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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 03-09-2018, 08:16 AM   #1
HighlandPark
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Default Best Acoustics (in the World) for Bagpipes?

When I began playing pipes in a parking garage (the most convenient place my instructor and I could find to meet) I could not believe the the complex and harmonic reverb that was created inside that huge, 'hard' space. Since then I've relished playing in or hearing pipes in other high-ceilinged venues. I personally don't find that the pipes sound nearly as rich and vibrant in smaller 'soft' (carpeted, fibred tiles) indoor locations, and, I know that this is heresy, outdoors... Unless you're in a canyon or similar, there is just something comparatively lacking in the colour of the tone in wide open spaces, solo pipers or even bands.

Andrew Douglas from Piper's Dojo just uploaded a video of Cameron Drummond and himself playing in what is purportedly the best venue in the world for accoustics, the "EMPAC" Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. I've included a link to the video here at the 5m 27s mark where Cameron, followed briefly by Andrew, are both playing rather proficiently. YMMV, but what are others' experiences with venues?
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Last edited by HighlandPark; 03-09-2018 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:09 AM   #2
johnsog
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

Last fall I played for the opening of a brand new curling venue. It was a fairly small one with only a few lanes (I forget just what they are called, at the moment) and was surprised how well it sounded. It wasn't perfect but a whole lot better then I'd anticipated.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:33 AM   #3
Neal Hinerman
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

The Dan Harpole Cistern, at Fort Worden in Washington. Really, really odd space. I was there for a martial arts intensive, and happened to luck into an invite with a group of music students who were also at Fort Worden for an intensive. The reverb is unbelievable.

"Nearly two-hundred feet in diameter and fourteen feet deep, the Dan Harpole Cistern was originally built to put out fires in case the bunkers rimming the upper Fort Worden hill ever came under attack. When the fort closed in the mid-1950s, the two million-gallon cistern, hidden beneath a carpet of grass, was drained.

There is nothing to compare to the forty-five second reverberation in the Cistern. It is not just the long reverb time that makes the Cistern unique, however, but also the pillars that support the roof. The shape of the sound begins to be reflected, as the sound moves through the pillar system to the wall. As the sound travels along the wall, there are little bounces off the pillars—all these little reflections that pick up and reinforce and cancel out the harmonics. You can improvise with those sounds, adding the next phrase while the first is still lingering and fading."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvND...ED4DBC53B4300B

I'd be curious to see how the pipes sound in the cooling tower of the uncompleted Satsop Nuclear Plant in Washington, southwest of Seattle.

https://nerdist.com/bass-guitar-in-a...cooling-tower/
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:06 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsog View Post

.."only a few lanes (I forget just what they are called, at the moment)
...” sheets”...
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:34 PM   #5
Matt Weasner
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

Awesome video from the Dojo, wow.

Definitely worth seeking out spaces like this to play in. I love the churches, etc with more of a domed ceiling. You walk into the center of the space and the sound of the pipes triples in intensity, I swear. The Lyric Theatre here in Rochester is good for that, a beautiful old space I snuck into last Summer. I need to have someone sneak me into the Eastman Theatre here in town to play some day too.

OTOH, I played in an old church this past fall with your typical ~2 story high nave/sanctuary, etc, and was looking forward to it, but it sounded pretty dead. Fiber tile ceiling.

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Old 03-09-2018, 02:44 PM   #6
Kevin
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

I am sure the recording doesn't really do it justice but I love the acoustics in this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3UIkJN7r9Q

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Old 03-09-2018, 04:08 PM   #7
Pip01
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?


For my ear... it's an old stone church... every time!! :)



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Old 03-09-2018, 04:16 PM   #8
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

Any hard surfaced enclosed space will get all that sound bouncing around back at you.

I played a funeral one time in a stone mausoleum and the reverb and sound was incredible.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:13 PM   #9
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

The ferry waiting room dome at Rowe's Wharf in Boston is incredible! On teh other hand , I played (tuba) for a clambake with a Dixieland band in the Atrium at the JFK Museum once and it was too live- we had to watch each other because we couldn't hear ourselves
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:22 PM   #10
Chris Apps
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Default Re: Best Acoustics (in the World) For Bagpipes?

I once heard Willie Cochrane playing in York Minster. Absolutely fabulous. Totally filled that enormous space.
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