The well-known impulse response or "tap-tone" method is widely used 30 years in instrument construction to adjust violin plates. Hold a top plate by a point on the nodal line (where there is no vibration) and with the other hand, tap on a "belly" (where vibration is present) to hear the fundamental note (mode 5) of the plate. The use of the free software "AUDACITY ©" made it possible to popularize this method and to tune the backgrounds and tables of the stringed instruments very easily.
By striking a violin body at given points, the noise heard can be analyzed as a "response curve", which indicates the resonance peaks specific to this particular body. When the sounding box is activated by a violin string, the sound produced is richer and more intense, to the extent that the string’s sound and its components coincide with the body’s response curve.
Methods and technologies for studying physical vibrations have led to that facilitate our understanding of the behavior of musical instruments.
Exceptional sound is achieved by tuning modes A0, B1- and B1+ and the delta between the latter, and by optimizing the arching for minimal weight of the materials, as well as obtaining appropriate thicknesses at the center and in the C-bouts of the back plates so as to limit deformation.
When all the modes of the sounding box are tuned to their respective frequencies, according to the criteria defined by the finest Stradivari and Guarneri violins, is the guarantee of a modern instrument with high-quality, stable sound.what is heard is the resonance of the wood. A reverberation of the sound within the sounding box should also be heard. Therein lies the particularity of the sound of Italian violins.
Easy emission, pure sound, and easy vibrato are determined by the delta between the B1- and B1+. A delta of 85 Hz between these two modes yields a bright, pure sound and firm playing.
Depending on their personal experience, some violinists prefer a dark timbre; others, clear. No matter what the tone color, a violin’s superiority lies in the facility of emission on the entire length of the fingerboard, perfect balance between high and low registers, an appropriate response to rapid bow-strokes, full warm low notes and bright high notes. The instrument must respond to the slightest solicitation of the bow and withstand its pressure. Most important of all is the purity of sound.
A pure sound will always be heard better because it carries better. This purity will also enable the soloist to play loudly enough and stand out above all the others instruments without saturation of the strings.
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