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Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 09:11:03 -0700
Subject: Re: [CB] (CB) 64' PVC Contra Clarinet Completed
From: Jim Katz
Move to the Australian outback and the Aboriginals will revere you as a god!
> This 20 year-old contrabassomaniac has finally completed his project desire
> to cause a contrabass clarinet reed to vibrate down to 4 Hz using PVC
> tubing!!! This is an idea I've had for several years; I just never bothered
> to go ahead and bite the bullet to spend the bucks and time until now!
> First, let me list the materials I used, and then I will go into details
> about the *instrument*. (No, I haven't put any keywork on it--yet; I would
> need help on that.)
> even if you only use 16' of total tubing (four 4' segments), it's
> worth it to hear that 16 Hz and to feel the reed vibrating that slowly!!!
> Of course, this actually produces 32' tone even though it's only 16' of
> tubing. By the way, with my 64' total tubing, if I remove the mouthpiece
> and buzz my lips like a brass player into where the mouthpiece fits in, the
> overtones around the tenor and bass octave are still so close together that
> I can produce whole and even half steps this low!!
> Gregg Bailey
From: "Spencer Parks"
Subject: Re: [CB] 64' PVC contra clarinet completed
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 13:45:50 -0500
I know I am getting to this topic a little late, but better late than never. I, too, have done a little experimenting with a lot of PVC and at the time I was also 20 years old (I am now 21). My project was improvised and didn't have to do with a mouthpiece or reed. Instead is combined two previous PVC projects. The first was making two PVC didjeridus. One 4' and one 2'. The other 4' length went to a friend who was doing the project with me. We also went to Home Depot and bought the 10' length and they cut it twice for us. We also decided to buy some of those 90º elbows as well so we could all length and in turn, make the tone lower (of course). I would play around with it putting elbow joints on and taking them off. I could also attach the 2' with the 4' plus the attachments. It eventually could get too long to get the fundamental tone of that length with just my lips on the beeswax
end of the didj, but I could get some overtones. It was lots of fun.
The second project I made as my final project for my "Physics of music" class. It was a similar PVC instrument like they use in the Blue Man Group . I suggest either going to see them or buying their CD "Audio." Really cool stuff. I wanted to create a two octave, chromatic scale, but that proved to be too much. I also realized my higher octave was just a little too high for the way I wanted to play it. I still have the lengths cut to almost their exact lengths. I settled with one octave, major scale in C. I didn't bend the PVC with elbow joints or anything. I just used straight pieces. The longest is about 4' long if I remember correctly (I am not near it right now). I had it set up in the stairs on a ledge going down to the basement of our house on a ledge. The lengths were attached using those "U" shaped bolts to a long 2 x 4. The 2 x 4 sits on the ledge.
I realized that I had all these elbow joints and two didjs and a whole bunch of extra PVC that I would have used for the Blue Man Group instrument. This is when things got interesting. I would attach the joints and the extra pieces of PVC and eventually the didjs to the longest piece of the PVC instrument. I could either hit the end of it (like they do in Blue Man Group) with my hand or a paddle and get an extremely low sound where you could essentially feel the vibrations (that may not be the right word I'm thinking of, but you probably get the idea). Or I could play it like a didjeridu and get some of the higher overtones which were still very low. My project only got to about 20' (which I thought was a lot until I read this e-mail). When I heard that somebody else did something similar to what I did, I got excited. I figured I'd let you all know about mine and it really isn't hard at all. And it's cheap.
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Subject: RE: [CB] 64' PVC contra clarinet completed
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 21:13:55 +0100
You are a sick individual :) I salute you!
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