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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:25 pm 
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I tend to practice standing up, and often walk around. It is interesting to notice the different resonances and tonal qualities in different parts of my house.

I've experienced a big bump in improved tonal quality recently, due to coming to grips with a great new flute (6 months), and some extra effort on long-tones and higher-notes -up into the third register. (Well, more experience and extra practice due to Corona personal improvement time.).

Improving tone on the flute is obviously a feedback between what your ears hear, and all the micro-adjustments in your lips. I'm noticing in particular that playing in my resonant living room has a big influence on my daily improvements. And, it influences that feedback loop.

My living room is about 8x12x10 feet, made of dry-wall (plaster board) and hard-wood floor. It becomes extra-resonant when I roll up the carpet. Not as resonant as reverb on a new-age, celtic-meditation mix, but it's a nice, normal resonance. My bedroom is smaller, and much more absorbent; my living room is more resonant.

Do other people walk around as they practice?

What about other aural-spaces?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:20 pm 
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Location: Utah
Funny to me to read your post as I've also been playing my flute and whistles around the house whereas I usually play in one room. And, doing so because of the "Shelter in Place" Coronavirus circumstance. I too discovered resonant space in my house I hadn't previously noted.

I wanted to record myself for purposes of critique. I've been debating whether to use the best acoustical space or my normal space. Where will I gain the most insight into areas of my playing that need work and improvement?

Funny what you notice when you have time on your hands.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 pm 
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Rooms with hard walls like tiled bathrooms can be fun. I enjoyed this discovery some years ago, though I haven't been tempted for the past 25. Now I tend to go for softer spaces, though I end up playing a lot in the kitchen for practical reasons. And that is a pretty resonate space.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:19 am 
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Yes I walk around a lot when playing and often feel like I play better standing up. But it might just be the different resonances. It's very audible with the flute.

A lot of flute music tends to be slathered with too much cheesy reverb, IMHO, but reverberation in general is good for music. There's a fascinating book, The Soundscape of Modernity by Emily Thompson, that's all about the history of architectural acoustics. In the 19th century there was a theory that reverberation was bad: that echoes were imperfect copies of the original and got in the way of the real music. By 1900 you could design artificial soundscape, like a cathedral that reverberated in the same way as a 10 foot square room. St. Thomas Episcopal church in NYC is the example Thompson uses: a blog restates her work here https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/reverb-evolution-architectural-acoustics/

Designers of concert halls quickly found that they needed to add the reverb back--a space that's too "dry" sounds lifeless.

I often deliberately practice in the most dead room in the house. That way I tell myself I'm getting the most honest and unflattering sense of what I sound like.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:20 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Hard surfaces reflect sound, soft furnishings absorb sound, most recording studios, I believe, use a kind of egg box pattern foam on their walls so that they get the honest sound of instruments & singers.

I've heard some people record under bridges & in hallways to get the effect that they want too.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:59 am 
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I do the same. I almost always carry my flute around when for example going up to my son's room (to tell him to do his homework, etc). Always time for a little tune on the way (to him it must sound like the "flute of doom"). I love to play in the stairwell because of the natural reverb. But also bathroom and kitchen (while waiting for the coffee or cooking) sound good but I have to be careful in the kitchen. It's so small that the sound can get amplified too much, especially since my flute is rather loud.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:58 pm 
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Don't forget hearing protection. You can buy a large jar of foam plugs in many pharmacies, and you just roll one into a cylinder and push it into your ear. Better safe, I feel.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:28 pm 
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I have musician's ear plugs (Alpine pro musicsafe) but I don't really like wearing them. Tinnitus was the reason I no longer play ocarina (way too high sound pressure, much more than any flute or whistle). Good thing about the flute is that I can influence the volume much more so than on a whistle. (But playing in the bathroom for a longer time is still not a good idea IMO with a loud flute, mine is more of a pratten style, large holes -- well, I made it that way on purpose :D , the larger holes just sound better and the tuning is improved. Second octave sounds almost like a boehm flute.)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:41 pm 
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Location: Somerset, England
I’m another who stands and walks about when I practice. The room I practice in has hardwood flooring and a low ceiling and the acoustics are pretty good. I haven’t tried playing in other parts of our house. My guess is the soft furnishings elsewhere would deaden the sound to some extent.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:13 pm 
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My practice room is our combined library and music room, very acoustically dead with carpet on the floor and 3 of the 4 walls covered with bookcases. There is a high ceiling which helps a bit, but as musical spaces go, it's deadsville.

My flute sounds fantastic if I walk into our kitchen with a high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling tiles on half the walls. But I seldom do that. It makes me sound better than I'll ever sound in a session with other instruments. The acoustically dead practice room encourages me to push the volume a bit more, which I think helps in session playing. The aesthetics are better there too... all those books, and a nice (fake propane) fireplace in the colder months. It's just a visually warmer and friendlier place to practice music, even if it's not acoustically ideal.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:05 am 
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I do walk around as well. My house is very resonant in every room more or less. I find the best way to get an accurate read ( I know, mixed metaphor ) is to stand in front of a hard surface, e.g. wall or window. The best is a bay window. Try it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:53 pm 
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oh yea my shower is great, living room when no furniture was in it, and a stairwell in my house is great,, there is nothing like real reverb,

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:24 am 
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A couple issues to be aware of. First, if your room resonates at a frequency that isn't a note it can encourage you to play out of tune. Second, clap your hands in the resonant room. If you hear an echo rising in pitch, that's flutter. It will encourage you to play flat.

If you don't know what flutter sounds like this video demonstrates it. Note how the tails of the reverb end up almost a tone sharper.

https://www.supawood.com.au/architectur ... s-a-space/


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:49 am 
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Been to chitza Itza. Cancun. At that ball wall and the pyramid. It actually tweets when clapped from 100ft away

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:57 pm 
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I do like corners of rooms. I can move toward or away from the corner to adjust the resonance. BITD subwoofers used to be placed there
to maximize the "Gravitas". Makes me feel important, like I have something to communicate about the tune.

Large windows are nice as well. With curtains or drapes I can use an old recording studio trick of closing or opening the drapes to adjust the resonance.

Then there's the bathroom, the grandaddy of reverb. If it's too much it could be time to place lots of towels and quilts etc over the shower curtain and towel racks etc to tamp the reverb down.


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