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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 08-28-2008, 07:36 AM   #1
tjm
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Default drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Just wondering if there's a "rule of thumb" for balancing strength of drone reeds to the chanter reed. On my current setup the pressure difference is about 8" of water.

--Tim.
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
ratherbpiping
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

PErsonally, I have never thought to actully measure that. I would be surprised if there is fits all number. It would depend on your drone reeds, chanter reed, and blowing ability.

I also think trying to set to a number may over complicate the setup trying to balance air efficiency, Tuning pin position, and drone stability may be enough to contend with.

Being able to control your pipe is the best approach.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

I notice that in a band, it's pretty common for the drones to come on and settle, and then an E. I notice with solo pipers, sometimes the drones don't really settle until the chanter sounds. So in the later case the inches of water is the same for both.

I'll measure mine and post later.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Well, you want the drones to sound a little easier than the chanter so that you don't get an early chanter E on strike in, so you wouldn't want the inches of water to be the same for both. Since you need a little more pressure to sound the chanter, you will get a pitch variation on the drones. It's just more noticable for solo pipers than it is for a band.

For efficiency, you also want the drones to cut off if you overblow, so it's a trade off. You want to adjust the drones so that they sound easily on strike in without having the chanter sound, and you want them to cut off if you overblow so that they don't use too much air. Both conditions are dependent on how hard your chanter reed is, so I don't think you can say that x inches of water is a good measure as a general rule.

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Old 08-28-2008, 02:24 PM   #5
bob864
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugz
Well, you want the drones to sound a little easier than the chanter so that you don't get an early chanter E on strike in, so you wouldn't want the inches of water to be the same for both. Since you need a little more pressure to sound the chanter, you will get a pitch variation on the drones. It's just more noticable for solo pipers than it is for a band.
That's not exactly what I was talking about -- If you listen to, for instance, Gordon Duncan's Circular Breath, his drones prominently double tone when he strikes them in, and continue to do so until he plays his E. So there would be a difference in inches of water between "any" drone sound and the chanter, but there wouldn't be any appreciable difference between "drones that sound like drones are supposed to sound" and chanter sound.

His seem to be an extreme case as far as that goes.

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Old 08-28-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Bob864,

I was actually looking through the free mp3s on Amazon when I came across this one and I thought about this thread upon hearing it...
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Bob,

The roll-off, strike-in, and ‘E’ are just one (the accepted) way to start “everyone” in unison.

As far as soloists, how many band members go “onto the boards” with their (un-altered) band set-up?

Are some players not emulating what they hear/see on *some* recordings?

How far into your (judged) solo before you get points off, are you allowed to go before your drones “settle”?
I’ll bet, NOT far if at all …

I would imagine that one would need to see the individual score sheets of those in question.

Andrew has some good tips here …
http://www.bagpipejourney.com/articl...ion_tips.shtml

Although I suppose if you’re making (paying for) the recording, you can do anything that you want to do.

Cheers,
wj
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Your droes should settle at a lower pressure than the chanter, so it does not flick in or out with slight pressure variation. Most drone reeds have like two stable pitches. it goes to the higher pressured one nearer the chanter pressure, but if you slowly bring up the prssure on the drone reed it will jump from one stable pitch to another as you increase the pressure. I think it is more prominent in Cane reeds. I think with the recording Bob speaks of it is likely the technique. Bring the pipes up to the firt level with no chanter and then bring the pressure up to the second with chanter.

Band playing is different to solo playing. In band playing you want silence to full pitch no chanter instantaneously and then add the chanter, in solo work you are free to do what you please. Even in competition, there are no strike in points.

Having said the a good controlled delivery is best. The could mean bring the drones up to pressure, and after a controlled pause bring the chanter in with both hands on the chanter playing a true non false fingered note.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

This question popped into my head 'cause I just made a water manometer and as I was about to strike in, thought "what's the difference between drones and chanter?" saw a 25% difference, then later wondered if that was typical.

Based on my band, pipe making and reed making experiences, I strongly suspect that what I saw was actually pretty typical, and was interested in hearing about anyone else's manometer observations.

--Tim.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:16 PM   #10
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: drone/chanter reed pressure differences

Sorry Tim, don't have a manometer.

Anyone else ever hear the Hamilton Pipe Band (Houston, TX) CD "First and Ten"? Their drones do the, more typical solo, squawk, squeal, howling thing on the roll off and then they pop in on the E. These guys aren't the greatest but they did win 1st at the World PIpe Band Championships in Grade 3A in 1998 and 3rd in Grade 2 in 1999. I don't know if they had their drones set up the same way for the World's as they did for the album, but I like it! I think maybe they all used cane drone reeds.
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