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SpondonBassed

Honk if You Can Answer This

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I once read a post here that described tone using terms such as Honk.  There was a name for each of about half a dozen frequency ranges.  Apparently this is more widely recognised than I thought, possibly among sound engineers in particular.  Yet I can't find a list of terms by searching.

Has anyone got a link to that post.  Failing that, can someone list those terms and the frequencies that they cover please?

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It could be that I misuse the word 'honk' but I use it a fair bit to describe the nasal quality of upper mids that are pushed too far.  Reminiscent of a distorted tuba.

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A word (which I believe I termed) was Ponk/Ponky.

It was just a generalisation for this tone from the 60s...you have loads of guys creaming themselves over vintage basses/amps, but tonally there's little by way of dynamic range on a lot of those recordings. Listen to some of those old Motown/Jackson 5 isolated recordings.  Jazz bass/dead flats/foam under the strings.  Just tuned thumping.

Ponk.

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I would take issue with their description of 80-160Hz as 'boom/punch'. Punch definitely, but for me 'boom' is down the lower end near 'rumble'. Usually 'boom' is something I try to get rid of as it just makes the sound muddy. The red 30Hz slider on the Trace Elliot 12-band graphics was very useful for this.

Edited by Rich

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The problem is that the terms are subjectively descriptive, a kind of experiential onomatopoeia. They give a loose similie, which can be interpreted differently by different people.

A while back 'heft' began to be used and asked about around here as if it had a definite meaning, and I was the party-pooper back then too! Although some defended the term, there was no agreement as to what it really referred to. It's evocative but non-specific, and therefore of limited use.

Any of those terms are, as the saying goes, a bit like dancing about architecture. The really valuable thing is to get to now how manipulation of audible frequencies sounds to you, and to be able to use that knowledge to achieve what you want. It may be boring and bookish, but it is the only way to deal with factual, measurable timbral qualities. I'm no mastering engineer, but I have successfully sorted my monitor mix by calling the rough frequencies to the monitor tech. Much more effective than asking for less harrumph and more grangle.

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

The terms seem quite consistent

EQChart.jpg

This is a great graphic (although I'm not entirely certain whether bass refers to electric bass guitars, or orchestral uprights).  Years ago I gigged at a place where the sound guy was saying we needed to 'own our frequency'; our guitarist favoured a very deep and boomy tone and by way of compansation, I tended to roll off the bass a bit and play with a bit more top.

Sound guy was mooning around our kit and pre-stage time, rolled off some of the bass on the guitar and turned it up on mine and the sound came alive.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

This is a great graphic (although I'm not entirely certain whether bass refers to electric bass guitars, or orchestral uprights). 

I am suspecting that is electric bass, as it has a black section where covers where the B string would be

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The bass is a transposing instrument, and is written an octave higher than it sounds.

Point being it is not just an octave lower than the guitar as the above graphic shows.

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

I am suspecting that is electric bass, as it has a black section where covers where the B string would be

It shows bass going down to C, which is I think where an orchestral double bass often/usually goes down to.
 

15 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

The bass is a transposing instrument, and is written an octave higher than it sounds.

Point being it is not just an octave lower than the guitar as the above graphic shows.

The guitar is also a transposing instrument.  The low E string on a normal bass guitar is one octave below the low E string on a normal guitar.

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41 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

Point being it is not just an octave lower than the guitar as the above graphic shows.

It litterally is an octave below a guitar

24 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

It shows bass going down to C, which is I think where an orchestral double bass often/usually goes down to

I would say it looks like B (30.7) rather than C (~32.7), but a bit hard to see on that chart

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40 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

It shows bass going down to C, which is I think where an orchestral double bass often/usually goes down to.
 

The guitar is also a transposing instrument.  The low E string on a normal bass guitar is one octave below the low E string on a normal guitar.

 

14 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

It litterally is an octave below a guitar

I would say it looks like B (30.7) rather than C (~32.7), but a bit hard to see on that chart

I am Today years old!

Back in the day I got my grade 6 on classical guitar, never once was it mentioned in any lesson or theory that the guitar - as you both correctly state - is actually a transposition instrument.

🤯

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5 hours ago, BigRedX said:

What's the difference between the blue and red portion of each line? 

Looks to me like the blue represents fundamental frequencies (i.e. the notes you are actually playing), whereas the red appears to indicate the overtones (for a bass, the 'honk' indicated is best thought of as a characteristic created by tone control settings, specifically the midrange, rather than as a plucked note). The blue line for the bass (which could be either electric or DB as a 4-string bass has roughly the same range as a DB). The black sections dotted around the chart I'm not so sure about, but it could be showing possible extensions to the standard range. The low E on a 4-string bass is a little over 40Hz, whereas the low B on a 5 is a little under 30 Hz. I've seen orchestral DBs with a fifth string, which I imagine will be tuned to the same low B.

As it happens I think the overtone series, if that's what it is, is a bit of an oversimplification without further qualification. YMMV of course.

Hope this helps.

Edited by leftybassman392

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7 hours ago, BigRedX said:

What's the difference between the blue and red portion of each line? 

The blue is on the left and the red is on the right. 🤣 

Same question for me...

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1 minute ago, Hellzero said:

The blue is on the left and the red is on the right. 🤣 

Same question for me...

Check my previous post (just above yours) ^^

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Maybe I've misunderstood the term 'honk' (when applied to a bass) all my life then.

I always thought it described something like the envelope of the sound rather than a frequency - similar to how sometimes a guitar pick up or something is described (normally negatively) as having a 'quacking' sound.

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My understanding is that Honk refers to the tone when you boost it in the 500Hz region.

There was also a term for each of the other regions in the audible range.  I think there were eight or nine altogether.

So far no-one has listed them.  Woodinblack has come close but his image is not bass specific.  Thanks though.  It is a comprehensive diagram that contains a lot of information about the range of lots of instruments.  It will be useful at some point I imagine.

I'm still hoping someone else can remember what I'm trying to... the list.

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3 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

My understanding is that Honk refers to the tone when you boost it in the 500Hz region.

There was also a term for each of the other regions in the audible range.  I think there were eight or nine altogether.

So far no-one has listed them.

You may be able to find that list, and will certainly find many similar, but different. None of them will contain official terms, because there aren't any.

 

On 20/10/2020 at 07:39, SpondonBassed said:

 Apparently this is more widely recognised than I thought, possibly among sound engineers in particular.  Yet I can't find a list of terms by searching.

I think this thinking is the trouble here. Sound engineers are the last people to use a list of terms such as this. I'm tempted to call them layman's terms, but the fact is that they are even more amorphous and subjective than that.

As far as these descriptive terms go, call it what it sounds like to you- that's all you've got. If you want to improve your understanding of the audible frequency range, there are much better places to be looking- literally any other part of Woodinblack's chart is far more useful and universal as a starting point.

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16 minutes ago, Jus Lukin said:

You may be able to find that list, and will certainly find many similar, but different. None of them will contain official terms, because there aren't any.

 

I think this thinking is the trouble here. Sound engineers are the last people to use a list of terms such as this. I'm tempted to call them layman's terms, but the fact is that they are even more amorphous and subjective than that.

As far as these descriptive terms go, call it what it sounds like to you- that's all you've got. If you want to improve your understanding of the audible frequency range, there are much better places to be looking- literally any other part of Woodinblack's chart is far more useful and universal as a starting point.

Thanks for the encouragement.

While I take your points about terminology, there was a list that, if not widely accepted, was at least recognisable by a lot of musos.

I'll find it eventually.  You know what search engines are like... helpful one day, next-to-useless the next.

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I ran my own project studio for a number of years, and in all honesty I don’t recall using any of this terminology at any time.

The only frequency-related term I do remember using is ‘presence’, usually when discussing microphone characteristics. Microphones, especially studio mics, normally have a slight ‘lift’ in the response curve at around 5kHz.

ETA: Having looked at the list again, 'treble' and 'sibilance' are terms I am likely to have used, and I do recall studio engineers talking about warmth. Apologies for the oversight. That said I do still see the list as being a bit of a contrivance overall.

Edited by leftybassman392

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Maybe it was only a Basschat thing but it was posted here a couple of years ago.  If I could recall more than the one term I could peg it down but with just the one term I get too many search results back to go through.

I won't be the only one to have read the post though so it's only a matter of time, if enough members read this, before someone remembers and at least I'd have that.

Honk IS used widely.  You'll hear folk like Guy Pratt using it.  The other terms were suitable descriptive of the frequencies they represented too.

I've flogged this horse for long enough.  It's either a dead 'un or it's got no legs.  I'm past caring now.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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On 11/04/2016 at 10:56, luckydog said:

Here's a sort of rough rule of thumb of for how eq settings might generally map on to sounds

31Hz Chest/Gut
63Hz Bottom
125Hz Thump
250Hz Fullness
500Hz Honk
1kHz Whack
2kHz Pluck
4kHz Edge

I thought the OP settings looked plausible for a good band mix with a precision in a difficult room without mid preshape.....but much depends what one is aiming for in character of bass sound and one has to be guided by ears not by eyes.

LD

 

19 minutes ago, SpondonBassed said:

Maybe it was only a Basschat thing but it was posted here a couple of years ago...

S'your Lucky Day, old chum. :friends:

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