Ultimate flute tone

Re: Ultimate flute tone

Kevin, I think he’s playing an alto flute. If you knew that, others hearing your clip should be made aware. I just bought one (not for Irish, really) and it is wonderful! Tone like aural butter.

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Re: Ultimate flute tone

What’s the flute in the OP?

Re: Ultimate flute tone

@Ailin
That is probably a Bb, true. However, he hits that tone on his CDs with his D flute Rudall and/or Holmes-McNaughton copy.

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Re: Ultimate flute tone

I wondered if Brian Morgan was playing an Eb flute because it sounded so bright. But it’s not.

Re: Ultimate flute tone

Wow. The ladies definitely have it. But so don’t the rest? Hard to really judge on my puny laptop speakers. Anyway, I think I prefer the "clean" tone on Steph Geremia’s and Louise Mulcahy’s. All good.

Re: Ultimate flute tone

David50 , there are other recordings with different flute presumably the same mic and room setup but not such an awesome tone.

Re: Ultimate flute tone

Personally I think the best thing is to develop YOUR ultimate flute tone.

Your tone will never be like anybody else’s.

You can tell James Galway’s tone a mile off. Nobody else sounds like that, nor will anybody ever. It’s because of the physical/anatomical nature of how flute tone is created, and because everyone’s anatomy is unique.

I know I will get pushback for saying this, but a few lessons with a very good Boehm flute teacher will improve your tone markedly, if you set aside what you think you know, become a blank canvas, and do what they say.

Good Boehm flute teachers are the products of over 300 years of teacher-to-pupil relationships, going back through the 19th century orchestral flutes we call "Irish flutes" to the 18th century Baroque flutes and beyond.

The European orchestral flute tradition has had plenty of time to figure everything out: the most ergonomic way to hold the flute, the optimal way to breathe, the ideal embouchure formation, everything.

If you don’t believe me, get together with a really good Boehm flute player, and the first thing you’ll find out is that they get a much better tone out of your flute than you do!

I used to take lessons from a great flutist. I played her a Matt Molloy album, she said "that’s a great tone" and she helped me to make my tone much better.

Re: Ultimate flute tone

There is a HUGE amount to admire in the clips above, including some of the tone. But of all we can contrast and compare about the styles, the tone must be the most difficult - so much depends on room acoustics, mic type, quality and placement, reverb and echo (both natural and added), EQ (inherent to the equipment and deliberately added). And probably more. I love some of the tone I hear up there, but I want to be cautious about "scoring" it.