Buzz

Buzzing Clarinets

Have you ever heard a clarinet buzz ?

Ever wondered why a clarinet would buzz? There are several reasons
to this. The most predominant are the pads. Older bladder pads
may be to blame for most buzzing issues. In this video I attempt to
record the sound of the bladder pad. it is quite prevalent as the skin
is old and crinkly and makes a noise as such.
Buzzy Pad video Buzzy
Pad Audio

As an
example of how a skin pad can create a buzz go play a low note next to a snare drum
(make sure the snare is active – there’s a lever to activate and deactvate
it). You can see that
just sound waves will make the snare skin react and you can hear the snare
itself vibrate. This is the same reaction that is occurring with a
loose skin pad. Pics of
Loose Pad Skins
and
one really droppy pad

Another example of how pads may be buzzy is based on the pad
installation. This may cover several areas: (a) using a soft adhesive.
A tech may push the pad in with their thumb and push the middle of the pad
into the cup. The felt is now concave. But the skin will pop up and
actually, because of the shape end up being convex.
convex pad
And when one pushes slightly down on the pad one can see the actual ease of
movement of the skin until it presses up against the felt
loose pad skin.
Pads should never be installed by pushing it in from the pad surface.

Other examples are slightly loose keywork, or some other loose
material. But overall it is due to pad issues which may be due to low
quality pads, low quality installation including the type of adhesive used.