What exactly do we mean by 'Response'?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I've been through Rowuk's "How a Trumpet Works" thread, and can't find anything clearly explaining this concept.

    I've been wanting to invest in a C Trumpet for some time, and from what I've read, there's a trade-off to be made between resistance (which I believe helps with endurance among other things) and response (which sounds 'good' but seems to mean different things to different people)

    Since I think I'd like a good helping of both (if this is possible) can someone shed light on my lack of understanding? Does bore size come into the equation at all?

    My interest for this instrument would only be classical, so I'm looking primarily for full tone, good intonation and crisp articulation (ie not 'loudness', 'mellowness', DHCs etc)
     
  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Seth,

    You probably know more about this stuff than I do, but here is my "take". I'm thinking response has to do with how readily the mouthpiece/trumpet enables you to do exactly what you want musically. Response begins with you, of course, and then proceeds to the mouthpiece which really must provide an optimal interface between you and your trumpet; this is where mouthpiece physical qualities and gap make a big difference. Trumpet bore size may make a difference, but only in combination with the rest of the trumpet design features. I have worked through a couple dozen mouthpiece/trumpet combinations since beginning my comeback. My very best combinations enable me to play intuitively. By that I mean when I think a note/articulation/volume/etc., there it is. Good luck in your C trumpet pursuit!

    Jim
     
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  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    My understanding is the response deals with the length of time required in order to get a note to speak, i.e. form a standing wave. The beginning of the note requires the lips to buzz at close enough to the desired frequency to excite the air column, and after a few round trips the standing wave starts to vibrate the lips. In the best of all possible worlds this would be instantaneous, but the inside of a trumpet is pretty complicated, and some instruments respond more easily than others. We can think of response as the ease with which notes speak. A responsive instrument helps with the "faster" part of the "higher, faster, louder" grail.

    Time was that lighter instruments tended to have a quicker response than heavier-walled instruments, but with good science that is no longer automatically the case.

    Short answer: a responsive instrument speaks easily.
     
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Very much doubt it, Jim. I don't ever recall the word being used this way when I was taught.

    I agree with your post to the extent that I find lip slurs easier on a lightweight mouthpiece. But when a manufacturers say that their range of instruments vary in response/resistance characteristics, they're clearly not talking about pieces. I daresay if I got chance to play them first, I'd feel the difference, but as you're aware, that's not an easy option for me!
     
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Aha! I thought there was more to it than weight!

    Next question: Does resistance work for or against response, or are they pretty well independent?
     
  6. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

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    Seth, I have no idea. However when I wanted to go the C trumpet route, it wasn't to be my main playing tool, so I went to Packers and tried their own make. I just play it, it plays like any other trumpet to me, except in C obviously. No harder or easier than playing any of my others. Valves aren't as good as my Eclipse or Taylor, but then it was 1/10th of the price.

    I think people think too much. You really do just blow in the little end and noise comes out the big end. :cool:
     
  7. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi sethoflagos,
    You stated:
    "I've been wanting to invest in a C Trumpet for some time, and from what I've read, there's a trade-off to be made between resistance (which I believe helps with endurance among other things) and response (which sounds 'good' but seems to mean different things to different people).
    ---------------------------------
    I wouldn't disagree with that. My twist on response is "what comes out based on what goes in"
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    Since I think I'd like a good helping of both (if this is possible) can someone shed light on my lack of understanding? Does bore size come into the equation at all?
    --------------------------------
    If memory serves me correctly, bore size is only one component of the picture and of very little use by itself. For example I believe rowuk (or someone like trent) stated that bracing plays a roll.
    --------------------------------
    My interest for this instrument would only be classical, so I'm looking primarily for full tone, good intonation and crisp articulation (ie not 'loudness', 'mellowness', DHCs etc).
    --------------------------------
    I don't see a lot of people playing C trumpets in jazz but that's not to say some don't. However, the variables you mentioned(full tone,etc.) are also desirable in jazz too.
    --------------------------------
    The bottom line? Ask Rowuk.
    --------------------------------
    Paging Mr. rowuk, Paging Mr. Rowuk.
    Dr.Mark
     
  8. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    I always test response by playing the quietest note that I can. Some horns are very hard to play whisper tones with, and some seem to have no limit to the quietness they can handle.
    I do this by tonguing the note as softly as I can.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    IMO there is always some resistance when you play, and this is a variable note to note. The question lays more in one's ability to manage these to achieve desired response.
     
  10. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Both terms "response" and "resistance" are subjective. They both mean whatever the subject wants them to mean. Different players will have differing reactions to any instrument.

    I find it easier to talk about "resistance":

    Does the player mean "hard to play"? This may be because there are leaks.

    Does the player mean that he feels choked up when he plays? This may be because the trumpet is asking for more air than he wants to provide so he is tightening up in defense. This one is like the playground trick of asking someone to push against you - then you pull back. Your partner will push freely against your resistance but pull back when you do.

    Does the player feel that the trumpet is really free-blowing? This may be because there is so much resistance that he can comfortably push against it.

    Until someone comes up with a computer model that will accurately predict trumpet design (not retrospectively explain existing models) these ideas are always going to be subjective, and the discussions heated.
     

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