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Double Ocarina chambers affect each other?
Topic Started: 11 Oct 2017, 04:19 PM (242 Views)
Soren
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Transverse Ocarinist
In my recent ocarina making, I have again attempted a double ocarina. I have not done this since my earliest ocarina-making days when I really did not know how to make ocarinas, let alone double ocarinas, with any sort of consistent quality. I made a few doubles on a whim when I first started making ocarinas, and the results were not too great (no surprise). The chambers were not set to the right relative base pitch, the breath requirements were different between chambers, I did not use tuning holes to set base pitch, and I generally did not know then how to fine-tune the sound quality and pitch of ocarinas at the time.

After making over 200 ocarinas, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the details needed to make an alto C transverse ocarina suited to my playing style. I want the extended range of a double, so I am giving this an attempt.

The question I have is this:
Do chamber resonances affect each other through the vibration of the middle wall?

What I am noticing with my current double is that the clarity of note on one chamber is slightly to drastically affected by how many holes are covered on the other chamber. There is maybe a possibility that there is some air escaping between chambers, but I do not know how likely this is, since I made sure of the alignment of the middle wall halves and slipped them well before joining. This ocarina was made by shaping the entire ocarina, cutting in half, and hollowing two chambers at once. In the future, I will probably try to separate the top halves of the chambers to allow for separate chamber sealing and lessen variation. The other reason I do not consider a hole between chambers likely is that I notice no affect to the pitch of the note when covering holes on the un-played chamber, just a difference in airiness. It seems like one chamber affects the vibration of the middle wall, which in turn affects the resonance of the played chamber.

The effect is most noticeable on the second chamber. If I default to closing all holes on the left hand for the lower chamber when shifting to the higher chamber, the notes on the higher chamber are noticeably more airy in sound. If I open all left-hand holes (thumb hole independent, no noticeable effect either way), the airiness goes away. I do not think I am changing breath pressure much between cases.

Has anyone else here made doubles and observed a similar phenomenon? This is my "first" double ocarina (discounting early low-value experiments), so I expected issues, but this one seems strange to me. If anyone has advice that might point my building efforts in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Soren
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JordonMB
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Ocarina Enthusiast
This is definitely an interesting question. I don't have experience with ocarina crafting so I couldn't help you, but I hope this thread catches on with some of the other members.
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spoonyspork
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L'il Tooter
The chambers shouldn't mess with each other from the inside. However, it is possible that when you put your fingers down, it messes with the airflow from the outside in some way. Or as you said - maybe a crack on the inside. Has it been fired or is it still green?
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Soren
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Transverse Ocarinist
This ocarina is unfired, just dry greenware. I am trying a few more doubles to see if this effect is repeated. With the little double ocarina experience I have, there are certainly a lot of possibilities.

I noticed the effect was greatest before I tuned the second chamber. The base pitch of the second chamber was set to A6, so my tuning holes are pretty large to shift the low note to E6. The large tuning holes added a slight airiness to all notes, but reduced the effect of closing holes on the larger chamber. There is still some effect, but not nearly as much now that the ocarina is nearly completely dry.

My difficulty here is probably due to my lack of experience with making a soprano ocarina (C5 to C6, or similar range), as I have not yet determined the best size and shape for the voicing. I also am just making these by free-form hand-shaping, so I have a definite lack of consistency with voicing location and depth.

On the current dry double, both chambers have the same size and shape of voicing. I know this is not how it should be done, but it was the best way I could get it to work. The chamber shift is nearly undetectable to me, both in pitch and breath requirements, but the over-large voicing on the second chamber is what I believe is causing a slight airiness to the tones. This may also be caused by pitching the second chamber too low and using too large of tuning holes.

On my next attempts, I tried reducing the second chamber voicing size. I have already smashed one out of three due to faults on the second chamber, and the other two are still very rough. I will be refining them once they have dried a bit more. In conjunction with the smaller voicing, I also pitched the second chambers at base C6 so my tuning holes will not need to be as large. I will see what results I get with this experimentation.

Request: Could someone with a multi-chamber ocarina try comparing if there is any effect on the second chamber when you cover holes on the first chamber while playing the second chamber?
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TheZ
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Soren
13 Oct 2017, 02:38 PM
Request: Could someone with a multi-chamber ocarina try comparing if there is any effect on the second chamber when you cover holes on the first chamber while playing the second chamber?
I can confirm that this has no effect on my Forte triple, TNG purple clay double, nor my Takashi triple.
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Soren
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Transverse Ocarinist
TheZ
13 Oct 2017, 08:03 PM
I can confirm that this has no effect on my Forte triple, TNG purple clay double, nor my Takashi triple.

I suppose I probably have some air escaping through a crack between chambers. It only seems logical, as I have seen different players cover different holes for gripping doubles and triples, and I do not see others noticing the same thing. When I made this double, I ended up cutting it in half and resealing the halves about 5 times before I got the right base pitches in the different chambers. I carefully checked the seal between chambers, but a crack is probably the only likely explanation.
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