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December 19, 2015 editorial: comments

 
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Mike Levine

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Mike Levine
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1 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 10:00:04

A Pitch Shifter for Bees?

In case you’ve been wondering what frequency a bee buzzes at — and I know you all have — the answer is 250 Hz. That is, if you’re talking about an American honey bee. But if it’s an Australian blue-banded bee, the frequency is higher, 350 Hz. What’s more, the higher frequency somehow helps the Australian bees get more pollen than the American ones when they hover over a flower. So I’m thinking, duh, simple solution, the honey bees need a pitch shifter. 

Ok, I wasn’t really thinking that, but I was wondering about the frequency ranges and SPL of animal sounds, so I did some research (which is always a dangerous thing).

Did you know that an elephant can make noises that range over 10 octaves, from 5 Hz to 10 kHz? Not only that, their sounds can go as loud as 112 dB. But that’s a veritable whisper compared to the Blue Whale, the loudest animal on earth, with a max SPL of 188 dB! (I bet you weren’t expected to read about whale specs when you opened this newsletter.)

Another interesting animal from a sonic standpoint is the bat. Certain bat species emit sounds that range from 14 kHz to a whopping 100 kHz. Anything over 20 kHz is considered ultrasonic, because it’s out of the range of human hearing. Or, if you’re a musician who’s been gigging for at least 10 years, anything over 15 kHz.

I also learned that rats emit a 20 kHz sound when they’re stressed. My question is: have you ever seen a rat that wasn’t stressed? 

Quick quiz: what’s the frequency range of the sounds emitted by a sloth? The answer is 2 to 8 kHz. Therefore, I would recommend a condenser mic next time you record one, if you want to accurately reproduce the highs.

Here’s one that really freaked me out. Do you know that worms make sounds? They grunt, to be precise. A grunting worm, now that’s a lovely thought. By the way, in case you’re wondering, the grunts are centered around 80 Hz. 

That concludes our lesson for today, kids. Happy Holidays, and watch out for stressed rats.

 

[ Post last edited on 12/19/2015 at 10:45:15 ]

joesolo1

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2 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 10:15:59
You're blog came right in time-today I'm tracking a sloth, and was nit sure whether or not to roll off the bottom end ;)
Joe Solo

angelie

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3 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 10:23:16
Well that was very educational, thank you
It teach you to expect the unexpected.. A lot of new bee engineers often not realize what for frequencies are released by certain Instruments.

When i started someone told me about the cymbals and that they can produce sounds over the entire frequency range. I remember i looked at him as if he was complete out of his mind. But when time passed and i learned how frequencies develop from this instrument i becan to understand why....

Knowing the way sound is produced by what you want to record is very educational and effective while recording

Thanks for this lesson and the reminder :-D

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use but how you use what you got.

[ Post last edited on 12/19/2015 at 10:28:13 ]

Mike Levine

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4 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 10:51:44
Quote:
You're blog came right in time-today I'm tracking a sloth, and was nit sure whether or not to roll off the bottom end ;)

Glad to be of assistance. :-D I've actually heard that back in the analog days, it was common practice to try to hit the meters really hard when tracking sloths, because they sound even better with tape compression.:lol:

Mike Levine

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5 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 10:56:23
Quote:
A lot of new bee engineers often not realize what for frequencies are released by certain Instruments.

Good one! :lol:

billykemp

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6 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 10:57:16
Hi Mike,

This is my favorite post. My true love is a bee keeper with her Dad and on one occasion got me to lend a hand and I just love the sound of the bees. I'm glad to know now about their frequency so if I ever do a bee session I'll be ready. I'm in Nashville and I think we need to do a bee session with some of the "A" team musicians.

Happy Holidays

NYCGRIFF

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7 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 11:53:50
Say Mike:

You lost me at the "grunting" worms! Who knew? In any event, everyone enjoy the holidays, and a very Merry Christmas! Looking forward to continued participation at this site next year.

Mike Levine

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Mike Levine
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8 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 12:17:27
Quote:
need to do a bee session with some of the "A" team musicians.

:bravo: A brilliant idea!

Mike Levine

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9 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 12:21:49
Quote:
everyone enjoy the holidays, and a very Merry Christmas! Looking forward to continued participation at this site next year.

Thanks, Griff. Your participation is much appreciated, as is that of everyone who comments. I couldn't do this without you all. :bravo: Happy Holidays to everyone!

Ricky Vanderhoof

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10 Posted on 12/19/2015 at 13:25:18
And I thought I was crazy. A couple weeks ago, I heard a frequency buzz coming from my band saw.
I promptly figured out it was a B note and took my laptop and microphone out to the shed to record it
thinking it might come in useful some day. Very interesting about the animals. If you look hard enough you'll find someone has done research on just about everything.
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