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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so I had this discussion with a friend who has a Bari Sax Perf. degree for Indiana...he's an unreal player, as you can imagine, and we were talking about how easy it is to "push" bari sax(for him) and bass clarinet(for me) as opposed to smaller instruments. By push I mean put as much air in it as you want and it can take it all without reservation and you never feel like you've reached the breaking point. Now, I'm aware that the size of the horn helps and is 99% of the reason why we feel this way...but I was thinking. What if you were playing a smaller instrument and you wanted a mouthpiece that will allow you to push the horn harder? Do you go with a smaller tip because that's more resistant...or a bigger tip because you can get more air in the instrument? Since a smaller instrument takes less air overall I'm conflicted....will a bigger tip really make a difference when a smaller horn just won't take on as much air as say...a bari sax?? Or is a bigger tip the holy grail in this "pushing" thing?

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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A smaller tip will be less resistant. Try something with a big tip and no baffle. My Barone Vintage 6 can be pushed quite a bit on soprano.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Martin.....riddle me this....do you know of any clarinet piece manufacturers that carry something like this? That is really helpful!!!!
 

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bass9396 said:
Thanks Martin.....riddle me this....do you know of any clarinet piece manufacturers that carry something like this? That is really helpful!!!!
On clarinet, I don't think that a wide tip is necessarily going to allow you to give the instrument more air or get you more projection. In my experience (mostly classical), a smaller tip with a harder reed can allow a player to move lots of air and still maintain good tone, regardless of dynamic.

Keeping the tone from breaking up at high volumes on clarinet really has more to do with embouchure strength and good form (tongue/throat/embouchure position, etc.) than tip openings, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks dirty..I appreciate the input..now I've got conflicting ideas going on. Basically I want to be able to put as much air in the instrument as I want...as allowed by my setup. I agree that embouchure is the thing that keeps you from going wild and I've got that part down. I guess I'll take as many opinions as I can get...go smaller or bigger...facing and tip.....to get tons more air into the instrument.

Thanks again!
 

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bass9396 said:
Thanks dirty....now I've got conflicting ideas going on. Basically I want to be able to put as much air in the instrument as I want...as allowed by my setup. I agree that embouchure is the thing that keeps you from going wild and I've got that part down. I guess I'll take asmany opnions as I can get...go smaller or bigger...facing and tip.....to get tons more air into the instrument.

Thanks again!
Well, I think Martinman was talking about saxophone mouthpieces. I was talking about clarinet mouthpieces. I think we're both right, although there are other opinions out there from people who know far more than I.

Just keep in mind that a clarinet is never going to feel like a bari sax. It's a whole different animal.
 

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I think it would help to clarify what you mean by 'push'.

We talk about several parameters. Among these are:

1 volume of air allowed through a horn-resistance
2 speed of the air as it goes into a horn
3 potential air-the 'reservoir of air behind the mouthpiece

This is analogous to electricity, where voltage potential, current (I) is speed and resistance (R).

There is a proportional relationship in that I=E/R.

Now there is also power P-the 'amount' of sound which can be expressed as P=I*E. You can see from this that as the speed of the air increases the potential decreases, and vice versa. That's easy to see when your lungs empty out quicker when you play bari than when you play soprano.

Other ways to change this relationship is with tip openings, chamber size. and baffle size. The larger the tip, chamber, and smaller the baffle, the more air can get into the horn. How you put the three together affects the timbre.

I hope this is clear. If not HELP.
 

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Yea, asking me anything about clarinet except which end to stick in your mouth is a bad idea...
 

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resistance on the sax also depends on the neck opennig at the mpc. Though in small variations it seems to make a difference.

on clarinet, a large tip hard reed combo is also greatly affected by the bore size of the clarinet. I maintain 3 main clarinets in my arsenal, a small bore, a medium and a large bore. Same reed/mpc combo on each has seem to have varying results on how much you can push it before the resistance increases.

i'm not a mechanical engineer or anything .... just i've fiddled with this concept in the past. I play mostly 8 tip sax mpcs now so i can get larger variations in expressionism vs smaller tip. I have too many clarinet mpcs to mention .. but i maintain a small medium and large tip opening for them and various other clarinet mpcs.


now for something completely different ...
as Hakukani was mentioning there are other things to take into consideration , so let's modify his equation :
current Induction(I) barrel/neck opening(H) angle of sidewalls(a) taper variations (v) Energy created (E), TIp opening (T) reed strength (o) Air volume/Push (P) Diameter Equation of a hyperbole of the length and bore variation (e2)

This creates 4 distinct mathematical areas to solve to his right side of the equation

In short

I * Have * To * Pee = I * E

eegads .. i just want to play, not do math
 

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Well, you need to be careful about just wanting to blow a lot of air down the horn. If you put on an Otto Link 10 mouthpiece and a #5 reed the horn will take a lot of air but unless you have the chops of superman the reed won't vibrate giving you no sound.

In general though try going to more open tip with a softer reed to make a smaller horn feel more comfortable if you are used to a bigger one. But it still won't take the air quite the same way. If you go really extreme to very open tips, intonation will be tough to control and crisp articulation difficult. It is a tradeoff that only you can make.
 

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Try a Kessler Clarinet Mouthpiece

The Kessler mouthpieces are designed with sax players/doublers in mind. You may want to try out diffeerent clairnet barrels as well, for the various shapes will focus the air differently on the horn
 

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stevesklar said:
resistance on the sax also depends on the neck opennig at the mpc. Though in small variations it seems to make a difference.

on clarinet, a large tip hard reed combo is also greatly affected by the bore size of the clarinet. I maintain 3 main clarinets in my arsenal, a small bore, a medium and a large bore. Same reed/mpc combo on each has seem to have varying results on how much you can push it before the resistance increases.

i'm not a mechanical engineer or anything .... just i've fiddled with this concept in the past. I play mostly 8 tip sax mpcs now so i can get larger variations in expressionism vs smaller tip. I have too many clarinet mpcs to mention .. but i maintain a small medium and large tip opening for them and various other clarinet mpcs.


now for something completely different ...
as Hakukani was mentioning there are other things to take into consideration , so let's modify his equation :
current Induction(I) barrel/neck opening(H) angle of sidewalls(a) taper variations (v) Energy created (E), TIp opening (T) reed strength (o) Air volume/Push (P) Diameter Equation of a hyperbole of the length and bore variation (e2)

This creates 4 distinct mathematical areas to solve to his right side of the equation

In short

I * Have * To * Pee = I * E

eegads .. i just want to play, not do math
Music is made of math.
Also, it's more complicated, of course. In physics, they make a model that explains as much as possible. It's not really a straight resistance--it's impedance. But, to explain impedance, you need to use calculus, and I ain't got enough o' that.

Ohhhmmmm's law works for the basic explanation. (Thanks Al)

I also didn't want to get into cylindrical vs. conical bore.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow folks! All kinds of good information!!! This definitely all makes lots of sense. I'm definitely close to a mouthpiece decision....one more question....IYHO, would a small or large tip decrease the buzziness of closed hole notes (ex. middle B on clarinets, D on sax...low notes on sax)???? What about a short or long facing....would one of those factors have an effect on those kinds of notes?

Thanks again!

BTW - I was thinking uummmmmmm, before I got your Ohmmmmm reference....how dumb am I?!?
 

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In general, all other things being equal, yada yada, the larger the tip, the darker the sound.

The higher the baffle, the edgier the sound.

The longer the facing, the easier the low note response, and the thinner the high notes.

Unless you're like me, a medium facing is best--then futz with the other variables (tip, chamber, baffle)
 

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buzziness on clarinet may have other issues,
such as if you use bladder pads, sometimes they "get loose" and provide a nice (or not so nice) buzz.
also if a softer reed is used you can also get a buzz from that too.

I easily get buzzes when i test a soft reed especially after some playing time. I normally use Vandy 4s on various tips - the more open the softer, but normally do not go below 3.5 for my own instruments - otherwise the tonal qualities are thinner and can get a reed buzz.

i get the same situation on sax. I normally use a 4+ on an 8 tip. I get a nice full tone, etc. If i use softer reeds, say a 2.5 hemke, they tend to get soft after a while (from being water logged) and tonal qualites are thinner and can get some buzzing out of it.

also the mpc may also provide a bit of a buzz dependent upon the baffle and everything else.

I have a sax Couf J hard rubber mpc which has a big step baffle but a large throat. This provides a nice dark sound with fantastic projection w/o the edge. But then i changed the tip baffle a bit to get a little edge to the tone.

on sax i have something like 8 primary mpcs - all with various tonal qualities. It takes time to understand the basic qualities such as above posts have pointed out. But then, sometimes, they all just kinda sound the same to me - but in small ensembles they hear the differences. - the crowd may not ....

with clarinet the tonal quality difference becomes more subtle and most ppl first look towards how "centered" of a tone they are looking for - and that seems to have more correlation towards the throat shape and diameter.
 
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