OcarinaBoard.com

Mountain Ocarinas Forum => Quick thoughts from Karl => Topic started by: Karl on April 23, 2009, 08:11:39 pm



Title: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on April 23, 2009, 08:11:39 pm
A couple of weeks ago, Ubi invited us to talk via Paltalk. It was great to speak to folks in real time. During that group conversation, some of our number mentioned that there were times when they couldn't play their ocarinas because they might bother housemates or neighbors. I've created a fairly soundproof area in my home for practicing and recording, so I said I would share some ideas about this on the forum.

I have started this topic so that we can share ideas about how to control sound. Iíve been thinking and studying about this a great deal in the last couple of weeks.

By the way, here is an interesting link on sound control.  (I meant to include several others, but my computer is acting up and Iím about to leave for a trip.) http://www.nonoise.org/hearing/noisecon/noisecon.htm 

A Few General Thoughts about Noise

First of all, what is noise? When I was a child, my Dad (a weed scientist) explained that a weed is simply a plant in an undesired location. A beautiful flower becomes a weed when it pokes its ďuglyĒ head up through your neat gravel patio. In the same way, noise is merely unwanted sound, no matter how beautiful that sound may be. My neighbor may love a certain CD, but when he cranks up his stereo loud enough so that I have to listen to his ďbeautiful musicĒ through the walls of my home, he is creating noise. 

Timing Is Everything

At certain times and in certain places, sound is more welcome than others.  If I play a song on my ocarina as part of a church service, people might weep with joy. If I play my ocarina in the park, folks have been known to gather around in appreciation. If I play that same song at 10 pm in my hotel room, I can expect an angry knock on my door.

I say all this because people sometimes grow insecure about their playing because others complain about the noise. Donít be discouraged! Think about it! Even if your favorite recording artist were to move in next door, youíd quickly grow tired of their music if you had to listen to him or her practicing the same song, over and over, through the thin walls of your apartment at all hours of the night.

There Is a Way!

So, what should we do if we live in a thin-walled apartment or surrounded by people who object to undesired music (i.e., noise)? Should we sigh, throw up our hands, and conclude that we are not destined to play a musical instrument? By no means! Where there is a will, there is a way. Once we decide that we really want to play an instrument, we can always find ways to control the sound. Letís talk about that together.

Best wishes,

Karl


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on April 23, 2009, 08:33:04 pm
I'm about to leave for a trip, so Cliff will have to post my TRASH BARREL SOUND BOOTH video here.  Because I was so rushed, I filmed this with a tiny Casio digital camera which I held myself. If you watch in full screen, you may experience mild motion sickness. ;D

Because of ventilation issues, etc., creating a full sound booth can be an expensive, elaborate project. The Trash Barrel Booth is just one example of a simple, effective, fairly inexpensive solution to the noise problem... and it would probably fit into even a small bedroom. If requested, I can provide ample details.  However, I think that my next video (A SOUND CONTROL BOX) would probably be a better solution for many folks.



Karl


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on April 23, 2009, 08:43:48 pm
A SOUND CONTROL BOX

Again, Iím about to leave for a trip. (Many thanks to my wonderfully patient wife who waits while I type this!) If this video is not up yet, Cliff will post it for me as soon as he is able. As I stay in hotels this coming week, Iíll be testing and tweaking this idea. This is a simple, economical, and extremely portable method that has some real promise.

Karl

P.S. I'm writing this from the hotel now. (We checked to see if the videos were up yet.) About the box... I forgot to mention that we could put a clear acrylic plate on the front of the box if someone felt they NEEDED to see their hands. Acrylic is a fairly poor transmitter of sound.  Also, I think I mistakenly said condenser when I was referring to the camera's compresser.







Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Kiniko on April 24, 2009, 02:03:50 am
A SOUND CONTROL BOX
(Many thanks to my wonderfully patient wife who waits while I type this!)

Wait, your wife was waiting for you to go somewhere, and you STILL thought you had time to type things in brackets? Come on, Karl!

On an unrelated note, Ime very happy bout this thread, being on of the people in question from the paltalk. Along with playing ocarina, Im concidering renting a saxaphone soon, so any measures to prevent noise will be great.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on April 24, 2009, 01:00:45 pm
I like the portable Cone of Silence!  I'm thinking you could put the acoustic foam right over the hand holes, and just cut 'X' slits to let your hands in.  I'm also thinking about a way to use some plastic aquarium tubing to make a flexible mouthpiece extension.  In fact, this is something I've thought about anyway, apart from the sound control issue.  They have these extension tubes for melodicas, and I think it's a cool idea.  If I feel like playing my ocarina in some other position than right up to my lips, why not?  It's just a question of finding a simple way to attach the tube to the ocarina.  This could be a new MO accessory!  With a flexible extension tube, it would be much easier to use the Box of Silence!

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: onewhohopes on April 29, 2009, 11:32:22 pm
It sounds like both of them work great. I will definitely be trying to help think of ways to do it differently.  :)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 03, 2009, 05:19:30 pm
Hi, I just returned from my back to back trips, 1st to Massachussets and then to Georgia.  Here is a video of me playing my ocarina inside my improved sound control box in a Georgia hotel. I had some friends listen in outside the door of my room, and this solution definitely works.  I'd like to tweak it in some of the following areas:

  • A smaller, lighter box that is easier to pack
  • A more flexible tube for blowing comfort
  • I'd like to experiment with the most natural hand postion
  • Etc.


This short video is worth watching if you are looking for an easy way to play quietly on the road or at home.

Hopefully we will post the video here very soon.

Karl



Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: armisis on May 03, 2009, 07:12:16 pm
Maybe looking at this will aim towards an Ocarina version ??

http://www.sax.co.uk/e-sax.htm

I love what your doing here would love something that is usable with any Ocarina, and that would open up a full new market as well!
<GRIN>

all the best

dave


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: dereks on May 04, 2009, 12:02:18 am
I have two questions. 

First, where can I order some of that accoustic foam?  I've had a difficult time finding it.  I haven't been able to locate it in Utah, so I know I have to order it online or something.  Everyplace I've found seems to be a little pricey. 

Second, About your box, I was wondering.  I work in an industrial environment.  We have a sand blaster with gloves attached to the outside of the "box", sealing the dust inside and making it so you can manipulate the objects inside the box as well.  Maybe this would work with the "Oca-box" (forgive me for the lame name).  Rubber gloves attached to the outside of the box, poking inward would further stop sound from escaping and still make it so you could cover the holes and play.  It would make it harder to feel the holes, but what do y'all think? 

I'll look for small containers at work that could be modified into a silencer.  I travel extensively.  A compact, packable box would be perfect for me.  Just big enough for my hands and ocarina.  I could play every evening!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 04, 2009, 12:47:25 am
Second, About your box, I was wondering.  I work in an industrial environment.  We have a sand blaster with gloves attached to the outside of the "box", sealing the dust inside and making it so you can manipulate the objects inside the box as well.  Maybe this would work with the "Oca-box" (forgive me for the lame name).  Rubber gloves attached to the outside of the box, poking inward would further stop sound from escaping and still make it so you could cover the holes and play.  It would make it harder to feel the holes, but what do y'all think? 

You could use the gloves with most of the fingers cut off.

But I actually think it would be easier to cover the hand holes in the OcaBox (perfect name!) with the foam, and just cut 'X' slits in the foam, to let the hands in.  Or, cut circular holes a bit smaller than the hand, so the hands could push through and the foam would seal around the wrists.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 04, 2009, 12:54:34 am
Hi guys,

Freedom to play any time of the day or night in a lonely hotel room, a thin-walled apartment, or a crowded home is exciting!

As far as weighted vinyl, acoustic foam, etc., I have a great source. The drawback is that they don't sell in small quantities. However, I am open to the idea of buying materials in larger lots and then making them available at a reasonable price.  

Also, we are still perfecting this "cone of silence" idea, so I suggest holding off on spending money until we get a more definitive design. Of course, if you want to experiment too, that would be great! When we do have an excellent design, I imagine we could either provide kits at a reasonable price (which would save folks money because we could buy in bulk) or we could post plans and sources for materials on our site so that you could do it yourself.  

Dereks, I like your idea about the sandblaster gloves. We have a couple sandblasters, so I had thought of the same thing. I'm not sure it would work, though. Gloves tend to be hot and sweaty, and they usually don't provide enough finger tip sensitivity to feel and seal toneholes. Ubi mentioned cutting an X in some foam, which is another excellent suggestion, but I fear that the delicate foam might get torn up too easily. I'll give these ideas a try and see how they work out.  The box actually worked very well as pictured in my last "Hotel Room" video, but I want to try a few more things before I suggest to anyone that they buy anything.  By the way, "Oca-box" is NOT a lame name.  Personally, I was thinking "Ocbox" or "Ocsbox"...

Armisis, thanks for that video link. All this feedback is helpful.

Hasta pronto.

Karl


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 04, 2009, 01:17:24 am
Ubi, you and I posted simultaneously (you a bit before I), so that's why my last comments don't encompass your most recent post.

Gloves with fingers cut off is another super idea that I'll check out.  Acoustic foam seems to rip easily, but smaller foam circles around wrists and X-shaped cuts in the foam are two ideas that I will test.

Perhaps I could use only the wrist portion of gloves to prevent the delicate foam from ripping as we repeatedly insert and withdraw our hands through the foam circles or "X-holes."  Ultimately, I'm aiming for a simple design that will be effective, comfortable, affordable, and durable. 

My son Dan, who needs this computer, tells me that it is time to say goodbye. :D

Goodbye! Thanks again to all.

Karl


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 04, 2009, 01:42:49 am
Thanks to Karl for those MORE than smart ideas and experiments and to every contributor to the thread. And thanks to Cliff to pointing me to it!

About cutting the fingers of the gloves, maybe worth considering using gloves, but cutting the whole... hands? I mean, leaving the arms sealed only up to the wrists. The hands could sweat less that way rather than freeing only the fingertips.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 04, 2009, 11:13:23 am
Hi, Spatolo, I appreciate you mentioning that idea about cutting off the HANDS of the gloves.  Thatís what I meant to say in my previous post, but you have said it more clearly. If gloves are to work at all, I think we would cut the hand portion off and use only the wrist portion to protect the foam and to prevent sound from escaping out of the hand holes. Just as in the case of a sand blaster, the wrist section of the gloves would seal around the hand holes.

I'll try to make a smaller Ocsbox later this week that will incorporate some of the suggestions you guys are making. Thanks!

Karl



Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 05, 2009, 02:11:34 am
My poor english understanding came back with me :)

Can't wait to see your new results!

Thanks so much!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 05, 2009, 03:03:57 am
Prego, Spatolo. (Now that I have used up all my Italian words, I'll switch back to English. :D)  I purchased some materials today that I want to test out this week.  As I mentioned, I'd like to make a kinder, gentler smaller, lighter, and more durable ocsbox.

Karl   


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: noahsummers on May 05, 2009, 05:46:44 pm
This is soooo awesome!  Personally, I would set out to make a somewhat classy-looking (yet cheap) wooden booth with a door.  Sort of like a phone booth but with sound dampening technology and a place to sit. ;)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl B on May 05, 2009, 10:50:21 pm
Okay I was trying to come up with an idea, but I haven't been able to do it yet so I'm throwing out on the table to see if it's worth picking up.

How about taking a stethoscope, take off the "pickup" (or whatever that thing is on the end that's always cold.  :D) replace it with with a smaller one and attach it over the fipple hole on the ocarina.   Or I was thinking a suction cup with a hole in the middle with a short hose connector to the hose on the stethoscope.  I don't know if this would restrict the air flow enough to prevent sound, nor do I know if sound escapes from the finger holes.

Well is this feasible, or pie in the sky?

Karl B


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Cliff on May 06, 2009, 01:55:12 am
Interesting idea KarlB. One idea to throw out would be to take the stethoscope and plug it into the box (through a hole in the box) if you wanted to hear the sound at a louder volume. This would be akin to playing a digital piano with headphones on. The box could be used with or without "headphones" depending on how loud you wanted to hear. Or you could put a real mic amp and headphones inside the box and listen on headphones with an actual volume control knob.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 06, 2009, 11:11:08 am
GREAT stuff, this way I could silence the box hugely (with many layers of foam) if not COMPLETELY and still enjoy the music!! I also own a sthetoscope already. This sounds more and more intersting already.

Now a question about this wonderful system(s) in development. I would like to know how is the feeling of playing the oc-in-the-box from the point of view of blowing/breathing/mouth shaping/throat shaping. I guess that blowing into a tube rather than into the real thing could change somehow how the instrument plays (the airflow bends before getting in the ocarina... or perhaps NOT, since the piece in the end is straight... hum. Hum. Hum).
Anyhow. My biggest trouble is STILL playing decently high notes; mostly because they are not only the most difficult, but also the louder - so, I don't practice to avoid bothering the neighbors... eh eh.

I remember Ubi's recommendations about those notes and about keeping the throat wide open to improve the quality of the tone. So in the end I wonder if and how blowing in the tube can be in relationship to this.

(BTW: the "side of the sthetoscope that's always cool" made me laugh out loud).


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 07, 2009, 12:27:24 am
Hi, guys.  Please watch this video of the latest version of the OcsBox. (Hopefully, it will be attached to this post soon.) Iíve looked into MANY other box ideas, but this latest version is attractive, durable, affordable, portable, and VERY quiet. In case you havenít noticed, I really like it! (Should it be be OcsBox or OcBox?)

Spatolo, tonguing and blowing one of our ocarinas through a tube is surprisingly similar to blowing directly into the mouthpiece. However, you have raised some excellent questions. Iíll try to address them after I get a chance to play a lot in the OcBox over the next several days. Also, after I try it out for a bit, Iíll want to send boxes to some of you for review and feedback.  Let me spend some quality time with it first, though.  ;)

By the way, one thing I've become convinced of is the difference between sound absorbtion and sound transmission loss. Sound passes with surprising ease through most sound absorbing materials and through any holes or cracks.  For that reason, sound absorbing materials alone often don't quiet things down as much as we think they will. However, if we use heavier, denser materials (without leaks) to contain the sound, then sound absorbers like acoustic foam will help dissipate that sound energy (into low grade heat) as the sound waves meet resistance while bouncing back and forth through the foam.
 
Noah, when I first began working on this sound control concept, all my research was aimed at creating an affordable 4í x 4í x 7.6í soundproof booth.  Personally, I have created a fairly soundproof little room in my home, and I thought others could do the same.  ButÖ as I got more into this, I was worried that most folks wouldnít consider a project like this if they had to spend much time or money on it. The biggest challenge to creating a soundproof booth is proper ventilation. Keeping a small, insulated room cool AND quiet requires a bit of money and some ingenuity. 

Thatís why I wound up experimenting with the trashbarrel upper body soundbooth. After studying about and making lots of drawings of complete sound booths, I started thinking in simpler, cheaper terms, especially in light of these tough financial times.  The ďtrashboothĒ does work pretty well, but I donít play my ocarina in there much now. (Itís still in a little cubbyhole next to our kitchen, but now I use it as a handy, peaceful, private place to pray in the morning. Itís dark and quiet in there, so I find it easier to relax there than in my home office, where ongoing projects call out to me as I walk through the door.)

Actually, Noah, Iím hoping weíll come back to the soundproof booth idea in a few months. A booth doesnít have to take up much space, and I know that some of you want to make recordings at times when the rest of the world wants quietÖ

Karl B., I love ideas like your stethoscope suggestion! Unfortunately, if you block the fipple window, an ocarina wonít speak. (And just to be scientific, I ran and borrowed a stethoscope from my wife, an R.N., to test this idea.) For proper sound production, air must be able to cycle freely into and out of the fipple window and the toneholes.  In the same way, the toneholes and fipple window are the orifices from which sound waves are transmitted.  As Cliff mentioned, if we eventually create an OcBox that is almost completely silent, we could listen to ourselves play via a small mic and earbuds.

I spoke to my friend Dave Chamberlain of Octobrass today. He really likes this idea and is onboard with us on it.

Karl




Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: noahsummers on May 07, 2009, 04:38:18 pm
Whoa, best one yet!  I love the way you could actually carry that around in public!


Quote
The biggest challenge to creating a soundproof booth is proper ventilation. Keeping a small, insulated room cool AND quiet requires a bit of money and some ingenuity.
Hmm, I hadn't even thought about that.  It seems to me that the best ventilation method (without putting a significant amount of money into it) would just be to open and close the door every once in a while.  That way you wouldn't have to sacrifice any sound dampening.  Probably wouldn't be the best solution in the hotter months, though. :-\


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: dereks on May 07, 2009, 05:09:37 pm
As I have said in other postings, I travel alot.  I can't tell you how excited I am about the ocsbox!  It has been a challenge to practice on the road.  Please, let us know when you feel you have all of the kinks out.  I, for one, would love to have one.  If you sell a kit, or a unit, I would buy one.  I'm almost as excited about it as I was waiting for my ocarina for first arrive!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 07, 2009, 05:27:10 pm
This looks like a winner.  The OcsBox is portable enough to go on trips, and in a hotel room it would probably be less loud than the TV, and certain less loud than normal conversation.  It does sound loud enough to hear, for practice purposes, without a mic and earphones.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 07, 2009, 07:53:56 pm
Quote
The biggest challenge to creating a soundproof booth is proper ventilation. Keeping a small, insulated room cool AND quiet requires a bit of money and some ingenuity.
Hmm, I hadn't even thought about that.  It seems to me that the best ventilation method (without putting a significant amount of money into it) would just be to open and close the door every once in a while.  That way you wouldn't have to sacrifice any sound dampening.  Probably wouldn't be the best solution in the hotter months, though.

Noah, about sound booths, I guess the importance of ventilation depends on geographical region and time of year.  In my limited experience, I find that a small well-insulated space tends to heat up surprisingly quickly.  For instance, our basement (where I have my soundproof little room) stays fairly cool, even in the Summer.  My soundproof room is fine during the cooler months because I keep the heat very low in the basement. In the Summer, though, that room can turn into a sweat chamber if I stay in there for a long time without ventilation. As committed as I am to all things ocarina, even I find it less fun to play when my body parts start to melt.

Ubi, my family all agrees that the OcBox is much quieter than a television set at "normal" listening level. It really is appropriate for hotel playing and for playing with other people nearby. For example, folks sometimes mention that they are shy about practicing new or difficult material when other people can hear them. I can relate to that! The OcBox provides lots of privacy.

I appreciate all the feedback, and I'm glad some of you guys are excited about this because I am! Dereks, as I get more into this, I become more and more committed to eventually making a finished version of the OcBox available to folks, either by posting do-it-yourself plans or by making this a product that we sell, or both.

I wasn't planning on making any more OcBox videos for a few days, but then I had a minor breakthrough today while playing in the box. In the back of my mind, I was concerned that beginners might not benefit as much as advanced players from the OcBox. What I mean is this: folks new to ocarinas might find it strange or confusing to play an ocarina with hands raised to their face when playing OUTSIDE of the box and then with hands down in their lap when playing INSIDE the box.  So, after testing a few postiions, I put the OcBox upside down on a mic stand so that I can play my ocarina inside the box almost exactly like I do outside, except that it is much quieter. I find that I greatly prefer this position and that it accurately mimics the holding, balancing, blowing, etc. of normal ocarina playing. The only drawback is that a traveler now has to pack a telescoping stand too. On the bright side, I did a quick net search and found a few light, inexpensive stands that fold and telescope to fit in luggage.

I'm going to try to make a quick video of me playing the OcBox on a stick stand. Maybe we can get it posted tonight.



Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 08, 2009, 02:10:08 am
Tonight after Taekwondo, my wife Susan, my son Dan, and I were watching part of "Shrek" on the computer in the kitchen.  I watched for a while and then went to get my OcBox with stand. Without saying anything, I sat down in the same room with them, watched the movie, and played some energetic jigs at full volume on my encased ocarina. Of course, I'm not going to do this every time we watch a movie, but my family was not bothered by my playing at all. Although I can hear myself play, this OcBox is very quiet!  Its faint soft tones will not overpower movies, nearby phone conversations, grumpy neighbors, sleeping children, etc.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 08, 2009, 09:42:29 am
Thank you again Karl for all of the enthusiasm you're putting into research and development of the oc*box: count me among the *very* excited fellows, that could definitively allow me to play A LOT more! I mentioned that to Cliff, I'm mostly focusing on a digital piano now although I'm very lame on it; just because I can play with headphones and be the only one that listen to it. That allows me to focus only on myself, the music, the rhythm, whatever relates to what I am doing, leaving everything else completely OUT. ("I am disturbing? What are the neighbors thinking?") Distracting and stressing thoughs, Out of my way!

That new box is for sure quiet enough to play leaving all the anxieties out of my darn head and focus on music. Nevertheless, I'm still wondering if that could be silenced even more. That's probably not a real need: it's more a curiosity than anything else


So: it for sure IS silenceable more (making it bigger and with more layers or foam and the like - for me portability is not an issue - but of course there would be the need for the player herself to listen! So again about the stethoscope, what about Cliff's idea? Plugging the stethoscope not onto the fipple or the windway, but just leaving it's end hanging inside the box, or fixed anyhow else into the box, but NOT touching the ocarina. Could that work? Would that allow the player to hear herself at a normal volume? If so, the oc*box could be silenced even more up to (almost) zero decibels to the point that one could play in bed with somebody sleeping just nearby. Or more realistically, just play at night being paranoically SURE that not even a spy could hear him.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 08, 2009, 09:18:46 pm
Spatolo, I hear your request for a nearly silent OcBox.  You want an OcBox that you could play while someone is sleeping by your side. That is a good goal.

Before I talk about that, I have to say that, for many situations, we might not want to make the OcBox quieter than it is now.  Unless I NEED it to be dead silent, itís nice to be able to hear myself play without the use of special equipment.  With that said, there is no doubt that we could make it quieter than it is now!

For example, we could design a heavier desk model, an OcBox that you wouldnít want to travel with but that you could lug around your house or apartment if you had to.  When weight and portability are not major concerns, it becomes a lot easier to design an enclosure (for only our ocarina, our wrists, and our hands) that could be almost silent.

By the way, if we do make the box ďsilent,Ē listening to our ocarina through a stethoscope is a good idea. There are a few problems with stethoscopes, however. First of all, they work best when in direct contact with the sound source, or the sound source has to be very close. Second, they donít seem to transmit a very pleasing ocarina tone, and the volume is not adjustable. Finally, the stethoscopes Iíve tried are pretty uncomfortable to wear for any length of time. Very similar to a stethoscope, I think we could rig up a little eartube that would project just enough sound so that we could hear the ocarina but no one else could.  On the other hand, there are simple monitoring systems with a mic, amp, earbuds, and volume control that we could use to listen to ourselves play. And as Dave Chamberlain mentioned to me, we could add a touch of reverb to transform our little OcBox into a symphony hall.

Without even going to a desk model, we could make our present travel-ready OcBox quieter with a few simple modifications.  For example, we could simply drape the box with a special blanket that has both a sound barrier and a sound absorbing layer. Or, as you guys have mentioned, we could design a better wrist enclosure to further prevent sound from escaping from the OcBox. (The gauntlet idea is a good one, but it increases the complexity and, so far, it makes for a more sweaty, less comfortable playing experience.) Or we could make a soft fitted cover for the OcBox that would stow away inside the box for travel and wrap around the box when itís time to play.  The cover could have an outer layer that is a flexible sound barrier and a sound absorbing inner layer. It could even have elastic wrist holes to prevent sound from leaking out around our hands.

At this point, Iíve been trying to keep things simple and fairly inexpensive so that folks at home or we at Mountain Ocarinas (a tiny company with limited resources) could actually make these things soon instead of in a year or two.
 
Next week, Iím going to try to meet again with Justin OíNeill of OíNeill Industrial Corporation (suppliers of noise control materials and systems). I want to show him our present OcBox and get his expert input on how we could improve it.

To all forum members, youíre feedback is extremely helpful. Itís especially helpful to know whether or not the OcBox idea would meet a need for you personally.

Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 08, 2009, 09:56:15 pm
Thank you Karl for such an informative answer. I actually asked that because, well, I'm paranoid  ;D, but I do absolutely realize that a small-sized, very effective ocsbox can be just perfect for fundamentally every ocarina player in the World that needs to play quietly - me included. I was just exploring possibilities (on your behalf, since it's you that do the dirty job of course :) ). I feel pretty lame for not having thought that a simple digital solution can do the job and could be very "tuneable" to the user's needs. (edit: not to mention that one can wear super-confortable earphones this way)
Thank you again then. Looking forward for your future ideas, improvements, and most important building plans. ;)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: onewhohopes on May 11, 2009, 12:43:54 am
It is amazing how quickly this idea has come into fruition.  I can't imagine any MO player who doesn't have a need for a suppressor (unless they have something already).  And, since I am a pretty big FPS fan (first-person shooter for you non-gamers out there), what about using the same technique as gun suppressors/silencers?  I know that a screw-on suppressor wouldn't work at all (although it would be cool-looking  8) ), but I did some research into how they work (I like knowing things  :) ).  Gun suppressors use baffles on the inside of the metal cylinder to "fight sound with sound".  The baffles reflect some of the sound waves onto themselves, and when troughs and peaks meet, they cancel.

Along a similar note, the active noise canceling headphones use the same idea but instead of baffles they record the sound, invert it, and play it back.  So you could use the noise canceler in the box, and you can use the headphones to listen.   :)

I am also wondering, did you do any tests with no weighted vinyl lining or foam, with just the box?  I remember that one link someone posted with the "sax-box" thing, and it looks like it is just a thin plastic or rubber material.  I know it wouldn't work as well, but maybe it would be good enough for people with less stringent requirements.  It would also be interesting to know how many decibels you get playing without the OcBox, because I'm sure it must be like 80-100 in a small room (or so the ringing in my ears tells me).  My room does not absorb much sound at all; that's why I was wondering about a less-professional OcBox, because I think I would even use it when I'm by myself.

Also, I like OcBox over OcsBoxOcsBox sounds way too much like Oxbox, which might get people wondering what strange oxen-containment unit you have been concocting up.  ;D 

-Tom


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 11, 2009, 01:54:49 am
Thanks for the input, Tom!

Quote
My room does not absorb much sound at all;
Tom, if you play for very long in a small loud room, try some low cost musician's earplugs.  I carry a set in my pocket ever since I went to a St. Patrick's Day dance that caused my ears to ring for a few days. http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er20.aspx 

Quote
The baffles reflect some of the sound waves onto themselves, and when troughs and peaks meet, they cancel.
Along a similar note, the active noise canceling headphones use the same idea but instead of baffles they record the sound, invert it, and play it back.  So you could use the noise canceler in the box, and you can use the headphones to listen.
Good suggestion, Tom. At this point, I haven't been able to see how we could affordably apply that technology here, but the seed is planted, so who knows about in the future? I'm wide open to input...

Quote
I am also wondering, did you do any tests with no weighted vinyl lining or foam, with just the box?
A hollow box with no foam is pretty loud up close. (A sax projects a lot of sound from the bell, but ocarinas project sound in all directions.) Early on, I tested a double walled cardboard box with only heavy acoustic foam and no layer of weighted vinyl. The results were significantly quieter than an ocarina outside of the box but nowhere near as quiet as our latest version of the Ocbox, which is very quiet.  The weighted vinyl really helps as does using heavy tape to seal any gaps (sound leaks) where the vinyl pieces come together.  Per your request, I'll do some quick tests this week using only acoustic foam (without the weighted vinyl) in our sturdy plastic OcBox. Also, I plan to test an adaptation to the Ocbox that should make it even more silent. If someone wanted to make the box louder, there are pieces that one could quickly remove.

Quote
I like OcBox over OcsBox.
  Thanks for the feedback.  I agree with you!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: BeRightBart on May 11, 2009, 06:52:47 pm
I'm reeeeeeaally looking foward to be able to play everytime i want it. (I may not play at my home if my parents are at home 2)
a few questions: I saw in the video that it was quite heavy, Does that means there will be more shipping costs? and what about the price itself? I'm afraid that it will be quite shocking. (not that you're expensive or anything, but it sounds pretty expensive.)

I'll be sure that a lot of people will be entoushiast like me! It's a brilliant idea and i hope it will come trough!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Ben on May 11, 2009, 07:50:12 pm
Would dulling part of the fipple edge reduce the volume? I hate the idea of messing with an instrument, but if it works, it could be done on a poly at far less cost and much greater portability than the Ocbox.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 11, 2009, 08:05:48 pm
Would dulling part of the fipple edge reduce the volume? I hate the idea of messing with an instrument, but if it works, it could be done on a poly at far less cost and much greater portability than the Ocbox.

I think you risk to get a breathier sound, and perhaps the reduction in volume could not be consistent through the scale. At least, that's what I experienced with the straw, which in the ends affect how the air hits the fipple. Anyhow, if I remember well I asked for this and I was replied that Karl experimented with that already and that it's not recommended. But again, we were discussing about "mellowness" of the sound rather than volume. So again...

KARL, WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF DULLING THE FIPPLE EDGE?

Duh.

 ;D


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 11, 2009, 08:09:06 pm
Bart, thanks for the feedback and for asking some very good questions.  I don't have all the answers yet, but I'm making encouragingly quick progress on the OcBox.  I'll continue to post news as I know more.

Quote
I saw in the video that it was quite heavy, Does that mean there will be more shipping costs? and what about the price itself? I'm afraid that it will be quite shocking.

For now, I can only tell you that I am very focused on keeping the cost down. The OcBox is such a useful idea, but it won't be that helpful if most folks can't afford one.  Also, I'm hoping to offer a few OcBox options: a fully assembled OcBox; a less costly OcBox kit that you assemble yourself; and some type of free, do-it-yourself plans.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 11, 2009, 09:23:49 pm
Quote
KARL, WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF DULLING THE FIPPLE EDGE?

I am with you guys in your desire to find a simple solution to playing quietly when we need to.  I'm afraid that dulling the fipple edge is not the answer, however.  I'll force myself to give a short answer here.  :D

The design, precision, and dimensions of the windway and labium (fipple edge) are crucial to proper tuning and to how well an ocarina speaks.  If you were to change the size of the fipple window by filing away at the labium (in order to dull it), the whole ocarina would sound sharp and the instrument would no longer be in tune with itself (the lower notes would rise in pitch more than the upper notes).

Also, dulling the fipple edge on Mountain Ocarinas would make for fuzzier high notes, and you'd have to blow louder to get clear sound, which would not make the instrument quieter. Other methods of making the instrument quieter tend to yield a less expressive instrument that requires delicate blowing, especially on low notes.

When I was away a week or so ago, I played in two public venues.  In both situations, I was thankful that my ocarinas had sufficient volume for public performance and that I could play them with energy and expressiveness. I don't want to lose that. 


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: onewhohopes on May 12, 2009, 02:39:11 am
Thanks for the link to those earplugs!  :)

I was looking around Target the other day for those cheap little foam things, but now I am definitely getting these ETY-plugs.  I had no idea that they made high fidelity earplugs that don't muffle sounds.  I've found a store in my city that carries this exact brand, and I'm probably getting them tomorrow.  These would be excellent for concerts, too.  I went to a Christian metal concert last  spring without any ear protection, and I regretted it afterward.  My main reason was that it muffles the sound, so these will be great.  :)

Now that I think of it, that baffles idea would probably not work. Guns always make the same sound, so I think the suppressors are designed to cancel out that one noise.  The ocarina has several sounds, so it would probably be impossible to get it to work with baffles.  :(

I am looking forward to seeing where this project ends up. 

-Tom


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 12, 2009, 02:51:47 am
Quote
I went to a Christian metal concert last  spring without any ear protection, and I regretted it afterward.  My main reason was that it muffles the sound, so these will be great.


Yeah, it's too bad, but just about any amplified live music these days is too loud for comfort or for ear health. Those etymotic earplugs come with a tiny, durable case, so I keep a set in my left front pocket.

I'm pretty happy with this week's slightly improved OcBox, so now I'm searching my mind and the net for an affordable, travel stand for it.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 12, 2009, 06:03:36 pm
When I was away a week or so ago, I played in two public venues.  In both situations, I was thankful that my ocarinas had sufficient volume for public performance and that I could play them with energy and expressiveness. I don't want to lose that. 

well I think that ben was talking about a distinct, practice ocarina designed only for the purpose of playing quiter. But I'm sure that it would not work a tenth well than the Oc-In-The-Box, although it would be more easy to carry.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: onewhohopes on May 12, 2009, 06:19:17 pm
Today I went to this impressive music store in town called Sweetwater; I found that they carried these Etymolic earplugs by searching online last night.  I just finished practicing for about a half hour with them in, and I must say I am very impressed with them.  I can play like I'm in a concert hall in my tiny room, and I think it is helping me to get clearer high notes.  I think that me not fearing for my ears lets me use the right pressure on the high d and e.  :)

Now that I can play full volume, I might need the OcBox more so I don't destroy anyone else's hearing.  ;)

-Tom


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 12, 2009, 07:02:42 pm
Quote
well I think that ben was talking about a distinct, practice ocarina designed only for the purpose of playing quiter. But I'm sure that it would not work a tenth well than the Oc-In-The-Box, although it would be more easy to carry.


Yes, Spatolo, I understand what you guys are saying. I've experimented in the past with trying to make quieter practice ocarinas, but I've not been happy with the results.  They were unsatisfying instruments to play.  I don't want to say that we'll never offer such an instrument.  Maybe we will some day, but it's not as easy as just dulling the fipple edge (or some of the other things that I've tried). When you make an instrument that has to be blown softly and carefully, it changes the whole playing experience. And an ocarina would have to be awfully quiet before you could play it confidently in a hotel room.

As far as the OcBox is concerned, I'm sure it's not the ideal solution for everybody.  First of all, it's something extra to have to buy or build. Also, even though it is portable, it's not something you can stick in a pocket or wear around your neck. (And overseas shipping has recently become more expensive, which is not good news for folks in Italy. :()

After I "live" with OcBox some more and put it through all its paces, I want to get a few out to some beta testers for feedback and suggestions. Personally, I love that the OcBox allows me to play my ocarina across the table from family members without interrupting their movie, their computer tutorial, their phone call...  

By the way, I now have a sturdy, portable stand for the OcBox, so I should be making another video in the next couple of days.  


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 12, 2009, 07:06:49 pm
Quote
Today I went to this impressive music store in town called Sweetwater; I found that they carried these Etymotic earplugs by searching online last night.  I just finished practicing for about a half hour with them in, and I must say I am very impressed with them.

That's great, Tom!  The link to those is http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er20.aspx   I'm posting the link again because it's a good idea to wear something like these if you practice any instrument for long periods of time.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 13, 2009, 07:23:57 pm
As far as the OcBox is concerned, I'm sure it's not the ideal solution for everybody.  First of all, it's something extra to have to buy or build. Also, even though it is portable, it's not something you can stick in a pocket or wear around your neck. (And overseas shipping has recently become more expensive, which is not good news for folks in Italy. :()

Well... actually I was thinking about building it myself. While I never created any musical instrument, I love DIY and I'm a bit practical with tools and I like to dirt my hands and get (simple) things done. I think that that box can something I can afford (technically, and I hope to find the prime matter not too expensively too). Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 13, 2009, 10:29:16 pm
Quote
Well... actually I was thinking about building it myself.

Absolutely, Spatolo!  I appreciate you saying that.  The OcBox is something that we can all build ourselves.  I look forward to seeing the Italian model!

In fact, one of the things that was a bit overwhelming to me at first about this project is that there are so many different ways to achieve the same goal.  As we share our ideas and post our plans, I'm sure we'll continue to perfect this idea.

Personally, I've narrowed my focus for now to a fairly lightweight travel OcBox. A heavier home model would go nice in someone's bedroom, but I'd like one that we could stick in our car or take on a plane. In that way, we could play with complete privacy in hotels, at work during lunchbreak, in the car (with the windows open :D), at the kitchen table while family members do their own thing, etc.

 



Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 17, 2009, 11:01:00 pm
So to start. I think the very first thing to do is to make your ocarina blowable through a tube.
I've searched for "ocabrass" to find the video but I didn't found it... would you please be so kind to link it here too?
Well, actually... I don't even remember if that video shows HOW to transform the ocarina into an ocabrass, or only the finished results. If it doesnt show how to make the transformation... please what's the best way to make the ocarina tube-blowable?
And, which kind of tube should one get?

Thank you so much Karl and buddies!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: BeRightBart on May 19, 2009, 03:17:57 pm
its "Octobrass" That's probably the reason you couldn't find it


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 19, 2009, 03:35:47 pm
Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 19, 2009, 05:08:52 pm
This also would be cool but a bit more expensive. If I only were rich!

http://www.redferret.net/?p=8919

Some days ago I was realizing that I'm a very lucky guy and that I have ALL I need.

Now no more! I want THAT!  ;D


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 27, 2009, 10:07:29 pm
I just made a couple more videos of the OcBox.  I've tried several versions of and adaptations to the OcBox since I last posted, and I'm quite happy with the latest version.  In fact, I love it! Not everyone will want or need one, but I think some of you will love it too. It is very quiet, and I thoroughly enjoy playing it.  Also, I find myself able to do more serious practicing in the same room with my family without bothering them at all, no matter what they are doing. (By serious practicing, I mean the mistake-filled, repetitive kind of practice that goes into shaping up an original piece or a new and highly challenging piece of music.)  Hopefully, we will post the two new videos here tonight or tomorow some time.

If you are interested in making your own OcBox, these videos should give you a general idea of how to make one. I'll be happy to answer any questions that are not clear from the videos.

If people are interested in buying OcBoxes (after our beta testers give us a bit more feedback), I've worked out how our company could make the boxes. If there is sufficient interest in the OcBox, we could post prices and availablility within the next couple weeks.

Karl

P.S.  Special thanks to Justin O'Neill of O'Neill Industrial Corporation.  Despite his very busy schedule, he has been refreshingly helpful with this project.









Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Parsec on May 28, 2009, 11:24:44 am
I just made a couple more videos of the OcBox.

I liked the Y-shaped cuts on the hand seal. Oh, and the markings on the floor, too :D


BTW, I've been thinking if it would be possible to make something like a glove --or rather, like those winter glove-like tubes whose name doesn't occur to me right now. I've tried wrapping a T-shirt around my hands and ocarina, but I guess cotton fabric doesn't have the desired level of acoustic absorption. One thing I've noticed, though, is that you need to leave some room above the air opening --how is it properly called?-- or else you'll just sound as if you were cleaning the airway ::)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 28, 2009, 02:29:58 pm
Quote
I liked the Y-shaped cuts on the hand seal. Oh, and the markings on the floor, too

Parsec, Ubi originally suggested that I make cuts in the foam. I added heavy vinyl backing to the foam to protect it from ripping and to provide a little more sound isolation.  About the markings on the floor... it can be tough to make a QUICK video without a camera person. I make a video and think it is fine until I review it. That's when I discover that my head has been chopped off. Since small children may be unwittingly exposed to these videos, I used the marks to prevent disturbing headless images that could lead to childhood sleep disorders. ;)

Quote
BTW, I've been thinking if it would be possible to make something like a glove --or rather, like those winter glove-like tubes whose name doesn't occur to me right now.

I've tried a couple sets of gloves with the either the fingers or hand section cut off. Even though I don't use the glove idea in the OcBox, it definitely has possibilities. In my brief tests with just a couple pairs of gloves, the gloves didn't seem nearly as comfortable or as effective as cuts in the foam, but that doesn't mean that the idea couldn't work well if done correctly. 

I had a few practical concerns with the glove concept: 
1) It took me too long to get my hands into and out of the gloves. (What if the phone rings? I don't want to keep that poor overworked telemarketer waiting! Or what if I have to stop to help my kids with something every thirty-seven seconds or so?)   
2) Attaching the gloves to an OcBox seemed much more complex (from a manufacturing point of view) than the foam idea.
3) The gloves I used were hot, uncomfortable, and they didn't seem to stop sound transmission very well.

Quote
I've tried wrapping a T-shirt around my hands and ocarina, but I guess cotton fabric doesn't have the desired level of acoustic absorption.

The cotton shirt will absorb some sound, but a good portion of the sound energy will pass right through it if there is not any mass (a relatively dense shell) to bounce sound back into the cotton for further absorbtion.   

Quote
One thing I've noticed, though, is that you need to leave some room above the air opening --how is it properly called?-- or else you'll just sound as if you were cleaning the airway

Yes, for the ocarina to speak clearly, you need sufficient space around the fipple window, or voicing. (We ocarina makers call that window the "air-escapee-thingamajiggy.";))  You also need space for your fingers to move freely and enough space to get your hands into the container.  I tried some shells that were smaller than the present OcBox, but I wasn't happy with them.

For those of you who haven't seen them, you can see the two new OcBox videos that I just made if you go back a couple of postings.

Karl















Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: dereks on May 28, 2009, 06:58:10 pm
Is it possible to connect the ocarina without glueing something to it? I'd hate to do that.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 28, 2009, 09:28:56 pm
Quote
Is it possible to connect the ocarina without glueing something to it? I'd hate to do that. 

Dereks, if there is enough interest, we will begin selling OcBoxes.  Each box would include a converted, OcBox-ready ocarina.

I can think of some ways to rig a "harness" that could securely attach and detach an unconverted ocarina to a tube for placement in a homemade OcBox. Unfortunately, none of my ideas seem like quick or easy projects.  Maybe one of you folks will come up with a solution.  If not, I may return to this good idea in the future. Right now, though, I'll need to shift my focus for a bit because the time (and $$) I've been spending on the OcBox borders on excessive within the context of our small business. (My wife, reading this over my shoulder, laughed and said that I have crossed the border already. :D)

Personally, I leave the ocarina in my OcBox all the time, ready to play at a moment's notice.  That way, I don't have to hook up anything to get started.  For instance, I've been keeping my OcBox in the kitchen, which has made it very natural for my tired self to play at night, as I sit at the table with family members who are engaged in other tasks. (Music making really relaxes and energizes me.) 

In many areas of life, I find that I am more likely to do something on a consistent basis if I don't have to jump through any little hoops to get started. That's why I usually have an ocarina around my neck.  Leaving an ocarina in the OcBox gives me instant effortless access. 

(Again, for those of you who haven't seen them, you can see the two new OcBox videos that I just made if you go back a few of postings.)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 28, 2009, 10:47:00 pm
For instance, I've been keeping my OcBox in the kitchen,

Is you wife laughing at that, too?

I want to be able to sit out on my deck at night and play without getting shot at by my neighbors.  I think the OcBox will work, even if it isn't bulletproof.

It's the Celtic jigs and reels that require extreme repetition that really work on people's last nerve...

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 29, 2009, 12:49:54 am
Ubi,

Thankfully, my sweet wife is extremely patient with my ocarina playing and my many other issues. I guess being married to an ocarina maker has fully inoculated her.

Quote
I want to be able to sit out on my deck at night and play without getting shot at by my neighbors.  I think the OcBox will work, even if it isn't bulletproof.

Hopefully the OcBox will be quiet enough so that your good neighbors won't even think about whipping out a loaded handgun.

Quote
It's the Celtic jigs and reels that require extreme repetition that really work on people's last nerve...

You and I are on the same wavelength. I have never liked to subject people to long sessions of the highly repetitive practicing that goes into learning new jigs, reels, or other fast, ornamented pieces.  For me, a challenging tune takes shape only gradually as I play it over and over, in different ways, at different tempos, experimenting with rhythm, phrasing, ornaments, tonguing...  Far from being boring, this type of practice usually engages, energizes, and focuses my mind, but it can bother any but the most patient of listeners.

For that reason, I have always done this type of practicing for short periods, with a silencer, or in a private area.  The OcBox let's me to do full-bore practicing even if others are in the same room, watching a video on the computer. (Of course, individual results --and families-- may vary. ;))



Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: AzKiteMan on May 29, 2009, 03:13:57 am
Maybe looking at this will aim towards an Ocarina version ??

http://www.sax.co.uk/e-sax.htm


"Oca-box" (forgive me for the lame name). 

E-carina?

We could probably patent something like that, Like a case in which you can fit your arms in, and have tubing so it will work for any ocarina.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Parsec on May 29, 2009, 05:34:55 am
This also would be cool but a bit more expensive. If I only were rich!

http://www.redferret.net/?p=8919
One night when my mom was preparing some tests --she's a junior high/high school Math teacher-- and, as soon as I started playing on my poly G, she complained that it was hurting her ears :-X. I then picked up both my ocarinas and some sheet music I was trying to play and went to my makeshift version of that WhisperRoom.

Only tonight did I remember that and decided not to postpone testing my brand new recorder and fife ;D. I grabbed my stuff (recorder, fife, fingering charts), went there and spend about half an hour trying to figure out how to properly play my new woodwinds -- which are actually made of ABS plastic.

On a side note... boy, is it hard to get those tone holes properly covered --I had no idea just how much easier it is on the MO's--, not to mention correct blowing pressure/angle on the recorder (the low notes) and the fife --my best estimate is that I've managed to get some sound in about one or two out of every ten attempts. But I digress...

I believe some (or most) of you are likely to already be in possession of one such device -- the shape and size may differ, but its functionality (for our purposes) most certainly remains essentiallly the same. As an added bonus, you can control internal ventilation, sound leakage and even where you place it (within limits); it's available since about the industrial revolution (a little later, perhaps) and some people still call it... an automobile :D


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: dereks on May 29, 2009, 02:02:44 pm
If we could flareout the end of the tubing (heat it up with a heat gun to soften it, press it over the opening of the ocarina, hold it there till it cools so that it retains its shape), and then rig up a velcro strap around the outside of the ocarina to tie it to the tubing, that could solve the problem.  Maybe a touch of some weak adheasive to help create a seal, if necessary.  Heck, tape might do it.  I want the ocbox for hotels, but I like using the ocarina without tubing attachments when I'm camping or hiking.  I like the feel of the original ocarina on my mouth when I play it full volume.  I think something like this could work.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 29, 2009, 04:04:31 pm
Karl, your work is amazing (how many, and big, progress you made since the first video of the trashcan booth!).
Your ocbox looks professionally crafted, a real jewel. Most importantly, it looks exceptionally smart and practical to play and use in the real life. I admire your curious mind, your clever ideas, your perseverance, and the skill you have to realize what you dream.

That being said, I'm also thinking that it would take me a lot of time to build anything decent; and I can't even imagine how much time and money I would need to get a box like yours, proceeding by trial and errors. I would for sure destroy more than a polycarbonate ocarina, loose time searching for the materials, paying the matter, trying to build the stuff and failing to begin again.

In the end I'm starting to think about buying one, so count me among the interested. I think it's realistic to think that trying to make mine without any experience could cost me more than buying one.

OR, and this could be an option I would seriously consider, I would happily pay to get a PDF with detailed instructions about how to build my own.
I mean, if I had a guide, with tons of pictures, text which I can carefully read (and translate with more ease both technical and non-technical words), and again, pictures and pictures and pictures of the various building phases, then I could realistically pick the way of self construction. Having a detailed guide (perhaps even with videos, too: for example, I'd pay expecially to see how you plugged the tubing in the ocarina, which looks like the most delicate part to me) would drastically reduce errors, shopping time, and in the end: costs of self-building.

So here's my idea, to consider selling a guide. If that can't be done for whatever reason, (or, in either case actually) then count me among the potential customers of the finished product. Please tell us if you can and when you can, roughly, how much would it cost - I don't mean the precise price, but I'd love to know if it could cost more-or-less like two high-end ocarinas, like one of them, or whatever else more or less, and figure out if that can be something I can realistically plan to acquire or not.

Thank you so much!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 29, 2009, 08:44:38 pm
Quote
If we could flareout the end of the tubing (heat it up with a heat gun to soften it, press it over the opening of the ocarina, hold it there till it cools so that it retains its shape), and then rig up a velcro strap around the outside of the ocarina to tie it to the tubing, that could solve the problem.  Maybe a touch of some weak adheasive to help create a seal, if necessary.  Heck, tape might do it.  I want the ocbox for hotels, but I like using the ocarina without tubing attachments when I'm camping or hiking.  I like the feel of the original ocarina on my mouth when I play it full volume.  I think something like this could work.

Hi Dereks, you are absolutely right! I agree with you that what you have described (or something similar) could be done and could work very well!  After your post yesterday, I've actually been discussing a similar idea with Cliff, Ubi, and Susan (my wife) yesterday and this morning.  This is the second time that I've looked into this idea, and I'm afraid I still favor a "dedicated" ocarina.  In other words, I believe that an ocarina with an OcBox fitting permanantly attached is a better way to go... at least for now.

Here is why I prefer a fitting permanently attached to an ocarina:
--For one thing, there will always be an ocarina in your OcBox, ready to play at a moment's notice.  There will be no need to search for your ocarina, no need to remove the neckcord if it gets in the way (or re-attach it later), no need to hook anything up, nothing to wear out.
--For another thing, the ocarina attaches very securely to the OcBox. It doesn't easily pull or fall off the tubing.
--Finally, your right pinky will rest on the ocarina itself instead of on a velcro strap or some type of elastic, so it's more like playing an ocarina outside of the OcBox.

Despite all I've said, it's really just a matter of preference.  Over the last few weeks, as I've enjoyed using the OcBox (in its various stages), I have come to value the hassle-free simplicitly of playing at a moment's notice, without needing to "hook up."  Who knows?  We may offer a "hook up" option in the future, but not at first. People who want to make their own OcBoxes should definitely consider your suggestion.




Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 29, 2009, 09:53:52 pm
Hi Spatolo, thanks for your enthusiastic feedback. The more I use the OcBox, the more I believe it will really help some people. Not everyone, of course!  Who will probably love the OcBox?  All those who love to play the ocarina but who feel frustrated that they can't play at certain times without bothering others or embarrassing themselves.

Here are some answers to your questions.

Quote
Please tell us if you can and when you can, roughly, how much would it cost - I don't mean the precise price, but I'd love to know if it could cost more-or-less like two high-end ocarinas, like one of them, or whatever else more or less, and figure out if that can be something I can realistically plan to acquire or not.

Cliff and I met today to look at our costs and calculate what we would need to charge for the OcBox.  The price will be $99 US.  It will include an adapted ocarina for use in the OcBox. (You can play the ocarina outside of the box too, but it has an "interesting" look with that brass fitting on the mouthpiece.) 

We could start selling OcBoxes in the next two weeks.  I am just getting a bit more feedback from beta users.

Quote
OR, and this could be an option I would seriously consider, I would happily pay to get a PDF with detailed instructions about how to build my own.
I mean, if I had a guide, with tons of pictures, text which I can carefully read (and translate with more ease both technical and non-technical words), and again, pictures and pictures and pictures of the various building phases, then I could realistically pick the way of self construction. Having a detailed guide (perhaps even with videos, too: for example, I'd pay expecially to see how you plugged the tubing in the ocarina, which looks like the most delicate part to me) would drastically reduce errors, shopping time, and in the end: costs of self-building.

This is another good suggestion. Today, Cliff and I discussed the possibility of selling a kit and of providing plans.  Here is the problem I have with doing either of those things.

The box I have finally chosen for the OcBox is molded from heavy duty polyproplene.  Unlike your usual woodworking project, this box is not easy to cut.  After my wife watched me cut the first box with simple hand tools (exacto knife, etc.), she exclaimed that we were NOT going to be selling any kits. People would be losing fingers! (Imagine a whole generation of young ocarina players, all missing that one finger.;)) Of course, most mature careful individuals could complete this task with most if not all fingers intact.  Nevertheless, I'm not comfortable with selling a kit or posting internet instructions for the whole world and then wishing for the best.  By the way, at this point, I have invested a few hundred dollars in a special tool that safely and efficiently cuts this plastic.

Rather than providing detailed, step-by-step instructions, we will post pictures of the various aspects of the OcBox so that mature indiduals with do-it-yourself skills could do it themselves. The basic concepts will be clear, but you may choose to use different materials than I do if the same materials are not readily available in your area.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: BeRightBart on May 30, 2009, 09:45:30 am
Just 99 dollars? I expectet 200 at  least!
From your video's i assumed that you dropped the extra weight, and only used the foam ( is this correct?) that will make shipping a lot less expensive!
The ocarina inside will probably be a poly g or am i wrong?

Thanks for your hard work to make us the ocbox


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 30, 2009, 12:10:55 pm
Thank you Karl for your answer.
I think that the price is definitely affordable.
I have some more questions though.

* Do you think that the box could be (easily or not) modified so to soundproofing even more (putting more insulating layers inside of it) and hosting a microphone for wireless transmission to a headphone set, like we talked in the previous weeks? I mean, there is space inside to allow some more layers to be applied - and a electronic device to be put in - still leaving enough room for the hands to play freely?
* The price is more than reasonable. Do you have an idea yet about how much would it cost to ship overseas?

Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 30, 2009, 12:48:15 pm
Hi BeRightBart,

Quote
Just 99 dollars? I expectet 200 at  least!

Yes, this will be such a useful item for some people that I didn't want to price it beyond their reach. Of course, depending on one's situation, a hundred bucks can seem like a lot of money.  I'm afraid it wouldn't be realistic for us to charge less than that.

Quote
From your videos i assumed that you dropped the extra weight, and only used the foam ( is this correct?) that will make shipping a lot less expensive!

Yes, I'm excited that the new design is much lighter (under 4 lbs., or under 1.8 kilograms).  As a result, it's easy to carry around, and shipping costs are much less, as you have mentioned.  

We shipped one the other day to Pennsylvania.  The shipping weight was seven pounds, and shipping was slightly under US $10.00. (That actual shipping weight will be a little lower. We had to use a box that was larger and heavier than needed. In the future we'll use 16" x 10" x 10" boxes.) Unfortunately, shipping costs vary widely depending on where you live.  If anyone would like to calculate approximate shipping costs, you can go to www.USPS.com and select "calculate shipping."  Then select "domestic" or "international." Next, select "package." Complete the fields to calculate shipping. We ship from the 06002 zip code.  

Quote
The ocarina inside will probably be a poly g or am i wrong?

Yes, it is a converted Poly G in the box.

Best wishes,

Karl





Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 30, 2009, 01:26:56 pm
Hi Spatolo,

Quote
* Do you think that the box could be (easily or not) modified so to soundproofing even more (putting more insulating layers inside of it) and hosting a microphone for wireless transmission to a headphone set, like we talked in the previous weeks? I mean, there is space inside to allow some more layers to be applied - and a electronic device to be put in - still leaving enough room for the hands to play freely?

We could definitely make the box quieter.  Better yet, YOU could make it quieter by simply draping it with some heavy blankets.  (There really isn't space for more layers inside the box.) In one of my earlier videos, I strapped the box to a boom mic stand.  If you did that, you could drape it with several layers. Then you probably would need a transmitter/headset device. If that becomes a need, we'll start discussing what devices would work well.

As I have tested different box ideas, two things have become important to me--portability and playing comfort.
 
Portability: The box is so handy that it's great to be able to grab it by the handle and move it around. That way you can play privately on the back porch at night, in a busy kitchen, in a hotel, in your car (with the windows open :D)...  And I wanted something you could put in a suitcase or use as a padded airline carry-on.

Playing comfort: The box is very quiet but not silent.  However, it is comfortable, fun to play, and doesn't bother people.  I've tried more elaborate versions of the box, but they didn't provide the same level of enjoyment (too hot, heavy, or constraining). The OcBox is something that you can play for long periods and enjoy doing it.

Quote
* The price is more than reasonable. Do you have an idea yet about how much would it cost to ship overseas?

Because we were thinking about you, yesterday we checked shipping to your address in Italy.  It was about US $45. :(


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 30, 2009, 02:26:53 pm
We could definitely make the box quieter.  Better yet, YOU could make it quieter

Yes, I was thinking about "room" (literally) for easy to do end-user improvements/mods of the box.
And of course, if there's no more room to add layers inside the box, there's virtually unlimited room outside of it. I *have* actually thought about that in the past, don't ask why I didn't this time (don't ask just because the answer is embarassing :) )

Then you probably would need a transmitter/headset device. If that becomes a need, we'll start discussing what devices would work well.

So I can assume that there *is* room for some kind of device like that, this time of course inside the box: GREAT. I don't know if this could be a top priority for me (it mostly depends from the ending volume of the thing, but I think that it will be more than acceptable standing to your videos and comments); anyhow is great to know that this will be a viable option, and that there's room for improvements. Well, if there is other people interested and this would not be too much stuff on the plate, I would be interested into discussing more of this (read: to know more from you, which are the sound technician) :)

Quote
Because we were thinking about you, yesterday we checked shipping to your address in Italy.  It was about US $45. :(

Ouch, that hurts. Half of the whole price would go for S&H, that sucks. But it's still affordable overall. (Nevertheless, it still hurts). Thanks for caring!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 30, 2009, 02:55:10 pm
Hi Fabio,

Quote
Ouch, that hurts. Half of the whole price would go for S&H, that sucks.

Yes, it causes me distress every time I see what folks in Europe have to pay for shipping. And actually, we don't charge any handling fee. All that hard-earned cash goes directly to the US Postal Service. (Despite my whining, though, the USPS is still a good deal compared to other carriers.)

Quote
So I can assume that there *is* room for some kind of device like that, this time of course inside the box: GREAT.

Yes, there is room in the box for a small lavalier mic or some other small device.  There just isn't room for more foam, etc. (And at ocarina frequencies, 1" acoustic foam is very effective.)

Quote
Thanks for caring!

We do care!  (Besides, if not you, who else would welcome my two children, my wife, my dog, several pieces of luggage, and me into their home the next time we visit Italy? ;))



Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on May 30, 2009, 03:22:49 pm
We do care!  (Besides, if not you, who else would welcome my two children, my wife, my dog, several pieces of luggage, and me into their home the next time we visit Italy? ;))

Don't forget Cliff that's not exactly thin.

Well, my house is pretty big - for being a house in an italian big town - so you're definitely welcome. I can arrange all of you (and I love dogs, expecially well cooked and with hot sauce)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 30, 2009, 03:39:25 pm
Quote
Well, my house is pretty big - for being a house in an italian big town - so you're definitely welcome. I can arrange all of you (and I love dogs, expecially well cooked and with hot sauce)

Thanks for the kind offer of hospitality.  We are booking the flights right now.

However, as a canine-American, my dog was very offended by your insensitive remark about dogs and hot sauce.  He says he won't be posting anymore to the forum for a while. And he might not speak to you during our lengthy visit to your home.;)


Title: OT
Post by: Parsec on May 30, 2009, 11:44:54 pm
I admire your curious mind, your clever ideas, your perseverance, and the skill you have to realize what you dream.
One thing that really got my attention, back when I was looking for an ocarina, was the safety... device(?) that snaps open when you tug on the cord -- or when your ocarina gets entangled somewhere and you would otherwise find your neck in a tight situation. The way Karl spoke about that feature made me think "Here's someone that really cares about those who will play their instrument". Kudos for Karl ;)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 31, 2009, 02:52:42 pm
Field Report:

I'm an OcBox beta tester, reporting from the field.  The field, in this case, is a Philadelphia row house.  I live in it with a wife and son.  My son doesn't mind the sound of the MO too much, if I keep the door to this room closed.  My wife dislikes it at any volume.  Since this room (the little room where I record all the videos) is only about 20 feet from the bedroom, if she's in the bedroom trying to sleep or even watching TV, playing in here is not an option, with the door open or closed.

If I play the OcBox, with the door open, and she's watching TV, she still hears it.  If I close the door, that's okay.  If she's trying to sleep, it's not okay.  This isn't surprising, since when the house is quiet even low sounds carry.  But, this little room isn't air conditioned, and in the Philadelphia summer it gets pretty unbearable in here.  We have a small deck attached to the back of the house.  It faces an alley, and the backs of 30-40 other houses also face that alley.  Sitting on the deck, my next-door neighbor's back door is about 15 feet away.  The regular MO can be heard clearly from anywhere in that alley, and anyone with a window open would hear it.  This, too, has been tested (I need hardly add that the tenor sax can also be clearly heard...).  But the OcBox works great out there!  Normally, within a few minutes I'd expect to see my neighbor peering through the window in her back door, but there was no sign of her, even though I could see that she was home, and in the kitchen.  And from out there, my wife certainly couldn't hear anything in the bedroom at the other end of the house.  And it's much cooler out there.

So, the OcBox makes it possible for me to practice at night, which I've never been able to do before, unless I sat in my car, which in fact I often did.  Practicing in the car, however, is tough on the ears, since the hard surfaces reflect the sound back.  And in warm weather, it's pretty unpleasant in the car, unless I want to run the air conditioning.  The advantage of the OcBox is, I can play at full throttle, and the sound from inside the box is quite low, but pleasing to the ear.

I always have my MO with me, and I practice here and there for a few minutes at a time.  Usually, I work on small portions of tunes, or maybe just little riffs that I want to use.  But I never had much opportunity for sustained practice.  I should add that practicing Celtic jigs and reels is particularly hard on the people around me.  To get these up to speed, it's necessary to play them hundreds of times.  This is a good way to attract gunfire, but with the OcBox it's no problem.

I have found that the most comfortable position for me to play the OcBox is with a fairly long piece of tubing, holding the OcBox on my lap, as I sit on my deck in a semi-reclined Adirondack chair.

(http://www.yardenvy.com/images/productdetail/adironadack-chair-CBADGR.jpg)

It's a luxury to be able to play with arms outstretched.  In fact, I'm giving serious thought to hacking modifying my poly G by gluing some tubing to it, to be able to play it in a more sax-like posture.  I thought it was funny when I first saw melodicas being played through a flexible tube, but...

I have big hands, and fairly big wrists, too.  I can fit my hands into the OcBox with a bit of resistance at the widest part of the hand.  Once they're in, I can turn them, but my wristbone rubs.  Using the Y-slitted "top" piece, getting my hands in is more work, and getting them out is even harder.  So I don't use that piece.  And since my hands and wrists are big, the difference in sound is negligible.  That is, my wrists block most of the sound anyway, so it's not needed.

The closer I hold the OcBox to me, the more my forearms must bend out to the sides.  This increases pressure on the outside edges of the OcBox hand holes, which can get uncomfortable.  That's why it works best for me to play it with my arms well extended.  A person with smaller hands and wrists will probably have a different experience.  He or she will be able to hold the box closer to the face without discomfort; and will also probably find the Y-slitted top piece easier to use.

My biggest complaint at the moment is that the tubing is pretty stubbornly curvy, so it's hard to keep it straight in my mouth.  Is there a way to take the curve out?  Maybe heat it in boiling water for a minute or so, then stretch it straight a bit?

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 31, 2009, 05:03:17 pm
Good feedback!

Quote
My biggest complaint at the moment is that the tubing is pretty stubbornly curvy, so it's hard to keep it straight in my mouth.  Is there a way to take the curve out?  Maybe heat it in boiling water for a minute or so, then stretch it straight a bit?

Ubi, I sent you stiffer, heavier tubing than necessary. I think that floppier tubing may be the way to go. I'll experiment with this and with light weight straight tubing with a soft tip on the end.

Quote
So, the OcBox makes it possible for me to practice at night, which I've never been able to do before, unless I sat in my car, which in fact I often did.

That's good news!

Based on body type and personal preferences, I think some people will favor certain playing positions over others.

Personally, I have big hands but not big wrists.  My favorite way to play is fully reclined, using a very short tube, with the OcBox close to my face.  Also, I usually play with the OcBox close to my face when seated at the kitchen table.  This position works for me, but obviously, it won't work for everyone, as Ubi has pointed out.

Last night, my wife and I decided to watch a movie.  She had to do some light charting on her laptop (she works weekends in home health triage), so I sat at her side in my recliner and played the OcBox while we watched. Often I will absentmindedly do fingering dexterity exercises on my ocarina during a movie. On this occasion, I played the OcBox in my lap through a longer tube, as Ubi prefers, so that I could see the screen clearly from my reclined position. I had fun, and my wife insists that she was not really aware of my playing.  Now, keep in mind that we have a severely autistic child, so we have gotten used to a lot of background noise. (My sweet boy David loves those push button musical toddler toys...) And different people respond differently to particular frequencies or to background noise in general. Expect the OcBox to be very quiet but not silent.

By the way, I have mentioned before that I like to play the ocarina while listening to an audio book, a ballgame, or talk radio when I am really tired or stressed out.  I listen through isolation earbuds or regular earbuds with hearing protectors over them. That way I can hear the audio clearly without turning up the volume. I started doing this after reading about how the great violin virtuoso Ishak Pearlman would watch TV sitcoms (with the sound turned down) to help with focus during long, technically challenging practice sessions.

With the OcBox, I can play while my family and I watch a movie at normal volume. It's fun, doesn't bother them, and I am fully present for the movie. Really! Again, this type of practice is more suited for speedy, technically challenging pieces that require lots of repitition to get the fingers and brain to flow as one.

Realistically, I wonder how many folks could watch a movie with their family while they play the OcBox? Probably not too many. My family is pretty conditioned to the normality of ocarina playing. Obviously, this would not work at all in Ubi's situation! Time will tell.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 31, 2009, 06:53:54 pm
Quote
My biggest complaint at the moment is that the tubing is pretty stubbornly curvy, so it's hard to keep it straight in my mouth.  Is there a way to take the curve out?  Maybe heat it in boiling water for a minute or so, then stretch it straight a bit?

I couldn't find surgical tubing locally on a Sunday afternoon.  Then I remembered a portable exerciser made of surgical tubing that someone gave me for Christmas one year. I cut off a length of tubing, hooked it up to the OcBox, and played the OcBox as Ubi prefers--the box in my lap and my arms extended.  This floppy, flexible tubing works exellently.  On Monday, I want to get a non-latex version of this because a small percentage of folks are allergic to latex.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 31, 2009, 08:04:04 pm
I wonder if aquarium tubing would be better.  I don't remember how stiff that tubing is, but the next time I go near a pet shop I'll have a look.  And...I may have some tubing left from my homebrewing days.  It should have a pleasing aroma, too.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 31, 2009, 08:38:13 pm
After searching the net, I am considering foodsafe, highly pliable silicone tubing. Some aquarium airlines are silicone, but are they floppy enough? I might take my son to a pet store this afternoon... 


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 31, 2009, 08:41:04 pm
I haven't had an aquarium (or a homebrewing setup) in a few years, but I seem to remember that you have to be able to snake the tubing around things, so I imagine it's fairly flexible.  But I'm just not sure.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on May 31, 2009, 11:06:12 pm
Field report update:

Boiling the tube in water for a few minutes works!  Then you just hold the ends of the tube in your hand, gritting your teeth against the burning pain--or wearing gloves--and you pull it, stretching a bit.  In the process, you stretch the curl right out of it.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on May 31, 2009, 11:35:20 pm
I'm glad your hot water method worked to take the curve out of the tube.  After a good test, let us know if you think that is the way to go.

After trying the box with floppy latex tubing, I can't help but think you would prefer a really floppy tube even more than a straightened slightly stiff one.  A floppy tube isn't fazed when you switch playing positions; there is just more or less slack in the tube. Because of concerns about allergic reactions to latex, I want to try silicone, etc.  Just so everyone knows, the clear flexible tubing from Home Depot and Lowe's is a bit stiffer than we want.

My son and I just got back from the local pet store. They had some floppier tubing for airlines, but it was far too narrow. When I get some floppy foodsafe silicone tubing of greater diameter, I'll let you know how it works.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on June 01, 2009, 04:14:41 pm
Thanks for the beta-review Ubizmo.

Just wondering, since to me it would be great to play at night staying indoor, and with Karl has been discussed the chance to silence the stuff even more by wrapping some material outside of it: would you please try to wrap anything that could make sense (rags?) and tell us (ok, tell me) if that allowed you to play indoor despite your wife wanting to watch TV?

I take advantage of this to ask if it may be worhty to consider (edit: to discuss) the transmitter/headphones option now.

Thank you so much!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 01, 2009, 09:13:06 pm
Spatolo, I know that you would like to play your ocarina in the same room with someone who is sleeping. I am not sure if that will be possible, even after draping the OcBox with heavy blankets.  I too am curious to know if Ubi could make the OcBox quiet enough to avoid bothering his wife when she is in the next room. Since Ubi keeps the OcBox in his lap, extra blankets would probably be uncomfortably hot for him!  To cover the OcBox with blankets, I think you would have to play it on a desktop or table, or strap it to a mic stand or music stand. I will experiment with this also. 

The OcBox is very quiet in its present form, but a while back I mentioned the possibility of putting the OcBox into a special bag to make it quieter. The x-cuts in the foam would be in the outer bag instead of inside the box. This is still a possibility. Unfortunately, I know that it would make the OcBox significantly more expensive. Would people want to pay a lot more money for a little more quiet? First let's test the blankets! 

Spatolo, if we succeed in making the box completely silent, I already have a device that you could use for audio.  It is a TASCAM MP-VT1, MP3 Music & Voice Trainer.  Besides doing other things, this MP3 player lets you slow music down for careful listening, and you can plug in a mic to play along.  With this player, you could put a tiny mic inside the OcBox and listen to your playing through earbuds.  This is a great tool, but it costs almost US $200. I would think that any Karaoke system would work. Could we hook the mic up to our computer and listen through headphones?


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on June 01, 2009, 11:42:27 pm
Just to clarify the situation...  If I'm in this room (where the computer is), and my wife is watching TV in the bedroom, and I have the door to this room closed, I can be heard in the bedroom but the sound is really very faint.  It's not loud enough to cause a problem.  So under those conditions, it's fine. 

If the TV is off, and she's trying to get to sleep, then it's a problem.  Under those conditions, when the house is still, even the faint sound of me playing chromatic scales, or anything else, is unwelcome.  It would take a fully silent OcBox to work under those conditions, and I just don't think that's realistic.  I probably could go down into the basement with the OcBox, and I don't think I'd be heard--although it's amazing how sounds can travel indoors when all is quiet.  But while the weather is good, the deck in the back of the house is a good solution, and a pleasant place to play.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 02, 2009, 01:10:16 am
Tonight I'm going to test a simple, inexpensive addition to the OcBox that anyone with an OcBox could do on their own. As I've mentioned, the present OcBox is very quiet, but this could give it that little bit extra that Spatolo seems to be looking for. And Ubi could still play it on his knees out on the back deck.  Furthermore, this idea is almost guaranteed to make you rich and popular, freshen your breath, rekindle lost youth, and regrow your hair.  (Wait, I might have slipped into hyperbole in that last sentence.  The idea may end up being a total failure.)

Barring unforeseen events, I'll give you guys an update tomorrow.  (Does anyone know where I can get some plutonium outside of normal business hours?)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: dereks on June 02, 2009, 09:26:44 pm
Didn't the Doc on "Back to the Future" get plutonium from the Lybians?  I'm afraid my contacts there are a bit sparse.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 03, 2009, 07:18:36 pm
    It turns out that I didn't need the plutonium after all. I did achieve some satisfying results, however.

    Later today, we will try to post a video here of the "SpatoloBox." The OcBox alone is quiet enough for most situations, but some people need to play whisper quiet at times. I stayed up all night Monday evening (Tuesday morning) to try several ways to make the OcBox even quieter. 

    The idea is simple. Place the OcBox into a larger box:
    --Start with a larger box (not cardboard) with sturdy walls that are free from holes and cracks. (Sound leaks through holes.)
    --Cut a couple holes in the box to stick your arms through.   
        --These arms holes should be a little more widely spaced than the OcBox holes.
        --Your arms should fill up the holes pretty well to keep sound from escaping.
        --It's better if your arms stick into the bigger box several inches before they reach into the OcBox.
    --Cut another tight-fitting little hole to pull the OcBox blowing hose through.
    --Place the OcBox inside the bigger box, pull the OcBox hose though the hose hole in the bigger box, spread soft sound absorbing material such as blankets around the OcBox, and close the lid of the big box.
    --You are now ready to play whisper quiet!



[/list]


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on June 03, 2009, 09:39:37 pm
I LOVE YOU.

First, thanks so much for doing this.
Second, I laughed when you spelled "Spatolo" the USA way!
Third, I laughed when I've thinked about your wife and her refrigerator that you hacked like that.
Fourth (most important), I laughed when I've seen you hanging your head rhythmically while, hem, playing the ocarina, when actually NOTHING could be heard in the video. You looked a bit crazy. :-)

Thank you for working so hard to experiment more and more and discovering this clever nested solution.
I now think that me, Ubizmo, and future ocarina lovers will definitely have the chance to play at WHATEVER hour in our own home (that should be easier, in an ideal world, shouldn't it?) without being heard by neighborhoods or even relatives, no matter the walls size.

I will have the chance to master the thing, now!!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 03, 2009, 09:53:26 pm
You are welcome, Spatolo! Besides making me laugh out loud, your interest and suggestions have been a great help to me in this project. 


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on June 04, 2009, 12:08:16 pm
Ubizmo! I'd love to hear your opinion about this news.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on June 04, 2009, 12:51:20 pm
Hooha!  This will definitely work.  At the moment, I don't need to resort to it, since the weather is fine, and my deck is an ideal place to practice.  And during normal hours, with TV and other household sounds going, the regular OcBox is also just fine.  But when the weather gets cold, and I want to practice in the dead of night, I will graduate to the OcBoxLocker!

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on June 05, 2009, 02:21:40 pm
Now here's an interesting thing.  Last night, after everyone was in bed, I sat up and played the OcBox.  This time I played in the living room, which is downstairs from the bedroom.  There's a flight of stairs and an open hallway.  Keep in mind that although the OcBox can be heard from the bedroom under these conditions, it's extremely faint.  But when all is quiet in the house, it's definitely audible.  Last night, I simply left the TV on in the living room, with the sound at a low volume, just as I would if I were sitting up watching TV while everyone else is in bed.  When I do this, the sound of the TV masks the residual sound of the OcBox, and it doesn't bother anyone.

I know what you're thinking.  Obviously, the sound of the TV + OcBox is more than the sound of the OcBox alone, so how can this be better?  To answer that question we must cross the line from the acoustic situation to the psychological one.  The actual amount of sound that reaches the bedroom from the OcBox, when I play downstairs, is minimal, and isn't really enough to disturb anyone's sleep.  I mean, we live in the city.  There are cars that drive up and down the street (intermittently; it's not that busy a street) all night, and they don't wake anybody up.  We're half a block away from an arterial road, and there's a bus that goes by at regular intervals, and it's louder than the OcBox when I play it downstairs, but it doesn't wake anybody up.  Those sounds are normal, and accepted.  It's the idea that I'm playing a musical instrument at midnight, not the sound, that is intrusive.  On the other hand, watching TV at midnight with the sound fairly low is normal, so it disturbs no one.  The sound of the OcBox is simply lost in the mix.

Todd


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: AzKiteMan on June 06, 2009, 02:12:06 am
Psychology seems to be the answer to many unsolvable things...


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on June 06, 2009, 12:55:19 pm
I can understand. I can hear my neighbor snoring, but I accept that. If HE (not me) were playing a musical instrument at the same volume I think I would get upset in the long run. This is even another matter from the case ubizmo described: snoring is inevitable, playing music is. Nevertheless, is always a matter of psychology? With a source of the same volume, I should be bothered more or less the same, shouldn't I?

Now for a question.
I was trying to learn a new song from that "spakkabrianza" band. I have to move from B flat to high E flat. And I have to support the ocarina steadily than ever - I never played a tune with E flat - since not only I have to support the weight of the ocarina, but also of my finger pressing down from the top (I must learn to close that finger without actually pressing). Then I realized: how would work supporting the ocarina with high notes with the OcBox?

Thanks so much!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 06, 2009, 03:26:41 pm
Quote
To answer that question we must cross the line from the acoustic situation to the psychological one.
 

This is so true! (To get the full context of the above quote, please jump back two posts to Ubi's exellent explanation.) I'm sure many of you have read about studies along the following lines. Researchers pipe in bothersome background music while college students try to take a written exam. (I wish I could cite or even accurately describe some of these studies. Perhaps I will later when I get a moment.) When students were forced to listen to unwanted noise, they found it highly distracting. When they were given a button to shut off the noise if they absolutely had to, most found that they could put up with the noise.  It was a question of attitude and perceived control. If we perceive a certain noise as normal, we simply accept it. In fact, we stop hearing it after a while! Our minds focus on more relevant things.

When I was a kid, I had an aunt who lived in the city near a LOUD train station. She slept just fine at home. When she visited us in the country, she would complain about how the crickets would keep her up at night. Crickets are like a lullaby to me! 

I think I have mentioned before that I have a sweet, wonderful severely autistic son.  He likes certain things to be THE SAME. At some point, he decided that there was to be no ocarina playing in the kitchen when he was there. (This is too bad because, when he was younger, he used to tug on my ocarina all the time to ask me to play!) Even when I play the OcBox, he will often come over to make me stop if he is in the kitchen with me. However, if a video is playing on the computer in the background, he doesnít even notice me playing the OcBox six feet away.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 06, 2009, 03:35:41 pm
Quote
Then I realized: how would work supporting the ocarina with high notes with the OcBox?

This is a great question!

To attach the ocarina to the OcBox, we use a slightly stiff yet flexible tubing.  Thus, you support the OcBox ocarina the same way you do when you play an ordinary ocarina outside the OcBox. This was an important issue for me.  I wanted the OcBox to resemble normal ocarina playing.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Parsec on June 10, 2009, 02:19:41 pm
[...] the sound of the TV masks the residual sound of the OcBox, and it doesn't bother anyone.
Isn't it what's called blank noise? It's like a water fountain in the food court or the background music in a lift or hotel corridor, but their raison d'Ítre might be a little different.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on June 11, 2009, 08:55:50 pm
Quote
Isn't it what's called blank noise?
  In my experience, "white noise" is what we informally call the desirable background noise (such as from a bedroom fan) that we use to cover up other noise.  Technically speaking, white noise is a bit more complex than that, but the idea is the same.  http://www.howstuffworks.com/question47.htm


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Parsec on June 12, 2009, 02:43:02 am
Quote
Isn't it what's called blank noise?
[...] white noise is a bit more complex than that, but the idea is the same.  http://www.howstuffworks.com/question47.htm
Wow! 20,000 simultaneous tones :o
That's quite a cluster ;D


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on June 20, 2009, 12:26:33 am
Hello all!
Are there other reviews from the beta testers? There are other developments ongoing? I'm very interested! Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Kissaki on August 10, 2009, 07:39:51 am
Nice ideas, although I personally wouldn't really utilize any of the other more complex methods. I'll just stick to my silencer, courtesy of McDonald's, thank you very much.  ;D

By the way Karl, I kind of noticed that you said your kid has autism.  :P
I was diagnosed with a form of autism as a kid as well (Asperger's Syndrome)  :o


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: BeRightBart on August 10, 2009, 03:56:42 pm


By the way Karl, I kind of noticed that you said your kid has autism.  :P
I was diagnosed with a form of autism as a kid as well (Asperger's Syndrome)  :o

Well, they diagnose that pretty soon. You  can say everyone has it, only with some people it is clearer to see ( More symptoms clear). Its easy to say, and there are a lot of syptoms. It's like a bucket where they trow symptoms they don't understand (That goes for most symptoms that comes with Asperger.)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on August 10, 2009, 04:26:47 pm
Hi everybody,

I'm back from the Ocarina Slam that took place in Seattle this past weekend. I had a great time!  Soon I'll post some about that on the forum.

Since this is a thread on playing silently when you need to be considerate of others, I wanted to tell you briefly about traveling from Connecticut to Seattle and back with my latest ocbox.  It was perfect for playing in the hotel (the TV at normal volume was much louder), and it was a pleasure to be able to play freely late at night when I was so far from home and family. For those of you who don't know, I play at full volume inside the box, and I can hear myself play clearly and quietly, but there is not enough sound to bother other hotel guests. (To see the ocbox in action, check out the more recent videos embedded in this thread.)

By the way, as I've mentioned before, you don't always need an ocbox to play your ocarina in a hotel. On Friday night, after the Ocarina Slam had officially ended, Andrew Wells, David Ramos, and I played our ocarinas together down on the docks. When it got too dark, we went back to David's hotel to get his guitar and play some more. (Those guys were a lot of fun to hang out with.) We inquired at the check-in desk if there was a spare conference room we could borrow to make music. They were nice enough to provide one for an hour or so. When I used to travel a lot, I would routinely do this. In my limited experience, if you are very nice, they often will open up an unused conference room for you. What I love about the ocbox is that it let's me play in the comfort of my own room, whenever I want to and for as long as I want to.

Also, the ocbox was a great little carry on.  I stored anything I needed handy and my fragile or valuable stuff (my video camera, some music, another camera, electronics, my ocarinas) in the padded ocbox, which I stowed under my seat on the plane.

Here's another tip about playing silently when you have to.  On each of my four flights to and from Seattle, I played my ocarina for long periods.  You ask, "How?" (Thank you for asking!) Well, I took out sheet music, put my ocarina to my lips, and fingered the notes without blowing. This works very well for songs on which I know the basic melody. I "sing" the corresponding notes silently in my head while I finger them on the ocarina. I enjoy it, and it's a way to use that time on an airplane. For instance, I was working on a new tune that is fast and challenging while I traveled. After I landed back here in Connecticut, I felt pretty confident playing that song up to speed.

Now, isn't playing your ocarina silently on a plane maybe just a little weird? Of course! (That's why I prefer a window seat, even though aisle seats didn't stop me.)  I was discrete, and all my seatmates were very respectful and sometimes quite interested in the ocarina. (For instance, I was asked a couple times if I was a professional musician, to which I of course replied, "Yes, I am Yanni, but my publicist convinced me to shave off the mustache and cut and dye my hair. How do you like my new look?" (I won't dignify their responses by repeating them here. ;)) The bottom line is that at no point did anyone ever suggest or even hint that I should exit the plane prematurely without a parachute.





Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on August 11, 2009, 10:58:19 pm
Oh man you can't even imagine how much COOL you are.

Anyhow. How is this ocbox stuff going, GENERALLY speaking? It looks so strange to me that the thread didn't get much further and that not many others showed interest in that smart tiny silencer that is the ocbox.

Ubizmo are you still using it?


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: ubizmo on August 11, 2009, 11:56:57 pm
Ubizmo are you still using it?

Oh yeah.  Quite a lot.  I routinely take it outside on the deck in the back of my house, at night.  I practice a lot there.  My other favorite practice place is at a picnic table near the Schuylkill River, which is actually pretty noisy, and there are a lot of joggers.  But there I don't need the OcBox.

Ubizmo


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: BeRightBart on August 12, 2009, 05:43:02 pm
i'm saving my mony up for it, knowing that it'll never be avaiable.

Is it possible to buy the beta version if there won't be a full version?


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on August 12, 2009, 05:55:27 pm
I've actually got a young man lined up who I am supposed to train to make the ocboxes.  When I got sick with Lyme disease, I got sidetracked, but we'll get it going in the coming weeks.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: BeRightBart on August 12, 2009, 06:31:54 pm
That's good news (It is, right?)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on August 13, 2009, 09:47:12 am
Men, don't give up with the project. It may look odd and crazy, but I feel like it will be revolutionary for serious practitioners, or those who wants to become one and right now just don't have the chance.

Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Karl on August 14, 2009, 01:53:13 am
Thank you for the feedback, Spatolo. I don't plan to give up on this!  Perhaps the ocbox is one of those things that many people won't see a need for, but those of us who do will really appreciate it.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: awells88 on August 17, 2009, 04:27:15 am
Im looking forward to this when it has reached a sellable phase.

I do wonder how you connect the tube to the ocarina.. Would I be able to use a transverse? (of course doubles are out of the question) :)


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: bboywolf on October 11, 2009, 06:07:10 am
a electric ocarina with a earphone jack and a mic in the mouth piece, that would be convenient for people in apartments. ;D


Title: The Bubble Wrap Box
Post by: Airth on November 08, 2009, 12:26:20 pm
I wanted to try making my own OcBox but with a couple of provisos: no mouthpiece adjustments and only making use of available materials. As a result I've ended up with an ocarina muffler rather than a silencer. This is going to take some tweaking  :-\

This is what I've come up with so far:

My available materials were basically a box, a load of bubble wrap, and a little bit of polystyrene. First, I taped up any gaps in the box (33cmX16cmX24cm) and lined both the inside and outside with bubble wrap. I then made bubble wrap rolls and taped them into any excess space:

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_m5Ul5GPqYM0/Svatf1eLw9I/AAAAAAAAAFA/3no9kBEs4YM/Inside%20%28Custom%29.JPG)

In the bottom I had cut a couple of holes out of the cardboard for my hands and so I only had to make a slit in the bubble wrap just big enough to squeeze my hands and the ocarina through. This area still needs more work as there's a lot of sound leakage:
 
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_m5Ul5GPqYM0/SvatfzzuSpI/AAAAAAAAAE4/zCHfKSDH9CY/Hand%20Holes%20%28Custom%29.JPG)

I covered the top and a little bit of the back with the polystyrene I had to hand. Ideally, I'd like to cover the whole box to give an extra layer of insulation, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some more:

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_m5Ul5GPqYM0/SvatgMC7jEI/AAAAAAAAAFE/DnBnO6AnL6M/Poly%20Top%20%28Custom%29.JPG)

Finally, here's the hole for the mouthpiece to pop through. This is weakest part of the design. It is very difficult to strike a balance between a hole big enough to get a good part of the mouthpiece through, but small enough to stop too much sound coming out. This is going to take a good deal of head-scratching.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_m5Ul5GPqYM0/Svatfzs_NKI/AAAAAAAAAE8/lTD1RMVyLUE/Mouthpiece%20%28Custom%29.JPG)

So what's it like? Well, it isn't that quiet, but it does reduce the sound considerably. It probably sounds quieter from the other side as I think most of the sound is coming back at me through the mouth and hand holes. I need to do more testing on my wife  :)

It's also a little awkward to play. You have to have your face pressed right up against the box and your hands are somewhat restricted. So far, the best position seems to be lying flat on my back!

One other thing is that it very soon feels like a furnace inside - not exactly comfortable. Saying that, I actually had in mind a kind of ocarina glove so that I'll be able to play in the sub-zero temperatures I currently enjoy every time I take my dog out, and I think this might just do the job. Except - I can't see where I'm going. Perhaps I could fit a periscope...  ;)

Well, I think this has some mileage in it, so I'll keep working away and let you know if I make any further progress.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on November 08, 2009, 01:42:42 pm
Wow, impressive job!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: RicTheGrt on November 08, 2009, 08:52:30 pm
When I bought my first tin whistle in Blarney, Ireland, I sat on a patio outside the pub and store and tried it while my wife continued shopping. 

A man at the next table was looking at me strangely so I explained that "you have to start somewhere"

His reply "Yes' in a field" was very good advice.  Especially since divorce could be triggered by too much whistle practice.

So I wen to a beautiful park on the shore of Lake Ontario where I would practice for an hour or two at a time.  I made many friends there who did not realize how poor my skill was. 

When I was first trying the shakuhachi I would go to another lakeshore park at dawn and practic "robuki" or blowing the lowest note.  It was great to watch the ducks ant geese and cormorants going off to work in the morning.

Try this to make friends and your neighbours will love you as well.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on November 09, 2009, 07:25:00 pm
You are definitely very self confident, thus socially gifted. I envy that!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: RicTheGrt on November 09, 2009, 08:45:34 pm
Well Spatolo, when you get to my age you don't have to worry about jeopardizing your future by your bizarre behaviour since you don't have a future!

Self confidence is easy.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on November 09, 2009, 09:49:02 pm
Well Spatolo, when you get to my age you don't have to worry about jeopardizing your future by your bizarre behaviour since you don't have a future!

Rotfl. The more I read your posts, the more I like you.

Quote
Self confidence is easy.

Unfortunately it is only for those who have it already. In other words, my opinion is that it is not! :) The world wouldn't be so much affected by depression after all.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Airth on November 13, 2009, 02:27:05 pm
A man at the next table was looking at me strangely so I explained that "you have to start somewhere"

His reply "Yes' in a field" was very good advice.  Especially since divorce could be triggered by too much whistle practice.

So I wen to a beautiful park on the shore of Lake Ontario where I would practice for an hour or two at a time.  I made many friends there who did not realize how poor my skill was. 


Fantastic story. It's interesting how practice has the potential to both wreck a marriage and build friendships...


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: dereks on February 22, 2010, 04:17:30 am
How close is the ocbox to sell?  With my heavy travel schedual, it would be a huge help. I'd make my own, but accoustic foam is expensive.  Are there other substances that absorb sound well that I could use to make one?


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Nephiel on July 08, 2010, 03:24:31 pm
I think I'll try making an ocbox. I have on hand some cardboard and plastic boxes, a few sheets of foam, plastic straws and rubber tubing. If only I could find a good way to attach the tubing to my poly G without damaging it permanently...


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on July 08, 2010, 04:22:42 pm
Good luck with your ocbox, it would be cool if you could take pictures and maybe post an how-to for others "do-it-yourself-ers".
About the tube, the shape of the "mouthpiece" is so that I think it would be very difficult to create an attachment firm, steady, and which don't leaks air, AND isn't permanent. Any idea would be super-clever. :)

(the ocbox itself IS super-clever, indeed).


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Nephiel on July 09, 2010, 08:42:25 am
Been experimenting with tape and heatshrink tubing with little success so far.
The main problem is, the surface of the poly ocs is not smooth, so I can't get anything to form a good seal around the mouthpiece.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on July 09, 2010, 09:57:45 am
Hm, it may have any sense to fill the seal with anything like "blu tack" or anything like that?


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Nephiel on July 09, 2010, 09:38:03 pm
Good idea! Thanks, Spatolo!
I wonder, why didn't I think of that? I had a packet of tack in my desk all along!
It's not blu-tack (this one is white and feels "gummier" than blu-tack), but it's the stuff I use to hang posters on the walls without damaging either. Sticks to the surface of the poly G like a dream, but also comes off easily and leaves no residue.

I finished an ocbox. Nothing fancy, just a recycled cardboard box stuffed with foam, two rough holes for the hands and one for the mouthpiece extension, which is a short piece of heatshrink tubing sealed with tack.

Then I spent most of the afternoon playing. This box only muffles the sound a bit... I'd say it's about 40%-50% quieter. But it makes a huge difference in the highest notes! Now I can play those at full blast without reserve.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on July 15, 2010, 12:16:53 am
Hey, this is great.

I'm very happy for you that you could get an item which works for you. And doing it with your own hands is for sure a satisfaction on itself.

Would you post some pictures?
I'm pretty curious.

Thanks!


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Nephiel on July 15, 2010, 07:41:33 pm
As I said, it's nothing fancy, in fact it's rather crude... anyway here's a pic.
The box is upside down in the picture to show the holes for the hands. I took the MO out of the box to show the mouthpiece.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on July 15, 2010, 08:14:36 pm
well it's not meant to look good, but to be functional. And actually it doesn't look that bad neither!

BTW, play-asia, lol. I ordered some retro games from them, too.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Spatolo on July 15, 2010, 08:25:42 pm
BTW, thanks for sharing. The attachment to the ocarina looks very effective.


Title: Re: Loving Your Neighbor Means Controlling Your Sound
Post by: Auroch on May 16, 2014, 02:22:44 am
Fantastic stuff!