In music, timbre is what makes one instrument sound different from another, even when they are playing at the same note and volume. Two trumpets, for example, playing the same notes can sound different from one another, and usually do. Timbre is caused by the fact that each note from a musical instrument is a complex tone containing more than one frequency. A sound generated on any instrument produces many modes of vibration occurring simultaneously. The vibration that has the slowest rate is called the fundamental frequency and is the loudest. The other frequencies are either harmonics, overtones, or inharmonics. The fundamental is the frequency at which the entire wave vibrates. We've learned that a musical tone requires three or more harmonics for the ear to identify it. However, a tone with only three harmonics will not produce high quality timbre that is suitable for high end audio playback. In our opinion, high end audio playback requires the fundamental plus as many as seven simple harmonics in order to possess dense timbre. For a maker of high end audio gear, the goal is always to manufacture audio interfaces, components, or loudspeakers, that will affect the natural harmonic structure of the audio to the smallest degree possible-- thus, retaining the music's natural timbre and realism. It's a quest we all share. At MIT, we've spent the past three decades leading the quest to perfect the science of audio interfacing by applying this centuries-old understanding of music. We've learned that not only can we keep the fundamental intact; we can keep each one of that fundamental's harmonics and consonant intervals intact as well, preserving the complex harmonic structure of the music. Preserving timbre. Introducing the world the most musically correct speaker interface to date: The Oracle MA-X SHD.
Funny you guys just posted this! I just wrote about the unique timbre of James Blake's voice in my new review! He really doesn't sound like anybody else (and, I think, as do others, that the human voice is in fact one of our greatest insruments)