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Discussion Starter #1
Guys, the summer heat is now on and I'm disovering that my ideal setup during the cooler months is insufficient. Particularly, my reeds seem dead and lose their mositure quite quickly. NOt to mention I have to watch out for the squeaks due to drying reeds...sigh. Sorry for outdoor players.

How are you handling the humidity?
 

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Synthetic reeds. Brand varies with instrument/mouthpiece.
 

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Dessicant in the case.
Don't leave your horn in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hakukani said:
Dessicant in the case.
Don't leave your horn in the trunk.

What kind of problems can leaving the horn in the trunk cause?
 

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I find my set up plays better in the warmer humid mo.'s My house gets dry in the winter even with a humidifier on the forced hot air system. I would think the extra humidity in the air during the warmer months would keep reeds more moist (less dry). Has anyone ever put their reeds in a cigar humidor? What about you Hakukani you're a man of the world?
 

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Wailin' said:
What kind of problems can leaving the horn in the trunk cause?
Glue softening and anything attached with glue can fall off. Plus theft and damage from shifting cargo or an accident.
 

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Wailin' said:
What kind of problems can leaving the horn in the trunk cause?
Gets too hot in the summer.
 

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I've been having a very similar problem for the past several months and am going nearly insane. Pattern is as follows: I find 4-8 reeds that range from OK to pretty good when im practicing on Saturday afternoon. When I go to rehearsal later in the week, it feels like a sock has been stuffed in my horn. Response is sluggish, sound is dead, and all the reeds feel too hard. Last night we played outside, even worse. Just no complexity in my sound whatsoever. They're not warping or anything, cuz Im always checking. Go back to practice on Saturday, and all those same reeds feel fine or great.

I swear reeds drive me so nutz that I almost want to quit playing the horn.
 

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Do you practice in the same environment you rehearse in?
 

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Carl H. said:
Do you practice in the same environment you rehearse in?
I practice in the same building in which I rehearse, but not the exact same room (not possible as it's locked). Air conditioning etc are similar enough. It's so frustrating, I dont know what to do.

Not trying to hijack your thread here Wailin', but i thought whatever ails me might be at least related to that which ails you.

Maybe I'll try a synthetic again...*sigh*:(
 

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dstack79 said:
Response is sluggish, sound is dead, and all the reeds feel too hard......
Have you considered the possibility that the reeds are too hard? Try a slightly softer reed, or, if you think they're only slightly too hard, give them a light sanding.

Back on the original topic, I don't understand how humidity can dry out reeds. I would think just the opposite would be the case. Dry heat, otoh, would do this and is a definite problem when playing outdoors in a hot, dry climate. I'm lucky to live on the coast (heat is never a problem here, lol), but occasionally I have to go inland and play an outdoor gig in the summer (in Calif.). As long as I'm playing during a set, the reed doesn't get much chance to dry out. After a break, at the start of a set, I take the reed off, put it in my mouth to get it wet again, then put it back on the mpc and I'm ready to go.
 

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JL said:
Have you considered the possibility that the reeds are too hard? Try a slightly softer reed, or, if you think they're only slightly too hard, give them a light sanding
I did back down a strength, to a #3 (which usually feels a bit soft). I do sand them down when needed. They feel fine in one place, and feel awful in another.

I also agree that whatever the reed problem is w/ Wailin' (and/or I), it's not likely that they're drying out. In fact, it cld be that the reeds are absorbing too *much* mositure and are swelling.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don' know. The sound's less lively and somewhat dead. I notice the difference in the same environment. Is cane that sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity? A few years ago a bari synthetic worked well in rehearsal then during performance choked up. I vowed since that day, "give me cane or give me death".
 

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This is exactly why I switched to Legere reeds two summers ago.

When I first played a hot & humid outdoor gig with Legere reeds I was deeply impressed with just how good they sounded and worked for me. I also noticed the problems my sax section buddies were having with their cane reeds. Thanks to Legere I played away with a big smile on my face and had a great time at the gig.

Since then, I've found that Legere reeds work beautifully for me in any performance situation and I've come to use them exclusively. This enables me to focus much more on the music and far less on my reeds. It's a liberating feeling!

That said, I've described on other threads the time & effort I put into getting the best possible results with Legere on each of my horns. For me, it's definitely been worth it. But, it's a personal decision as to how far to go with a synthetic reed. Players should know up-front that Legere reeds MAY take some getting used to. It's definitely a good idea to give yourself a period of time with Legere reeds before you use them at a gig.

Roger
 

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Isn't low humidity more problematic than high humidity? :?

I am so happy that the winter is over and humidity is high and that the air in rooms is not as dry anymore. There is nothing worse than playing cane reeds in dry air in heated rooms.
 

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Giganova said:
Isn't low humidity more problematic than high humidity? :?

I am so happy that the winter is over and humidity is high and that the air in rooms is not as dry anymore. There is nothing worse than playing cane reeds in dry air in heated rooms.
Coming from a place with seasons, it is the change which is worse than dry or humid. If you are set up for dry and it gets warm, that is a set of problems. Just like if it all of a sudden gets dry it is yet another set of problems. Heating and AC seasons are fine, it is spring and fall when things are changing that it gets interesting.
 

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Yer well you want to try here in the Philippines for humidity,its now into the rain season and belive me when it comes down it really comes down,then the sun is out.Its on and off like that most days and the humidity its the roof.
But I tell you what I do! I panic it works for me.As for trying plastic reeds its hard enough to try to get any kind of reeds.But if you are lucky enough to fined the reeds you want and your a white guy the shop will then try to rip you off for them,by charging you more.
 

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My good friend peter has been experimenting with sealing his reeds in lavoz reed holders inside a plastic bag with a moist sponge. But, one important step is to soak the sponge in listerine or the reeds will get moldy. He seems happy with the results, although is complaining that the reeds taste bad. Also since RICO has been purchased by DaDario, they have come up with an entire line of humidity control packages that seem like another solution
 

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Vodka is reputed to work for keeping reeds moist and growth free.
 
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