Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Clarinet Mute Redux
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2023-01-16 05:08

When it comes to reducing the loudness of the sound that comes from the clarinet--it's need here being to respect the rights of those in our proximity when we practice at home, I'm of the opinion that nobody's really come out with a great solution yet.

I respectfully continue to hold that opinion despite Buffet's recent Clarimate product offering. My idea of muting the clarinet involves muffling, not synthesizing its sound, the latter appearing to be Buffet's approach.

The goal for me is to minimize differences in how one plays when muting their sound versus not. Items that stuff the barrel don't seem practical, and items that stuff the bell, well, I suppose they not only change the playing experience, but only for 2 (full fingered) notes on the instrument. (We all know that sound comes out of the next open hole, which usually isn't the bell.)

I'd going to categorize the ways that I see to do this muffling into two basic groups. One involves encapsulating the player and clarinet, like a sound booth, and the second involves encapsulating just the clarinet.

As the latter is much cheaper to tinker with, although someday if I retire and move into an apartment I may end up with the former, I began searching for tube shaped products large enough in length and diameter to hold a (Soprano) Clarinet, that I could repurpose for this effort. My first item was a light plastic poster tube. I found one on ebay more than long enough and started cutting holes in it with my electric hand saw.

At about 4" of internal diameter this was an expensive lesson in what doesn't work. Limiting sound is in part about limited the size of the necessary holes that the vessel requires for hands and mouth. This means being able to insert the hands into the vessel up to the wrists, and still have enough internal space within the vessel to maneuver. 4" of internal diameter won't get you that space.

Combing the aisles of a big box store I went in search of a section of very large diameter PVC pipe, but with no such size on the shelves, an 8" internal diameter cardboard tube, like the kind you put in the ground and fill with concrete to form the pillar of some building's foundation, would have to do for attempt #2.

I cut the tube's length down to a few inches longer than my clarinet and stuffed the bottom with 4" foam I picked up at a fabric store and cut to size with a knife. I then measured the center point of where the hands sit when playing, and cut circle like holes in the sides, at 180 degree angles to one another. These holes, in order to comfortably play, had to but about 4.5" inches in diameter (sigh...so much for wrist size), the left hand hole being larger to accommodate hand position for throat tones and left pink actuated levers.

I put the same 4" thick foam piece on top, cutting a hole in the middle around the same size of the clarinet's diameter. To play, the clarinet goes in first, minus the barrel and mouthpiece, then the top piece of foam, which encapsulates the top joint above the top of the octave key, followed by the barrel and mouthpiece.

I will soon wrap the outside of the tube in 2" foam, cutting holes where the hands get inserted. We'll see if this lowers the decibels somewhat.

I think I may need to try the 12" diameter cardboard concrete pillar form. 8" is just enough space when large hand holes are made. I'm thinking that with the 12" size I may be able to stick my hands in further, up to my narrower wrists, making for smaller hand holes and hopefully less sound. At this size the tube will probably need some sort of stand.

I'm going to try to attach some pictures. Comments and ideas are welcome.

Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org