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Old 11-06-2018, 03:19 PM   #1
Clodhopper
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Default Drone tuning trouble

I am (very slowly) making my way back into playing the pipes after a 30 year hiatus. I few years back I bought a set of Canning synthetic drone reeds to replace the cane reeds I was using back then in my D. Naill pipes.
I do not seem to be able to get them into tune with the chanter though. The chanter comes in just south of Bb on the low A, and with the tenor drones are showing about a full half step higher with the tuning pins all the way out past the hemp line. I've tried adjusting the set screw under the cap all the way in (and out) but that doesn't seem to affect anything really.
The bass drone is a little closer to being tunable



What else should I be trying, or are these reeds just not a good fit for these pipes?


Thanks for any advice,
Pete
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:30 PM   #2
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Drone Tuning Trouble

Just south of Bb? That could be your problem there. That's uabhasach low, most chanters now are 470hz plus.

I'd mix up the chanter and chanter reed combo. Tweak to get the hz up a bit. Otherwise you will be in to the realms of drone extenders to bring the drones down to the chanter. Much easier to bring the chanter up.

You already have a cracking set of drones and drone reeds.

GL
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:04 PM   #3
Aaron Shaw
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Default Re: Drone Tuning Trouble

If your chanter is happy around Bb you might consider getting a set of Bb drone reeds. There are several makers that provide reeds made to play that low.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:23 PM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone Tuning Trouble

My experience with Naill drones is that they are happy at Bb, 466 Hz. The pitch 30 years ago was in the low 470s anyway so getting to Bb should be no problem with normal reeds.

I have 2 thoughts:
1. You accidentally bought high pitched Canning tenors.
2. They are set to a strength too hard for your chanter reed and havenít kicked over to the right pitch yet.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:23 AM   #5
Pppiper
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Default Re: Drone Tuning Trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Shaw View Post
If your chanter is happy around Bb you might consider getting a set of Bb drone reeds. There are several makers that provide reeds made to play that low.
This would be my suggestion as well. It's my understanding (though I certainly might have gotten the wrong idea somewhere) that many modern day reeds are made rather sharp.

Many pipers either use drones that are rather old, or, drones which are painstakingly modeled after old drones. Accordingly, drone reeds are being made (again, to my understanding) to accommodate allowing these players to use their old/old-style pipes at current pitch standards. With this in mind, I'm not surprised that you're having trouble getting the Naill pipes to tune around 466.

Using a set of Bb drone reeds, I think, would likely make all the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
... I have 2 thoughts ... You [may have] accidentally bought high pitched Canning tenors.
Patrick ... does Canning offer reeds in various pitches? If so, I was unaware.

Cheers ... oh, and welcome back to playing, Pete, you've been missed. =)

~Nate

Last edited by Pppiper; 11-07-2018 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:33 AM   #6
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone Tuning Trouble

https://www.canningreeds.com/product...tenor-reed-set

See the pitch preference drop down.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:43 AM   #7
Pppiper
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Default Re: Drone Tuning Trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
https://www.canningreeds.com/product...tenor-reed-set

See the pitch preference drop down.
Wow .. that's rad. Didn't know that.

That said though, the lower option is "standard." Thus I'd have thought 466 might still be a bit out of reach for these? No?

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:45 AM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone tuning trouble

466 Hz is manageable in just about any pipe with normal reeds. Settings may be near extreme for sharper pipes like my Gellaitry, but certainly not Naill.

Our OP seemingly canít get anywhere near 466 Hz though which is baffling to me. Something is amiss. Audio/video would help a lot.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:49 AM   #9
Pppiper
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Default Re: Drone tuning trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
466 Hz is manageable in just about any pipe with normal reeds. Settings may be near extreme for sharper pipes like my Gellaitry, but certainly not Naill.

Our OP seemingly canít get anywhere near 466 Hz though which is baffling to me. Something is amiss. Audio/video would help a lot.
Noted. I certainly trust your experience Patrick.

Pete/Clodhopper, please let us know how you get on.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:39 AM   #10
Clodhopper
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Default Re: Drone tuning trouble

Thanks for all the input so far. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the numbers, etc. Are there any phone apps I can get to tell me what the actual Hz are on the chanter and drones. I used a tuner app on my phone to get a rough idea, but it doesn't give me an actual number other than to let me know it's calling A 440.
Also, sorry for the very basic nature of these questions, I am really quite ignorant on the whole subject. I'm sure there's more dumb questions to come.
Pete
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