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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Other (not GH) Bagpipes > Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes +
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:43 AM   #61
Michael Simone
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim | Beithe View Post
Glenn, this may be so obvious that nobody could be bothered to type it, but just in case: one trick that you might try is to first get your drones in tune on a good bass-hearing day, and then memorize precisely where your drones are set (i.e. how far down the pin). Then, each time you pull your pipes out of the case, you can put your drones at those exact distances and know that you'll be very, very close, if not spot-on. Of course tunings often shift as the pipes warm up, and on days with varied humidity and temperature, but this habit will give you a good head-start each time you play. (And you may even find that over time, you'll begin to memorize where your drones will tune cold, warmed-up, on hot days, when the Northern Lights are happening, in the eye of a hurricane, etc., etc.)
Tim, it's great you said that.

I did that mostly because when I started since I didn't quite know how to go about tuning the drones. So, I plugged each, and the chanter, and tuned them spot on to a tuner.

Now I can look at each drone and immediately know, before I play, whether they will be close just by sighting the position of the slide. Now that my ear is better trained, I can then adjust the drone to be spot on on.

Great tip. When I started I thought it was cheating. But it's a great practical tip.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:50 AM   #62
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

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Originally Posted by Michael Simone View Post
Tim, it's great you said that.

I did that mostly because when I started since I didn't quite know how to go about tuning the drones. So, I plugged each, and the chanter, and tuned them spot on to a tuner.

Now I can look at each drone and immediately know, before I play, whether they will be close just by sighting the position of the slide. Now that my ear is better trained, I can then adjust the drone to be spot on on.

Great tip. When I started I thought it was cheating. But it's a great practical tip.
When I started out, on GHB, I'd use a business card as a handy guide. Once I had played them in and got tuning where I wanted it, I'd put the card up to the drones and mark the gap on three sides of the card B(bass) on one long side, T0 (outboard tenor) TI (inboard tenor) along the short edges, so when I took them out of the case for a gig it would be quicker to re-establish tuning.

The top drone section was always set to the same gap showing a bit of wrap (or cork), so no need to re-measure every time.

A similar home made guide would presumably work for SSP until one develops enough familiarty/comfort/ experience to be comfortable just tuning it unaided.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:05 AM   #63
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
I always tune the bass to low A, then bring the tenor in and tune it last.
+1

This is is how I tune my brian borg set. Then stop up the a drones and tune that tenor back to your e on chanter to make sure no beating is occurring anywhere otherwise you are chasing a moving target ie is it my drones not tuned to each other or is it against the chanter or both...?

David
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #64
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

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Originally Posted by Bill Adam View Post
The way I read your post, it sounds like you don't have an issue with how to tune but that you just have trouble hearing the low A drone. I have found that when that drone is in tune and playing the low A on the chanter the blend of the two makes it difficult to distinguish between the two.

To double check I will compare the low A to the E on the chanter. The interval of the fifth (A to E) is a strong interval and easy to hear if in tune or not.

Also great point I tune my tenor and have my bass way up high out of tune, then bring it down until I hear it lock against the already chanted tuned tenor.

My 2 cents..
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:57 PM   #65
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

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Originally Posted by Ray Sloan View Post
Is there no-one here with a 2-part Bass drone for either SSP or Border Pipes apart from John Dally ?
For the record, my Evans SSPs sport a two-part bass drone, which in my occasionally humble opinion, is neither too quiet nor too loud.

Cheers,

-John-
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:14 AM   #66
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

The Ray Hughes SSPs I played were well blended and I found very easy to tune. The bass was warm but not over powering. It was 2 parted.

Truth be told I didnt think they cam eotherwise...

David
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:26 AM   #67
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

I don't think I ever said this right out, but this discussion about 3 piece vs. 2 piece is sort of a strange one, as, acoustically, you can make as quiet or as loud of a drone as you want with 2 or 3 sections. The amount of sections, in and of itself won't dictate the volume.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #68
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

True but acoustically speaking the overtones will be amplified, all other things being equal, will be greater and this can be perceived as louder..if you have the ear for it.

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Old 05-23-2012, 10:45 AM   #69
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

Very true, Davey. But whether 2 or 3 sections is best for doing that is not clear. Plus, we're not discussing drone designs where "all other things" are " equal. Bore sizes, lengths and reed design differ between different makers. There is more than one way to bring out overtones, not the least of which is reed design.

I'm not saying one is better than another, I don't think one is. There are a lot of variables a pipe maker can use to get to a desired result.
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Last edited by Nate Banton; 05-23-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #70
David Murry
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Default Re: Bass drone volume on smallpipes

Very true. Agreed. It's a complete blend of so many things. I think this is what's so many muscicians especially pipers fail to realize.

One chanter sounds dull against certain drones and then seems to sound like a choir of angels with all the harmonics when up against another drone...then there are the reeds, where it tunes on the pins etc...

I totally agree with you..didn't think someone would take it where you did so soon

David
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