The seal of the instrument. A woodwind instrument is like a long tube with variable length. By closing and opening the different tone holes a player can alter the tones they play. This is done either with the player's fingers or through pads, mounted on keys. If the tone holes are not sealed properly the instrument leaks, plays faulty, has less dynamic, and can be out of tune. The different pad types have a significant influence on the sound, response, and projection of the instrument. Their durability will also determine how long an instrument will play reliably.
Pads come in many different styles and have a big impact on the way the instrument plays and feels
1. Fish-skin or bladder-skin pads are inexpensive but don't last very long. See also: Fishskin or bladder skin
2. Leather pads are stronger, but due to their skin nature will leak unless specially treated. See also:Leather pads
3. Good cork pads are extremely reliable, fast responding and seal very well. See also: Corkpads