Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > Beer Tent
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-19-2019, 05:25 AM   #41
RichmondPiper
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Richmond, Surrey, England
Posts: 329
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley G View Post
The difference is quite small as you are only altering the pitch by a small amount in hardware terms.


A standard Shepherd is about 0.3 - 0.4mm shorter than their Bb offering. As all makers may vary the staple length and the length of reed extending past the staple eye you need to be brand specific when comparing. Obviously this will also differ depending on the cane. Small capillary long fiber cane tends to be alot stronger both in length and width so the same maker may vary the profile to suit the batch of cane. The machine that Shepherd uses can dynamically test for hardness, hence his consistency. The joys of CNC.



The shorter the reed the sharper. To stop the top hand going ballistic you make the lips wider which flattens down the top hand proportionally more than it effects the bottom hand. Sorry if I was not clear in my last post.


If the lips are too wide and the cane is not strong enough they can flex too much and will not close evenly across the lips. They end up touching in the middle with a small air gap out towards the edges like a figure eight. This causes that scurly, raspy thin hA as well as base to octave chirps and squeals. This is why the spine on cane reeds is so important. Look at a clarinet/saxophone reed up to the light and you will see that on good reeds there is a distinctive pointed spine in the middle of the reed going up to the tip. Same principle applies to double bladed reeds, just as an oboe player and they get to control the reed with the luxury of embouchure. No such luck for the GHB piper.



We apply this principle to composite reeds also.
Very illuminating post, thanks
RichmondPiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 08-03-2019, 11:53 PM   #42
Harley G
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 45
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

The risks of using this type of reed are starting to surface.


Today I played in a competition at Parramatta using the same reed and chanter that Callum Beaumont said sounded nice at an earlier competition.


After playing one judge asked me if I was playing a plastic chanter reed, I said I was, he said he did not want to get into the plastic reed debate but that I would have had first place if not for my chanter sound.


He had to ask if I was using one of these plastic reeds before making his comments. Enough said.


One of the senior pipers that heard of this judge's comments told me the person is a ____ head. This old bloke told me the story about the introduction of poly penco chanters and plastic drone reeds some time before I was born.


He told me that a Mr Murray won a Gold Medal with a Poly Penco chanter and a Ross controlled bag at a time when the poly chanters were being demonized. It was a nice story and I would like to believe it happened that way.



He was being nice to me and when I told him of Mr Beaumont's judging comments he said no contest as to who's view has value.


The other piper using one of these reeds did well but he did not disclose the reed.



The advantages of these reeds are clear and for those that do not have the strength, control or reed craft to use cane, they fill a void. Poly chanters are now the norm so I guess the regressive negative nay sayers eventually loose their voice.



This craft needs to move forward and innovators should be given some room to move. If plastic pipes, chanters and drone reeds can be accepted, what is the big hang-up with the chanter reeds?



I think that if Big Jim M was prepared to support Legere in creating a plastic chanter reed, it has some legs.


The thing is, to avoid the nay sayers, just don't tell anyone if you use one of these reeds.
Harley G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2019, 05:06 AM   #43
DNorwood
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Mint Hill, NC
Posts: 97
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

And yet it seems he proceeded to render judgment on this debate by wielding a large hammer.

Keep doing what ya do. No doubt it will be a tough road. Unfortunately, much like Mark Wygent, you may never get the proper credit for being a pioneer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley G View Post
....he said he did not want to get into the plastic reed debate but that I would have had first place if not for my chanter sound.


DNorwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2019, 09:40 AM   #44
pancelticpiper
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
Posts: 9,977
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Well Harley I for one am impressed with the sound of that reed.

I have occasionally used a Clanrye plastic reed when I had a gig where my pipes had to be exactly in tune and the weather was problematic.

Your reed sounds much better, from what I can hear.

BTW my Clanrye reeds (I have two) have High G's which are a mile sharp, so sharp that no amount of tape can fix them. I used them when I had to play Amazing Grace with an orchestra. (That tune, fortunately, has no High G's).

My McLaren reeds (I have two) have E's that are a mile flat, so to play those would require a modified chanter, with the E hole moved up closer to the F# hole. (Or carve out the E hole so it's a long oval, difficult to finger.)

About the naysayers, yes they initially rejected poly chanters, then they rejected synthetic drone reeds, then they rejected synthetic bags. Yet people can get great tone playing all of these things.
__________________
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

Last edited by pancelticpiper; 08-05-2019 at 09:45 AM.
pancelticpiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 03:24 PM   #45
Harley G
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 45
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Panceltipiper, thank you for your kindness


The issues you are having with plastic chanter reeds is common enough and can be explained.


The hG problem is a particular problem with plastic but is also common in cane reeds, especially molded. It is not such a problem with ridge cut reeds but they also have a different set of issues. The very aggressive ridge cut like Megarity do not suffer the hG issues so much but can be bendy from D to F and you generally need plenty of tape depending on the chanter.


If I knew how to post a diagram I could explain it better but such is as.


You will notice that the hG is such an issue with the current high band pitch that G1 have actually moved their hG down the chanter 2mm compared to the Shepherd it seems to be modeled after, to flatten this note. It does the job so well that my Dad has by request, made a drilling jig that locates in the F & E holes with pegs with a guide hole to drill a new hG 2.4mm lower. This sort of creates a 2 hole slot so if you use a reed that has a sharp hG you tape the original hG hole and the newer hole gives a tuned hG. If you want the original hole only you can just move the tape down. Because of the tape no one can really see what you have done. This sharp hG is not a real issue with the lower you go in chanter pitch.



With the McLaren flat E you need to move the silicone bridle up towards the lips a couple of mm. This will firstly have a sharpening effect on the F & E before it has too much impact on the other notes. If this does sharpen up the E then contact Malcolm and explain to him your issue. My Dad and him speak to each other often and I know that Malcolm will help sort out your problems if he can.


Malcolm has been working alot lately on a new modified McLaren reed which addresses some of the issues pipers are having with the stronger range of reed so he is always trying to improve. Just drop him a line and tell him the issue and the colour of the plastic, the colour of the binding and the pressure number written on your reeds.


As for the comments about the naysayers, such is life. These trad nutbags have been about for a long time and will continue to find drums to beat. Considering that there are people on this planet that still believe the earth is flat, the piping nutbags are not even in the picture.


Innovators are always going to put up with being fed a few shit sandwiches from time to time and this can actually have a positive driving effect. If not for the innovators, we would all still be dragging our knuckles.



I play many community and commercial gigs with the 2 bands I pipe with so competitions are a smal part of my piping life. I enjoy competitions because while the trad nutbags can have a crack at you, there are also some very gifted and compassionate judges that are worth listening to, it is just a price you need to pay. I also pipe for competitive drummers and that is also alot of fun so it is as my Mum says, with every spoonful of honey, there is a spoonful of shit, deal with it.


Thank you again for your kind comments, I appreciate them.
Harley G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 10:02 AM   #46
Matt Buckley
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Richmond, Vermont
Posts: 797
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

When I first started competing more than 15 years ago, I used the concert Bb chanter that came with the concert Bb set made by Hamish Moore. I was marked down for having a "dull" "unpleasant" sound by one judge, and was advised to purchase entirely new drones. Next competition, in front of the same judge, I used a more modern pitched chanter, and the judge raved, pleased that I had upgraded my pipes. I couldn't help myself, and simply stated "same pipes, higher pitched chanter". Ended up the next year getting a 1st in piob. at Loon Mtn. from Scott MacAulay with the same drones previously deemed dull and unpleasant. Scott loved the drones, specifically asking who made them.

I've been out of the band competition scene for 7-8 years now, and out of the solo scene for over 10 years. Recently got my concert Bb chanter out. Ordered a Shepard concert Bb reed, and re-set the drone reeds to concert Bb. It's all sounding brilliant. What a lovely, deeper, wonderful sound. Too bad we've moved away from concert Bb.

Amazing how a relatively small change in pitch strikes some folks so dramatically different.
__________________
Matt Buckley

Last edited by Matt Buckley; 08-08-2019 at 10:04 AM.
Matt Buckley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 03:07 PM   #47
Harley G
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 45
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Matt, you make a very strong point.


Recently a band used Glenarley composite chanter reeds at a competition at Ipswitch and because these reeds are very bright and vibrant, especially on the top hand, they pitched at mid 470's so as not to be too outstanding.


They were judged by 3 of the judges as "Dull" yet the promoters used their MSR performance as part of the promotion material.
Clearly the sound producers thought they sounded ok.



An academic piper with 2 Phd's and other degrees to his name sent a personal email to the band congratulating them on the clarity of their sound, albeit at a lower pitch than the other bands. He felt it was strange that the judges could not distinguish tone from pitch as their sound was far from dull.



It seems like a common theme where judges are using their eyes rather than their ears to judge. I see judges with their cell phone on the desk while judging with the bagpipe tuner app running. I was once told I would have sounded much better if I had a couple of mm of hemp showing on my drones. My uncle started a rant on this forum about that incident and eventually the thread for Unicorn Farts was barred.



You have suffered the same type of issue an I know you are not Robinson Crusoe.



Orchestras play at around A 440 and have done so for a long time. Probably there is a sound musical reason for this. They are also being judged by people listening and appreciating music, not someone looking at a tuner watching for visible hemp lines and type of equipment brand and material.



Orchestras often use objective blind testing selection processes to select musicians and judging by the output, I would have to think this is a sound practice.



Set achievable goals and you will keep this craft alive. Let people play whatever they like and just judge on the output. In stating this, I still have music teachers that refuse to call the GHB a musical instrument.
Harley G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 06:35 PM   #48
Klondike Waldo
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Braintree MA USA
Posts: 8,317
Send a message via AIM to Klondike Waldo
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley G View Post
Matt, you make a very strong point.


SNIP
Orchestras play at around A 440 and have done so for a long time. Probably there is a sound musical reason for this. They are also being judged by people listening and appreciating music, not someone looking at a tuner watching for visible hemp lines and type of equipment brand and material.
That standard has not been around as long as some people may think- 20th Century. Some Orchestras used to tune Higher A=452Hz, some lower (432 Hz). I once bought a century old B flat tuba that was about a half-tone flat, which I discoverdwhile playing my first parade with it. Transposing all the written music on sight was , well shall we say exciting?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley G View Post
Orchestras often use objective blind testing selection processes to select musicians and judging by the output, I would have to think this is a sound practice.
I see what you did there
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley G View Post
Set achievable goals and you will keep this craft alive. Let people play whatever they like and just judge on the output. In stating this, I still have music teachers that refuse to call the GHB a musical instrument.
I've seen that too, and I used to be a music teacher and professional musician. (still a professional musician, but retired from teaching)
__________________
Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron
Klondike Waldo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 07:30 PM   #49
Harley G
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 45
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Klondike


I did not know orchestras ever went that low but it is interesting to note that the range is still in that sweet spot.


If we keep pushing up the pitch, when does it end up being a flat of the next note up in the scale?
Harley G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 05:36 PM   #50
Jim Fogelman
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,924
Default Re: Who makes this reed?

I started a thread a while back (http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/...d.php?t=167679) that linked to a video that explains how we settled on A440 in the classical world and quite a few people were able to add in some piping specific info related to it
__________________
You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.
Jim Fogelman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:19 AM.