Do violinists like fast cars? /2
I thought I would resurrect this old thread in a new guise as it was pretty popular at the time. And, the latest VSA competition gave a lot of emphasis on sound.
So my question for today is: how is sound created, and what makes it?
A few months ago I got a car with a 90° V8 engine. But it doesn't sound ANYTHING like a Corvette, Mustang GT, etc., the similar engine architecture notwithstanding. The reason is the firing order of the cylinders, because it has a flat-plane crankshaft.
Most people don't know the difference between a flat-plane and a cross-plane crankshaft (those who don't can look it up). But how can that influence the sound? Is sound so easy to change within a basic, rigid framework? And to the point, can this be applied to violin making?
Man, sound is so complicated. I think of it like trying to predict how waves in the water will interact and end up, but then adding another dimension to the direction the water can travel. Perhaps dumping a bunch of water in a Zero-G environment, and seeing how it bounces around would be a better visual for this.
Dimitri, the difference in a cross-plane and flat-plane crankshaft will cause the engine to run in a different rhythm. That rhythm will make the sound different. The other factor in an engine's sound is the exhaust system.
"Now on a car, the exhaust system is designed to diminish the sound, but on a violin it needs to amplify and enhance the sound quality."
Timothy, and the Stradivarius is the Rolls-Royce of violins (R-R was my employer until I retired).
The answer is a resounding "YES" to fast cars :) :)
Do violinists like fast cars?
Nope. I like to walk. While I have a car, I don't really like it very much. All it does is eat my money. I hate traffic, tailgaters, people who run stop signs, loud-pounding-hip-hop music blasting from cars, parking, ice on the roads, merging traffic, and oil changes. Bah humbug.
I don't like cars of any kind. I like motorcycles -racing and classic. I have both-
Sound IS incredibly complicated. Every word spoken in my kitchen can be clearly heard in my dining room, which is not in line-of-sight. And yet the opposite is not true: words spoken in the dining room are inaudible in the kitchen.
The flat-plane crank will emit evenly-spaced exhaust impulses out each side of the engine. A conventional crankshaft will not. Instead, it may fire two cylinders in a row on the same side.
I was looking forward to your comment, David. I think we're getting somewhere - does the sound then have to do with the length that the exhaust travels between cylinder and muffler, as if it were an organ pipe?
In simplest terms, the sound of the engine will depend on the number of exhaust impulses per second. For example, a V-8 engine spinning at 6000 revolutions per minute will have 400 exhaust impulses per second, producing a G natural. A four-cylinder engine at the same rpm will have 200 exhaust impulses per second, and sound an octave lower. If one has perfect pitch, they can know the rpm of the engine without needing to look at a tachometer. The length of the exhaust, or the diameter of the piping will not change this.
You do realize you're bragging on your expensive car to the folks that you're asking to pay handsomely for your product. But of course that means lots of other folks feel they're worth it. Right?
Paul, if you're referring to me, I never mentioned owing an expensive car! And my daily driver is 12 years old, for the record, which replaced the car I kept 13 years. Both bought second-hand, BTW :-)
My wife had a 50-cc scooter. It was a blast!
Paul, my daily driver is 10 years old, which is pretty old considering the accelerated corrosion caused by the salted roads in Michigan.
Your wife has a Harley - cool! She must be some lady.
@Paul. Your comment has been bugging me all day, and now I know why. I have to say it. It is rude. I think you owe both David and I an apology. What we do with our income is our business alone. I brought the issue of engine sound up because I knew David would have the answer, no more and no less.
I think I'm beyond that now. Been there, done plenty of that. Kudos to you if you enjoy it. I no longer much care so long as I have a way to go. Time pit, money pit for me that I don't need or want.
I live in NYC-if I cared about cars I would need to be well-off. I would buy bows with that same money instead. :P Mass transportation is "fast enough" for me.
Dimitri, I hope you realize that you are welcome to call me on the phone any ol' time. But I'd prefer that you did it on US Eastern time, rather than Italy time. ;-)
@Timothy, I hear you, loud and clear. New cars depreciate like crazy, I haven't bought a new car since 1996 (BMW 5-series) and sold it four years later exactly for that reason. It took me to the cleaners and it was always second hand after that.
Great discussion. As a musician, I love a great sounding engine. I have a Corvette C3, and it growls like an upright bass. I have many Alfa Romeo GTV6's, and the Busso V6 sings like the finest Italian violin! Any review of the car always praises the heavenly sound. It has a 2.5 V6 Hemi, and the harder you drive it, the better it sounds. A lot of GTV6 people like to upgrade to a 3.0 from a later car for more torque and horsepower, and all I can say is the difference in sound between a 2.5 and a 3.0 is like the difference between a violin and a viola! I have driven Alfa GTV6's all the way across America 10 times now, and Never Once turned a radio on !!
And any time you happen to be in Cremona, don't hesitate to call me, please. And dinner's on me!
@Glenn, the V6 Busso is a legend here in Italy, good for you! First introduced in the Alfa 6 in 1979, they brought it up to 3.2 (in the Spider) but it's the original 2.5 that made it famous. Or infamous, if you have the six Dell'Ortos to tune!
Uhh oh. I may not be willing to drive at speeds over 150 mph. The car can bang around 200 mph, depending on the downforce package.
PS. I think a word should be spent for those engineers who designed engines that are known by their name - I can only think of Giuseppe Busso, Tadek Marek, and Aurelio Lampredi. Does anyone know any more?
I'm going to backpedal on something I said. I looked at the self driving capability of the Tesla.If my cousin gets tired of that car I would be willing to take it off of his hands. Check this out- You could practice the violin on the way to work.
Credit is also due to the GM and Chrysler engineers, who have put out (arguably) the most powerful passenger car engines on the planet, while still meeting emissions and fuel economy standards.
I'm not at all sure it's FAST cars or sound.
Since you brought up the planet, what about the planet? I feel an undeniable sense of shame every time I drive my four cylinder car. I know that I'm behaving unsustainably. And I know that my behavior is going to cause misery for many people, and other life forms on the planet. I'm a first world spoiled brat.
For sustainability, I love Jeremy Clarkson's terminology.
That sounds like a satisfying career working for Rolls Royce Timothy.My father was in the Royal Canadian Air Force for four years as a mechanic and worked on the Merlins in the P51 Mustang and the B25 Mitchell.I remember him saying how it was an all day affair to set the valves.
Paul said: "You do realize you're bragging on your expensive car to the folks that you're asking to pay handsomely for your product. But of course that means lots of other folks feel they're worth it. Right?"
A question for the real engineers out there. How would this compare for overall energy efficiency?: Always-on small diesel engine from a tractor, connected to a generator, connected to large, light capacitors instead of batteries, connected to 4 electric motors at the wheels. Electric is good for acceleration. Diesel is good for efficient energy output. Diesel-electric has been around since 1930s locomotives and WW1 submarines.
I've come to realize and accept that it's just Paul's strange way of speaking, and he probably doesn't have any bad intentions or mean to offend anyone. I was triggered when I experienced my first 'Paul comment' on a post I made a few months ago, but I see everyone around here copping it so I guess I'm fine now :)
I like fast cars and fast violins.
@Joel: I always wondered the same thing. I would imagine that the ideal setup would be a direct-injection diesel, perhaps with forced air induction, running at a fixed RPM (calculated best compromise between fuel consumption and torque) charging batteries that would supply more or less power on demand to electric motors for motion.
I'm 58 and I've never driven a car in my life.
Me, not :-) I have a comfy and practical car, safe for my family and instruments :)
I now remember when Pierre Amoyal's Porsche was stolen with the 1717 "Kochanski" Strad inside. They found the car immediately, the Strad took four years to show up.
Dimitri, since you mentioned the Cadillac CUE system:
my 24 yr old Volvo goes 70mph on the freeway, that's pretty fast, isn't it??
@David. Oh yes, I agree about the touch screens, which also get full of fingerprints very quickly. But voice activation (my wife has it in her car) I think is even more of a distraction because you really have to work hard to get the car to understand. She never uses it.
There was once a sign by the road in my area that said something similar to this, " In a hurry? Slow down the mortician can wait." I've never forgotten that.
Amen to that.
My apologies Dimitri. I was thinking out loud. It isn't difficult to find problems in the world. We don't even need to look very hard.
Agree with David and Dmitri. Touchscreens have to go. I test drove a Tesla 3 and it ONLY has a 15" touchscreen interface. To make that more difficult, different functions are on different tabbed screens, so that if you're on autopilot and want to turn your heated seat off, you have to entirely leave the autopilot data screen. Very disconcerting, Elon!
Douglas, you clearly need one for the "Caviar slick". Pardon me...:
Timothy, traffic-weavers aren't exactly the type of people who drive nice cars. Generally, the people doing that have the crappiest cars, because they don't care if they get scratched up. And you don't need 600 hp just to cut someone off :)
Dimitri and David, sorry if I offended. Truly, I was just kidding around. And Erik, I'm truly sorry you had to waste so much time, effort, and thread space lecturing me on manners.
Speaking of Merlin engines, we were lucky enough to find ourselves at Prestwick in 2014, where we got to see the only two remaining airworthy Lancaster bombers flying in formation. If you think one Merlin sounds good, try eight!
I think horizontally-opposed engines, which do have a very characteristic sound, lend themselves to air-cooling, due to the 180° angle between cylinder heads. Citroen made them for years (2CV, Ami, GS, etc.), as did Panhard, and of course Porsche and VW, all air-cooled. The Continental O-300 in an airplane of course makes perfect sense.
Haven't a clue what this thread is really about.
The thread is about engines and their distinctive sounds dependent on architecture and firing order, although it is easy to digress :-)
Someone says the exhaust pipe isn't to muffle, it's to reshape?
That would mostly be the muffler. ;-)
Transatlantic semantics were always going to affect this thread.
Andrew, maybe you are right, I grew up in southern California and never knew you could wear a muffler, let alone that Burberry made them :-)
So far nobody has mentioned the Mostaciolli X45Y with the Turbo-Wankel-Diesel... surely these can be seen tooling around Cremona.
"Do violinists like fast cars?" - Doesn't it depend on where the car is, relative to the location of the violinist?
In answer to the OP's headline question, my answer is No, if it's overtaking me when I'm driving at the speed limit!
That, Trevor, depends on the speed limit. On the Autobahn in Germany there are many stretches without!
that's WAY to fast!!
If the speed is electronically limited you can be sure that someone, somewhere, has come up with a way to delimit it! You just gotta know the right people to ask.
My brother and I did 115MPH on the Autobahn about 30 years ago.
@Trevor: you're absolutely right! But what has always mystified me is how in the UK there aren't more road accidents, when everyone is driving in the wrong side! ;-)
@Dimitri: there's a good hidden question in your last comment - why does the UK drive on the left (with the steering wheel on the right for safety's sake)? The answer is complex and historical, so the best I can do is to suggest a Google search on "driving on the left" or similar.
Trevor, I did hear that the Irish Republic saw the light and were changing from driving on the left to driving on the right. However, to lessen the shock, they were doing it gradually - Cars and motorbikes and bicycles first, and then, a month later, everyone else.
@Trevor: Yes, I did look it up and there are interesting points! Although one could counter that most people are right handed and that makes it easier to operate a manual transmission.
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