The sound we want to hear from an instrument depends on our personal preferences, musical background, environment and culture. Therefore, each oud needs to be specially designed.
The design process of an oud is considered in terms of both sound and material properties. First, the character of the desired oud sound is defined. Secondly, suitable wood materials are selected to get this sound. I believe that these two stages should be handled together to determine the most suitable design.
There are many criteria for defining the desired sound character. While these can sometimes be easily distinguished from each other, such as Turkish and Arabian sounds, sometimes they become more complicated and difficult to discern. In order to make this process more clear, it is possible to perform analysis of oud taqasim or solo recordings. At this stage, I usually prefer Long-Term Average Spectrum(LTAS ) technique. Thus, more information about the sound and vibration character of the oud performed in the recording can be obtained.
The density and modulus of elasticity values of the wood materials determine the design features such as top plate thickness and brace height. For this reason, I measure the Young’s modulus all of the wood materials in my workshop by using Chladni Technique.