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 Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-11-14 01:49

I've seen some topics about cork pads on the upper joint, which i am definitely considering to do if it really improves the roundness of the sound? Anywho, i was researching cork pads when i discovered a post about a hasty pad that one installs on the regist vent. What's the deal with that? thanks

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. they are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which was already but too easy to arrive as railroads lead to Boston to New York
-Walden; Henry Thoreau

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2006-11-14 16:35
Attachment:  Hasty pad diagram.bmp (900k)
Attachment:  Register key Pinocchio.bmp (900k)
Attachment:  raised register tube.bmp (900k)
Attachment:  raised register tube with bent register key.bmp (900k)
Attachment:  open register key with pinochio.bmp (900k)

Buffet A clarinets in particular have been criticized for their grunt issues and for decades repair technicians have tried many different things to “correct” the problem. Possible solutions are:

Shorten the register tube. Bill Brannen did this for me almost twenty years ago and it gave me rather poor results. Although it seems to remain the most common “fix,” unacceptable problems are a result of this compromise. In particular an already sharp upper clarion (B and C) become higher in pitch. Additionally, throat Bb and long B become airy and stuffy sounding. The throat Bb also loses focal power and resonance. However, when Brannen shortened the tube, my response did improve. The tube was shortened to about .515 inch.

Smaller I. D. register tube. By making a tube with the correct length (.581 inch) but reducing the inside volume, one will experience improved response, reduced likelihood of grunting on the high B and C notes, and a more centered sound that is more concentrated with a less spread tonal characteristic in the long tube notes above the break. One issue that may arise is if the inside volume is not large enough, the pitch of the throat Bb my go too low and become flat. Many R13 A clarinets have rather flat throat Bb intonation and this solution will only exasperate the problem.

Stock tube with Hasty pad. This is a very good solution and I don’t know why it isn’t done more often. I believe Stanley Hasty experimented with the register tube on his A clarinet and determined that by reducing the inside volume of the tube, it would help reduce response problems leading to upper clarion grunt issues. By making a conical pad with the pointed end protruding inside the tube (even when the pad is open) inside register tube volume is reduced, the grunt is reduced, and the sound is improved as well. Throat Bb gets a little more focused and the long B natural is not as spread sounding. Upper clarion B and C notes are lowered a touch as well.

Raised register tube and Pinocchio. This technique (it is a variation on the Hasty pad) is my favorite solution. Reset the register tube by floating it with wax so that it sits several millimeters above the body of the clarinet body (on Bb clarinets, this step is not necessary). This will severely reduce register grunt and response problems because it effectively works like a shortened tube, but it doesn’t have the airy stuffy sounding throat notes and long tube B natural because the tube is still long. Please note that the register key will need to be bent much more open to function with the raised register tube tonehole. Add the Hasty effect by making a small stick to the register key’s cork pad. The stick/Pinocchio should be about 5 mm long and have a diameter that is about 1mm at its fattest place (closest to the pad) and taper to a blunt point. I make mine out of Delrin rod because it is rather easily machined and handles climatic change without concern. I have include pictures.

Please note that with the Pinocchio technique one can experiment with a round toothpick. Simply press a toothpick into your cork pad (first, drill a small pilot hole) and try your clarinet. If your pitch of the throat Bb is too flat, just shave the Pinocchio thinner or shorten it with a razor blade. You will notice that the slimmer the Pinocchio becomes, the higher your throat Bb will become, but the compromise here is that your response will be reduced in the upper clarions…and the grunt will creep back in. With a little experimentation, I think you will find an amazing solution that makes for a grunt-free upper register, an in-tune throat Bb, and your long B, throat Bb will sound as clear and resonant as the other notes on your clarinet. Once you have found your ideal length, diameter, and taper of your Pinocchio, you can make one out of Delrin rod.

Delrin rod is available at most plastics distributors (look in your yellow pages under plastic, sheet and rood), and ask for the smallest diameter delrin rod available (probably 1/8 inch). Then simply chuck it in your drill and using sandpaper and a little practice you will easily be able to mill it down to the appropriate size.

The reason why I have spent so much time with this inquiry about the Hasty pad is because I am amazed by the results I am getting and I would like to say that it really works. It is well worth the time to spend an afternoon experimenting. I encourage all of you to give it a try. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Brad Behn

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2006-11-14 23:41

A simple improvement which I've found to work pretty well with no adverse effects (none that I've noticed, anyway) is to remove the register tube and chamfer both the inside and outside ends, using a 45-degree countersink or equivalent sort of tool. This makes the register tube look more like a venturi than a strict cylindrical or conical tube. Even better if the straight taper is faired into the straight walls of the tube by filing or using a very small Dremel tool, so as to make the modification more of a smoothly-curved radiussing rather than a straight chamfer. I have no theoretical basis for why this might improve things, nor do I have good scientific test results, but my impression is that it seems to improve upper clarion and altissimo response and clarity of the throat Bb, without worsening intonation in any register.

I usually combine this with a tapered cork pad on the register key, sort of a poor-man's "Hasty pad" if I understand correctly what the latter is.

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2006-11-14 23:52


that's what I did to Darth Tone (my Alto); I dremelled (hey, a new verb) the exit/outside end into a flare and used a rounded/capped (half-sphere) cork. Before the long B and C were noisy (must have been the air vibrating against or rushing past the register cork), now it's still not gone, but by magnitudes softer. I didn't do it for tuning reasons, but just to get rid of that hissbuzz.

Interesting thread for us tinkerers (no offense meant, really).


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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Clarinetgirl06 
Date:   2006-11-15 01:56

I've had a Hasty pad for almost 2 years now. I had an interesting experience actually with the Hasty pad this last Saturday. I was getting some pads replaced on my clarinet and so we waited and talked to my tech and watched her work while the repair was being done. After awhile, another girl from my studio came in to pick up her R13. She had it in the shop because it had a crack that needed pinning and also the register tube needed to be slightly shortened because of the undertones. Well, it got shortened and improved the undertones somewhat, so my tech talked to her about getting a Hasty pad to help even more.

So, I got to watch my tech make the Hasty pad and then the girl from my studio tested it out. The undertones were muchly improved in no time at all because of the Hasty pad.

My tech also told me the history and the physics behind that pad which was very interesting.

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Mike Clarinet 
Date:   2006-11-15 08:03

The tone of the throat Bb was improved on my RC Bb by the tech replacing the factory-fitted felt pad with a cork one, chamfering the pad edges and checking that the pad opened far enough. Although the tone is still not as clear as on other notes, ( and I have never heard a throat Bb played by anyone that is), it was a vast improvement. I periodically remove the speaker key and run a pipe cleaner through the speaker vent to clean it, and then a piece of wire to remove any fluff left by the pipe cleaner.

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2006-11-15 08:14

Although they both involve the register vent, isn't the clarity of the throat Bb a rather different issue from the undertone buzzing/humming of higher notes?

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Lelia Loban 2017
Date:   2006-11-15 14:04

>>Although they both involve the register vent, isn't the clarity of the throat Bb a rather different issue from the undertone buzzing/humming of higher notes?>>

Yes, but oddly enough, clearing up one problem often improves the other as well. Someone else will have to explain the physics. Btw, since I don't like cork pads because of the sound they make when they close, I tried the lazy cheapskate's Hasty method on a fishshin pad and am pretty happy with the results: I put a dot of hot-melt glue in the center of the pad. Don't do this with extremely hot hot-melt, or it'll frizzle the pad, but if you drip a blob of hot-melt on the workbench, let it sit for a couple of seconds and then apply it with a toothpick, it works fine. If necessary, use a nail file to shape the blob after it dries.

Incidentally, I ruined several pads this way (experimenting on old, dead pads I'd saved for mad science...) before I got the technique down, so practice a bit first.

To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Terry Stibal 
Date:   2006-11-15 14:42

I would only add that I have found that regular register vent tube maintenance helps this problem as well. I have chamfered pads on my register keys, and it does help with the problems listed. However, I have found that over a year or so there will be a buildup of "stuff" (a combination of case dust and fluff, condensation and whatever) that will diminish the diameter of the register tube opening.

The solution is simple enough - as described above, you simply remove the key, take an appropriate sized pipe cleaner to the tube, and then ensure that anything left from the pipe cleaner is removed as well.

I also make it a habit to "blow down" my register tubes when drying the condensation out of the horn before putting it up. After completion of use of the horn, open the covering key and then blow air through the tube before running the swab through the bore. Then, after swabbing the bore out, open the key and blow into the tube from the outside (like blowing out a birthday cake candle). This ensures that the vent is dry and does not offer a good target for stray lint and the like. I also blow the vents while assembling the horns, just to be careful.

(Part of the reason that I need to do this is that I use a bassoon long joint swab to dry out my bass clarinet. It does a good job without all of the tangled string and knotted silk that I had encountered with a bass clarinet swab, but it does occasionally drop a piece of lint in the wrong place. With the cleanout regime employed above, whatever lint that does get deposited gets cleaned out without a problem.)

leader of Houston's Sounds Of The South Dance Orchestra

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Koo Young Chung 
Date:   2006-11-20 05:08
Attachment:  DSCN5898x.jpg (92k)
Attachment:  DSCN5901x.jpg (21k)

This is my new invention.
This register tube is consisted of two parts,one goes from outside ,just like
regular Buffet tube.This has a slight taper.The other part goes from inside.
And the two parts interlock each other.You don't see it in the picture but
I installed thin flat partition in the outside part whose thickness is adjusted to tune the Bb throat note.
The inside diameter is about 3.2 mm and it flares to 6 mm inside the bore.

Post Edited (2006-11-20 05:10)

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 Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2008-03-27 14:25

There are quite a few terms being used on the BBD that everyone seems to know the definitions of, but that I don't, despite being involved with the clarinet for nearly fifty years.

"Grunt" is one of them.

Would someone please define or describe "grunt" for me?


- "Collapsed finger"?

- "Boxy" (as in "boxy" sound)?

- "Wolf tones"?

I feel left out.


Post Edited (2008-03-27 14:28)

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-03-27 14:53

A grunt is a low sound that comes out just a little when you try to play a high note. It is sometimes called an "under tone"
"Wolf tone" is a common word in the string world. It refers to a note that sounds unusually stifled or horrid. It does not refer to a note that is stifled due to a problem in the player's ability. It refers to only ONE or TWO notes that can not resonate as well as others for scientific reasons. Last I heard 'Wolf tones" still cannot be totally eliminated from string instruments, but there are things that can be done to reduce the problem.
We never found out exactly what "boxy meant. :(

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: kehammel 
Date:   2021-02-17 03:54

Can anyone please explain to me what Brad Behn meant when he wrote the following in this old post about register key modifications to address grunting in the clarion register?

"Raised register tube and Pinocchio. This technique (it is a variation on the Hasty pad) is my favorite solution. Reset the register tube by floating it with wax so that it sits several millimeters above the body of the clarinet body...This will severely reduce register grunt and response problems because it effectively works like a shortened tube..."

Why would the register tube effectively work like a shortened tube if it is merely pulled out of the bore several millimeters? As far as the air moving through it goes, it remains just as long. I realize less tube protrudes into the bore then, but to what extent does the tube "interrupting" the bore cause response problems? From other posts on this forum, I see there seems little consensus on this question in the first place.

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 Re: Quick question: What is a hasty pad?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-02-17 07:14

Ok, I assume that the raising of the tube is to affect how much of the register tube is in the bore and what affect that has on the acoustic. The "shortening" (I further assume) refers to the smaller amount of volume within the register tube due to the presence of the "spikey-thingy" that protrudes from the surface of the pad INTO the space of the register tube.

I believe Bob Scott used to offer this solution amongst his repair services as well

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

Post Edited (2021-02-17 07:17)

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