Practice mutes

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herrerabone
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Practice mutes

Post by herrerabone » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:41 pm

Thoughts on practice mutes? Would you recommend them? If so, which are the best practice mutes for a student's small budget, which are the best if someone has unlimited funds, and why do you think that?
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Neo Bri
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Neo Bri » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 pm

I like the Best Brass Warm-up mutes. They are expensive. I have a Pro-tec knock-off of the same mute but for trumpet. It's pretty decent.
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Matt K
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:13 pm

I just moved to an apartment a few months ago and promptly bought set of Silent Brass mutes. I really don't like the older one, but its the only option for bass trombone. The newer silent brass are superb. The flugel works for alto and the trombone works in all my tenors (small bore and large bore) as well as my flugabone.

You can pipe electronics into them like drones, etc. The new silent brass really alters very little in terms of intonation. The included earbuds are junk though. I use a set of Bose Q15s that are great (not too wide so I can play without hitting the trombone with them).

Part of the criticism of practice mutes is you don't get the same amount of feedback you would playing normally so you may as well not practice at at all! I don't totally disagree with that statement; however, playing without electronics and with electronics are two totally different things. I can see how one would develop maybe a tendency to overblow without any feedback... although I will often do that and haven't noticed a problem over the last few months. With the electronics (the mute comes with a microphone in the mute so it sounds like you are plyaying live), you should be mindful not to turn up the volume too much for two reasons. Firstly, you don't want to damage your hearing and secondly, you want to make sure that you aren't underblowing. I may have been playing too loudly for a week or two and I noticed my endurance suffered. But I set it sufficiently low and it sounds very close to playing a horn without the mute. Especially since the newer ones fit right in the bell.

I'd recommend it to a tenor trombonist for sure if they were only practicing or largely practicing with the practice mute.
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BGuttman
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by BGuttman » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:26 pm

I also had something called a "Peacemaker". I believe mine was intended for French Horn as it fit my bass trombone but was too big for my tenor trombone. It's basically a cardboard cone with a stethoscope. The stethoscope is equipped with a valve and you can adjust the valve so the sound inside the mute is the same as what you would get with no mute.

It's a much lower tech solution, with a much lower tech price.

When i was a kid the only one available was the Mannie Klein mute (H&B) which had intonation problems, was stuffy, and had lousy feedback. Thank heavens we have better solutions now.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Kbiggs » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:30 pm

Denis Wick mutes are pretty good—fair response and good intonation. The lower register usually suffers, though, for tenor and bass. I drilled an additional small hole in the side of the mute, which seemed to help.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by jchiang9 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:48 pm

I'm a fan of the best brass practice mute and it's nice to play on a lighter mute that doesn't make the horn front heavy.
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tbonedude
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by tbonedude » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:04 pm

I used to use the Dillons music version of the best brass practice mute, but it's been replaced by a bremner Ssshhh practice mute. There's much less resistance then the best brass mute, and the instrument plays much better in tune as well. They're a little more expensive, but worth the price if you live in an apartment or shared-space.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Neo Bri » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:21 pm

tbonedude wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:04 pm
I used to use the Dillons music version of the best brass practice mute, but it's been replaced by a bremner Ssshhh practice mute. There's much less resistance then the best brass mute, and the instrument plays much better in tune as well. They're a little more expensive, but worth the price if you live in an apartment or shared-space.
How do they compare to the Best Brass in terms of portability? I love that the Best Brass fits in the bell totally flat.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by tbonedude » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:38 pm

Neo Bri wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:21 pm
How do they compare to the Best Brass in terms of portability? I love that the Best Brass fits in the bell totally flat.
They're less portable and around the size of a french horn straight mute, so it wont fit in the bell while the instrument is in the case. The improved sound comes at the cost of portability, but in my eyes it's worth the trade off (unless traveling/flying)
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Neo Bri » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:54 pm

tbonedude wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:38 pm
Neo Bri wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:21 pm
How do they compare to the Best Brass in terms of portability? I love that the Best Brass fits in the bell totally flat.
They're less portable and around the size of a french horn straight mute, so it wont fit in the bell while the instrument is in the case. The improved sound comes at the cost of portability, but in my eyes it's worth the trade off (unless traveling/flying)
RIght. But they sound sweet for staying at home.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by marccromme » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:06 pm

I tried quite some practice mutes (no Yamaha silent Brass, though) and have two I really like:

Bremner Shhhh mute (both the tenor and the newer improved bass version with curved shape) are in my opinion the best in response, they are very quiet, and do only alter pitch and intonation minimally. But they are large and a bit heavy, and do not fit into the case. These are my preferred home mutes. Pedals are really fine, too!

Passionee practive mutes look like Best brass, they are small and light, fit easily in the case, and do a good job as well. Much cheaper than Best Brass, not exactly as quiet as Bremner, but easily used abroad. Pedals possible and somewhat OK.

The DW practice mute is uneven, and double valve register and Pedals just don't work. I really don't like it. I converted mine to a straight mute by re-corking, and that gives the expected DW straight brass band sound, just without the rolling on some of the low tones (due to the small holes in the side!!!). It's a better DW straight than the original, at least for my bones.
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Mv2541
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Mv2541 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:26 pm

I haven't tried the Yamaha.
That aside, most mutes that fit in the bell mess with pitch unevenly. In the top register they go flat and in the low range they go sharp. The Shhmute makes the whole horn sharp top to bottom quite evenly.
Plus in the new Shires cases you can fit it in the bell.
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greenbean
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by greenbean » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:02 pm

I use a Best Brass for tenor and the Protec Liberty mute knock-off for bass. I like them a lot.
marccromme wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:06 pm
...
The DW practice mute is uneven, and double valve register and Pedals just don't work. I really don't like it. I converted mine to a straight mute by re-corking, and that gives the expected DW straight brass band sound, just without the rolling on some of the low tones (due to the small holes in the side!!!). It's a better DW straight than the original, at least for my bones.
I also did this. And, I agree... it makes a better straight mute than the DW straight mute!
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Crazytrombonist505 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:44 am

greenbean wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:02 pm
I also did this. And, I agree... it makes a better straight mute than the DW straight mute!
That’s very interesting. I may have to try that with mine.
peteedwards
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by peteedwards » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:45 am

I have 3 practice mutes for bass:
1) Yamaha old silent brass- best intonation & blow, but doesn't fit in the case. It also is a bit heavy & makes my horn too front heavy to play for very long at a time.
2) Best Brass, intonation not as good, more resistance. I cut wider slots in the neoprene "corks" which improved it a bit but its now not as quiet.
3) Protec Liberty, better than best brass as far as intonation & blow, and much less expensive. I now use this mostly.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by timothy42b » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:25 am

I have a couple of Renuzit mutes that are fine for a considerate warmup before rehearsal. I've occasionally used them to do the morning routine in a hotel room. You can't beat the price (still 99 cents for the parts).

If you build one of these, I have a suggested improvement. The "corks" (most people use weather stripping tape from the home improvement store) serve two functions: to retain the mute in the bell, and to make a seal to keep the sound in. The standard practice mute design combines those functions; I prefer to separate.

If you have access to a 3D printer you can download Pieter's mute design which is said to work very well.

I also have Peacemaker, threw the stethoscope away years ago. It works well but makes a nose heavy trombone even worse.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by BflatBass » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:05 am

I have a question about loudness of the electronic vs a non electronic practice mutes. For someone in front of the bell, which is louder. I know they all very in loudness but why spend $200 on a Silent Brass system if it's no quieter that other non electronic practice mutes when your in front of the bell.
Also, Matt K. mentioned that the older Silent Brass is the only electronic mute option for bass trombone. Correct? I've heard the new SB system is much improved over the old one.
My practice time is limited because my neighbor is complaining if I practice after 8pm. I need the quietest mute I can find that will fit a bass 9.5 inch bell.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by afugate » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:55 am

timothy42b wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:25 am
I have a couple of Renuzit mutes that are fine for a considerate warmup before rehearsal. I've occasionally used them to do the morning routine in a hotel room. You can't beat the price (still 99 cents for the parts).

If you build one of these, I have a suggested improvement. The "corks" (most people use weather stripping tape from the home improvement store) serve two functions: to retain the mute in the bell, and to make a seal to keep the sound in. The standard practice mute design combines those functions; I prefer to separate.

If you have access to a 3D printer you can download Pieter's mute design which is said to work very well.

I also have Peacemaker, threw the stethoscope away years ago. It works well but makes a nose heavy trombone even worse.
For those who are curious, I believe this is Pieter's 3d mute design.
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2049257

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Re: Practice mutes

Post by timothy42b » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:41 am

That's it, but he's added some improvements since I last looked. I wish our local library had a Makerspace, I have to drive to the next town.

I notice he says to add a strip of cork to hold it in the bell and seal. I suggest splitting those two functions.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by BGuttman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:17 am

BflatBass wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:05 am
I have a question about loudness of the electronic vs a non electronic practice mutes. For someone in front of the bell, which is louder. I know they all very in loudness but why spend $200 on a Silent Brass system if it's no quieter that other non electronic practice mutes when your in front of the bell.
Also, Matt K. mentioned that the older Silent Brass is the only electronic mute option for bass trombone. Correct? I've heard the new SB system is much improved over the old one.
My practice time is limited because my neighbor is complaining if I practice after 8pm. I need the quietest mute I can find that will fit a bass 9.5 inch bell.
The important point of the Silent Brass or the Peacemaker is that it sounds as loud to you as if you had no mute, but it's more like a whisper in front of the bell. I used a Silent Brass as a practice mute in a double room in a rehab hospital and my roommate said it was quiet enough to be able to hear his television. If there's a wall between you and your fussy neighbor, any of them will probably work fine.

Note that the new Silent Brass trombone mute will not fit a bass trombone. But it fits much further into the bell of a tenor which helps the nose-heavy problem. You still have all those wires to deal with (as Red Hot Mama used to say, "all trussed up and nowhere to go").
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Matt K
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:24 pm

BflatBass wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:05 am
I have a question about loudness of the electronic vs a non electronic practice mutes. For someone in front of the bell, which is louder. I know they all very in loudness but why spend $200 on a Silent Brass system if it's no quieter that other non electronic practice mutes when your in front of the bell.
Also, Matt K. mentioned that the older Silent Brass is the only electronic mute option for bass trombone. Correct? I've heard the new SB system is much improved over the old one.
My practice time is limited because my neighbor is complaining if I practice after 8pm. I need the quietest mute I can find that will fit a bass 9.5 inch bell.
The silent brass is very quiet. MUCH quieter than the aluminum best brass I have and the Wallace I briefly used while in grad school in a similar situation. My wife can't even hear it in the next room which is only a few feet away when I use the new silent brass mute.

Additionally, if you pipe the sound into headphones, you can adjust it so that you feel like you're playing ambiently to a very large degree by my perception. Would I rather practice without one? Yeah, absolutely. It's a compromise but it's the best compromise I've experienced.

The caveat is that the new one wont' fit basses. Someone mentioned doing some heavy modification to one to make it work... I can't speak to that. I can say that these are finnicky intonation wise if you're not using the right mute. For example, the tenor mute will fit in my alto but the intonation is really wonky. But the flugel mute has great intonation on my alto. Likewise, the flugel mute will fit in two of my smaller horns but the intonation is likewise horrendous with the flugel mute on my tenors. Is it worth the time? If it ends up being in tune... I've not played any mute that has a better combination of volume attenuation and intonation than the new silent brass mutes.

The older mutes are also pretty quiet but I don't practice bass as much in no short part because the torpedo silent brass is not nearly as easy to use. Makes the bell quite heavy on what is already my heaviest horn. The electronics are not nearly as good, although it might be possible to modify the new electronics to work with the old mute... they have a different set of inputs but if you're handy with electronics you might be able to get them to work.

Now all that said, part of how I've been keeping my bass chops up is by using my bass slide on my tenor as well as using an Elliott LB114 (my usual rim) on an LB D cup and use it on my small bore or 525 horn. I still practice playing low as the 525 has an F (and D) attachment. Doesn't help me get used to the bass but it is fine for keeping my chops up. Recently acquired a flugabone that also works fine for maintenance.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by EZSlider » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:12 am

Hey all new to the site and bass bone.. Just got my Bach 50a3 a few days ago and love it so far.. Really bummed that the silent brass system does not support bass. I have the aforementioned SSHH practice mute which is quite quiet. I had considered getting a tenor bone silent brass mute and sticking its guts in my SSHH.. Any thoughts?
What about just modding silent brass? Thanks.
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Matt K
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:11 am

I think the most important design features of the newer Silent Brass are the mute itself and less the microphone in it. However, I have thought about modifying the cord to fit in my modern Silent Brass electronics. The cord on the older pickup is clearly some kind of mono input while the cord for the new one is stereo (or at least has two black bands around it). I'm sure there's a converter that would work but what I tend to do since resistance is different anyway is put my bass slide on my tenor bell and practice that way. This is assisted, of course, by the fact that I have a dependent tenor so it makes it easier to make that work. If I didn't have that, I'd probably have modified it awhile ago.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by BGuttman » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:18 am

I'd bet the Yamaha Silent Brass for French Horn will fit in a bass trombone. Can anybody near a music store check it out?
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Matt K
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:40 am

That's actually a good idea. I think our local one has them... I'm not sure when I can stop by but it's on my radar.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by hyperbolica » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:12 am

Just to kick in my vote, I use silent brass for tenor, and love it. For bass I use the Shhhmute.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by EZSlider » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:21 pm

After reading this I am about to pull the trigger on a tenor silent brass set-up http://www.trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=129 I will wait till tomorrow to see if anyone else chimes in first.
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by KCinAZ » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:29 pm

Yes, the French horn Silent Brass fits into a Shires BI bass bell. I tried it and it sticks out a bit more than it would in a French horn bell. It would probably go in just about right into a Shires BII bell. I use it on French horn and like it. I am not a bass bone player. It doesn't seem to make it too front heavy.
BGuttman wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:18 am
I'd bet the Yamaha Silent Brass for French Horn will fit in a bass trombone. Can anybody near a music store check it out?
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by EZSlider » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:15 pm

Oh what to do what to do?
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:47 pm

KCinAZ wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:29 pm
Yes, the French horn Silent Brass fits into a Shires BI bass bell. I tried it and it sticks out a bit more than it would in a French horn bell. It would probably go in just about right into a Shires BII bell. I use it on French horn and like it. I am not a bass bone player. It doesn't seem to make it too front heavy.
BGuttman wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:18 am
I'd bet the Yamaha Silent Brass for French Horn will fit in a bass trombone. Can anybody near a music store check it out?
How is the intonation on it?
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:11 pm

Does a bucket mute effect intonation?

I'm thinking of picking one up on my way out of town. I've got a straight mute that I can use in the home in visiting, but I thought a bucket would have less of an effect on both the intonation and the tone. I figure it'll just muffle the tone rather than... I don't really know how to describe the tone (¿timbre?) a straight mute makes. Actually,I haven't used mutes enough to freshly understand how (or if) the st mute erectus intonation.
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Tue May 01, 2018 3:56 pm

Best Brass Warm-Up Mute
Just tested NeoBri's out at 05:00 this morning. Worked great. It messed with my intonation, but I didn't wake my wife, so I think I'll have to buy it. I think this mute may double the amount of time I practice!
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by tubaja » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:01 pm

My mute falls out. Any tips to fix this?
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:46 pm

tubaja wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:01 pm
My mute falls out. Any tips to fix this?
Which mute/horn?
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by tubaja » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:11 pm

Yamaha YBL-621. 9.5" rose bell. Based off Conn 72H bell.
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Matt K
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Re: Practice mutes

Post by Matt K » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:57 pm

tubaja wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:11 pm
Yamaha YBL-621. 9.5" rose bell. Based off Conn 72H bell.
My apologies, my brain is totally shot - end of day - did I miss what mute is having an issue in the YBL621? :horror:
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