iOS SpectrumAnalyzer for Cymbals

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Is there a good spectrum analyzer for cymbals?

I tried the iDrumTune, but it doesn't work for cymbals. I was looking at something like pitch to note. I want something that does the full spectrum and has a concept of pitches, so that I can get an idea about what frequencies my cymbals produce, when I play them certain ways.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Try the Octave RTA (real time analyzer.)

It doesn't really tell you the (fundamental) note, but you can see the dominant frequency. It's also handy for other applications, and it's fun!

Bermuda
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Try the Octave RTA (real time analyzer.)

It doesn't really tell you the (fundamental) note, but you can see the dominant frequency. It's also handy for other applications, and it's fun!

Bermuda
That looks more like a notch filter analyzer, which is also interesting. When I used to do tracking, I had one that would scroll. The intensities were shown as a gray scale pixel, but I could see how the spectrum changed with time.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Just curious, why is it important to know a cymbal's frequencies/notes? If a cymbal sounds good to you based on how you play it, or two cymbals sound nice together to your ear, do the numbers really matter?

I know a cymbal's weight is often used to judge its sound potential, although two cymbals of the same size can have identical weights, yet still sound quite different.

Bermuda
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Just curious, why is it important to know a cymbal's frequencies/notes? If a cymbal sounds good to you based on how you play it, or two cymbals sound nice together to your ear, do the numbers really matter?

I know a cymbal's weight is often used to judge its sound potential, although two cymbals of the same size can have identical weights, yet still sound quite different.

Bermuda
Two cymbals can sound nice together, but still not accomplish my artistic goals. For example, I would prefer two contrasting cymbals just about any day.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Two cymbals can sound nice together, but still not accomplish my artistic goals. For example, I would prefer two contrasting cymbals just about any day.
Agreed, but certainly you can hear it without having to determine the specs, no?

Bermuda
 

shemp

Silver Member
I can see the need to see a spectrum....for a cymbal manufacturer. To decipher techniques of mfg, hammering and the resultant effect.

As a player, unless you are going to commit a cymbal crime by taping or physically modifying the cymbal, I don't see the need. Hearing is plenty good to pair, mix/match and choose pies to hang around your kit.

For recording, for instance, Cubase and others give you all the response plotting and response manipulation tools anyone could need if you want to get into cymbal alchemy in the digital realm....ya know close mic then tweak in the box.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm pretty sure with SA + a few other attributes, one could write a program that could:

1: Do automated QA and grade sorting for a manufacturer, based on %variance
2: Index a large cymbal collection and create unique sets without clashing/overlapping regions. Alternatively, create sonically horrible sets to prank friends.
3: Identify unlabeled cymbals, including composition, manufacturer, and vintage.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Audacity has something called Plot Spectrum and it identifies notes and frequencies and it's free.
I've used that, but it requires setting up the recording equipment, then stopping playing, to trim the wave up then if you want to analyze the end vs. the start you have to re trim.... The spectrograph Pro app does it real time while you are playing, pretty cool. Plus it has graphics and fits on a music stand.
 

Notbob

Senior Member
I don't get the utility of this. I use real time spectrum analyzers, digital scopes, FFT analyzers, etc. at work all of the time. It's expensive stuff and certainly way better than anything you'd get for a tablet yet I would never consider analyzing cymbals with any of it to determine which ones go together. I'd use my ears.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I like to look at spectrographs of cymbals. It enhances my cymbal owning experience. I'm sorry if you can't understand this, it could be challenging for some.

Btw, what's your favorite Winamp pluggin, I liked that 3D spectroscope :p
 

Notbob

Senior Member
I've got no problem with you looking at pretty pictures of spectrums. Whatever floats your boat. I just don't understand using it as diagnostic tool when what ultimately matters is how it sounds. If the spectrum looked really cool or promising but it didn't sound so great, would you be happy with the cymbal?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I don't get the utility of this. I use real time spectrum analyzers, digital scopes, FFT analyzers, etc. at work all of the time.
If you do in fact use these things, then it shouldn't be difficult to imagine the implications of what can be done with SA/T, mass, and dimensions. Think about it. Drop a large sample of cymbals and their attributes into a DB and you can begin to mine correlations above and beyond the capability of the human ear and imagination.
 

shemp

Silver Member
If you do in fact use these things, then it shouldn't be difficult to imagine the implications of what can be done with SA/T, mass, and dimensions. Think about it. Drop a large sample of cymbals and their attributes into a DB and you can begin to mine correlations above and beyond the capability of the human ear and imagination.
This is great for a manufacturer.....but methinks a drummer should enjoy the sounds they select by ear....cause that's all that matters from drum recording, tone perspective....and, ya know, play something....not fiddle with the latest from Agilent or Tek.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I've got no problem with you looking at pretty pictures of spectrums. Whatever floats your boat. I just don't understand using it as diagnostic tool when what ultimately matters is how it sounds. If the spectrum looked really cool or promising but it didn't sound so great, would you be happy with the cymbal?
I think everyone understood you the first time. But fine, it's useless, I have no reason to suggest you should believe otherwise, explaining it to you would be beyond useless, maybe even pointless.

Ah and ooh look at the pretty colors.
 

Notbob

Senior Member
If you do in fact use these things..
Yes, I do in fact use these things. Among other things, I design embedded systems and have written more than enough DSP code over the years, thank you very much.

I agree with shemp. I can see the utility of a manufacturer using spectral analysis for QC but for an artist, not so much.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
I can see the utility of a manufacturer using spectral analysis for QC but for an artist, not so much.
I don't think the companies do that though. They make cymbals, the "ears" person at the company listens to them, and decides if they fall within an acceptable range of the intended sound. The eventual customer does the same thing with their ears, hopefully without being overly influenced by size, type, weight, or brand. A cymbal either sounds good to the ear, or it doesn't. Assigning a set of technical values to it shouldn't suddenly make it better or worse.

Look, I understand that specs can lead to the categorization of certain aspects of an instrument, and that may be a desirable tool for some. But there's more to liking a sound than just being sure the specs line up a certain way.

Let's say you like the concept of using a DrumDial or other such tuning device, to be sure every head matches a pre-determined reading, and so is technically 'correct'. Would you sit down at a kit and start playing, without first making sure it actually sounds good? That's a real leap of faith, IMO. The reality is, after fiddling with key rods and readouts, the drummer has to hit the drum, and finesse it to the sound his ear likes, regardless that the numbers said the drum was already 'tuned'. And I'm not disparaging tuning aids, they're great for getting in the ballpark. But in the end, the ear decides whether the drum sounds its best, and further adjustments are almost always necessary.

Anyway, I am fascinated about how my cymbals might 'look' on a graph, it's not something that had ever occurred to me to explore. Another interesting thing I've been exposed to here at Drummerworld!

Bermuda
 
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