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Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 7:51 am
by eagerlearner102
Do any of you have suggestions about the binder? This is my first year doing a binder event, so how do I make sure my binder has everything I need without printing every single thing?
The UNSW website is pretty long.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 8:01 am
by markuswso17
eagerlearner102 wrote:Do any of you have suggestions about the binder? This is my first year doing a binder event, so how do I make sure my binder has everything I need without printing every single thing?
The UNSW website is pretty long.

I'd suggest printing everything you could where need to know as long as it's still organized into different sections and doesn't just repeat the same thing. After some time using the massive binder, you can start to take stuff out just because a lot will eventually be memorized. Then for the last binder you make, type as much of it as you can (in your own words) so that you memorize even more and have it make sense for you.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 1:18 pm
by UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F
TheSquaad wrote:
chrism wrote:
markuswso17 wrote:It's more of a dear of inconsistency between different tournaments. Do you change the instrument to not have 0Hz as part of the average or do you find a fix to the problem and have all tournaments be the same. To me, having 0Hz as part of the average doesn't seem fair because it also depends on how well an Es's microphone pics up the frequency. There are just a lot of factors that should be figured out and be mentioned officially from Science Olympiad.


The rule clarification on 10/11 changing "best" to "average" opened up a whole host of issues. First, it is not specified how the average is calculated, i.e. how frequently should the app be set to take a reading?, should 0 Hz be included as part of the data set?

Second, the official event supervisor guide on soinc.org, refers to 2 suggested apps, the Accord Chromatic tuner (android only) and Google Science Journal. From our team's experience, the accord tuner only picks up sounds made by the instrument, not background noise or silence between "attacks" on the instrument in calculating the average. Google Science Journal picks up all background noise and silence, and in doing so, distorts the average to a point that it is possible for the same instrument to get a perfect pitch score with the Accord chromatic tuner, and a pitch score of 0 with Google Science Journal. For example, with Google Science Journal measuring 10x per second and a C4 note (262 Hz) that plays for 4.8 s with .2 s of silence, this would lead to a cents difference of 67 and a pitch score of 0.

It seems unlikely that the switch from "best" to "average" was made to over-emphasize the playing of sound over the entire 5 s interval, although that seems to be a major issue now.

Has anyone been to any invitationals and can speak of how the average was calculated and what app was used?


MIT used Sci Journal. I’d just prepare for the worst and use that as your tuning app.

I feel like this issue would be way less pronounced if they changed “average” to “mode.” I’m guessing they originally changed it from “best” to make sure the instrument is primarily hitting the desired pitch, and “mode” fixes that while also not having background noise or overtones screw the readings up.

You can't really use mode with continuous data because you'll have to round it so that there are pitches with the same frequency, which might not be preferable.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 24th, 2019, 6:31 pm
by TheMysteriousMapMan
Hi all,

Any idea what formulae, specifically, we should know, in addition to the conceptual information, for the test portion? I have a habit of making my binders good with concepts, but no so great in some of the math details.

Thanks for the help, in advance!

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 24th, 2019, 8:30 pm
by Raleway
Two cents (literally two things):

I feel like the average is quite possibly the WORST way to judge the pitch of an instrument. If the player starts off flat (or very flat) but is able to correct the pitch, it doesn't matter. The average is not a resistant measure of the center. Median would be better, but still, not great. Why not stick with the best? It's perfectly fine as it is and gives the player an opportunity to recover.

Building on that, I strongly believe those with perfect pitch have a strong inherent advantage over those without perfect pitch. It's my very strong opinion (and recommendation), that each note (obviously from the tuner) be played for about 3 seconds prior to the player actually playing the note. It levels the playing field better and gives those that aren't blessed with perfect pitch (like me) a more fair chance at getting a better pitch score.

TLDR:
1. Taking the average is terrible or any measure in that sense; the best is still the best
2. Play the in tune pitch before each note to mitigate the advantage of perfect pitch

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 25th, 2019, 6:28 am
by dragonfruit35
Raleway wrote:Two cents (literally two things):

I feel like the average is quite possibly the WORST way to judge the pitch of an instrument. If the player starts off flat (or very flat) but is able to correct the pitch, it doesn't matter. The average is not a resistant measure of the center. Median would be better, but still, not great. Why not stick with the best? It's perfectly fine as it is and gives the player an opportunity to recover.

Building on that, I strongly believe those with perfect pitch have a strong inherent advantage over those without perfect pitch. It's my very strong opinion (and recommendation), that each note (obviously from the tuner) be played for about 3 seconds prior to the player actually playing the note. It levels the playing field better and gives those that aren't blessed with perfect pitch (like me) a more fair chance at getting a better pitch score.

TLDR:
1. Taking the average is terrible or any measure in that sense; the best is still the best
2. Play the in tune pitch before each note to mitigate the advantage of perfect pitch


It seems like maybe you’re using a wind instrument? If you wanted to counteract this, you could choose a style of instrument that doesn’t vary in pitch all that much depending on how you initiate the note (eg. percussion).

Also, I agree that average pitch is not a great method of measuring pitch, due to a whole host of aforementioned issues, but best pitch doesn’t really work either. Even if your instrument is wildly out of tune if it either doesn’t hold steady or is adjustable on the fly, it’s possible to pass through the correct pitch briefly, which seems kind of unfair compared to the instruments that can be carefully tuned to hit the correct pitch steadily (that seems like it should get a higher score than one that just so happened to hit the correct pitch, at least to me).

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 25th, 2019, 7:03 am
by markuswso17
dragonfruit35 wrote:
Raleway wrote:Two cents (literally two things):

I feel like the average is quite possibly the WORST way to judge the pitch of an instrument. If the player starts off flat (or very flat) but is able to correct the pitch, it doesn't matter. The average is not a resistant measure of the center. Median would be better, but still, not great. Why not stick with the best? It's perfectly fine as it is and gives the player an opportunity to recover.

Building on that, I strongly believe those with perfect pitch have a strong inherent advantage over those without perfect pitch. It's my very strong opinion (and recommendation), that each note (obviously from the tuner) be played for about 3 seconds prior to the player actually playing the note. It levels the playing field better and gives those that aren't blessed with perfect pitch (like me) a more fair chance at getting a better pitch score.

TLDR:
1. Taking the average is terrible or any measure in that sense; the best is still the best
2. Play the in tune pitch before each note to mitigate the advantage of perfect pitch


It seems like maybe you’re using a wind instrument? If you wanted to counteract this, you could choose a style of instrument that doesn’t vary in pitch all that much depending on how you initiate the note (eg. percussion).

Also, I agree that average pitch is not a great method of measuring pitch, due to a whole host of aforementioned issues, but best pitch doesn’t really work either. Even if your instrument is wildly out of tune if it either doesn’t hold steady or is adjustable on the fly, it’s possible to pass through the correct pitch briefly, which seems kind of unfair compared to the instruments that can be carefully tuned to hit the correct pitch steadily (that seems like it should get a higher score than one that just so happened to hit the correct pitch, at least to me).

The problem with most percussion instruments is that they decay so quickly, and you don't know how good each ESs microphone will be tournament to tournament. You need a steady source of sound so it can fill the room for 5 seconds. Yes, you can play multiple attacks on the instrument, but that will mess up the average pitch, and like I said earlier, you don't know when to play the note each time with different microphones.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 25th, 2019, 7:10 am
by smayya337
dragonfruit35 wrote:
Raleway wrote:Two cents (literally two things):

I feel like the average is quite possibly the WORST way to judge the pitch of an instrument. If the player starts off flat (or very flat) but is able to correct the pitch, it doesn't matter. The average is not a resistant measure of the center. Median would be better, but still, not great. Why not stick with the best? It's perfectly fine as it is and gives the player an opportunity to recover.

Building on that, I strongly believe those with perfect pitch have a strong inherent advantage over those without perfect pitch. It's my very strong opinion (and recommendation), that each note (obviously from the tuner) be played for about 3 seconds prior to the player actually playing the note. It levels the playing field better and gives those that aren't blessed with perfect pitch (like me) a more fair chance at getting a better pitch score.

TLDR:
1. Taking the average is terrible or any measure in that sense; the best is still the best
2. Play the in tune pitch before each note to mitigate the advantage of perfect pitch


It seems like maybe you’re using a wind instrument? If you wanted to counteract this, you could choose a style of instrument that doesn’t vary in pitch all that much depending on how you initiate the note (eg. percussion).

Also, I agree that average pitch is not a great method of measuring pitch, due to a whole host of aforementioned issues, but best pitch doesn’t really work either. Even if your instrument is wildly out of tune if it either doesn’t hold steady or is adjustable on the fly, it’s possible to pass through the correct pitch briefly, which seems kind of unfair compared to the instruments that can be carefully tuned to hit the correct pitch steadily (that seems like it should get a higher score than one that just so happened to hit the correct pitch, at least to me).


Perfect pitch isn't as much of a help as it seems. Many people who have the ability of perfect pitch (myself included) can't precisely determine whether the note is in tune or not - my perfect pitch helps me know if I'm within 20ish cents, and that's about it. 20 cents is a noticeable difference to any listener, perfect pitch or not, and everything I can do is achievable by someone with relative pitch. Those who can use perfect pitch to get within 5 cents tend to be professional musicians who have put in a lot of work into honing this skill.

I also think that playing the note removes some of the difficulty of the event. My instrument is a string instrument, and if I hear the note before playing, I can easily adjust the location of my fingers to bring the instrument in tune. Part of Sounds's challenge is in getting the instrument in tune before you play, and by giving players an easy way to see if they're in tune or not, SO would be watering down the build portion. Of course, that's just my opinion. :D

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 26th, 2019, 8:37 pm
by terence.tan
2 questions:

1.the rules say that you can use a mobile app to tune within the 2 minute setup period, so would using an ipad be allowed?

2.if you had 8 bottles with different amounts of water as you instrument, can you have a really loud drum for the volume test that plays the same sound as one of the bottles?

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 4:51 am
by TheSquaad
terence.tan wrote:2 questions:

1.the rules say that you can use a mobile app to tune within the 2 minute setup period, so would using an ipad be allowed?

2.if you had 8 bottles with different amounts of water as you instrument, can you have a really loud drum for the volume test that plays the same sound as one of the bottles?


To answer 2, the part of your instrument you play for the volume test must have been played in the pitch test. So no, you can’t have a separate bottle just for the volume test.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 11:22 am
by eagerlearner102
Sorry if this post isn't really related to the building aspect, but I took the Ohio test [url](http://homepages.bw.edu/~phoekje/olympi ... usicT2.pdf[/url] and for #12, I am very confused. If you want to play a higher frequency, wouldn't that mean shortening the string, tube, etc.? The answer key instead says that it should be longer.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 3:16 pm
by Birdmusic
So my partner and I have been using Sci Journal, and I agree with everyone who says average doesn’t really work for this event.

As someone earlier calculated, a single 0 moment can bring the pitch score down to 0. There’s really no way to circumvent this.

Even when placing the tuner next to our instrument, it still goes to zero sometimes. I honestly don’t know what do do anymore since invitationals is in 2 weeks and we can’t build a new instrument that fast. (Copper pipe xylophone)

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 7:17 am
by TheSquaad
Birdmusic wrote:So my partner and I have been using Sci Journal, and I agree with everyone who says average doesn’t really work for this event.

As someone earlier calculated, a single 0 moment can bring the pitch score down to 0. There’s really no way to circumvent this.

Even when placing the tuner next to our instrument, it still goes to zero sometimes. I honestly don’t know what do do anymore since invitationals is in 2 weeks and we can’t build a new instrument that fast. (Copper pipe xylophone)


In your case, your best bet is probably hitting each pitch fast and constantly enough to ensure it never reads 0.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 8:32 pm
by hippo9
Birdmusic wrote:So my partner and I have been using Sci Journal, and I agree with everyone who says average doesn’t really work for this event.

As someone earlier calculated, a single 0 moment can bring the pitch score down to 0. There’s really no way to circumvent this.

Even when placing the tuner next to our instrument, it still goes to zero sometimes. I honestly don’t know what do do anymore since invitationals is in 2 weeks and we can’t build a new instrument that fast. (Copper pipe xylophone)

Also, you can crop data out of the science journal recording, so if you let the ES know that, they'll most likely do that for you for all of the time's it dips to 0.

Re: Sounds of Music C

Posted: January 29th, 2019, 7:08 am
by dragonfruit35
The ES at my regional on Saturday used SciJournal, but he counted down to us playing the note, then waited a second before actually starting the recording, and we just played multiple attacks on the note until five seconds had passed. I think this worked better than trying to start both at the same time, since there weren't any zeroes at the beginning, although it became more important to make sure you were attacking the note the same every time so that it didn't go out of tune.