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Volume? Still trying to get my head around the difference between weight and mass!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I believe it is not the tip per se

Volume comes from how you make the reed vibrate, generally by pushing more air across it but you can also get volume by creating disrtions such as growling.

The point about bigger tips (or hrader reeds possibly) is that they can allow you to put more air through before they "close off"

Also when the reed vibrates more , there is more of the reed cycle that is closed by the reed hitting the tip - this seems to cause more higher frequencies.

But it's worth bearing in mind the differemnce between volume and loudness.

Volume can be measured as energy oin decibels, loudness is the way we we perceive how "loud" and sometimes a sound with less volume can be perceived as louder, it all depends on the frequences involved.

That's what I think, but no need to believe me.
 

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Some of the 'old' R+R/ R+B stars used quite closed tips and achieved a huge sound....think Lee Allen or Clifford Scott (Bill Dogget Combo) plus many others. Coltrane reputably used a 5*/6 Link.so no, the theory don't really fit the equation....or vice versa!
 

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Yes, you can get a lot of volume on a closed tip. But would they have been even louder on more open tips? We’ll never know.

I rarely agree with Pete, but in this case his reasoning is sound. You can only blow so hard before the reed closes off. On more open tips, you can blow harder before that happens. More pressure and velocity means more energy that gets converted to sound waves.

The issue in the other thread is that the OP has a relatively closed tip and wants to play louder. I think the first thing to try would be a bigger tip. Yes, he can probably get more volume from his current setup with reed and technique changes. But the volume ceiling would be higher on a more open piece. I experienced this directly just the other day playing a friend’s mouthpiece. It was exactly like mine except with a smaller tip. I could push mine harder than his and play a little louder.
 

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It just how hard you blow. It not necessarily tip opening or reed strength but a tip and reed that let you blow as hard as possible without closing up.
The absolutely loudest tenor player I’ve ever heard was Billy Harper.
A tenor player who had the most dynamic range and could fill a room who I heard live was Stan Getz. He could honk when he wanted to and he used it for dramatic effect
 

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This is a topic that I find fascinating as well. I do know from my personal playing experience that reed stiffness, mouthpiece tip opening, mouthpiece baffle, amount of mouthpiece in the mouth, amount of lip "dampening" the reed are all interrelated and effect the energy of the soundwave(s) generated at the front of the mouthpiece. I also know from my reading of acoustic literature that when the reed "beats" at louder dynamic levels the reed momentarily closes the opening of the mouthpiece during a portion of its cycle. On the clarinet the tip is open 50% of the cycle and closed 50% of the cycle. However on a conical reed instrument, the portion of time the tip is closed is less than 50% and is approximately equal to the relative "truncation" of the cone. It is thought that this is one explanation for why the saxophone is considerably louder than the clarinet. In "acoustic aspects of woodwind instruments" by cj nederveen on p.127 he discusses the physics involved which gives a woodwind its "loudness". While this is above my level of understanding due to the math involved, perhaps someone could review this information and translate it into layman's terms for the rest of us.

My only other comment is that another area that contributes to the "loudness" of a saxophone, although not as great as the effects inside the mouthpiece, is the energy losses inside the body tube of the instrument and its harmonicity based upon the interior geometry.
 

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…But it's worth bearing in mind the difference between volume and loudness.… loudness is the way we we perceive how "loud" and sometimes a sound with less volume can be perceived as louder, it all depends on the frequencies involved.…
This is so true. It seems that some saxes can "cut through" the band by having a very focused mid-range, thus seeming to be louder than it really is. I've also noticed a single violin can be very loud when played by itself in a room. But put that same violinist next to a roaring Marshall stack, and you won't hear a note.
 

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I recently heard a statement from a very experienced choral coach.

Among other things, he pointed out that our ears are a lot more sensitive to a certain range of frequencies than for the rest of the range that is audible to us.
I've forgotten what this range was, but we can adjust the relative volume of the harmonics when we play a note - what we call timbre.
He said that if we adjust the timbre for increased volume in this harmonics range, then the audience hears the note as considerably louder, even when it is, considering all the frequencies involved, no louder.
We are just capitalising on the ear's sensitivity over a certain range.

He said that this was well-used technique for unamplified opera singers, filling concert halls with sound.
Perhaps this is what we commonly call "projection".
 

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I recently heard a statement from a very experienced choral coach.

Among other things, he pointed out that our ears are a lot more sensitive to a certain range of frequencies than for the rest of the range that is audible to us.
I've forgotten what this range was, but we can adjust the relative volume of the harmonics when we play a note - what we call timbre.
The functions describing this frequency/loudness relationship are called Fletcher-Munson (or Equal Loudness) curves. As you can see in the graph below, peak sensitivity occurs around the 4kHz range.

View attachment 244694
 

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Having played trombone for some years (before becoming a gentleman...:mrgreen:), the main effort on brasswinds is always put on air stream and support, for range, evenness and volume. The same applies to saxes. I remember when I first switched from tenor to baritone, how the good old trombone practices came-in handy. Once you manage to make a baritone roar, the same air support does miracles on all smaller saxes, whatever setup.
 

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Wow. If I understand that correctly, the difference in audibility for different frequencies is massive!
 

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Wow. If I understand that correctly, the difference in audibility for different frequencies is massive!
Obviously. On saxes, you can notice how easily you get heard on alto, and how much you struggle on baritone. Clarinets, and specially bass clarinet are a perfect example too. The tone is not much more than a clean sine with few harmonics, at least fewer than saxes. If you play in the low range of a bass clarinet, like soloing over a typical rhythm section, you just fade in the infinite nowhere (which in many cases is rather good news...).
 

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I think I am rather simplistic on the whole thing. I find that on closed tip opening mouthpieces, I perform much better on pianissimo. On large tip openings, I perform much better on fortissimo. It is not that I can't do fortissimo on closed tip openings or pianissimo on open tips.....but each tip size has its affinity. (Note: large tip openings tend to be correlated with more baffle. Small tip openings tend to be correlated with less baffle; so my comparison is not strictly related to the tip opening size).

I think that an infinitely strong and flexible embouchure can compensate for any of these issues, but my embouchure is imperfect so I play the tip opening that best matches my current skill level to the music I am playing.
 

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Exactly.

But coming back to the OP's question: What determines the volume, the spl (i.e. the number of dB, not the perception)?
 

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Other things being equal, SPL is a function of root-mean-square sound pressure.
RMS sound pressure is in turn a function of frequency and the rate of airflow being put though the horn.

So I predict that for a single horn, two totally different players on two totally different mouthpieces will generate the same SPL, as long as they're exciting the same frequencies at the same airflow rate.

:popcorn:
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I recently heard a statement from a very experienced choral coach.

Among other things, he pointed out that our ears are a lot more sensitive to a certain range of frequencies than for the rest of the range that is audible to us.
I've forgotten what this range was, but we can adjust the relative volume of the harmonics when we play a note - what we call timbre.
He said that if we adjust the timbre for increased volume in this harmonics range, then the audience hears the note as considerably louder, even when it is, considering all the frequencies involved, no louder.
We are just capitalising on the ear's sensitivity over a certain range.

He said that this was well-used technique for unamplified opera singers, filling concert halls with sound.
Perhaps this is what we commonly call "projection".
There was some discussion about "what we call projection" - my opinion (as is so often the case, is contrary to some in that I believe projection is just loudness.

Some people think it's the ability to "focus" your sound onto a position further away

But I think it's the same with singers, learn to manipulate frequncies to emphasise those that most human ears are sensitive to.

There may be some compromise when it comes to competing with other instruments though, for example an edgy soun may well cut well (loudly) throigh a mix, but so well if iy is competing with something else predominantly round those frequencies.
 

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Two comments on this thread so far about "proper breath support". But what does that actually mean? Air pressure (which is not the same as velocity)? Maintaining a rigid oral/throat cavity?
 

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Two comments on this thread so far about "proper breath support". But what does that actually mean? Air pressure (which is not the same as velocity)? Maintaining a rigid oral/throat cavity?
In my view, "breath support" means "pressurized air' which IMO is a far more accurate description. The oral cavity and throat should be open, not "rigid".
 
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