Picture of Silicone Rubber Tootophone Mouthpiece
The sound produced by my tootophones has always been a bit tinny, and difficult to combine with traditional instrument voices.  The silicone rubber body of the mouthpiece creates a horn-like sound that is very pleasing to the ear -- not at all tinny.  


It has to do with percussive overtones when the reed slaps against the mouthpiece body every time it vibrates.   Two materials are involved, that of the reed and that of the mouthpiece.   Different material combinations create different percussive overtones, which flavor the base tone of the pulsing air.   That's why different mouthpieces used on the same body create different sound qualities when playing the same note, vibrating at the same rate.  

Plastic reed against plastic mouthpiece is very tinny.  Silicone rubber coating the plastic reed material helps; silicone against plastic.  Silicone reed to bamboo mouthpiece is better.  Silicone reed to silicone mouthpiece is best.  

I have plastic drumsticks with rubber heads.  Hit the sticks together and there is a sharp sound.  Hit the rubber heads together and there is a soft dull thud. 

Since there are fewer percussive overtones, the base frequency sound of the reed vibration rate is cleaner, and less tinny.

Be sure and hear the sound sample in the final step.  
eyesee2 years ago
apburner2 years ago
I have been making a similar thing for my kids for many years now. They have now grown and moved away but when they were little and we were at any place that the got a soda straw I made one of these out of it. by just flattening one end and with a pocket knife cutting out a couple of wedges from the mouth piece this left two (upper and lower) triangles to slap together and make noise. Everyone should try this with their kids you will be a hero to them for making a toy they love out of nothing. LOL