Computer aided design
The mouthpiece design significantly impacts the quality of the sound a brass instrument can produce. This little piece of brass that is generally less than 5 percent of the total length of the instrument, but has the most dramatic impact on the color of the instrument’s sound. It also plays a key role in how an instrument feels to the performer. If the shape of the mouthpiece is modified just a little bit to improve the pitch of an instrument, it has a dromatic impact on other aspects of the horn, such as range, phrasing or slotting. The mouthpieces developed by Jerome Wiss were designed on a computer to analyze the effects of various parameters to better perfect the feel of the mouthpiece.
3D printing prototype
During the creation of the mouthpiece with the quartet Opus 333, A new technique was used by utilizing CAD software. More than twenty different prototype mouthpieces were printed in 3D Plastic. The first test of each mouthpiece was done to choose the desired modification of subsequent prototypes. We removed all the mouthpieces designs that did not please musicians of the quartet. After that, a new mouthpiece was printed with new tweaks. With time and research, we then agreed on the final geometry that all four musicians liked the best.
From prototype to the production
The final mouthpiece was tested in its 3d printed version for several weeks before the metal manufacturing phase. I worked with several CNC machines to create the exact plans designed on the computer. Many fabrication techniques do not have the tollerances needed to replicate the reserch that we underwent. That’s why production of each mouthpieces perfectly matches the reserched geometry.