i use the TAP ISO pickup (from Greece). i’ve got a bunch of them, and have become pretty fearless about the drilling and tapping routine to install their pickup adapter. the adapter allows you to unscrew the pickup itself, and replace it with a threaded plug, for when you’re playing acoustic.
it really doesn’t make much difference in the acoustic performance characteristics, and the sound is excellent. also, of course, the drilled-in types give way better isolation and immunity from feedback. there’s no way i could be functional in a lot of my loud performance environments without this kind of pickup!
i’ve drilled into barrels on clarinet, as well as mouthpieces for saxophone. for bass clarinet, i’d probably drill the neck and solder on a threaded brass nut (or tapped brass block if you wish to be fancier!) – this is how i’ve got my contralto clarinet set up. on the other hand, i’m sure drilling into the mouthpiece would work too – i’ve done that on my baritone saxophone and it works great! the only fussy thing about doing it on a mouthpiece is that you have to find a way to co-exist with whatever ligature you’re using. i’ve modified my ligatures to provide a pickup-sized hole, so the pickup can protrude out through the lig.
~we totally need to re-name this thread “woodwind nerd-talk”~
@plutek i think the current title sums it up pretty good.
Thanks for your input! I’m so hesitant drilling in it becaus my bass clarinet is an almost ancient piece, a “püchner” built in Graslitz some decades ago (don’t have the full history). But the tuning is about 336-338, so i thought about having some work done on the neck anyways. I will talk this through with my woodwind mechanic.
About the nerd-talk: i’d really like to talk about woodwind specific pedalboards, in my latest i used the subsynth for the bass clarinet (i can share the pedalboard later) which is just awesome. But playing this live is only possible with a pickup mic. Also my pedalboards are mostly about harmonizing, but i’m always interested in new ideas. So it would be nice to talk about that kind of stuff here. (would a general “random” thread like this be ok for that?)
Also, i talked to @jesse about the wiki and volunteered to contribute in chapter 1 4.1.5. for woodwind instruments. Haven’t done anything yet (sorry, jesse - totally swamped), but if you’d like we could work on that together. soon.
I’m from atlanta. For my bass clarinet, I drilled the hole for the pickup into the mouthpiece. The neck is metal and too thin so I don’t think would be able to make a leakless insertion that would reliably hold the pickup in. You definitely do need a pickup for any clarinet, because unlike saxophones the sound comes out of every tonehole.
@ericfontainejazz don’t want to be a know-it-all but this logic applies to the saxophone aswell. Nowadays you’ll try to aim the mic at the left hand, right above the bell to get the best sound. You never see any saxophone players today that swallow the mic with the bell. Of course for the clarinet (and the soprano sax) this applies even more - you’re right there.
For the drilling part: how thick should the metal be that drilling in there won’t be a problem in your opinion?
Oh, by the way - are you guys using the MOD for reverbs also? what’s your favorite (setting)?
@domlo Yes you are right about how to properly mic a sax. My pickup in sax mouthpiece setup works much better than a simple clip on mic for effects, but it is worth mentioning that it is possible to get by using a clipon or other bell mic with effects provided that the mic is not omnidirectional and that rest of the band isn’t too loud, cause will get some feedback.
I was too afraid to try even to drill into the metal neck. And most stuff I find on the web like sax on the web say it is much better to drill into the mouthpiece. I don’t really know how to go about drilling into neck.
Note when drilling: you will need to have the exact drill head width for the pickup, and it is also best to start drilling from a smaller width drill head as guide hole and work your way up.
As far as what effects/settings to use, I say any effect can work…my favorites include octave pedal and ring modulator.
Regarding hypothetical swag for reed players: incase it is not obvious I will mention that a reed as swag won’t make sense because reed strength is very player-specific and because each size sax/clarinet uses a different reed. BUT what would make sense are a bunch of little stickers. That way we can put a sticker on our reeds, our reed cases, our mouthpiece caps, our woodwind case, or anywhere else that us reed players would want to put a sticker.
Oh and let’s not forget about flute players. It is entirely possible to use effects pedal with an internal pickup in the headjoint of a flute, such as the Barcus Berry 6100 flute pickup, since it will be mostly isolated from outside noise. And string players can use any non-air pickup (such as those by The Realist brand which you slip underneath the bridge) and go through an effects pedal.
According to the sales pitch (at https://moddevices.com/pages/mod-duo) “If you are a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, vocalist or if you play any other instrument”, it seems we all fall under the category “any other instrument”
Another way the guitar-centric view presents itself is in how the names of pedals include the word “guitar” in them (i.e. all of the “GUITARIX” pedals) even though I can attest that they work perfectly fine with my woodwinds and I suspect with any other instrument.
! Don’t send the plectrums to a landfill. If your instrument is not “pickable” or you just don’t usually use a plectrum then give it to someone who plays guitar/bass/mandolin/sitar/lute/zither/etc. (and show them your MOD Duo )
“GUITARIX” is simply the name of the project which have those pedals developed. Indeed, this project is guitar centric (as the name suggest), but that didn’t mean that you could only use them with guitar.