The road to creating a reed

A couple of years ago we made the most important update of our GD for Bb Clarinet. The change consisted of manually retouched the GD manufacturing template from strategic points.

A few years ago, we made an update to our GD for Clarinet, with the goal to make the most of the properties of our raw material and achieve a more durable and vibrant reed, with a more complex sound. In order to get this, it was necessary to change the measurements of the reeds vamping in strategic points. The only way to achieve this goal was to modify the template from which the reeds get vamp.

Retouching the template is a very delicate job, that a few people can do. Pablo Gonzalez, CEO of Gonzalez Reeds together with Gonzalez’s factory Manager carried out this responsibility because, besides altering the template, they need to test it in the machineries and later Pablo will try the result with the Clarinet. They decide the areas that will get altered to achieve the final result in the reed and then they planned how they will change the template to get the final measurements. Altering the template means gradually removing material with specific tools, to alter its geometry.

The touch ups are very slight and they’re done slowly; every modification it later gets tested in the vamping machine to check the result in the reeds. We count with a scale with more than 200 measurements of the original cane and of the desired cane, and we compare the progress with a high precision measuring equipment.

Once we obtain the desire result, both in the measurement scale and the artists, a 3D study of the template is made, and a computerized replica is made that corrects slight defects, and a new definitive template is produced.

It is a job that took several weeks and, in this case, the result was an exponential improvement in the performance of the GD reeds.