Room Size

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    Hi I have a question does the room size you practice in affect your sound" tone" well first thing I recently moved to Texas so I wasn't able to play for five days
    . The rental I am living in until I move into my new home has only a small laundry room that I could use to practice in that's Good only its small about 8 feet by 9 feet .My playing sounds awful maybe cause of not playing for 5 days or could it be the accoustics of the" hot" I might add laundry room. ( p.s.when I left home 5 days ago my playing was better ).Anthony
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I thought everything was bigger in Texas?

    I presume your small laundry room has hard surfaces, no carpet or soft furnishings? If that is a new type of room for you to play in then I would expect it sounds quite different (and probably not in a good way) to the sound you have been cultivating in your previous home. I sometimes play at my office in the evenings -- I used to use the boardroom which was very long but now play from my desk which is in an even longer area. I notice that if I play sitting down (not my preference) then I get very immediate and hard feedback from the chest-height partitions around our cubicles (four desks per 12x12 feet cubicle), but if I stand up and play across the top of the partitions towards the far walls it sounds far better. Almost every room in my house (none of them very large, mostly small in fact) sounds different. Except for the kitchen and bathroom there is a lot of damping material in the rooms (full bookshelves, stacks of cardboard boxes, sofas, beds etc) and so the horn sounds both loud and a bit "dead". In the bathroom which is a similar size to the small bedroom the Q factor is much higher and the resonant feedback is too great. In the kitchen/dining room (10 feet by about 15), playing towards the open door to the passage to the bedrooms is about the best sound in the house.

    So I think room size is just one factor; another major factor is the topology and type of surfaces you are playing among.

    I think if you practise more in a certain room your playing will develop/change to better suit that room.

  3. fels

    fels Piano User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    when i used to roam the music school at cu and look for vacant practice rooms - i noticed the sound was different from what i was used to. 50 years later i was at the Mendez Institute program at DU and again used the practice rooms when i could - again - sound is different form stage. Our Jazz band practices in a church sanctuary - different sound from most venues - sometimes we do gigs in an amphitheater outdoors - different sound.-- In short - get use to it. The venue will always affect the sound. learn to adjust to what you hear.
  4. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Am I the only one that does any practicing outside? I've even played outdoors in subzero temperatures, but not for long. I think a lot of what we hear when inside is reverb and wave distortion. For me it helps to play anywhere I can even my work van that way I feel I'm not limited to one set of acoustics and I know where my sound needs to be. Maybe I'm full of crap but I think I sound the same no matter where I'm at. I'm also close to def in one ear so.....
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The best players get to play more often in the best rooms. Small rooms are disadvantageous. The problem is how our brains deal with early reflections (<10mS). A lot of short reflections simply serve to confuse the brain.
  6. Michael T. Doublec

    Michael T. Doublec Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2014
    The best tip I ever had was to practice with sound deadening headphones. Like the ones you use when operating a chain saw or something loud. Rowuk is absolutely right about the short wave refractions of sound to the human can be intolerable. Not much different than if you played a foot away from another persons ear. Their reaction will be one of shock. The headphones allow you to hear from the inside and will also develop your pitch control along with your sound.

    Mike Fesi
  7. Conn-solation

    Conn-solation Pianissimo User

    Jan 22, 2011
    On my way to Bearberry Ab
    I did some practicing outside last year when I visited a relatives farm and they were all in town..... The resident donkey thought he should make it a duet..... :D
  8. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    What if there are no echoes?
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Great question. I have been there and done that. Tried to practice in an anechoic chamber. I was in there for an hour. At the end, I could hear the blood rushing through the veins better than my horn....

    Seriously, it was like playing out on a big lake in the winter. A bit of feedback from the bell, not much of anything else. No feedback means stuffy as hell. I was really wasted after an hour of relatively easy stuff.

    I think that many underestimate the power of the playing environment.
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    When I was a young 'un I'd borrow the village church whenever I could.

    (artistic view from the lych gate)

    Nice sounding space inside


    Just needed to sweet talk Eric the Cleric, or (preferably) the cleaners and flower arrangers.

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