The focus of mute usage has shifted from changing dynamics to manipulating the colour of sound in a variety of directions. Composers expect you to use mutes through the full range of a brass instrument, and require an ever growing need for blending with different instruments and effects. With all these challenges in mind, Denis Wick has created a wide variety of mutes to help fill out your colour pallet and get the job done with minimal work for you.
Since the straight mute is possibly the most commonly used mute in composition, let’s take a look at the full colour pallet the Denis Wick line offers you.
Straight Aluminium mute: The go to mute when you see Sordino written in your music. A straight aluminium mute will give a brighter, more projecting sound due to the way the aluminium resonates and provides a unique edge to the sound.
Straight Aluminium Mute Copper Bottom: Due to the nature of copper being a heavier metal than aluminium it will sound a little warmer in sound quality. This is a great choice for sections of music that call for straight mute, but require a softer, rounder sound, or special blending with a string or woodwind instrument.
Straight Aluminium Mute Brass Bottom: These mutes look spectacular. Though the brass may oxidize over time (there are multiple products that can remove this discoloration if you are concerned) this mute gives a sweeter but brighter sound to copper and aluminium bottom. If you need a little more brilliance to your straight mute sound, this mute will make it easy for you.
Wooden Mutes: The sound of a wooden mute is very clear and much warmer than a metal mute. Choose this mute for passages where you might need a softer blend, attack, or response. I would very much recommend one of these mutes as trying to manipulate a soft, warmer straight mute sound on an aluminium mute adds an extra layer of effort that is not required on a wooden mute.
Synthetic Mutes: These mutes are relatively inexpensive and so a great way to introduce young brass players to the world of mutes. The sound is not as edgy as a metal mute, yet not as warm as a wooden mute. If you already own a metal mute, this is a less expensive option to a wooden mute if you are looking for a softer projection. As a soloist, you can never have enough sound options at your fingertips!
**PRO TIP: You have multiple options for the next time you see Sordino. Don’t try to manipulate every effect on one metal straight mute. Utilize the aluminum, copper bottom, brass bottom, synthetic, or wooden mutes to create the effect for you and save yourself the effort! Get more information on all the mutes Denis Wick makes for your instrument at www.deniswick.com.
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