Sample Library

Based on the recordings in summer 2018, our cooperation partners Prof. Christoph Reuter and Claudio Albrecht from the University of Vienna created a virtualization of the six glass instruments. These virtual instruments can be played with the computer mouse as well as with the computer keyboard. If you are using a keyboard, please note the following:

Imagine that the keys A-S-D-F etc. of the computer keyboard correspond to the keys of a piano keyboard. You can control the dynamics with " , " (piano), " - " (forte), and " . " (mezzo-forte).
While playing the keyboard, you can change octaves with the arrow key: arrow left = low octave, arrow up = middle octave, arrow right = high octave. When you play the trumpet, you cannot change octaves. The arrow keys regulate the playing style, allowing you to choose between legato and staccato.

The condition of the instruments is reflected in the individual tones and measurement results. When you play a tone, you get information about the frequencies affecting the instrument’s timbre as well as many other parameters, e.g. the tone’s settling time and roughness. Start comparing the instruments for yourself!

Experts can find out more detailed information in the "Sound Properties" and "Timbre Space" tabs.

Sound Properties

You've probably experienced the moment at events when someone taps a knife against a glass to get attention for a speech? You usually hear a high-pitched clinking sound. This is due to the material composition of the glass and the medium it is being hit with: a stainless-steel knife.

Sound analyses of the glass instruments exhibited here show corresponding results: They all have a high spectral center of gravity: they sound like glass. But there are also differences. The glasschord is a percussion instrument while the glass harmonica and verrophone are bowed with the hands. As a result, the sound of the verrophone is less percussive while the glasschord, on the other hand, sounds more like a champagne glass being struck at an event.

Interestingly, the sound of the glass flute resembles that of a conventional metal flute. This is because the shape of the flute and the air column vibrating in it are much more decisive for the sound quality than the construction material. But listen for yourself!

Timbre Space

Timbres can be compared to each other in many ways: in terms of brightness, temporal progression, roughness, fluctuation, or their inharmonicity. So-called timbre spaces are particularly suitable for a quick overview of tone color differences because they represent sounds and their properties on three axes. Sounds are usually compared according to their brightness (here: Spectral Centroid), their attack times (here: Attack Time) and the extent of their fluctuations on these three axes (here: Spectral Flux).

The timbre spaces here show the sounds of the respective glass instrument in red and the sounds of their respective relatives made of other materials in gray. Use your mouse to rotate the three-dimensional timbre space on all axes and sonically and visually explore the differences between the individual sounds.

Just try it out!

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