Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Dictionary of terms to describe sound

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jive1, Jan 6, 2005.


  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Since alot of us ask how xxx sounds, I figure a dictionary would be helpful.

    Warm - a little less treble and presence, slight boost in the bass
    Growl - Strong midrange
    Thump - Strong lows, sound you can feel
    Punch - strong low mids
    HiFi - Clear highs, and bass.
    Glassy - strong in the upper treble range, with a significant loss of lows
    Pounding - see thump
    Fat - lots of bass and low mids
    Bark - strong upper mids and low treble
    Thin - lacking bass and low mids
    Weak - lacking in all frequencies
    Present - strong highs
    Woody - strong upper mids
    Piano Like - rich in overtones/harmonics
    Tight - strong fundamental, especially in the lows. Doesn't have the low lows (40Hz and lower)
    Articulate - strong mids, especially upper mids
    Scooped - lacking mids, strong in highs and lows

    Feel free to add terms or correct the terms above.
     
  2. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I think its a good idea, but how do you tell someone what "low mids" or "high mids" sounds like?

    It is good to have "definitions" that more accurately describe things like "thump", but ultimately the terms used in those definitions cant really be described.

    I guess you really cant describe sound, thats why we have ears :D
     
  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Yeah sound is hard to describe using only words, but if you're familiar with any type of EQ, those general terms will make some sense.
     
  4. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    You nailed it.

    Not sure how to translate that to Australian,
    though...
     
  5. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Try:

    "Good one cobber" or "Right on mate"
     
  6. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I tihnk thats pretty accurate. I would describe my tone as a Punchy Bark :p
     
  7. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    When im playing rock, I generally describe my tone as "vanilla mist", but for funk I use "aurora".
     
  8. I think those descriptions are pretty accurate. But I usually associate them with the term used. For me, it's pretty self-explanatory when someone describes their tone as warm or glassy. Good idea!
     
  9. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I think you have this mistaken for the Cologne thread. ;)
    Even your tones are metro
     
  10. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Suddenly everyone regrets dropping their literature and poetry classes, eh? We need a richly textured language to describe things that are opaque and whistful such as bass sounds.

    I like vanilla mist...cool description.

    My ESP sounds "frosty". Don't know what that means, but its the word that comes to mind.

    In contrast, my Hartke 5-string is more "primal".
     
  11. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I think my bass just 'farted' when I read 'metro' ... :D