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I Sacrificed My Sphygmomanometer in The Name of Science


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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:


Or the last pressure regulator. Most home supplies have a regulator that will limit the pressure by the supplier to a smaller amount. You certainly may not want the home system exposed to pressure that it it is not designed for. This also alows the supply line to be quite high and it can drop (due to the viscocity in the event of higher flow) and still be above what the home regulator will pass. This keeps the home water pressure relatively contstant.


Not my home. I live in a 101 year old historic Chicago bungalow. Non-metered, flat-rate water with no pressure regulator off the street. But that doesn't matter. At normal times of the day, when one would want to take a shower for instance, I doubt my water pressure is above 25 psi. Chicago has a wonderful 311 phone number where you can call and wait on hold for about 17 years for someone to eventually answer. And then when you request a water pressure check they will send someone out a few years later to measure the pressure - at say, 10:15PM on a Thursday night when no one is taking a shower or using much water for anything. And of course, the pressure will be around 35 psi and they will assure you the problem is in your house. This is the Chicago way...

I might have exaggerated the wait times a little. But not much.

Good night!
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Beyond16
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a variation I used the other day (don't know why I can't get the img tag to work). I got the gauge from ebay for $20. With some practice I can play with the thin red tube in my mouth. Playing C4/C5/C6 softly takes 5/10/20 inches of water.

Measuring the pressure inside horn is difficult, given it is zero at the bell and close to zero in the lead pipe. Here's a way to measure pressure in the lead pipe. The tube is connected to the water key drain. For example, a pressure of one inch water will push the water in the tube one inch below the surface. The lead pipe pressure during a steady note is tiny, like 1/8 inch water.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding air pressure change due to increased resistance.

Increasing ONLY the resistance will just reduce the amount of air flowing thru the aperture. And that would reduce the loudness.

But if along with increased resistance there is also physical effort to have the flow rate remain the same (perhaps unconsciously), then that physical blowing effort would increase air pressure.

Jay
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beyond16 wrote:
Here's a variation I used the other day (don't know why I can't get the img tag to work). I got the gauge from ebay for $20. With some practice I can play with the thin red tube in my mouth. Playing C4/C5/C6 softly takes 5/10/20 inches of water.

Measuring the pressure inside horn is difficult, given it is zero at the bell and close to zero in the lead pipe. Here's a way to measure pressure in the lead pipe. The tube is connected to the water key drain. For example, a pressure of one inch water will push the water in the tube one inch below the surface. The lead pipe pressure during a steady note is tiny, like 1/8 inch water.


Those are brilliant devices you made! Your measurements are another confirmation of what previous studies have shown, that each octave climb on a brass instrument (at a particular volume of sound) requires an approximate doubling of the supplied air pressure.

[edited to change "device" to "devices" - I hadn't looked at the photo of the leadpipe pressure measuring setup when I first replied.]


Last edited by John Mohan on Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
Regarding air pressure change due to increased resistance.

Increasing ONLY the resistance will just reduce the amount of air flowing thru the aperture. And that would reduce the loudness.

But if along with increased resistance there is also physical effort to have the flow rate remain the same (perhaps unconsciously), then that physical blowing effort would increase air pressure.

Jay


That makes sense to me.

(We need a thumbs up emoticon!)
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Measuring the pressure inside horn is difficult, given it is zero at the bell and close to zero in the lead pipe


The pressure is near zero only at the nodes. (And these locations vary depending on the pitch played). But the pressure at the anti-nodes varies DRASTICALLY during the cycle.

The mouthpiece cup is an anti-node. Its peak pressure is likely just less than the oral space pressure but should approcach it depending on efficiency.

The peak pressures, of anti-nodes, are greatest at the narrowest paths, the throat and backbore and narrow part of the lead pipe.

A simple static pressure device can only measure the pressure at a node since it is constant pressure. A high frequency measurment device would be required to measure anti-node pressures.
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mm55
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
A simple static pressure device can only measure the pressure at a node since it is constant pressure. A high frequency measurment device would be required to measure anti-node pressures.


I.e. a microphone. A 1/8" diameter instrumentation microphone can be mounted in a mouthpiece cup. The hole is drilled so that the business end of the mic is even with the inside cup, as much as is possible.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mm55 wrote:
kalijah wrote:
A simple static pressure device can only measure the pressure at a node since it is constant pressure. A high frequency measurment device would be required to measure anti-node pressures.


I.e. a microphone. A 1/8" diameter instrumentation microphone can be mounted in a mouthpiece cup. The hole is drilled so that the business end of the mic is even with the inside cup, as much as is possible.


That's a creative idea! But how would it be possible to measure the pressure while actually playing if the air (or vibration) can't get to the horn? Would part of the modification to the mouthpiece include creating a small vent port in the cup right near the microphone?
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mm55
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A small 1/8" diameter circle of the inside surface of the cup is replaced by the 1/8" circle of the end of the microphone. Not a perfect match; you'd lose the curvature of the cup in that circle, but I'm pretty sure you'd be able to play. The contour of the cup would be modified, but you wouldn't have to block anything. The disruption would be less in a trombone mouthpiece than in a trumpet mouthpiece.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He means the pressure sensing surface is mounted flush with the wall of the instrument at the point of pressure measurement. This would not interfere with the geometry of the instrument, or flow of air, or propogation of the sound..

And you dont want to introduce a tube from instrument to measuring ponit. This would add unwanted acoustic effects.

I think you can get high frequency response pressure sensors with an even smaller area.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! Thanks for the explanations.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mm55 wrote:
A small 1/8" diameter circle of the inside surface of the cup is replaced by the 1/8" circle of the end of the microphone. Not a perfect match; you'd lose the curvature of the cup in that circle, but I'm pretty sure you'd be able to play. The contour of the cup would be modified, but you wouldn't have to block anything. The disruption would be less in a trombone mouthpiece than in a trumpet mouthpiece.

Sounds a lot like the form-factor of a certain Barcus Berry pickup.
https://www.reddit.com/r/ElectricTrumpet/comments/5fj4n8/found_my_dads_barcusberry_pickup_we_lost_the_gray/
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Wilktone
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="John Mohan"]
Ed Kennedy wrote:
John,
Yes, I'm very familiar with Jacobs' work - heck, I grew up in Chicago! It was from his research that I learned the fact that it takes an approximate doubling of supplied pressure to climb one octave in pitch at a given volume of sound on any brass instrument. I want to continue what he did.


Have you seen this article that attempted to replicate Jacobs's informal experiment? They utilized different equipment that allowed them to measure intra-oral pressure while musicians were actually playing their instruments. One thing that I found interesting is that the researchers were unable to replicate Jacobs's observations about the similarity of different instruments playing the same pitch.

Dave
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Wilktone"]
John Mohan wrote:
Ed Kennedy wrote:
John,
Yes, I'm very familiar with Jacobs' work - heck, I grew up in Chicago! It was from his research that I learned the fact that it takes an approximate doubling of supplied pressure to climb one octave in pitch at a given volume of sound on any brass instrument. I want to continue what he did.


Have you seen this article that attempted to replicate Jacobs's informal experiment? They utilized different equipment that allowed them to measure intra-oral pressure while musicians were actually playing their instruments. One thing that I found interesting is that the researchers were unable to replicate Jacobs's observations about the similarity of different instruments playing the same pitch.

Dave


Jacobs was a teacher who emphasized air support. I've noticed this far more often on distinguished low brass players than on those teaching trumpet. Yet I'm not in complete opposition to this "Air, Air, always AIR"! Approach. After all I used to improve my own lead playing the most soon after I adopted Maynard's stance and breathing approach. That and after considerable experimentation with mouthpiece customization. In order to gain maximum benefit out of my somewhat limited physiology.

Prior to my recent embouchure change I couldn't play above high G (F concert pitch). A condition which Dave's friend Doc Reinhardt didn't seem to consider a limitation at all but which I do.

Somewhere in his "Encyclopedia of the Pivot System" Reinhardt declares that there is "something wrong with the mechanics of any trumpet player who doesn't have a solid, useable high G". A loose quote. Which leads me to believe that he probably didn't consider the lack of a double C (or other notes above high G) to be a limitation musically. And that's one area where I disagree with Reinhardt. Who was, like Jacobs primarily a low brass instrumentalist.

I think that those who blow the lower brass instruments have a tendency to over simplify the process when they apply their teachings to struggling high note trumpets. This because note for note the lower brass family really doesn't require the wicked high range strength and embouchure coordination that the lead trumpet player typically must display.

After all a mere intermediate level trombonist can usually free buzz the concert B flat above middle C (on the piano). Sustaining the note without benefit even of a mouthpiece! And at this concert B flat/middle C he's already close to attaining most of the range a good lead trombonist is called on to play. Granted some cats like Tommy Dorsey played well above this note. However for the most part all that this requires is plenty of practice on the part of the trombonist.

However on a trumpet this same B flat that is a minor 7th above the piano's concert pitch middle C is nowhere near his high water mark. Ascending even another octave higher still doesn't bring him close to the high G's or even double C's often found in a lead trumpet player's book. Not to mention the fact that some trumpet players never defeat the common cut-off point around a high D.

Then there's those very hard to slot notes right around A flat/high C. Tones that try as we trumpets might? We either "hit air" or slide up to some slightly higher yet unwanted tones. From my understanding neither Jacobs nor Reinhardt offered satisfactory responses to these matters.

In my own case I decided to at least half follow one of Reinhardt's competitors. Roy Stevens that is. I've also found some serious flaws in the Stevens Method too but I've learned to uncover additional physical knowledge that has since corrected those deficiencies I found in the Stevens system. It wasn't that Stevens was wrong like Reinhardt declared. But rather that stevens ideas didn't go far enough. More knowledge needed to be uncovered.

In a nutshell Reinhardt insisted that you

"can not always convert a type III into a type IVA".

And at the time when I first heard this quote, 1974 or so his statement seemed accurate to me. However during the years since I have found ways to make this conversion from "down to up". Sometimes involving radical mouthpiece customizations. In order that is to allow a seamless register to extend to well above Reinhardt's high G. . And today I'm in a camp that I suppose one might call 'Stevens-Costello 301".

I don't know if anyone is interested but I'm usually available to explain to any motivated party. And "motivation" seems to be the key here. As most trumpet players do not want to go through the long involved process of embouchure conversion.
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Wilktone
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Lionel.

I don't want to pull the topic too far afield from John's experiments, but I think you are hoping for me to respond.

Lionel wrote:

Jacobs was a teacher who emphasized air support. I've noticed this far more often on distinguished low brass players than on those teaching trumpet.


That's perhaps true. I think a lot of the emphasis on breathing over other elements of brass technique is more common among all brass players who focus on orchestral playing. As a rule jazz and commercial brass players tend to be more interested in developing high range above what's typical for orchestra literature, which leaves out tubists, euphonium players, and horn players mostly.

Quote:
Prior to my recent embouchure change I couldn't play above high G (F concert pitch). A condition which Dave's friend Doc Reinhardt didn't seem to consider a limitation at all but which I do.


For the record, I never met or communicated with Reinhardt. I've studied with one of his former students and am interested in his writings, but to label me as a "friend" is overstating things.

Quote:
Somewhere in his "Encyclopedia of the Pivot System" Reinhardt declares that there is "something wrong with the mechanics of any trumpet player who doesn't have a solid, useable high G". A loose quote. Which leads me to believe that he probably didn't consider the lack of a double C (or other notes above high G) to be a limitation musically. And that's one area where I disagree with Reinhardt. Who was, like Jacobs primarily a low brass instrumentalist.


I think you may be misinterpreting what Reinhardt meant. Keep in mind that he also felt that if you wanted the solid high G you should have the C above that in the practice room. I believe that what Reinhardt was trying to communicate is that trumpet players who have a solid G above high C are generally demonstrating solid technique and typically wouldn't have major issues to work out in order to develop range above that.

Returning to John's experiments:

John, based on your photos of your setup I'm guessing that you measured air pressure through mouthpiece buzzing, with the sphygmomanometer plugged into the mouthpiece shank? Does this setup actually measure the thoracic pressure, since it's measuring the air pressure on the opposite side? Is there a way to adjust the "back pressure" while buzzing into your setup (similar to the B.U.R.P tool, for those of you familiar with it) so that it would feel more similar to playing the instrument?

In the writeup I linked to above the researchers measured the air pressure inside the mouth (using a 1.6 mm plastic tube). Not having tried this setup out myself, I don't know how much this would affect a brass musician's technique, but it might mess with the player's embouchure a bit to have a small plastic tube going out of the side of his or her mouth while playing.

Regardless, that research used only 11 test subjects. I forget how many Jacobs used for his experiments, but my guess is that it was a similar amount. I would simply caution everyone that with such a small sample size there's a good chance for statistical noise, which could explain why the results of Jacobs's experiments and Kruger, et al are different. John, if you ever get the chance to try your setup out with brass musicians other than trumpet players it would be interesting to see what you find out.

Dave
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilktone wrote:
John, based on your photos of your setup I'm guessing that you measured air pressure through mouthpiece buzzing, with the sphygmomanometer plugged into the mouthpiece shank? Does this setup actually measure the thoracic pressure, since it's measuring the air pressure on the opposite side?


No buzzing involved. Buzzing with my setup is not possible because there's no where for the air to go. I placed my lips on the mouthpiece and blew as hard as I could to measure the pressure. No airflow, just static air pressure.

And yes, this setup measures thoracic air pressure (meaning the pressure within the lungs). In this case (no lip buzzing, just a slightly open aperture under the mouthpiece), there is no barrier between the place where the pressure gauge is measuring pressure and the inside of the lungs. It's all one closed system.

Cheers,

John
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha. It would be interesting to see if other brass players would get similar results, or try it out with different woodwind players and non-musicians, just to see how much (if any) difference you see. Please keep us posted if you do any more experimenting.

Dave
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilktone wrote:
Gotcha. It would be interesting to see if other brass players would get similar results, or try it out with different woodwind players and non-musicians, just to see how much (if any) difference you see. Please keep us posted if you do any more experimenting.

Dave


About halfway down the first page of this thread I described the results obtained from other players at the Annual Chicago Trumpet Hang last year. I haven't tested many non-trumpet players, but the few I have tested could only generate 80 to 120 mm Hg on the gauge. The trumpet players at the Chicago Trumpet Hang generated pressures of 140 to 180 mm Hg.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mohan wrote:
Wilktone wrote:
Gotcha. It would be interesting to see if other brass players would get similar results, or try it out with different woodwind players and non-musicians, just to see how much (if any) difference you see. Please keep us posted if you do any more experimenting.

Dave


About halfway down the first page of this thread I described the results obtained from other players at the Annual Chicago Trumpet Hang last year. I haven't tested many non-trumpet players, but the few I have tested could only generate 80 to 120 mm Hg on the gauge. The trumpet players at the Chicago Trumpet Hang generated pressures of 140 to 180 mm Hg.


If I understand what you're doing correctly, you're testing against infinite pressure, i.e. airflow completely stopped?

I would posit that what a human can do for long enough to be musically useful may be quite different once airflow is introduced into the system. Further, it makes sense to me that at least one function of the disputed tongue arch is to reduce said airflow to make it physically possible to maintain higher pressure. The most recent launch into space is carrying scientific equipment to explore how to reduce waterflow while maintaining enough kinetic force to shower effectively; the same principles are mastered by those able to solo in the double and triple registers, I think.

Then Maynard Ferguson simply defied all logic by playing a #19 drill into a huge bore horn with an embouchure deliberately as large as possible, and was simply strong enough to make it work. While it would be interesting to know what he could have done under your experimental conditions, a statistical outlier like him would have basically no value for the rest of us.

In peak condition I think I could've bested the 3.5 - 4 psi range considerably, but sadly I'm nowhere near that now so I don't think I'd offer much to your study, currently. I am very interested in your methodology and findings though!
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I understand what you're doing correctly, you're testing against infinite pressure, i.e. airflow completely stopped?


No. In a zero flow state the system resistance approaches infinity. Not the pressure.

The maximum pressure can be tested for various states of lung "fullness" with zero flows.

Most players NEVER use maximum blowing effort to play. Even for the highest and or loudest notes they can generate.

Quote:
Further, it makes sense to me that at least one function of the disputed tongue arch is to reduce said airflow to make it physically possible to maintain higher pressure.


This is not required by the tongue arch. There is already PLENTY of resistance in the system by the instrument tone AND the aperture. These are what limit flow. To introduce additional resistance by the arch to the point of adding flow resistance would be horribly inefficient.

That also would REDUCE the pressure available to the embouchure. It would NOT increase it.

Adding resistance does not increase pressure.

The mechanics of the system in regard to pressure, flow, resistance, power and acoustics are just NOT understood by players.
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