I don't know if anyone on this forum will be interested in this, but I am conducting a study to measure the "porosity" of saxophone pads made with different coverings and then have the same pads measured in a physics lab for "acoustic losses". The point of the study is to if there is a relationship between the porosity of a pad covering and its acoustic efficiency.
For example, it is well known that the kangaroo skin used for the no stick white roo pads tends to be more porous than pads made with traditional leathers. Some techs will not use these pads equating pad "porosity" with pad "leaks". Hopefully this study will shed some light on this topic. Shown below are some photos of the set-up used to test the "porosity" of the various pads.
Who remembers these? In fact who has one?
I have very fond memories of those days before there were any feasible Asian horns around. The Weltklang was one of the few viable "student" saxophones, made in East Germany.
Although they were a bit maligned, I've actually tried a couple that were good, especially the tenors and baritones.
But the most interesting one was a soprano played by Dick Heckstall-Smith which had been heavily doctored so that most of the range could be played with one hand - he used it when doing his two saxes at once thing.
Doing some recordings for the Cafe Saxophone TOTM and BOTM threads has made me really listen to my own saxophone sound. It can be a painful process - like listening to your own voice on recordings, it's not how you think it is.
It has got me thinking about what aspects of the sound matter most for distinguishing between "good" and "bad" sound on the saxophone. The instrument has a very flexible timbre and lots of great players have their own characteristic voice.
Apart from playing with good tuning, what do you think makes for a "good" sound on the saxophone ? Maybe, what makes one player sound great and another player sound like a novice or an amateur ?
For an example:
Good sound: Clean start to notes, hit notes on desired pitch, even vibrato (where used), "rich" tone throughout the range.
Bad sound: Hesitant start to notes, scoop up to pitch (for no musical reason), uneven or "nanny goat" vibrato, "thin" tone.
What do you think ?
This is very exiting news. After months, no, years of R & D and one or two extra grey hairs appearing on Dr. Pillinger's head plus one or two falling out of mine, i am pleased to say it looks like we may finally have an alto mouthpiece good enough to decorate with this distinguished brand.
I already have quite a long list of interested parties so please make sure you are on my mailing list, via the contact form here:
There will be two production facings (custom facings also available)
5* (suitable for classical and also fine for beginners)
6** (For anything else)
The 6** is more or less a 7, but may feel more like a 6* or 6 which I find to be the absolute best for jazz, pop, blues, r & b, rock and anything else including bluegrass and dubstep (Not doorstop)
I received a nice email this morning from Paul's granddaughter, who thanked me for the mention of him in the TamingTheSaxophone article on R & B saxophone players
She has mentioned it on the Paul Williams Facebook Page
So please like, share and comment there, tweet it etc.
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