The Great BeginningFrom Cane to Beautiful Music
The Great Beginning          Cane field in the south of France-home of Arundo Donax
The Great Beginning                 Growing 7 meters high and 6 meters between
The Great Beginning                      The root of the plant – called the rhizome
The Great Beginning                      Planting the rhizome
The Great Beginning                      Early growth provides final diameter
The Great Beginning                      Selection by size
The Great Beginning                      Nodes and what’s between them
The Great Beginning                Two year growth means it’s time to harvest
The Great Beginning                      Winter is harvest time
The Great Beginning                      Special tools are used to cut the cane by hand
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning                      Waiting to begin the process
The Great Beginning                      Leaf stripping
The Great Beginning                      Sunning
The Great Beginning                      For aesthetics only (about 3-4 weeks)
The Great Beginning                      Naturally drying for 2 years
The Great Beginning             Step One – after 2 years, the manufacturing begins
The Great Beginning                      Step Two
The Great Beginning            Laser     and video
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning                      Elimination of impurities
The Great Beginning                Cutting the reed table to precise tolerances                            measured in mic...
The Great Beginning                      Ready for shaping and cutting the tip
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning                      Making the reed mold - a skill handed                      down from generation t...
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning          Over 100 blade strokes at a tolerance of just a few microns
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning                      Ready to cut the tip
The Great Beginning              Measurements to confirm precision and quality
The Great Beginning                      Determining the reed strength
The Great Beginning                Stamping                           And play testing
Finished
Different Reed Cuts
The Great Beginning                      Building A Mouthpiece
The Great Beginning                      Turning the barrel
The Great Beginning                      Turning the barrel
The Great Beginning                 Measure, measure, measure
The Great Beginning                      Polishing
The Great Beginning                      Cutting the facing
The Great Beginning      Precision cutting to tolerances measured in                         microns
The Great Beginning
The Great Beginning       Measure and                      Measure and                                    Measure
The Great Beginning                      Hand Finishing
The Great Beginning                      Contact Information                         info@dansr.com                       ...
The Great Beginning                      www.vandoren.com
The Great Beginning - Vandoren Reed Manufacturing
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The Great Beginning - Vandoren Reed Manufacturing

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  • \n
  • There are parts of the world best for growing Arundo Donax, often referred to as Music Cane. Those parts of the world must have a high water table, 300 days of sun per year and a steady breeze to strengthen the cane as it grows so it vibrate properly once it is a reed. Here in the south of France, conditions are perfect to make the world’s most popular reeds. In the background is the Van Doren family villa.\n
  • It is important to maintain distance between the rows of cane to provide proper airflow. The gentle breezes of the south of France strengthen the cane so it will vibrate properly once it is cut into a reed.\n
  • The root of the cane plant is called the rhizome. Notice the white spots at the end are cane soon to grow.\n
  • The root of the cane plant is called the rhizome. Notice the white spots at the end are cane soon to grow.\n
  • At six weeks of growth, the cane will reach maximum circumference. It is at this point the Vandoren specialist can determine which will be clarinet, alto saxophone or baritone saxophone reeds.\n
  • At six weeks of growth, the cane will reach maximum circumference. It is at this point the Vandoren specialist can determine which will be clarinet, alto saxophone or baritone saxophone reeds.\n
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  • The cane will grow for two years before it will be cut. The substantial height occurs in the second year. At two years the density of the cane is perfect for reeds. Longer growth makes the density too think to make quality reeds. Above, the cane being held in this gentleman’s right hand is two years old while the other is one year of growth.\n
  • The cane is harvested n the winter time when the sap is still. Cutting when the sap is still will prevent damage of the cane while its being cut. \n
  • To insure a quality cut, all cane is cut by hand with a specially designed tool with a razor sharp blade. \n
  • Here, you see the Vandoren specialists taking great care to cut the cane and transport it back to the factory for drying.\n
  • Carried out of the field, the cane is brought to a staging place where the process begins.\n
  • The process is begun by stripping all the leaves off the cane. \n
  • The next stop is for sunning. This is not drying, merely the aesthetic process to create the golden color you expect to see when you open the box. If the cane is a little less golden then your last box, it simply means the sun did not change the color as much. This is all aesthetics and does not have impact on the quality of the reeds to produced later.\n
  • The next stop is for sunning. This is not drying, merely the aesthetic process to create the golden color you expect to see when you open the box. If the cane is a little less golden then your last box, it simply means the sun did not change the color as much. This is all aesthetics and does not have impact on the quality of the reeds to produced later.\n
  • The next stop is for sunning. This is not drying, merely the aesthetic process to create the golden color you expect to see when you open the box. If the cane is a little less golden then your last box, it simply means the sun did not change the color as much. This is all aesthetics and does not have impact on the quality of the reeds to produced later.\n
  • The tube is then split into four sections.\n
  • The tube is then split into four sections.\n
  • The tube is then split into four sections.\n
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  • Before the cane enters the process of cutting, all impurities are eliminated from the surface of the cane. The use of corn kernels gently cleans the surface of the cane. \n
  • The first cut is to create the table. Using very precise cutting tools, the table is prepared. A perfectly flat table is the basis for the quality of vibration of a reed. Warped tables will prevent the reed from sitting flat on the mouthpiece which in turn, will prevent the reed from vibrating freely. The Vandoren reed resurfacer is one tool musicians use to restore the tables of reeds that have been played to their original flat condition, thereby lengthening the life of the reed.\n
  • After the table is cut the first cut on the top is created. After this the reed will be placed in the most advanced cutting machines in the industry. By the way, the brown spots on the cane in the photo on the right are caused by leaves laying against the cane while it was growing. This part of the cane bark gets less sunlight and therefore is darker, or brown. It has no effect on the quality of the reed. It will play a beautiful as the one in the photo on the left.\n
  • One the first cut is completed, the reeds are loaded in a magazine that fit into the cutting machine. Notice that this is done by hand so they can evaluate the reed. Many reeds are discarded at this point. Over 85% of an average yearly output is discarded before it becomes a reed.\n
  • One the first cut is completed, the reeds are loaded in a magazine that fit into the cutting machine. Notice that this is done by hand so they can evaluate the reed. Many reeds are discarded at this point. Over 85% of an average yearly output is discarded before it becomes a reed.\n
  • The next three screens show the most precise cutting machines in the industry. Using diamond tools that can cut to a precision of 4 microns, these machines make between 100 and 120 cuts to create the heart and and rails of the reed. Notice that this machine works in a single motion–from back to front just as hand made reeds are made. Not all machines in the reed industry do this and certainly few machines in the world are as precise as these.\n
  • The next three screens show the most precise cutting machines in the industry. Using diamond tools that can cut to a precision of 4 microns, these machines make between 100 and 120 cuts to create the heart and and rails of the reed. Notice that this machine works in a single motion–from back to front just as hand made reeds are made. Not all machines in the reed industry do this and certainly few machines in the world are as precise as these.\n
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  • After the reed has passed through the cutting machine the tip is left to be cut. It is only at this point in that we know what the strength will be. Because it is a natural substance, we cannot “order up” a few hundred #3 reeds. The flexibility is determined by the cane itself. By the way, the tiger marking on this reed makes it look beautiful, but there is no way knowing what it can do until a artist plays it.\n
  • Precise measurements at many points in the manufacturing process insures that Vandoren reeds are the very best that can be made.\n
  • The magazine that’s in the picture on the left is dropping reeds into a cutting machine so the tip can be cut. After the tip is cut, the reed moves onto a very precise computer-controlled machine that measures the flexibility and assigns a reed strength. The computer samples temperature and humidity into an equation with the flexibility in order to determine the strength. Once the range is selected, it drops into one of the trays you see below in the photo on the left. Strengths are zones of flexibility. There may be in one box of #3 the whole range of flexibility we choose as that strength or merely a sampling. Reeds are boxed by machine so there’s no way of knowing what the flexibility range will be.\n
  • Just before it drops into the tray, a stamping machine places the Vandoren name and strength number on the reed. Vandoren specialists (all playing musicians) tests a sample of each batch to insure quality.\n
  • As you advance as a player, you’ll begin to have a better feeling for the reed that works best for your mouthpiece and for the sound you’re looking for. The diagram above shows the three clarinet reeds from Vandoren. Each modifies the amount of wood in the heart, the cut of the tip and the thickness of the cane for different sounds. Experimentation is the best way to find what works best. All Vandoren clarinet reeds are available in individually wrapped flow packs so you can try a few to see what you like without buying a whole box. Have your teacher listen to the difference and pick the one that fits your needs the best.\n
  • As you advance as a player, you’ll begin to have a better feeling for the reed that works best for your mouthpiece and for the sound you’re looking for. The diagram above shows the three clarinet reeds from Vandoren. Each modifies the amount of wood in the heart, the cut of the tip and the thickness of the cane for different sounds. Experimentation is the best way to find what works best. All Vandoren clarinet reeds are available in individually wrapped flow packs so you can try a few to see what you like without buying a whole box. Have your teacher listen to the difference and pick the one that fits your needs the best.\n
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  • After the beak, tip and table are cut, the mouthpiece is polished to a shiny black. The table is not buffed to insure the precision of the cut stay in tact.\n
  • Vandoren craftsmen finish the window and rails by hand to exacting specifications. Every mouthpiece Vandoren makes is hand finished.\n
  • For more information consult our web site for additional “how to” information\n
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  • The Great Beginning - Vandoren Reed Manufacturing

    1. 1. The Great BeginningFrom Cane to Beautiful Music
    2. 2. The Great Beginning Cane field in the south of France-home of Arundo Donax
    3. 3. The Great Beginning Growing 7 meters high and 6 meters between
    4. 4. The Great Beginning The root of the plant – called the rhizome
    5. 5. The Great Beginning Planting the rhizome
    6. 6. The Great Beginning Early growth provides final diameter
    7. 7. The Great Beginning Selection by size
    8. 8. The Great Beginning Nodes and what’s between them
    9. 9. The Great Beginning Two year growth means it’s time to harvest
    10. 10. The Great Beginning Winter is harvest time
    11. 11. The Great Beginning Special tools are used to cut the cane by hand
    12. 12. The Great Beginning
    13. 13. The Great Beginning Waiting to begin the process
    14. 14. The Great Beginning Leaf stripping
    15. 15. The Great Beginning Sunning
    16. 16. The Great Beginning For aesthetics only (about 3-4 weeks)
    17. 17. The Great Beginning Naturally drying for 2 years
    18. 18. The Great Beginning Step One – after 2 years, the manufacturing begins
    19. 19. The Great Beginning Step Two
    20. 20. The Great Beginning Laser and video
    21. 21. The Great Beginning
    22. 22. The Great Beginning Elimination of impurities
    23. 23. The Great Beginning Cutting the reed table to precise tolerances measured in microns
    24. 24. The Great Beginning Ready for shaping and cutting the tip
    25. 25. The Great Beginning
    26. 26. The Great Beginning Making the reed mold - a skill handed down from generation to generation
    27. 27. The Great Beginning
    28. 28. The Great Beginning
    29. 29. The Great Beginning Over 100 blade strokes at a tolerance of just a few microns
    30. 30. The Great Beginning
    31. 31. The Great Beginning Ready to cut the tip
    32. 32. The Great Beginning Measurements to confirm precision and quality
    33. 33. The Great Beginning Determining the reed strength
    34. 34. The Great Beginning Stamping And play testing
    35. 35. Finished
    36. 36. Different Reed Cuts
    37. 37. The Great Beginning Building A Mouthpiece
    38. 38. The Great Beginning Turning the barrel
    39. 39. The Great Beginning Turning the barrel
    40. 40. The Great Beginning Measure, measure, measure
    41. 41. The Great Beginning Polishing
    42. 42. The Great Beginning Cutting the facing
    43. 43. The Great Beginning Precision cutting to tolerances measured in microns
    44. 44. The Great Beginning
    45. 45. The Great Beginning Measure and Measure and Measure
    46. 46. The Great Beginning Hand Finishing
    47. 47. The Great Beginning Contact Information info@dansr.com www.dansr.com www.vandoren.com www.whyvandoren.com www.whyvandoren.com
    48. 48. The Great Beginning www.vandoren.com

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