Testing A Possible New Way To Tune A Trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dr.Mark, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey guys,

    I think that we can deal with this without censorship or other lesser forms of netiquette. I haven't had much time in the last year and a half or so. That comes from burning the candle at both ends.


    What do we have here?

    1) a post by Dr. Mark with a hypothesis
    2) a couple of members that actually tried it
    3) a couple of skeptics
    4) no scientific approach with statistical relevance

    This sounds like the normal spread of "opinions" concerning just about anything trumpet.

    So what do we do once we have stated our personal opinions? Defend them? Why? Without proof, what will we accomplish?

    In any case, I accepted the challenge ( I happen to have a couple of bows laying around - and violins for that matter):
    1) none of my rotary horns work (2x Bb, C, Eb, G, Bb/A, flugel, Kuhlohorn, low F trumpet)
    2) my tuning bell Bach 229H CL with mods by me to even up the blow (adding mass to specific areas) did not work
    3) my Monette Prana 3 did not work
    4) my Holton Clarke long cornet from 1911 did not work
    5) my Selmer D/Eb did not work
    6) my Getzen Flugelhorn did not work
    7) all of my students Yamaha 4xxx and 6xxx models worked
    8) an Andreas Eastman $600 trumpet worked
    9) this method probably does not help players with weak support/embouchures as they play under the resonance of the horn
    10) this method probably does not work with players that have a lot of body tension as they play higher than the resonance of the horn

    What is my opinion now?
    1) that there are certain types of trumpet builds that lend themselves to an experiment like this
    2) that sympathetic vibration could be of interest for an instrument builder
    4) that most brass players would not be caught dead with a violin bow
    5) that there are some out there that would manage to get rosin into the valves
    6) that to turn this into common knowledge, more than the 15 trumpets that I tried would have to COOPERATE (only 4 did - amazingly only the "cheaper" models)
    7) my experiment back in the mid 70s gave me reliable numbers. I glued a headphone transducer to a mouthpiece, inserted it into various trumpets and ran a sine wave sweep while measuring the speaker impedance. Not only was I able to "tune" the instrument to a specific frequency, I also was able to prove how out of tune most instruments are.

    So I am not saying that Dr. Marks hypothesis has no merit and not saying that it does. To start getting closer, we should IMHO pick one model of trumpet first - a Bach 37ML for instance and test 10 or so. Then compare the reverse leadpipe and standard versions (with HUGE differences in bell resonance), then add the large bore versions. Then we include REPAIRED trumpets (the mass and brace position remain the same, but the tension in the parts changes). After 50-100 tests, we can most likely describe Bach behaviour. Then we can extend this type of testing to Bach similar instruments (B&S, Schilke HD, Yamaha Chicago/New York).

    In the string world it is commonly accepted that the violin and cello are almost acoustically ideal due to the length of the string and instrument proportions relative to the frequencies played. Violas and string bass are generally accepted as BIG comprimises as the string length and body volume are too small. Perhaps certain "french" design Bb trumpets also represent an acoustically favorable situation for sympathetic vibration. I do not know..........



    In any case, frustration is a something that I am well acquainted with and "Bullshit" is NOT on my list of reasons to ban someone, rather a test of our "community" maturity. A simple PM to the "offender" in a decent tone is often more than enough to get a positive reaction. I can't think of one single top box office film or schoolyard that does not have "stronger" language, so give me a break with reporting threads as "vulgar". I expect each of us to at least attempt to deal with most things in a "community" way. When standard principles of communication break down, then we have a "moderation issue. Open chastizing almost NEVER gets the desired results so why do some use it? I will leave that answer to the psychologists.

    I commend Dr. Mark for presenting such suggestions. He knew what to expect. If nothing else, it does get us thinking, and who knows, maybe we could possibly learn something about some trumpets - or even more important, after a few posts, about ourselves.
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    But it is the mouthpice-lotto that drives our economy, that and N + 1; My gosh... what have we done?
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Welcome back Rowuk... Understand about the candle burning... Please stay... I'd be most honored to light a few wicks for you if that will make it so.
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    IMO anyone who attempts this should be wary of the finish on the instrument where the rosined bow is applied. It may damage the finish.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Ed,

    the rosin actually removed some of the tarnish from the bell of an underplayed Selmer D/Eb.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Zolpidem probably would be better than more light............

    I was never really gone, just busy ;-)
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Ahhh I see our moderators here have a fine taste for our prize pharmaceuticals... but I am sure you have no trouble sleeping at night, no matter how many candles you have burning.
     
  8. ShaneChalke

    ShaneChalke Pianissimo User

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    Count me in the skeptic category... I tried this on my Rembrandt and it resulted in the slide in the same position I usually tune it to. However, this horn plays the same to me (I'm a pro trumpet player) with the slide in other positions as well. I tried this tuning method on my Schilke S42 (a fine playing horn), and the pitches wouldn't match (lead pipe or tuning slide needed to be shorter!). In any event, this doesn't make sense to me from a scientific point of view. Horns can be constructed with longer or shorter tuning slides relative to the rest of the horn. This would vary the results of this method considerably. As a final thought, what practical use is this method, if you have to play with others? You can't ask the keyboard and bass player to tune to you! It's also not practical to lip all your notes into tune, even if you have the skill to do that. It was a fun experiment to try, though. I did notice, however, that my Rembrandt barely has any ring to the bell, and my Schilke rings nicely. Makes sense, since the Rembrandt is a very dark horn, and the Schilke is as bright as they come.
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    You know, I too was wondering if this was a factor and if you could use it to objectively rate color texture of a horn... I had always believed a pure tone horn was perceived as dark where as a horn that rings is perceived as a brighter sounding horn. So let me ask you this, when you play a tuning note on your Rembrandt against a piano chord using the tuning note as a tonic, can you hear overtones on that horn? Then try the Schilke. I'd love to know what you hear.
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    all I can report is -- Last night I took my Olds Super out of the case (gee whiz, I had to oil the valves, cause I haven't played it for a month or so - ROFL) -- the tuning slide was set at 1/2" ((which means LAST TIME I CHECKED, this is where it is IN TUNE)). So I preceded with the bell ring, and "closed eyes" when moving the slide to the right pitch as the bell. That was 1.5 inches exactly, which means the slide needed to be set at 3/4" ((which is a full 1/4" different than what I was playing))-


    I get the tuner out to check --- NO WAY, the Olds Super is in tune at 3/4 inch. BUT ME, I say NO WAY!!!! -- so I put the slide back "where it is supposed to be, ie. 1/2" -- and it is a bit sharp on the tuner!!!! ---------------- so my opinion on 2 fairly decent quality trumpets (ie. King Silver Flair , pre-UMI, and an Olds Super) -- it does work!!!!! (((of course, I am "thumb" ringing the bell --- but it still works)))

    can't wait til I tune up that way in community band!!!!! have a great day everyone!!! ----- however it works, I think I like it!!!!
     

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