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 Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-03 23:49

I had a Vocalise R2 (high pitch version) to try for a day and found in general that the thick rails (tip rail and the side rails) are particularly thick, which is a characteristic that I have found dampens upper partials and impedes projection. To be fair, I wanted to give this mouthpiece a shot because I had heard from several independent sources that wider rails are better for synthetic reeds and this is what I play now. Unfortunately it turned out that this mouthpiece performs in a manner consistent with other wide tip rail mouthpieces such as the Viotto and the Vandoren M30.


I will say though that I have heard players play with a wonderful, vibrant sound on the M30 and realize that for some players, their technique may still be a good match for the Vocalise. It is interesting to note that Backun does not give us a heads up about this character of their mouthpiece. In the following video, Peter Cigleris and Sam Gregory (product specialist) refer to Vandoren mouthpiece facings as a point of comparison, but use such models as the M15, the BD5 and the B45, but fail to liken it to its closest cousin the M30........what would have been much more helpful.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfhXy7mqduk



So yes there are still some positive aspects. I see what Peter is talking about regarding pitch. With the Vocalise, all the registers comfortably play with exactly the same embouchure "pressure" (firmness, posture), so that pitch is rock steady throughout registers at a given dynamic.



Finally it is not an unpleasant sound. If you want to sound all "dark" and don't need to blend or project amongst others in a more competitive setting, the mouthpiece performs notably well.



I just wished it worked for me.




...................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2020-03-04 01:00

Stay tuned. There are 3 more Vocalise models on the way. One, a CG model made of transparent polymer instead of glass, is already listed on the Backun website. Two more are on the way. They are reportedly designed to give distortion-free sound even at fortissimo levels.



Post Edited (2020-03-04 05:14)

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2020-03-04 02:42

Paul Aviles wrote:


> If you want to sound
> all "dark" and don't need to blend or project amongst others in
> a more competitive setting, the mouthpiece performs notably
> well.
>

By "you" I take it you meant "me", as in Paul. This is not my experience at all with this mouthpiece. I've performed with it as a soloist, in a chamber ensemble, and in a concert band. It played well with others for ME under all those circumstances.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-04 10:12

Well, I allow for two scenarios under which one (ya'll out there) can use this mouthpiece.


1. You have the ability to make thick railed mouthpieces sound in a manor consistent with standard professional symphonic practice (you....'nellsonic').


2. You can only produce the sound I, Paul Aviles, get on this mouthpiece (compact, small, non projecting) BUT.......that's exactly what you are looking for.



You, 'nellsonic' are one of the chosen ones.


mazel




..................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2020-03-04 13:38

Paul Aviles wrote:


>
> You, 'nellsonic' are one of the chosen ones.
>
>

No. And although you know this, I will spell it out for the sake of anyone reading here who might not.

Mouthpiece + Reed + Player + Instrument + Whatever else = Results.

Saying that a particular mouthpiece is going to behave in such and such a way for every proficient players is like saying that all equations with a '5' in them are going to result in an answer of '20 something'. Sure, you can write an infinite number of equations for which that is true, but as a general guideline it's misleading at best.

I bet I'd have to work harder than I'd want to to make your set-up play well for me, and that you'd have to do the same with mine. Proves nothing except that we are much different players. Why beat a dead horse when we both know it's dead? Why kill the horse to begin with? Live and let live.

Edit: I wonder if you tried it with a variety of reeds? I'm assuming you must have or wouldn't have made such a sweeping judgement. I did find the results rather limiting with Legere reeds but quite satisfying with cane (Steuer Exclusives). Peter seemed to like the Legere, but again, so what? It's also a marketing video so.....

Anders

Post Edited (2020-03-04 15:38)

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2020-03-05 03:03

Hi Paul,
As a coincidence, I have a couple of Vocalises that I am working on for a friend: I narrowed the tip and side rails, and closed them down a bit, and they play well now. They do have some resistance “hold” to them still, but it is of the usable sort, and the tone has more focus and ping to it. Unaltered, they seemed heavy and uncomfortable.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-05 04:21

Chris,


I should have checked with you before sending it back!





..................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2020-03-06 01:42

As an aside, I used to play a French blank Pyne in the 70s-80s, with a facing length of 19mm and a tip way, way more open than 1.2mm. Since I make my own reeds it worked, and you can hear it on the Seattle Symphony’s recording of Kodaly’s “Dances of Galanta”. It has super wide tip and side rails, but some Pyne’s of the era were even more extreme.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2020-03-06 02:44

Here's the Seattle performance of the Galanta dances on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=seattle+symphony+Kodaly+dances+of+galanta.

Chris, just out of curiosity, what mouthpiece were you playing when you recorded that Master Class with Robert Marcellus on the Brahms Clarinet Sonata 2 (1977-06-30)?



Post Edited (2020-03-06 02:48)

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-06 03:39

And there you have it.......an amazing sound!





..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: aalexko 
Date:   2020-03-06 05:58

I remember years ago Charles Bay told me that Chris Sereque used a
Bay mouthpiece on the Seattle Symphony’s recording of Bartok's
The Miraculous Mandarin.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2020-03-06 06:12

At that point I was playing my first Pyne, a French blank M12+, with a length of around 19 mm and a tip of around 1.18. It is very tilted, longer on the left side.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2020-03-06 06:16

True! I switched to the Bay a bit after the Galanta Dances. It was much easier to play, and reeds were less of a problem.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2020-03-06 06:21





Post Edited (2020-03-06 06:27)

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpiece
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2020-03-06 16:46

I received my Vocalise R this Monday and am absolutely loving it. It's made a huge difference to my intonation and overall sound.

I've only been playing for a year and got this as an upgrade to my Fobes Debut to try. The Vocalise has given me a confidence boost when I sorely needed one. (Mind you, I still need to "practice, practice, practice!")

I would highly recommend giving it a try.

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