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Surface noise/white noise on Fiddlerman Soloist
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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bunify
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December 9, 2019 - 4:02 am
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My violin A & E especially sounds airy and sandy in the background when I’m playing. It’s like the surface sound or “white noise” like breathing. Is this normal?
Is it just my violin?
This is a new violin I bought from fiddlershop. It is called the soloist and it says it’s suitable for advance players. I contacted fiddledshop and they said it is normal that you can hear it under your ear..however, I don’t believe this is normal cause the G and D doesn’t have those sounds.. 

This makes me worried.

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AndrewH
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December 9, 2019 - 4:33 am
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It's normal. It's more audible on the upper strings because your ear is more sensitive to those pitches. 

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BillyG
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December 9, 2019 - 6:01 am
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Andrew's correct (above) - it's natural and simply is more evident on the higher pitched strings (especially, I find, when playing softly)   

I hear it under the ear and describe it as a "hiss" - but - equally (and over time and experimentation) have noticed that its "irritation factor while playing" can be dependent on string type, bow hair and rosin !   Also (and more significantly) acoustically, its level drops-off rapidly with distance to the listener or microphone, and I'm rarely, if ever, aware of it when playing back a recording (with a microphone about 6 feet away - and it's a quality studio mic, quite capable of recording these high frequency hissing sounds were they to be evident at the mic).

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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December 9, 2019 - 6:09 am
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And, all this time, I thought that was because of my playing! blink

Jim

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Peter
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December 9, 2019 - 6:23 am
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I find that if I hear anything odd from my fiddle or violin, I just drop the instrument down to my lap and bow it there: getting the sound decoupled from the ear and chin often helps, both proximity and conduction.

I most recently had my worries about playing open strings allayed by experienced players on this forum, but I could easily have followed my own advice and listened at a distance. Sure they ring out more, but it's a lot more noticeable when you're staring down the fingerboard.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Mouse
December 9, 2019 - 6:24 am
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MoonShadows said
And, all this time, I thought that was because of my playing! blink

  

Hey, @MoonShadows, in the spirit of the Holidays, I will leave that one alone, but you do realize you left that door wide open! violin-student

yaaaa_gif

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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MoonShadows
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December 9, 2019 - 6:33 am
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libraquarius said
I find that if I hear anything odd from my fiddle or violin, I just drop the instrument down to my lap and bow it there: getting the sound decoupled from the ear and chin often helps, both proximity and conduction. 

  

That's a good tip @Peter Thanks!

cid said

Hey, @MoonShadows, in the spirit of the Holidays, I will leave that one alone, but you do realize you left that door wide open! violin-student

So glad you are in the holiday spirit then, @cid. thanx_gif

  

Jim

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Mouse
December 9, 2019 - 7:18 am
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@MoonShadows You are welcome. santa3

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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x Coach
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December 9, 2019 - 2:50 pm
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I’ve never noticed that sound from my soloist, I use a dominant A and a pirastro E.

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bunify
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December 10, 2019 - 2:08 am
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@XCoach, really? I think they fitted vision strings on mine. However, Pierre contacted me saying it’s apparantly normal for all violins 

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BillyG
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December 10, 2019 - 2:22 am
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@bunify - I was thinking about this again, and I'm just beginning to wonder if I ( and others ) were talking about the same thing as you describe.  I was (and I believe others were) referring to the "hiss" from the bow hair (which as I say I have found can be more or less evident under the ear dependent on string type, bow hair, rosin, weight of playing and so on).  Also (and LOL at this) your awareness of the high-frequency components in the hiss/white-noise will usually lessen with age as our hearing response to higher frequencies naturally drops off !!!)

Not being able to hear what you actually describe, something else came to mind - some time back, and I was doing a full-set string change in a hurry, the new strings sounded incredibly strange - the top A and E were "whispy and sort of ethereal sounding" - I really can't describe it any better than that - and on inspection, I noticed that during the string replacement (all strings were off at one time - and caution is urged if you do that by the way) the bridge had been pulled forward (I mean TILTED forward) towards the fingerboard.  My own fault for being in such a hurry - but - on VERY close inspection it was clear the bridge feet were not in flat and full contact with the belly - it had lifted slightly at the tailpiece side.  A quick loosening, reseating of bridge and re-tensioning sorted it.   This can also happen over time anyway, just due to the normal re-tuning which has to be performed over time, and always worth checking closely at the bridge seating on the top plate.  On the other hand, this may have NOTHING whatsoever to do with what you describe - just throwing it out there !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
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December 10, 2019 - 7:33 am
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Thanks for all your wonderful replies. I was also telling bunify that I don't notice the noise unless I focus on it. It's equally strong on my Jan Larsson violin as it is on our least expensive violin. On all violins.

It's like my tinnitus. I hear it all the time, but I have learned to not focus or think about it.

How many of you have tinnitus?

The fact that you are focusing on it also shows that you are conscious of sound, which is a good quality to have when learning and improving. When a person hears details such as this, you can be a great teacher for yourself as well. You can turn that awareness into analyzation to work for you. Play with this much pressure vs that much pressure, more speed vs less speed.... and analyze the difference.... etc.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Peter
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December 10, 2019 - 8:20 am
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Fiddlerman said
...

It's like my tinnitus. I hear it all the time, but I have learned to not focus or think about it.

How many of you have tinnitus?...

  

I don't suffer tinnitus, but I know people who do, and I'm aware of the causes having researched it while writing a book about the history and playing of the boatswain's call, that curious aerophone used by the world's navies as a ceremonial instrument, having had a history of use as a device for passing orders.

The boatswain's call is a powerful whistle-like instrument which can potentially damage the player's hearing when used in a confined space. Having now begun my violin / fiddle journey, I was conscious of the level produced by my bowing, and although I've yet to measure the sound pressure level, I always play with a mute when practicing, which I do in a small upper room at our house. I mute it mainly because of my shyness about my playing, but I'm also concerned about my hearing, which I have tried to preserve (as a radio amateur, it's a vital sensory input). For some time now, there have been rumblings about the level of sound in an orchestral context: is this how your tinnitus began, @Fiddlerman?

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Fiddlerman
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December 10, 2019 - 11:16 am
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libraquarius said

Fiddlerman said

...It's like my tinnitus. I hear it all the time, but I have learned to not focus or think about it.

How many of you have tinnitus?...

..............For some time now, there have been rumblings about the level of sound in an orchestral context: is this how your tinnitus began, @Fiddlerman?

I can't be sure but it's very probable. Imagine how much I played in professional orchestras. It can be SOOOO loud at times. I also did a fair share of pop on free time, which can be even louder. 🙁

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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starise
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December 10, 2019 - 11:28 am
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Fiddlerman, tinnitus ? That's a big yes for me. I once used a frequency generator to determine what range my tinnitus was in. The closest I could come was in the range of 9khz. It's a pretty annoying high pitched sound that's always there. Comparable to a "ringing". I have learned to mostly ignore it. Gets worse if I drink caffeine. Doesn't stop me having a morning coffee though. If my body is tired it tends to get louder.

I don't allow it to get in the way. The actual sensation comes more from probably somewhere deep down at the end of my ear canal. Tough to explain to anyone who doesn't have it but it doesn't seem as if you are "hearing it" with your ears. It's like someone tapped a 9khz radio directly into my brain.

On the subject- I notice more of the annoying high pitched sounds with the less expensive string sets. The E and A strings from higher end sets seem to sound smoother to my ears. Not less loud necessarily, just smoother in tone. The strings you are shipping with these violins aren't bad strings and shouldn't be an issue. Maybe earplugs designed to pass a lower volume would help???

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BillyG
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December 10, 2019 - 11:58 am
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Only ever experienced something similar after being at a Who concert (indoors!) - my ears were ringing for about 36 hours afterwards which opened my ears (pun possibly intended) to the issue of exposure to high SPLs.   Ever since then I have been cautious, occasionally just using small ear-bud ear-pieces from an old MP3 player (remember those?) just to dampen the levels.

I now have a set of "Senner Music Pro" ear protectors.  For me they work very well, with what feels to me to be a fairly constant level of attenuation up to maybe around 8 to 10kHz and then it seems to roll-off - although much beyond that doesn't matter.  I'll often use them when playing in my echoy room.   However, I had tried 3 other types before I was happy - these ones just fit nicely for me, the others I tried were either too tight and almost painful to fit properly, or just wouldn't seal properly whatever I tried and leaked sound.   I guess such products are very much individual-specific, so if anyone goes down that route - be prepared to try different types! (Or maybe I just have strangely shaped ears LOL)

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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starise
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December 10, 2019 - 2:08 pm
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BillyG said
Only ever experienced something similar after being at a Who concert (indoors!) - my ears were ringing for about 36 hours afterwards which opened my ears (pun possibly intended) to the issue of exposure to high SPLs.   Ever since then I have been cautious, occasionally just using small ear-bud ear-pieces from an old MP3 player (remember those?) just to dampen the levels.

I now have a set of "Senner Music Pro" ear protectors.  For me they work very well, with what feels to me to be a fairly constant level of attenuation up to maybe around 8 to 10kHz and then it seems to roll-off - although much beyond that doesn't matter.  I'll often use them when playing in my echoy room.   However, I had tried 3 other types before I was happy - these ones just fit nicely for me, the others I tried were either too tight and almost painful to fit properly, or just wouldn't seal properly whatever I tried and leaked sound.   I guess such products are very much individual-specific, so if anyone goes down that route - be prepared to try different types! (Or maybe I just have strangely shaped ears LOL)

  

LOL. I ca understand the issue at a Who concert. I guess they didn't have anything in place to measure those concerts. The scary thing about hearing damage is we don't notice it right away. Until the damage is done.

Thanks for that tip BillyG on the ear attenuators.. I will look those up "Senner Music Pro". I have been intending to look for something similar. Procrastination, you know. Some violins can be pretty harsh right up against the ear. 

I get my tinnitus honestly...similar to you. I was in a few bands. Nuff said there. Also there were the times my father took me hunting. He used a shot gun and never used ear protection at close range. I didn't know any better and tagged along....Then there was the time the engine I was working on backfired....right next to my ear. No muffler. Yep. That did it. Might as well have set a firecracker off by my head.

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bunify
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December 10, 2019 - 3:03 pm
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I tried my older violin and the A string doesn’t have those sounds.. only the E does. 
it really bothers me :/ 

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Mouse
December 10, 2019 - 4:58 pm
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Someone may have suggested this, but in looking back at replies, I didn’t spot it. Try recording yourself. Set the recorder, can be just your phone or pad, on the other side of the room. Play what you play when you hear it for a while while recording. Listen to the video or audio and see if you can hear it from afar on the recording. 

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Fiddlerman
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December 10, 2019 - 8:21 pm
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Sometimes the sound of your strings over power the hissing. Depends on volume and such. Some people claim that the hissing can be louder or softer depending on what type of rosin or how much rosin they use. 

@starise - Same here. Much worse when I am tired. 🙁

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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