Capped double reed instruments

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Ben Sanders
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Capped double reed instruments

Post by Ben Sanders »

Hello,

I am looking for information around making capped double-reed instruments. Last year I 3d printed a cornamuse (someone else's design) and hand-made a plastic reed, and that turned out well. Right now I'm got a contrabass reed and am experimenting with making something that I could use with it. I was starting out printing a bit that I could use with some pvc pipe, but I had a question about the cap itself. How much do the dimensions of it matter? And for experimenting, does the size of the part I'm blowing into matter? It seems to me that it would be the pressure inside the cap that matters, but I could be completely wrong.

Thanks for any help!
-Ben

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Charlie Schultz
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Charlie Schultz »

I can't help you with your questions (sorry) but I would like to know more about the cornamuse- can you share the design and what kind of 3d printer you used?

Bob Francis
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Bob Francis »

Yes please do!

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Jim McConkey »

I'm no expert on these old woodwinds, but since the free end reed is contained inside the cap, I wouldn't think the cap dimensions will make that much difference. In general, only the bore dimensions from the reed to the open end matter for pitch, etc. You might want to think about a replaceable cap design, where you can experiment with different heights and blow hole sizes.
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Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I would agree with Jim McConkey that the cap dimensions are probably not critical so long as the reed has the necessary clearance to vibrate. In Trevor Robinson's book "The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker" he shows designs for three krumhorns - Tenor, Alto, Soprano, and although they have different size reeds, he mentions that the same size wind cap is used for all three. A bassoon reed can be modified for use with the tenor krumhorn.
The cornamuse is essentially an unbent version of a krumhorn.

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Charlie Schultz
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Charlie Schultz »

The 3d printed cornamuse can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38656. It hasn't been updated since 2012 though. The origin of that design I think was: http://web.archive.org/web/200112271239 ... the%20reed although one of the drawings is missing.

Anyway, if anyone is interested, I was able to 3d print the body from the files on the first site above. I've made a reed based on the second link but no luck with it getting to buzz yet.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hi Charlie,
Reading over the reed making description I didn't see any mention of thinning the tip of the reed as is done on cane reeds. You might try scraping the tip a little thinner and see if that will help the reed to sound.

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Jim McConkey »

There generally is no need for thinning when using yoghurt containers. They are about the correct thickness to start with. Try adjusting how far the reed sticks out from the end of the tube. Do you have a close-up picture of the reed?
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Charlie Schultz
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Charlie Schultz »

Well, it's from a plastic Dixie cup instead of a yogurt cup. It is starting to make some noise but it's kind of hit or miss.
PXL_20220901_002332748.MP.jpg
PXL_20220901_002353387.MP.jpg

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Jim McConkey »

See if you can find something a little bigger than a Dixie cup, more like a 16 oz sour cream container. Dixie cups are rather small and might have too tight of a radius. I think the two sides of the reed are basically supposed to be just touching, not open.
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Charlie Schultz
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Charlie Schultz »

It was an 18 oz cup, so rather big. Perhaps too stiff?

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Capped double reed instruments

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I would definitely thin the tip. Some reeds have a wire ligature to adjust the opening. Unlike an oboe reed the player's tongue can't touch the reed.
It might help to make it similar to a bag pipe or chanter reed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isz8kpY3ARE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO28sseMuAY

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