Why aren't my strings loud enough?

For a musician, it is important that they can hear themselves and can be heard by the audience right into the furthermost rows. Loud only means that you can hear the sound, by your ears. However, it doesn’t take into account whether and how far the sound can travel. Only the sound color and its modulation capability make you distinguishable and, therefore, audible. This is called projection. Imagine a train station full of people. There is lots of noise there, which result in a high volume of sound. Now try engaging in a conversation with your neighbor here. If the timbre of your interlocutor rises above the others in the room, you will hear it without any loud shouting.

Imagine that all the instruments in the orchestra are playing the same piece and have the same sound colors. How will you make yourself heard among all the other violins? Even if you play really loudly? And how is the audience in the last row supposed to hear? This means that you don’t need loud strings. You simply need strings with lots of sound color and a high modulation ability, i.e. good projection, in order to be heard. In addition, instruments and strings that buzz and have a slightly metallic character carry much better! We know from experience that systems –instrument, strings and bow – sounding very loud to the ear often cannot be heard well in the audience, and sound very trumpet-like.


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