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STL Element Ocarinas; Fire, Water, Earth, maybe Air?
Topic Started: 5 Mar 2016, 11:52 PM (7,419 Views)
Vendace
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Double Ocarinist

Stl had previously released the Water ocarina (http://stlocarina.com/water.html) and now they have released an "alto" in G (soprano) and a tenor in F (alto) as the Fire Element (http://stlocarina.com/fire.html), and Earth Element (http://stlocarina.com/earth.html), respectively.

So what do you all think of these ocarinas? any good?

I would say I like the designs, but with the heavy reverb in the sound samples I can't make a judgement on actually quality of them.
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OcarinaDude1
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pop123444
They look cool, not sure how good they sound in person though. I hate reverb in sound samples for an ocarina, makes it sound better than they actually do sometimes. What I don't understand is why they don't do the enigma as a water element oc. The water element one looks more like air.
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pandorado100
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Trystan Lawrence just posted a video with the STL Water element ocarina. I think it sounds lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0akquFsixk&feature=youtu.be

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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
The water element does sound nice. I want to like how the earth element sounds but as I said, I can't really tell how good it actually sounds. Think the air will be another soprano, like the fire?
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RichNagel
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Ocarina, Native American Flute, and Recorder Player
(A partial copy 'n' paste of mine in a reply in another message thread here in the forums):

I myself purchased the Element Water, and received it in the mail this past Saturday.

The look and sound of the ocarina is quite nice, and the lower notes (A4 and Bb4) are a bit fuller sounding compared to my STL WZ1B.

Still though, those notes are not as full sounding compared to my STL WZ1PL plastic ocarina... the A4 and Bb4 on my WZ1PL is a LOT fuller sounding (and in tune, even with moderate breath pressure) compared to my Element Water and WZ1B.

Anyhow the Element Water is quite nice :)

My only gripe concerns the left middle finger subhole... the subhole is located directly on one of the textured ridges of the ocarina, making it a little harder to make a good seal with your finger. All of the other holes are located on flat smooth surfaces.

Heh, looks to me like that all that they needed to do was to simply make that round darker blue circle ( http://ep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-46117395216933/element-ocarina-water-in-c-major-tenor-9.gif ) a little more oblong (which would place the subhole in question onto a smooth surface of the ocarina).

(Edit/Addition)

This ocarina really requires the 'acute bend' when playing the A6. Either that, or REALLY bending your hands and wrists AS FAR from the ocarina as possible when playing that note. Note that on my STL WZ1B and WZ1PL it isn't like that... I don't use the 'acute bend', and as long as my left hand and wrist are clear of the fipple, the A6 sounds fine (and in tune).

I even tried a little experiment... all holes open, and holding the ocarina with my right hand as far on the right side of it as I could without dropping it.

I then moved my left hand around the left side of the ocarina. As soon as my left hand was ANYWHERE NEAR the left half of the ocarina (within 10 inches or so), the note became squeaky and intelligible. Note that my left hand wasn't blocking any of the airflow from the fipple, it seemed to be blocking a little tiny bit of air from the left-hand finger holes themselves.

Since the 'acute bend' feels "alien" to me, I simply support the bottom-left half of the ocarina with my thumb, and pivot my left wrist and hand as far away from the ocarina as possible when playing the A6.

Anyhow, other than that, it sounds quite nice :)
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Ah, so they've moved on from video games & pop culture to... uh... the four elements? STL's marketing team has just taken a pretty sudden turn. Way to reel people in, guys - who doesn't like the elements? I mean, I'm not sure I even see the point anymore. Well, unless it's just trying to make thematic ocarinas. You know, maybe that's all they've wanted to do this whole time, but their reputation as a normal company who makes standard-looking ocarinas has been holding them back. Still nothing wrong with making normal-looking ocarinas though.

Didn't listen to the recordings. Seeing as how it's STL, I'd imagine that the tone and quality should be solid. Probably not truly spectacular, but surely reliable and decent. The fire one looks nice. They sort of remind me of Dreambirth ocarinas (still not as good though... I really miss Larry :C ). The price on the earth one seems... high. I mean, I get it's the lowest pitch, but... you know... that's a lot for an STL ocarina. And the looks aren't even that great. It's sort of a neat design, but I feel like there's something not... earthy enough. It's almost too gray, you know? I don't know. It's interesting to see the new directions STL's moving in.
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Mark Chan
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Going after the Avatar/Korra fanbase, lol.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Hey, that might be something... Even if they don't say it outright, perhaps that's a subliminal message! Nice catch!

This prompted me to read the descriptions. I guess they ARE sort of just going for "elements vital to our existence" thing. Because... who doesn't like existing, I guess? Brilliant! They finally found the fandom that appeals to everyone - existence itself!
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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
Haha that is true. Although its a little closer to the new-agey thing Songbird has started doing, I would much rather stuff like this (long as it doesn't push the religion/sect envelope) than the superhero Ocs.
And while I'm not the biggest fan of the Earth ocarina's look, I will say they all seem like they are quite decent. and they certainly aren't too flashy. I think the Water ocarina in particular would be quite an elegant starting ocarina. though I couldn't say for certain since I dont have any experience with it.
Edited by Vendace, 7 Mar 2016, 04:47 AM.
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The-Zesty-1
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Heartily Laughing
Is the earth element ocarina an Alto F according to the "usual" Asian nomenclature? I think the scaled look is kinda cool actually, really lizard-y. That is a lot of money though for it.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

If they're going back to ancient science for names they could equally well have named them after the four humours that correspond to the elements:

Blood
Phlegm
Yellow Bile
Black Bile
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
The-Zesty-1
7 Mar 2016, 10:18 PM
Is the earth element ocarina an Alto F according to the "usual" Asian nomenclature? I think the scaled look is kinda cool actually, really lizard-y. That is a lot of money though for it.
That IS a lot of money for it, yes. When it gets to that area, it is acceptable to call it a tenor. But yes, that could also be referred to as an alto F - basically, it's the F between the alto C and bass C (as standard nomenclature goes).
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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
Huh. Fancy. So is this kind of the new direction they are going, or is it just a side market, do you think?
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pandorado100
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Jack Campin
8 Mar 2016, 12:10 AM
If they're going back to ancient science for names they could equally well have named them after the four humours that correspond to the elements:

Blood
Phlegm
Yellow Bile
Black Bile
Jack, you just kill me with your humor at times. :rofl:

Where can I buy these exciting Campin designer ocarinas? :grin:
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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
you know if we are gonna go with elements, they should just use the whole periodic table.

xenon bass?

Helium Soprano?

glow-in-the-dark neon alto?
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Pori
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A. Nony Mouse
Oh my goodness. The water really is lovely. I wish it wasn't 70$, though.

And Vendance? Lol.
So, has anyone made a magic ocarina yet?
Edited by Pori, 8 Mar 2016, 05:24 AM.
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pandorado100
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I am surprised that STL hasn't come up with a line of Harry Potter ocarinas. Who wouldn't want to have a snakey looking Slytherin ocarina? LOL
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tismit


Hey friends!

I saw there were some questions about the element series, and I thought I might be able to answer them, if you're interested of course. I'm actually the designer of the series, Sarah Finn, and I'd really love to talk about them!

(Ps, Avatar/Korra totally was not intentional, but that's an epic reference, so I'll take it! Lol)
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
How convenient! I think I'll take advantage of the opportunity.

First, tell me about yourself, including your relation to the ocarina and to STL. I know it's not about the ocarinas themselves, but you might as well introduce yourself. It would be good to have some more background information other than the fact that you're the designer.

As for the ocarinas themselves...

What exactly seems to be STL's reasoning behind the element series? They were doing a lot of pop-culture things before, which has been discussed extensively on here, but this recent series is quite unexpected. Are they moving more towards thematic ocarinas in general? Why elements? What's the thought process behind this new direction?

And (naturally), any news on the air ocarina?
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tismit


Amerred
8 Mar 2016, 08:54 PM
How convenient! I think I'll take advantage of the opportunity.

First, tell me about yourself, including your relation to the ocarina and to STL. I know it's not about the ocarinas themselves, but you might as well introduce yourself. It would be good to have some more background information other than the fact that you're the designer.

As for the ocarinas themselves...

What exactly seems to be STL's reasoning behind the element series? They were doing a lot of pop-culture things before, which has been discussed extensively on here, but this recent series is quite unexpected. Are they moving more towards thematic ocarinas in general? Why elements? What's the thought process behind this new direction?

And (naturally), any news on the air ocarina?
Yay! I'm so excited!

Sure thing, my name is Sarah Finn, I joined STL Ocarina about a year ago as the Creative Designer, though I am originally an art teacher from Chicago. I myself have been playing the ocarina since I was 10 (almost 20 years, geez... lol) and this job just so perfectly joined together all my loves of art, music and pop culture (video games, anime etc.) I've also been a member of TON for quite some time, but was really too shy to post as a young teen. If there's anything else you'd like to know about me, please ask, I just don't want to shove my life story onto you.

For the ocarinas,
The task I was given was to create a sort of set, in all different keys. I wanted them to go together, yet be able to stand alone as individual pieces, cause, let's face it, ocarinas can get super pricey super quick, especially buying a set. The elements are something I really like, and seemed to strike a chord with my sketches.
And while I still definitely believe there is a place for pop culture ocarinas as well, obviously Zelda will never not be associated with ocarinas for example, I do prefer the themes with a broader scope. So I'd say that this new direction you see might be partially my influence? Its my aesthetic, I draw what I would want, seek out opinions of co-workers and ocarina fans, and get them approved. But there will definitely still be pop culture and un-themed as well.

I think I answered everything? More than happy to clarify though!

edit: Ah! realized I forgot to talk about Air! Yes, its coming, it *might* be the next one actually, can't confirm that for sure yet though. And it will be a Soprano C
Edited by tismit, 8 Mar 2016, 09:35 PM.
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The-Zesty-1
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tismit
8 Mar 2016, 09:33 PM
Its my aesthetic, I draw what I would want, seek out opinions of co-workers and ocarina fans, and get them approved. But there will definitely still be pop culture and un-themed as well.
This is so cool that a designer from STL is on here talking to us! I have a question for you Ms. Finn. You said you, after drawing, seek opinions of co-workers as well as ocarina fans before the ocarinas get approved for manufacture. Do you think at some point when you're designing more ocarinas you could post some designs/sketches/ideas here? I'd love to see ocarina designs that are in the works, and I think just about everyone else on here would think so too. You did say you look to ocarina fans for opinions, and there's a whole forum full of 'em right here! :)
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tismit


The-Zesty-1
8 Mar 2016, 10:12 PM
tismit
8 Mar 2016, 09:33 PM
Its my aesthetic, I draw what I would want, seek out opinions of co-workers and ocarina fans, and get them approved. But there will definitely still be pop culture and un-themed as well.
This is so cool that a designer from STL is on here talking to us! I have a question for you Ms. Finn. You said you, after drawing, seek opinions of co-workers as well as ocarina fans before the ocarinas get approved for manufacture. Do you think at some point when you're designing more ocarinas you could post some designs/sketches/ideas here? I'd love to see ocarina designs that are in the works, and I think just about everyone else on here would think so too. You did say you look to ocarina fans for opinions, and there's a whole forum full of 'em right here! :)
Of course! I already post all my sketches of my released, or soon to be released designs on my facebook page for sure (welcome to friend me, if you like), but I might be able to do a few up on the forums here too. The reason I haven't in the past is that its a lot easier/faster for me to respond to comments via facebook, and I would hate to keep you hanging. And, if you come out to a convention and see me there, I almost always have my sketch book on me, you know just in case. People tell me little things they wish we had all the time, that's actually how the TARDIS and the Dragon Dagger came to be! :)
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The-Zesty-1
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I wish you guys sold a Pokeflute ocarina. *cough* idea for you *cough*

*crosses fingers and prays it will happen*
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tismit


The-Zesty-1
8 Mar 2016, 10:21 PM
I wish you guys sold a Pokeflute ocarina. *cough* idea for you *cough*

*crosses fingers and prays it will happen*
*discreetly writes in idea list...*
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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
tismit
8 Mar 2016, 10:19 PM
The-Zesty-1
8 Mar 2016, 10:12 PM
tismit
8 Mar 2016, 09:33 PM
Its my aesthetic, I draw what I would want, seek out opinions of co-workers and ocarina fans, and get them approved. But there will definitely still be pop culture and un-themed as well.
This is so cool that a designer from STL is on here talking to us! I have a question for you Ms. Finn. You said you, after drawing, seek opinions of co-workers as well as ocarina fans before the ocarinas get approved for manufacture. Do you think at some point when you're designing more ocarinas you could post some designs/sketches/ideas here? I'd love to see ocarina designs that are in the works, and I think just about everyone else on here would think so too. You did say you look to ocarina fans for opinions, and there's a whole forum full of 'em right here! :)
Of course! I already post all my sketches of my released, or soon to be released designs on my facebook page for sure (welcome to friend me, if you like), but I might be able to do a few up on the forums here too. The reason I haven't in the past is that its a lot easier/faster for me to respond to comments via facebook, and I would hate to keep you hanging. And, if you come out to a convention and see me there, I almost always have my sketch book on me, you know just in case. People tell me little things they wish we had all the time, that's actually how the TARDIS and the Dragon Dagger came to be! :)
thats pretty awesome!

a pokeflute inline would be pretty cool, Zesty.

you know if the elements thing is gonna continue you could have a double chamber philosophers stone style. or maybe one of the tunable kind.
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tismit


Vendace
8 Mar 2016, 10:28 PM
thats pretty awesome!

a pokeflute inline would be pretty cool, Zesty.

you know if the elements thing is gonna continue you could have a double chamber philosophers stone style. or maybe one of the tunable kind.
The Elements are for sure continuing, but they are basically set as of now, I'm just approving the final prototypes before official release for the most part. I'm trying to keep the element of surprise *wink wink* alive by not releasing too many details about the entire series just yet, but dropping hints and clues I think is pretty fun too
Edited by tismit, 8 Mar 2016, 11:05 PM.
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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
Awesome :) and great to have you with us Sarah! It'll be fun to see what the next designs look (and sound!) like.
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Mark Chan
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tismit
8 Mar 2016, 09:33 PM
Sure thing, my name is Sarah Finn, I joined STL Ocarina about a year ago as the Creative Designer, though I am originally an art teacher from Chicago. I myself have been playing the ocarina since I was 10 (almost 20 years, geez... lol) and this job just so perfectly joined together all my loves of art, music and pop culture (video games, anime etc.) I've also been a member of TON for quite some time, but was really too shy to post as a young teen. If there's anything else you'd like to know about me, please ask, I just don't want to shove my life story onto you.
I knew the name sounded familiar. We met last year at Otakon. I was Dennis's buddy who was hanging out at the booth pretty much the entire first day, lol.
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tismit


Mark Chan
8 Mar 2016, 11:36 PM
I knew the name sounded familiar. We met last year at Otakon. I was Dennis's buddy who was hanging out at the booth pretty much the entire first day, lol.
Yup! Of course I remember, my sister called you magic for playing Les Mis lol. Hope I'll be seeing you around again soon!
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Mark Chan
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Oh yeah, I did play that, haha. Hope to see you again too! :)
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The-Zesty-1
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Just out of curiosity Mark, what Les Mis song did you play? You remember?
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Mark Chan
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The-Zesty-1
8 Mar 2016, 11:55 PM
Just out of curiosity Mark, what Les Mis song did you play? You remember?
It was Do You Hear the People Sing?

Anyways, I'm really interested in trying out the Earth ocarina. It's really affordable for an AF ocarina.
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Pori
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A. Nony Mouse
pandorado100
8 Mar 2016, 09:38 AM
I am surprised that STL hasn't come up with a line of Harry Potter ocarinas. Who wouldn't want to have a snakey looking Slytherin ocarina? LOL
Slytherin? I want to see a Ravenclaw ocarina!
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Ah, so they just told you to make a set and you decided on the elements? That's really interesting - I guess I sort of just considered their new themes from a marketing perspective. That at least explains the elements thing. It's very nice to meet you. I'll be interested to see what else comes out in that set.
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Sweetchemicalknights
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Pendant Ocarinist x 2
Hi! I am also super, super interested in the earth F! Can you tell us a little more about it, Mrs. Finn?
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tismit


Sweetchemicalknights
21 Mar 2016, 01:59 PM
Hi! I am also super, super interested in the earth F! Can you tell us a little more about it, Mrs. Finn?
Of course I can! (and totally call me Sarah, Ms Finn sounds so formal lol)

I'll just kind of ramble a bit about it, and if there's anything I miss that you want to know, just shout it out!

So the Earth Element is a tenor F ocarina, about 7 in long with a non-glossy finish. Since its got a rocky/mossy kind of motif, I didn't want it to be shiny, rather more worn and weathered. This also gives it a nice grip I think, though if you prefer the feel of a glossy finish that would definitely be something to think about. The tone is, in my opinion, amazing. Very rich and full, awesome resonance. All the elements are really clear and pure sounding to me, and are by far becoming my go to instruments. (and obviously, I work for STL, so I understand taking that opinion with a grain of salt, but I really do love them!) This design was actually the first I completed of the series, and probably the one that changed the least from initial concept to final design. The biggest change was edging more to green mossy highlights and further from brown.
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Sweetchemicalknights
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Thank you, and I am happy you are loving your work at STL :) . You created a gorgeous set of ocarinas, Sarah :) (And sorry for the formalities-- force of habit. I respect you all a lot in your skills and knowledge and wish to show it.) And I totally like the wornness-- never seen it in an ocarina.
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tismit


You're so sweet! You have no idea what it means to me to hear that :)
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Sweetchemicalknights
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Of course, Sarah :) Thank you for thanking me, lol.

Can you tell us a little more about your experience with ocarinas? How long have you played, for example? (And what are your favorite songs to play?)
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tismit


Yay! Wifi working in my hotel again! Lol, sorry for the delay!

My experience with ocarinas goes way back actually. I got my first ocarina when I was 10 years old, it was a 9 hole from a Renaissance Fair, and luckily it was a good quality one to start on. I played all through grade school and high school, in band and choir, along with clarinet which was my first instrument. High school was when I really started collecting, starting with the big two in the states, Songbird and STL, but always found myself drawn more to STL.

When I got to college, I took a bit of a music break, to focus on getting my art education degree. But after that, I moved to Japan and taught over in Tokyo for awhile, and used a bunch of my ocarinas with my kids to help them learn English songs. I'd also play a lot of Japanese folk songs in community festivals, so those have become some of my favorite tunes, along with video game classics of course. I also starting expanding my collection to international brands here too.

Once I came back to the US, I bounced around a few jobs til I found my place at STL, and I absolutely love it! C: At this point, I'm honestly not sure how many I have, I think I was at 54 st my last count? Though I collect some solely as art pieces and don't necessarily play them all, lol
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Vendace
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Double Ocarinist
Wow! thats pretty amazing! I would love to be able to collect that many.
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Sweetchemicalknights
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That is really awesome!! :DDD
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pandorado100
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Tristan Lawrens just posted an unboxing video of his shipment of Element ocarinas that he received from STL. Unfortunately, it's in French so I couldn't understand what he was saying. I did gather that he was somewhat freaked out by the textured surface of the Earth ocarina. He kept rubbing it with a creeped out look on his face. :rofl:

Anyway, if you would like to hear sounds samples of the Flame, Water, Earth and Labyrinth ocariinas, here's the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U2czamoQf0&feature=em-subs_digest

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BigC
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When you're STL, You're STL 4 Life!!!

STL has another hit on their hands!!!! God loves what y'all are doin!
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Sweetchemicalknights
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I did get the Earth-- after much consideration-- and I love it :) When I feel confident enough, I'll post a sound sample myself. Although a bit airy on the higher notes, its low notes are rich and gorgeous. I quite like its range, also, as it can play many of the pop songs I like without too high of a pitch.
I did get the Earth-- after much consideration-- and I love it :) When I feel confident enough, I'll post a sound sample myself. Although a bit airy on the higher notes, its low notes are rich and gorgeous. I quite like its range, also, as it can play many of the pop songs I like without too high of a pitch.

:ocarina:
Edited by Sweetchemicalknights, 15 Apr 2016, 04:06 AM.
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