I was watching a video of Eric Miyashiro playing his version of the Medusa trumpet, his has 3 bells. And I realized we both have the same problem. When soloing on multiple-belled horns, you must move each bell into the microphone, which can be a bit awkward on stage. It's possible to whack the mic with the next bell or be too close or too far away for good mic levels, which are just more factors that can distract you from making great music. So I started thinking, multiple mics built into the horn? Maybe. But what about a horn that has one massive flare that is divided in half or thirds with the divisions designed to produce different overtone series? And then fabricate a set of mutes for one or two of the bells. I could do most of the design work on rhino (cad program) calculating volumes, tapers and lengths before I ever cut a piece. Then I could mill the parts in halves (2 bells) or thirds (3 bells) and assemble the parts. I could revise my Triton design to incorporate this idea and the name would fit. Something to jot down and consider in a year I suppose.
So I leave for Spain soon and am wondering how well I'll do since I don't speak any Spanish. Yep, I took French and German and somehow dodged Spanish altogether despite having visited Old Mexico and Baja several times. It will be good to be out of my element for awhile, so long as I don't end up lost. My Mom is my traveling companion this trip and I think she studied Spanish years ago so maybe we'll be okay. I'm excited to go!
We're probably meeting with potential clients as well as a local music store owner who may become a dealer of some of my more standard instruments. And I think there's a masterclass in the works. Then it's on to Italy where I'll be giving a masterclass and showing my horns to some of the best orchestral trumpet players in Rome. Very exciting, but again, I don't speak the language. Let's hope everyone is patient with me. I suppose I can simply play music and they will understand.
I would like to write about the mechanics of trumpet playing and design at least a few times a week so please send your requests or questions.
Today, I'll briefly discuss bore sizes in standard Bb & C trumpets...
There is much confusion and some controversy over this subject. I often hear that you must play a large bore trumpet in orchestra or to have a big sound. This simply isn't true. Although extreme bore sizes can affect the overtone series, it really is unnecessary to design with multiple bores in the Bb/C range of instruments. This is simply because so many other factors affect the overtone series and changing bore size makes consistency more difficult even with a lot of practice. The SHAPE and VOLUME of the following can greatly affect the overtone series whether your goal is bright or dark, focused or broad; oral cavity, mouthpiece cup, throat, backbore, venturi, leadpipe taper, tuning slide and bell.
So why have companies changed bore size so many times? Good question and if you know the answer please let me know. My guess is that they were experimenting with multiple inside diameters of tubing and more than one stayed in production due to customer demand. Rather than developing many of the factors mentioned above, they kept small, medium, medium large and large bore versions rather than trying new leadpipes and bells. In my opinion, this had to be an expensive mistake...more on that another time.
Back to building trumpets...