Mute Subtlety

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by kwd, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I use a rubber practice mute when I practice in the evenings. I find the pizz sound to be more gratifying with the mute than without it. The sound is sublime, coming more from the instrument rather than from the strings. Can anyone explain this? Can I get this sound without sacrificing volume by installing a conventional mute?
  2. I know what you mean, me being a user of an Ultra Practise rubber mute. My conclusion for now is that the sound is more focussed because it damps the echos and resonances that occur without the mute. These resonances and echos are what I hear in the quiet of practising at home. They seem to interfere more as a distraction because I'm usually playing more gently as well (I've got a mid-terrace house - don't want to upset the neighbors). Playing with others though at a volume, the bass is just not going to deliver its full richness of tone. At least I think not - I might just take the mute along to tonights band rehearsal and see.
  3. I also use a large rubber practise mute when playing in my apartment - I've noticed that the difference is much more apparent when I'm playing arco than when I'm playing pizz. and of course I'm only hearing it from right next to the instrument - I'm sure the mute has more effect on the sound ten or fifteen feet away.

    - Wil
  4. Jonas J

    Jonas J

    Jul 2, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Last night, after about half of my practise session, I removed my rubber practise mute and I was almost stunned by the change of tone quality. Un-muted, the sound became hollow and nasal, but with the mute the sound was much warmer and rounder (I'm having a hard time describing the difference in sound, but you guys seem to have the same phenomenon). Is there a way to make this "mute-sound" permanent, without actually having the mute on, as I like the sound better?
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    What you're hearing up close in a small room and what goes out into a club are different things. With the mute, you're likely getting more of an approximation of what the audience is hearing.
  6. Jonas J

    Jonas J

    Jul 2, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Thanks Ray, your explanation makes sense and is also a comforting thought. Perhaps I'll make some recordings with a distant microphone to check this phenomenon out.