4 Biology

4.1 Sound perception

Especially for bass players it's important to know how the brain interprets low frequencies. The fact that our hearing is insensitive to low frequencies is somewhat counteracted by the brain. If the brain detects two different pitches, the difference is perceived as a third pitch. If, for instance the two first harmonics of a bass guitar note are heard, but the fundamental frequency of the string is omitted, the brain will "fill in" the missing fundamental. The difference with the real thing is feeling. A very low frequency can be felt, rather than heard. But we do perceive it, even if it isn't there.

This is common knowledge to bass cabinet designers. The lowest frequencies are not very important, as opposed to a high sound pressure level. This may sound as a contradiction: low frequencies are not important for the reproduction of bass guitar sound. But as much as it is advantageous to the total sound of a band, it also brings many advantages to cabinet design 6.14 Cabinet building.

© Joris van den Heuvel 2001-2009