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1017099 Posts in 69247 Topics- by 17015 Members - Latest Member: Thirdtag
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Bach "sound" vs. Conn "sound" vs. every other sound on: Today at 09:41 AM
I hung out a bit with Michael when he was in Cologne.
Yes, he played a Conn 88H but with a 1 1/2G mouthpiece. He also played a Bach 36 with a Bach 4 mouthpiece. He played the entire Munich Competition on the 36, where he was awarded 2nd prize with Michel Bouquet (who played a Bach 42B with a 6 1/2 AL)
For the audition for principle in the WDR Symphony Orchestra he played both instruments, the Bach for Bolero and Rheinische and the Conn for the rest. 
He didn't seem to have any problems playing different instruments and mouthpieces and he would always try and find a mouthpiece that suited a horn, no matter what the rim size.
Needless to say, I learned a lot from him.
2  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: You'd be foolish not to buy one! on: Feb 09, 2016, 03:43PM
Theories about why it either does or doesn't do something are only theories and shouldn't be presented as facts.

I tried hard not to present anything as fact. I am sorry if it came across like that, it was not my attention. Fact is; I felt awesome playing Don Quixote with the LaFreques. A feeling I had never, to that extent, had on Euphonium before.

Hmmm...then wouldn't you need about 50 of those things to bridge every soldered connection on the Euphonium? And how would the vibrations transmit straight to the bell? If metal to metal connections don't transmit vibrations, then every tuning slide on the horn would block the vibrations, so they'd never get to the bell, right?

Well, theoretically, this is correct. I know a horn player from WDR Symphony Orchester (no slouch) who uses 8 of these on his horn. Of course the vibrations do get to the bell, not just as well as with the LeFreques. That's the theory at least.

Look people, I would LOVE not to like these things. I hate to admit though that they really work.
No one is being forced to use them.

I mean, this Forum has discussed the sonic merits of whether the trombone sounds better with out the rubber bumper on the end of the slide, something every trombone manufacturer includes.  I thought  this was a BS idea until I tried it. It does make a difference, albeit much less than a LaFreque makes.

I don't really like having to defend these things. The thread is about them and I have some experience with them. I thought would it would be nice to share this experience and now I feel like I've been pushed in the corner of defending them because everyone thinks they are BS without even trying them. 

It would be nice if others would try them and share their experiences.

The world is flat.
3  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: You'd be foolish not to buy one! on: Feb 09, 2016, 07:22AM
To clarify, the LeFreque has nothing to do with adding mass.

It started as a way of bridging the connections on a Saxophone where the two parts are separated by cork.
The theory being, the cork dampens the vibrations and the LeFregue lets them travel from on piece to the next, simulating a tube being made of one piece. This works for all woodwind instruments quite well.

For brass, it's a bit more nebulous because our connections are metal to metal or soldered. The lead in the solder is allegedly supposed to dampen the vibrations. One would think a metal to metal connection, like mouthpiece to lead pipe, would transmit all of the vibrations but evidently it doesn't.

In my opinion, this is why it doesn't work so well on trombone, because you send the vibrations to the upper slide tube, which either ends in nothingness or is dampened by the hand holding it.

Euphonium is totally different. The Vibrations are sent pretty much directly to the bell and the instrument feels and sounds so much more vibrant. I feel like I am playing in a sound cloud, like the whole area around me is vibrating with my sound. Man, what a gas!

I played Don Quixote with the Bochumer Symphoniker last year with the LeFreques and I had the feeling I could just sit on top of the orchestra with my sound. Without them? No.

I have also never received so many compliments about my Euphonium playing before, and questions about what I had on my instrument, of course.

The proof of the pudding IS in the eatin'.

I imagine they would be great on bass trumpet.

4  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: You'd be foolish not to buy one! on: Feb 07, 2016, 11:12AM
1) Le Fregue is NOT a damper, it is the exact opposite.

2) My Willson Euph. is still a Willson, it's just a much better Willson.

3) I know what these can things do. Stephen Mead knows what they can do. Anyone who has tried them knows what they can do. That's enough for me.

If you haven't tried them, don't knock them. It just shows your ignorance.

5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Daily Exercises - Lafosse on: Feb 04, 2016, 02:52PM
They are from the Méthode Complète. It's only 4 pages, 158 - 161 in the old, hard cover version and pages 99 - 102 in the newer version.
6  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: You'd be foolish not to buy one! on: Feb 04, 2016, 02:43PM
The first place is bridging the mouthpiece to the lead pipe.

In my opinion, this works so well on Euphonium because the vibrations go then directly to the bell. Stephan Mead has found some other places he thinks helps intonation and such. I haven't tried these yet. There is a video of him showing the spots and results somewhere on the net.

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather not have to stick stuff like this on my horn but this first bridge makes my Willson Euphonium such a better instrument that I wouldn't want to be with out it. The whole horn just vibrates in my hands. The squirrely low register is so much easier and solid.

There are people who seem to like it on trombone but I don't. It does solidify the response and tone of the lower register but it takes away some of the brilliance of the upper. That's a trade off I'd rather not make.
7  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: You'd be foolish not to buy one! on: Feb 04, 2016, 01:05PM
I've tried these on trombone and don't really care for them. But on Euphonium, it's another story. I wouldn't ever play without, the difference is amazing. Don't knock 'em if you haven't tried them.
I've also heard numerous trumpeters try them, the difference is obvious, even blindfolded.

In my opinion, the problem with trombone is, you are bridging sound vibrations from the mouthpiece to a section that goes nowhere and is dampened by your hand, the inner slide. I've tried bending them to go from the mouthpiece to the hand brace going down. It still doesn't convince me enough.

I have many colleagues (horn, trumpet, clarinet, flute) who use these and all swear by them.
Voodoo? No. There is something quite amazing happening here, I'm not exactly sure what.

8  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Daily Exercises - Lafosse on: Feb 04, 2016, 12:40PM
I use these Lafosse Daily Esercises regularly. I have all of them memorized so I can do them anytime, anywhere. The whole set takes about 20 minutes and really touches all of the bases. I like to play a couple before concerts to fine tune the things that aren't working as well as I like.

One thing I've also noticed, when I play them, I feel like colleagues actually listen to me, kind of putting me on the spot. This is good for nerves and confidence. Normally no one pays attention to the normal brass warm up stuff.
9  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: High-End Case Recommendations on: Jan 22, 2016, 05:29AM
Did you see the note?

"It is designed for small and medium bore equipment, including some models with F attachments. We do not recommended it for large bore models with wide slides (5.75-inch), such as the Bach 42 and similar instruments."

yes I saw that but it  also says;
The case will work fine for large bore instruments with medium-width slides such as the Conn 88H and similar.
10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: High-End Case Recommendations on: Jan 21, 2016, 06:02AM
If you are really considering High-End, I would include the Bam "La Defense" in the list.
11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: 42 Neckpipe Dimensions on: Jan 18, 2016, 11:59AM
I have a larger neckpipe, or goose neck, that I ordered from Bach probably in the late 80s. I tried it for a while back then but I changed back to the smaller one again. I never really felt really good with it. I felt it was just too hard to get a centered sound. That doesn't mean it might not be better for someone else.
I would consider selling it if someone is interested and could use it.
12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: question about Rath hand brace on: Jan 08, 2016, 12:16PM
I'll bet it you email Rath you would get the screws sent to you free of charge, or at least for a very nominal charge. Rath has GREAT customer service.
13  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / Re: WTB: Rath S4 B.B. Mouthpiece (or other 4 sized small shanks) on: Dec 26, 2015, 05:45AM
Thanks for the heads up. I noticed on the website that the cup was more shallow, but evidently not shallow enough. Thanks for potentially saving my hide!

The L4 B.B. is shallower than the L4 but only because it has a totally different cup form. The L4 is like a Wick 4AL, a V shape like a funnel. The L4 B.B. is a bowl shape, the typical Bach G cup.
They both have about the same cup volume. 
14  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / Re: WTB: Rath S4 B.B. Mouthpiece (or other 4 sized small shanks) on: Dec 22, 2015, 02:30PM
I don't think an S4 B.B. is going to suit you very well. It is essentially a 4G which will be way too deep for the bore size you are playing.
I have a Greg Black 4AL which works great in a Bach 16 and a Conn 78H. The GB 4 rim is 26.1 and is a fantastic mouthpiece.
I'd look for something more like this.
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Changing bore on: Dec 22, 2015, 05:47AM
Many years ago my professor told me that SS-to-LS converter is a "temporary aid" and should be used ONLY when you need to play large bore trombone IMMEDIATELY and you don't have large shank mouthpiece right now.
If this converter were a "magic key" that nobody needed to buy mouthpieces with different shanks! In this case any of us could buy only converter and use the same mouthpiece/mouthpieces on all bores. But it's not right choice, because all manufacturers are trying to make as little quantity of "steps" in airstream as possible!
So, IMO, you need to find large shank mouthpiece which will be comfortable for you and play your AC440 with CORRECT mouthpiece. Idea! ;-)

Henry Charles Smith played on a modified Bach 5, small shank with adapter on a Conn 88H. He did this because he felt it sounded better than a large shank. He had one of the most beautiful trombone sounds I've ever heard.
16  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Frankenstein! on: Nov 20, 2015, 03:38PM
Sounds like a gas! You are going to have a great time, enjoy it.
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: cup mute large bore tenor on: Nov 19, 2015, 01:08PM
There's one other really good fiber cup similar to those mentioned above, the Trum-Cor Classical Cup.  It's amazing, perfect sound and no missing notes in the low register.  I haven't tried the above mutes, so can't compare them.

Out of the rest, I strongly prefer the H&B.  It's just got the right sound.  I have had no problem using the regular model in my large bore horns, I've been using the same one I bought in high school for decades now.  But in the orchestra the other players are likely to be using metal cups.  I use the Jo-Ral.  I don't care for the sound of the Wick, but I seem to be in a minority on that point.  It may just be that I don't like Wick mutes;  my first straight was a Wick (which I also still have) and I very rarely use it.

I was trying to be diplomatic, I don't really like the Wick mutes either. I use the cup in the orchestra sometimes because it's the only one the colleagues have.
I also use the H&B in the orchestra for jazzy pieces.
The Mic-a-Mute is great.
In Ensemble, I always use the Peter Gane or Rath. In my double bell I like an Ulvén cup (not available anymore) because it fits in the second 8 inch bell well and is very light weight.

18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: cup mute large bore tenor on: Nov 19, 2015, 08:28AM
I second the Peter Gane recommendation. It sounds the most like the Stonelined but with a low register and a variable cup.
I didn't know about the Soulo cup until now. It looks very similar to the Peter Gane and looks very promising.
Another great cup is the Rath cup which has a bit different sound. It fits perfectly in a large bore tenor.
The Wick cup is probably the best mute in it's line and is also fine. I prefer the others.
19  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Frankenstein! on: Oct 29, 2015, 12:35PM
Yes, I have played this piece. It was about 15 years ago so I don't remember it that well. I do remember it was really cool, though. We did it with H-K Gruber himself, he conducted and did the text, which is really zaney. I also remember hearing Frank Lloyd split a note in the horn solo, which made me really happy because I never heard him do it before that, or after either!

I played a version with one trombone and I'm pretty sure it wasn't bass trombone. I can't be certain, though because I play bass parts on tenor. I don't remember the part being extraordinarily difficult.
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Mutes on: Oct 10, 2015, 05:36AM
I like different brands for different types.

Straight - Stonelined Aluminum
Bubble/wahwah/harmon - JoRal
Cup - Denis Wick
Cleartone/Solotone - H&B Stonelined
Plunger - hardware store
Practice - Yamaha Silent Brass
Bucket - Soulo

This isn't quite as easy to answer as that.

Sure, these are all fine mutes but...

Straight - I, personally, like the Tom Crown or JoRal straight mutes better, especially with copper bottoms. The Wick is also fine and probably the best one to start with, although I don't really care for it.

Wahwah - I prefer the Harmon brand wawa to the JoRal. The Wick is also fine.

Cup - I like the Peter Gane cup best and the new Rath cup is fantastic. You can't go wrong with the Wick though, and the H&M is cheap and sounds great, if you don't need the low register. Hole or card, you still won't get the low register response like the first 3.

Cleartone - H&M yes, not many alternatives to this. I have the corks thickened so it works well in a large bore tenor. Original corks make it too high. Same with Mello-Wah.

Plunger - hardware one works fine but the best sounding one is the H&M Tuxedo, in my opinion. It depends what you want it for.

Practice - my fav is the Wallace or Maslet (it's the same, I think) The Best Brass fits in the bell all the way so you can always have it with you, if that's what you want. The new Yamaha may also do this.

Bucket - Soulo is great but the Peter Gane is much easier to get in and out fast and sounds totally different.

So, I hope I have confused you enough so that you can make your own decisions and not depend solely on someone else's recommendation. Everyone has their favorites.
What do your colleagues play? Go to a shop and try them out yourself. Recommendations are a great place to start but it is always best to make the decision yourself.
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