Volume 5, 2021
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Published online||02 April 2021|
Acoustics of the banjo: measurements and sound synthesis
Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, CB2 1PZ Cambridge, UK
2 452-48 Caltech, Pasadena, 91125 CA, USA
3 Dassault Systèmes – SIMULIA, 5005 Wateridge Vista Dr., San Diego, 92121 CA, USA
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 17 February 2021
Measurements of vibrational response of an American 5-string banjo and of the sounds of played notes on the instrument are presented, and contrasted with corresponding results for a steel-string guitar. A synthesis model, fine-tuned using information from the measurements, has been used to investigate what acoustical features are necessary to produce recognisable banjo-like sound, and to explore the perceptual salience of a wide range of design modifications. Recognisable banjo sound seems to depend on the pattern of decay rates of “string modes”, the loudness magnitude and profile, and a transient contribution to each played note from the “body modes”. A formant-like feature, peaking around 500–800 Hz on the banjo tested, is found to play a key role. At higher frequencies the dynamic behaviour of the bridge produces additional formant-like features, reminiscent of the “bridge hill” of the violin, and these also produce clear perceptual effects.
Key words: Banjo / Acoustics / Vibration / Synthesis
© J. Woodhouse et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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