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
BuzzyPad 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 deactivate 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.

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.

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 skin pad:

Pads should never be installed by pushing it in from the pad surface.

If you don’t want to replace a buzzy pad you can add nail polish, or  super glue to the top of the pad. This will create a hard surface that won’t flex and buzz. be careful to allow it ample time to dry.  Do not coat the entire pad surface and leave the indented tonehole indents free from any coating or debris.

Other examples are slightly loose keywork, screws 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.