Electric Upright Bass



Meanwhile, in the kitchen… brewing a new model

I am (and have been) working on a new model, check the article for more details!

Making a Neck

link to: new-model-sneak-preview
A in this article a ‘making of’ photo reportage of the new bass’ headstock. More info on the new model to follow.

Pickup placement on an Acoustic Upright Bass

Pickup placement on an Acoustic Upright BassesWhat choices have to be made when you want to record an acoustic upright bass, and what exactly makes it so difficult to record an acoustic upright bass?

Chladni Patterns

link to: Chladni patterns
In lutherie, Chladni patterns are used to visualise the -often spectacular- deformations of a resonating plate (the article contains explanatory video).

String Choice

link to: string choice
This article is meant to give you insight in string design, so you have more to go on than to judge the string by the color and lettertype of the package

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

String Choice

Shape of the Tone

Wave through E string played at 12 frames per second

multiple waves in strings

In this video of reality, we saw not just one wave, but more. Can different waves travel the same medium -a string in this case- simultaniously? And if so, how does that work physically; if two different waves travel through a string simultaniously, is the string at two places at the same time?
Well, members of an orchestra, choir or band tend to produce sound simultaniously… so of course multiple waves can travel through one medium -in this case air- simultaniously. The string is not ‘at two places at the same time’, it turns out you can simply add them up like so:

Superposition: The bottom wave is the sum of the first 2 waves.

analysis of white light (image source)


So anyway, apparently it is not a problem for multiple waves to travel through a string simultaniously.
On the scale we humans experience the world, pure sinusiod waves are actually quite rare. The most we hear (and see) are the so called superpositions. The sinusoid wave is just a building block. Apparently our brain is capable of entangling the very complex soundwaves and identify different sounds. The brain makes an analysis comparable to what is quite familiar from white light(waves) and a prism.

Wave graph of a recording of my eub. The superposition of many different waves results in quite a messy wave. If you look closely, you see the horizontal bars that divide the mess into a periodic returning waveform.
Wave graph of a recording of my eub. The superposition of many different waves results in quite a messy wave. If you look closely, you see the horizontal bars that divide the ‘mess’ into 4 periodic returning waveforms; one ‘block’ represents the length of one wave.
harmonic series


Some strings sound warm, others metalic, others somewhere inbetween etc. This difference in tone color or timbre, is due to the mixture of waves that (are able to) travel through the string.

The waves that are most probably present, are the so calles harmonics. Harmonic waves are waves that ‘fit’ in a string’s length. They are multiples of the fundamental frequency f.
So for example, A string tuned to an E of 41Hz does not vibrate only at 41Hz, it probably also vibrates at a number of multiples of this frequency; 2×41=82, 3×41=123, 4×41 … It is the mixture of fundamental frequency and the harmonics and al lot of other waves – for instance interaction with resonant body- that enter the string, that together form the timbre, the color of the sound. A lot of high frequencies will make the sound brighter, more fundamental in the mixture will make the sound warmer or even dull.

Next: shaping the tone >>