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What's the highest general frequency music stops at?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by eltocliousus, Nov 20, 2012.
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  1. eltocliousus
    I'm just curious as to what the highest frequency music tends to delivery, there are a lot headphones that 'supposedly' output well up into the 50-60khz range, and while I know this is just advertising flavour, as our ears can only hear between around 20hz - 17/20khz for the vast majority, I can't see much music going past 8-10khz. 
  2. chewy4
    Most songs would sound a bit muffled if you cut off everything above 10khz. While there aren't really any instruments that play mainly in those frequencies, certain elements of the sound do touch them.
    You can set up a low pass filter in audacity to see for yourself when high frequencies stop mattering to you.
  3. xnor
    Overtones of different instruments can reach 16 kHz.
  4. proton007
    Yep, 16KHz is around where MP3 cuts off generally.
  5. AKG240mkII
    Check out The Interactive Frequency-chart :
    You will notice that the number of instruments producing fundamentals above 4kHz
    can be counted on one hand .
    Also, there are virtually NO studio/live microphones that don't cut everything beyond 22kHz ..
  6. streetdragon
    my hearing limit is about 17-18khz and i notice too that the music doesn't change until i cut off past 16khz. it starts to change dramatically once i reach 14khz and at 12khz it sounds severely distorted.

    file was FLAC btw
  7. chewy4
    You gotta keep in mind that not all music is acoustic though.
    Not that much electronic music uses those high frequencies normally, but I'm sure there's an Aphex Twin song or two that does(that one song named after a tinnitus inducing drug comes into mind. I really hate that song).
  8. streetdragon
    i use an electronic track though lol, quite treble heavy one in fact for this test.
  9. xnor
    Yeah but anyone can generate noise at any frequency...
  10. bigshot

    That isn't true. 10-20kHz is only one octave, and it's right at the edge of a human's ability to hear. In this range, the only thing in music is upper level harmonics in cymbals. There was a test done where they rolled off everything above 10kHz and people compared it to full frequency response samples. Although people could hear a difference in direct comparison, they had no preference between them when it came to sound quality.

    Sound quality exists in the middle of the hearing range, not the fringes.
  11. bigshot

    I'm betting you're using a very basic equalizer with a whole lot of spill overlapping bands.
  12. chewy4
    Well I'll have to do some testing with it myself a bit later, pretty easy with audacity. I know <100kbps MP3's sound muffled and I thought this was a result of them shaving these frequencies off but it could be that in combination to it cutting out some quieter sounds.
  13. mikeaj
    There's a big difference between "roll off" (how much? dB / decade?) and "cut off".
    Anybody have spectral plots of instruments playing?  I'd imagine some more noise-like percussive sounds should extend far above 20 kHz, maybe with non-trivial energy, not that the extension is really of interest for listening to it.  For synthesized sounds, no reason it should stop at any particular frequency.
    Unless some tonal instrument has really strong 6+ order harmonics, it's not really going to extend much past 20 kHz.  I mean, top key of piano and high-register piccolo squealing range is around 4 kHz fundamental, so 5th harmonic at 20 kHz.
  14. bigshot
    It was cut off
  15. streetdragon
    hmm do you consider 250 band with -60db ~ +20db a basic eq?
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