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There are a handful of threads that discuss 3D printed pieces in general as well as this one in specific;

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?294322-Shape-your-own-sound-custom-m-mouthpieces

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?237047-3D-Mouthpieces-a-commercial-reality

I don't care for the local search engine here as I find it difficult and doggy but if you plug something like this; 3d printed saxophone mouthpiece at sax on the web site:forum.saxontheweb.net

into Google it will find the threads here that are relevant.

I think the biggest concern with this is that the guys who design/make mouthpieces for a living have spent a lot of time figuring out how to make pieces play a certain way. That expertise has value that may take you a lot of trial and error to replicate in the fashion suggested by the Syos folks.
 

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Thanks, KeithL for passing on those links. I sure is interesting. Not something, however, I'm going to jump on. Indeed the artisans that design and make mouthpieces sure have a lot of knowledge to go by. Also, when I evaluate a mouthpiece I may be looking for a certain sound but I would also be considering what it feels like to play. The subtleties of response, attack, intonation, flexibility, and timbre are what really distinguishes a mouthpiece over another that might be seeking the same concept. That said, technology is advancing and it will be interesting to see where this goes. For now I'll stick with the humans.
 

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So far 3d printing makes usable blanks. However, they need as much or more finishing than traditional methods to meet professional standards. If you dont have a skilled and experienced craftsman at the helm it shows both in the finishing and performance. There is a reason the big boys arent using it. If it helped the process they would. So far as I know every other maker or brand that has used this technology has done so for only a limited time.

Of course over time, its all subject to change.
 

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Hello Folks!

I'm Maxime, french researcher in acoustics and founder of Syos mouthpieces. Nice to meet the SaxOnTheWeb community, I'm available to answer all the things you might wonder on mouthpieces, on acoustics, auditory perception, and even on 3D printing.


Indeed the artisans that design and make mouthpieces sure have a lot of knowledge to go by. Also, when I evaluate a mouthpiece I may be looking for a certain sound but I would also be considering what it feels like to play. The subtleties of response, attack, intonation, flexibility, and timbre are what really distinguishes a mouthpiece over another that might be seeking the same concept. That said, technology is advancing and it will be interesting to see where this goes. For now I'll stick with the humans.
I can assure you that for the moment we are still 100% humans at Syos mouthpieces!

- I'm the human that spend at least 20 hours a week seeing different saxophonists (pros and amateurs), make them try different mouthpieces, with different baffle shapes, chamber sizes, openings, facing... and ask them to describe the sound in their own words, to comment on sound characteristics : like you said attack, timbre, intonation, easiness to play...
- My colleague Thomas is the human that study the statistics of all the saxophonists answers, that group things together to understand the link between sound properties and mouthpieces geometry. He also work on our future products!
- My colleague Robin is the human that do all the mouthpiece design on computer. For now we have made more than 2000 different geometries. And since every customer get his own mouthpiece, he works each days on a new mouthpiece for a new customer!
- My colleague Dorian is also human, and he cares all day of the machines that craft the mouthpieces. I honestly think that other mouthpieces manufacturers like Selmer, Vandoren, Meyer, Theo Wanne... use also machines to make the mouthpieces. Also operated by humans I believe.
- My colleague Pauline, also founder of Syos, is the human that did all the acoustic studies on which our mouthpieces are based. Also she's the leader of the company (something a robot couldn't do I guess).


So far 3d printing makes usable blanks. However, they need as much or more finishing than traditional methods to meet professional standards. If you dont have a skilled and experienced craftsman at the helm it shows both in the finishing and performance. There is a reason the big boys arent using it.
Our company is only 2-years old, and I wouldn't say the big boys aren't using our mouthpieces. Here's a list of endorsing artists who play Syos everyday, including Dayna Stephens, Lucky Chops, Moon Hooch, Godwin Louis, Jure Pukel... : https://www.syos.co/fr/ambassadors

We also work frequently with people like Ben Wendel, David Liebman, David Binney, Chad Leskowitz... who gave very good advice in the development of our mouthpieces, because they like what we do :) Speak to those guys they will tell you we do good job!
 

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First of all congratulations for the amazing victory yesterday !

OK, since you are willing to answer to questions, i have one for you.
Since you have the acoustic background and you are able to work in an environment that can control every parameter of the design
could you please elaborate on the types of facing curves you are using and why?
Thank you.
 

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I am not suggesting a robot could do the job.

i am simply stating that 3d printing, regardless of design and credentials, cannot create a professional mpc without experienced professional finishing at the end of the production line.

that was my singular point.

If you have this ...all the best to you..
 

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First of all congratulations for the amazing victory yesterday !

OK, since you are willing to answer to questions, i have one for you.
Since you have the acoustic background and you are able to work in an environment that can control every parameter of the design
could you please elaborate on the types of facing curves you are using and why?
Thank you.
Thank you !
For the facing curves, we work with different facing lengths (from 18 mm to 28 mm) and openings (from 1.45 mm to 3.8 mm). Although easy to control with our machines accuracy, those parameters are honestly the hardest to fully-understand. We are observing very different behaviors in the mouthpieces when we change the facing length and opening, for instance.

Facing length reduction is very useful to get something more focused and more easy to play in the high register (altissimo) and in the low volume zone (pianissimo), whereas a longer facing will enhance the low register more, make the sound darker and slightly more resistant. For the openings... it really depends on the baffle you're using, some openings don't work at all with some baffles...


I am not suggesting a robot could do the job.

i am simply stating that 3d printing, regardless of design and credentials, cannot create a professional mpc without experienced professional finishing at the end of the production line.
that was my singular point.
If you have this ...all the best to you..
Yes it can ! it really depends on the machine you're using I guess. But you can have the same accuracy as other machines used by mouthpiece manufacturers (CNC, machining units, ...). As scientists, we really don't like the "finishing" because you loose all the information about the mouthpiece, you change the opening, you round all the angles... All that for aesthetic reasons :)
 

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Thank you !
For the facing curves, we work with different facing lengths (from 18 mm to 28 mm) and openings (from 1.45 mm to 3.8 mm). Although easy to control with our machines accuracy, those parameters are honestly the hardest to fully-understand. We are observing very different behaviors in the mouthpieces when we change the facing length and opening, for instance.

Facing length reduction is very useful to get something more focused and more easy to play in the high register (altissimo) and in the low volume zone (pianissimo), whereas a longer facing will enhance the low register more, make the sound darker and slightly more resistant. For the openings... it really depends on the baffle you're using, some openings don't work at all with some baffles...




Yes it can ! it really depends on the machine you're using I guess. But you can have the same accuracy as other machines used by mouthpiece manufacturers (CNC, machining units, ...). As scientists, we really don't like the "finishing" because you loose all the information about the mouthpiece, you change the opening, you round all the angles... All that for aesthetic reasons :)
I believe it's possible to make a mouthpiece without hand work. In fact, most of the newer CNC pieces today have very little hand work involved and 3d printing could do it. However, I'm not sure I would like it. I imagine that it would make every mouthpiece exactly the same and would take the personality out of each one. I really don't know. The question I have is could you make a piece with a round chamber?
Phil Barone
 

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Your data collection is particularly exciting Maxime. Along the same (curvilinear) lines as the round chamber, any thoughts on the effect of a conical chamber shaped to mate to the neck with a lip in a manner to continue the conical shape of the saxophone itself? What would be expected? Lower resistance with fewer harmonics?
 

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Max, from my experience---I find a longer facing lowers the back pressure, speeds up the air column, and makes the piece blow easier.
My experience has shown me that a longer facing will not make the sound darker or more resistant. I'm confused by that statement.
As with all mouthpiece designs, its all about getting the balance right.
 

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I am excited that your company is incorporating acoustic science into the design and manufacture of saxophone mouthpieces. I would love to see your team of specialists address the question of what are the differences between the playing characteristics of a large chamber mouthpiece pushed farther on the cork to tune, and a smaller chamber mouthpiece with a longer shank pulled out to tune. A few years back there was a wonderful discussion of this topic on SOTW with Antoine Lefebvre which unfortunately ended abruptly when the rudeness of some members here caused him to leave the forum. His initial hypothesis was that both pieces would play the same in mode one, but would diverge in the higher modes.

His post is at this link: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...th-on-tuning&p=1662181&viewfull=1#post1662181
 

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I am excited that your company is incorporating acoustic science into the design and manufacture of saxophone mouthpieces. I would love to see your team of specialists address the question of what are the differences between the playing characteristics of a large chamber mouthpiece pushed farther on the cork to tune, and a smaller chamber mouthpiece with a longer shank pulled out to tune. A few years back there was a wonderful discussion of this topic on SOTW with Antoine Lefebvre which unfortunately ended abruptly when the rudeness of some members here caused him to leave the forum. His initial hypothesis was that both pieces would play the same in mode one, but would diverge in the higher modes.

His post is at this link: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...th-on-tuning&p=1662181&viewfull=1#post1662181
I read the thread just now and didn't see anything rude, it must have been elsewhere.

I did glean one very interesting point: that it appears a mouthpiece with a larger internal diameter (what we refer to as "larger chamber" not only will be pushed further on the neck to achieve the same pitch for a given note than a mouthpiece with a smaller internal diameter ("smaller chamber") - but also the second and higher harmonics will actually be higher in pitch. I interpret this to mean that for short tube notes, the inherent tendency to sharpen more when you push the mouthpiece in (due to basic geometry: 1" change in sounding length is a much bigger fraction of a 10" long tube than of a 30" long tube) - will be REINFORCED due to the acoustic characteristics of a large internal diameter chamber!

Did I understand that correctly?
 

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I read the thread just now and didn't see anything rude, it must have been elsewhere.

I did glean one very interesting point: that it appears a mouthpiece with a larger internal diameter (what we refer to as "larger chamber" not only will be pushed further on the neck to achieve the same pitch for a given note than a mouthpiece with a smaller internal diameter ("smaller chamber") - but also the second and higher harmonics will actually be higher in pitch. I interpret this to mean that for short tube notes, the inherent tendency to sharpen more when you push the mouthpiece in (due to basic geometry: 1" change in sounding length is a much bigger fraction of a 10" long tube than of a 30" long tube) - will be REINFORCED due to the acoustic characteristics of a large internal diameter chamber!

Did I understand that correctly?
The rudeness was elsewhere. :( I see where you are going with this, but I would hesitate to make that assumption because the "stretching" of the harmonic series causing the higher modes to go sharp is not the same as making the sounding length shorter as in the case of the palm keys---although they may be related.

A very basic understanding I got from reading "The Saxophone is my Voice" by Ernest Ferron is that changing the taper to make the tube more cylindrical causes the harmonics to go sharper (until the octave becomes a 12th), and making the taper more conical brings the pitch of the overtones down. An example of this is when I sent the neck from a True Tone alto to Mark Aaronson to fix the upper register playing terribly sharp. To solve the problem he cut a narrow "V" out of the end of the neck and braised the two sides back together to form a greater taper at the end. The neck when he was finished wasn't perfect, but he got it in the ball park so it was playable. I believe Music Medic has done similar work on vintage sax necks.
 

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The rudeness was elsewhere. :( I see where you are going with this, but I would hesitate to make that assumption because the "stretching" of the harmonic series causing the higher modes to go sharp is not the same as making the sounding length shorter as in the case of the palm keys---although they may be related.

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Yeah, what I understood from skimming was that a "large chamber" MP will tend to have wider octaves and twelfths than a "small chamber" one - and then the difference in how sharp notes of different tube lengths get when you push in is (I think) independent of that.

My experience has been that the "most in tune to A=440" position of a "large chamber" mouthpiece is closer in than the "most in tune to A-440" position of a "small chamber" mouthpiece. This makes sense theoretically if we believe that the "most in tune" position of a mouthpiece is where its chamber volume (less, of course, what's occupied by the neck) is an approximation of the "missing cone".

But of course if you do this, the large chamber piece will be a lot closer to the uppermost tone holes, and percentage-wise it'll be a little bit closer to the lowest tone holes. Thus when you push in on a mouthpiece, the difference in pitch of short tube and long tube notes gets relatively greater. (I haven't read anything yet that says whether pushing in BY ITSELF will affect the "spreadiness" of octaves, but there may be some effect there too, I don't know.)

Where I suspect this ends up reinforcing the "wider octaves and twelfths" phenomenon, then, would be in the palm key notes, which are both short tube notes AND octaves of fundamental pitches.

I know that when I modified a mouthpiece to have a very large chamber, not only did I have to push in further than with its unmodified twin, but also the palm keys went wicked sharp.
 

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My experience has been that the "most in tune to A=440" position of a "large chamber" mouthpiece is closer in than the "most in tune to A-440" position of a "small chamber" mouthpiece. This makes sense theoretically if we believe that the "most in tune" position of a mouthpiece is where its chamber volume (less, of course, what's occupied by the neck) is an approximation of the "missing cone".
If the chamber is larger you're right, there is more volume inside the mouthpiece, so to get the same tuning it has to be adjusted. Best way to do that (what we do at Syos) is to modify the length of the mouthpiece at the bottom (the shank). The exact volume you gain with increasing the chamber has to be removed by shortening the shank (it's a simple mathematic operation). That explain why our mouthpieces don't have the same length: we usually use 10 different chamber sizes, so each has its corresponding length.

And by the way, it's the same thing with a baffle: a step baffle which is very close to the reed gives the mouthpiece less volume, and this volume has to be added somewhere (that's why metal mouthpieces with baffle are often longer!)
 
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