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Idea for building a horn



 
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davidkoch
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Idea for building a horn Reply with quote

Hey guys, I have an idea and I'm getting everyone's thoughts on it before I spend some time building a horn.

The plan was to have a Bb trumpet with a tuning bell and a main tuning slide trigger.

I've found that having both a third slide throw and a pitchfinder trigger is a bit awkward. My thoughts to avoid this would be to simply remove both the first and third throws, but leave the stop on so that it would be possible to set the slide out far enough for a low F and refinger the notes before and find a time to pull it back in. (in Carmen and Heldenleben and other places where a low F is needed)

My tuning bell system is not very traditional (Schilke style) but it's got some aspects that make it play with the projection of the fixed bell, but the intonation advantages of the tuning bell.


Let me know your thoughts on the trigger ordeal, feedback is appreciated!
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cjl
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a Jack Holland pitchfinder probably 35 years ago ... I think that the intention was what you said - use only the pitchfinder for adjusting all notes. The ring to control the pitchfinder occupied the space that the third slide ring normally does. I also think Holland included instructions on how to use it; he was into "just" intonation. There is one for sell on ebay at the moment if you are interested.

I have read that if your tuning slide is loose enough to be moved easily, it can make the horn a bit more squirrelly to play.

The concept is sound but not sure if it really works. Otherwise, wouldn't we see lots more pitchfinders in use?

Good luck!

-- Joe
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any really good tech that does Mod's should be able to do this easily. Kanstul used to make a "Tune any note" trigger operated main slide setup if I recall properly.

The problem with tuning bell and tune an note system is pitch center and intonation. Tuning bell setup is already going to get you closer to pitch center then any tuning slide only tuned horn according to research you can find online. That will already put you at odd's with any section even if you did it to a Bach. To make life even more hate filled you will be again closer to pitch center on all adjustments with the trigger operated main slide. Again the rest of section will not at all be able to keep up which mean you will stand out like a sore thumb and a hand modeling convention......So if you do not need to blend in a section I would say go for it but if you need to it could be a recipe for disaster.

Another option is to trigger the tuning bell instead. You almost never see it done but it has been done more then once before.

As to the lapping of the tuning slide the main problem with mass produced Bb trumpets is that the main slide is not in anything close to perfect alignment. This is why you get that spring action when you pull some out and why you have to work and press at an angle to get most say 98% of mass produced main slides back in. You never have to do that with a third or first slide. Why? Because they actually take the time to get it right because today people actually expect to be able to use the first and third slides to tune actively while playing.

The easy fix is to just lap the main slide tubes but the proper fix is to first correct the alignment then if need be lap them a little. A another fix is to use undersized tubes and just expand the ends so you have less total surface area bearing on the outside slide tube as well.

Just like a properly lapped first and third slide do not cause playing issues a properly lapped main slide should not leak or cause playing issues either. Plus that is why we also use grease or heavy oil on slides that move. It reduces friction while also helping to create a seal. In fact oil is so critical that in a car for instance if you do do a dry then wet compression test on it's cylinder's the differeriental between them can tell you if the rings are worn or the guides and seals etc.....So lubrication is no joke and is part of proper operation of a trumpet including slide seals and piston compression or vacuum. In fact when you move a slide for and aft it is the exact same sliding bearing action that you see in the pistons when you move them up and down absolutely no real difference in the action, mechanism of wear or sealing. Since there are no ports in main slide and the airflow in not disturbed much it should be 10X more trouble free and easy to seal. The less the gap the lower the resistance is that is seen by the air as well. In fact if the bore of the tubing was not smooth but rough the air would not hardly notice the gap either. It would have to be scratched up like honing does or like sand blasting does. It would be like the opposite of what the dimples on a golf ball do. It would act to make the tubing and the gap almost invisible to the air and keep it in the column. That is getting a bit beyond conventional trumpet theory though. The trick is making the scaring uniform.

Not trying to talk you out of it either sounds like a cool project just playing devils advocate to make sure you think it all through.....
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitch finder or not, it's still up to the operator to place the pitch where it belongs. It all depends on your ability to hear where you fit in the chord and adjust accordingly. No doubt equipment will help you acheive your goals, but only if you have the ears to make it happen.

Just my 2 cents.
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Becker wrote:
Pitch finder or not, it's still up to the operator to place the pitch where it belongs. It all depends on your ability to hear where you fit in the chord and adjust accordingly. No doubt equipment will help you acheive your goals, but only if you have the ears to make it happen.

Just my 2 cents.
BINGO! Many tones, particularly the third may be a tad higher going up than descending, or vary depending upon the inversion. Tuners don't help...

If you're concerned with the response of your proposed tuning bell horn, why not just have some tuning bits made up and leave the main slide in all the way except for those you'd extend with the pitchfinder? I experimented with bits on my C rotary for a while but gave up when I had a tech set up the removable leadpipe like most flugels. (This thing is a Yamaha prototype 946 with leadpipes that could be changed.) A bit of pull there and at the main slide work best for me on its response. I still toy with extending the 3rd valve throw all the way to the tuning bow and making it a pitchfinder but perhaps it's best to leave well-enough alone.

Just curious- why a Bb for obviously orchestral use? I know the probs with a low Eb (Carmen), just wondering. Me? Were I building my own dream horn I'd opt for a 4 valve C if it didn't throw everything else off.
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lipshurt
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i say don't do it

here is what really happens....
1) the slide has to be more loose than normal in order work really easy. Ever seen a monette? that main slide is TIGHT. That is the number one first step in getting a horn to center. If your pitch finder is tight enough to center well enough, then it will be pretty hard to move it. Hard enough that moving it makes you move the horn in your hands and on your chops. Not good. If it moves easy, its too loose.

there is no way to win with a pitch finder unless you like a horn with a really wide center, and then you could just as easily lip the notes where they go.

Part of playing in tune is predictability. You know that th shorn is going to put this note right...there... and its always right there. it might be a bit flat, but you know you lip it up this much and its going to be in the pocket. That is how you play angular lines and gets all the notes in a passage in tune even when there is no time to adjust. You lose that predictability with a pitch finder. And if you don't, the thing is too hard to move.

just two cents worth
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davidkoch
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your advice guys!



@Kirk The section will be fine. We're really good about intonation usually, and one of them is already playing a tuning bell horn (the prototype to my braced design actually)

Getting the slide aligned is not an issue, I typically do that on most horns of mine anyway because that little bit of stress that misalignments puts on it does make a difference.

As far as triggering the tuning bell goes, I'd thought about that, but upon asking someone who helps me a lot with this stuff, he suggested that I not have the bell moving too much.

@James I agree 100% I'm just trying to expand upon ideas I've already seen put into action, and if it makes it easier, then it's just a win-win!

@Craig Could you go into more detail about the tuning bits? AS far as a 4 valve C... Man I could play Gregson on that thing too! That's a project for future years when I feel like I could tackle a 4 valve C

@lipshurt I never thought of that. It makes total sense, but that's something I've never noticed.


Thanks again guys!
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tk1031
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been busy, and not on trumpet herald for a while:

Kirk, who did a tuning bell trigger set up, and where can I get a look at this thing? Not doubting, just curious.
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Scott42486
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oddly enough, I know what Kirk is talking about with the trigger-tuned bell. I've seen it somewhere, I just can't remember where. For some reason I'm thinking Will Spencer might be the guy to talk to, but I'm pretty sure I'm wrong on that. It does exist though. Ugh, now it's going to bug me until I remember who did that....
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would deffer to anything Ken Larson tells you!!!!! If you are still at Interlochen put your tuning bell on a spectrum analyzer or suitably set up Ociliscope(sp) with proper transducer and you can see the sound so to speak. Like taking a finger print. Once you have the sound you desire you can make modifications and in addition to using your ear you can see how close you are getting to the "finger print" you want to match or replicate. It would allow you to see if you are moving in towards your goal or away from your goal.

If you have a sound concept to capture and compare to might as well use tech to allow you to see it and see if youa re moving towards or away. From it.

Interesting what lipshurt wrote. I have never had a chance to play a Monette trumpet or play with it's slides. I liked his point though about solid point of reference and that going away with "Pitchfinder" type setup. Never gave that side of it much thought. Generally when lipshurt says something I tend to listen and give his opinion and any facts he drops a lot of weight. Why? He is like me in that he thinks about things, listens to other's and then does those things. There things I have thought about and not yet done. When someone else has already tried something I am about to try or have not yet tried it is always worth listening to!! It does not mean they are always right but you can normally save a lot of time by avoiding any mistakes they made and building on there victories. So it allows you to look ahead test there observations and spend 5 minutes seeing they where right instead of taking 5 days to figure out what they already found out. This gives you more time to invest in solutions and idea's etc....
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tk1031
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Kirk, who did a tuning bell trigger set up, and where can I get a look at this thing? Not doubting, just curious."

I am still looking, now I won't be able to sleep. I did remember the "Puje" system. It put a small tuning slide (like 1st valve slide") at the tail of the bell. I suppose that would work. But I stand by my original thought, But then Cookie and I have all ready talked about it. There has, lately, been several people asking me about mechanical tuning solutions. Venting valves, triggers, stops, etc... something in the water
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tk1031
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.willspencer.org/custom.html

Scott... I don't know if this is what you were thinking, but Will Spencer did it. Just found it. Not sure I would like it, but anyway, we can all get some sleep now.
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davidkoch
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I am no longer at Interlochen. It's both nice and not nice to be gone. But that's a different story.



I don't think I'm gonna try the tuning bell trigger... My design to make it play like a fixed bell trumpet requires that everything be tight. It might be a cool idea to try another time though. It's in my mental vault of ideas.
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Scott42486
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tk1031 wrote:
http://www.willspencer.org/custom.html

Scott... I don't know if this is what you were thinking, but Will Spencer did it. Just found it. Not sure I would like it, but anyway, we can all get some sleep now.


Ah, thanks for that. I'd meant to look but had completely forgotten after cooking dinner. It's good to know that I wasn't imagining things.
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plp
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had a really nasty section in 'Gimme Some Lovin' ' that had the first trumpet and myself in octaves on the dreaded C#, on a sustained tone. I kept kicking out the slide, trying to lip it down at the same time, and eventually found I was WAY flat, even though the tuner I practiced with said I was plus or minus 2 cents off tone center. The fact is, that chord calls for a tempered C#, and my voicing is supposed to be a bit sharp.


When I left the tuning slide alone and just listened to the first trumpet, it locked in rock solid. We need to learn to LISTEN, and forget what the tuner says in certain situations.
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