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.
Straight mutes are by far the most widely used mutes for brass. They are cone-shaped with three narrow corks to hold them in the bell. Sound emerges from the gaps between the corks. Straight mutes generally reduce low frequencies and accentuate high, giving a more nasal, reedy sound. The pixie mute is a small straight mute which inserts farther into the bell, and is most commonly used in combination with a plunger for special effects.
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