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M/Pieces - Ligs Tip Opening and Tone

LostCircuits

LostCircuits

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Since the reed vibrating is what creates sound, must it oscillate at the same frequency to produce any given pitch? The speed the reed would change though, to be able to cover more distance in the same amount of time.
No, the speed of the reed isn't even uniform it is a spectrum of frequencies which increases towards the tip and the wings.
 
John Setchell

John Setchell

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Since the reed vibrating is what creates sound, must it oscillate at the same frequency to produce any given pitch? The speed the reed would change though, to be able to cover more distance in the same amount of time.
- So we’ve got Amplitude, and Frequency.
The natural frequency of the reed ligatured onto mouthpiece is that horrible squeaky sound when blowing into it with nothing else connected. As the downstream tube length changes due to keying, so does the natural frequency of the arrangement. This can be “encouraged” or altered by what we do upstream with embouchure, tongue, throat and lungs. Complicated, Right?
Then there’s Amplitude, which is the distance the Reed tip travels from its rest position, in both directions. Obviously it can’t travel any further than the the MP tip, so that governs the maximum amplitude, which equals max volume. Variations in amplitude towards max and the way the reed bends along the rails will alter tone. Again - complicated, Right?
The Devil’s Horn!
 
Phil

Phil

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Facing lengths generally vary with tip openings. The amount of variance is a choice made by the maker.
 
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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The amount of variance is a choice made by the maker.
Ed Pillinger has same data, I remember him telling me Geoff Lawton had one facing length for every three tip opening size.
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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I read that selmer have longer facing curves for wider tip openings. It makes the larger tip openings more easily playable.
 
Phil

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Collin, that is the norm. As pete also mentioned, it is not necessary to alter the facing length for very small increments. As for selmer...their facing curve concept just kinda sucks IMHO. Its great if you want slow and sluggish response. People dont notice as much because they are small tips. They sire notice when a different curve is applied.
 
Ivan

Ivan

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Facing lengths generally vary with tip openings. The amount of variance is a choice made by the maker.
Is there the tendency to increase facing length with increased tip opening to facilitate playability? Or are there other factors to consider?
 
Phil

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It also includes tonal concerns and an even tone across the range of the horn. If you put the same facing lenght on Link 8* that was on a 5* it would be hard to play. It would also not balance out well in tone. If you put the facing length that belongs on an 8* onto a 5* it would sound funky and the response would really be sloppy and slow. Its all about managing the interactions and relationships between facing length, tip opening, chamber size and baffle. Its not just numbers on a graph. That alone wont cut it.
 
Ivan

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It also includes tonal concerns and an even tone across the range of the horn. If you put the same facing lenght on Link 8* that was on a 5* it would be hard to play. It would also not balance out well in tone. If you put the facing length that belongs on an 8* onto a 5* it would sound funky and the response would really be sloppy and slow. Its all about managing the interactions and relationships between facing length, tip opening, chamber size and baffle. Its not just numbers on a graph. That alone wont cut it.
Right Phil

Now you've spilled the beans I'm off to start a bespoke mouthpiece business

But, seriously, thanks for that info. It helps make sense of how mouthpieces play
 
rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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Ed Pillinger has same data, I remember him telling me Geoff Lawton had one facing length for every three tip opening size.

Lawton specifications for tip opening and facing lengths are shown on this page of my Lawton Mouthpieces website.

The number of tip sizes per facing length is around three, but seems to vary around that (sop has fewer, one alto facing length covers five tip sizes).

Rhys
 
rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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At a concert i heard Jim Tomlinson ( with Stacy Kent ) -incredible tone/phrasing etc -at the interval i asked about his mouthpiece and amazed he told me it was a Drake with a very small tip around 90--

Jim Tomlinson has a gorgeous tenor sound and a very fluent playing style. A tip opening of 0.090" (90 thou') would not have been unusual for jazz tenor soloists in the 30s through to the early 60s and they would generally have used harder reeds.

Rhys
 
J

johnw

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Yes agree very helpful comments from Phil E
 
B

brianr

 
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Jim Tomlinson has a gorgeous tenor sound and a very fluent playing style. A tip opening of 0.090" (90 thou') would not have been unusual for jazz tenor soloists in the 30s through to the early 60s and they would generally have used harder reeds.

Rhys
Jim plays a drake legacy series, Stan Getz version. These are no longer made.

His is the equivilant of a five star otto link, at .085.
He also has a vintage slant signature Link at 5 star.
Yes, he uses hard reeds.

Beautiful sound, and concept.
 
MikeMorrell

MikeMorrell

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I'm a complete amateur and perhaps it's worth sharing the perspective of people like me.

I have no idea about mpc specs. Yes, I know about chambers and baffles but I find it hard to imagine how these translate into playing ability or sound. From what I picked up early on, I'd assumed that - whatever mpc/reed you chose, you'd still sound pretty much (85%) like you. Depending on the mpc/reed, maybe a bit brighter, maybe a bit darker, maybe a bit louder but still recognizably you. Also that the best players could play bright or dark with the same mpc. But I'm sure that - per person - some mpc's are easier to play than others.

Over 20 years, I gradually 'progressed' to wider tip openings, each time because I couldn't get enough air in the mpc to play at the volume I wanted (solo) without my reed closing up. Perhaps as a result of better breathe support/airflow/embouchure.

I once did a 'sax mpc test' that included an interview (what did I play? what did I want?), lung capacity and airflow tests and an embouchure test. Based on the results, the tester selected 5 or 6 mpc's for me to try out. One (little known German mpc) played like a dream. Exactly what I was looking for! The tester was independent, and took no orders or commission. I simply paid him his standard rate for testing (not only saxes but brass too).

I later bought a PPT and prior to this I had some DM conversations with @Pete Thomas about which tip opening would be best to order, given what I played. He gave me good advice and my PPT has long been my preferred mpc.
Players at my level basically want a mpc that is easy to play and sounds good for the style of music they play.

So my only concern in this thread is that inexperienced members (like me) are putting 'specs' ahead of 'what's easy to play, what sounds good?'
 
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J

johnw

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I suggest look at Phil Barone Blog on tone development -on website i think--i have a copy if you wanted.
The exercises have really helped me re tone
 
J

johnw

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Its September blog 2013
There are other blogs re facing/tone etc
worth reading !
 
Ivan

Ivan

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So my only concern in this thread is that inexperienced members (like me) are putting 'specs' ahead of 'what's easy to play, what sounds good?'
There is a risk that might happen

But it is probably not a bad thing to know a little of the choices mouthpiece makers have, and whether there are any rules of thumb
 
John Setchell

John Setchell

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I suggest look at Phil Barone Blog on tone development -on website i think--i have a copy if you wanted.
The exercises have really helped me re tone
Thanks for the heads-up on Phil Barone. I’ve been to his ‘Web site and done a couple of half-hour sessions on the method he prescribes.
For ME it works because I’m aware I put an exhausting amount of lower-lip muscle into my embouchure, and he says “Don’t”. Use jaw & throat instead.
The initial exercise is to over-blow middle F without using octave key, and slide down to bottom F using throat muscles only. The only way I can get mid F to kick-start is tongue articulation. Mr Barone doesn’t mention anything about articulation, so either it’s an oversight or I’m crap!
 
J

johnw

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Your not crap--what you describe is exactly the method-just keep doing it before every practice.
I dont tonge the note -just blow-use softer reed-that works well--your only interested in getting down an octave with your THROAT muscles which you cant voluntarily control-your brain just follows what it hears and make the adjustment--do it slowly-concentrate-its a slow process but it will work-start at F and work down to B flat-you will get there
 
J

johnw

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try to fix the embouchure as much as possible-just adjust throat muscles-subconscious process
PS--t
 

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