Kopprasch Project Continued, No. 2

Continuing with the Kopprasch video project I started last week, this week we have No. 2.  Though similar in design to No. 1, this one moves primarily by leaps of a third or greater instead of in whole and half steps.  As you will notice from this week’s video,the lighting is much better due to a repositioned camera.  I’m still fiddling with placements for the external microphone, and I noticed a peculiar phenomenon during the recording yesterday.  My initial setup for recording was flipped 180 degrees from last week, with my bell facing directly towards the door and front wall of my office.  After trying a few takes with this setup, I wasn’t very happy with my sound, and I also was having more trouble than usual with fracking notes.  The notes seemed to be splitting in an unusual way, and I think this was in part because of “slap echo,” a type of harsh echo effect which Derek Wright discusses in this excellent post on making an audition tape.  Make of this what you will, but after slightly turning so that my bell wasn’t directly pointed at bare surfaces, the recording went much more smoothly.  I’d still like to get a bit more resonant sound in my office, but obviously things will be limited by the size and design of this space.  Although using the recital hall here is definitely an option, I like the convenience of being able to record whenever I want in my teaching studio.

Coming up next week, Etude No. 3 and a post on various editions of these etudes.

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Are you saying the angle of the bell had an indirect effect on your playing? I can believe it, just want to be sure I’m understanding you. Is it that the bad acoustics interfered with your auditory feedback? Or is it possible the sound waves in the room actually interfered with what was happening in the horn?

Also, “fracking” is new to me. Similar to, but less than cracking?


Hi Lyle,

In this case, I think it was the latter of the two. I believe the actual reflection of the sound from the back wall was causing some additional accuracy problems for me. The sound wasn’t great either, and so I’d be willing to be that both the inaccuracy and weird sound were caused by playing too close to the wall.

I’m not sure where the term “frack” fits in our hornists’ lexicon of missed notes, probably somewhere between spleeahh and crack.


You could look into to getting a set up where your sound runs through a microphone and processor and creates reverb through speakers. Sort of like a silent brass for your office, except you don’t have to stick anything in the bell. While I was at Western Carolina for undergrad (Go Cats, beat APP!) Alan Mattingly had it set up this way in his very dry office, and it really helped.


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