The Beneficial Science of Audio

What Are Audio Frequencies & The Audio Spectrum?

     Now first, we’ll give you an incredibly simple explanation. If you don’t feel satisfied with that than you may read on beyond this point. Audio frequencies and the spectrum are nothing more than sound and sound is simply vibrations being passed through matter. Different sound waves can create different vibrations and thus can make matter react in different ways.

     Here is your detailed explanation. I spoil you! Anyways, let us continue. Audio frequencies are individual bands of periodic vibration that, together, make up the audio spectrum. Think of it like a rainbow, there’s the entire rainbow and different colors that make up the entire rainbow as you see it. The audio spectrum ranges from 0 hz and has no limit from there. According to Eric Hakansan (Electrical Engineer from Virginia Tech), Surface Acoustic Wave Devices have been described with frequencies above 10Ghz. To give you some perspective into how high that is, 10 Ghz converted looks like this:

     10 Ghz = 10,000,000,000 Hz

     We as humans aren’t biologically capable of hearing the entire spectrum. Our eardrums are only able to pick up audible ranges from 20 Hz to 20 Khz (20,000 Hz). Now all frequencies will be different in terms of being audible. For instance, if you play your favorite song on the computer then your speakers will be outputting those audio frequencies. Now go ahead and turn down the volume. The speakers are still putting out the same frequencies however it isn’t as loud as before. The loudness of these frequencies are measured in decibels.

     We can hear as little as 0 decibels however at around 100 decibels is when you start to push hearing damage. Around 150 decibels can burst your eardrums and anything around 185 and above decibels can/ will kill you. The loudest sound registered was the Krakatoa explosion which hit 172 decibels at about 100 miles away from the explosion. The sound closer to the volcano would have been inconceivable and it was reported that sailors on ships 40 miles away from the explosion had their eardrums rupture.

     Higher frequencies become light visible to the human eye. There are other cases in which sound can be converted into light. This process is called sonoluminescence. Higher decibels become a physical wall of pressurized air, these are called shockwaves. This is when the soundwaves begin pushing the air along with it as it travels.

What Is Hertz?

     Hertz is a unit used to measure frequency. As we know, Frequency is the rate in which current changes direction per second, or oscillation. The current changing direction generates the vibration we discussed above. These vibrations are thus measured as cycles per second, or Hertz. 1 Hz is equal to 1 cycle per second. Cycles are completed vibrations. Just how there are milimeters within centimeters and centimeters within inches, there are further precise measurements for these cycles.

 

– Kilohertz (KHz) = Thousands of cycles per second.

– Megahertz (MHz) = Millions of cycles per second.

– Gigahertz (GHz) = Billions of cycles per second.

– Terahertz (THz) – Trillions of cycles per second.

How Sound Has Been Utilized Throughout History

     All throughout time music has been a very large part of human experience. It affects how we feel and can be used to express ourselves. It would seem though that perhaps the earliest civilians of mankind had a better connection to it as we do now. Just as we are starting to realize now there are great benefits and things we can achieve with the usage of audio.

     Long forgotten temples and buildings such as the Matla’s Hypogeum Hal Saflieni (An entire separate article will be made on this structure among others). Even tools such as Tibetan bowls, Pythagoras monochord, ancient flutes and among other things have been used to project certain frequencies such as what is thought to be the natural frequency of the universe.

     As we continue to gaze further back into the our past and learn more, we see a trend of audio being an important component in each individual’s spirituality. Instruments can be dated as far back as 50,000 years with the discovery of the Neanderthal flute and it would seem that for over that period our interest and love for sound and music has always been a consistent reality for us. 

Examination of Various Frequencies

     8 Hertz: 

     The basis of the 432 Hz frequency. This is known as the Earth’s heartbeat, or Schumann resonance after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann had documented it mathematically in 1952. A global electromagnetic resonance, Schumann’s resonance has it’s origin in electrical discharges of lighting within the area between Earth’s surface and ionosphere. These electromagnetic waves resonate within this space in paramount frequencies ranging approximately between 7.86 Hz and 8 Hz.

     This frequency has a great deal to do with the human body and how it affects it. It’s the frequency of the double helix in DNA replication. Melatonin and Pinoline (Two chemicals which are associated with the Pineal Gland (We will cover the Pineal Gland in another article, it is extremely important especially regarding this field of research)) affect DNA which induces an 8 Hz signal to engage mitosis (In cell biology, mitosis is a part of the cell cycle, in which, replicated chromosomes are separated into two new nuclei) and DNA replication.

     Regular thought waves generated by the human brain range from 14 Hz to 40 Hz. Only including certain types of dendrites (a short branched extension of a nerve cell} along with impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body. These belong to brain cells and are predominant within the left hemisphere of our brain. This is the center of activity. If the two hemispheres of our brain were to be synchronized at 8 Hz then they would be able to function more harmoniously and achieve a maximum flow of information.

     432 Hertz: 

     432 Hz is seen as the universe’s frequency. It is a frequency commonly used in binaural beats (An auditory illusion caused by listening to two tones of slightly different frequency with each one in a different ear. The difference in frequencies creates the illusion of a third sound. A rhythmic beat. Neurons throughout the brain begin to send electrical messages at the same rate as the imaginary beat) and are used for meditation.

     The frequency has it’s relation to the previous one we just examined, 8 Hz. These two frequencies, together, are very important. On a musical scale, note A has a frequency of 440 Hz. Note C is about 261.656 Hz. Now on the other hand if we were to take 8 Hz as our starting point and increased it by 5 octaves (An interval whose higher note has a sound-wave frequency of vibration twice that of it’s lower note. This the international standard pitch A above middle C vibrates at 440 Hz; the octave above this A vibrates at 880 Hz, while the octave below it vibrates at 220 Hz) we will reach a frequency of 256 Hz, in whose scale the note A has a frequency of 432 Hz.

     The harmonic principle dictates any produced sound automatically resonates all of the other multiples of that frequency. When note C is played at 256 Hz, C and all other octaves also begin to vibrate in sympathy and so, naturally, the 8 Hz frequency is also played. Among many other mathematical reasons, this is why the musical pitch tuned to 432 OPS (oscillations per second) (movement back and forth at a regular speed) is known as the scientific tuning. The frequency chosen in 1953 at London as the worldwide reference frequency and, as previously stated, which all music today has been tuned to is now defined as as disharmonic due to the fact that is has no scientific relationship to the physical laws that govern our universe.