Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
This thread is about one thing - SPL. No regard to tone, timbre, dynamics, projection, etc. Again, with all other variables being equal, please explain how a larger tip would not result in a higher SPL. As I said before, I can take two mouthpieces identical in every way except tip opening, and I can play the larger opening louder than the smaller one by simply blowing harder, as every wind player knows how to do. Is tip opening the ONLY factor in volume production? Of course not, I never claimed it was. My only claim is that a larger opening will result in more volume when a given mouthpiece is pushed to its limits.I wouldn't use one. I honestly can't think of one in the context of this thread that is relevant to playing the saxophone without oversimplying or going into irrelevancies. That doesn't mean there isn't one, but when you are thinking about the complexities of the combination of sound, tone, timbre, volume, dynamics, loudness and projection - it goes beyond one (small yet not insignificant) parameter of the piece of equipment that is involved.
Someone more expert than me can probably come up with a suitable analogy though.
The diaphragm is definitely used for inhaling. It goes from a dome shape to a flat shape, in order to lower the pressure around the lungs so that the lungs expand.You are correct (although I'm not even sure the diaphragm is actually "used" when inhaling, being a mainly involuntary muscle. I have often said "using" that it is more of a visualisation technique than something most people can literally control. Hence I said "I think of as diaphragm support." Although it actually involves other muscles that are less easy to picture and explain..
That is the title of the thread, but so often we digress into related topics.This thread is about one thing - SPL. No regard to tone, timbre, dynamics, projection, etc.
If you really want the thread to adhere strictly to the topic in the title, it would be best to stick to talking about SPL/volume, as opposed to bringing in loudness which does indeed involve the things I mentioned such as tone and timbre.and I can play the larger opening louder than the smaller one by simply blowing harder, as every wind player knows how to do.
Nothing wrong with giving a simple answer, but as is so often the case people talk about the properties of a wider tip without taking facing length into account. This could be very misleading when you find that with a bigger tip that has alonger facing, pushing that mouthpiece to its limits would very like not result in more volume.f course not, I never claimed it was. My only claim is that a larger opening will result in more volume when a given mouthpiece is pushed to its limits.
It is correct that the ab's and intercostals push the air out however the diaphragm is what controls the breath. It controls the rate at which the air is moved. The tension between the different muscles is key to good breath control IMHO.The diaphragm is used only for inhaling. It is passive (or should be - Alexander technique) during exhaling. It is pushed upwards again during exhale by pressure from the gut which originates from the tension in the abdominals and intercostals. Contrary to misconception by many wind and singing teachers.
As I understand it, tightening the diaphragm during exhaling is contrary to "Alexander technique" - relaxing the muscles that are not necessary for what one is trying to achieve.It is correct that the ab's and intercostals push the air out however the diaphragm is what controls the breath. It controls the rate at which the air is moved. The tension between the different muscles is key to good breath control IMHO...
Good points, but the way I think of it is that relaxing the normal breathing muscles when the lungs are full will cause exhalation in normal breathing. Just like opening a valve, letting go of the neck of an infalted ballon etc.As I understand it, tightening the diaphragm during exhaling is contrary to "Alexander technique" - relaxing the muscles that are not necessary for what one is trying to achieve.
Tightening it would certainly counter the support offered by the abs and intercostals. Tightening the diaphragm certainly cannot add to breath support, only subtract from.
Singers go through a lot of training to not tighten any muscles that are antagonistic.
But if I am lying on my back the ground, supporting somebody standing on my stomach, then I would most certainly use my abs and diaphragm.
(Also for forcefully pushing anything out of my lower abdomen.)
Yes this seems true. It's similar to what Pete Thomas wrote above:It is worthwhile to actually use an SPL meter. I have two flutes, of which I perceive one as being much louder than the other. Imagine my surprise when I actually measured them and found no difference in actual output. Our perceptions of volume have a lot to do with the harmonic components of the sound, as well as the output/input. Concerning the former, a sound with less fundamental and more harmonic content will always be perceived as louder. And then some mpcs/headjoints are more efficient, giving the impression that they are louder because they are louder for a given breath input, but this has little or nothing to do with the actual maximum output.
Yeah, I'd also love to see some controlled tests. But it's clear that there are several factors that enter into it. First, there are different weightings of sound pressure level. Linear (Z weighting) doesn't really take into account the way humans hear. You can have extreme sound pressure in the lows, for instance, that are not perceived as particularly loud, as human hearing is biased for the midrange. I'm posting a link that explains that well.Chasing "tip opening" as the answer doesn't sit right with me. It's well known that certain mouthpieces are louder at the same tip opening and with the same blowing effort. High baffle pieces often have wider tips, but even at the same tip opening are characterized as very loud. Also, classical players can get extreme volumes out of very closed (by jazz standards) mouthpieces.
In the case of the high baffle pieces, this may be "loudness" rather than volume, but that doesn't explain the classical players. I've also found that I can get a lot more volume than I typically use out of every piece I own. The limit may be a function of tip + reed (and facing), as a soft reed on a closed piece can close off. But tip opening is not quite right. Tip opening has more effect on timbre, in my experience.
I think for a real test, a SPL meter would be absolutely necessary. If you want subjective loudness, I would say a metalite at .090 is going to be louder than an Otto Link at the same tip size. I wouldn't put any bets down on what the meter says, though.
All things considered, though, I think it's mostly unnecessary to pursue volume in and of itself. We all know that saxophones even played by unskilled players are loud enough to cause hearing damage. In an electric setting, a sax will always need a mic. That said, I would love to see actual tests.