Monette sound concept: a dichotomy in views by trumpeters vs everyone else

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RichJ, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

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    I've been an amateur Monette player since the late 80s and have noticed a pattern in the way different listeners perceive the Monette sound. Most trumpet players seem to prefer the sound of a Bach or other "conventional" horn to a Monette. Conversely, most other non-trumpet playing musicians (including numerous orchestra conductors) and lay people who have been given the opportunity to hear me play both back to back prefer the Monette. Trumpet players comment that the Monette sound is either too bright or too dark and not centered enough. Non trumpet players say the Monette sounds fuller, clearer and warmer.

    Any other Monette players notice this dichotomy?

    Tbere are obviously exceptions both ways, but this is what I've seen over the many years I've been playing Monettes (classical music only).
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  2. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

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    monettes are good at covering up problems in players who aren't pros...hence the reason many non-trumpet players prefer the sound of a monette in the hands of a non-pro...
     
  3. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    Are they more mellow? That would answer it, the vast majority of the public LOVES the French horn.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There IS no dichotomy. The truth is that the audience, when they listen with their ears could care less what the brand is. They care what the player does. The sound of the trumpet has to be everything from flamethrower to thundershower to a romantic sunset. The player learns to coax that stuff out of the horn - regardless of brand.

    I can enjoy Manny Laureano with his Monette just like Mike Sachs with his "standard" horns. They both play their souls out and touch mine at the same time. Are they getting the same job done - no - but not because of the hardware. Their individuality is the difference.

    So, let's not turn this into a versus that it isn't. It is CHOICE which probably the greatest achievement of our time. Never before have we had so many "colors" available. The challenge is to be brave enough to offer something different, to have a mind open enough to see the beauty in many different forms. The intelligence to objectively try and make our own decision instead of having it made by someone else not interested in OUR creativity. It took a long time for american orchestras to start playing rotary or natural trumpets. Maybe it is only a matter of time before additional "colors" will be accepted. Nowhere in the world are the choices more limited than in american orchestras. Go figure. Where are the "Free" and the "Brave"?
    "Most" players like what they are used to and that is the standard trumpet sound. If you pick a horn too far away from the beaten path, YOU have to pave your own way - listen to your effect on the orchestral fabric. This can change the "color" of the orchestras sound.

    All of this bunk about too dark, not centered, wooly or any other adjectives simply do not apply to a professional player that WANTS to play a certain horn and does what is necessary. I switch from a Prana3 Bb to a Rotary to a Bach 229H CL in the orchestra as I see fit. There are no issues with the conductor or any of the other musicians. I find the Monette much easier and much more fun to play than the Bach.

    Champs comments about Monettes and non-pros is not true. All of my students get to play my horns from time to time. Their playing qualities to not change with different hardware - they change with FAMILIARITY with the hardware.
     
  5. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

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    i disagree...
     
  6. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

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    This needs to be seen by everyone before they get to post a daft thread on trumpet manufacturers.

    I wish we lived on the same continent. I'd apply to be your student, and I'm nowhere near being in school.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    You have the right to believe anything that you wish. I have the Monettes, Bachs, Selmers....... and the students to prove differently. No great horn covers up anything. The Monette becomes special when the player does what is necessary. Problems with chops, breathing or technique are just as audible on any great horn. There is no free lunch.
     
  8. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

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    you take any amateur who can't control their sound and plug them into a monette mouthpiece (the biggest one they can find, no doubt, because Dave says bigger is better!), they will instantly sound darker, bigger...note that i didn't say better...but to their ears they do, because that is what all amateurs are looking for, bigger darker sounds...

    you take a pro who knows what they want to sound like and give them any equipment, they will make it sound like they want it to sound...

    oh, and PS...monette does that for himself, his whole product line is designed around his horns vs."conventional" horns...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  9. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

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    Because speaking as an engineer, there is a difference.

    This has been enumerated in other posts. The search is your friend, but this issue has actually come up multiple times and been answered by both Monette players and people who understand physics and engineering.

    The reason a person still sounds like "them" is because it's the same lips vibrating, not the same horn. That's why an amateur sounds different-they haven't fully trained their ear and their lips to work in concert.

    And as to "they hear" of course they do. A heavier mouthpiece kills more vibrations there, allowing them to hear differently. Once again, physics.
     
  10. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

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    This thread wasn't intended to be a "which is better" thread, or a "versus" thread as Rowuk put it. I'm just trying to point out what I've observed to a be a difference in preference among different groups for different kinds of trumpet sounds.

    I took as an uncontroversial premise that a Monette trumpets sound distinctively different compared to the more common Bach/Yamaha sounds. C'mon Rowuk, you can't tell me that if you play your Monette on a stage and someone sits out in the hall listening, that they aren't going to hear a distinct difference in sound if you play the same way on your Bach. Different listeners might have different preferences on which is preferable for a particular musical context, and a good player might be able to make both work, but the sounds are SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT! You guys saying that this is just a difference with amateurs, that the difference is all due to the sound concept in the player's head, must have very little experience listening to Monette horns in person, out front, in a concert hall.

    The whole thing about amateur vs professional has nothing to do with this thread. My observations have to do with the feedback I've received on my own playing (note: this has nothing to do with the sound I hear behind the horn and, by the way, I own 3 Yamaha and 1 Schilke horn in additional to my Monettes for blending reasons, and am acclimated to all of them), BUT...I've also heard a lot of professional players play a Bach or Yamaha back to back with all kinds of Monette trumpets in all kinds of musical and acoustic contexts. There IS a big difference, whether the Monette is heavy, light or in between. This is not me hearing with my eyes...the difference is stark out front (where I was listening as an audience member). I'd note that this is not something that is well captured with a microphone.

    Not to dwell on this, but I've heard the different horns back and forth in concerts, masterclasses, lessons, etc. with players who played both kinds of horns regularly at the time. At one time the Boston Symphony was all-Monette with one principal player and all Bach/Yamaha when the assistant principal played. I attended dozens of concerts over a span of years with that switch halfway through the concert. So, I'm not talking about hack amateurs, but rather 1st class major symphony players in concert. I don't want to give a bunch of names, because you never know who is reading these posts, but those who've I've heard play a Bach or Yamaha against a Monette in the same concert, lesson or masterclass include some prominent major symphony principal players, including Bud Herseth in one CSO concert when he used both horns on the same night. I've also been to an National Symphony Orchestra concert where the principal player played both horns the same night. The difference is obvious -- not that one is necessarily better, but they just aren't the same.

    Anyhow, I guess it's impossible to have a rational discussion about anything with Monette in the topic on an internet forum. Just never mind the original topic. Everyone seems more focused on just delivering their personal agenda and ignoring the original purpose of the thread. :roll:
     

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