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Bass Ocarina Breathing Requirements; Are they lower than an alto or soprano?
Topic Started: 4 Sep 2014, 12:47 AM (3,175 Views)
Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
Something I've been wondering for some time is whether or not a bass ocarina would have a lower breath requirement or not. Anyone have answers?
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Bryce
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Multichamber Ocarinist
The opposite, in fact. Bass ocarinas tend to require more breath that higher pitched ocarinas, due to their large internal volume.
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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
I see. I've always had trouble with high notes on my STL Hobbit ocarina and I was wondering if a lower key would be easier. I should probably keep trying with the one I have. Thanks.
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pandorado100
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I've never had a Hobbit ocarina but I've owned several STL ocarinas. I've found that most of them sound better on the high notes with acute bend. If you can afford it, try the Rotter Zfans or the STL Aria. They both don't require an acute bend but it can help on certain songs where you really want to project the sound. Most of the time I don't bother since I play for myself, not an audience.
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
Their are low breath Ocarinas out there, a well as ocarinas with a lower breath slope. I don't recall the name of the makers of them right off hand (other than Hind). But if you contact a good maker as opposed to a retailer I am sure that they can make what you need.
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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
@Pandorado I got it partially because I'm a massive Tolkien nerd (Ever heard of the Silmarillion? I could pontificate on it, while most haven't even heard of it), and partially because I wanted an STL ocarina. STL was important to me because their YouTube Channel convinced my parents to let me get one, since they could see the quality beyond Zelda. I wouldn't recommend it, though. The breath requirement has given me a sore throat a few times from over practice and dehydration. Acute bend is necessary, although I hate it. And other retailers are too pricey for me. :(

@Harp player Hind is horribly expensive, although a fantasy of mine is to own a HInd ocarina. It will probably remain a fantasy since I recently became unemployed.
Edited by Ayleth, 4 Sep 2014, 03:10 AM.
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
I agree that Hind is very expensive, but I do love the look of his wooden ocarinas. I also understand the not being able to afford them.Robert make an excellent D ocarina. The one I have has a pretty steep slope, but from what I understand he made some lower breath slope ocarinas as well. He is in the UK so you will have to pay extra for shipping if you are in the US. I think that Hamlet makes lower breath ocarinas as well. I think he gets about $100 -$110 for his. But like I said a good maker should be able to make you what you are looking for.
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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
Yeah, I've got a wishlist. But as my dad says "You go for too much quality and the price tag with it."
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pandorado100
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Hind ocarinas are beautiful, no doubt but I find they are too low breath to suit me. I recently bought one from a TONian and I'm prone to overblowing it because it takes a really soft breath. Unless I hold back, I get squeaking. I think I do best with medium breath ocarinas.

I had an Elf ocarina but I sold it to a fellow member of my ocarina guild who happens to be a huge Tolkien fan. It was a beauty too, that pearlescent finish was gorgeous. I picked up a Shield of Gondor pendant from STL when I was an Anime Boston earlier this year. I like it a lot. My favorite STL ocarina by far is the Aria SG. I play it all the time.
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Endalion
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Triple Ocarinist x 3
Regarding low breath, I would suggest Rotter Blue Sweet Potato ocarina. It is a softer breath alto C model and the high notes are easier to reach than the ones of Zfans. It is a high quality, low cost instrument with good high notes that play without acute bend. The low A is likely to be feeble, but the low B should play just fine and be nicely on the breath curve.

Regarding low cost bass, how about Focalink bass seedpod? It has steep breath curve from low breath of the low notes to fairly high of the high notes, that can be challenging to play, but it is very ergonomic to hold and you can play extended time without wrist or such problems.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Be clear about whether you want low breath PRESSURE or low breath VOLUME.

Usually higher-pitched ocarinas use less air volume at a higher pressure than lower-pitched ones. (The same goes for most other wind instrument families).

Medical problems can affect pressure and volume differently.
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Læty
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Tender melody

I have just ordered a Hind Bass, I am waiting for it! I have saved up during 2 years to get it, indeed, it is expensive.

pandorado100: Note that his Tenor one is available with a new rectangular voicing which need more breath (It would be more a low breath ocarina than a really-low breath one). He did not keep the rectangular voicing for the bass, but I would not be surprised that he improved it a little after that, like with a slightly less round voicing.

Among good and cheap bass ocarinas, there is obviously the Zin BC (named "TC") which I own and is known as a reference, but it is in plastic. At least, it is not easily breakable, and not heavy (and very cheap)!
Edited by Læty, 4 Sep 2014, 11:21 AM.
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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
On the whole, I'm hoping to buy another ocarina soon. I ended up asking for the Aria G for my birthday because I knew my parents wouldn't faint at the price tag, unlike most others. And because my birthday is too soon for anything international.
I've heard a lot of different things about Hind. Some say it's too low breath, like an FCM, and others say it perfect.

@Jack Campin, what do you mean by pressure vs volume. I personally would love to have a softer ocarina, but I'm not sure how an ocarina that requires lower breath relates.
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tytoalba
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Inline Ocarinist x 2

Hi
The latest generation of my C7 contrabass requires very little pressure breathing. is suited to small fingers. is very slight. weighs around 550 grams. is lighter than my previous bass C5!
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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
Sounds good. Where do I buy one? You didn't give a brand name.
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pandorado100
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Jack Campin
 
Be clear about whether you want low breath PRESSURE or low breath VOLUME.



That's a good point Jack. I have a preference for ocarinas that don't take a lot of air pressure to play but I do like to have some resistance when I blow into them or I run out of air. That's why I have trouble playing my Oberon ocarina. It has what seems to me, absolutely zero back pressure. It takes all the air I have and begs for more, leaving me gasping like I just climbed Mt Everest.

With the Hind, I feel like I have to dial down my air delivery or I overload the sound capability of the ocarina. Someone here once said that blowing into a Hind is like huffing your breath to fog up a window pane. That's exactly what I feel I have to do to avoid squeaking. If I use a forceful, more directed breath, it doesn't work.

I find that my Casper and Rotter ocarinas are much more comfortable for me to play. I also like most of the STL/TNG ocarinas I have. Even the plastic Spiderman ocarina I got from STL as a freebie for an order sounds pretty decent to me.


@ Laetycia

I would gladly buy a Zin plastic bass if they came in less lurid colors like a simple black or white like the Noble plastic ocarinas. I just find their color selection of ghastly purple or toxic green very off-putting. :grin: I have one of the Zin plastic button ocarinas that I like very much. It thankfully is a decent shade of ivory.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

High pressure means an instrument like the oboe, where you have to push against a stiff resistance to get any air into it at all. Oboists have problems losing air - they need to breathe out more air than the instrument takes. High volume is what you get with instruments like the bass recorder - there is so little resistance that you don't feel the instrument at all, so you run out of air very quickly.

Ocarinas tend to be in between these extremes. I have a Fiehn soprano G ocarina that takes as much pressure when playing the topmost notes as a clarinet using a medium-strength reed; my Pacchioni G4 is nearly as low-resistance as my greatbass recorder, and I've tried some bass ocarinas with even less resistance.

I have a large lung capacity, so low-pressure, high-volume instruments are fine for me. But I have a cleft palate with a small remaining fistula connecting my mouth and nose that surgery hasn't fixed, so high-pressure instruments are a problem. I need to use some odd tricks to play the clarinet or sax.

This is the extreme of high pressure, from ancient Greece:

http://mardow.info/humanities/lecture/lect2/aulos%20player.jpg
http://ekladata.com/irFptxf50d7PoI1ytqRaV_ci5E4.jpg
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/gr/web-large/DP155775.jpg

Greek players of the aulos (double reed pipe) were using their cheeks like the bag of a bagpipe. Those players are using a common trick of the time, leather thongs tied round their head to help their lips hold the pressure and to stop their faces exploding.
Edited by Jack Campin, 4 Sep 2014, 07:21 PM.
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pandorado100
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All I can think of when you mention those ancient Greek aulos players using leather straps to keep their faces from exploding is that famous jazz musician, Dizzy Gillespie. Everytime he blew his trumpet, his cheeks would puff out like a hamster filling his cheek pouches with nuts and seeds. :)

http://www.dizzygillespie.com/
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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
That's hilarious and kinda wierd. I think I understand the pressure idea now. Thanks.
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Læty
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Tender melody

As a long term ill person, I often do not have enough breath to speak properly. The Hind ocarina I have just ordered seems to be good for me with its very low breath requirement, but I hope that its low "pressure" will not be an issue. I hope it will not need too hard breath control...

pandorado100: Ah ah, I understand you so much! I thought the same... But I think that the green one is not so ugly, and like said somebody in the past, it is prettier in real than on many photos. But if you do not like green, I understand! ... Or paint it? :D

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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
I'm sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you get better, someday, as modern medicine advances. :)
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tytoalba
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Inline Ocarinist x 2

In the images the new Contrabass in comparison with another ocarina high "C". Because of the thickness walls extremely thin, I need to complete tuning in the post firing. Overall, I have to raise the pitch of about 1/4 tone. in the end I will give a few layers of waterproofing. When it is ready I will send you a PM, if you're still interested.
Spoiler: click to toggle

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Ayleth
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Hobbit Ocarinist, 12 Hole Tenor C
That is...a really big ocarina. How much does it cost? I recently became unemployed and need to watch my spending.
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pandorado100
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Lætycia Pasiphæ
4 Sep 2014, 08:04 PM
As a long term ill person, I often do not have enough breath to speak properly. The Hind ocarina I have just ordered seems to be good for me with its very low breath requirement, but I hope that its low "pressure" will not be an issue. I hope it will not need too hard breath control...

pandorado100: Ah ah, I understand you so much! I thought the same... But I think that the green one is not so ugly, and like said somebody in the past, it is prettier in real than on many photos. But if you do not like green, I understand! ... Or paint it? :D

Strangely enough, I do like green glazed ocarinas. Robert Hickman has made a few of his ocarinas in a very attractive shade of green. I also bought a Hanulsori Alto C ocarina off eBay because I was enchanted by it's beautiful green glaze. Unfortunately, I have issues with the high notes on the Hanulsori. Maybe I just got a bad one. Odoc here on TON says that Hanulsori is a well known brand in Korea. Maybe the higher end ocarinas they sell are of better quality?

I have heard that the green color Zin bass is not that bad once you get used to it. Since I already have a Casper Bass C transverse and a Focalink Seedpod BC, I probably don't need another bass ocarina. :)
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Læty
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Tender melody

Thank you very much for your kindness, Ayleth! c:

Contrabass! Even simple Bass ocarinas are often too heavy/big/breath needing, so, contrabass... But they are fun. I will own one, one day :D

pandorado100: I did not know that maker. Well, high notes which squeak is a concern. I will let know my feedback about that when I will have received my Hind's! I cross fingers...

Okay! Indeed ^__^

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tytoalba
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Inline Ocarinist x 2

Lætycia Pasiphæ
8 Sep 2014, 05:27 PM
Thank you very much for your kindness, Ayleth! c:

Contrabass! Even simple Bass ocarinas are often too heavy/big/breath needing, so, contrabass... But they are fun. I will own one, one day :D

pandorado100: I did not know that maker. Well, high notes which squeak is a concern. I will let know my feedback about that when I will have received my Hind's! I cross fingers...

Okay! Indeed ^__^

Not all. It can realize very light Contrabass. They can weigh as much as a "Tenor" ocarina. My lighter C7 Contrabass weighs 430 grams.
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Læty
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Tender melody

tytoalba: I have put slashes to say "or": "they are often too heavy or (too) big or (too) breath needing"... Well, big could be fun. But it implies much breath needing, unfortunately...

I have seen your Facebook profile, I have seen a quintuple one, ah ah! Some of your ocarinas looks absolutely gorgeous, congrats! I would be curious to hear sound samples!

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tytoalba
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Inline Ocarinist x 2

Hello Laetycia. If you're referring to the Bass C7 ultra-lightweight, you have to wait a little. I first have to finish the setup. Then I will try to record a sound sample.
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Læty
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Tender melody

Indeed, that would probably be my main interest. Though, my ideal ocarina would clearly be an ultra-lightweight double bass (I still do not own any), do you plan to make that?

Anyway, a sample of any of your ocarina below G would interest me, to see how your ocarinas sound! I tend to like textured warm tones! ;)

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tytoalba
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Inline Ocarinist x 2

I currently have a couple of Contrabass C to be subjected to tuning. I also have a couple of Alto D 13 holes; a Tenor F; some Alto C 10 holes. I have previously made ​​two Contrabass C with the previous mold. They sound more powerful and weigh 1180 grams (red clay), and 1090 grams (white clay).
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Desmønd
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Find me at southeast anime cons
From my personal experiences with tenor F, bass C, and bass F ocarinas they have all had significantly lower breath requirements from the other ocarinas I've played, very light.
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Ocarininja
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Double Ocarinist
Jack Campin
4 Sep 2014, 07:20 PM
High pressure means an instrument like the oboe, where you have to push against a stiff resistance to get any air into it at all. Oboists have problems losing air - they need to breathe out more air than the instrument takes. High volume is what you get with instruments like the bass recorder - there is so little resistance that you don't feel the instrument at all, so you run out of air very quickly.
Despite playing since 2008, the whole back-pressure and such still confuses me, haha~ I mostly just pick up an ocarina and get a feel for how to play it and call it good. I don't really go into labeling the terms and such.

Since I'm more of a visual/practice learner, could you explain say... the difference in Focalink and Maparam so that I can compare them once my Focalink order arrives? I think with an example I'd be able to make heads or tails of it.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

I've tried a couple of Focalinks (AC and AC triple, not their basses) and they seemed pretty average, needing about the same air pressure and volume as an alto recorder. I've never even seen a Maparam, let alone tried one out.
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Ocarininja
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Double Ocarinist
Alrighty. I'm pretty sure I understand. I'm just better at remembering things when I have a hands-on comparison.

Slightly off-topic: I can't wait to get my Focalinks. They entered US customs yesterday, so I'm hoping that if I'm lucky I will have them by Friday. I've been dying to try them out -- especially my Double Bass-C (new model).
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Bryce
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Ocarininja
17 Sep 2014, 12:53 PM
Slightly off-topic: I can't wait to get my Focalinks. They entered US customs yesterday, so I'm hoping that if I'm lucky I will have them by Friday. I've been dying to try them out -- especially my Double Bass-C (new model).
Focalink posted a sick video the other day of one of their performers playing the new DBC. It makes me want one now.
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Ocarininja
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Double Ocarinist
TheZ
17 Sep 2014, 01:06 PM
Ocarininja
17 Sep 2014, 12:53 PM
Slightly off-topic: I can't wait to get my Focalinks. They entered US customs yesterday, so I'm hoping that if I'm lucky I will have them by Friday. I've been dying to try them out -- especially my Double Bass-C (new model).
Focalink posted a sick video the other day of one of their performers playing the new DBC. It makes me want one now.
Link link link! I've always wanted a bass, and between the selling of my Maparams and my boyfriend hating how "loud and high" my double Maparam was (which limited my practice times), I decided to splurge and get the new Bass-C. I just love the deep, mellow tone from the very few videos I've seen of it. C: (I also got the new Double Alto-C and Double Soprano-G. Hoping to order a Double Alto-G as soon as possible to complete the set!)
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LittleMarin
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Marin Musica
I think it might vary from one ocarina to another.

My Bass C Feihn uses about the same amount of breath that I use for my Dragon Tooth and my Aria and the notes all sound perfect and in tune..it does require a stronger breath on the two highest notes (C and D). My E-flat EWA Bass requires A LOT of breath to get the notes right. If I don't blow hard enough, my notes will vary from key of C to Key of D, and this applies to the low and high notes.

I've tested the breath of both in front of an instrument tuner and took notes. :)

Now, these are the only Bass Ocarinas I currently own, so I can't speak for the breath requirements of others.
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Bryce
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Ocarininja
17 Sep 2014, 02:06 PM
TheZ
17 Sep 2014, 01:06 PM
Ocarininja
17 Sep 2014, 12:53 PM
Slightly off-topic: I can't wait to get my Focalinks. They entered US customs yesterday, so I'm hoping that if I'm lucky I will have them by Friday. I've been dying to try them out -- especially my Double Bass-C (new model).
Focalink posted a sick video the other day of one of their performers playing the new DBC. It makes me want one now.
Link link link! I've always wanted a bass, and between the selling of my Maparams and my boyfriend hating how "loud and high" my double Maparam was (which limited my practice times), I decided to splurge and get the new Bass-C. I just love the deep, mellow tone from the very few videos I've seen of it. C: (I also got the new Double Alto-C and Double Soprano-G. Hoping to order a Double Alto-G as soon as possible to complete the set!)
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzgzMzU3Mjc2.html It's a huge ocarina, but Zhao Fang handles it with such ease... :love:
Edited by Bryce, 18 Sep 2014, 01:27 AM.
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Ocarininja
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Double Ocarinist
TheZ
18 Sep 2014, 01:26 AM
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzgzMzU3Mjc2.html It's a huge ocarina, but Zhao Fang handles it with such ease... :love:
Oh my goodness.. it's.. massive! I can't tell if it looks bigger than I thought because she's really small, or if it really is that crazy big. It looks smaller in comparison to iBookworm, though, so I'm assuming she's just a smaller lady. Either way, it's going to be interesting to learn! xD

My hands are a largeish medium, so I'm hoping playing won't be too much of a challenge. I'm definitely planning to do a review of the three new models since it seems like not too many people have them compared to the originals.
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Samuel
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Double Ocarinist
pandorado100
5 Sep 2014, 04:44 PM
Strangely enough, I do like green glazed ocarinas. Robert Hickman has made a few of his ocarinas in a very attractive shade of green.
It is a nice shade of green. It looks quite intense from a distance, but mellows out once it's closer.
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Robert Hickman
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Ocarina maker

Don't have a bass I consider salable though, and I'm not certain my firing rods would stand up to the weight of one.
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Claytone
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Double Ocarinist x 2
TheZ
 
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzgzMzU3Mjc2.html It's a huge ocarina, but Zhao Fang handles it with such ease... :love:
Unfortunately neither the ease nor Zhao Fang are included in delivery. ;)
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pandorado100
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Samuel
18 Sep 2014, 06:41 AM
pandorado100
5 Sep 2014, 04:44 PM
Strangely enough, I do like green glazed ocarinas. Robert Hickman has made a few of his ocarinas in a very attractive shade of green.
It is a nice shade of green. It looks quite intense from a distance, but mellows out once it's closer.
I wanted to get one of Robert's green glazed Alto D's he posted here but he clearly said that he would prefer to sell them to someone unfamiliar with his work. Since I already have three of his ocarinas that put me out of the running. :giveup:
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Samuel
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Maybe someone who lives close to you could get one and play with it a bit before passing it on to you?
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Robert Hickman
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Ocarina maker

Happy to sell one to you, but as I only had 2, I'm trying to 'cast them around' so more people may see if they like them.
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