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The Roving Wire-Breaking Technique: a low cost mobility measurement procedure for string musical instruments

Abstract : Bridge mobilities are usually used to characterize the couplings between the strings and the body of plucked or bowed string instruments. Such transfer functions are classically measured using impact hammer technique. An alternative method called wire-breaking method (also known as step relaxation method), introduced initially for the excitation of large structures is investigated in this paper. The method has been adapted to string instruments: it consists in placing a thin copper wire around the string in a position very close to the bridge saddle and pulling aside in the direction of interest until the wire breaks abruptly imparting a step function force to the driving point. When carried out with damped strings, the acceleration of the bridge measured with a miniature sensor provides a good estimation of transfer mobilities. The limits of the technique in terms of repeatability and signal-to-noise ratio are investigated making use of comparisons with results obtained by the classical impact hammer method. It is finally shown that the bridge admittances measured using the “Roving Wire-Breaking Technique” may be used to identify mode shapes components at the bridge using a high resolution modal analysis. Since no force sensor is needed to measure mobility, the technique is low cost and can be used in the instrument maker workshop for instrument modal characterization.
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Contributeur : Frédéric Ablitzer <>
Soumis le : mercredi 8 avril 2020 - 22:05:39
Dernière modification le : jeudi 18 mars 2021 - 12:17:13




Guilherme Orelli Paiva, Frédéric Ablitzer, François Gautier, José Maria Campos dos Santos. The Roving Wire-Breaking Technique: a low cost mobility measurement procedure for string musical instruments. Applied Acoustics, Elsevier, 2018, 139, pp.140-148. ⟨10.1016/j.apacoust.2018.04.032⟩. ⟨hal-02537526⟩



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