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by Mouser X at 4:50 AM EDT on April 8, 2009
Maybe I'm just missing something obvious here, but since you have more experience with ocarina's than I do (I wish I had money to buy a decent one...), can you explain to me how to use the various songs on this site? Specifically, Ballad of the Windfish, and Chrono Trigger/Cross? I'm assuming the pictures are supposed to indicate how you hold the ocarina, but as near as I can tell, I get the same notes regardless of which holes I have covered (only the amount being covered makes a difference). If this is not normal behavior, I won't be surprised. As I said, it was a cheapo $10 one. I'm pretty sure it's hand made (it's clay), and possibly from some Indian Reservation (the people selling it had that look to them).

Still though, even with the limitations my ocarina has, it's fun to play with (though of course, a more capable ocarina would be significantly more fun). I'd at least like to attempt to learn some fun songs on it (I've been working on Tetris "A" music, but it's quite difficult for me at this time. I'm also pretty sure I'm off-key). Thanks for any help/suggestions you might have.

[EDIT] Heh... It looks like those songs might be composed specifically for their versions of ocarina's that they sell. D'oh. Nonetheless, it'd be nice to make an attempt at using those. Too bad I really don't know much about playing the ocarina (essentially all I know I taught myself in a few hours. "Cover holes, blow, sound comes out. Cover more/fewer holes, and pitch changes. Nifty!"). Mouser X over.

edited 4:57 AM EDT April 8, 2009
by Elven Spellmaker at 6:35 AM EDT on April 8, 2009
Hi Mouser, there are 4 types of ocarina, 3 of which are good and the other one isn't:

1.) Transverse or Sweet Potato (Like mine). These generally have linear fingering.
2.) English Pendants or Pendants, these have fingering combinations which have usually between 8 and 10 notes.
3.) Inlines generally have linear fingering similar to the transverse ocarinas, but these are held like a recorder.


4.) Peruvian Ocarinas, these are not tuned well, generally cheap, usually have pretty art on the top of them.

About being "out" of key, as long as the song is in a key and the right notes are played in that key, it doesn't matter, its called transposition.

About buying ocarinas, below are some makers:

Beware of STL, Docjazz seems to love them, although "their" ocarinas are not the best. They are a reseller that sells for high prices. Shame I have 3 of theirs. =/

(Good/Excellent Quality) Focalink:
(Good Quality) Maparam:
(Good Quality) Charlie Hind:
(Average/Good Quality) Songbird Ocairna:
(Resellers, average quality) STLOcarinas:

Some YouTubers you should watch, Docjazz4 - Docjazz5, Kissing88 and Ubizmo.

About songbirds tabs, I don't use tabs and I wouldn't recommend them, I would learn sheet music if you seriously want to play the ocarina. Also playing by ear is good too. ;-)
Sheet music allows for playing on any ocarina. For example those tabs only work on 5 holed pendants. Tabs also don't show how long a note should be held or any of the dynamics of the note.

I suppose the advantage to tabs is it makes transpositions easier, i.e. if you had a pendant in the key of C Major and played the Chrono Cross it would be in key and if you played it on a G Major pendant it would still be in key, but in another key, maybe not the original key.

I hope thats not too much information, and I hope I havn't confuzzled you. Cya around Mouser.
by Mouser X at 7:18 AM EDT on April 8, 2009
Ah... I most definitely have the 4th type. As I said, this is no surprise (rather expected actually). I bought it because it was $10 (cheap!), and I figured "For $10, I can think of it as a 'demo' of what an actual ocarina might be like." For $10, I'm reasonably happy with it. I just wish it had 1-2 more notes! If it did, I'd be happy enough that I wouldn't be concerned with getting a better one. At least, not anytime soon. Now that I've had a chance to play with it a bit, I'm very disappointed that I can't afford a better one (that has enough notes to play, say, the Saria's Song (lost woods), or the FF6 theme song, though Ballad of the Windfish (LA) is by far the one I wish I could play the most).

Thanks for the heads up on places to buy ocarinas from. I'll give them a look when I actually have some money. I've been eying some of the ocarinas at STL Ocarina for quite awhile now. If I get a "real" ocarina, I *really* don't want to pay more than $50 (I might go higher, but there'd have to be very good reason), and I'd like it to be a Zelda one (looking around, I suppose that will have to be negotiable). So far, I've only seen those on STL Ocarina, and Songbird Ocarina. It's good to know there's other options (hopefully cheaper), but if I can't get a Zelda one, I'm not terribly interested any time soon (though, since I don't have money anyway, I guess that doesn't amount to much). I'll keep fiddling with the cheapo one I've got right now. Right now, playing by ear is about all I have.

I was in choir for 5 years, so I know what music looks like, and I can tell you the names of the notes, but I can't really read music very well. To me it's "I hold my mouth/throat like this to make that note, and the next one is 3 notes lower, and then 4 notes higher than that." It's why I liked the idea of the tabs. I don't want to have to worry about reading music/transposing if I can avoid it. Mouser X over and out.

edited 7:48 AM EDT April 8, 2009
by unknownfile at 9:40 AM EDT on April 8, 2009
yesterday i learned that custom cpu hacking is not a very pleasant experience

god dammit konami
by Elven Spellmaker at 9:55 AM EDT on April 8, 2009
One thing I must say is STL's Ocarinas (WPN and TNG) are not the highest quality but they are ok. Especially with the Alto Cs (Which is what I would recommend first) they have airy high notes. Some of the airyness can be rmeoved using a technique called the acute bend and by better breathing techniques

If I must tell you ones to avoid from STL its their Zelda Replica series... (And yes, that is not a triforce on them, its just a triangle)

WPN, STLs main maker, have a known problem with making subholes too small. They for some unknown reason when designing their Replica series, decided on even smaller subholes, which means the last two notes are way out.

Another thing is that its better to start on a 12 hole and then progress to a double or triple.
It will work better that way, as doubles can be quite difficult to get the chamber switch right. Although obviously that require more money.

Ballad of the Windfish is one of my favourites to play. David (Docjazz) has done a video which you may or may not have seen. I learnt that one by ear, its quite simple, and requires a double.

I have also learnt the Chrono Cross theme by ear, and again Davids done a video of that:

Just avoid the Replica series from STL as I said... The subholes are too small...
by Mouser X at 11:22 AM EDT on April 8, 2009
I saw the Windfish one almost as soon as I got home with my new ocarina (I did a search for Ballad of the Windfish sheet music, and the site I came across hosts MIDIs, MP3s, and sheet music. They had that video embeded on their site for Ballad of the Windfish. I downloaded it as soon as it finished playing). The CC one I haven't seen. It's also quite impressive.

As per your warning, I took a look at the Songbird Ocarina site. Although their ocarina's don't come with a Zelda score book, they do have a wider range of notes. At least, reading their descriptions they say the cheaper ones ($40) have 14 notes (as opposed to STL which only has 13), and the more expenseive (#50, $60) one has 17 notes. Their OoT ocarina ($100) has 21 notes (and 12 holes, as opposed to the 4 holes + 1 or 2 thumb holes of the cheaper ones). I might buy from there. Though, considering the price, it's unlikely that I'll be getting a 12 hole from Songbird Ocarina.

Yah, I was whistling Ballad of the Windfish, and I realized the full range of that song is ridiculous (compared to the range of songs I normally whistle). Now I realize why I've never been able to get it quite right when whistling. I started out too high. To be able to do the whole thing, and remain on-key, I have to start at almost the lowest note I can whistle. That song apparently encompasses almost the entire range of my ability to whistle (it might be 1 or 2 notes short).

In other words, I won't be doing that one anytime soon. :( It costs too much for a double ocarina (I'd rather get a Wii). Thanks again for your advice. I'll keep it in mind (though, I won't be able to buy anything soon anyway...). To repeat - the 12 hole is good to learn on, but it's from STL Ocarina (the one I can afford anyway, I assume you're referring to this one). I could also try the 4(+2) hole from Songbird Ocarina which might get me better range (more notes), but it's $50 (or $60 if I want the deeper one). Honestly, for a difference of $5 (that's what it looks like at least), I'll probably go for the Songbird Ocarina when I can afford it (unless you have reasons to decide otherwise). Thanks again. Mouser X over and out
by Elven Spellmaker at 1:17 PM EDT on April 8, 2009
The way both David and I play Ballad of the Windfish, i.e. starting on a D is transposed anyway from the original to fit on a double Alto C.

The ocarina I was talking about is in the key of C, and for some strange reason STL calls it a tenor. Its more commonly known (i.e. on other sites) as an Alto C.

The songbird 12-hole is weird, in the fact that its in the odd key of A. I don't own it and so cannot give a good answer to it. (I really need to expand my collection) However it is quite quiet, which is a plus if you

There are two fingering styles for transverse 12 holes, both arguably better than the other one.


That is the fingering of the WPN and TNG ocarinas. ^


That is the fingering of the Songbird 12 hole and Maparam ocarinas. ^

The o are subholes and the X are normal holes and the dashes (-) are just spacers.

STL Alto (Tenor) C Ocarina

The Alto one STL sells is in the key of G, which means for some songs more transposition.

So I would say if you want a good beginner ocarina, the one I link to above will be ok. Its my first one and is offered in 3 colours. The high notes are airy, and its tone changes with temperature changing the airyness.

Something you will notice with Ocarinas, when you get a properly tuned ones, is there are two types.

Type A ocarinas require more breath pressure on the high notes than the low ones.
Type B ocarinas require similar breath pressure on the high notes as the low ones.

Below is a link to a few samples by me. =)

3 samples of the Alto C, bear in mind my mic is a £6 cheap thing. Also bear in mind I knocked these out in the space of about 3 minutes, so its not my best playing. =)

Diatonic Notes Alto (Tenor) C.mp3
Clock Town Theme and Market Theme.mp3
Saria's Song (First Part - Alto [Tenor] C).mp3

This last sample is of a Soprano C ocarina, I love this one, its basically the same as the Alto C (Tenor C), but it is an ocatave higher. For this one bear in mind that I had to repair it after a breakage, and so the sound is nowhere near as clear anymore. =(

Saria's Song (First Part - Soprano C).mp3

The Soprano C is not only higher than the Alto (Tenor) C but louder, which might be a problem for some people. The Soprano C doesnt have the problem with airy notes like the Tenor does.

STL Soprano C Ocarina

I'm not the best ocarina player in the world so I hope they sound ok.

Having said everything up there ^, I would recommend for your first ocarina the 12 hole Alto C (Tenor) I linked above. ^

edited 1:20 PM EDT April 8, 2009
by Elven Spellmaker at 1:27 PM EDT on April 8, 2009
Oh and taken directly from the videos I have the music to both Ballad of the Windfish and the Scars of Time.

Davids link to the BotW MP3 isn't anywhere near as good as his actual video I seem to remember.

Ballad of the Windfish
Scars of Time - Chrono Cross

For information BotW taken using &fmt=18 on the end of the url and Scars of Time with &fmt=22, to ensure maximum quality (i.e. the video quality).
by Knurek at 3:06 PM EDT on April 8, 2009
Fuck yeah!! After about a year(!) of mostly waiting for parts, I have a fully working CM-64 and CM-300 setup.

Both were widely used in early PC games (DOS era) and japanese PCs (both PC-98 and X68000 could work with them, with shitload of games having MIDI enhanced scores).

I predict mass Hoot usage from now on. :)

edited 3:07 PM EDT April 8, 2009
by SmartOne at 7:35 PM EDT on April 8, 2009
If only there was a good MT-32 emulator... :(

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