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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
found this great musician on youtube, who plays his "mr.curly"- called contrabass-clarinet made of an alto-sax-mpc and a garden hose:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu60MwpMiow

I am very tempted, to build my own version (which should be easy and not too expensive), but a little acustical help would be very kind.

I recall, he said that his hose is about 2m long. It's a cylindrical single reed instrument, so it should behave like a clarinet. A major scale would be great. I think, one octave is enough for this instrument, so 8 holes should be ok. (Perhaps later, one could try a 10 hole version .....)

So, where do I have to cut the holes (as a starting point)?

Thank you for your kind help!
 

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You can drill holes experimentally in your prototype and simply cover with tape and redrill as many times as necessary until you have a working instrument. For starters just measure the spacing and positions on a normal clarinet as a rough guide.
 

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Awesome! Now there's a player (SquealyD) who understands that silver or gold plating ain't gonna do squat to your tone!

Although, the carrot clar was very 'colourful' and 'rich in vitamins' ;)
 

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So, where do I have to cut the holes (as a starting point)?
I can help out. I have been working on such calculations for many years, I am using a transmission-matrix model for the instrument and then run an optimization algorithm to find the best tonehole positions. Let me know if you are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hallo Antoine,
yes, I'm very interested, not only in adding a fancy instrument to my collection, but in the acustical effects, too! Tomorow, I'll buy some meters garden hose, measure the diameter and then come back to the forum.
The trial and error process, kymarto is proposing is interesting, too (because garden hose is so easy to handle).
Let's see, where the hose is carrying us to...

Thank you all for your help!
 

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I can help out. I have been working on such calculations for many years, I am using a transmission-matrix model for the instrument and then run an optimization algorithm to find the best tonehole positions. Let me know if you are interested.
Hi Antoine:

If you would post your recommendations here, it would be much appreciated by many, I would think. I know I'd like to know. And if you could be as precise as possible using available materials, that would help. For instance, coiled garden hose (as was used in Mr. Curly, I think), is 3/8" polyurethane hose (at least in the US). It would be best to know the positions based on measurements made along the outside curve of the hose with a flexible tape measure. Also knowing the recommended hole diameter for drilling the holes (and should they be undercut? :doubt:). That would make it easier to accurately implement the design for an in-tune instrument.

Also it looks like Mr. Curly uses a clarinet mouthpiece. Is that what you'd recommend also?

It would be very generous of you to share your calculations here, and any information that you provide would be much appreciated!

Thanks for your interest in this!
 

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I mean no disrespect to antoine here, but I dont think you can mathematically work the correct spot out.

Example lets take a buffet b12 and say an e11, both are made by the same manufacturer both have the approx same bore size but both have tone holes in different locations, a lot of it comes down to the mpc and the player, I believe manufacturers give some consideration to there target market when manufacturing an instrument, and hence the altered designs to suit

My recommendation is as per kymarto's, fit the mpc, drill a singular hole somewhere, compare the note against a tuner and use that as a reference point, then go about drilling more

We during a school workday made potato "nets", lots of big potatoes and lots of mpc's, the kids at the school had an absolute ball. As one of the teachers said, now we cant tell them to stop playing with there food

Carrots I believe would work better, will do that next time, becuase the tone holes wont be as deep as that in a potato
 

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I mean no disrespect to antoine here, but I dont think you can mathematically work the correct spot out.
Believe it or not, it can be done.

Example lets take a buffet b12 and say an e11, both are made by the same manufacturer both have the approx same bore size but both have tone holes in different locations, a lot of it comes down to the mpc and the player, I believe manufacturers give some consideration to there target market when manufacturing an instrument, and hence the altered designs to suit
Yes, the location of the toneholes will be different depending the the mouthpiece and player, and this is why the first step of the problem (will discuss that in another post) will be to determine experimentally the "equivalent" length of your mouthpiece at different frequencies. Once this is done, you can calculate the position of the holes.

My recommendation is as per kymarto's, fit the mpc, drill a singular hole somewhere, compare the note against a tuner and use that as a reference point, then go about drilling more
Of course, this method works. In the particular case of a garden hose instrument, we are not looking for an extra well tuned instrument anyway.
 

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If you would post your recommendations here, it would be much appreciated by many, I would think. I know I'd like to know. And if you could be as precise as possible using available materials, that would help. For instance, coiled garden hose (as was used in Mr. Curly, I think), is 3/8" polyurethane hose (at least in the US). It would be best to know the positions based on measurements made along the outside curve of the hose with a flexible tape measure. Also knowing the recommended hole diameter for drilling the holes (and should they be undercut? :doubt:). That would make it easier to accurately implement the design for an in-tune instrument.
Concerning the mouthpiece, I would say the most important is to find one that fits tightly on your garden hose, it can be clarinet, bass clarinet, alto or tenor saxophone, maybe baritone. If many of them works, try them and select the one that gives the better feel for playing.

Once the choice of your mouthpiece is done, you need to determine experimentally its equivalent length. For this purpose, you need to cut 2 or three lengths of hose that covers approximately the playing frequencies that you are looking for. You were saying you want 7 or 8 holes, what would be the lowest frequency in Hertz? Measure the length of these hose as accurately as possible. Fit the mouthpiece to them (same position on each) and play the note. Write down the playing frequency (hertz).

Ok, once you provide this information I'll explain the calculation of this equivalent length and then toneholes location.
 

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Thats interesting and I do look forward to reading. I would have thought however with the human factor being such a big variable, it would be impossible to calculate it via a forum, I could imagine how difficult it would be having the person sitting in front of you and then working it out, let alone forum,

Im reading with genuine open interest
 

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I am also finding this an interesting project. I have a class of grade seven and eight students who are particularly challenging and I need a "project" to spark their interest for a couple of weeks. Bring on the screaming vegetables and garden tools I say!
Many think the school year is "winding down". Those who teach adolescents understand the little cherubs are often "winding up" as we head into the final month...
 

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I am also finding this an interesting project. I have a class of grade seven and eight students who are particularly challenging and I need a "project" to spark their interest for a couple of weeks. Bring on the screaming vegetables and garden tools I say!
Many think the school year is "winding down". Those who teach adolescents understand the little cherubs are often "winding up" as we head into the final month...
Hear, hear! You are a braver man than I allowing 7th and 8th grade students to bring vegetables and sharp objects to class the last week of school. Hope that works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello Antoine,

here's the dimension of my hose:

Outer Diameter 19mm, inner diameter: 14 - 15mm ((I could lend a better measuring tool, if this is not exact enough)

I took a bass-clarinet mouthpiece, wich fits quite well. I "tuned" the hose to the lowest f on the piano. From the tip of the mpc to the end of the hose, it's now 187,2 cm. The hose itself is 183,2 cm.

we are not looking for an extra well tuned instrument anyway.
Very true!
Have you asked Linsey Pollak? He's at least very generous about the dimensions of his carrot clarinet.
No. He said, that he would bring out a book, and I'll be the first to buy it. But for now, I'm a little unpatient and interested in the theoretical aspects, too.

Thank you very much for your help on this interesting item!
 

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Hear, hear! You are a braver man than I allowing 7th and 8th grade students to bring vegetables and sharp objects to class the last week of school. Hope that works out for you.
I sorta figured I'd have the things cut and drilled already. Sort of a pre-made veggie band! I don't carrot you say it's spinaches since they've had that kinda fun. Lettuce begin! At the risk of being labelled a hoser, I would limit the garden tools to a few pre-cut lengths of garden tubing. I wonder if the green plastic is brighter sounding than other hose colours? I think I have a vintage hose that I could use.

Yeah, sharp objects are pretty much out with this crew...
 

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I "tuned" the hose to the lowest f on the piano.
Does that mean you wish the instrument to play a major f scale starting from that note? Be aware that the holes will be quite far from each other and that you'll have to bend the hose to make it playable... that is... "curly"...
 

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In order to provide better results, it would be great if you can cut another hose that sounds an octave higher, and tell me its length.

In the meantime, I calculated the locations of 7 toneholes of 10mm diameter, which would produce an F major scale by opening them one by one. In general, the larger the toneholes the better, let me know if you fingers can handle 11 or 12mm...

These are the locations relative to the top of your pipe (without mouthpiece): 1617mm, 1433mm, 1349mm, 1192mm, 1053mm, 929mm and 873mm.

The distances are very large.... let us know how it goes in making that instrument. If you can post tuning deviations, i'll be able to provide corrected values for the positions.
 

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Concerning the mouthpiece, I would say the most important is to find one that fits tightly on your garden hose, it can be clarinet, bass clarinet, alto or tenor saxophone, maybe baritone.

Based on my experiments with PVC pipe and copper tubing, I would disagree with this statement. A clarinet mouthpiece makes it much easier to tame these cylindrical bore tubes. The sax mouthpiece I tried made hole spacing difficult for people with fingers, and made tuning nearly impossible. I would recommend starting with a mouthpiece designed for a cylindrical bore (clarinet or bass clar) before you go complicatng matters with a sax piece.
 
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