Coda EDC Flutes Forum

Author Topic: Finding Karlo  (Read 4005 times)

Karl Ahrens

Finding Karlo
« on: January 14, 2019, 10:32:16 pm »
Since the forum is so new and I've left some wonderful posts unanswered, I thought I should mention that I am on vacatiion with my family from January 11th through the 18th.  When we planned this trip a year ago, I had no idea that we'd have just launched Coda in December. I mean, it was obvious that we'd launch by June 2018 at the very latest. Ah, the surprises of life!

You'll never guess where we are. Hint 1: it is warm, tropical, and overrun with large rodents. Hint 2: the rodents wear white gloves and are uncharacteristically friendly.

The young man in the middle of the above family selfies is my son David. He's 25, but --because of his autism-- our buddy David relates to life more like a big, loving toddler. It's wonderful to see his smiles and joy in this place where the songs and characters are like old friends, straight out of some of his favorite children's videos.

But I shouldn't go on any more about Florida and the hardships of applying sunscreen when some of you, like CODAina, are busy shoveling snow. We'll be joining you soon enough.

By the way, in our absence, some dear friends are staying in our house and are shipping orders.

Finally, I made a little video today related to a makeshift Coda Silencer.  If anyone's interested in that, maybe we'll start a separate thread. All the best from sunny Florida!

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:41:53 pm by Roderick »


Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 12:12:54 pm »
So... a)Of course you're working during your vacation.  And ... b) I was hoping someone would come up with a volume dampening system for the Coda. Like the Mountain Ocarina, the Coda is very LOUD! That's good for big halls and big bands, but for solo practice in a small room or a car, not so much. I hope you can come up with a one-piece, cost-effective-yet-profitable Coda muffler some day. Thanks for the demo. I trust you are enjoying your much-deserved vacation.


Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 07:55:10 pm »
Hi Ahrens family!   You guys .....that's a well deserved vacation and Ill gladly keep on shoveling snow so that there's no more cases of food poisoning and you all get to keep  that smile in all your faces and have fun!
That bathroom video is too funny and the acoustics are like the Motown studio quality of old...true story there....they did!  Now Mr have got to reveal to us the secrets of that wonderful vibrato of yours!  As for the silencer.....I just enrolled my hubby in the you spoke of before  ;D jeje!  My regards to Baloo Señor Karlo and to la Señora Susana and su hijo David!  Enjoy and have a safe trip back home!!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 08:48:40 pm by CODAina »


Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 10:38:54 am »
What a lovely family, you look so happy!

The Coda Silencer is a great idea. I'm sure that if you develope a piece of plastic that works as a silencer for the Coda and you offer it as an add on for some extra fee when you buy a Coda, most people would choose to buy it.

A professional player named Milt developed a silencer "Mr. Mute" that works for most single chamber ocarinas, and it had a very good reception in the ocarina community. Ocarina players definitely have the problem of not being able to practice as much as they want because of the loud and high pitched sound. Here's an example of Mr. Mute:

By the way your playing is awesome as always! You should make more videos playing songs (of course AFTER your vacations :P), the audio samples are a great way to show people what the instrument is capable of, I remember that your video playing Greensleeves made me buy my first MO.

Frank Dudgeon

Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2019, 11:59:51 pm »
Hi Karl,

Hope you had a grand vacation.  You and the family looked very happy.

I'm glad to hear you're working on a silencer...would be very handy for folks other than those kneeling in a bathroom.  Like us apartment dwellers.  I'll keep an eye out for the silencer. 

Hope your son's virus cleared up and you all had a great time.


Karl Ahrens

Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 09:18:05 pm »
Joel, CODAina, Stefan, and Frank, I've taken your words about playing quietly to heart. (And thanks to Ubizmo and Roderick for their helpful input.) Spending a week in a hotel and a lot of reading on the web have also reminded me of how musicians in general are always searching for quiet ways to practice so as not to bother others.

So... if I've been a bit QUIET on the forum lately, it's mainly because I've been obsessively thinking about and working on Quiet Coda since we got back from vacation: making copious notes & drawings in my Quiet Coda notebook, sourcing needed supplies, and creating both simple and sophisticated prototypes to test ideas.

Remember my injured back? Well, it's been a bit of a blessing in disguise (like potentially so many things in life if we seek the opportunity, the cloud's silver lining). The back specialist believes I tore something, so recovery has been disappointingly slow. In fact, my injury has prevented me from ultrasonically welding the next batch of Codas so we can begin our first major marketing push. (Ultrasonic welding requires a few long days of me personally standing hunched over a machine on a factory floor with no chance to rest my back, which I can't do until I'm a bit more healed.) As a result, I've been forced to focus on other things--like prototyping Quiet Coda.

By the way, I started out testing DIY ideas for you guys, and I'll share ideas at some point. My conclusion, however, is that none of the DIY solutions come close to a dedicated, optimized Quiet Coda. Quiet Coda should be fun, in tune, and satisfying to play, it should provide useful practice that translates nicely to regular Coda, and it should be really quiet. No, you won't want to record with it, but I believe that you'll enjoy playing it and that you aren't likely to bother people in the next room.

A major challenge I'm facing is that I have to be able to convert Codas to Quiet Codas in a reasonable amount of time. Right now, with the exception of shipping help from wonderful Susan, my local workforce consists of, well, uh, me. (My other helpers are online.) That means that I've had to reject overly labor intensive methods for now, and I'm not getting any new molds made in the short-term. But necessity often leads to creativity.

Can we get this done in the short-term? I'm not sure, but I'll keep you posted.  There's a chance that I may choose to send out a FEW prototypes. If you are someone who would REALLY benefit from a Quiet Coda, let me know here or at
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 09:21:01 pm by Karl Ahrens »

Harp Player

Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 09:54:42 pm »
Karl, could I suggest that you order a Mr Mute, and see how that works.  After all I don't see a need to reinvent the wheel from scratch when you can learn from the work of others.  I have heard good things about that system and is seems to work on transverse Ocarinas from a number of makers so it must be fairly robust as well.

Karl Ahrens

Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 10:58:11 pm »
I hear you, Harp Player, and I appreciate your suggestion. I believe I've studied pretty carefully all the sound reducing systems and tweaks out there. Maybe not, but I've certainly done many hours of homework on the web, and many more hours of experimentation.

Mr. Mute is a wonderful device for single ocarinas that I wish I could endorse for Coda. However, by studying their literature carefully, you see that it doesn't work at present for wider-range double-chambered vessel flutes like Coda, which have two blowing entrances to switch between. (This is not to mention the problem with the width of the mouthpiece, etc.) Also, according to their literature and my experiments, Mr. Mute addresses the airstream before it enters the windway, so the tuning gets flatter as you make adjustments to quiet the instrument. I personally favor addressing the airstream within the windway so that proper tuning and more consistent blowing pressure can be maintained. Of course, Mr. Mute is a brilliant solution for a device that is designed to slide onto the mouthpieces of many different instruments. In my case, I'm focusing on the optimized silencing of just one two-octave flute: Coda.

Similar things could be said about many of the traditional tweaks that have been done to quiet recorders, tin whistles, and ocarinas with varying degrees of success (e.g., "quiet" whistles are often quite loud in the 2nd octave). I'd love it if they worked well in this application, but they don't. Alas, I have no wish to reinvent the wheel. I just want to provide a super quiet practice instrument that is satisfying to play across Coda's two chromatic octaves. Let's see if we can do this in the short-term.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 11:59:23 pm by Karl Ahrens »

Harp Player

Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 04:27:24 am »
Thanks for getting back with me.  I am not real familiar with the Mr. Mute system as I am unable to play the transverse Ocarinas because of way too many years of abuse to my hands and wrists.  I just know that it got positive reviews on TON by some fairly serous players. I know that the mouth pieces that he invented won't work for any of your products, I just thought the concept he uses might be helpful to you.

I do know that on the MO the straw method was sometimes used by players, but once again straws would be a pain when switching chambers.  I do know that my wife can't stand for me to play the upper chamber on the CODA so I would love to be able to turn it down for practice, without it affecting tuning or breath.

Karl Ahrens

Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2019, 01:20:00 pm »
Quick Update on Quiet Coda.

It looks really promising for a Quiet Coda sooner rather than later.  I just played a few tunes three feet from my wife while she was carrying on a conversation with our daughter-in-law. It didn't bother or interrupt them. Codas entire range is soft, audible, and musical to me, but it didn't interrupt their conversation.

When asked for feedback, Susan, said, "Wow, that's nice, babe. It's really quiet..." For the record, Susan is always very positive about my playing, but then I never try to play regular Coda while she's conversing in the same room. (Well, hardly ever! ;)

So you can absolutely play Quiet Coda in one room without bothering people in the next, or in an apartment with thin walls, etc.  Yet QC is musical and tuning is good.

Again, this is not a flute to record or perform with, but it is fun, productive, and satisfying practice in preparation for playing and performing with regular Coda. And for beginners who feel shy, or anyone who doesn't wish to bother or wake others, it let's you practice in private.

If you are still reading this post, I have to anticipate your next question: Can you post some audio or video?

Well, in order to stay on task, I won't be sharing video or audio yet. It's one thing to make a few prototypes. The challenge is to get Quiet Coda into a finished, manufacturable form that we can offer to those who would benefit from it. I'll post something within the next several days.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:26:19 pm by Karl Ahrens »


Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2019, 05:33:26 am »
Cela a l'air prometteur, nous avons hâte d'en savoir plus!!!   :D
"It looks promising, we can not wait to find out more !!!   :D   "


Re: Finding Karlo
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2019, 09:53:14 pm »
Hey Karl. You have been really quiet for a while. I hope your doing well. I had read you tweaked your back a while back.  :(  :o ??? :)