 

1. Less than an octave...so not much.

2. It depends on the type of microphone used. I have seen some recordings pick up information as high as 68kHz!

3. Usually from 10kHz to 20kHz is the cymbals, certain harmonics and ambiance.

4. Yes. If you cut out anything past 13kHz, you cut out a lot of ambiance. The recording will not sound as spacious and might even sound a bit stuffy compared to a full frequency recording. That said, most people won't even notice unless they listen critically.

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

My understanding is that the bottom of the chart assigns audio terms to frequency ranges, are those assignments wrong?

I think someone made them up figuring they needed to evenly space them out. Human hearing has zones where the types of sounds we hear cluster, and zones where nothing much happens at all. It isn't neatly spaced out like that, especially at the top end.

They've also got the piano keyboard too big, and if they're going to indicate harmonics, they should have them fade, because generrally, the higher the harmonic, the lower the volume. (Except with cymbals and triangles)
Edited by bigshot - 1/24/13 at 10:57am
post #13 of 34

The piano represented in that chart is a bit misleading and difficult to understand when compared to the other instruments shown.  One might assume that the last octave of a standard 88-key piano would be peaking at over 16kHz.  While I can't hear 16kHz anymore, I can definitely hear the highest key played on a piano without any difficulties.  I know it is not the intent of the chart designer, but  it seems poorly implemented.

post #14 of 34

It shows more than 88 keys, those that are on a standard 88-key piano (A0-C8, 27.5-4186 Hz) have a white color, while the others outside that range are grey.

post #15 of 34

Ah, that makes more sense now. I suppose it helps to open the image to view rather than trying to see it with the image embedded into a message post using a cheap 17" monitor.

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