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 Learn something new every day....
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2022-11-24 04:25

Earlier this fall I noticed that when I gave the tuning note to our wind ensemble, I gave a somewhat "wobbly" note when I used a high-precision tuning app (Tunable) on my iPhone. Watching the little squiggly line go up and down < 1 cent tempted me to try to adjust, and I'd end up overcompensating. So I went out and bought a new Korg CA-50 (my old Korg had died of leaking batteries). While I was buying it, I bought a clip-on mic, so that I could get a better idea of my intonation while everyone was warming up before rehearsal. No squiggly line to get distracted by, and it's precise enough for tuning an ensemble.

Well, last night I was very frustrated that the reeds I had so carefully adjusted during the week to be in tune all were playing a bit flat, and on some notes I couldn't even get them to play up to pitch. What was different? The temp in the room wasn't that different. Oh, during the week I wasn't using the mic in the bell of the instrument. Aha! I knew that sticking something up the bore of a woodwind instrument lowers the pitch. I took out the mic, laid it on my crossed legs and aimed the bell of the instrument at the mic. Problem solved! I didn't think that such a slender mic so far down the instrument would make a difference, but it seems to.


Still an Amateur, but not really middle-aged anymore

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 Re: Learn something new every day....
Author: CMW 
Date:   2022-11-24 08:02


I use a Korg contact microphone along with my Korg tuner for the same reasons you do. It makes it easier to measure one's own pitch when playing in a room full of musicians. But I didn't like to put the mic on the rim of my bell because it interfered with my short resting position (oboe upright on my right knee). When the microphone was attached, I had to rest the instrument at an angle - and that looked less than professional.
To use the microphone, I clipped it on the outside of the wooden tube. There are a few spots on the lower joint that will accomodate the Korg contact microphone clipped part way around the tube approaching from the backside of the intrument. I'm sure you can find a couple spots that won't get in the way of the key action. The spot I use is near the top of the lower joint *just* below the bridge keys.


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 Re: Learn something new every day....
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-11-24 13:34

If you have a clip-on transducer/pickup, then clip it on just below the crown on the top joint in the vicinity of the top 8ve vent. If the maker has been generous, it should have a long enough lead so you can place your tuner on your music stand.

Anything that goes into the bells will cause a restriction which can have some effect on certain notes - likewise with supports that have a hook which goes in the bell to rest the instrument on which may be convenient, but could have adverse effects.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: Learn something new every day....
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-11-28 22:02

I find that the relatively small mass of a clip-on mic inserted in the bell doesn't affect my intonation. You might try increasing your support to keep the pitch up and stable.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: Learn something new every day....
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2022-11-28 23:14

When I wrote "and on some notes I couldn't even get them to play up to pitch," I meant "by increasing my support and and even pinching, I was still 5 cents flat on some notes." YMMV.


Still an Amateur, but not really middle-aged anymore

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 Re: Learn something new every day....
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-11-29 00:45

I had a similar experience this past summer with a Cor, in that I forgot to take my Hook and had to rest the bell on some books. That position closed off the bell enough to create pure havoc with the lowest notes.

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