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Old 10-24-2020, 02:00 PM   #1
Kevin Palm
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Default Baritone, ugh!

Am I the only one who can't stand to have the baritone drone going in their smallpipes? I have a set of Walsh A2000s and, try as I might, I just can't enjoy the "E" baritone! It makes my teeth rattle, so I end up keeping it taped so I have a set of pseudo Retro pipes...

Sorry, just had to vent...
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:04 PM   #2
olypiper
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

I have a set of those. I will say not every tune is suited to the baritone drone, but have never had a visceral reaction to it. I have shut it off occasionally.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:06 PM   #3
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Palm View Post
Am I the only one who can't stand to have the baritone drone going in their smallpipes? I have a set of Walsh A2000s and, try as I might, I just can't enjoy the "E" baritone! It makes my teeth rattle, so I end up keeping it taped so I have a set of pseudo Retro pipes...

Sorry, just had to vent...
I don't have a baritone drone on my Lowland pipes, just Aaa. On my Smallpipes, though, I like the baritone in E for tunes in A. For tunes in D, not so much. I made a drone extender, though which can bring the pitch down to D- some brass hobby tubing sized toi fit inside the drone bore, glued into a piece of Macassar Ebony. That said, with the right drone reed set properly, there's enough room to tune the drone down to D. (Iain Kinnear SSP in A).
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:14 PM   #4
will103
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

Hi, I see where you are coming from. I wonder what an A alto would sound like - three drones - all A - an octave apart. Has any maker tried that? Ta will
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

I think it's whatever people's ears are accustomed to, and Highland pipers aren't used to having the E drone in the middle of the drone sound.

Have you ever set up an E "baritone" drone on your Highland pipes?

It's easy to do if you have two sets of pipes. Remove your middle tenor, and replace it with the bass drone of your 2nd set. But take out that bass drone's mid section, so that drone will play E.

When I tried it, it sounded really cool for about five minutes, then it drove me crazy.

However with smallpipes I love the E "baritone" drone.

I will say that the 100-year-old Scottish smallpipes I've been playing for several years now has the aaA (two tenors/bass) which I have got used to.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

I don't tend to care for harmony drones either. I suspect the E drone was included to make up for the lack of a strong harmonic E that you tend to get from well set up and well tuned highland pipes. But that harmonic E is relatively quiet in relation to the A...

On smallpipes, the E tends to be just as loud as the other two drones, and that's why I think it drives so many people batty (you're not alone, Kevin, just perhaps the first to admit it!). I'm really enjoying my McCallum Folk Pipes with two tenors and no harmony drone.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:18 AM   #7
Kevin Palm
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

I emailed John Walsh yesterday to see if I could buy a second tenor to replace the baritone. Hopefully I can, at a not unreasonable cost!
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:19 AM   #8
Kevin Palm
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
I think it's whatever people's ears are accustomed to, and Highland pipers aren't used to having the E drone in the middle of the drone sound.

Have you ever set up an E "baritone" drone on your Highland pipes?

It's easy to do if you have two sets of pipes. Remove your middle tenor, and replace it with the bass drone of your 2nd set. But take out that bass drone's mid section, so that drone will play E.

When I tried it, it sounded really cool for about five minutes, then it drove me crazy.

However with smallpipes I love the E "baritone" drone.

I will say that the 100-year-old Scottish smallpipes I've been playing for several years now has the aaA (two tenors/bass) which I have got used to.

That sounds like an interesting experiment! If I could only afford a second set of pipes to play around with...
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:47 PM   #9
will103
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Willis Bagpiper View Post
I don't tend to care for harmony drones either. I suspect the E drone was included to make up for the lack of a strong harmonic E that you tend to get from well set up and well tuned highland pipes. But that harmonic E is relatively quiet in relation to the A...

On smallpipes, the E tends to be just as loud as the other two drones, and that's why I think it drives so many people batty (you're not alone, Kevin, just perhaps the first to admit it!). I'm really enjoying my McCallum Folk Pipes with two tenors and no harmony drone.
Yes, when I set up my alto drone (I prefer and alto D or E to baritone), I set it as quiet as I can. The sound is quite different to a baritone drone. Another drone combination that sounds really cool is two bass drones and an alto E - really good for slow airs also, tuning the two bass drones slight apart results in some really interesting sounds.



Ta G
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Old 11-02-2020, 03:55 PM   #10
will103
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Default Re: Baritone, ugh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by will103 View Post
Hi, I see where you are coming from. I wonder what an A alto would sound like - three drones - all A - an octave apart. Has any maker tried that? Ta will
Well the above post got me thinking. So, I turned an Alto A drone out of some Delrin I had and, well, it sounds ok I think - although a bit too loud (some reed tinkering needed). Supports the Lindsay system small pipe chanter well. What do you think (sound file and image file hosted on dropbox. Links are below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xnildflc37...NOV20.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vyh2w9asnj...3045.jpeg?dl=0

Ta G
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