Facet Mutes are one of the most sought after musical instruments these days. They have been in use since the mid-1800’s in the USA, although their origination is German. The instrument itself is made from a single piece of timber that is cut into several slices with cut-off ends. These slices are then joined in the center to produce the desired tone.
With the right kind of tools, skills and materials, anyone can create good quality Facet Mutes. The main benefit of having these musical instruments as your main musical instrument is its ability to create sweet, melodic intonation. This is the kind of intonation that you cannot get from some other hardwoods like basswood or ash.
The cut-off ends of the wood that make up the facets of the facet mutes are shaped in such a way that it produces a distinct but consistent tone. Every musical instrument has its own distinctive sound because of the intonation produced. Generally, each wood contributes a different but pleasant sound. As a general guideline, the harder the wood, the brighter and much sharper the sound produced.
The proper functioning of these mutes is crucial to achieving that consistent musical tone quality. You should know the right amount of oil or wax used on the instrument. If the amount is less, the music will not have that clear quality. Another important factor that affects the volume levels is the quality of the mouth pieces or cups used to perform the intonation. The better the cups are, the greater the projection you can achieve without getting the notes too loud.
One of the common types of these instruments is the facet mutes made from hardwoods like rosewood, maple, chestnut and the like. The musical production it produces is very well modulated and controlled through the use of skilled craftsman. The wood that is used plays a very vital role in the result as well. While all hardwoods can be used for producing this type of mutes, those made from rare species like rosewood and maple are more expensive than the common hardwoods.
The denis wick wooden straight mute is another common type that you will come across in the product line of facet mutes. This particular mute is considered to be a very good alternative to the more commonly known balu mutes. Balu mutes, on the other hand, tend to lack the flexibility of being bent into a specific shape. On the other hand, they do offer some flexibility in terms of producing more than just one tone. The drawback however is that it cannot reproduce any high frequency sounds.