A Night Off

What do you do when you have finished a great week playing a show and you have nothing to do all evening? Well, what I did this evening was to play with one of my old toys from more than a half century back.

I’m speaking of a little contraption called an Octavoice I Ampliphonic which was produced by King Vox many, many, many, many years ago.

The model I have is for a Clarinet and due to the fact that the person (student) who sold it to me did not have a pickup for a trumpet, I had to make one myself. I’ve seldom played on it and the thought of getting it out to see if it still worked was too overpowering.

Below you will be able to hear how this cigarette package size unit can alter your sound; if that is what you want to do with your sound.

Both the reed and brass preamps work on the same principle and using the clarinet unit with a brass instrument was no problem.

I checked on line a few minutes ago and found a few for sale in the $400 to $500 price range.

You might ask, will I be using it on my next Dixieland job or performing with a symphony orchestra; the answer is no! But with the increase in value as much as it is now, I would be happy to part with it if anyone wants to spend an evening playing around with cutting edge technology from the mid 1960s.

In case you would like to hear what this marvel sounds like, check it out-

Speaking of technology, I’m starting to think we have become much to technology dependent. What do you think?
Index of attachments moving clockwise-

2016-05-22 14.36.04

1. Mouthpiece pickup (absolutely essential for rock band playing)

2. Headphones (not actually connected to anything but essential when playing with rock bands)

3. Silent Brass System mute for warming up.

4. Extra contact mike on outside of bell (just in case a battery or patch chord fails you.)

5. Boss Tuner & Metronome (essential for those with normal pitch recognition)

6. AirTurn BT-105 (very handy for page turns and muted insertions at the same time)

7. Yamaha Personal Studio mixer (just another part of the Silent Brass System)

8. Octavoice I Ampliphonic (necessary if you want to fatten your sound by switching to trumpet, trombone and tuba settings)

Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.