Sounds of Music C

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby engineeringmaniac » March 23rd, 2012, 7:32 am

Sadly, not that i know of (my reasoning behind not putting one in). I spoke with the local music store that do quite a bit of repairs, and they said even they dont do soundposts. The tricky part is that the post has to be precisely installed. If its not the exact size, it wont fit in correctly. Also, if its not in the correct spot in relation to the bridge, itll dampen and be more of a detrement then an improvement. The advice i got was to go to a specialist with all the correct tools to measure and install sound posts. Unless you have conections in the music industry,I'd say go to the closest music store, explain your situation, and go from there.

As for the sound, if the cello/guitar crossover isnt producing much sound, it could be because your front plate (the sound board) is too thick. On both my violin and harp, i made the soundboards about 5-6 mm thick and that produced a surprising amount of sound (compared to my extremely low expectations). Im not an expert (and will probably be disproved by Alpha), but the sound post might not be the best way to help your instrument, especialy if you have to go through serious hassle to install it.
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Experimental Design - 1st
Bridge - damaged before competition :(
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby AlphaTauri » March 23rd, 2012, 12:40 pm

Yeah, there's really no simple way to put a soundpost in, since it has to be a friction fit. Honestly it's probably going to be more hassle than it's worth for the increase in volume - the main reason I advised you to install one in the first place was to keep the top plate of the instrument from collapsing under the string tension.

And I agree with engineeringmaniac, thinner plates will increase volume (because they vibrate easier than thicker plates), but then you have to watch out for string tension again. The material you make the resonator out of can also have an effect on the volume, though there's not really much I can say past 'flexible stuff transmits vibrations to the air easier'. I'd also advise you to head to a music store for help installing a soundpost, although a string shop - or even a luthier, if you can find one nearby - may be more helpful than a general music store. (I would think, however, that any place that sells strings instruments, even if they're not a specialized string shop, can also fix issues up to and including a fallen soundpost, since that's a relatively common issue - bridge falls, or a student forgets to not take all the strings off at once when changing strings.)
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby bloods » March 23rd, 2012, 5:53 pm

I used plywood this year, which probably explains everything. There's a lot of bracing on the inside so it collapsing was never a problem, and I have banged this thing around with no adverse effects. Only problem is that its shape--two hexagons on top of each other--is giving me buzzing and wolf tones, and I wish I could fix it but states are next week and I don't want to experiment that much in fear of ruining it. It has to be the shape because I've messed around with the bridge and string catch and the tuning pegs with no results, so it's a fault in the design.

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby engineeringmaniac » March 26th, 2012, 9:29 am

I stuck with very traditional designs (tailored to the specified ranges) to avoid having such problems, although i got lazy and only made a two octave diatonic harp. The problem is that my music is in two different keys (C maj. and D maj.). I only have to tune five stings up a half step, but i have a problem. Would i be able to use an elcetronic tuner in between songs to tune my harp? It is a comercialy made device, however I'm not actually using it to make sound or even compete with and it gains me no points in its use. Would this be allowed you think? Ill submit a clarification soon but in most cases opinions posted on this site are in conjunction with the national webiste (thank you chalker).
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Wright stuff- 1st
JYC - 1st
Experimental Design - 1st
Bridge - damaged before competition :(
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby JustDroobles » March 26th, 2012, 11:30 am

On the National FAQs (http://soinc.org/node/292) it lists several examples of similar instruments, like flute/piccolo, guitar/ukulele, trumpet/tuba, drums/xylophone, all of which which are very similar in both structure and playing method, and says they points would be lost for "variety". It strikes me as odd that one of the examples included in flute/trombone, which is a blatantly different comparison. They are both aerophones, but a brass instrument like a trombone is controlled by the vibrations of the players lips and the adjustment of the length of the tube, whereas a woodwind such as a flute needs specific sized openings and fingerings and a completely different embouchure. Does this seem like a mistake?

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby AlphaTauri » March 26th, 2012, 1:34 pm

Hrm, if I was judging, I would take off one or two points out of the five possible for a team that had woodwind/brass, or in a similar vein, percussive string/bowed string. Woodwind and brass are completely different aerophones, yes, but the fact remains that they are both aerophones and produce sound through the vibration of a column of air. Same logic applies for percussive string and bowed string - completely different members of the chordophone family, but they both produce sound through the vibration of strings.

This is how I would score it:
5 pts = two completely different instrument from different families (ex. marimba and cello)
3-4 pts = two completely different instruments from the same family (ex. flute and trombone)
1-2 pts = two similar instruments from the same family (ex. violin and cello)
0 pts = two of the same type of instrument (ex. two guitars)
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby illusionist » March 30th, 2012, 12:52 pm

Is rosewood required for a quality marimba, or can other woods be substituted with equal sound quality?
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby kateak » March 30th, 2012, 1:42 pm

illusionist wrote:Is rosewood required for a quality marimba, or can other woods be substituted with equal sound quality?


I didn't want to spend a fortune buying rosewood so I used Maple and I think the sound quality is good. The only thing I didn't like about it though was that the grain of the wood was pretty variable so there was a couple of notes that had a weird ring to them so I redid those notes. That might be true for all wood though.

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby grawlix » March 30th, 2012, 5:27 pm

personasaurus rex wrote:
Starapollo1 wrote:
personasaurus rex wrote:Any tips on making a legal bow? I bought horsehair online, and at Athens yesterday I managed to BS my way into not getting disqualified by the judge but I honestly have no clue where else I would be able to find a substitute for horsehair...


Why can't you use horse hair from a horse...

The majority of the horsehair you find online are specifically manufactured/harvested for violin bow making, which counts as "professionally made for musical instruments" and therefore illegal. Plus I unfortunately don't live on a farm with horses, despite the general impression of upstate New York...


Given that horsehair is also used for jewelry and textiles, would it be legal to buy loose horsehair online and bind a hank myself?

Also if anyone else is making violin frogs, I'd really like to know how you're dealing with the ridiculously-specific metal eyelets.

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby engineeringmaniac » March 30th, 2012, 9:56 pm

grawlix wrote:
personasaurus rex wrote:
Starapollo1 wrote:Why can't you use horse hair from a horse...

The majority of the horsehair you find online are specifically manufactured/harvested for violin bow making, which counts as "professionally made for musical instruments" and therefore illegal. Plus I unfortunately don't live on a farm with horses, despite the general impression of upstate New York...


Given that horsehair is also used for jewelry and textiles, would it be legal to buy loose horsehair online and bind a hank myself?

Also if anyone else is making violin frogs, I'd really like to know how you're dealing with the ridiculously-specific metal eyelets.


I went to lowes and bought a quarter inch bolt that had A tab on the end so you could turn it by hand. I also bought a quarter inch coupling (looks like a really long Knut). I cut the bottom of the frog to fit the coupling and glued that.

On the dowel I uses for my bow, I cut a quarter inch hole about 4 inches it from the end. Then, I cut in from the side with a bit the same diameter as the coupling. Thus, when I put the bolt in the end and the coupling in the grove, it worked exactly like a violin bow.
Note: drilling holes in the ends of dowels is very tricky and takes patience and experience to get it centered and inline. Buy extra dowel and expect to make mistakes.

And as for making a hank, I didn't have to. I cut a groove I'm the tip with a wedge slightly smaller ready to go in. I got me horsehair even and laid it across the tip. The wedge nicely secured the hair with some help from gorilla glue :). I put a plate on just for looks. The frog was Easier. Just cut a plate with two short sides so it'll slip on tight, pull the horsehair taught (have the frog in place and just slightly back for fully loosened), glue it up and push on the cover plate. I found this process to be significantly easier then trying to tie the hair. Hope this helps :)
State 2010:
Wright stuff- 1st
JYC - 1st
Experimental Design - 1st
Bridge - damaged before competition :(
Nationals 2010:
.... Well we had fun

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby himynameis » April 13th, 2012, 10:28 am

Say you had a marimba and xylophone, would you get the creativity points?
And are they required to have 12 tones (sharps/flats) or just 8 (one octave)

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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby zyzzyva980 » April 13th, 2012, 2:50 pm

You would get creativity points... but not very many. It's recommended that you don't bring two very similar instruments.

It's all twelve, not just eight. Include sharps and flats.
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby Kid Cobain » April 28th, 2012, 10:00 am

For a guitar, would I be able to use a guitar pick and store bought strings?
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby silverheart7 » May 13th, 2012, 2:40 pm

Strings, yes because the rules state that you can use commercial strings. However, I don't think the guitar pick would be allowed. And yes, I am in Division B because I'm interested in taking this event next year when it moves to my division.
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Re: Sounds of Music C

Postby illusionist » May 13th, 2012, 3:26 pm

Kid Cobain wrote:For a guitar, would I be able to use a guitar pick and store bought strings?

Make your own guitar pick. Just cut up an old (make sure it's inactivated) credit card/gift card into a pick-like shape. I play a "real" guitar, and if I'm ever short on picks, I'll make one from an old card. Works fine
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