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Old 09-14-2018, 07:22 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
Posts: 9,931
Default Re: Dumb Question: Drones vs. Chanter Reed Strength

Originally Posted by Chris C. View Post
...when the air pressure drops a bit, the double tone would kick in.

I popped in my medium easy chanter reed and the issue went away. drone performance really that connected to...chanter reed strength?
You've answered your own question, in truth. As you observed, when the pressure is too low the tenor falls back to its doubletone, when the pressure is maintained high enough the tenor stays at its normal tone.

As Patrick is saying you have to have the drone reeds adjusted to play correctly at your specific chanter reed strength. Personally I want my drone reeds as efficient as possible, so I have my tenors adjusted so if I blow a bit too hard they cut off. If your tenor reeds are too closed they can cut off at normal playing pressure, if too open they can doubletone at normal playing pressure. In other words there's a window, fairly narrow, that I aim at. (Bass reeds are more forgiving.)

I think it's more challenging to set up pipes to play at an unusually low pressure or an unusually high pressure than it is to set up pipes at a middling pressure. At both pressure extremes difficulties can arise with drone performance. (I've seen setups at so low a pressure that the valve would malfunction.)

Now that I'm in my sixties I keep my pipes at the lower end of what works well. But a friend who used to compete in Open tried my pipes a while back and found them too hard for his liking! His pipes sound great, and he plays at a lower pressure than I feel works well for me.
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

Last edited by pancelticpiper; 09-14-2018 at 07:36 AM.
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