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Osawa Ocarina i Series Plastic; Plastic 12-Hole Ocarina distributed by Prima Gakki
Topic Started: 8 Apr 2014, 03:05 AM (5,376 Views)
Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

FortyTwoBlades
21 Apr 2014, 06:51 PM
I wouldn't quite consider it at that level, though. I mean a level of performance that can compete solidly against ceramic models.
I disagree. I think the Night by Noble plastic plays better than a lot of the ceramic ACs I've tried.

In one of my concerts in Tokyo, I played a Japanese piece on the Night by Noble plastic, and then it was mentioned afterwards that the ocarina I used was plastic. If I recall correctly, there were some gasps of surprise from the audience. I think of the Night by Noble plastic as a professional quality ocarina that can go anywhere.

I love to collect plastic ocarinas, so I hope I can try the new Osawa plastic ocarina sometime soon too.
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FortyTwoBlades
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Plays With Sharp Things
Interesting--is the Night by Noble really that much different than the standard Noble plastic? I was under the impression it was mostly just the subholes and a slight difference in breath. I do consider my standard Noble to be a very nice plastic, and better than many ceramics on the market, but still not quite in a class to compete with what I consider to be top performance models.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

The Night by Noble is considerably more dynamic/louder than the Noble plastic when played in tune. Have you tested your Noble plastic against a tuner? I really liked mine a lot until I tried to play something with a backtrack and realized that I was playing it almost an entire semitone sharp. It sounds really nice in C#, and I did actually use it recently when I need a C# ocarina for something. But when I play it in C, it is much too quiet to perform with, and also a bit frustrating to keep from overblowing, since it feels like it wants more air to reach an optimal tone quality. By the way, it's only the newer Noble plastics that play this way. My light blue Noble AC that I got a few years back requires slightly more breath, but the Night by Noble still has the best tone when played in C, imo. The tone isn't airy, but the high notes aren't sine like either. It has an intuitive breath slope and a volume that is good for performing with.

I'd like to point out that I prefer higher breath ocarinas, so the Noble plastic might be a great ocarina for someone that prefers very light breath ocarinas, and it's also possible that since I tried that ocarina, Noble has adjusted the breath slope of the ocarinas they sell now (since I tried the other one). It's not uncommon for makers to make slight improvements or adjustments to their products.
Edited by Ocarinadiva, 21 Apr 2014, 10:22 PM.
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FortyTwoBlades
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Gotcha. Interesting that the new standard Nobles would play differently. If that's the case then the tooling must have worn out and they replaced it, with the new tooling being slightly different than the original. Once a plastics mold is made it's usually not possible to make changes to it without a whole new mold, and as previously mentioned those are astoundingly expensive.
And yeah, the low breath is one of the things that keep me from being in love with the standard Noble. High breath is by far my preference. I like an ocarina with guts. :D
Edited by FortyTwoBlades, 21 Apr 2014, 10:48 PM.
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Stephen Bobchin
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Close the World, Open the Next

I can attest that the night by noble outperforms MANY of my ceramics, including my menaglio (I had brought it to the church concert Cris had, and compared when I bought the night. It was night and day.) I also played around with the standard noble plastic, and found it to be on par with the focalink plastic. Interesting fact about the night, it doesn't have as bad of condensation issues as most plastics due to the rubberized coating on it.
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FortyTwoBlades
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I don't expect the coating is what does it unless it has the rubberized coating inside the windway--does it?
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Mark Chan
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I used to have the non-rubberized Night by Noble as well; and it didn't have any condensation issues.
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FortyTwoBlades
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Yeah I would figure it would have more to do with the windway size and shape so it would create less surface tension that would retain droplets.
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exinte
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Stephen Bobchin
22 Apr 2014, 11:21 AM
Interesting fact about the night, it doesn't have as bad of condensation issues as most plastics due to the rubberized coating on it.
I have been using a night by noble for a few weeks and have come to the conclusion that it is not the finish that helps with condensation. I feel rubberized isn't the best way to describe it either, its just regular plastic and inside it is glossy and smooth, but the outside of the ocarina just has a matte finish, similar to my phone and tablet. On my ocarina the finish has even rubbed smooth in a few spots already.

What I do notice is that the design itself really helps with condensation, the angle of the windway and the blunt labium, I almost always see streaks of saliva on the underside after heavy use, the design works very well for actually ejecting the moisture just from playing before it becomes condensation inside.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

I think what makes the difference in the sound is the rubberized/matte coating being around the fipple, because that's the part of the ocarina that splits the air, which creates the sound. I think that condensation builds in the windway, but perhaps the slight texture on the fipple area changes the way that condensation affects the sound. My non-rubberized plastic Nobles, as well as my non-rubberized pink Night by Noble, get shrieky on the high notes faster from the condensation, and I think that the lack of texture around the fipple is the reason why. The non-rubberized pink Night by Noble is the exact same design as my matte black Night by Noble, so the only difference is the finish. They both play great, but in a performance situation, I would use the matte finish one, because those high notes stay clear longer, plus the matte finish makes it easier to play the sub-holes quickly.
Edited by Ocarinadiva, 22 Apr 2014, 07:35 PM.
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exinte
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Ocarinadiva
22 Apr 2014, 07:34 PM
but perhaps the slight texture on the fipple area changes the way that condensation affects the sound. My non-rubberized plastic Nobles, as well as my non-rubberized pink Night by Noble, get shrieky on the high notes faster from the condensation, and I think that the lack of texture around the fipple is the reason why.
Good point, I think the matte finish on the fipple gives surface tension that would help the moisture collect enough to begin to stream off with breath, as apposed to the smooth surface the moisture would more easily break up and cause condensation. At least that's my theory :)
Edited by exinte, 23 Apr 2014, 12:05 AM.
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FrozenNorth
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Ocarinadiva
21 Apr 2014, 10:18 PM
I'd like to point out that I prefer higher breath ocarinas...

Cris, how does the breath requirement of the Night by Noble compare to the Aria? Thanks.
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pandorado100
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Ocarinadiva
 
I'd like to point out that I prefer higher breath ocarinas, so the Noble plastic might be a great ocarina for someone that prefers very light breath ocarinas, and it's also possible that since I tried that ocarina, Noble has adjusted the breath slope of the ocarinas they sell now (since I tried the other one). It's not uncommon for makers to make slight improvements or adjustments to their products.


Cris, I'm one of those people that prefer the regular Noble plastic over the Night by Noble. I am not able to play high breath ocarinas comfortably since I tend to run out of air. (That's why the Chameleon is such a challenge for me)

Since I normally play by myself without a backtrack, the tuning issues don't crop up. I did however get the chance to play my regular Noble plastic with Sister Virginia FMM shortly before she passed away. She was a very talented Irish harp player. I'd have to say we sounded pretty good together but I give Sr Virginia most of the credit for that. :grin:
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

@Pandorado
I think it's great that you know what you like, and that there are so many choices for ocarinas with different characteristics. :)

@FrozenNorth
The Night by Noble has a lower breath requirement than the Aria. If you can play an Aria, the Night by Noble is a piece of cake.

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FrozenNorth
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Ocarinadiva
24 Apr 2014, 12:51 AM

@FrozenNorth
...If you can play an Aria, the Night by Noble is a piece of cake.


I can play an Aria, just not very well. :)

Thanks for the information.
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FortyTwoBlades
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We need more ocarinas on the market with breath reqs like the Aria. I think it's a very well-balanced instrument in many respects, but especially in that the breath requirement is high, but still low enough to be accessible to many beginners.
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Jack Campin
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From the questions I see here, it looks like what we need most is not yet another middling breath ocarina, but a REALLY low breath, REALLY quiet one. Again and again we hear people complaining that perfectly reasonable, average instruments are simply too much for either their neighbours or their own ears (neither of which they can do much about).

One great strength of both the guitar and ukulele is that you can play them at whisper level. That must have contributed to their popularity.
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pandorado100
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Jack Campin
24 Apr 2014, 09:59 AM
From the questions I see here, it looks like what we need most is not yet another middling breath ocarina, but a REALLY low breath, REALLY quiet one. Again and again we hear people complaining that perfectly reasonable, average instruments are simply too much for either their neighbours or their own ears (neither of which they can do much about).

One great strength of both the guitar and ukulele is that you can play them at whisper level. That must have contributed to their popularity.
Jack, what the world really needs is a soft low breath air horn so that obnoxious fans blowing them at soccer matches don't burst your eardrums. :rofl:

As for a quiet ocarina, I suppose the closest thing we have now is the Smule ocarina app. You can turn down the volume on your iPhone when you play.
Edited by pandorado100, 24 Apr 2014, 12:38 PM.
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FrozenNorth
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Jack Campin
24 Apr 2014, 09:59 AM

From the questions I see here, it looks like what we need most is not yet another middling breath ocarina, but a REALLY low breath, REALLY quiet one.

Yes, exactly.
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FortyTwoBlades
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Jack Campin
24 Apr 2014, 09:59 AM
From the questions I see here, it looks like what we need most is not yet another middling breath ocarina, but a REALLY low breath, REALLY quiet one. Again and again we hear people complaining that perfectly reasonable, average instruments are simply too much for either their neighbours or their own ears (neither of which they can do much about).

One great strength of both the guitar and ukulele is that you can play them at whisper level. That must have contributed to their popularity.
I think ICO has that one covered pretty well. I got my triple bass from them specifically to play when the rest of the house was asleep. Miserable to play under any other circumstances simply due to HOW low breath it is (I have to hold my breath back compared, even, to normal light breathing at rest) but it was a bargain and does its job well.
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TheZ
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In addition to the plastic i series, Osawa released a line of 7 ceramic 12 hole i ocarinas. (pictured here) He just released an anniversary model commemorating the 70th anniversary of... Prima Gakki.
Posted Image
It's available in a glazed or matte white. They're also available in sets of 4 or 7. He also released a triple in the same rose-floral print. Not to be confused with the 3 anniversary triples with floral print commemorating 10 years of playing the ocarina.
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Mark Chan
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I tried the non-anniversary models; and I didn't like those either, lol. But then again, I only played it for less then a minute before moving on; so it's not really fair to make statements based on that.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

I tried one of Osawa's red and black signature ACs (the ones in Ocarina Magazine) when I visited Tokyo last year. I really REALLY wanted to get one, but they are very pricey, and I already have so many ACs. The breath was much softer than I typically prefer, but it had a gorgeous tone and super responsive sub holes, with pristine high notes too. Even though I mostly use ocarinas with higher breath like my Aria, for some pieces (the ones where you need a single breath to last FOREVER), they can be really handy, and I also enjoy ocarinas that have a really sweet, round tone like when Sojiro plays.

You know, for someone who wants a lower breath, not so loud AC that is premium quality, I'd say go for that Osawa. I still kind of regret not getting it when I had the chance.
Edited by Ocarinadiva, 27 Mar 2015, 09:15 PM.
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