Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Idle

Man With World's Deepest Voice Can Hit Infrasonic Notes 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-low-can-you-go dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The man who holds the Guinness record for the world's lowest voice can hit notes so low that only animals as big as elephants are able to hear them. American singer Tim Storms, who also has the world's widest vocal range, can reach notes as low as G-7 (0.189Hz), an incredible eight octaves below the lowest G on the piano."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Man With World's Deepest Voice Can Hit Infrasonic Notes

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:03PM (#41143347)

    "You can break glasses with your voice?"

    "No, that's at the other end of the scale."

    "But you can communication with elephants? Call them to rescue you and fight battles?"

    "No, but they can hear me."

  • by Wrexs0ul (515885) <mmeier@@@racknine...com> on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:04PM (#41143359) Homepage

    With all the innuendo around Barry White's voice, if this man can sing he'd be a real crowd pleaser!

    -Matt

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:26PM (#41143599)

      Not sure he'd want to even try. He might end up on the business end of some elephant wood!

    • Re:But can he sing? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:57PM (#41143909)
      Apparently [youtube.com] he [youtube.com]can [youtube.com] (use good headphones or sub-woofer - otherwise is futile).
      • Re:But can he sing? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mister_playboy (1474163) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:01AM (#41145613)

        Thanks. TFS's link had nothing more than some British woman's voice to offer.

        He's got something special going on there, but saying he can go 2 octaves below a normal bass voice is a probably pushing it, let alone 8 octaves below the end of a piano's range.

        0.187Hz? Consider it takes a 64 foot pipe and a lot of blower horsepower to produce 8Hz in an organ. There are only two such organs in the world so equipped, most big organs "settle" for 32 foot stops and 16Hz. I think his voice is plenty impressive without indulging in wild hyperbole.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Thanks. TFS's link had nothing more than some British woman's voice to offer.

          He's got something special going on there, but saying he can go 2 octaves below a normal bass voice is a probably pushing it, let alone 8 octaves below the end of a piano's range.

          Based on what my ear was able to hear (highly unreliable, I know), I say he can do at least as low as 24-30 Hz (one octave lower that the power network hum). One of these days and just from curiosity, I'll try to rip the sound from the YouTube videos, pass it through a FFT and see what it'll show.

          • Re:But can he sing? (Score:5, Informative)

            by rve (4436) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:54AM (#41145963)

            One of these days and just from curiosity, I'll try to rip the sound from the YouTube videos, pass it through a FFT and see what it'll show.

            Probably futile, due to lossy compression algorithms filtering out frequencies that statistically most people can't hear

        • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:39AM (#41146111)
          Sound with a frequency .187 Hz is moving air at a rate of 11.22 times per minute. For most humans, that is about the frequency of their breath. Unless you are on a respirator, you yourself are perfectly capable of doing this. Also, "throat singing" can be used to generate frequencies that can not be produced by just your vocal chords. That technique, however, is not nearly as common as breathing.
        • You're a fan of Aleister Crowley? Have you read his hagiography? The man was batshit insane, but the book was fascinating.

  • by Dripdry (1062282) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:10PM (#41143433) Journal

    Is it so wrong for a man to do the shipping report?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emh75AYxnzk [youtube.com]

  • by Bovius (1243040) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:11PM (#41143441)

    For reference, 0.189 Hz is roughly once cycle per five seconds. Take a finger and raise it for 2.5 seconds, then lower it for 2.5 seconds.

    This doesn't count as anything more than discrete pulses. I understand that the muscles controlling his vocal folds are performing similar activities to singing, but this is not sound anymore.

    • by OneAhead (1495535) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:15PM (#41143497)
      Maybe they mistook his breathing for infrasonic sound?
      • by spazdor (902907)

        actually, breathing constitutes an infrasonic sound, in every sense of that term

        • by OneAhead (1495535)
          That's why it was a joke, as the mods successfully recognized. But in all seriousness, I'm not sure how they measured that 0.189 Hz figure, but any pulsation in the body in that frequency range would actually be breathing. It's extremely worrisome to see this appearing on, of all things, a medical news site, on any other day than April 1st. If someone is really serious about this guy being able to vocalize 0.189 Hz, then that someone just doesn't understand the concepts "frequency" and "measurement" (as in:
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For reference, 0.189 Hz is roughly once cycle per five seconds. Take a finger and raise it for 2.5 seconds, then lower it for 2.5 seconds.

      This doesn't count as anything more than discrete pulses. I understand that the muscles controlling his vocal folds are performing similar activities to singing, but this is not sound anymore.

      sound 1 (sound) n.
      1.
      a. Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.
      b. Transmitted vibrations of any frequency.
      c. The sensation stimulated in the organs of hearing by such vibrations in the air or other medium.
      d. Such sensations considered as a group.

    • by shokk (187512) <<ernieoporto> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:18PM (#41143521) Homepage Journal

      "this is not sound anymore"

      Tell that to the elephants.

      • by nbauman (624611)

        And the whales.

        • I find it exceeding improbable these animals use sounds at 1.87Hz, let alone 0.187Hz.

          Wikipedia list 10Hz as the bottom range for whales. Note that is a vibration more than 50 times faster than this guy is supposedly producing.

          There is infrasound, and then there is earthquake sound...

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      The guy can make infrasounds [wikipedia.org]... maybe he's related to Inframan! [wikipedia.org]

    • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:22PM (#41143557)

      Your 'sound' wouldnt travel far in air, as it would not be loud enough (does not have a good enough amplitude). His sound would.

      • by Zorpheus (857617)
        No, just breathing in and out is the highest "sound" amplitude that someone can generate at 0.189Hz. That does not require a special voice.
    • by PostPhil (739179) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:27PM (#41143607)
      People claiming that they can make "a sound every 2.5 seconds" don't get it. It's is not the same as a single continuous waveform oscillating at 0.189 Hz. There is a big difference between a continuous waveform at that frequency versus some joe blow making a click at 3 kHz for 250 ms duration every 2.5 seconds. No, it is not a set of pulses.
      • by mark-t (151149)
        Actually, you can approximate an infrasonic sound with pulses... you just have to do it very fast (at least twice human hearing speed), and vary the pulse's amplitude continuously up and down, repeating every 5 seconds. The result is a 0.2hz audio wave... synthesized with clicks.
      • by pla (258480)
        People claiming that they can make "a sound every 2.5 seconds" don't get it. It's is not the same as a single continuous waveform oscillating at 0.189 Hz.

        Not quite true. No, you can't just make a click every few seconds and call it "sound" at the corresponding frequency.

        You can, however, simply breathe at that frequency, which follows a not-too-shabby sine wave.

        For comparison, one of the "loudest" subwoofers made (though damned if I can find a link to it ATM) uses a fan with blades that pivot in pha
    • by pclminion (145572) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:27PM (#41143615)

      For reference, 0.189 Hz is roughly once cycle per five seconds. Take a finger and raise it for 2.5 seconds, then lower it for 2.5 seconds.

      I am having a hard time imagining how, physiologically, the human voice mechanism could be capable of producing a vibration at such a frequency. Frankly it sounds like bullshit to me.

      • "Frankly it sounds like bullshit to me."

        I knew pciminion was an elephant!

      • by iiii (541004)
        Our vocal chords make clicks. In very low tones I can hear the individual clicks. I can see it being possible to for a person to gain the control over their voice to be able to make a single click, then do that at whatever interval they want. That doesn't really seem like a "tone" to me, but this must be what they are doing here.
        • by fatphil (181876) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:20AM (#41146799) Homepage
          You're mostly right. In your lowest frequencies, it's not your vocal cords that are clicking, it's another set of membranes right next to the vocal cords. Those clicks are obviously harsher and full of harmonics, as they're generating square waves. (This gives Metallica vocals their distinctive sound, for example.)

          If you don't go quite as low, and try to keep your voice as pure as possible, and then *at the same frequency* go all Hetfield-like and back to pure again you'll hear, and feel, the difference. With a bit of practice you'll be able to precisely pick the balance between the use of two membranes at will.

          With infinitely more practice, you'll be able to get those other membranes vibrating at half the frequency of your vocal chords, at which point you'll be well on the way to mastering one of the Tuvan harmonic singing techniques.

          It's clear from some of the youtube links that have been posted that this guy is effectively just using the same kind of technique, and whilst it's very impressive for what it is, his parps are way less musical than say Paul Pena's harmonic singing, which was reaching an octive below normal ranges. (And which caused the Tuvans to nickname him "Earthquake".) If you've not seen the film /Ghengis Blues/, and anything I've mentioned sounds interesting, I highly recommend watching it. It's a very touching movie as well as a very interesting one.

          As for the "infrasonic" claims in TFA, they're mostly bullcrap. He may be able to modulate sound pressure waves at those frequencies, but so can I - by breathing normally.
          • Hetfield's toprange (without going falsetto or non modal screaming) is upper fourth, and recently he's managed as a low note, a B1 ("All Nightmare Long") but his earlier stuff only went as low as C2 ("Bad Seed", "Enter Sandman").

      • I am having a hard time imagining how, physiologically, the human voice mechanism could be capable of producing a vibration at such a frequency. Frankly it sounds like bullshit to me.

        This looks absurd to me too. I know nothing of anatomy, but I think the vocal chords work like strings.

        Can you imagine a string vibrating at 0.189Hz? That is 5.3 seconds per period! Until Guinness verifies it, and be open about how they verified it, I am skeptical.

    • by Yakasha (42321)

      For reference, 0.189 Hz is roughly once cycle per five seconds. Take a finger and raise it for 2.5 seconds, then lower it for 2.5 seconds.

      This doesn't count as anything more than discrete pulses. I understand that the muscles controlling his vocal folds are performing similar activities to singing, but this is not sound anymore.

      You sound like an 80 year old nerd doing the equivalent of yelling at the neighbor's kids, "Darn rock & roll! That ain't music! Its noise!"

      In my day, musicians sang. They didn't just fluctuate their vocal chords in 5 second intervals to produce vibrations in the air!

    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      Can you point to an accepted reference that states that sound stops at a specific frequency?
      • by spazdor (902907)

        If you agree that AM radio waves are "light" then I'll agree that sub-1Hz vibrations are "sound".

        • by ClintJCL (264898)
          Are AM radio waves comprised of photons?
          • by spazdor (902907)

            Well, yes and no. [answers.com]

            • by ClintJCL (264898)
              Oh interesting!

              So... sounds like AM waves are as much light as visible light is. Our sensory organs don't define the true nature of something, which is true regardless of whether us humans observe or comprehend it.

              • by spazdor (902907)

                If "made of photons" == "light" then that makes perfect sense.

                But as it turns out both "light" and "sound" are defined in colloquial English as perceptual phenomena, and not as categories in physics:

                http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/light [merriam-webster.com]
                1 a : something that makes vision possible
                b : the sensation aroused by stimulation of the visual receptors
                c : electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength that travels in a vacuum with a speed of about 186,281 miles (300,00

                • by ClintJCL (264898)
                  Now of course this is all in my own subjective opinion, but:

                  specifically such radiation, but generally not. Definitions are fuzzy. And I think that specificity is based on the tradition of the archaic meaning of it as an observable phenomenon. Science considers visible light a subset of all light. ...And Merriam-Webster -- although it is my favorite of the dictionaries -- doesn't define science. Probably a good thing. .... Supersonic sounds that only cats hear: I guess it's not sound because we don't hear

    • by sjames (1099)

      Actually, no. Discreet pulses resolve to a fairly broad series of sine waves. That is quite distinmct from the spectrum of a human voice with the fundamental in the infrasonic range.

      • by spazdor (902907)

        Yes, I sincerely doubt this man's vocal apparatus can actually move enough air back and forth to create a 0.2Hz fundamental tone which is actually separable from background noise by any instrumentation. At the very best he is creating harmonics which mathematically 'imply' such a fundamental.

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Monday August 27, 2012 @09:17PM (#41144509)

          At the very best he is creating harmonics which mathematically 'imply' such a fundamental.

          Actually, that would be more impressive. You would have to sing two (or more) discrete pitches, without much in the way of harmonics for either one.

          If an ear/nose/throat doctor says he has vocal cords twice as long as normal, and muscles that work differently, I'm more inclined to believe that he can produce a note that low, more than I would believe what you suggest.

          In fact, what exactly do you think the Guinness Book of World people are measuring?

          http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/lowest-vocal-note-by-a-male/ [guinnessworldrecords.com]

          The lowest vocal note produced by a male is G -7 (0.189 Hz) and was achieved by Tim Storms (USA) at Citywalk Studios in Branson, Missouri, USA, on 30 March 2012.

          Timothy is the bass singer for the vocal group 'Pierce Arrow'. The attempt was witnessed by two college music professors and an acoustician. The frequency output of Timothy's voice was measured using Bruel & Kjaer equipment (low frequency microphone, precision sound analyser and laptop for post analysis).

          I can read it for you, but I can't understand it for you.

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        Breath in - wait 10 seconds - breath out - repeat..

        Congratulations you have now broken the record with a sound at 0.1Hz!!!

        Btw, everything can be broken down to a fairly broad series of sine waves, it is called a fourier transformation and works on any function.

        • by sjames (1099)

          And some of those spectra resemble a voice and some do not. Your example will not. As for the rest, isn't it pretty damned obvious that I already know that?

    • Actually, we can all produce something resembling a pure "sound" at 0.189Hz. All you have to do is compress and uncompress air in your mouth (or lungs, or a bottle) at that rate. The small air volume variation (translating to a variation in the volume of your body) should be enough to produce a sound pressure level of a few decibels at that frequency, particularly if you're in a small airtight room.

      I doubt Tim's voice, in practice, produces more energy at frequencies that low than the above method. More lik

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        Every person's voice breaks up as they reach their lowest possible note. When he sings in his deeper pure tone range, I can sing right along with him. As he gets lower, he retains the pure tone, but I start breaking up. Does the fact that my voice is breaking up mean a person can't sing that low?

        No, it means that I am bottoming out my range, and I have probably relaxed my muscles enough they are just flopping about. With extra long vocal cords, he can go a lot lower before getting floppy. At his lowest

        • I actually did the math for the pressure variations in a small airtight room (3x3x3 meters), and came up with 5 microliters - that's the RMS delta volume of air that would be required to produce a sound pressure of 0dB for large wavelengths. At 40dB, that becomes half a mililiter, which should be achievable for a human, perhaps with the aid of a glass bottle. By blowing, though. Not with your vocal folds.

          The ability to produce sound without a rigid airtight compartment depends on the inertia of air - this i

    • by mark-t (151149)

      The human voice is analog, not digital. This cannot be approximated by a discrete pulse once every 5 seconds, because it is a continuous wave that peaks every 5 seconds.

      There is a *HUGE* difference.

      If you were to meaningfully digitize it, then you must still sample it at thresholds above human hearing, and it would appear as discrete pulses whose peaks would appear to form a sine wave... one which has a frequency below that which we can hear ourselves.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      At that frequency can you really call it sound anymore? I can make my hand move back and forth at roughly 0.189Hz which will move the air and thus could potentially be detected. Young adult humans can hear down to 20Hz, elephants possibly 1Hz. But remember that even at 20Hz for humans that sound is almost inaudible, so presumably 1Hz for an elephant is at the edge of their senses. Plus what elephants hear as infrasonic sound is transmitted through the ground and not the air. Ie, I could set up a 1Hz w

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Mua'dib!" My name is a killing word.
  • Storm's incredible voice also made him a hot commodity in the Hollywood voice over business, where industry executives eagerly track down people with low voices to add drama to film trailers.

    Add drama, or sound stupid? [youtube.com]

  • Good. Sign him up. We need somebody on Earth who can scare the shit out of Thanos in the deeper-is-more-badass category.

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:21PM (#41143553) Journal

    Between him and Mariah Carey, they should both be able to summon every animal in the vicinity.

  • Brown Note (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rui Lopes (599077) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:46PM (#41143825) Homepage
    We're gonna shit our pants once we hear him reaching the brown note [wikipedia.org].
  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 27, 2012 @07:53PM (#41143877)

    Is there an MP3 of him singing?

    Oh... uh... damn...

  • by Broofa (541944) on Monday August 27, 2012 @08:01PM (#41143941) Homepage

    I actually thought the claimed frequency was a typo in the article. But in the interview, Mr. Storm says he can sing 8 octaves below the lowest note on a piano. If you work backwords and double 0.189Hz eight times (for each octave), you get 48Hz, making his lowest [claimed] note 8 octaves below the lowest G on a piano.

    As for whether this qualifies as singing, I would argue that to be considered real singing he should be using the same vocal cords and musculature required to produce human-audible sounds. I.e. he should be able to produce a continuous sound that starts at a normal note and drops down to the claimed note, without any fundamental change in the way in which he's producing the sound. My $.02.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      Everyone has a slightly different vocal cord length, and certainly different musculature based on their singing/practice experience. If everyone had the same physical attributes, they would have the same range.

      Yes you can start out with exactly the same attributes and develop different ranges, but your musculature changes in response to training, and you can develop nodules and other problems which change the quality and/or range of your voice on top of what you mentioned.

      Your argument is absurd, and he ca

    • by T.E.D. (34228)
      By that standard, falsetto isn't signing either.
  • Bitch is going to get owned by the original elephant call:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwHWbsvgQUE [youtube.com]
  • He has vocal chords, I only have vocal cords.
  • A human simply does not have the resonant cavity to produce such notes.

    Anyone can make glottal clicks at 0.18 Hz (about 5 clicks per second).

    A train of such clicks does have a fundamental frequency 0.18 Hz, but most of the energy will be in the higher harmonics.

    A genuine 0.18 Hz note has a 0.18 Hz fundamental as the loudest component.

    • by srjh (1316705)

      A human simply does not have the resonant cavity to produce such notes.

      Anyone can make glottal clicks at 0.18 Hz (about 5 clicks per second).

      Also known as about five seconds per click.

  • Bob Parsons [huffingtonpost.com] has subdued many elephants by having this guy sing Justin Bieber.

    Note on image: The rifle is for non-believers.
  • If Homo sapiens were so equipped to *detect* such frequencies with auditory sensors (we are not), we would also be equipped to produce them. For that we would require a neck a mile long.

  • That's approximately how I breathe. Inhale, 2.5 sec later exhale, 2.5 sec later repeat. So am I making longitudinal compression waves like this guy? What's the difference between him and me?

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...