It’s pretty much impossible to play a brass instrument through headphones. That’s a big deal, and until now there hasn’t been a good way to do it without bothering other people.
Yamaha’s SILENT Brass system isn’t new, but the latest evolution opens it up to a wider audience. The idea is this: stick a mute in the instrument so it can be barely heard, then replace the sound with synthesis so the player can still hear through headphones. Traditionally, there are two variables where this goes wrong. The first is the compactness of the physical apparatus. Make it too big, and the system is inconvenient (or can even throw the horn off-balance). The second issue is sound.
Yamaha has been a pioneer in the synthesis field. They were the first to bring physical modeling to market in a real product. Ironically, the breadth of products the company offers has sometimes distracted from some of their best research, but when it comes to replicating brass sound, they stand alone.
Get the two ingredients right – make the physical bit unnoticeable and the sound seem like the real thing – and you can have a headphone experience that approaches playing the instrument all-out. The sound is amazing.
- A mute with a built-in pickup both keeps the instrument quiet and registers your playing as accurately as possible – this component has been made both smaller and more lightweight
- “Brass Resonance Modeling” simulates the sound of the instrument, here greatly improved in quality
- A compact “Personal Studio” unit has a headphone jack, plus an input in case you want to play along with a recording.
Getting excited? Click the pic above for a demo, or better yet come by give a SILENT Brass a run for yourself. You’ll be knocked out!
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