Audio frequency, what’s it all about?

Hello, I am Brandon Fallout from Seattle, WA in the USA. Welcome to my newly minted blog. This lesson is for week 1 of Introduction To Music Production at Coursera.org. I will be going over audio frequencies and how they apply to different hearing ranges.

Can you hear that?

An audio frequency is a periodic vibration that oscillates within the audible range of the average human. It is generally agreed upon that this range is from 20hz up to 20khz and is also the property of sound  that most determines pitch. It is interesting to note that the term audio frequency is based on the human hearing range and not other species. This could be useful to know if composing pieces for specific species such as Elephants (slightly lower range at 16hz-12khz ), birds (parakeet @ 200hz-8.5khz ) or whales (beluga @ 1k-123khz).

 

20Hz to 20kHz (Human Audio Spectrum)

 

Frequencies and descriptions

Audio frequency

Above is a diagram of frequencies with descriptions from Wikipedia tailored to human hearing range. The 20hz – 20khz figures can change based on age or  possible hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to high decibel noise.  Such loss would result in higher frequencies not being heard by the listener.

 

 More information along with sources:

Final thoughts

Putting this blog together was an interesting learning experience and seems like the perfect medium to get musical ideas across to you, the reader.

While doing some research about audio frequencies, I thought it interesting that the information provided by various sources were based solely on human hearing.  I know it seems a bit odd to think outside of that parameter when working on a composition, but why not? I have heard of people writing music for specific species of animal and thought it might be neat to explore what effects music would have on other animals if it was written with their hearing range in mind instead of our own. Just thought I would point that out as it’s an  easily overlooked subject.

I have also embedded a YouTube link that goes through the 20hz-20khz range. I was surprised to find out that my personal hearing range is around 100hz to a bit over 15k. I’ll have to test this again in an isolated environment with some good headphones to see if those numbers change. I find it’s always interesting to learn something new about ones self.

 

Until next time

If you have made it this far then you have read my small blog in its entirety. Thank you for taking the time to do so. Please feel free to leave a comment if you feel compelled to do so, critiquing or otherwise.

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5 thoughts on “Audio frequency, what’s it all about?”

    1. Thanks! It seemed like an appropriate medium. It’s actually been kinda fun to put this together. Keep an eye out for week 2 post. Now that I have a better feel for what I’m doing, it should be even better.

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  1. Oh no, I’ll have to look into that. Thank you for letting me know and I will see what I can do to remove you from that list.

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