The same Tuesday morning, there was very little time to inspect our first print. A crowd of people was waiting to hear about our progress!
We presented to them what we accomplished and pointed out the work that still has to be done.
A pleasant surprise was the presence of Valerio Lorenzoni, an Aerospace-engeneering PHD and saxophone player. He already did a lot of research on the mouthpiece problem and was kind enough to give us some tips. We spoke about the different types of mouthpieces and the known influences on tone quality. However, he stressed that the modification of mouthpieces is very complicated and would never result in just one tone feature to change.
There are of course a few guidelines we can use:
- A faster flow of air will result in a more ‘projected’ and sharper tone. Imagine a beam of laser or an arrow being fired.
- Slower airflow will result in more spread-out and warmer tone but less articulated.
- The border or ‘the ramp’ between the chamber and the bore is very important, a sharp edge will result in more air turbulence and hence a ‘richer’ tone with different layers an colours.
- Also the shape of this ramp is very important, the traditional U-shape results in a richer tone.
He suggested that we could research the differences of the shapes of the ramp, because the tip opening is a very default thing to change in a mouthpiece.
He also pointed out the flaws present on our first print and why it would not work as an actual sax mouthpiece:
- The side rails are too small, the reed will not be able to create a vacuum.
- The tip contour is too flat, very uncomfortable for the player and the reed will not match this shape.
- Also, the facing curve was not present. This feature creates the tip opening witch allows the reed to vibrate witch creates the tone.