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Thread: Performance mutes

  1. Performance mutes

    I've seen a lot of postings on practice mutes, but I'm interested in in a good playing mute. I came across a YouTube video of teenager Cameron Scott (England) playing "Bernie's Tune" to an iRealpro backing track. I really liked the sound he was getting with his mute and it's leading me to get a mute and noodle around in my practice room with some jazz tunes. I already use iRealpro with my guitar, so I'm ready to expand it to my horn. Cameron's mute is a Dennis Wick straight mute (I asked). But before I rush off and order that mute, I'd like your opinions on a good mute for getting a nice jazz sound. Is there support for the DW straight, or are there other options out there just as good or better? All comments always sincerely appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,162
    That model mute (Wick) is the same one I have and use when needed... which is not often. I added more cork to mine to use with my M5050 so it’s better in tune.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    That model mute (Wick) is the same one I have and use when needed... which is not often. I added more cork to mine to use with my M5050 so it’s better in tune.
    A LOT more cork. Like double.

  4. Mutes

    Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    A LOT more cork. Like double.
    Thanks for the input. That's helpful.

  5. But if intonation is an issue with the DW, what mutes are better? Is there a top recommendation for intonation?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,162
    Most mutes affect intonation some since they get in the way of the normal response from the bell. The Wick is a good design in that regard but none are perfect.

    Here’s a link to my post about tuning my Wick mute:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...e#.XIrhzhopChA
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  7. Thank again Rick.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,000
    It's quite common in the trombone world to drill holes in your mute. This is, first of all, quite a bit of exciting fun and experimentation; and it can be regarded as a kind of art form. However, all of that aside, it's a very common practice in order to get your instrument to play in tune when the mute is inserted and also to get certain notes (typically fairly low, or very low, ones) to speak properly.

    I have NOT had to do this on my bass trombone H&B stonelined mute or on my aluminum Wick straight or adjustable cup mutes for the bass trombone, but I do have a Windy city "symphony" bass trombone mute that I had to do it on (and I now don't use that mute, favoring the Wick). I also had to do it on my tenor straight mute to get it to work well on my Olds Standard.

    Since mutes on euphoniums (and tubas) are so infrequently used, I don't know if this practice is even known in the euph community. But it may be something to consider at some point. Part of the art is exactly where to drill the holes and how large they should be. I'm of the "no larger than 1/8 inch" school of thought. And the usual drill sites are either around the side perimeter at the end or in the end itself -- spaced according to your personal arcane principles. My H&B tenor mute, for example, has three holes in equilateral triangle apex configuration about 1.5" from each other. It made a huge difference.

    Just a thought -- and not really trying to encourage you guys to start punching holes in your mutes.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    But if intonation is an issue with the DW, what mutes are better? Is there a top recommendation for intonation?
    The Miraphone 5050 has a much bigger bell throat than most, so the mute needs more cork to keep it at roughly the same insertion depth as it was designed for.
    Last edited by djwpe; 03-16-2019 at 11:45 AM.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    The Miraphone 5050 has a much bigger bell threat than most, so the mute needs more cork to keep it at roughly the same insertion depth as it was designed for.
    The throat of the Adams E3 is also very large. My Best Brass practice mute is swallowed whole by my E3 compared with my Sterling in which it fits perfectly. The cork does not touch the bell in my Adams, but the aluminum sides of the mute sure do rub on the bell!

    As regards playable mutes, my Denis Wick DW5513 straight mute (not the DW5512 practice mute or the DW5587 travel mute) plays well in tune and is pretty much the standard among euphonium players I know. IT IS NOT A TRAVEL MIUTE. It is large, ungainly, and easily will nick or clank your bell going in if you are not careful. Very difficult to do a quick mute change too! But it works!
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

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