Changing Trumpet Identity

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    We all know that the sound of a Trumpet can change depending upon the mouthpiece you use on it. I had no idea how much of a change could occure until I took a French mouthpiece made for a Noble Cornet and shoved it into my Conn Victor 22B. It suddenly went from a Conn Victor to a Conn Constellation, or there about. My question to the experts is, If you could only point to one aspect of the anatomy of a Bb trumpet mouthpiece what would it be that would drastically change the "identity" of the instrument? I'm asking this because I always thought the cup size had the most to do with it. But in this case the short lengethed shank on the Cornet mouthpiece (which is approximately the same cup size as my Conn 3C) caused the effect..................crow
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    You may not like this answer, but it is, as far as I know, the "most correcter:"

    "Equivalent Mouthpiece Length," which is produced by the "popping frequency" of the cup and backbore.

    If there is one thing, that is the equivalent mouthpiece length, which is determined by two things, which are determined by a zillion things. What makes it real screwy is that we might have a different EML for each note on our horn using the same mouthpiece.

    Chack out Arthur Benade on Google and your library (and maybe local university bookstore. His Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics is a must read, and he wrote a cool article for Scientific American on The Physics of Brasses.

    Have fun!
     
  3. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

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    You ask for experts to comment. I wouldn't call myself an expert but from my experience there are many variables that effect the efficiency/ tonal output of a mouthpiece. To isolate 1 would be difficult.
    If you go to try out mouthpieces and change one variable it can affect all of the other variables and change their performance/ efficiency.i.e. if you try two mouthpieces that are identical except for one element e.g. their rim, cup depth, cup shape, mass of mouthpiece, throat, backbore, gap etc I have found that the relationship of the other variables is affected.
    This is why finding 'the perfect mouthpiece' is such a drama. All variables are inter-related and bring about an outcome (that is the sound that comes out of the horn).
    'I think I want to extend my range, I'll just change my backbore' Now that would be nice if it were so simple.
    My belief is more holistic. All factors bring about an end result.Hope this makes sense. Iknow I don't answer your question
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Crow,
    it wasn't the shank that made the "big" difference. It was the big picture. Just because the cup may be similar, does not mean that it wasn't a primary factor. This is what I have been trying to say all along. The cup, throat and backbore have to be balanced.
    To answer your question though: the easiest way to ruin a mouthpiece is to bore the throat out. Assuming correctly matched parameters, the cup SHAPE will change the sound the most. Check out this link for details:

    Welcome at the pages of the IWK (Institute of Musical Acoustics)
    click on research, then mouthpiece forms.
     
  5. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

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    rowuk is right, I can remember several years ago when everyone around here
    [Indy] was playing on Bach 1C or 1 1/2 C and then reaming them out. Your intonation was off and you had to work harder. there is a lot of research in developing a mouthpiece, Reeves and Curry and such know a bit more then the average horn player when it comes to mouthpieces. Dave
     
  6. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 3, 2006
    I guess the thing that surprised me the most was that the short shank worked to produce such a pleasing sound. There have been many posts on this site emphasising how important it is to have a mouthpiece that fits into the receiver properly, yet this little tiny cornet mouthpiece had me considering it's use just to attain the tone it brought to the horn.....and....I didn't notice any difference in pitch, slotting, range, etc...........??!! Crow
     
  7. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    A shorter shank brings your ears closer to the bell.
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I plugged a Bruno Tilz 7C flugelhorn mouthpiece into a couple of trumpets and was also amazed with the sound.(Some German flugels use a trumpet sized shank.) I took it to church, played it on piccolo with a mid-sized pipe organ, and couldn't hear myself! Intonation, slotting and sound were great, but not enough db's came out the bell! Mel Broiles sometimes used a flugelhorn mouthpiece on D trumpet to appease some conductors, but I'm not Mel Broiles!
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Crow,
    this should put the importance of valve alignment into perspective for you. The trumpet can be an extremely tolerable beast too!

    I am sure that if we devised a proper test, very big differences would show up. Whether they are musically relevant, is another issue. Remember on a trumpet forum ANYTHING can be life or death, carrot or stick, heaven or hell. If we take into consideration how many horns, mouthpieces and combinations thereof are being successfully used, nothing should surprise us anymore!

    One other thing should be clear to you now: GAP is something you should not WORRY about. Optimising it is sensible, but not critical!
     
  10. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Wow! this is like discovering there is no Santa Claus. I like what Veery715 said. I see that there's a Cornet under his name. I played a cornet for the first time and realized one of the things I liked about it was hearing what was coming out of the horn a little better. I know the story Dizzy tells is that his bend is intitially the result of an accident. I would think a further appeal to that design is to have your ears closer to what's coming out of the bell? In any event, thanks for all the responses. I've never been happier to find out that there is no Santa Claus...............crow
     

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