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What determines scribbling loudness of nib while writing?


Spatil
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I am not sure how to put it, but I am asking about the natural scribbling sound the nib makes while writing and NOT any kind of sound or squeaking due to tine misalignment or any other nib defect. The thing is that I have a nib with greater feedback which makes more noise than my less "feedbacky" nibs more or less depending on paper roughness with same ink in them, which made me assume that feedback decides scribbling loudness (on nib side). But later I went to a brick and mortar store to try some pens and I found one nib being a little smoother (or rather with less feedback) but it wrote louder than the other nib. Now I want to know what could be the factors be it feedback, wetness/dryness etc which determine the loudness. I would appreciate a "quieter" nib else it could be distracting. Can the nib made quieter by any means like using wetter ink etc? Or is it a manufacturing thing and i should just stick to smoother paper or pick the nib which is quieter at purchase if possible?

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Nib/Paper/Ink/Pressure.  Adjust to taste. 😃

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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1 minute ago, Karmachanic said:

Nib/Paper/Ink/Pressure.  Adjust to taste. 😃

Seems like the ultimate answer is... the rabbit hole of experimentation.🐰

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9 hours ago, Spatil said:

which made me assume that feedback decides scribbling loudness (on nib side).

 

That doesn't really make sense. Try writing on a sheet of stone paper (which do exist, and are designed for writing, but perhaps not really with fountain pens in mind). The paper surface feels positively soft against the fine point of a fountain pen nib, and will deform along the ink trails the latter leaves, with plenty of kinaesthetic feedback akin to a sensation of dragging when writing; but it would be quiet; and if you hear any sound caused by friction between nib and page surface, it'll be somewhat muffled. So I don't think it's the metal vibrations in the nib that makes the noise you hear when scribbling, or that feedback alone determines the ‘loudness’.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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A theory: the factor often contributing the most is the surface the paper is on top of, subject to its ability to amplify any vibrations from the back of the paper and direct them as sound within hearable frequency range back towards the writer. 

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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On 11/23/2021 at 8:33 AM, PithyProlix said:

A theory: the factor often contributing the most is the surface the paper is on top of, subject to its ability to amplify any vibrations from the back of the paper and direct them as sound within hearable frequency range back towards the writer. 

 

On 11/23/2021 at 5:39 AM, A Smug Dill said:

 

That doesn't really make sense. Try writing on a sheet of stone paper (which do exist, and are designed for writing, but perhaps not really with fountain pens in mind). The paper surface feels positively soft against the fine point of a fountain pen nib, and will deform along the ink trails the latter leaves, with plenty of kinaesthetic feedback akin to a sensation of dragging when writing; but it would be quiet; and if you hear any sound caused by friction between nib and page surface, it'll be somewhat muffled. So I don't think it's the metal vibrations in the nib that makes the noise you hear when scribbling, or that feedback alone determines the ‘loudness’.

Ok I think I found some info about it on internet and it is related to physics/mechanics. The next paragraph is some technical information in somewhat layman language for anyone interested, else you could skip it.

 

This sound which is generated due to friction is related to"friction acoustics". The thing is, every surface has irregularities both macroscopic and microscopic however smooth it may be i,e. surface has tiny bumps and pits on it. If two surfaces are in contact, it is those bumps that are actually in contact. When the surfaces are yet to slide across, the bumps in contact are stuck together due to atomic interaction (called stick phase) and when force is applied to slide the surfaces those stuck bumps go across each other either by sliding over each other or deforming (called slip phase). After slipping over they again come to rest and stick to next bump they contact and this "stick-slip" cycle goes on and with a significant rate i,e. the bumps of both surfaces vibrate when they slide across. These vibrations produce the sound we hear whenever we rub two surfaces.

 

The characteristics of the sound produced on sliding of two surfaces depends on the roughness of surfaces (should be related to feedback on nib and paper texture), thickness of lubrication between surfaces (should be the role of ink if it does), relative velocity of the surfaces (the speed of the nib tip because paper isn't moving anywhere wrt writer) and normal pressure (how heavy handed the writer is considering properties of nib and paper).

 

From what I guess, surface roughness (feedback) and velocity should be directly proportional to amplitude (loudness), lubrication is counteractive to effect of roughness, as for normal pressure I am not sure how to put this one, but could be related to muffled sound @A Smug Dill mentioned on stone paper because of vibration absorption due to significant softness and deformation of the paper under writing pressure.

 

Paper and nib roughness as well as writing speed is easy to imagine but how does lubrication of ink works other than wetness, I am not sure (need clarification on this one). My rough guess is that.

1) If paper and pen is same, a wetter ink would produce less sound due to more lubrication.

2) If paper and ink are same, a wetter pen could generate less scribbling sound despite having more feedback ( which could explain what I observed at the pen store).

 

Since I don't have necessary number/variety of items in my collection (if it can even be considered collection 😝) to verify all the points I mentioned, it is all guess works. If someone has experience with it especially accounting the wetness of pen and lubrication of inks, sharing your experience will be appreciated.

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Pressure is always a consideration.  Try to write with the least downward pressure possible.

 

You don't need a vast collection of pens to gain the understanding you seek.

    Start with one pen, six different makes of paper, and six inks from different brands. Ink samples are the way to go.

    Write three sentences with one ink on each paper.  Change ink and write the same sentences on the remaining papers, and so on.

    36 different experiences, in which you will learn about the flow/wet/dry/lubrication characteristics of the inks and how this effects each paper as well as your writing experience. 

 

Repeat with a different pen/nib.  Then, of course, more inks! More pens!

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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36 minutes ago, Spatil said:

From what I guess, surface roughness (feedback) and velocity should be directly proportional to amplitude (loudness), lubrication is counteractive to effect of roughness, as for normal pressure I am not sure how to put this one,

 

Friction is proportional to the the normal force applied at the contact point(s) between two objects. Whether the nib flexes, or elastically deforms, due to the reaction to the normal force pushing against the metal is not relevant. Even if you write with a ‘nail’ of a stiff nib, pressing down harder is going to make the movement of the tipping against the page surface less smooth (and more audible) than if they are barely touch and just sliding against each other with almost nil normal force.

 

I raised the issue about paper with certain physical characteristics dampening the sound, simply to bring to your awareness that it isn't the vibration of the metal nib that is causing the noise as if it was a ‘music’ instrument.

 

42 minutes ago, Spatil said:

Paper and nib roughness as well as writing speed is easy to imagine but how does lubrication of ink works other than wetness, I am not sure (need clarification on this one). My rough guess is that.

1) If paper and pen is same, a wetter ink would produce less sound due to more lubrication.

 

There is no logical equivalence between wetness, which refers to the rate of flow of the ink from pen to page (for a set contact surface area), and lubrication, which is the reduction of friction between two objects (for a set amount of normal force) through the use of a third, typically fluid, substance in the middle. A smaller volume of mineral oil will provide more lubrication than a larger volume of plain water. Now, inks that are compatible for fountain pen use don't contain oil, but the idea is the same: not all inks are formulated with the same solvents or equally effective lubricants.

 

Noise is noise (especially if you find it unpleasant). One combination of pen, ink, (type of) paper, and handwriting technique is going to produce more noise than another, so just keep a table or chart of how each combination (that you would use, given what you have on hand) compares. That's as simple as it gets, if you want to approach it as if it is simple to grasp and manage.

 

If you want to delve into a proper technical explanation, then the last thing you should be doing is unduly simplifying which physical factors are involved and how they are part of the equation. That's understanding, with or without giving you easy-to-use ‘levers’ to control the level of noise in your user experience of a particular pen.

 

The ‘easiest’ thing for you to control is to reduce the downward pressure you apply when writing, because it doesn't require trying to change the physical characteristics of (pen, ink, and paper) products of which the formulation or construction is outside of your control. How you write is within your control, however uncomfortable (even compared to the noise) or onerous it is to modify your technique and keep practising.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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17 minutes ago, Karmachanic said:

Pressure is always a consideration.  Try to write with the least downward pressure possible.

 

You don't need a vast collection of pens to gain the understanding you seek.

    Start with one pen, six different makes of paper, and six inks from different brands. Ink samples are the way to go.

    Write three sentences with one ink on each paper.  Change ink and write the same sentences on the remaining papers, and so on.

    36 different experiences, in which you will learn about the flow/wet/dry/lubrication characteristics of the inks and how this effects each paper as well as your writing experience. 

 

Repeat with a different pen/nib.  Then, of course, more inks! More pens!

The idea is good but alas, the problem is still the ink. In my country I didn't find any source selling ink samples from different manufacturers otherwise I would have already purchased them and I am unable to do international purchase from my debit card, so no experience in that (same case with my family, friends, acquaintance etc) and purchasing multiple bottles will be expensive and if any ink bottle comes out to be dissatisfying it would be an expensive dissatisfaction as it did happen to me with one the bottle I bought. So I was trying to learn from others experience in easy way rather than learning the hard (and expensive 😰) way. Therefore I will have to take my time to get the stuff without breaking my budget.

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13 minutes ago, Spatil said:

So I was trying to learn from others experience

 

This is, of course valid to some extent.  At the same time combinations that work for me may not necessarily work for you.  As for inks and papers, spend some time poking around in the India section of the forum, and you will most likely find some solutions/help.

 

to add:

 

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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32 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

How you write is within your control, however uncomfortable (even compared to the noise) or onerous it is to modify your technique and keep practising.

Thanks, I will try to focus on my writing technique with some adjustments to pen/ink/paper combination.

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On 11/23/2021 at 12:09 AM, A Smug Dill said:

"Try writing on a sheet of stone paper (which do exist, and are designed for writing, but perhaps not really with fountain pens in mind). The paper surface feels positively soft against the fine point of a fountain pen nib"


As an aside, "stone paper" is calcium carbonate bonded into high-density polyethylene. 

Instagram @inkysloth
My website http://inkysloth.moonfruit.com/

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I have enough padding, either with a spiral notebook in use or under other papers. So I don't get reverberation noise.

 

 

What ink or inks are you using, with what width and flex of nib right now?

Be ill informed to tell you to get a wet or Japanese ink, if you are already using one.

What paper or paper poundage-grammage are you using?

Is it Ink Jet?

 

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Bo Bo Olson said:

So I don't get reverberation noise.

I don't think it's got anything to do with reverberation. Even if you have enough padding and remove reverberation you would still get writing sound because you are literally rubbing a piece of metal against paper, especially if you do quick strokes or writing heavy handed and vice versa if you write slow enough with less pressure you might not hear any sound. My pilot metro (M) with pilot black ink makes negligible noise with slow and light writing and is also overall quiet writer among all my pens but another pen with same tip size and inked waterman inspired blue is still comparatively louder with same speed and pressure. I will try filling pilot black in all my pens to compare effect of ink. And for writing technique I found that writing a little slower but at uniform speed feels better than doing "quick stoke and pause" type of writing style without much effecting the overall writing speed.

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On 11/22/2021 at 2:55 PM, Karmachanic said:

Nib/Paper/Ink/Pressure.  Adjust to taste. 😃

I agree with this.  All those factors play a part both independently and interdependently.  

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Silence I guess comes from how wet and lubed your inks is and how slick your paper is.

Here I'd guess Butter Smooth would be an aid to silence.

 

I do like a tad of feel, instead of butter smooth, so don't or didn't think of that feel and if one's ears are still good that slight sound of nib on paper feel could be less than what I ignored completely.

 

There is a paper noise for classic rough paper;  laid or linen effect, that I didn't take at all into consideration...............even though I have enough of those two papers I seldom use them more than occasionally.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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On 11/26/2021 at 4:13 PM, Bo Bo Olson said:

Silence I guess comes from how wet and lubed your inks is and how slick your paper is.

Here I'd guess Butter Smooth would be an aid to silence.

 

I do like a tad of feel, instead of butter smooth, so don't or didn't think of that feel and if one's ears are still good that slight sound of nib on paper feel could be less than what I ignored completely.

 

There is a paper noise for classic rough paper;  laid or linen effect, that I didn't take at all into consideration...............even though I have enough of those two papers I seldom use them more than occasionally.

 

My noisy nibs are noisy even on Rhodia 80gsm in a notebook or on Clairefontaine Triomphe 90gsm on a pad. That's true whether I'm using Pelikan or Noodlers ink. Those are just the papers I reference, although I also write a decent bit on Tomoe River 52gsm and in my Black'n Red Oxford Optik notebooks.

 

That doesn't bother me depending on the exact sound. I love when my pens sound like a pencil moving across the paper, and often that's accompanied by the nib feeling similarly.

 

I have read as well that Montblanc apparently evaluates sound as part of pen/nib design(and my Montblancs, vintage and modern both, are rarely silent) so I suppose they consider it important.

 

There's also the other end of it, though. I have a Parker 75 with a nice soft 18K fine oblique(which would be a broad on any other brand-I think Parker grades their italic and oblique nibs differently from their round nibs) that I should love but it squeaks so badly I can barely stand it.

 

My experience, though, is that a smooth paper with wet ink isn't a solution to a nib that makes some noise.

 

 

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Head phones or ear buds...even with out music.

 

Well lots of young folks didn't listen to enough hard loud noisy music, so can still hear. Oh well, the youth of today.........

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bo Bo Olson said:

Well lots of young folks didn't listen to enough hard loud noisy music, so can still hear. Oh well, the youth of today.........

Yeah, cell phones and modern ear buds spoil them with all that advising whenever sound is loud.

 

Some music must be loud to be heard as it was intended. It takes off al the fun. And worse is, they'll grow believing that is the way it should sound.

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Following onto my post re: my theory about the contribution of the surface the paper is on: maybe the pen itself - not only the surface of the nib that contacts the paper - should be considered as well. Think of a violin: the rubbing of the bow hair on the strings sets up a vibration in the strings, analogous to the vibration set up when a nib is moved across the paper. The strings' vibrations are transferred to the body of the violin - different violin designs and builds will amplify the strings' vibration differently, with the amplitude being one factor - some violins are distinctly louder than others. While I wouldn't think that pens are designed to amplify the vibrations initiated by the nib/paper interface (more likely, I think, is that they are be designed to mute the vibrations, if anything) it seems feasible that the design and build has a non-trivial effect on the resulting sound, perhaps even quite significant.

 

(Now wondering if a pen can be designed to have an especially pleasing sound!)

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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