Volume or resonance?


Ok [/I]so this might be a silly question, and just to be clear I have consulted the dictionary, but what is the difference between volume and resonance? Are the the same or two separate things that influence one another?
I fee like I might confuse these two a lot and clarification might help inform how I approach tuning and such.


Platinum Member
Volume is how loud a sound is, for our purpose resonance is kinda like how long the sound lasts.

The more resonant something is, the more it vibrates freely, thus creating sound.

the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating.
"the resonance of his voice"
the reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object.

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
As it applies to a musical instrument my take on it is that volume can be measured with a db meter. Resonance is more the quality of the sound or how "big" the sound is.

A loud squeaky clarinet is not the same as one played quietly with a big tone that fills a hall. Pick any instrument in an orchestra and if it's got a big resonant sound it will be heard no matter how quietly it's played A cheaply made gong and a really resonant one like a Paiste symphonic gong are great at demonstrating this concept.

Just a thought...


Platinum Member
Resonates is usually the ability to set another body in motion-like a tuning fork. A drum is same thing cause strike the batter head then the shell, and reso head are all resonating too. Sustain is how long it vibrates-long the note lasts. The shell can amplify and alters the pitch-so usually larger diameter and deeper shell louder and lower pitch.The tone of an instrument is usually the inherit sound properties of an instrument. So my Pearl Decade has a pretty good tone but it isn't as sweet as a Pearl Masters maple. I have a Pearl Rhythm traveler POD with shallow single heads and it isn't very loud, has little tone, short sustain, and just a lot of attack. Now the toms are only 8,10, 12 inches yet they do have a pitch range so can tune high and low-just no tone, no sustain, no volume. That's what I think is correct but who the hell knows-the more you read online the terms get conflated all over the place. Sustain, resonance, tone, pitch the problem is they all can mean different things to a particular instrument just adding to the confusion.


Platinum Member
I once had a job building and testing Sodar - sonar/radar wind speed measuring machines that shot sound up into the sky and listened for its reflection on the atmosphere.

Any sound or audio reflections within the frame or body of the array was resonance that needed to be deadened.

Therefore, I consider any secondary sound to the prime mover as resonance.
If the head is the prime mover, the shell sound and its reflectance are resonance.


Platinum Member
Something that has a lot of volume but not a lot of resonance: A gun shot.

Something that has a lot of resonance but not a lot of volume: Gently hitting a 4-foot gong