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Simulating musical instruments with tuning forks

  1. Dec 25, 2011 #1

    Would it be possible to simulate the sound of a musical instrument such as a clarinet by finding the Fourier series of the waveform and then hitting a bunch of tuning forks with the corresponding frequencies and amplitudes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2011 #2

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    No. The amplitude of the Fourier components is not constant.
  4. Dec 25, 2011 #3


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    No way can tuning forks simulate the sound of a clarinet...or any other instrument. Each tuning fork vibrates at one pure frequency, whereas an instrument generates many different complex harmonics while "playing one note".

    For a great overview of musical instrument acoustical characteristics see this Wiki article:


    For a really detailed analysis of the mathematics, including how Fourier transforms are used to analyze sound, see: “Time-Frequency Analysis of Musical Instruments”

    www.uwec.edu/walkerjs/media/38228 [Broken][1].pdf
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Dec 26, 2011 #4


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    The OP's version of this idea is too simplistic, but it certainly can be made to work, and there are plenty of commercial products that use it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additive_synthesis
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