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Old 02-20-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
petercl
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Default Balancing chanter

I have a McCallum Mark II poly chanter. I am using a Gilmore easy reed. I have tried many ways to balance my chanter so that all notes are sounding at 477 Hz. I had to underbore the D hole because it was down to 466. The high A is still too sharp at 486 and I have taped half of the hole and it is still too sharp. I have seated the reed so that 11mm of black hemp is showing. Any suggestions on how to rectify this problem would be greatly appreciated. Regards.

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Old 02-20-2019, 05:30 PM   #2
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Balancing Chanter

What are you using for a tuner? Some tuners are designed strictly for Equal Temperament, so some notes on a Just Temperament chanter will show up sharp or flat on those tuners.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:58 PM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Balancing Chanter

Why 477 Hz? Pipe chanters are tuned to themselves, and then you can measure what pitch they tune to; not the other way around. You don't pick a number, it doesn't work that way. Also, which reed you use will change where a chanter tunes, especially easy reeds; I had one today that tuned 5 Hz higher than another easy reed.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:09 AM   #4
petercl
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

Hi Klondike Waldo. It is a Blair highland bagpipe tuner.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:26 AM   #5
petercl
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

Hi Patrick McLaurin. Whatever pitch I set by seating the chanter reed, the high A is always sharper than the other notes. I'm ignorant of what you mean by 'pipe chanters are tuned to themselves'? Does this mean that I need the same make of chanter reed that is used in this tuning process? Can you please elaborate for this novice. Many thanks.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:25 AM   #6
CelticHiker
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

To start to tune the Chanter, find the spot where the low and high As are in tune with each other. Donít worry about what Hz it is, or any of the other notes, just keep moving the reed until the two As are matched. Then once you have that starting point, start tuning the other notes from there. And donít get hung up on a specific number like 477, it might change often if you have changing conditions.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:48 AM   #7
Green Piper
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

Also make sure youíre not overblowing high A, which may be easier on easier reeds. Get both Aís as close as possible, then use a little tape to fine-tune high A.

Then work on the rest of the chanter.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:46 AM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

Quote:
Originally Posted by petercl View Post
Hi Patrick McLaurin. Whatever pitch I set by seating the chanter reed, the high A is always sharper than the other notes. I'm ignorant of what you mean by 'pipe chanters are tuned to themselves'? Does this mean that I need the same make of chanter reed that is used in this tuning process? Can you please elaborate for this novice. Many thanks.
Surely there is some reed depth where high A is an octave above low A and not too sharp?

A chanter tunes to itself by you moving the reed up and down until high A and low A are an octave apart. You don't get to pick the pitch that it tunes to. The chanter and reed combination will ultimately determine the pitch. You can use any reed you want. Some will work worse than others. Dare I say, some will work well.

Here's a video I made this morning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWmSQ_TRdlM
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:47 PM   #9
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

Good suggestions above. However, taking a simpler approach, try different reeds. The G1 (I prefer the Platinum) works well in that particular chanter.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:35 PM   #10
petercl
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Default Re: Balancing chanter

Thanks Patrick. I am still being guzumped by this balancing and tuning process. I now have a Colin Kyo chanter with a ridge cut reed supplied by Murray Huggins. I was under the impression that the reed seating in a Colin Kyo chanter would be longer than in my MacCallum MkII due to the fact that the Colin Kyo chanter is shorter. I can get the High A and Low A balanced at around 480Hz with about 20% tape on the Low A hole. I tried both the ridge cut reed and my Gilmour reed and I found that the Gilmour had more brightness than the ridge cut reed. Anyway, I had to push the reed into the reed seat with 9.9mm of black binding hemp showing to balance the High A and Low A. The F is as flat as a pancake at this setting - 443Hz. Is this bizarre or not? The rest of the notes were as follows when the As are balanced: High G - 488Hz; E - 480Hz; D - 469Hz; C - 472Hz; B - 480Hz; Low G - 482Hz.
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