Seems to me that Andy_B’s discussion has drifted off course a bit so I thought it might be good to start a new one. The issue of weak notes seems to come up from time to time. What do we mean by a "weak" note, low volume, airy or choked off, poorly intonated, imprecise? I thought I’d share my own experience and hear what others have to say. Know that my experience is just that and I make no claim of expertise here. As I tried, as many have done, to get that strong had D (D4) I did just what I said before, worked my way down. After a while I added some electronic aides that really helped. The first was the simple electronic tuner to keep me honest and precise. I’d like to think that my ear was good enough … it was not. Then I added a Db meter to measure and improve volume. That’s where I found that blowing harder wasn’t the answer. I believe someone, skerries I think said that practice won’t help much and manipulation of embouchure and air flow would. Absolutely. I would add then that practice, focused on those things alone, will. Like everything else the key to improving is measurement and assessment. That’s why the Db meter and tuner are so helpful. In my case I was able to get that D from mid/low
and rather "fluffy" sounding 80 Db to a hard mid 90 every time. The strongest note for me, on my Delrin 8 key Somers (just slightly quieter than my new Millyard) is the A4 at about 102 Db. Using the same approach I can easily get that C4, the lowest note, to a hard mid 90’s and the hard D grew to just under 100. To me that means that the issue of "weak notes" per se is less about the nature of the instrument than about the dedication of the player to make them strong. For sure, some notes will always not "shine" as much as others, but I believe that they can all be improved with effort. As a flute player I greatly admire once said to me "your tone improved when you played the note like you cared about it"!
Oh, and Tom, I tried venting the E4, always the least attractive note for me. While it didn’t raise the measured volume more than a Db or two, it did subjectively "brighten" the note quite a bit. Good idea.
That is my experience any for what it’s worth. Would anyone else like to share their experience or their take on what it take on the way to capture the sound they want?