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Author Topic: Facet Mutes Pixie Mute  (Read 1455 times)
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EsCONNdido

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« on: Feb 28, 2013, 01:11PM »

We developed a Facet Mutes Pixie Mute, that we released, in December, with the help of Michael Dease and Jim Pugh. Our Facet Mutes Trombone Artists: Michael, Jim, and Les Benedict are loving the sound, and looking for opportunities to use their pixie mutes.

There are other members of the Trombone Forum who have purchased our Pixie Mute. Perhaps they'll offer their opinions on this post?

Ciao!
Bruce
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formerfiddler
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 21, 2017, 09:28AM »

Hi Bruce,

I purchased both the cup mute and the pixie last year. There were some issues with shipping on my end in Germany but I got them 6 months later... The cup is wonderful but I'm having problems with the pixie which is garbling everything below Eflat below middle C. The issue remains on my Getzen 4147IB as well as on my 8H so it's not the horns... Since sending it back to you is not an option (price!) I'm asking about mods I could make myself like stuffing or drilling holes (ouch!!!). I may add that I am a skilled wood turner and cabinetmaker... I assume that the problem is with standing waves causing wolf tones... I assume that the large bore version has been thoroughly tested - why doesn't it work for me? Several very good players have tested it here as well on different horns with the same result. It sure looks  pretty but I bought it to deliver...

Ciao,

Otto
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RabidDolphin
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 21, 2017, 01:55PM »

Generally speaking, you don't play that low with a pixie mute, it's used for playing with a plunger in the styles of Al Grey and Tricky Sam.
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svenlarsson

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« Reply #3 on: Jun 22, 2017, 03:41AM »

Does it fit a basstrombone bell?
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Exzaclee

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 22, 2017, 09:02AM »

every pixie i've played craps out in that register.

the non pariels crap out even sooner and have a much more limited range.

pixie is meant to be played in the higher register. it won't cut otherwise.
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formerfiddler
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 22, 2017, 11:16PM »

OK, I understand. I guess I won't be able to use it very often. I do play 2nd in a big band but otherwise mostly classical...

Actually, if it is intended for a lead trombone in a band or for a jazz player, why is it offered in a large bore version?  They mostly play small bore instruments..

Thanks for your input!
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 23, 2017, 06:22AM »

Jazz musicians aren't limited to small bore horns. Plenty of guys play big horns, including most of my favorite players.

It's not "chair" specific either. It is, however, a mute intended to be used pretty exclusively with solos. One could write section parts for it, if one likes the strange and interesting and new sounds that would arise from a wider application.

Unlike straights and cups, which have a pretty short adjustment period, the pixie requires an understanding of how it's used and what it's used for. It's not just a plug and play mute, you gotta practice it! You also need to listen to it in use. It's not meant to be used on it's own, the pixie is meant to be used in conjunction with a plunger. Before diving into the pixie, you want to have a basic command of how to use a plunger. Have you listened to much Ellington? You'll find the most effective uses of the plunger/pixie combination with the Ellington orchestra. Also check out Ed Neumeister, who is the modern master of this artform.

Here;s a great little instruction video by Mr. Neumeister:
http://edneumeister.blogspot.com/2010/10/trombone-plunger-technique.html

Al Grey, the brilliant trombone soloist with Basie who also made a bunch of albums under his own name, was an excellent practitioner of the plunger arts. It's worth getting his book Al Grey's Plunger Techniques. We had a discussion or two on here about it at one point. Here's an article from the OTJ a few years back where Mr. Grey discusses things a bit. http://trombone.org/articles/library/viewarticles.asp?ArtID=13

Also, Wycliffe Gordon... another great modern master of the plunger and pixie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB5qTmSgcGY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kwOIHMvopA

There are some basic movements you want to be familiar with when starting on the plunger. First, mess around with how notes sound different depending on how closed or open the plunger is. All the way closed effects the pitch! How much does it effect the pitch on your horn? Every horn is different. Half open gives a warm muted sound with many of the highs dampened, and these highs gradually return the more you open the mute. If you attack a note with the mute about 80% closed and then open rapidly, you get a waaaHHH sound. If you rapidly close and the open after an attack you accent the "W" sound much more. Attacking a note with the mute open and rapidly closing gives you an "ow" sound. Doing this while quickly moving the slide downward makes the "ow ow" sound more pronounced. Variations of loud and soft attacks, and increases/decreases in volume greatly effect the sounds in this mute. Experimenting with different vowel sounds brings more vocal effects into the fray.

Practice all of this both with and without the pixie. Use plunger without pixie first. Get to know it. Add the pixie with each exercise to compare the difference between the two sounds - and be prepared to overblow it. When you overblow the pixie/plunger combination, you start to find those sounds you're hearing in the Ellington band. Bubber Miley, Tricky Sam Nanton and Butter Jackson wrote the book on this stuff.

Here's a thread that happened on the forum a while back. Ed Neumeister responds a ways down and leaves some great info.
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 23, 2017, 03:54PM »

I agree with Exzaclee, Learning how to play the pixie with the plunger takes time. You have a lot more back pressure to deal with to get it to really speak.
It effects the tuning on the horn and now you have to learn to solo while holding the horn differently
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 24, 2017, 07:15AM »

David, how do you hold the horn when using?  Most often i tend to rest the bell on my wrist, which of course leads to dead arm and sharp pains in my forearm after a while if no rest. Sometimes I make the bell angle parallel to the slide and rest it more on the upper, but that feels awkward and puts my chops out of whack so I can't do that for a whole gig either...

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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 24, 2017, 07:36AM »

Playing with a pixie is very tiring no matter how you do it.  Playing with it for a "whole gig" would last about 15 minutes for me.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 22, 2017, 12:31PM »

I would take a look but facetmutes.com is utterly broken.

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