Difference between revisions of "Words describing sound"

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|  Lots of unexpected frequencies and harmonics in the high frequencies
 
|  Lots of unexpected frequencies and harmonics in the high frequencies
 
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|  Retro / old-school / vintage
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|  Hollow
 +
|  Lacking in the mid frequency area
 +
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 +
|  Retro / vintage / old-school
 
|  Resembling the output of old analog audio equipment, which will often affect the high frequency range more. Typical features are noise, lack of treble, abundance of mid area frequencies, and generally a sort of distortion that is perceived as pleasant, even though this can be subjective.
 
|  Resembling the output of old analog audio equipment, which will often affect the high frequency range more. Typical features are noise, lack of treble, abundance of mid area frequencies, and generally a sort of distortion that is perceived as pleasant, even though this can be subjective.
 
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Revision as of 20:37, 22 September 2009

People often need to describe sound to each other, but the words for such descriptions are not well defined, unscientific, and can vary from person to person. This is a rather futile attempt to list and describe them.

Sound word What it really means to a sound technician
Bass / Low Low frequencies
Treble / High High frequencies
Warm More bass and low mids, less treble
Cold Less bass and low mids, more treble
Aggressive Resemblance with white noise, lots of (dis)harmonics
Digital Unclear yet over-emphasized treble, such as the one caused by poor resampling or aliasing
Fat / phat Pleasing, using a frequency area at least as wide as hoped for
Thin Lacking frequencies that are expected
Muffled Lacking treble, (or sometimes lacking transients)
Booming Having too much sound at one single frequency band in the bass or low mids.
Clean Lack of noise, not being confusing to listen to in terms of complexity
Busy Being too complex, with too many instruments that are hard to tell apart.
Punchy Pronounced transients, having lots of dynamics
Flat Lack of transients, not having proper dynamics, lack of bass and treble
Closed Having an uneven frequency response, having phase problems
Open Having a good frequency response and not having phase problems
Funky Having lots of beats placed in-between the main beats, for example on the odd 8th or odd 16th subdivisions.
Crunchy Lots of unexpected frequencies and harmonics in the high frequencies
Hollow Lacking in the mid frequency area
Retro / vintage / old-school Resembling the output of old analog audio equipment, which will often affect the high frequency range more. Typical features are noise, lack of treble, abundance of mid area frequencies, and generally a sort of distortion that is perceived as pleasant, even though this can be subjective.