Ewan Divitt is a trumpet-builder from Toronto, Canada. He has already established a great reputation with his beautiful custom-built trumpets, and his latest venture is also turning some heads! Ewan has kindly sent me his new Practice Mute to take for a test-drive.
Here is a little of the background in Ewan’s words:
“The mutes are 3d printed and each one takes just over 8 hours to print. I started designing them in late 2019/early 2020 as an add-on product for a buzzing tool I was making with a friend of mine called the Buzzkill. I went through many revisions and eventually decided to remove the ability for it to attach to the Buzzkill. To date I have done over 50 versions to get it playing the way I that wanted it to. I own probably 20 practice mutes and have never been satisfied with them.
For this mute, I really wanted to get as little resistance as possible, and make sure the mute stayed in tune through the entire range of the trumpet. Most mutes require tuning adjustments and get really muddy below C, and stuffy above high C. In order to get what I wanted, the mute couldn’t be the quietest on the market, but I think that the trade-off is worth it. If you are always fighting the practice mute you will develop bad habits.”
On opening the box, this is a really striking looking lightweight mute: Great colour and shape and a really interesting finish. The 3D printing effect gives a cool rough-and-ready look to this mute. The fit in the standard Bach 37 bell that I use for reviews is really snug and secure, with the foam pads on the mute forming a great seal. It seems to be very robust despite the light weight.
On first blow, I was taken aback by how loud it is. This initially put me off. Practice mutes are supposed to be nearly silent right? But then again, how quiet do they need to be?! Quiet enough to not wake the kids or the neighbours up, but surely not so quiet that you lose the ability to get a clear and even response. There can be a lot of harm done by overblowing with a practice mute, and this is not something that will be likely with this Divitt model.
The response across the range is really even and natural, with a nice variety of sound colours depending on how much air you push through. This variety of sound is not something that one would normally expect from a PM, and I can really see some nice close recording uses for this mute too. Close miked, there is a really soft tube-out harmon-type sound that could be a really addition to the mute bag. And the intonation is solid too!
They are currently available direct through Divitt Trumpets, Austin Custom Brass and J. Landress Brass.
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