How is a custom saxophone mouthpiece even possible ?

Syos, custom mouthpieces maker, providing personalized mouthpieces, based on the musician’s expectations to make it adapted… But what does this exactly mean ? Some explanations about the way we work.


I - Who are we?

Syos was born of scientific research. Founded by Pauline and Maxime, two acoustic researchers and music passionates. The company is the result of several years of research at Ircam, an institute of research in music and technologies of sound in Paris (just next to centre Pompidou), one of a kind and world reference in this field.

Pauline Eveno acoustician founder of Syos saxophone mouthpieces

PAULINE EVENO

  • Research field : Music acoustics (study of the functioning of wind instruments and their acoustic properties)
  • Her instruments: Flute, bass, alto saxophone
Maxime Carron acoustician founder of Syos saxophone mouthpieces

MAXIME CARRON

  • Spécialité : Psychoacoustic (study of auditory perception, vocabulary to describe different aspects of sound)
  • His instruments: Piano Jazz, Trumpet, accordion


II - What did we found out?

That music instruments are no mystery! When studying physical phenomenons responsible for the production and maintenance of the sound, one can establish patterns allowing to forecast the sound properties based on the instrument characteristics. (To learn more, read the article on music acoustics). We decided to work on the saxophone mouthpiece because from an acoustic perspective, it’s the most important part: its internal geometry (the baffle, the chamber, the tip opening, the facing length...) has a lot of impact on the sound!

Thanks to 3D printing we can craft an infinity of saxophone mouthpieces geometry for validating our physical models, for more details read also: 3D printing: future of the music instrument making?

Music acoustics and psychoacoustics allow the design of high-quality Syos saxophone mouthpieces

On the other hand, our researches in auditory perception have shown that we can easily describe the sound properties with only a few vocabulary words smartly chosen, and that it is possible to link these words to variables measured on the sound signal. (Read the article: Warm, bright, focused, dark..? Psychoacoustics brings some light! )


III - How does it work ?

The principle is simple:


You tell us what sound you’re looking for, and we make, with you, a unique mouthpiece, yours, which internal geometry is determined in order to be better adapted to your request.


1st step: the questionnaire

In order to help us better understand what you’re searching for, we worked out an online questionnaire (that you can find on this webpage). The nature of the matter and the way we deal with it is the result of a wide number of sessions of psychoacoustic research with hundreds of sax players.

2nd step: manufacturing of a custom mouthpiece

When our soundshaper (read Syos jobs: the sound shaper) has analyzed your answers, he determines what geometry you need for your mouthpiece. Then our designer (read also Syos jobs: the 3D designer) draws and makes the piece.

3rd step: the try

You receive the mouthpiece at home and you have 30 days to try it out quietly in several places and situations. It will allow you to understand well how the mouthpiece works, and to appreciate the subtleties of the sensations it provides. Then you give us a detailed report on your thoughts about the mouthpiece.

4th step: adjustments

You have now tried out the mouthpiece, and you like it. But it is maybe a little brighter than expected ? You would need more power in the low harmony? Adjustments are here for this purpose! Keep the first mouthpiece,we will ship you an second improved version, taking account of your demand. Try it out another time, compare it with the other one… and if you still need adjustments, we make it until the perfect mouthpiece!

5th step: mission accomplished

Here we go, your Syos mouthpiece is ready, it meets all of your expectations. Now you can ship us back the other mouthpieces in a package and there it goes! Everyone will be jealous of you with such a beautiful mouthpiece, made especially for you!

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? So here we go:

Create a mouthpiece

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Pauline
Maxime
Thomas

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