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Jamesmac

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This is a rec of the same phrase played twice, using the open C# and the .Bottom C# with the octave key.
In no particular order. Marked Example 1 and Example 2.
Please give your preference and guess which is which.
Also if it makes any difference being a classical piece.

http://youtu.be/swMj2Sgqa-o
 

Jamesmac

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PS. The main purpose of the Ex. Is to determine which fingering is the smoothest/more expressive as far as the C# in relation to the D particularly.
Thanks for your opinions.:)
 

kernewegor

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Example one sounds muffled and less smooth (as if it were almost a bum note - perish the thought!) whereas example two is clear as a bell and fits the phrase smoothly.

I'm only using a 'Street Party' speaker on my laptop, though (an inexpensive and more powerful improvement compared with the built in speaker) so it may sound different with a better speaker....

It makes no difference to me if it is a classical piece or not. It is a beautiful phrase.

A few milliseconds of timing altered here and there and it could be Paul Desmond... add to that a little alteration of the tone and it could be Bird... not that either played soprano, as far as I know...
 
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Jamesmac

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Thanks Kernwegor :). The distance to mic on both and all rec settings are identical. But hopefully I can get a few more victims before I come clean.
 

Jeanette

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As Kernewegor says example two is clearer and cleaner sounding to me :)

Jx
 

Nick Wyver

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If the recording set ups are the same why do they sound different? Did you use different mouthpieces?
 

Jamesmac

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PS. When playing, I tend to move a bit, and turn to hit the space bar for the Acc is the only variation. But just using one mic an EV. RV320 May account for a slight variation in the sound between the two takes. But the main difference is in the more open and smoother transition between the C# B and the D. In one. Also the tuning is better, but difficult to hear at this tempo.
 

Jamesmac

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OK. Don't think there will be any more victims, so Ex 1 is using the bottom C# with the octave key. Ex2 is using the open C#. As far as listening back, I'm surprised the two ex don't sound more different. Playing Ex 1 felt less flexable playing the C# note and made me play a bit more mechanical. Ex2 felt more free and easier to think about how to shape the phrase.:)
Conclusion ... The open C# is more in tune and with a similar tone colouring as the D.
 

Colin the Bear

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I thought bottom C# with octave was just a trill option as is side key D without octave key. I have some hi fi speakers plugged into the dektop and I can't hear much of a difference.
 

kernewegor

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The two C#s sound quite different to me, even allowing for the extra clarity of the second recording.

It could be that the speaker I'm using with my laptop is exaggerating the difference, because I have (previously) compared some CDs played on my laptop and on a (fairly crappy) CD player. Some sound reasonable on the laptop, some noticeably worse than on my CD player.
 

Nick Wyver

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Conclusion ... The open C# is more in tune and with a similar tone colouring as the D.
It may be more in tune but the tone colouring is completely different.
The C# in the first example is very sharp which is just as I would expect. If you decide you want to play C# like this (I rarely do - I don't like the sound) you have to take great care with tuning.
One of the biggest problems with beginners and cheap saxes is the transition from D (usually sharp) to C# (often flat). Coupled with the change in tonal characteristics of the two notes it can make for a truly horrible experience.
 
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kernewegor

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I'm not hearing a difference in tone colour between the C# and the rest of take two, and the C# sounds nice and clear and compares well and fits well with the sound of the other notes.

Take one overall is not as clearly recorded anyway, but also the C# sounds 'dead', 'muffled', as though James slightly fluffed the note or there is a leaky pad. (I stress the 'as though') Also the C# sounds a fraction late.

I think that my cheap little speaker is failing to react to some frequencies and exaggerating the problem with the C# in take one. Maybe also my equipment is not picking up the tone colour difference which Nick's equipment is - or conversely Nick's equipment is exaggerating or just making audible the tone colour difference which I'm not getting?

There is a difference in the quality of the two C#s, though.

I'd be tempted to do a lot of takes and place more reliance on those those where the overall recording quality of both fingerings is more closely comparable. Looping the backing track ought to help (said he, as if he knew how to do it - and had equipment that was worth recording on anyway....) :(

Lovely soprano sound, by the way!
 

Jamesmac

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I'm not hearing a difference in tone colour between the C# and the rest of take two, and the C# sounds nice and clear and compares well and fits well with the sound of the other notes.

Take one overall is not as clearly recorded anyway, but also the C# sounds 'dead', 'muffled', as though James slightly fluffed the note or there is a leaky pad. (I stress the 'as though') Also the C# sounds a fraction late.



Lovely soprano sound, by the way!

Totally Agree.
Yeah. This was the point of the ex. It was more obvious in the flesh than in the rec. The long C# was less flexible, so in that area of the phrase ie. the C# B C# D was a bit lifeless compared to the open C#. As well as very sharp. Which could be the regulation of my Sop. So poss that could be corrected. My take on tone colouring is that it is apart from the attack it's what makes us recognise the difference between a violin and a Sax. The middle line B and the top of the stave G have a slightly different colour, on the Sop, for any player, but if you play a run up from B to G you don't notice the slight change. In fact it's what gives the Instrument it's characteristic sound. The Same with the use of the open C#.
I read about an experiment which in a recording the attack was cut from the start of a long note, and as a result it was difficult to tell the difference between a Trumpet and a Violin.
If the instrument was to continue a legato phrase we could recognise the instrument. The open note G on the Trumpet have a slightly different colour to the 1&2 C# fingering directly below it. This exercise demonstrated to me that Ex 2 with the open C# was more expressive and smooth, but of course that's only my opinion. I have been told that I make quite a good noise on the Sop, so I think I will continue to use the open C# in my playing.:)
 

kernewegor

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Thanks, James - very informative, and stuff there worth ruminating upon!
 

Jamesmac

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I would have thought that being a band director that you would know that pressing valves 1&2 you can play C# . :)
 

Nick Wyver

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The open note G on the Trumpet have a slightly different colour to the 1&2 C# fingering directly below it.

I can play trumpet too and I can't get the relevance of that rather strange statement either.

Be as rude as you like - I have a thick skin.
 

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