Audio Resonance (Acoustics, Synthesis, Feedback, and Sonic Aesthetics)

A quick overview of principles and aesthetics audio “resonance” in filters and beyond.

In synthesis, we often encounter resonance controls on our filters, both digital and analog, but, more broadly speaking audio resonance the property of any device, space, or system to increase the amplitude of particular frequencies.

So what? Well, that’s a good question. Here I offer some different examples of resonance, both acoustic and electroacoustic, and perhaps there are some avenues there for you to explore in your own music and sonic art.

0:00 Defining “Resonance”
0:50 I Am Sitting in a Room
1:11 Breaking a Wine Glass
1:39 “That Really Resonated with Me”
1:56 Resonant Bodies of Instruments
2:11 Feedback Loops
2:36 Resonance as Metaphor
3:09 Where’s the Art?

More fundamentals of sound synthesis:

Synth Tip: Don’t Filter Sine Waves

Since sine waves are made up of only a single frequency, it’s not usually particularly effective to filter them.

Several of my students sent me Reaktor ensembles with filtered sine waves, so I wanted to quickly talk through why they’re not really the most effective thing to filter. I go through things in Native Instruments Reaktor, but the concept is applicable in whatever synthesis environment you’re working in–Pd, Max/MSP, Kyma, etc.