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Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Fry » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:51 am

This is a topic I don't see talked about but it's something I noticed recently. When playing playing some notes there's a ring after I realease and I can feel the instrument start to rattle and vibrate. The rattling I can fix from just tightning some screw but the vibrating never seems to go away. When asking other brass players about the vibrating they dismiss me but do agree that there is a ring after they release too. Any explanation for this?
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby besson900 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:31 am

I think that You are making to big pressure on Your mouth by pressing mouthpiece to your lips.Try to fix it or do some "warm down" after practise
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby nworbekim » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:41 am

that is a GOOD thing in my guitar world. the instrument feels "alive". NOT RATTLES, but i can feel the whole instrument vibrating with the strings. I'm speaking of acoustics...

i have a couple of tubas that do it... i've never heard anyone else mention it. these are NOT RATTLES, the instrument is actually vibrating.

i feel like it's a good thing, but i've never heard anyone mention it.
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Donn » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:26 am

"Ring" meant to me an audible phenomenon. Like what I get from my sousaphone, which I think is not really so much even a harmonic of the note, more about the resonant frequency of the bell. Don't some players put plastic tubing around the bell rim, to damp that out?
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby hup_d_dup » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:49 am

Fry wrote:This is a topic I don't see talked about but it's something I noticed recently. When playing playing some notes there's a ring after I realease and I can feel the instrument start to rattle and vibrate. The rattling I can fix from just tightning some screw but the vibrating never seems to go away. When asking other brass players about the vibrating they dismiss me but do agree that there is a ring after they release too. Any explanation for this?


You have described a "ring," a "rattling," and a "vibration." These are three different things.

Regarding the vibration, this is normal and common. It's more prominent on some tubas than others, but I don't think it's a flaw on any of them. You can exaggerate the effect by playing a very short, loud note with a sharp cut off. The tuba can continue to vibrate for a short time after the sound has ended.

You also mentioned that the vibration starts after the release of the note. I believe that if you observe closely you will notice that the vibration is actually present during the note and then continues after the note.

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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Yane » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:44 pm

As for resonances in the bodies of tubas, i can offer my experience with two very different horns, a King 1241 and a Boosey Imperial Eb. The King feels very lively with vibrations probably due to thinner brass than the Boosey, which seems inert by comparison. The King sometime has a ringing from the bell that I find quite distracting and someday I will work on damping the ringing. Both horns sound good in different ways so I’m not sure vibration is a problem so much as a different means to the end of making good sound. I would think energy spent vibrating the horn is energy not spent making sound, though those resonances must impact the sound. Sounds like a fun research project though; I’m seeing an anechoic chamber with a tuba bell sized hole in it.........
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Donn » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:17 pm

Yane wrote:an anechoic chamber with a tuba bell sized hole in it.


I don't know about anechoic, but to prevent resonance, I'd say set the tuba in concrete, keeping all the apertures clear.
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby jperry1466 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:07 am

Have a long history with this. My 1971 Meinl Weston Model 30 (CC) came with a rubber ring around the bell for protection. There were a couple of notes that didn't respond consistently (or well) on that horn. One day I took the ring off, and the notes fell right into place, but the horn got a slightly brighter and more resonant sound. I had studied tuba with David Kuehn at North Texas, and asked him about it. He said he had been experimenting with a belt around the throat of the bell (didn't say why) and noticed it got a darker sound. I made a research project out of it, and all the judges (mostly our brass faculty including Rex Conner behind a screen/blind test) except one agreed with me on the sound differences.

The one holdout was the music ed professor who was teaching the class. He had informed me that "research" had proved that it made no difference what material the horn was made of as long as the internal dimensions were the same. I said, "so a concrete block would have the same sound quality as my brass tuba as long as the insides of that block have the exact dimensions as the inside of my tuba". He said, "yes, exactly". He was determined to stand by his knowledge of "research".

Now why hadn't someone thought of that before? A tall block of concrete, iron, or plastic cast with the internal dimensions of a tuba. It would sure save us some money. :roll: :tuba:
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Snake Charmer » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:14 am

One of my horn gave me ring, too...
Some years ago I bought a 4-valve Bb Saxhorn, made by Pellison, Guinod & Blanchon in the 30s in very nice condition, all valves with good pressure, all slides moving, beautiful patinated nickel plating and dent-free except of a slightly twist in the lower bell. When I visited my local repairman for another instrument I took it to him to have the twist removed, it was just a cosmetic thing to do. But when I got it back the bell was working, yes, like a bell. It kept ringing a proper Bb when played loud enough. I tried a rubber rim protection ring, but it didn't work. Instead of twisting the bell back to its former shape I fixed a strong rubber belt at the bell just before the flare starts, this got me rid of ringing.
The ringing had no influence on loudness or playing characteristcs, it was just annoying to hear a Bb (with some harmonics) everytime, especially when playing in a different key...
Meanwhile I sold the horn on to one of my students. He is playing more softly...
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby windshieldbug » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:43 am

Scodwell trumpets, made by Tony Scodwell in Las Vegas are amazing horns.
While they do not ring at any pitch, the dynamic force is transferred through the instrument and one can feel it in one's hands while it is being played. A sensation like no other!

If you ever get a chance to try one, do so! :shock:
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Stryk » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:34 pm

If you are talking about resonance, I think that is a GOOD thing. Rattling is NOT a good thing, but most likely a loose wire in the bell rim or a loose kranze if your horn has one. The vibration is what I would call "life" in a horn. My Chinese horns don't have that. My Alex and Amati do. Is it the thickness of the metal? Maybe the alloy? Maybe because it is hand hammered? I have questions, but few real answers.
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Ken Crawford » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:26 pm

My John Packer F tuba vibrates like crazy when playing. No noises or loose parts, just a ton of vibration. I don't like or dislike it or know if it is a good or bad quality. It feels very alive though.
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Norm in Bellevue » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:04 pm

My Miraphone 188 rings on just one note--F immediately below the staff. I can feel it in my hands, and if I turn my head quickly to one side, I can hear the ring coming through the mouthpiece.
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby arminhachmer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:15 am

Donn wrote:
Yane wrote:an anechoic chamber with a tuba bell sized hole in it.


I don't know about anechoic, but to prevent resonance, I'd say set the tuba in concrete, keeping all the apertures clear.


Thanks Donn, i got a good chuckle out of that one. :mrgreen:
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby arminhachmer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:29 am

Norm in Bellevue wrote:My Miraphone 188 rings on just one note--F immediately below the staff. I can feel it in my hands, and if I turn my head quickly to one side, I can hear the ring coming through the mouthpiece.


Oh no ! The dreaded reverse discharge. I have the same happening with my Alex but i will not replace the ceiling in that room. Instead, i will try the tuba as ham radio antenna. Around 160m. about 1.8 MHz. Do i need to wire myself up to act as a counterpoise or could a metal tuba mute do that?

Ah its good to have a laugh.. :lol:
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby timothy42b » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:02 am

arminhachmer wrote:
Donn wrote:
Yane wrote:an anechoic chamber with a tuba bell sized hole in it.


I don't know about anechoic, but to prevent resonance, I'd say set the tuba in concrete, keeping all the apertures clear.


Thanks Donn, i got a good chuckle out of that one. :mrgreen:


Something similar has been done, with an instrument a tank of water. I can't recall details but imagine it must have been a trumpet.

I wrapped a trombone bell with that self vulcanizing tool handle tape once. My plan was to reduce the near field sound coming off the bell so I could hear only the wind column sound the audience hears. Alas, it made no difference at all. (But a molecule's thickness of lacquer............)
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby WillDellinger » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:54 am

When I was marching DCI, my Yamaha contra played normally for the first half of the season. Then a big gust sent a rifle crashing into the bell, leaving a fair sized dent. After that, there were a few notes would ring for about 2 seconds, and all the others were unchanged.
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby k001k47 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:11 pm

jperry1466 wrote:He said he had been experimenting with a belt around the throat of the bell (didn't say why) and noticed it got a darker sound.


I had one on a piggy for a while. It did help with ringing, but I'm not sure it changed the sound much. I did leave it on longer than I should have because it looked kind of cool. :mrgreen:
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Re: Resonance and vibration of the instrument

Postby Art Hovey » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:24 pm

I find it really annoying, especially when the tuba rings on one note. On the old one-piece Bell-front King that I used in high school and college I used to reach up with my left hand to stop the vibration. I like my Tiger because it does not ring at all. It does vibrate a little when played loud, but stops vibrating promptly when the note ends. The air inside the tuba is wonderfully resonant, but the tuba itself does not resonate on any notes.
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