Monday, December 14, 2009
Legere has been making synthetic reeds for clarinets and saxophones with some success. There's no magic in Arundo donax, it's just a material, albeit with a particular set of properties. It seems like the folks behind Legere (a chemist and a materials scientist, and probably musicians themselves) have found an appropriate material and processing strategy to achieve a substitute for the variable natural material. The reeds still wear out, though, and they aren't cheap, ~$20 each. I'm more interested in the science behind the reed, which their patent might give some clues to. They've also tried making double reeds, but guessing from their website, it looks like that's harder than they'd expected, and they don't have a product yet.