Introducing ReedCast™: scientific woodwind reed quality forecasting

April 1, 2015

I’m pleased to announce a new tool available on this site. Woodwind players know that the way a reed plays is subject to factors like elevation, temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. There’s never a guarantee that a reed will play the same way today as it did yesterday. While break-in methods or storage systems may help mitigate some of this, being forearmed with as much information as possible is key to consistent reed performance.

I have spent the past few months compiling and studying as much research as I could gather about environmental factors’ effects on woodwind reeds, and developing an algorithm to process this information into reed quality “forecasts.” It’s not perfect, of course, but so far I have found it to do a surprisingly satisfactory job.

So, I built a web application, ReedCast™, around it. It is rough around the edges but pretty simple to use: you select your instrument (oboe/EH, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone) and your location. ReedCast™ uses your location to retrieve elevation and current weather conditions. Then you press the “Go!” button, and ReedCast™ does its thing.

Go try it out! If you are interested, you can also check out the science behind the forecasting algorithm (warning: technical, with math).

Comments

  1. Matthew Taylor

    I new it was an April fools but I just had to get my reed forecast. Hahahaha
    Well done another good one this year.

    Recent blog post: Musings for Oboe or Flute (January 1, 1970)

    Reply

  2. Karen Strand

    Oh, this is not a joke, I find it’s 100% accurate!

    Reply

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