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Old 06-02-2017, 11:25 PM   #1
PRAIRIEPIPER
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Default Drone "loudness"

If a competition band is trying to get the loudest sound from their drones do they tune them at a different frequency or all the same? I'v heard that some PM's will tune them one or two hertz differently to make it appear as if the drones are louder than they would be if all were tuned at the same hertz.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:56 AM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

All that will do is produce out of tune drones.

I think this rumour is due to people speculating about how a particular tone is produced, like the infamous Shotts "fuzz" tone of the late 90s.

If you want louder drones, user louder drones and reeds.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:59 AM   #3
Paul M Burke
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

I concur with Calumll.

I think 2hz is just enough to hear the beating, its not a lot, but why would you want to be slightly out of tune just to be louder? Doesn't make sense in my book.

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Old 06-03-2017, 02:42 PM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul M Burke View Post
I concur with Calumll.

I think 2hz is just enough to hear the beating, its not a lot, but why would you want to be slightly out of tune just to be louder? Doesn't make sense in my book.

Paul
...

..and any dis-harmonics would cancel out any overtone harmonics.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:28 PM   #5
Pppiper
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
...

..and any dis-harmonics would cancel out any overtone harmonics.
Absolutely. Really, I would think with more precisely tuned the drones to each other, the resulting harmonics would be more likely to "seem" louder (i.e. as opposed to otherwise). I'm no sound mechanic though, that's just my thinking.

The scenario described by the original poster sounds like a case of hearsay-run-amok to me. An easy thing to happen, depending on who's listening to whom.

I'm reminded of a rather difficult beer tent discussion I was involved in when I was with a pipe band (I think I was probably pipe sergeant and "tuning guy" at the time).

I was explaining to an interested beginner piper about placing tape on the top of a hole to flatten a note, which takes advantage of a) making the note farther from the reed, and b) smaller hole. The beginner piper then asked "so if you place tape on the bottom, does it make the note sharper?"

Before I could speak, another fellow (I think was a drummer) in the tent interjected, saying "yeah, of course it does! I play clarinet, and all kinds of instruments, and that's what I do to sharpen notes! It's the same principle!" I was quick to correct him, for the sake of the beginner, though the man kept insisting he was correct in his logic. I later had to sit down privately with the beginner, and carefully discuss why putting tape on the bottom will only flatten the note, but less-effectively.

I don't know what that fellow was playing at, but have to say, the misinformation he was spewing really got my goat.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:39 PM   #6
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

Drones tuned to the same exact frequency will be louder than drones tuned even slightly out. It might see, at first, to be the opposite, especially as you're trying to tune your own drones, but that's because when they're out of tune you hear a harshness of beating that you don't hear when drones are exactly together. That harness may be misinterpreted as loudness to the inexperienced.

Add to that the non-musicians' idea that louder is always better, many people who don't know any better, will just play as loud as possible, even if it means being grossly out of tune and sounding horrendous.
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:24 AM   #7
el gaitero
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

...yeah,...some BD's like to...
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:56 AM   #8
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

Two hertz is enough to sound very out-of-tune. The just-noticeable difference for simultaneous pitches is well below 1 hz for people with normal hearing.
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Old 06-06-2017, 12:53 AM   #9
CalumII
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

As an aside, the speed of the beating is equal to the difference in Hertz between the drones. So drones at 478 and 479 will beat once per second.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Drone "loudness"

Great info here, all, thanks for the illumination.
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