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View Full Version : How Low Can You Go!?


Teh Glees0rz
10-31-2005, 06:51 AM
Limbo contest, anyone? :lol:

Seriously though, what's the lowest note you could play on a bass before it would become inaudible?

Take those crazy uber-ERBs into consideration. The lowest I've seen so far is a low F# on one of Jean Baudin's basses. I haven't heard it, but I can imagine that's really low.

Discuss, thank you please. :thumb:

Sade
10-31-2005, 06:54 AM
You can't really hear strings like that-but you sure as hell can feel them. :thumb:

Pastorius
10-31-2005, 07:52 AM
Well I just tuned my bass to EEADGC

Raiven
10-31-2005, 08:00 AM
D is the lowest note.

apacherosepeacock
10-31-2005, 08:02 AM
well theoretically.... A 4octaves below Concert A (440Hz) is 27Hz.... which is bordering on inaudible to most people, something around that, depending on the person (the lowest note possible is probably E0 (about20hz)....

in otherwords very low

Skit
10-31-2005, 08:15 AM
I think someone sent me a clip of the F# note... Sounded awesome :thumb:


I dont know how low you could go though, I think everyones ears are different so some people would still eb able to hear notes other cant..

Teh Glees0rz
10-31-2005, 08:42 AM
I think someone sent me a clip of the F# note... Sounded awesome :thumb:

If you've still got it, why not post it (if you can find it)? I'm interested to hear how it sounds. :naughty:

Skit
10-31-2005, 08:48 AM
I dont have it anymore unfortunatly, It was someone from MX who sent me it though :thumb:

Low_End_Communications
10-31-2005, 08:51 AM
At around E below a low B, you lose audibility of the fundamental, and what everyone hears at that point is just overtones and harmonics of the fundamental. Some people are different and only hear down to F#.

bottlerocket
10-31-2005, 08:51 AM
Random side note: Black holes emit a sound 55 octaves below the lowest B note the human ear can hear. :D

:thumb:

-Gav

PaulR
10-31-2005, 08:59 AM
I have a scale, the lowest note is a C#... I think someone from MX sent it to me... you can't hear it unless you have a really decent subwoofer.

Is it against the rules if I YSI it for people, please mod?

Bass_swede
10-31-2005, 09:26 AM
I think YSI is OK as long as it isn't copyrighted.

You can also put hxxp:// instead of http:// but I guess you knew that..

PaulR
10-31-2005, 09:28 AM
hxxp://s57.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=31HLV066QF6EE3JAW2AZC1YDMA

Enjoy. And feel free to speak up whoever originally sent this to me, I don't want to take credit for finding it.

Bass_swede
10-31-2005, 09:31 AM
Thank's Paul.. It sounded more like a 'thud' than a note ;)

bass face
10-31-2005, 09:34 AM
ive got one of my basses now tuned to ADGC thats the lowest ive ever gone

nisakss
10-31-2005, 09:34 AM
The thing is that most times very low notes lack fatteness, so it may seem that a higher note is actually lower.....don't know how to explain it, but let's say that 10 is the lowest a bass can go an yet be heard by a human being, it is possible that 8 will sound lower due to fattness and presence.

:amaze:

*stops speaking bull*****

peeted
10-31-2005, 09:36 AM
it all depends on the person, some people can pickup lower notes than others.

its odd we were doing this thing in science were teh teacher had this pitch modulator thing that could basicaly hum any note and we tried to see who could hear the highest and the lowest, the 2 people who could hear the highest notes were the 2 guitarists in the group and the 2 who could hear the lowest notes were the 2 bassists.

Teh Glees0rz
10-31-2005, 10:51 AM
hxxp://s57.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=31HLV066QF6EE3JAW2AZC1YDMA

Enjoy. And feel free to speak up whoever originally sent this to me, I don't want to take credit for finding it.

Crikey, that was deep! :naughty: Thanks for that. :thumb:

What I'm thinking is, how could that ever be useful in a band situation? That certainly would cut through over a guitar in any way, shape or form.

PainKiller8191
10-31-2005, 10:54 AM
so whats all this talk about the "brown note" that makes u **** when u hear it loud enough....is it different for each person?

Tryxx
10-31-2005, 10:57 AM
I have a scale, the lowest note is a C#... I think someone from MX sent it to me... you can't hear it unless you have a really decent subwoofer.

Is it against the rules if I YSI it for people, please mod?

It is C#, that said someone else posted 20-21hz, that's right too.

nilon
10-31-2005, 10:59 AM
The thing is that most times very low notes lack fatteness, so it may seem that a higher note is actually lower.....don't know how to explain it, but let's say that 10 is the lowest a bass can go an d yet be heard by a human being, it is possible that 8 with sound lower, do to fattness and presence.

Nope, what your saying makes sense, for an example I present: the Warwick Rockbass 5er. The low b has little actual sound to it, but loads of attack, where as the e has more sound to it and less attack and sounds "lower" than the b. What's actually happening is you've placed a "fatness/bassy" quality to all low sounds and the more bassy a sound is, the lower you perceive/believe it to be.

Or at least that's why my Psychology of Music tutor told me once.

Killer Fridge
10-31-2005, 11:07 AM
so whats all this talk about the "brown note" that makes u **** when u hear it loud enough....is it different for each person?

yeah i posted a version of it in a thread ages ago - it doesnt make you poo yourself as such, but you do feel damn odd

Mr. JazzMaster
10-31-2005, 11:38 AM
My e string can go down to G# but it just craps out right after that.

Mr. JazzMaster
10-31-2005, 11:39 AM
Random side note: Black holes emit a sound 55 octaves below the lowest B note the human ear can hear. :D

:thumb:

-Gav

Black holes are my favorite space related thing, there like pure evil.

screamingdaisy
10-31-2005, 11:43 AM
The thing is that most times very low notes lack fatteness, so it may seem that a higher note is actually lower.....don't know how to explain it, but let's say that 10 is the lowest a bass can go an yet be heard by a human being, it is possible that 8 will sound lower due to fattness and presence.

:amaze:

*stops speaking bull*****


Actually, I've run into that when learning some hip-hop lines. I started playing them low on the E string only to find out that they were actually an octave higher that what I thought they were, and they sounded much more solid when played up that high.

As for how low a note can go....I think I read somewhere that most people can't actually hear the low B on a bass guitar, they're simply hearing the harmonics and their brain is filling in the missing information, which kinda backs up what nilon was saying about "The low b has little actual sound to it, but loads of attack".....

That said, just because you can't hear a note that low doesn't mean you can't feel it, and if you're playing a low B through distortion the distortion will naturally accent the various harmonics, which is what gives it the sound that it has (all harmonics with no fundamental).

screamingdaisy
10-31-2005, 11:46 AM
yeah i posted a version of it in a thread ages ago - it doesnt make you poo yourself as such, but you do feel damn odd

The band Sunn O))) throws out alot of low end (a friend of mine said the vibrations were so thick his vision was starting to distort), and apparently they've had people puke at their concerts because of it.

Don't know if they got anyone to sh*t themselves yet though....

edgebass5
10-31-2005, 02:27 PM
Okay, one thing to remember is that a note on a bass is comprised of two components.
1. The fundamental frequency of the note
2. Harmonic overtones that give the note its individual timbre

The threshold for human hearing is somewhere in the 20hz region, however a note with a fundamental frequency of 20hz would still have harmonic overtones that would be audible to the human ear. The only way to create a note that would be TRULY inaudible would be to create a tone that had a fundamental below the threshold of human hearing and either no overtones (good luck) or one who's overtones were also all below the threshold of human hearing. That's why the "Low C# Theory" works.

Papa Shank
10-31-2005, 02:30 PM
Okay, one thing to remember is that a note on a bass is comprised of two components.
1. The fundamental frequency of the note
2. Harmonic overtones that give the note its individual timbre

The threshold for human hearing is somewhere in the 20hz region, however a note with a fundamental frequency of 20hz would still have harmonic overtones that would be audible to the human ear. The only way to create a note that would be TRULY inaudible would be to create a tone that had a fundamental below the threshold of human hearing and either no overtones (good luck) or one who's overtones were also all below the threshold of human hearing. That's why the "Low C# Theory" works.
another factor is scale length, but yeah you hit the nail on the head.

LewsTherin
10-31-2005, 02:31 PM
Random side note: Black holes emit a sound 55 octaves below the lowest B note the human ear can hear. :D

:thumb:

-Gav

5.5511151231257827021181583404541e-16 hz


now THAT is low.

EADG
10-31-2005, 02:37 PM
Jean Baudin's new bass has a C# string below his F#, which is 17hz. That's just below the average hearing range.

If you go to www.myspace.com/stewmckinsey you can hear him play the low C# and F# strings on his subcontrabass.

ViolenceBass
10-31-2005, 02:38 PM
Random side note: Black holes emit a sound 55 octaves below the lowest B note the human ear can hear. :D

:thumb:

-Gav

but wouldnt that make...YOUR HEAD A SPLODE!!!

http://www.hrwiki.org/images/thumb/e/e8/strongbadzonebox.PNG/220px-strongbadzonebox.PNG

nisakss
10-31-2005, 02:39 PM
Random side note: Black holes emit a sound 55 octaves below the lowest B note the human ear can hear. :D

:thumb:

-Gav

how has this been measured? or is it the product of some mathematical formulae??

Purple Alien
10-31-2005, 02:42 PM
the dudes on myth busters did an experiment trying to find this brown note but they couldnt find anything they went as low as 5 hz! Can't hear it but you know its there!

edgebass5
10-31-2005, 02:47 PM
another factor is scale length, but yeah you hit the nail on the head.

scale length actually has nothing to do with it. The frequency of a note does not change along with the scale length.

LewsTherin
10-31-2005, 02:48 PM
scale length actually has nothing to do with it. The frequency of a note does not change along with the scale length.

geez edge, 41.2hz on a 34" bass is OBVIOUSLY a different note than 41.2hz on a 35" bass.

Papa Shank
10-31-2005, 02:55 PM
scale length actually has nothing to do with it. The frequency of a note does not change along with the scale length.
eep, I was thinking about it's ability to stay in tune at low tunings.

faelun
10-31-2005, 03:07 PM
what about the fabled brown note?

Papa Shank
10-31-2005, 03:09 PM
what about the fabled brown note?
That's just a note too low for the string gauge/scale length and the note isn't able to ring properly.

Purple Alien
10-31-2005, 03:17 PM
anyone ever seen that southpark episode where kenny found the brown note and they used it in the national anthem and made everyone in the whole world **** themselves

will66
10-31-2005, 03:35 PM
yeah funny stuff:lol:

edgebass5
10-31-2005, 07:04 PM
eep, I was thinking about it's ability to stay in tune at low tunings.

I will definitely agree that a longer scale length is going to allow you to more easily reproduce those low frequencies, so you're definitely correct in that regard :thumb:

Munky_Jam
10-31-2005, 07:41 PM
one day the military will find the brown note and all foriegn people who are different and foriegn like are ****ed...

that would be such a demoralising weapon

screamingdaisy
10-31-2005, 08:57 PM
Okay, one thing to remember is that a note on a bass is comprised of two components.
1. The fundamental frequency of the note
2. Harmonic overtones that give the note its individual timbre

The threshold for human hearing is somewhere in the 20hz region, however a note with a fundamental frequency of 20hz would still have harmonic overtones that would be audible to the human ear. The only way to create a note that would be TRULY inaudible would be to create a tone that had a fundamental below the threshold of human hearing and either no overtones (good luck) or one who's overtones were also all below the threshold of human hearing. That's why the "Low C# Theory" works.

Hmmm.

So the fundamental of a low F# string is still audable, but the low C# isn't....

Still, can a speaker reproduce notes that low? I was checked out a few sites and it seems that a number of subwoofers seem to cut off around 27hz (~low A). I know they'll still produce notes below that fq, but not that efficiantly....



Someone gave me this link awhile ago, seems like a useful time to post it;

http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html