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Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

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KVRian
 
870 posts since 17 Apr, 2005
 

Postby JCJR; Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:21 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

As others said, if the low bass notes have some upper harmonics, then many cheaper systems will allow listeners to sense the low bass via the harmonics of the track.

It has been alleged for instance that french horn is "all harmonics" and the ear hears the fundamental by inferring a fundamental from the harmonics actually heard.

A song at 120 bpm has a fundamental frequency of 2 Hz but we can hear that fundamental because of the higher harmonics provided by the rhythmic instruments in the song.

In the past, many loud expensive high quality pa systems would tend to unload around 40 Hz, but it didn't prevent playing 5 string bass down to B or keybass/pedalbass down to C. The 2nd and higher harmonics remained well within the capacity of the speakers.

I read some sources claim that even today big pa system subwoofers do most of the heavy lifting fairly high, 40 to 80 Hz, but I don't keep up with it anymore and dunno. The old sub in my little listening room puts out measurable spl well below 40 Hz, so maybe better home systems have better low capability than big concert systems? Takes a lot of power to fill an arena.
KVRer
 
15 posts since 26 Nov, 2008, from Bristol, UK

Postby Fluffbomb; Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:35 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

JCJR wrote:A song at 120 bpm has a fundamental frequency of 2 Hz but we can hear that fundamental because of the higher harmonics provided by the rhythmic instruments in the song.

???

As stated some distortion will help make it audible on most speakers & headphones.
IMO there is nothing wrong with having some very low notes but alternate them with higher notes of the same chord (or follow the chord progression). But its worth watching the levels as the power demands & speaker excursion increase considerably with low notes.
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KVRist
 
92 posts since 21 Sep, 2008

Postby blackflag; Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:38 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

It's very common in DnB to have 30-50 hz sub frequencies...in fact these days it's pretty much a requirement.
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KVRAF
 
8330 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:40 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Maybe if the fundamental is at 20 Hz, but 2 Hz... :o ...even with harmonics you won't hear or feel it...
KVRAF
 
4427 posts since 16 Feb, 2005

Postby camsr; Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:49 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Big PAs with lots of subs will play down to 7hz.
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KVRAF
 
20121 posts since 26 Jul, 2005, from Inside Schroedinger's Cat...or am I...

Postby robojam; Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:52 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Doug1978 wrote:
chickenhide wrote:...What is the ideal range for sub bass then?


42.

No arguments there.
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KVRAF
 
8330 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:59 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Keep in mind that you could make different versions of the song - one version for professional PA systems with a low sub bass (for example "Deep Sub Club Mix") and one with a distorted bass with higher frequencies that even sounds good on Grandma's kitchen radio ("Kitchen Mix")... :wink:
KVRian
 
870 posts since 17 Apr, 2005
 

Postby JCJR; Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:47 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Tricky-Loops wrote:Maybe if the fundamental is at 20 Hz, but 2 Hz... :o ...even with harmonics you won't hear or feel it...


You can find youtube analog synth demos (too lazy to go find one) or easy enough to do if you have a suitable axe on hand-- Use a clicky pulse or ramp with the filter pretty wide, maybe some mid freq Q turned up.

Play a low note and start moving the pitch down, eventually you are hearing a rapid series of clicks rather than a bass tone. Turn the pitch down low enough and it becomes a slow series of clicks.

The clicks are upper harmonics of the too low to hear fundamental, allowing one to perceive very low frequencies because the brain infers from the harmonics it can hear.
KVRer
 
15 posts since 26 Nov, 2008, from Bristol, UK

Postby Fluffbomb; Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:57 am Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

JCJR wrote:Play a low note and start moving the pitch down, eventually you are hearing a rapid series of clicks rather than a bass tone. Turn the pitch down low enough and it becomes a slow series of clicks.

The clicks are upper harmonics of the too low to hear fundamental, allowing one to perceive very low frequencies because the brain infers from the harmonics it can hear.

Isn't that just the sound of the speaker hitting the limit of its excursion rather than harmonics?
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KVRAF
 
8330 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:01 pm Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Fluffbomb wrote:
JCJR wrote:Play a low note and start moving the pitch down, eventually you are hearing a rapid series of clicks rather than a bass tone. Turn the pitch down low enough and it becomes a slow series of clicks.

The clicks are upper harmonics of the too low to hear fundamental, allowing one to perceive very low frequencies because the brain infers from the harmonics it can hear.

Isn't that just the sound of the speaker hitting the limit of its excursion rather than harmonics?
Clicks usually have a pretty high frequency. If ever someone could hear the harmonics of a 2 Hz wave, it should be some kind of growling...
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KVRAF
 
4310 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:04 pm Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Just transpose the problem notes up an octave and leave the rest of the bassline where it is if it works. Sure, it makes the bassline suddenly jump up, but that's funky! I compose most of my bassy tracks in some key of A, as that seems to be the sweet spot for my and a lot of other speakers, plus you have room to go down to that low E below the low A. That E is about as low as you can go but it's good to have that "wiggle room" otherwise you have a bassline that can only go up :)
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
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KVRAF
 
2924 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:08 pm Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

When the sound is so low that it does not interfere with other low-frequency sounds, I don't think it is a problem just sitting there, being ignored by almost everyone (who doesn't have giant sub woofers).

How did you even enter the bass line when you can't even hear it? 8)

I think bass is way too exaggerated these days, only pisses off neighbors, if it can be heard at all.
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KVRAF
 
8330 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:19 pm Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

fluffy_little_something wrote:I think bass is way too exaggerated these days, only pisses off neighbors, if it can be heard at all.
Because even the cheapest car hi-fi system has a bass enhancer that transforms every car into a rolling earthquake! :scared:
KVRian
 
870 posts since 17 Apr, 2005
 

Postby JCJR; Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:21 pm Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Fluffbomb wrote:
JCJR wrote:Play a low note and start moving the pitch down, eventually you are hearing a rapid series of clicks rather than a bass tone. Turn the pitch down low enough and it becomes a slow series of clicks.

The clicks are upper harmonics of the too low to hear fundamental, allowing one to perceive very low frequencies because the brain infers from the harmonics it can hear.

Isn't that just the sound of the speaker hitting the limit of its excursion rather than harmonics?


Most audio signal chains have enough hipassing to protect the woofer from over excursion on near-dc low frequencies. Otherwise woofer failure would be much more common from such accidents as loud thumps (dropped microphones and such).

A ramp or pulse wave has sudden large fast transitions in the waveform which make clicky high harmonics. As you reduce the frequency, first the fundamental gets too low to hear, then the second harmonic gets too low to hear, then the third, etc. Until eventually at very low frequencies the clicky transitions are about the only thing remaining that the ears can perceive. At higher frequencies, the same clicks are in there, but at higher frequency with more clicks per second the ear perceives them differently.
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KVRAF
 
2924 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:27 pm Re: Is 32hz TOO low in a track?

Tricky-Loops wrote:
fluffy_little_something wrote:I think bass is way too exaggerated these days, only pisses off neighbors, if it can be heard at all.
Because even the cheapest car hi-fi system has a bass enhancer that transforms every car into a rolling earthquake! :scared:


Reminds me of those black guys with those cars whose front ends jump up and down :D


Anyway, bass is strange. There are certain frequencies that sound very unpleasant, and it is not about how low the frequency is. It is certain frequencies where everything seems to vibrate in an ugly way. Maybe that is specific to my speakers and furniture, dunno...
If I play notes above or below those specific notes, it sounds fine again.
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