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Dead or Live acoustics for Practice?



 
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Rhondo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:29 pm    Post subject: Dead or Live acoustics for Practice? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

I’ve seen some mention of acoustics in your practice space here but haven’t found a thread specifically addressing it. Having played years ago and now 3+ months into comeback, I never gave it thought until recently. For the most part so far I’ve practiced in the bedroom walk-in closet in my house, where the sound is pretty dead. When I go into an open room, I immediately sound much better!

Every little imperfection in playing makes itself heard in the dead space.

What’s the right balance? Does it matter? Is the true test of ability playing in the acoustical dead space? Or is it more realistic that very good or excellent players get by with mistakes masked in an orchestral setting?

A Living room is a more comfortable space than a closet. Also makes it easier for practice because the horn is more handy as you go about daily chores etc, so you can both rest and play more frequently.
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Fubeca
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say practice and improve in an honest space and perform in a forgiving one.

Unless your living room has reverb longer than 1 second, it's probably fine.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both.. practicing in a variety of spaces is useful to help you focus on various aspects of your technique.
I'm a PK, as a kid I always had a large Episcopal church in my backyard. Practicing in the church was great, lots of reverb, hard to sound bad, but also great to learn how to fill the room. But also very enlightening - bad articulation and bad pitch was noticeable too.

Then practicing in a dry room, like a Wenger practice module, or a heavily carpeted room, can make support (lack of), clarity of tone & resonance in your sound very apparent.

Record yourself in various spaces and listen critically. I find many enthusiasts or "amateurs" don't have a good grasp of what they actually sound like (tone and articulation) nor a solid idea of what top players really sound like.
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Bethmike
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it is in an interview of Arturo Sandoval by Jens Lindemann where Arturo calls a dead room a "Truth room". All quirks of intonation and articulation are exposed.

I practice in a very dead room, and perform in either churches or large halls. I feel like that is a good combination.

Mike

Great video BTW!
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Last edited by Bethmike on Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Quadstriker
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Dead or Live acoustics for Practice? Reply with quote

Rhondo wrote:
For the most part so far I’ve practiced in the bedroom walk-in closet in my house, where the sound is pretty dead.


Heh. I guess I'm not the only one who does this. I've turned it into a mini-practice studio with a chair, stand, and music file, and a bluetooth speaker for play-along recordings. It's actually a really peaceful place to play.

I think practicing in a "dead" sound environment has really helped. If you make it sound good there, rooms with some natural reverb sound great!
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Rhondo
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s like the ‘dry’ or dead space sucks the air out of the horn.

Jim Pandolfi said when he recorded himself it sounded like crap. He must’ve been playing in a dead space!

I do think right now for me it most clearly reveals my problems, especially with articulation.
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Shark01
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always a live room when possible
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matthes93401
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of curiosity, has anyone installed a Wenger VAE or other active room sweetener?

Usually there are a bunch of YouTube videos about hacks people have, but this seems to be the exception.
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brandonhall36
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Joined: 23 Apr 2023
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2024 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The school I am at has the Wegner VAE in our practice rooms, and they don't make too much of a difference. Obviously they change the way the room sounds, but after playing with it on and off, you still have to same feeling.

Also I just prefer playing in a live space. Finding the motivation to practice in a dead space is more hard for than a boomy space.
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As dry/dead as possible without you warping your sense of how your sound fills up a "normal" space and doesn't force you into any set of dynamics that are not functional for professional playing (whether that be too loud or too soft).

The best is usually a decent sized space with enough sound dampening that you're are hearing the sound right a few feet in front of you rather than the sound that comes back at you (non-scientific/sensory description). I'd really just avoid too small rather than too dead (if I had to choose).
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