Sometimes you just have to make it your self

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  • #2845
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    As mentioned In a post a couple of weeks ago where I stated that I was very inspired by Troys new creation, which I have now dubbed “The Troylodica”. Inspired and yet bothered with myself that I did not have the motivation that I used to have to do something about something I did not like. I have wanted for a long time to improve the mouth piece set up on my Vibrandoneon. In fact I have wanted to do this almost from the day it arrived. The Vibrandoneon did not feel natural to me as I did not play my melodicas in the position the S shaped pipe created. It did not have a spit valve, my lips would slip and I could not tounge as fast as I could on my other melodicas, in other words I learned to live with it. The idea was in my head but I never put them down on paper. So with a full pot of coffee and my trusty measuring tape I finally designed the mouth piece set up that I have wanted for years. After I had all what I needed I went to the one person that could make this happen, my brother Tony. A professional musician for over 50 years and a instrument repair man for close to 30 years. He introduced me to a brass instrument maker he has known for ever and a day. We met and went over what I have wanted and based on my crude sketches and ideas from that meeting I now have the mouth piece set up that I have wanted for a long time. Your comments are welcomed as I will probably improve on this more. And thanks for the motivation Troy.
    Melodica-Me

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    #2846
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Wow! That is amazing! And it looks really great as well. Does it work as expected?

    #2847
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Thanks Troy, yes it works great. I was actually very surprised that it felt like my hands knew were to go. When I play sticatto there is more control than with the straight pipe. When my lips would get to wet, my mouth would tend to slip a little. The mouth piece keeps your lips centered in one position. It also adjust in height so I still need to find that sweet spot. I was very happy that it did not look awkward or that it made my Vibrandoneon look funny.
    Melodica-Me

    #2863
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Troy, a short update on the new mouth piece set up. This weekend, I played my Vibrandoneon for about 3 hours each day with my new mouth piece set up and as long as I cleared out the spit after every two to three tunes (depending on length) I had no issues with moisture. I wanted to see how the interior of the Vibrandoneon was so I opened the box and I saw no signs of moisture build up :). The pipe collect moisture quite well so I am happy with that part of the design. What I have done to make my practice even more confortable is to straddle a portable piano bench that I normally use for my Kursweil PC 88 keyboard and rest the Vibrandoneon on one end, this supports the instrument and it becomes very easy and confortable to play long hours, there is no need to support the weight, which after a while it would start to become uncomfortable for me plus the Vibrandoneon sits on a nice padded cushion. I will shoot some pictures tomorrow and post as it is a bit late tonight.
    Melodica-Me

    #2864
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Oscar Verdugo from Monsters of Melodica playing his Vibrandoneon with new custom made mouth piece set up.
    [IMG]http://i355.photobucket.com/albums/r445/BigPwr/1aaec01f68670ab355037d986d05a5d6.jpg[/IMG]

    #2865
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Oscar Verdugo from Monsters of Melodica playing his Vibrandoneon with his custom made mouth piece set up.

    #2868
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Looks really great Oscar, far better than the original design. And glad to hear it’s working well. And also great to see you’re playing position, which seems to solve a few of those weight/bulk problems. I suppose you could do something similar by using a chair and a small stool, if your keyboard bench wasn’t available.

    #2877
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Melodica-Me,

    So does the trumpet mouth piece enable you to change the sound of your instrument through the use of embouchure techniques?

    Does anyone know if trumpet players buzz and sing into the mouthpiece, or otherwise change their lips significantly to modify their sound?

    I have been fooling around with singing/humming into my melodica, but I have not done this yet with the trumpet mouthpiece.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Lowboy

    #2881
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Lowboy, I am still experimenting but I do know that I can tongue much faster and my accents are much tighter. I seam to have more power when I need it but can choke the notes if to much. My notes seam more controlled. I can trill easier than with the straight pipe. Still a lot to learn since I had never played the Vibrandoneon with a French horn mouth piece. Same as a trumpet just much smaller.
    Melodica-Me

    #2884
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Thanks for the information Melodica-Me.

    I wonder if anyone has put a clarinet or sax mouthpiece on a melodica yet. That is on my keyboard harmonica bucket list.

    Lowboy

    #2893
    AvatarBinyomin
    Participant

    This looks like a great approach, mouthpiece-wise. I’ve been thinking that a trumpet or sax style mouthpiece would make it easier to control the instrument.

    This version does look like it would be tough to play while standing. Since I use mine in concert, I need a solution that would allow me to hold the instrument in pretty much the position I do now, with the “S” shaped tube, but with a different mouthpiece.

    Thanks for daring that. I’m looking forward to seeing what others have come up with in this regard. It’s such a wonderful sounding instrument, but there are a number of design flaws, and the mouthpiece (or lack thereof, really) is one of them.

    #2894
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Thanks Binyomin, the main reason I wanted a trumpet mouth piece was for when I play staccato and fast tonguing and to eliminate the moisture before it made it’s way into the instrument. Also, The position “to me” personal opinion here, the S-curve pipe is a little unnatural for my playing. Keep in mind that if you add a mouth piece to the end of the S-curve pipe you may put a lot of stress to the base so use caution, I put the trumpet mouth piece on the S pipe when I was trying different sizes and it flexed a bit and it did not look safe for the instrument. To much pressure on the mouth piece. In the straight position you do not have this problem. In the position I play the instrument now, it eliminates having to support the instrument as you do in the cradle position, again a personal choice. I use the Vibrandoneon a lot for recording and after a couple of hours the weight starts to bother me. I have a session next week and I will post the results if it makes a difference or not. I noticed that a video that Troy posted “the Sea Shanty”, he plays his Vibrandoneon in a similar position with a shorter mouth piece. To me it’s a more natural position for the hand and arm.
    Melodica-Me

    #2895
    AvatarQuetscher
    Participant

    Great mouthpiece, Melodica-me!

    #2896
    AvatarQuetscher
    Participant

    Hi Binyomin,

    I use a French horn mouthpiece that fits exactly into the S-tube. It’s a “Arnold&Sons W-12” mouthpiece; they say it’s the exact copy of a U.S. built mouthpiece, so if you don’t get the “Arnold&Sons”, there should be some other mouthpiece that fits.

    #2897
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Questsher,the mouth piece I am using is a French horn W-12, it was the best fit for me and yes this one fits directly into the S-pipe. My Vibrandoneon will no longer be known as the hopak with a keyboard lol
    Melodica-Me

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