Violin designed to reduce sound level at your left ear
I asked this question earlier, but it is buried under a hearing loss thread.
Could you make a violin with the f holes moved to reduce left ear sound level without ruining the sound for listeners? To the far end of the top plate? To the far end ribs? To the bottom plate? Would this actually reduce the sound at your left ear? It would change the stiffness of the top plate. And you would need a way to set the soundpost. I have no expertise to try this. It might be very helpful to a lot of people.
Any speculation or interest?
The ff holes are positioned where they are for critically important engineering reasons. They allow the top to move as it needs to. Move them and it won't be a violin anymore. If it's too loud for you, get musician's earplugs.
Musician's earplugs do not solve the problem. They reduce the sound from my violin, but also from my band. I need to hear my band to play with them effectively.
What happens when you block the offending f hole?
Theoretically, restricting air flow through the f holes should change the air resonance at 300 Hz (open-string D) - for which the ear is not that sensitive - but should not affect the higher-frequency wood vibrations so much. Unless you use a tightly fitting rubber plug.
Closing an f hole would change the resonant frequency of the body. I assume that you need to keep the same area of the opening. But the location of the f hole should not change the resonant frequency, except by changing the flex of the plates. I don't know how this would change the sound level at your left ear - maybe not at all.
You can play an electric violin, and use IEMs (in-ear-monitors) that provide sound isolation and control over what you are hearing.
Gene - I have switched to a hollow body (but no f holes) electric violin. It is loud enough that I don't need a monitor and has been a big improvement so far. But I often play at places where I don't need amplification and I would much prefer an acoustic instrument in that situation.
Much of the sound coming from a violin is radiated from the outside surfaces, rather than coming through the ff holes from the inside.
If you don't need to go too high rest it on your arm instead.
David - What I observed on my hollow body electric violin, with no holes, is a lower volume than an acoustic violin and even more reduced low end. This gave me hope that moving the f holes to the far end of the violin might reduce the sound level at my left ear. If you double the distance from ear to f hole, that would be a significant reduction in that part of the sound. You have far far more expertise on this subject than me, so I would ask you to consider this and other possible solutions to this issue. Thanks.
Bud - I am unable to play that way. I can't get my fingers where they need to be even in first position.
The way I hold my violin, my left ear is about 3 inches from the nearest wood and my right ear at least 9 inches. All things considered, I figured there was probably a 12 - 18 DB difference in sound pressure level to the two ears. A loose-fitting (inexpensive) wax ear plug in my left ear worked wonders for me. Also, with a powerful violin that close to the left ear it is possible for that ear to be overdriven and hear somewhat sharper than the right ear, confusing the brain and often making violinists play flat.
I have heard of the overdriven/sharping effect. I can't tell if that happens to me. But I can't get comfortable using an earplug when playing with a band.
For an orchestral player, a lot of the feedback (not all by any means) comes from the perception of loudness under the ear when it comes to things like intonation cues. If you can't hear yourself, you have few clues whether you are playing in tune or not. But it's a situation often encountered by orchestra players, so I'd defer to the better ones on how they deal with it.
Cary Ravitz said on November 6, 2017, 10:47 AM: · David - What I observed on my hollow body electric violin, with no holes, is a lower volume than an acoustic violin and even more reduced low end.
My answer about f-holes was on that other thread. In the absence of reflections, like outside, not next to water, loudness will be inversely proportional to the square of the distance, imagine the surface area of an expanding sphere. So, there will be a significant difference between the left and right ear. jq
The inverse square law only applies if you are far away from the sources - far compared to both the wavelength of the sound and the size of the source. It doesn't apply to the distance of the right ear from the violin; the presence of a head between source and ear has a far larger impact.
Well I mean if any of you have ever seen the Julius Zoller violins and violas, the sound holes are on the sides. I read a book about it and the idea was to have the sound projected better through the 21st century acoustical engineering aspect.
Julius Zoller violins - interesting, I had not see them.
You can see and hear a Julius Zoller violin here:
I find it hard to believe that someone can't hear their band because of their acoustic violin. If anything, it should be the other way around...
That's not the problem. If I put an ear plug in my left ear, then I can't hear the band well. If I don't plug my left ear, the ear "burns out" so I can't hear well after about 10 minutes.
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