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 Muting enclosures
Author: SebastianB 
Date:   2022-11-29 22:57

This is in lieu of replying directly to SecondTry's post in the ClariMate thread.

Sound leaks--including through media other than what it initially propagates in; is difficult to absorb; and requires large amounts of mass or huge amounts of stiffness to stop (and reflect). It's squirrely stuff.

Small instrument-only enclosures tend to fail on all counts, although some are adequate enough for some people's needs. It's more or less impossible to get a proper soundproof seal around arms and the mouthpiece end of the instrument, and it's hard to vent air while maintaining soundproofing. It's also not economical to design a commercial unit with enough mass because the shipping cost these days will be astronomical.

The best solution is a WhisperRoom type enclosure. Ones that actually work are very expensive and very heavy.

To make your own of any of the above one would want to use cheap massive material such as MDF and its variants, a baffled exhaust system, maybe some mass loaded vinyl for a start with sealing around arms and the end of the instrument, a high-rating sound absorbing material like cotton batting to supplement the enclosure and any sealing, and for large structures probably some kind of resonance-damping separating structural members. Looks like something similar to carpet padding is used within the walls in some booth type enclosures.

Context: I have no professional expertise in this area but I have dug pretty deeply into it in the past looking for a solution to loud instrument practice.

Post Edited (2022-11-29 23:03)

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 Re: Muting enclosures
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2022-11-30 07:09

Thank you for your informed response Sebastian.

I've never tried a Sax Mute One device. I've only heard the difference between its presence or absence on the internet and it seems interesting, if not ill suited for a clarinet.

I wish though that they'd try to make a device for the clarinet. Maybe they have and it just wasn't up to being sold.

It's funny that you talk of mass and stiffness. While physics would confirm you, many acoustical barriers are foam based, right?

I like the Whisperoom idea. I'm just afraid that if I move from my home to a multiple location 1 bedroom apartment paradigm (Snowbirds, etc.) someday that my wife may not like the space even a phone booth style unit permanently occupies.

Sigh--what we do for our beloved instrument!  :)

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