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Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by topo morto, Feb 22, 2013.
An a440 is ALWAYS 440HZ. Undearwater, in a vacume etc doesn't matter.
It will not vibrate as long due to the resistance on the water as there string passes through.
I think post #2 is correct but I can't think of a good way to prove it. I actually tried with a rubber band but the water damped the vibration too quickly to detect pitch.
Brb, testing this with my 63 jazz bass.
This is scientifically sound. The numbers are the numbers. The frequencies are the frequencies. Timbres and durations are another matter entirely.
Maybe an effects pedal can approximate what happens to the sound.
Frequency (pitch) would indeed be the same. The thincker the medium in which the string is vibrating the fewer overtones I think you would get, however, and less duration. Put another way, more resistence gives more fundamental less harmonic less sustain.
Think of the pendulum in a clock. Gravity adds the resistence in place of the water in the OP question and the amplitude of the swinging weight changes, but not the frequency. Savvy?
In scientific lingo, the water will provide viscous damping. That basically means the string will have less sustain. It also means that the frequency of vibration will theoretically be (very) slightly lower. Generally speaking, higher modes are damped to a greater extent, so that would mean the higher harmonics would be damped out more and the fundamental and lower harmonics would be more present.
The frequency of a sound is inversely proportional to it's wavelength: f = 1/lambda.
And the speed of sound is a function of the density of the medium; the closer together the particles are, the more quickly the sound is transmitted.
So, on one hand, I'm thinking that the density of the water, relative to air, would slow down the oscillation of the string and effectively lower the pitch.
But I'm remembering swimming pools with underwater speakers, and while I'm guessing that they couldn't use normal magnet and cone transducers, I don't remember the music sounding at a different pitch.
Then on the other hand, the sound would be transferred to your ears more quickly by the more dense medium.
This is a better questions than I initially thought it was, but my guess is that the string would oscillate more slowly, and sound at a lower pitch.
I'm hoping this is just hypothetical, because playing your bass underwater will probably damage it. A lot.
In water lower pitchs travel further. Whale song is ritch on low freq. and sub audiable tones. These travel miles.
Dolphin clicks don't travel as far because they live in pods and don't need to comunicate over 100's of miles.
This question is like asking which falls faster? A lead ball or a feather? In a vacume they both fall at the same speed. In a gas atmosphre the feather falls slowly because of wind resistance. In a liquid it doesn't sink because of boyancy.
This is what I was thinking. I know a440 is a440 because 440 is a measure of the hertz, I just don't think a string will vibrate as fastin a denser medium. Anyone want to take the time to completely waterproof the electronics on an SX or similarly priced pawnshop bass and test it out?
Sounds like a good case for light gauge strings, to handle the ambient densities of playing underwater.
It only has to travel back and forth one time to be a 'cycle'. That's when questions of duration and decay take over. It might take more energy to produce the pitch, but the pitch CAN still be produced.
The speaker is driven to vibrate at that frequency though; it's not vibrating at its resonant frequency(ies) like a string.
Of course it isn't. The proof is in Star Trek lV, The Voyage Home.
What strings are better for under water ... flats or rounds?
With all due respect, I don't know, I don't want to know, and I don't know why you would want to know.
Im so intrigued.. why you want to know that?
Which brand of water is best for metal?
I've been thinking about this some more and have decided that it MUST slow the string. Think of it in terms of archery--a bow string. The energy in the string, just before it's released by the archer, is fixed. Think of one bow 'cycle,' where the bow string is pulled back, then released, and for simplicity imagine that the string stops as soon as it's straightened out at the mid-point of its swing--forget about 'sustain' for a moment.
In air, the string will take .00X seconds to complete its travel. In a vacuum, slightly less as there's less friction. Now encase the archer and his bow in peanut butter, and repeat. The string will certainly take longer to complete its trip. The 'pitch' of the bow string is thus lowered.
Underwater speakers don't have this problem because they aren't passive devices like a bass (or bow) string-they are actively forced to complete a task of movement X number of times per second. However, being underwater does reduce the DISTANCE the speaker can travel in a cycle. Different problem.
That's only for humpback whales, silly.