Combination Tones

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The vanguard of psychoacoustic music. Tartini Tones, Combination Tones and Heterodynes play with perception and push the boundaries of music. This video essay explores what they are, how to hear them, and how they’re used on the cutting edge of the avant-garde.Thanks to Brian Krock for helping me out with some of these examples!Thanks to Simon Fransman for the new intro! Check it stuff out.Peace,Adam

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This is a really great video Adam! You should have included some examples from spectral composers that exploit this effect in their music quite frequently.
Adam S
avant garde is for fashion designers to describe something that has no purpose to give it meaning to seem grand and thoughtful then whats actually there, like take a shit on your keyboard and thats avant garde 'art' it can be all where are going as a race with technology but its nothing, fecal matter u peice of shit i might thinking about pop culture i dunnoo point is yup
I must've replayed that new intro a hundred times. Damn. Makes me feel things.
Alessandro Bacà
I really appreciate the respect you are showing by pronouncing Key terms in the proper language, like \
Alex Purkis
I think I get the gist of what you're saying... you like Universal Music Group?
You know what... as an Italian, I'm really sorry for the amount of Italian you poor thing have to pronounce when you give all the background info in your videos. It's really difficult for anglophones. You do a decent job, though!
I wasn't prepared for the new intro
Ariel beker
apparently smaug started narrating adam's videos
What's it called when Adam Neely is emotional?\nAdam Feely.
Aviation Compilation
Cool name for a band.
Brad Beyenhof
When a screen misaligns\nAnd you see strange designs\nThat's a moiré
Bruno Sokolić
Ched Leicester
Holy shit that intro those mad ps1 graphics
Chitrayudh Ghatak
The Svayambhu Gandharam in the Indian Tambura might be an example of Combination Tones.
Someone should resample that intro into a hardstyle buildup
Dave Galvin
Did everything recommended in the comments and still didn't hear the low tones. :-/
Declan Brown Guitar
Diego Monteiro
Man! Plug any guitar into a distorted amp and play two notes up high on the neck and you will hear the third sound (that I really dislike when I'm recording). Dream Theater's The Bigger Picture has this on 5:26.\n\nAnd please, stop putting happy background music in the middle of the video. It feels like it's going to end soon. But it doesn't! \n\nKeep up this channel. You really made the difference on my musical ear with your videos.
Diego Valdes
Hi Adam, greetings from Argentina, I was wondering if you've heard of Argentinian Inventor Hugo Zuccarelli, in the 80s based on the otoacoustic emmision concept, he designed his trademark Holofonía or Holophony where he states he discover a way to record and reproduce ambient or music as it really ''sound'' in terms of frequency and location of the source of sound, eg. thewith stereo headphones you can listen sounds going arround your head, it's pretty weird. He also have 6 ft tall speakers that works with only one membrane that reproduce all freq at one time (he's words). He also recorded Pink Floyd's The Final cut but apparently Dolby had interests at that moment and all he's takes were deleted (you can search pictures online) now he has a show with the speakers in the dark where you cab listen to clasics likr I've never heard before. Sorry for the long message but since you are very passionate over this topics maybe one day you cab make a little research on this, if you visit Argentina one day you cannot miss this experience, I've heard a lot of albums therr and it's out of this world. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us man you are awesome!!
Dogs N Hogs
How do you dislike and like at the same time?\n一边赞一边踩怎么做?
Dominic Del Principe
I can easily hear this as I do doublestop bends on a highly overdriven guitar, generally around 12th to 15th position. I find that the blues cliche of bending the 12th position G note on the G string up to an A, while sounding the C on the B string at the 13th fret produces a low, droning, *descending* tone as you bend the G upwards... and as you slowly release the A back down to a G, you can hear the inverse; the low tone ascends rapidly as the note descends. \n\nI wonder if this is the same phenomenon? Or am I simply hearing a more common result of overtones generated by a highly saturated guitar tone? \n\nGreat, *great* vid.
Dominik Wujek
THIS IS QUALITY MATE! Even though Im quite skinned I am going to become your patreon today. Thanks!
Drazile Mashups
the super mario world castle theme at 8:20 \u003c3
I couldn't hear the lower tone but what I did hear hurt my ears.
Sorry but that new intro just stole all of my attention
Eli Lee
Funny seeing you talking about this after we've been going over this stuff in my audiovisual processing course! Seeing all the frequencies as side bands in fft, just seems like some magic to me, but I didn't know it was so hard to represent these third sounds with real instruments. Seeing this done more mathematically with some tones on a computer makes the line between frequency and sounds transparent. Baader meinhof is inescapable.
Eli Rutter
So it's like the aural equivalent of the colour purple?
I honestly think you should have gone quite longer about the Law and maybe a bit of a thorough analysis of it could be welcome. Limit-experiences, boundary-pushers tend to redefine the frankly axiomatic world of law and rights.
Fake Name
I think the sound in the beginning was my eardrums breaking.
so that super low buzzing I hear is the binaural?
We also use transient evoked OAE and distortion product OAE to assess the function of the outer hair cells in audiology. It's used for screening newborn babies, and is a valuable tool for finding where the hearing loss originates.\n\nSome people, usually with good hearing even have spontaneous OAE that can be picked up without using a stimulus. The ear literally is making its own sound!
Just to clarify: the saxophone trick is not a psychological effect. It's the same cause but not acting in our ear. The emitted sound is actually lower. The note that is sang by the musician (and so is going through the mouthpiece, and especially the reed) is superposing to the played note. The played note is the loudest, but the other one makes the reed vibrates slightly differently: the two waves interacts in a way that the sound is slightly amplified one period in two, and softened one in two. The result is that the sound have twice longer periods than expected, which is equivalent to half frequency, or one octave lower. The notes are superposing in the reed, not the ear (the musician's voice would never be loud enough!)
the semitone difference killed me
3:17 The Lick ahahahah
Accidently explained inverted power cords!
HiImEthan -
lavender town?
Instinct Bros Gaming
That was binaural beats.
JP Buxade
Adam big question:\nIs it possible to study music whilst studying to be a doctor?\nThese two are my greatest passions and I would love to know if I should study them at the same time or if I should wait to study music after my medical degree.\nAlso do I need to know music theory before music school?
If you play a xylophone really loud in a small room, you can hear the combination tones really easily. But eventually you won't hear anything because you'll be deaf.
Jake Sheath
G'day, on a didgeridoo you can do a tripple sung multiphonic. \nYou have the tone produced by your lips (like a trumpet), you can then sing and then you can roll your tongue. The trick is to roll your tongue fast enough that it sounds like a discernible note and not a bloody frog in a drain pipe.
That felt like my eardrums were being pulled out of my skull in opposite directions, like in a tug of war.
Jan Minor
Well, you sure had some fun making the intro...
Jason Haeger
the Chorale did indeed cause the otoacoustic emissions, and they didn't stop.
Javier Benez
Does this work with A=432? I don't want my inner ear playing in evil 440, for reasons, or something.
Jeff Irwin
I can't hear it. I'm an engineer though, so assuming my ear is linear.
Johannes Wiberg
Man, I remember some 15 years ago when I was recording a song with my band and I was playing a high pitched interval-figure on a distorted guitar and we always got these weird low notes that ruined the harmony completely. I finally recorded the notes separately and panned them slightly to get rid of the effect. Probably this very phenomenon. Very cool.
John Thompson
Dear Bladam, \nIf you please. I make for a suggest at you. You very please do not make use anymore this song example. It make great big annoyance on mine brains mind thinkings. This song you make example for all video yours. This too much occurrence. Too much for me. Mine sanity is much fragility. I am much fear that this next video with have this song example from the 90's year time will have break this very thin membrane that make separate how much sanity is left on within me. In the first beginnings, this song make for great amusings. Many days of great laughters. But on the now, all amusings are quiet and make of death. For sake of all futures, please mister Adam of Neely. I beg of you. No more. I give you the most pretty of all pleases. You take. Take also with this, mine youngest daughter. She will make greatest of husband out for you. She does very much cooking of house and cleaning of foods. But you can have no expectings of a pretty head, for she does not have this. And so for you make satisfy this requesting, will the Gods make great blessing upon you face. They will do this. They listen to me. \nBut, however also. Do this not, and so if you are to keeping this song example for videos of in the future, then for this, you will pay........\n......a terrible price. \nI very much wish not to think of such consequencings, for your contents are bringing of much enjoyments. \n\nYours fan of all truly greatness, \nJohn, the David of Thompson
Jose Javier Aguilar Fuertes
So, I might be wrong here, but as many people have commented before, acoustic beat (or any other wave interference) is not a linear process because of trigonometric identities. However, the spectrum analyser algorithm, the Fourier Transform, is linear. So, unless you filter it or do some other stuff (envelope recognition, like in AM radio), the beat frequency will not show up in the spectrum. However, it is there, and if you look at the waveform recorded by the microphone, it'll be there, because wave interference is awesome.
so hot its cold
8:20 is that super mario playing the organ?
Kross Kancel
I can’t hear the combination tones, but I’m wearing headphones
I'm pretty sure, Adam is completely naked except for his hoodie
The piccolos were pulling my ears out.
Larry F
Many years ago I was with a friend in a tower, or lighthouse or something that was very resonant. She sang a high note and I sang a falsetto note to match it, but obviously not exactly the same note. As we sang I heard this woosh-woosh sound. It was weird and amazing. Now I finally know what it was.
Leonardo Mirenda
*Giuseppe, not guiseppe lol
Some composers of spectral music like Murail or Vivier use sum and difference tones do create harmonies, they take two tones, do the sum, then take the sum and ad it to the two tones , creating two New sum of sum tones , and continue achieving beautiful microtonal complex 9-24 tone harmonies then distributing them in the orchestra. It is pretty cool
Hey Adam, about the filter thingy you do at about 6:30, maybe you already considered this but since you don't show it in your video I thought I'd point it out: \nBecause it's a non-linearity in your ear that produces the ghost tones, you're not going to hear them if you filter out the tones before they hit that non-linearity. Sooo, if you insert a non-linearity in your effects chain (such as a simple overdrive distortion effect) just *before* the filter, the distorted tones *will* generate their sum/difference frequencies. Then if you filter out the original high frequencies post-distortion, you can hear the ghost tones and see them in the frequency spectrum too! \nI tried this out (distorting the audio of that part of your video) and it seems to really work! I'm having a bit of difficulty myself clearly hearing the ghost tones in the dry examples, so I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be hearing, but I think this is it.
Mars Frederick Songco
Hey Adam,\nWhat’s your opinion on CHON?
Metal Scott
For the All Star part it was like my ear was vibrating furiously. Once you got a luttle more into the other pieces it started sounding really cool and being noticable. But the music at the end. That was really eerie and it made me uncomfortable
Name: Unknown
I can't hear it...
Hey, Vsause4! LOVE the new format. Super interesting topic! Hugs from Sweden
Nihl Echo
Pro tip - make sure the piccolo and synth are in the same key.
Piano Around the World
overtones overtones overtones!
8:21 That Super Mario Castle Theme :D
Come on, cartoon Adam, straighten that wrist out!
Rafael Ronzoni
These videos of yours are turning into a kind of art. This one made me smile, reflect about lots of things, gave me goosebumps...\nBesides all that, thanks for these information!
Out of interest, if the two tones are loud and above the threshhold of human hearing but should still produce a heterodyne, do we hear it?
Saxy Sideburns
Simon Fransman's jazz memes are top notch. (guy who made intro)
Sean Callahan
Can you analyze the musicality of lil Pump?
Sean Ramey
So, this whole thing is literally just an auditory illusion. Pretty cool. I like learning about how our brains interpret the sounds our ears register.
Sean Wilson
You know, I was thinking just less than half an hour ago if there could be any connections to make between Music Theory and Biology, and then goddamn, here comes this video to answer that question. O_o
Did Simon Fransman make that intro?
Would this work for something like mashups with overlapping instrumentals?
Only a guy who have learned animation for 3 years can do that intro.
Teddy Dunn
At 6:36 what you're saying is gibberish. The spectral analysis isolates pure sine waves. An acoustic beat is not a pure sine wave. Like you said, it's a pattern created by two other sine waves, so I have no idea why you ruled out acoustic beating as a cause for combination tones. You should stick to talking about Western European 12 tone music theory.
Torque Bow
Dude, when I found your channel, I knew I’d love it. That was about a year ago. Every time you upload a video, I always click as soon as the notification pops up.\n\nI can’t thank you enough for these videos. You’re awesome.\n\nEdit: You should do a video based upon the idea that music starts in the mind, not the instrument. I look at instruments as filters that shape out what I actually hear in my head. Anyway, thank you again. You’re amazing.
Tyler Bowers
I was really worried there for a moment that you weren't going to chant bass.
Voodoo Jam
wait were the sounds in the last thing added by you for effect or was that me
chris howard
Are they the same concept as binaural beats then? Ie two tones at different pitches creating a beat or pulse at the difference between the frequencies.
If you actually modulate one frequency with another (as distinct from just adding) you really do get the sum and difference frequencies in physical reality, this is how AM radio is processed in your cheap radio, aka a superheterodyne receiver. It's there in the mathematics.
spoopy ending tho...
dario harari
You are like a Vsauce of music, great work!
Yes, this can not be unheard.
Adam, why?
Adam, I really like your videos but you need to be really careful when explaining phenomena like this. It seems that you are confused about the difference between beats and intermodulation distortion. Beats are just a low frequency case of two sine waves added together. Mathematically they can be explained very simply:\nsin(a) + sin(b) = 2 * sin( (a+b) / 2) * cos( (a - b) / 2)\nWhen a and b are close together, the average of the two (a+b)/2 will be roughly equal to either of them, and the difference will be a low frequency. If the frequency is low enough, it'll be perceived as a simple modulating effect - a tremolo, as is known by guitar and synth players. Note that, in the case of playing two piccolos slightly detuned together, or using recordings and playing them through 2 speakers, it is a physical process: the sound waves \
Sum and difference frequencies are at the heart of communication theory, ie, transmitting and receiving radio signals, whether it is AM, FM, SSB, QAM, etc.\n\nThe trig identity (or any of the equivalent permutations of it) is sin(x)*sin(y) =\u200b 2\u200b\u200b*\u200b\u200b[cos(x−y)−cos(x+y)] .\n\nYou might thing, hey, what causes that multiplication? That is due to the non-linearity of an overloaded receiver, your cochlea. The resulting distortion isn't a simple product -- but whatever clipping function is going on can be broken down into a taylor series, and most likely a simple product is one of the dominant terms of that function. There will be a mess of other higher order squares or cubes, but they are much weaker.
hannos tense
Your kind of the \
Bill Clinton’s point raises very often ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
That bent wrist in the intro though
omit five
you can do this most easily with an electric guitar on overdrive; just do a unison bend on the high E and B strings and you should hear a rather loud undertone that is always the highest pitch whose overtone series contains the actual played pitches\n\ni know because i've played a bass solo on guitar live like this and the plebs in the audience with their untrained ears couldn't figure out what was happening lmao
psuedon name
IIRC correctly, Helmholz noted in his discussion of combination tones that the voicings used by palestina were chosen so that the combination tones were also chord tones. Making for a particular sweet sound. This also offers insight into the nature of dissonance
that intro was incredible
roberto campos
Is it harmful for the ears to make them produce tones that way?
The first 40 seconds are pure gold
Tibetan Monastic heterodyne music blew my friggin' mind. It's the sort of thing that does not sound _remotely_ the same on any recording. Live was totally different.\nMy sister also did one of those avante guarde John Cage era pieces that exploited the crap out of this. First time I heard it, I thought some was singing weird notes into my ear just to mess with me.
Артём Лобанов
Adam, your videos demonstrate such high level of analysis and deep investigation that they should be considered as educational artforms themselves.