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Background: Frequency ranges (bass, midrange, high range)

This background article will tell you all about Frequency ranges (bass, midrange, high range)

The human hearing range roughly covers the range from 20Hz to 20,000Hz (although the upper limit can fall well below 10,000Hz in older people), corresponding to a range of around 10 octaves. For comparison: the field of vision only extends to about one octave.

A problem with sound descriptions is that sometimes there is no uniform definition or naming of individual frequency ranges.

Of course, the following overview should not be understood as an “official” definition either, and the associated descriptions cannot be simply rigidly classified into a fixed frequency range or delimited. Nevertheless, such a system provides good starting points to make the subject of frequency ranges clearer and more understandable to let become:

20-40Hz: deep bass
Not too many instruments penetrate that far down: For example, electronic and acoustic basses, grand pianos, organs, and harps.

40-100Hz: Medium bass The
resonance frequency (tuning frequency) of speaker bass reflex systems is often found in this range.  Many acoustic instruments have their lowest fundamental tone here: The lowest fundamental tone (open E string) of a “normally” tuned guitar is around 82Hz, as is that of a trombone and that of a cello at 65Hz.

100-150Hz: upper bass
The fundamental frequency of the male voice is in this range. The same goes for the deepest tones of the alto and tenor saxophones.

150-400 Hz: Lower mids/fundamental range
Together with the upper bass, in particular, it is essential for the perceived warmth and richness of the sound. The lower fundamental of the violin (200Hz) and the fundamental frequency of female speech can be found here.

400-1,000Hz: Mid-range
The telephone dial tone in Germany is around 425Hz. The entire range of many acoustic instruments touches this area. An overemphasis on the mid/high-mids can suggest a straightforward, forward-thrown sound impression.

1,000-2,000Hz: Upper mid-range
The entire range (not the overtone spectrum, see also the keywords tone, sound, overtone ) of instruments such as violins or trumpets ends in this range. An overemphasis on the upper mids/lower trebles usually provokes a present, nasal, bright sound.

2,000-3,500Hz: Lower highs
The range of the most incredible hearing sensitivity extends from about 2000-5000Hz – weak points of a hi-fi chain are particularly obvious in this range. At the same time, this region is significant for the overtone reproduction of the human voice. The overtones determine the timbre of a voice (and, of course, those of instruments) and are essential for us to identify a specific instrument/voice.

3,500-6,000Hz: Middle highs
For example, in the middle and upper highs, the sibilants (S or hissing sounds of the voice) come into play – an over-pronounced representation is usually perceived as very unpleasant. Overall, a complex, glassy, ​​metallic sound impression or, conversely, a musty, non-transparent musical image can result from these frequency ranges and the lower trebles. A piccolo reaches its highest fundamental tone in the medium-high range, as does a grand piano (approx. 4,200 Hz).

6,000-10,000Hz: Upper highs
Here, too, there are overtones of the human voice. Organs can still produce basic tones in this range.

10,000-20,000Hz: super high tone
The overtones of many instruments (to a greater extent e.g. violin, piccolo flute, oboe, …) reach into the upper treble and the super high tone range. Air, as it is called in the English-speaking world, is conveyed to a large extent by the highest frequency ranges, which simultaneously leads to the impression of an almost unlimited high tone open to the top. A deficiency often leads to the perceived spatial impression and the low stage height.