They Say “If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it”.
So…..I’ve tried it, now I’ll knock it.
A friend of mine asked me to try his new OcToBrass Range Builder and let him know what I thought of it. I will first list the claims its inventor advertises and give you my view of this revolutionary instrument which will do all things and solve all problems.
Well, where do I start?
“OcToBrass Range Builder TM is a new compact buzzing and practice instrument”.
This toy has been around for a couple years and to describe it as a toy would give it way too much credit. As far as being compact, buzzing on your mouthpiece would be more beneficial and even more compact.
“for a musician who must spend time away from the horn”.
The mouthpiece alone would serve the same function and take up less room in your suitcase.
The platform for OcToBrass is a concert level ocarina (Mountain Ocarinas)
Somehow the two terms, concert level and ocarina make the corners of my mouth go up.
“which has the capability of receiving a trumpet, baritone, trombone, euphonium, French horn or tuba mouthpiece”.
It is good to know that an ocarina has such a capability. I’m sure that if it had a choice, it would not be happy with large opening forced upon it and a cold tube of brass glued into its head (or it’d butt, which is it? I’m really not up on ocarina physiology).
“A tone is created from the buzzing brass mouthpiece as well as the tone created by the fipple flute resulting in the capacity of playing unison or harmony”.
Boy did I learn something! All this time I thought the lips buzzed and the mouthpiece was there only to support and direct the buzzing. I sat my mouthpiece on the table after reading this and for two hours (or maybe less) I waited for my mouthpiece to buzz, but nothing happened. I must have used the wrong mouthpiece. I also put my ocarina on the table and waited for it to create a tone and had the same result. Maybe I had a practice ocarina, not a concert level.
I did learn what a fipple flute was just in case it ever comes up in a conversation.
“This is the perfect instrument for the musician who must maintain (an) embouchure and endurance while on-the-go”.
No! The mouthpiece will have the same effect though it cannot be credited as “the perfect instrument”.
“OcToBrass is now equipped with a valve to regulate pressure and match the natural resistance of your horn”.
Halleluiah! You can never have enough improvements made to an ocarina with a mouthpiece shoved up its…..I’ll have to find out about that one.
Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate? Aluminum or polycarbonate?
Why do I have to make such a difficult decision?
“You can increase your range and endurance, even if you are away from your horn”.
Wouldn’t you have the same benefits if you practiced on just your mouthpiece and you wouldn’t have to put up with that stupid noise?
“There are five different modes when playing the OcToBrass”.
Buzzing and fingering– BIG WOOP ON THAT ONE!
Quiet buzzing- Now that is an improvement.
Playing along buzzing- Now that was what I was looking for. I sometimes have a desire to sound like a kazoo. I didn’t realize that a kazoo sound was better to play along with in the car radio than the sound of a ocarina.
Tone matching- I’m sure it was only a slip but what he should have said was “PITCH MATCHING”
Sound alone- An ocarina is a beautiful sounding instrument, at least before you stick a mouthpiece in its……later on that one.
Other observations worth pointing out.
• On this site is a photo of a lovely young trumpet player by the name of Elizabeth Meeker. If ever there was a better example of a staged photo, I would like to see it. Do the words, “IN THE MIKE” mean anything?
• Although I’m sure Elizabeth is a very fine person and a gifted trumpet player, most endorsements come from well-known celebrities in the trumpet world.
• The price of the trumpet OcToBrass kit was $125 but now is listed for only $110.
But wait! Now you can get the OcToBras as well as a FREE CLIP ON TUNER! How can they possibly make any money on this product? And why would you need a free tuner? Could it be that the concert level ocarina has an intonation problem? Or possibly it is more difficult to match the ocarina pitch. So many questions and so few answers.
After reading my comments, do you think my site will be added to their trumpet links page?
You would be far ahead if you would take your $110 and take two lessons with a competent instructor or spend the money on a copy of the Arban book, Clarke Technical Studies, Colin Advanced Lip Flexibilities, and a copy of the Hayden Trumpet Concert, and you still would have enough money left over to take your best girlfriend / boyfriend to a good movie.
Of course that only MY opinion!