Humes and Berg mutes are among the most widely used and recognisable on the market with their distinctive red and white finish. The company began manufacturing in Chicago in the 1930s at the height of the big band era with the encouragement of the greatest bandleaders of the time. Their trademark 'stonelined' construction is based on fibreboard coated with paint and resin.
Cup mutes are similar to straight mutes (cone-shaped with three corks) with an added 'cup' facing the bell of the instrument. Most are adjustable, allowing the distance between the cup and the bell to be modified. They produce a more subdued tone than straight mutes, reducing both lower and higher frequencies, and offer colours much favoured by jazz musicians. The Mic-A-Mute is so named because it is usually played close to a microphone. It has a rubber rim on the cup and a felt lining on the inside, creating a richer sound.
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