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A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" region.
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Author:  tradlad123 [ Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" region.

Hi, this is just out of curiosity...
I have two Blackwood flutes from different makers (both reputed), and they clearly are biased towards different regions on the octave. One sings very well and feels natural in the upper register, and the other is more geared for the lower. Just with the naked eye, I don't see any noticeable difference in the embouchure size, or the bore width, so wondering what factors influence these outcomes? (I am not an advanced player by any means so my playing ability maybe a factor too).

Thanks!

Author:  kkrell [ Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Maybe head cork position needs adjusting for best tone & ease of play?

Author:  jemtheflute [ Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

I agree with Kevin. Check your stopper positions.

Author:  busterbill [ Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Since you aren't getting many responses from makers I'll toss out my more naive opinion and let the hive mind correct me if I'm way off. As well as the cork adjustment recommended there are quite an number of differences that are not visible to the naked eye. Even if the body of the flute and the embouchure looks the same to the naked eye, the bore may have a different angle inside, even subtle differences in the hole size can change things, as well has how they are undercut. As well there is a lot more going on with the embouchure hole. It is undercut at very specific angle chosen my the maker with how the bore was made and the holes cut and undercut in mind. So, yeah, it's complicated.

Author:  DrPhill [ Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

jemtheflute wrote:
I agree with Kevin. Check your stopper positions.

Slightly off-topic, but how sensitive is this adjustment? millimeters? Tenths of millimeters?
I am slowly getting a more reliable tone and have generally left this adjustment well alone, but I did find that it had drifted slightly. Probably just handling, accidental twisting etc. Playing did seem to get easier after setting back to the recommended setting but it was only a millimeter or so out, so my erratic embouchure probably accounts for more than the cork position.

Author:  Sedi [ Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Tiny changes in the design can have a huge effect on the sound. Just changing the stopper position one millimeter will have a noticable effect on the sound, tuning of the octaves, etc. A half millimeter change in the hole diameter of the tone holes will have an effect on tuning and response, etc. A good flute should perform evenly across two octaves (maybe even three but not really needed for ITM). That means, an easy 2nd octave and a booming first octave when you want/need it. Much depends on the player of course but some things cannot be overcome even with the best technique.

Author:  DrPhill [ Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Thanks Sedi, maybe I will keep an eye on it - though my inconsistency would easily drown out small changes.

Author:  Sedi [ Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Not so sure, I think you would notice it if you changed the position just one millimeter. Even when not playing at a professional level. The interesting thing is that the position of the stopper has multiple effects. Move it further out and it will make the low D more booming but it might at the same time weaken other notes and the end of the second octave will go flat. So far I don't really know why some notes become weaker when moving the stopper further out. I think it might be because the start and endpoint of the soundwave of notes is moved.

Author:  Maihcol [ Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

tradlad123 wrote:
Hi, this is just out of curiosity...
I have two Blackwood flutes from different makers (both reputed), and they clearly are biased towards different regions on the octave. One sings very well and feels natural in the upper register, and the other is more geared for the lower. Just with the naked eye, I don't see any noticeable difference in the embouchure size, or the bore width, so wondering what factors influence these outcomes? (I am not an advanced player by any means so my playing ability maybe a factor too).

Thanks!


"...One sings very well and feels natural in the upper register..."

Apart from the stopper position, this part of your description also suggests this particular flute could have a small leak weakening the bottom register. In which case, the upper register would tend to be be less affected. Try a suck test on the head and barrel, without separating them, by placing the palm of your hand over the open end of the barrel and sucking air through the embouchure. You should be able to hold a decent vacuum for a count of 10 seconds. If not, check whether the slide is properly greased as recommended by the maker. You can also check the stopper for a leak by separating head from barrel and repeating the suck test. Joints can leak, as can the wooden body itself, through small cracks, also keypads, etc.

Garry

Author:  tradlad123 [ Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Garry, thanks, that is something I never though of! Will check and hopefully won't find any leaks....

Author:  croberts [ Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

I have an antique Moennig that is quiet in the lowest notes with the original headjoint. When I play it with an Abell headjoint, it has much more volume across all registers. The Moennig headjoint plays in tune, so the cork is probably in the right position. I guess in this case the difference is more headjoint than flute.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

tradlad123 wrote:

...different regions on the octave...the upper register...the lower.


This can be taken to mean that you're talking about two different things:

1) different regions of the same octave, say, the difference in voicing between E/F# and A/B.

2) difference between the low octave and the 2nd octave.

Which do you mean? Thanks!

Author:  tradlad123 [ Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Richard, I meant difference between lower/upper octave. For eg. it plays very sweet in the upper octave but the lowest D is not the strongest, the other flute, on the other hand, does not have as nice a tone in the upper octave (which may be my playing too), but has a honking lowest D.

Author:  Sedi [ Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

Another thought -- the size of the holes could be a factor. Bigger holes can make the second octave slightly harder at least for the last two or three notes.

Author:  jim stone [ Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A question for flute makers... reasons for "biased" regi

This could be the difference tween a Pratten and a Rudall. The former tend to have a booming low D. The Rudalls often have a sweet upper register but you sometimes have to develop by yourself the low D (e.g. lift your chin, play long tones). You can get a powerful low D but you may have to learn how.

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