Best posts made by grune
RE: Does a large bore horn take more air?
Well, allow me to have a go at this, please. Correct me if incorrect. Simplistic...
The question is: do I need more air for a larger bore? The answer: it depends.
Why: Boyle’s Principle. Pressure and volume have an inverse function. If volume increases, pressure decreases.
Why is this relevant? Our ears. Our ears respond to 2 factors only: pressure and vibration. Our ears transform pressure and vibration into a signal to our brain, and our brain interprets this signal as sound.
So, to produce a sound from a trumpet, we need pressure and vibration. So how to do?
First, some basics.
- A trumpet is filled with ambient air, and air has mass, and thus the ambient air will have an inertial resistance to change.
- To produce a sound, that air must be disturbed; i.e perturbed, which results in perturbations.
- When the perturbations repeat consistently in cycles over a unit of time, they become vibrations, and we call this a frequency.
- When we increase the pressure of the perturbations within the trumpet, we increase the potential energy of those perturbations; and when that energy is released at the end of the trumpet (the bell), we hear this release of increased pressure as an increase in amplitude (loud).
- No frequency, no sound. The source and means of frequency is our lips.
- No pressure, no sound. The source and means of pressure is the air from our lungs applied to the ambient air inside the trumpet.
Q1. So, do WE need air to make a sound?
A1. YES. Why? The air we push out from our lungs vibrates our lips. No air across our lips, no vibration. Try vibrating your lips without blowing air through them.
Q2. Does the trumpet need extra air to make a sound?
A2. NO. Why? The trumpet is already filled with ambient air. It needs a perturbation and a pressure to get that air to vibrate and produce the sound we hear.
Q3. So why do we see almost no air flowing out of the horn, when we use the smoke method? After all, when we ‘blow’ into the mouthpiece, we feel the release of air from the mouthpiece (m/p). Why is the bell output different from the m/p input (ie why the smoke test shows near zero air flow)?
A3. The key is Volume.
(a) First, we need to know exactly what occurs when air is vibrated at a specific frequency.
A wave is created, having nodes and antinodes. Textbooks illustrate this as a 'sine wave'; but this is incorrect, actually. Both the sine and cosine waves should be shown graphically, sort of like this … ∞∞∞ (I am trying to keep the physics to a minimum).
Why is this important? Because this is how the wave forms inside the trumpet, what exits, and what you hear. What we hear is the antinode, because this is the amplitude: the node has zero amplitude, but maximum pressure. The node must form at the bell: thus the bell shape and volume are critical for sound.
(b) If you blow directly into the lead pipe, you will feel air flow out of the bell (but no pitch). But the outflow will very be very much slower than what you inflow, and it will have much less force (pressure). The reason is simple; volume. As volume increases, pressure must decrease. If the outflow point has a much greater area than the inflow point, the flow from input to output will be very much reduced. The analogy is using a garden hose to fill an outdoor pool. Only a very small volume of water can be pumped through a garden hose, but with high pressure the flow velocity can be very high. If a small volume container is filled, the fill rate is rapid. But try to fill a pool, and the fill rate is very slow. The reason is volume. To prevent overflow, the pool may have an exit port. If the exit port is very much larger in area than the hose nozzle, the flow and pressure of water exiting the pool will be very slow and very low.
(c) So with Volume, Pressure, Velocity, Frequency, we can now comprehend our trumpet and our interaction.
(i) We fill the m/p with a volume of air, moving at some velocity, and vibrating at some frequency. The m/p exit hole is about 3mm. The cup width/depth varies greatly, but let’s peg at 16mm x 8mm. If the bowl is semi-spherical, the max volume will be 2.15ml. The air exiting the m/p will have a noticeable pressure and velocity.
(ii) As our air flows through the trumpet, it must flow through an ever increasing volume. Two results: the pressure decreases; and the wave from the m/p elongates and drops in frequency. If the exit diameter at the bell is 70mm, this alone will account for a reduction of over 20x the input pressure. When we consider the volume of the horn to the m/p volume, the scale factor is huge. Thus the combined factors result in a very low volume and low pressure of air exiting the horn: the resulting air flow may be <1% of the input. Thus we perceive almost zero effects for the smoke test.
Q4. So what about sound volume? Why must I blow harder to get more sound volume? Notice: we are talking about “sound volume” (ie Amplitude) exiting the horn, not physical “air volume”.
A4. Pressure. (physics: the node is point of maximum pressure, thus the antinode is the least pressure). Amplitude is the antinode. Thus for a max antinode, we must have a max node (pressure). We create pressure by blowing air into a vessel (m/p) that is less in volume than the feedstock volume (our lungs). The more pressure we create, the more resulting amplitude.
Q5. Ok. But what about the high notes? Why do these require more effort than the lower notes?
A5. 2 reasons.
(i) Our bodies are very limited in capacity. Our lips are extremely limited and weak: in “natural” state, they are simply not engineered to vibrate at high tension to create high frequency vibrations. We must train our lips/embouchure into a very unnatural state. This requires effort to develop and to apply on demand.
(ii) High notes result from high frequencies exiting the horn. A high frequency requires many times more nodes than a low frequency. Nodes result from pressure. Thus as frequency increases, we must apply more air pressure to create the nodes AND we must increase the tension in our embouchure. The combined factors result in an exponential function: ever increasing tension and pressure.
Q6. Bore. How does the bore of the trumpet factor into all this?
A6. Complicated. The bore relates to the diameter of the tubing at valve #2. In theory, a larger diameter tube will have volume greater than a smaller diameter. But this does not mean a trumpet of L bore will have an overall volume greater than one of ML bore: the bell shape and length is a significant factor to overall volume, and thus an L bore horn can be equal in overall volume to an ML bore horn, and vice versa. Added to this, is the internal resistance of each horn, which is in itself a very complicated aspect to analyse: lead pipe taper; thickness of tubes; radius of bends; bell taper and flare; and more are all factors. Added to this is “dual bore”, where the connection to the bell is usually larger than the rated bore: which creates a lower pressure point within the horn, and presumably this results in lesser internal resistance.
So does a larger bore horn require more air? The honest answer is “it depends”.
I hope this long winded post has not bored too many people.
RE: Clean with 'alcohol'?
oh my,,, I expected discussion, not aggression. A pity: a reflection upon our times now?
Some excellent points are made, for which I am thankful. I see I should have self-reflected a moment to specify the thread, as one person notes; true, my focus is upon disinfecting; not general cleaning per se. My apologies.
Disinfection is of high concern to me these days. I reside currently in a tropical environment: which, to use a vernacular, is a 2nd world country, with the reduced affluence and sanitation standards when compared to 1st world. In such environment, organisms are everywhere literally and need only a few hours to propagate. I like to keep my horn exposed to open air: enables evaporation, but opens the possibility of air-borne organisms. A proper cleaning pre and post each practice session is impossible. Thus a quick 'treatment' between cleaning rounds is of great benefit.
I have a compromised immune system, and zero immunity to tropical diseases. Even the 'common cold' gives me near-pneumonia symptoms. I have used ethanol for years, as I was then most concerned about single-cell bacteria. But I see now, thanks to this thread, I should include spores in my deliberations and thus alter my methods. The advice and points noted are very helpful.
To summarise the consensus as I see it: ethanol is effective against single cell, and safe; propanol2 is effective against spores and single cell, thus a better choice with caveat; a general cleaning removes 'gunk' with caveat; disinfecting with propanol2 should follow general cleaning.
RE: Does a large bore horn take more air?
Very interesting discussion. I have not played all trumpets, nor all mouthpieces, ever produced. For those I have played, I find the mouthpiece is the determining factor for all aspects: particularly for the volume of air I feel I need in my lungs. For horns, inconsistent: some M bore have been difficult to play, and some ML bore have been easier to play. Probing my memory from long ago, I recall the medium bore horns had overall a brighter timbre than the large bore, when the same mouthpiece was used for all.
RE: Student trumpets
Agree, the Olds Ambassador was a very good horn - at the student level. It has the attributes you note. It is medium bore, good for a student, but it is easy to overblow as the student develops power. The tone can be very good for a maturing student using a 3C mp or such, and has focus, but it can never approach the sound of say a Bach Strad. It slots well. The intonation within the staff is very good, but the horn has poorer intonation for lower and higher. The 3rd slide helps with low register: but the the 1st valve has no slide and cannot be modified to have a ring - a real pity. The valves on mine were excellent. The coating was natural lacquer and wore quickly, causing the brass to corrode at the valve casings - a pity. Overall, the Ambassador can serve as a benchmark to compare other horns, and it can develop a student to a rather high level. I regret selling mine so long ago.
RE: Favorite Music
I like a wide variety, so difficult to decide favourites. The thread topic is special and moving.
For special, I consider any artist/s who can capture the mood and essence of a time gone by to be special and rather unique. There are many reasons for this: change in humans from a century of GMO foods; and lack of the talent/sensitivity required for that earlier time.
Nathan Lay is an excellent baritone who has captured the essence and mood of 1916, and can evoke tears by singing a simple melody written as a warning to us.
For a light hearted example, listen to his rendition of Pack up Troubles. For a message, listen to Waltzing Matilda, carefully, and tell me honestly if you have no reaction to the words, voice, and music. I have, in a lifetime, heard only 2 other people to accomplish such essence and mood.
Latest posts made by grune
Trumpet Soloists on Soundtracks
Might we create a thread for posterity, by documenting who are the soloists on recordings and soundtracks?
Song - Oh My Papa. Vocalist - Eddie Fischer. Trumpet - ?? Margolis.
Who is the trumpet soloist for the soundtrack, Lonesome Dove?
RE: Jackie Gleason Plays Cornet
Gleason with Hackett. Long, slow passages with full range are more difficult to play than they sound. Ya gotta have real chops. Nowadays, who could do this? Most I hear run up and down scales like an angry bee. Slow and mellow is gone, 'cause the likes of Hackett are gone.
RE: Anybody need a "Mouth of Trumpet"?
@vulgano-brother me too, I have a megatone-looking 3c from an unknown Chinese mfgr, for about $7 new. For mine, compared to the genuine Bach 3C I have ca 1972, I would say the cup width is same, the bite sharper, and cup depth deeper. The sound is a tad darker and more brassy, and it is more difficult to play above the staff. The build quality is better; better silver plating. The B 3C gives a sweeter sound at pianissimo, much louder sound at forte, and is easier above the staff. For $7, price can't be beat. I bought it to experiment with the weight and sound. I do like the extra weight as a counter balance; the horn balances better in my hands.
RE: where are they made ?
@rowuk You are 100% correct. The very definition of OEM is made-to-order. For self-label, the Chinese will build to what sells. This is purest form of capitalism: supply to demand. The Chinese are more than capable of producing the finest quality in just about everything. They don't often, because they know to go against top brands means to carve into a very entrenched, consumer psyche. When I visited the OEM manufacturer for Bach, I trialled a self-branded horn that was equal, if not better, to my Strad. Such a horn will never be sold in NA, due to cost and price; who would pay a near-Bach price for a near Bach, when for a bit more you could have the real Bach? Such 'commercialism' is not confined to instruments. Mercedes-Benz tried to compete with Rolls Royce, by offering the Maybach. Maybach was an excellent vehicle, technically superior to the Rolls in all aspects. Rolls continued to sell, while the Maybach did not. Toyota can make the finest automobile too, and created a new brand to sell them. The Chinese have learned this lesson well.