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birdy_brass
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Joined: 14 Jun 2020
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Location: Phoenixville, PA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:01 am    Post subject: mutes Reply with quote

I'm looking for a new straight mute! Any suggestions?
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's your old one and what are you looking to change?
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: mutes Reply with quote

birdy_brass wrote:
I'm looking for a new straight mute! Any suggestions?

When I went shopping for a Harmon Mute, I found the copper/brass ones to sound a lot nicer and more lievely than the aluminum/tin ones (which sounded more dull). Not sure if that'll help you...
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nltrumpet
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can find one, the BrassSpa straight mute is wonderful. Great soft, medium, and medium loud dynamics, just not quite a Strauss, Mahler, or super loud orchestral straight mute. If I could only have one straight to take to a deserted island, it would be this one.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denis Wick straights have become one of the common options to have in your bag.. excellent sound, fits in various genres well, and good pitch characteristics.

Jo-Ral, also an excellent straight mute, has a copper bottom option as well.

The Soulo straight is quite nice too.. I find it a bit louder, zingier than others but an excellent mute.

With any mute conversation, I like to point out that for section work it is important to blend.. you don't want that mute that sticks out unless you're the soloist.
As a freelancer I think it's important to have options, to best blend with a variety of players. I carry multiple mutes to gigs, especially ones that I'm not familiar with the other players, or don't know ahead of time who else is in the section.
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adagiotrumpet
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the Trumcor straight mutes. I have a bunch of different brand straight mutes and the Trumcor seems the most versatile.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's difficult to recommend a particular mute considering the OP hasn't elaborated on what he wants. But, I'll throw some thoughts out there.

I found that I sometimes needed different things from a straight mute. Sometimes, it's a real cutting sound - maybe bright that can be heard through an orchestra or a loud concert band. Sometimes it's a softer muted passage where that super zingy buzz is less desirable.

Also, it matters what other people in your section are playing to some degree. I don't really agree with the necessity of "matched" horns and equipment (a la British Brass Bands, sometimes) because that doesn't always get you there. But, if there is a wide range of bright buzzy to warmer muted sounds, that's not necessarily a good section sound.

Also, I have a bunch of straight mutes, just acquired mostly unintentionally. So, thoughts...

- The Denis Wick is my favorite all around mute. It can cut and buzz, but it's not only super brittle and cutting. It's got a nice blow and the intonation and response is good. Mine is the plain aluminum one.

- There's a gal in my band section that has the Soulo straight mute that is part brass or copper and aluminum. It seems to play nice and seems to have similar characteristics to the Wick, maybe slightly different sound, maybe a bit louder.

- I also have an old Tom Crown aluminum straight that I got somewhere. It's not the Gemini mute, just the old standard. It's sound profile is not far from the Wick, but it's not as good blowing and the intonation, while decent, isn't as good as the Wick. Thus, I use the Wick. The Crown is good, though.

- I also have a few old Leblanc Alessi-Vacchiano straight mutes. I used one of these for about 15+ years until I was given the Wick. It's not quite as buzzy, a bit more muted and the blow isn't quite as free. Not long ago, I used it instead of my Wick on a passage that needed less buzz. It was spot on, for that.

- I played the Jo-Ral briefly ages ago. It didn't make me buy it over my Vacchiano, but it's possible it's better - just not spectacular.

A section mate has a Mutec - maybe with a copper bottom, which sound fine, but I have not played.

hibidogrulez wrote:
When I went shopping for a Harmon Mute, I found the copper/brass ones to sound a lot nicer and more lievely than the aluminum/tin ones (which sounded more dull). Not sure if that'll help you...

I've often thought about getting a straight either that is not aluminum or has a copper or brass bottom as they do sound "nicer" or at least a bit more warmth in the tone. This is great for solos work (like in a recital) or a solo section in a song, perhaps, but I find that it often doesn't work quite as well in a decent amount of the muted sections in large ensemble literature. Usually, you need that certain metallic timbre and the aluminum ones do that a bit better. The ones that only have a bottom of a different metal are kind of half-way sometimes (copper bottomed Tom Crown, for example). The Soulo is an exception as it seems to have plenty of zing with it's copper bottom. Food for thought.

I'll admit, I'm more of a Cup Mute guy that a straight mute guy - so I don't have super strong opinioins. Straight mutes are kind of boring, a bit, in my opinion - and even though I spent a decent amount of time mentioning buzz, zing, and metallic timbre, I don't actually love that sound. But, that's what's in the part, so there you go. So, gotta have one (or in my case, several).
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Finn wrote:
hibidogrulez wrote:
When I went shopping for a Harmon Mute, I found the copper/brass ones to sound a lot nicer and more lievely than the aluminum/tin ones (which sounded more dull). Not sure if that'll help you...

I've often thought about getting a straight either that is not aluminum or has a copper or brass bottom as they do sound "nicer" or at least a bit more warmth in the tone. This is great for solos work (like in a recital) or a solo section in a song, perhaps, but I find that it often doesn't work quite as well in a decent amount of the muted sections in large ensemble literature. Usually, you need that certain metallic timbre and the aluminum ones do that a bit better. The ones that only have a bottom of a different metal are kind of half-way sometimes (copper bottomed Tom Crown, for example). The Soulo is an exception as it seems to have plenty of zing with it's copper bottom. Food for thought.

Indeed. I never thought of it that way, but what you write makes a lot of sense. I'll listen a bit better next time my section plays together muted.

Quote:
Straight mutes are kind of boring, a bit, in my opinion - and even though I spent a decent amount of time mentioning buzz, zing, and metallic timbre, I don't actually love that sound.

Gotta agree with you there. My favorite mute's actually the plunger, because of the control you get over your sound. It's a very wacky mute too, whereas the straight is a bit more...dignified.
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AJCarter
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Joined: 29 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaferis wrote:
Denis Wick straights have become one of the common options to have in your bag.. excellent sound, fits in various genres well, and good pitch characteristics.


I have a Wick only because I have to. I find the pitch to be extremely sharp compared to the others I have tried. I ended up doing a brass bottom wick which has a better sound and the pitch inst quite as bad.

Find a mute that fits your work. There are lots of suggestions here but most mutes are not a one and done situation. The closest I have found to that is either the Soulo straight or the Tom Crown Gemini.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the Jo-Ral has better intonation than many. I prefer the copper bottom.
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Jerry
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the recent past, the San Diego Symphony trumpet section was playing Soulo straight mutes. (I can't remember what piece they were playing at the time.)
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JoshRzepka
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Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:45 am    Post subject: Denis Wick demonstrations. Reply with quote

Since the Denis Wick mutes were recommended I figured I'd share this video - I demonstrate all three metal versions (individually as well as in a section).

I might be a little biased as I'm a Denis Wick artist, but they really are amazing mutes.


Link

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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brass quintet rehearses in a brass shop, complete with an amazing array of mutes. (You want mute sales, let a brasss quintet practice in your shop!)

We have been hearing al manner of different straight mutes (plus others) over the past month as we polisha few pieces for a performance next week.

We noted:
Wick - brass bottom sounds far better than the aluminium. The aluminium is hollow and lacking projection by comparison.
Vacchiano/LeBlanc: does it all with ease. Not too much, not too little.
Soulo: rather nice!

And, I own far too many mutes already...

Cheers

Andy
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adagiotrumpet
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, as far as I am concerned, any use of a mute should result in a Union fine. However, they are a necessary evil and so I have reluctantly acquired many over the years in search of what I consider the least offensive. As far as straight mutes go, of all the straight mutes I own or have had a chance to play test, I find the Trumcor to be the best combination of sound, intonation, and playability.
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Riojazz
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Dennis Wick if I need a straight mute to blend. For solo work, I prefer my Warburton Woody, which makes me almost want to use a straight mute. Not quite, but almost.
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