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What's meant by the "core" of a trumpet sound?



 
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: What's meant by the "core" of a trumpet sound? Reply with quote

It's a term I see used a lot, anyone want to take a crack at interpreting what they think it means?
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a popular but mostly undefinable term that is part of the language of trumpetspeak.

I think, as a consensus, it generally refers to musical quality of tone but it is not something that can be measured or strictly defined.
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aTrumpetdude
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea, but my horn has more of it than yours does. I asked for extra core when I bought it.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aTrumpetdude wrote:
I have no idea, but my horn has more of it than yours does. I asked for extra core when I bought it.


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Nonsense Eliminator
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you visualize a trumpet sound, you might picture something like this:

The black area in the centre is the "core." This image, to me, would represent a fairly diffuse sound with little core, and that core doesn't have a lot of definition -- where the core "ends" isn't a sharp line, it's a gradual fading. Maybe this is a flugelhorn sound, where a similar picture for a C trumpet might show a larger black circle that ends more sharply and has relatively less "other stuff." (Aura?)

Obviously, using a picture to explain a word to explain a sound is pretty far into "dancing about architecture" (or maybe "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra") territory, but a lot of the words I'd use to describe the core and "aura" are visual metaphors. The core (and aura) can be bigger or smaller, denser or more diffuse, more or less well-defined, round or misshapen.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nonsense Eliminator wrote:
If you visualize a trumpet sound, you might picture something like this:

The black area in the centre is the "core." This image, to me, would represent a fairly diffuse sound with little core, and that core doesn't have a lot of definition -- where the core "ends" isn't a sharp line, it's a gradual fading. Maybe this is a flugelhorn sound, where a similar picture for a C trumpet might show a larger black circle that ends more sharply and has relatively less "other stuff." (Aura?)

Hmm. That's more or a less a visual representation of an EQ profile - which for Bb trumpet depending on whose chart you go by is roughly centered around 4k. Can anyone demonstrate that the eq profile changes significantly from one trumpet to another? I'd incredulous that there's any such thing as a trumpet that doesn't have a "core".
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Last edited by Robert P on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trumpet sound we hear is a blend of the fundamental frequency and higher overtones. A good tone has a balanced blend of both. When someone talks about a "strong core" I interpret that to mean the presence of a robust fundamental sound.

When someone plays without a strong core, the fundamental is still there, but either it isn't as strong or the higher overtones are more predominant so we hear more of the shiny stuff. This is most noticeable when you compare the sound of an orchestral trumpeter playing high and loud versus some in the commercial/big band style. To me, the orchestral sound is usually meatier, with a stronger core, and the commercial sound has the balance tilted more toward the higher overtone frequencies.

I think our ears can be fooled by the style of play. For example, Bud Herseth played with both a strong core and lots of shiny overtones on many of his CSO recordings. That's why I don't understand why some think that a "dark" sound is ideal for orchestral trumpet playing—just listen to Bud!
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
It is a popular but mostly undefinable term that is part of the language of trumpetspeak.

I think, as a consensus, it generally refers to musical quality of tone but it is not something that can be measured or strictly defined.


If I could "Like" a post on here, I would like this one a thousand times. I think Maynard, Wayne, and Doc have lots of "core" -- but I also think that Bud, Phil, and Chris have incredible core. Wynton has a very different kind of core depending on the era and genre he's playing.
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snichols
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
Nonsense Eliminator wrote:
If you visualize a trumpet sound, you might picture something like this:

The black area in the centre is the "core." This image, to me, would represent a fairly diffuse sound with little core, and that core doesn't have a lot of definition -- where the core "ends" isn't a sharp line, it's a gradual fading. Maybe this is a flugelhorn sound, where a similar picture for a C trumpet might show a larger black circle that ends more sharply and has relatively less "other stuff." (Aura?)

I'd incredulous that there's any such thing as a trumpet that doesn't have a "core".

Ever heard a Monette?
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mm55
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
Hmm. That's more or a less a visual representation of an EQ profile - which for Bb trumpet depending on whose chart you go by is roughly centered around 4k. Can anyone demonstrate that the eq profile changes significantly from one trumpet to another? I'd incredulous that there's any such thing as a trumpet that doesn't have a "core".

So now, that raises questions such as, what do you mean by "EQ profile", and how does that image visually represent such an "EQ profile"?
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mm55 wrote:
Robert P wrote:
Hmm. That's more or a less a visual representation of an EQ profile - which for Bb trumpet depending on whose chart you go by is roughly centered around 4k. Can anyone demonstrate that the eq profile changes significantly from one trumpet to another? I'd incredulous that there's any such thing as a trumpet that doesn't have a "core".

So now, that raises questions such as, what do you mean by "EQ profile", and how does that image visually represent such an "EQ profile"?

The parts of the audio spectrum that are more prominent or less prominent with a given instrument. The darkest part would be where the instrument is most prominent. A good way to hear this demonstrated is to listen to a track of a trumpet with a multiband compressor in audition mode which highlights the frequency range you've selected for reduction - as you sweep through the frequencies you'll find certain frequencies jump out more prominently than others. Recording people emphasize or de-emphasize instruments and shape the sound of instruments with this principle both with EQ and with mic choice since different mics themselves have different eq profiles.
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Last edited by Robert P on Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:16 am; edited 3 times in total
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mafields627 wrote:
kalijah wrote:
It is a popular but mostly undefinable term that is part of the language of trumpetspeak.

I think, as a consensus, it generally refers to musical quality of tone but it is not something that can be measured or strictly defined.


If I could "Like" a post on here, I would like this one a thousand times. I think Maynard, Wayne, and Doc have lots of "core" -- but I also think that Bud, Phil, and Chris have incredible core. Wynton has a very different kind of core depending on the era and genre he's playing.


For me I hear three areas when listening to players. There is the true core, the shiny finish on top of that and the between area. The first three players you mentioned had lots of that middle area, and varying amount of the shiny outer part. But they did not to my ear have the core that most people talk about. Wynton's current equipment does not have much shiny but it also does not have an overabundance of the other two. I would call it a very balanced sound between the three. Is that what Monette is trying for?
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trumpet56
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had it explained to me by a teacher. The the sound is like a light bulb. The core or center is the filament and the overtones are the the bulb.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: What's meant by the "core" of a trumpet sound? Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
It's a term I see used a lot, anyone want to take a crack at interpreting what they think it means?

kalijah wrote:
It is a popular but mostly undefinable term that is part of the language of trumpetspeak.

I think, as a consensus, it generally refers to musical quality of tone but it is not something that can be measured or strictly defined.

Spot on.
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Hugh Anderson
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can be played loud without blasting.
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homebilly
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when I bought my horn used I got it because the seller said that it played
like an expensive $400 core

I think I may have misunderstood him
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