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Old 02-28-2018, 05:56 AM   #1
brewingjt100
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Default Double Toning definition

Hi,
Sometimes on strike in, my drones go into an awful, unmusical note interval and won't settle. I then have to deflate bag to cut them off and start again. Is this double toning? What is the cause of this and does an adjustment need to be made? It only happens occasionally.
Thank you in advance,
John
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:21 AM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Double Toning definition

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingjt100 View Post
Hi,
Sometimes on strike in, my drones go into an awful, unmusical note interval and won't settle. I then have to deflate bag to cut them off and start again. Is this double toning? What is the cause of this and does an adjustment need to be made? It only happens occasionally.
Thank you in advance,
John
Not really ‘double toning’ ..where a reed is going along swell then Oliver Sudden goes momentarily gurgley

What you describe sounds like ...a simple or inconsistent ‘bad’ start....caused by a reed not well seated, reed / tongue dirty, overpresduring the bag/not hitting the sweet spot..or too hard, bridle position/tongue a hair too short, .... trial and error. After investigation the other potential causes..try to get 10/10 clean starts...not overpowering the bag....if you’re successful..Bob’s your uncle.

Washing up the offending reed(s) can help. Carefully cleaning under the tongues. You can mouth blow your reeds ( in the drone) against your tuner set at your usual playing pitch to see which if any shut of too soon or not soon enough...so they are all balanced. Strive for a long steady 6-8 second blow that produces a steady green light with the drone top set at an ideal position.

Some reeds can be fully disassembled for a full gentle wash up....on some others...don't pull the tongue out from under the rear binding bridle....just slide the adjusting bridle back ( lengthen the tongue) so you can run a slightly wetted dollar bill under the tongue held down lightly by a thumb..to scrub away any gunk accumulation.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:07 AM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Double Toning definition

Many reeds make a strange sound before adequate pressure is achieved to bring in the chanter, at which point they should start making their normal sound.

If they don't they are either:
1. Set to play at a higher pressure for a hard chanter reed. Shortening the tongue on the reed by moving the bridle to make the reed play at a lower pressure is the solution.

2. Double toning. Most often affects the bass drone. It is literally playing at a very ugly higher pitch than it should be playing at, even with the chanter sounding. If the strength of the reed is set correctly (see #1), then make sure top bass tuning joint is up high and the bottom one is down low. The lower the bottom joint, the less likely it will happen so making the reed flatter by adjusting the tuning screw is a potential solution here, allowing you to tune the bottom bass joint lower/sharper. If it's a tenor drone, it is likely the same solution as #1, make the reed easier to match your chanter strength. Be advised that some bass drone reeds and bass drone combinations just don't go well together for band settings, with nothing you can do to eliminate bass drone double toning entirely at which point a different brand bass drone reed is in order.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:17 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Double Toning definition

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post


...at which point a different brand bass drone reed is in order.
Yes...excellent point. I forget which...was it the Henderson Ltd website? had a compilation list of ‘best’ drone reeds for named drones ?
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:09 PM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Double Toning definition

I dunno, and even if they did, do they publish their criteria?
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:22 PM   #6
el gaitero
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Default Re: Double Toning definition

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post

I dunno, and even if they did, do they publish their criteria?
Ha! Right....”absolutely old boy,old boy”. Iirc it was a list of makers next to a list of brand reeds. I guess we’d have to trust the source.

Fwiw....eg. I’d have no problem anytime recommending Selbie reeds for McCallum pipes. But not for (my older) Hardies...Ez,Xtreme ,MG carbon.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:45 AM   #7
CalumII
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Default Re: Double Toning definition

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingjt100 View Post
Hi,
Sometimes on strike in, my drones go into an awful, unmusical note interval and won't settle. I then have to deflate bag to cut them off and start again. Is this double toning? What is the cause of this and does an adjustment need to be made? It only happens occasionally.
Thank you in advance,
John
This is what I call double toning.

The drone and reed combination is capable of producing several different pitches, the science of which we can leave for smarter people than us. Some of these pitches are stable and some are not. The unstable ones don't really matter as a little extra bag pressure causes them to flip into the correct stable state.

A few of the "unwanted" pitches are stable and can only be gotten rid of with a restart.

Two things that help reduce their frequency (har har) are shortening the tongue and getting the bottom sliding joint fairly closed in, so the gap is around an inch or less.

I think - with little scientific justification - the driver is the interaction between tongue stiffness and mass and drone geometry. Those adjustments above are minor adjustments to these. To make a bigger adjustment, you can replace either the drone or the reed, with the reed obviously being the simpler one to achieve...
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