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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:58 AM   #61
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: "Phase locking" drones

Right. The hard D is similar to the first initial tone you get with some Highland drone reeds when you strike it up (i.e. that first buzzy tone). In that sequence of vibration, the reed tongue is tapping staccato on the reed bed. I obviously don't have pictures or videos to confirm it but somebody will possibly have to do a video showing the different cycles the reed goes through at the various stages of striking in.
But when the drone reed clicks into its normal tone, while this tone is sharper than the hard buzzy tone, it's tonally similar to the soft D on the Uilleann pipes. Here the tongues are mostly closed, and open for a tiny fraction of the vibration as far as I understand it.
I'm not an uilleann piper but I've heard both D's and can relate to it somewhat.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:07 PM   #62
Keith Jeffers
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Default Re: "Phase locking" drones

Jon, how do your tenors tune without your stock modifications? Without your mods do they tune on a hair trigger so to speak?

If your Gibson's tenors are a modified or a direct version of one of the best MacDougall bagpipes (correct me if I am wrong) then this would be a feature that this pipe might exhibit anyway when properly set up with quality drone reeds.

I've done more than my share of experimenting in this field. Conical stocks, longer stocks, stepped bored stocks... none of them were a determining factor on how well a pipe stayed in tune but instead some of those designs were a little bit of a detractor to the final tone of the pipe in the long run.

You have an interesting experiment going, however I am not a believer in the idea of a true "phase locking" of the Highland bagpipe. There are too many variables to maintain a true Phase lock/Mode lock with our instrument.

Last edited by Keith Jeffers; 10-19-2020 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:38 PM   #63
Jon Snow
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Default Re: "Phase locking" drones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Jeffers View Post
Jon, how do your tenors tune without your stock modifications? Without your mods do they tune on a hair trigger so to speak?
In my vast experience of exactly one set of bagpipes, I can say with absolute certainty that my tenors (and bass) experience a significantly greater range of "locking" with my modified stocks as compared to the stocks that came with them.

I've had my pipes since 1997. They are an excellent set of pipes. I've had many compliments on them. I've experienced "locking" to some degree with the original stocks, especially with cane drone reeds. But the new stocks lock better.

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Originally Posted by Keith Jeffers View Post
You have an interesting experiment going, however I am not a believer in the idea of a true "phase locking" of the Highland bagpipe. There are too many variables to maintain a true Phase lock/Mode lock with our instrument.
I'm not sure that "phase locking" is the best term. The stock is a column of air that can resonate, just like any other column of air. What I have done is adjust the length of the column of air so that it resonates at a frequency that matches one of the frequencies that is being generated by the drone reed. This makes the sound louder inside the bag (also outside the bag). I can feel this louder sound as vibration under my arm. It takes some getting used to. At first I kept thinking a reed was double-toning.

More sound energy inside the bag increases the likelihood that the reeds will vibrate at the same frequency, but doesn't guarantee it, because as you say, there are many variables.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:08 PM   #64
Keith Jeffers
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Default Re: "Phase locking" drones

This leads us into my next question. What is the procedure for tuning the stocks? Do you tune the drones then the stocks; tune the stocks somehow then tune the drones? Or are the stocks already at pre determined lengths/diameters that was calculated out before hand. Have you tried incorporating a tuneable bass bass into this mix?
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:34 PM   #65
Jon Snow
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Default Re: "Phase locking" drones

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Originally Posted by Keith Jeffers View Post
This leads us into my next question. What is the procedure for tuning the stocks? Do you tune the drones then the stocks; tune the stocks somehow then tune the drones? Or are the stocks already at pre determined lengths/diameters that was calculated out before hand. Have you tried incorporating a tuneable bass bass into this mix?
The drones are tuned just like any normal drones.

Setting the length of the stocks is a development process. Once I got the desired result with the adjustable stocks, I made non-adjustable ones which I am now using. There should be no need to adjust the stocks further when playing the same drones and in the neighborhood of 480Hz.

Playing at a grossly different pitch (such as with a B-flat chanter) would probably greatly reduce or eliminate the locking effect, although I have not tested this. Also note that the tuned stocks must be made to accommodate the tenon length of the pipes they will be played with, as shown on the stock drawing I posted earlier in the thread.

I have a prototype adjustable bass drone stock on my pipes now. I have not gotten around to developing the non-adjustable version of this yet. So far I have seen less of a locking effect between the bass and tenors, but it is there.
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