Monettes & Trumpet Stands

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Tootsall, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    OK, Manny; here's one for you. In at least two other forums, a respected member of the trumpet community and a Monette player is trying to figure out how to build a stand that will accept a Monette without damaging it. He is concerned that the bell is so soft that (as per Monette recommendations) a regular stand not be used but that the horn be kept in the case. Obviously this isn't always practical in a Symphonic (or maybe some other) gigs.

    So.... the question has been asked ... "What does Manny do"?

    Now, I'd also add the second question "Is it really true that Monette bells are annealed to such a degree that the weight of the horn can actually distort the instrument if it is supported "bell down" on a stand?". If the answer is to the affirmative I can only respond "Yikes"!
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    7,029
    3,959
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I think that it's amazing at how this whole annealing is made out to be a big deal. According to a friend of mine who is a fairly talented brass tech, they use a heating/cooling process all of the time in working on bells that are really screwed up.

    This is basically how he explained it to me. First, the bell is heated with a torch to where it is cherry red, then it is plunged into water to quench it. This does something to the crystaline structure of the brass alloy and makes it to where it is really soft and easy to work with, so it makes it easy to work on to get the really bad wrinkles out. Then, when the work is done, the bell is again heated to be cherry red, only this time, it is allowed to cool at a natural rate and once it is cool, it is once again hard and does not bend nearly so easily.

    Now, I'm sure that there is a real talent to doing this, i.e. how you heat it, how fast you heat it, but that's what he told me, FWIW.
     
  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Patrick, my issue is not with annealing... as a mechanical engineer with a major in machine design I have a pretty good idea of annealing, tempering, case hardening, etc. and how (and why) each is performed.

    The original question had to do with the relative softness of a Monette bell to the point where it "cannot support the weight of the trumpet" (which I find to be a bit extreme) and whether or not anyone had cooked up a special stand that could be used instead of the case. It reminds me of the experiment that Renold Schilke (at least I believe it was he) once did where he formed a bell of lead... it had to be supported on a frame since it could not support itself. (He was experimenting with different metals to determine the effect on sound.)

    In the event that Manny does not read either of the two forums wherein the question about a stand was originally posed I was simply passing along the question to him. "What stand (if any) would you use for a Monette in an orchestral (or other) setting where using the case is not practical?"
     
  4. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Oh my.

    Here is a solution for a trombone
    [​IMG]

    This is used so you don't have to take the mute out and so there is no pressure on the bell. It looks like there is pressure on the slide, but it is very minor and they have shown it doesn't affect a trombone slide.

    You would think a similar design would work for a trumpet. There you go Ed, you''re the engineer -- you can become rich and make them (or is it the other way around?). A special Monette stand. You could sell them for $500. Cheap for a high quality stand to hold a $5 to $10K Monette. :shock:

    Jim
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,917
    24
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    "OK, Manny; here's one for you. In at least two other forums, a respected member of the trumpet community and a Monette player is trying to figure out how to build a stand that will accept a Monette without damaging it. He is concerned that the bell is so soft that (as per Monette recommendations) a regular stand not be used but that the horn be kept in the case. Obviously this isn't always practical in a Symphonic (or maybe some other) gigs.

    "So.... the question has been asked ... "What does Manny do"?

    "Now, I'd also add the second question "Is it really true that Monette bells are annealed to such a degree that the weight of the horn can actually distort the instrument if it is supported "bell down" on a stand?". If the answer is to the affirmative I can only respond "Yikes"!'

    Dear Toots,

    I will plead a certain amount of ignorance regarding the niceties of the annealing process other than I know it's a part of some brass instrument makers method. I also know that the process Dave uses is unique and he's never discussed it with me.

    As for what stand to use: I rarely use a stand because I rarely use more than one horn on a gig anymore. The few times I've had to switch to a different key instrument I'll either have next to me in a case or I'll have it on a regular, garden variety trumpet stand.

    Dave's horns are very sensitive to banging around and the better they get, the more sensitive they are. The Prana I have is quite delicate and I need to be slow and easy when I take it out of the case or put it in. Some will scoff at that notion and wonder what all the fuss is about. Fine, it's not my problem. I try to be as careful with those horns as the fiddle players around me are with their instruments. I'm trying to imagine a playing space that is so tight that I can't have a case next to me. Bassoon players don't seem to have a problem with it, I've noticed.

    Because adjusting the horn is part of the daily process of playing a Monette trumpet I guess I'm used to a certain amount of messing with the horn before I go onstage. People may feel if one is going to have an instrument that is as expensive as all that it should pretty much play itself. I don't see it that way, I'm afraid. I would imagine that people who drive Lexuses don't take them to a racetrack, either.

    Personally, I don't believe that if Dave goes to the trouble of telling people to avoid the usual trumpet stand set-up that it's without reason. Over time, I'm sure there's a deliterious effect that eventually compromise the optimal use of the horn. And that's what it's about: an optimal situation for the player and the equipment.

    I don't think I was particularly helpful on that one but it's an honest answer. I just don't switch around that much to be a good source for the question.

    ML
     
  6. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    373
    10
    Nov 29, 2003
    AL
    Manny,

    Could you please elaborate on the daily adjustments you must do to your Monette?

    Thanks!
    Matt
     
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,917
    24
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    dear UA,

    Many years ago, Dave realized that the tightness of the bottom valve caps on his horns had a great bearing on how it functioned for a given player. Using logic and his usual intuiton he developed a way of achieving a palpable balance in intonation, projection, and resistance by adjusting the caps based on two things: the mass of metal associated with a particular valve casing and its tubing and the relative relaxation a player is able to play with.

    So, that's the background. What it boils down to for the average Monette horn (if there's such a thing) is the second valve having the greatest degree of tightness as it has the least amount of mass. The third valve has the least tightness as it has the most mass and the first valve is in the middle.This is all relative to how relaxed and "neutral' a player can play. Nuetral is defined for our purposes here as the ability to play without lipping this note down or up subconsciously. It took me a very long time to get over those old habits. That's part of "the adjustment period" you've heard reference to.

    So, my warm ups always consist of scales and arpeggios and I find out pretty quickly if I'm muscling the horn, taking cheap breaths, or whatnot because I hear it in the pitch or feel it in the resistance. I back off and adjust the caps according to that "formula". It's different for everyone and relative.

    Here's the funny thing: when I've gotten a hold of a non-Monette instrument and done these adjustments it's had from no effect to actually making the horn play worse. You see, this whole valve cap thing is truly part of a "whole instrument" approach to designing his horns. It's one of the reasons I respect the folks over at Schilke. They are one of the few manufacturers that still makes their horns with a concept that is truly their own. They haven't succumbed to "heavy" this and "magna" that.
    They've stood firm by their philosophies and those that like it buy the horns. Sounds like the way to go as far as I'm concerned.


    Again, it sounds like so much nonsense to a lot of people and once again, I say fine, it's not my concern whether they buy into it. However, that's the story from my end.

    ML
     
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Manny, thanks much for taking the time to respond. You have answered the question "What does Manny do?" quite nicely.

    :D Kind of puts a new image (to me anyway) on the orchestral player with his "plethora of horns" in front of his chair!

    Of course, it also raises another discussion point (at least in my tiny mind) and that is "what is considered acceptable to be on stage during a performance?" I know that in our Community Band (as a hollow comparison), we'll have all kinds of cases, water bottles, junk, etc. during rehearsals & etc. When the tubas are moving around it is usually "tiptoe through the trumpets".... an excellent reason for having your case at hand! However, woe betide he who would drag a case onstage for a performance. Come to think of it, I don't believe I've ever seen a music case onstage in any performance (unless it was a "garage band").
     
  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Oh Lordy! I went to one of the other sites wherein the original question was asked and here is what one wag wrote when someone suggested a small, felt-covered percussion tray!

    Quote:

    Brilliant! I love the idea of having a small, felt covered table next
    to my music stand in the back row of the orchestra, sporting my horns, mutes, a cut-crystal goblet and a bottle of fine single malt. Maybe I'll have a finely-upholstered leather chair too. In fact I think the entire brass
    section should be set out like an English gentleman's club, with a roaring
    fireplace and a selection of reading material. Towards the end of each
    long rest a liveried butler would approach and discretely say "your next
    entry is in four measures, Sir".

    : Unquote

    I'm going to laugh all day whenever the mental image pops up.
     
  10. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    373
    10
    Nov 29, 2003
    AL
    I've always thought it weird to see the ladies in the local orchestra with their purses draped over the back of their chairs during the concert.

    Manny, thank you for the great response. The valve cap thing does make sense. I definitely think that the tightness of the caps can effect the vibrations of the horn. I personally don't bother with it on my Bach because that horn isn't really good enough of a player to make a difference. Again, thanks for the reply!
     

Share This Page