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Old 11-11-2015, 07:59 PM   #1
Tjones79
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Default Extend range pipe chanters

When I was looking for a type of pipe to replace my renaissance pipes, there werenít to many options available for a pipe that had more than one octave+. There is the border pipe but, most only go an octave and a Fourth and have a similar sound to the GHB. Leaving pretty much the Uilleann pipes, and I was hoping not to have to go there. I was looking for a less challenging instrument, with a little different sound. I ended up with the pastoral pipes, a rather rare breed. These have the range I was looking for, and a different sound. They still are a challenge though.

This summer while attending the Pipers Gathering, Julian Goodacre and Collum Armstrong introduced a extended range small pipes chanter relying on a speaker key ~ (an octave key), and a couple of keys to bridge the gap of the octave leap over the12th, extending the range to 22 notes. Collumís playing of the pipe was very impressive! http://callumarmstrong.co.uk/

I just clicked on an ad here at BD, for Lindsay System Chanter and Donald Lindsay has produced a new design of chanter that also extends the range, but without relying on keys. http://lindstruments.com/products/lindsay-system-chanter . This is also very interesting. Has anyone have experience with this instrument? It looks very promising!

These pipes offer a hole new world for the musician interested in playing the pipes, and wanting the extending range of other instruments.

Iíd be interested in hearing what others think about these developments. Iím not sure Iíd change my pipes, but I wish these options would have been available when I was in the market.
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:09 PM   #2
donaldwglindsay
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Default Re: Extend range pipes chanters.

Hi Tjones,

some of the guys on this forum are Beta testers for my chanter. They've currently got the version one, and will be receiving version two shortly.

I think the thing you'd find about my chanter, particularly the new version two, is that it's basically an "A" Smallpipes chanter, so most pipers can get going with it right away. The main focus of the new notes initially was to extend the range downwards to D, and add semitones (initially C natural & G sharp). I initially only took an interest in "B" in the second register proper since the range D to B is so central for so much traditional music - once the range is extended down to a low "E", then high "B" becomes available without any need for keys, as the register gap is already closed by that point. "High B" is played simply by removing the "High A" thumb on low E, which is intuitive enough that I've kind of started to think of it as a "first register" note, although of course it is in the second register.

The chanter's come a long way since the project began though, with more in terms of semitones than the border pipes, and greater access to the second register - notes above high B can be played using one of two techniques. The first is basically "shivering the back lil" as per the border pipes, and is the most accurate - it gives a clear & assertive tone, tunes the notes well to the drone, and with practice will take the chanter some way higher than the two octave D to D range I usually state for the chanter. There's also a second technique which allows a rounder, sweeter tone although only as far as High D, and a very slightly different playing style. I'm remaining focused on the two octaves D to D, however, as with practice the chanter will play within and around that range with all the facility that you'd expect within the standard nine note range.

If you're interested, I plan to shortly begin posting tutorials to Youtube, primarily for the benefit of those who are waiting on a version two chanter at the moment. To support the tutorials, I'll also be posting tunes - I'm planning to take it one note at a time, beginning with a tutorial on High B (and a tune that uses it), and then moving on to low F#, low E, low D, then the semitones after that, and then second register kung-fu. I recommend that pipers moving on to this chanter spend the first couple of weeks playing it as a "normal" A chanter, and then work on introducing the "new" notes one by one, so that's how the tutorials will be organised.

If you'd like to follow these videos, then you'll find them here :

@lindstruments

On twitter - where I'll also shortly be announcing the winner of a composition competition for the chanter, that ran over the course of the summer.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:24 AM   #3
Tjones79
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Default Re: Extend range pipes chanters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldlindsay View Post
Hi Tjones,

some of the guys on this forum are Beta testers for my chanter. They've currently got the version one, and will be receiving version two shortly.

I think the thing you'd find about my chanter, particularly the new version two, is that it's basically an "A" Smallpipes chanter, so most pipers can get going with it right away. The main focus of the new notes initially was to extend the range downwards to D, and add semitones (initially C natural & G sharp). I initially only took an interest in "B" in the second register proper since the range D to B is so central for so much traditional music - once the range is extended down to a low "E", then high "B" becomes available without any need for keys, as the register gap is already closed by that point. "High B" is played simply by removing the "High A" thumb on low E, which is intuitive enough that I've kind of started to think of it as a "first register" note, although of course it is in the second register.

The chanter's come a long way since the project began though, with more in terms of semitones than the border pipes, and greater access to the second register - notes above high B can be played using one of two techniques. The first is basically "shivering the back lil" as per the border pipes, and is the most accurate - it gives a clear & assertive tone, tunes the notes well to the drone, and with practice will take the chanter some way higher than the two octave D to D range I usually state for the chanter. There's also a second technique which allows a rounder, sweeter tone although only as far as High D, and a very slightly different playing style. I'm remaining focused on the two octaves D to D, however, as with practice the chanter will play within and around that range with all the facility that you'd expect within the standard nine note range.

If you're interested, I plan to shortly begin posting tutorials to Youtube, primarily for the benefit of those who are waiting on a version two chanter at the moment. To support the tutorials, I'll also be posting tunes - I'm planning to take it one note at a time, beginning with a tutorial on High B (and a tune that uses it), and then moving on to low F#, low E, low D, then the semitones after that, and then second register kung-fu. I recommend that pipers moving on to this chanter spend the first couple of weeks playing it as a "normal" A chanter, and then work on introducing the "new" notes one by one, so that's how the tutorials will be organised.

If you'd like to follow these videos, then you'll find them here :

@lindstruments

On twitter - where I'll also shortly be announcing the winner of a composition competition for the chanter, that ran over the course of the summer.

Donald,
The curving of the bore back on itís self, and using the thumb for some of the lower notes along with the little finger of the left hand seems brilliant to me. How important is the use of 3D printing in being able to manufacture the chanter? Was there a particular reason you chose this method to make the chanter?

Iím a unclear on how the chanter handles the jumping to the 12th, common on the cylindrical bore instruments. On the Goodacre chanter the addition of a couple keys bridges the gap.

Iíll look forward to your videos ~
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:54 PM   #4
baxter
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

I'm looking forward to hearing more, maybe from the Beta testers. I was wondering if the chanter only works with the same make of pipes?

Last edited by baxter; 11-14-2015 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:18 AM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

Chanters are always mix and match. I used my Lindsey system chanter in my borderpipe drones initially. I haven't hemped it up for my new to me Kinnear set yet. Though I should.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:41 AM   #6
bob864
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjones79 View Post
Iíd be interested in hearing what others think about these developments. Iím not sure Iíd change my pipes, but I wish these options would have been available when I was in the market.
I think they are really cool and I admire the people who think them up.

I was talking to my wife about one of them and she said something like "you don't need any more bagpipe stuff." lol.

But it's true. I have plenty of room to grow with the nine notes that I have without trying to learn even more ;-)
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:31 AM   #7
donaldwglindsay
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

TJones - the 3D printing provided a way for me to design the chanter, without having to tool a workshop & ascend the woodturning learning curve first. It also allows ideas to be prototyped that might not be feasible using other methods. My intention however was that the end product of "Dreaming Pipes" would be a chanter that could be produced using traditional methods though, and I've been consulting with makers as I go, to try to ensure this - mainly this has involved "proving" an idea with printing, and then looking at ways that the design could be adjusted to make it more "accessible" for other production methods.

Part of the inspiration for adding the lower range of D, E & F# (the "back bore" notes"), was originally also to facilitate a High "B". It's a "kill two birds with one stone" kind of design - if the chanter is closed down to low "E", then you trip the register, high "B" is what you get since that's an interval of a "12th" from "E".

The second register continues up from there, with low "F#" giving high "C#", and low "G" giving the high "D". As with the new low notes, these new high notes centre around the "back bore", and the range is effectively extended by three scale steps either side of the traditional "A" scale (low D, E, F# and High B, C#, D)

It is possible to continue higher, particularly with the version 2 chanter (I can reach a second High "B", above the Border pipes High "A"). That takes a lot of practice though, and the chanter is really designed to play within the two octave range D to D as described.

Baxter - as Patrick's saying, the chanter can be played with really any small pipes. The beta testers have a wide range of pipes - none play my drones, as I only recently began offering my own drones to the public, and in fact for some time I played the chanter with a set of drones by Philip Gruar, until I was satisfied with my own drone set.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:28 AM   #8
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

Donald this sounds very exciting!

I'm always on the lookout for more range from my Scottish pipes. I play uilleann pipes and I'm always having to play those at gigs where songs which go beyond Scottish capabilities are requested.

Years ago I had a lovely D NSP set by Colin Ross that went down to Low G, and the tone down there was amazing. The equivalent is your A Scottish chanter that goes down to D. Think of the harmonies two SSP chanters with such a range can do! (You need Low D to hit the bass note for tunes in D, of course.)

Yes indeed High B opens up hundreds of tunes that are otherwise unplayable. I've been nagging Kenny MacLeod on and off for years about introducing a McCallum Highland pipe chanter with a High B key, either a full-size tone hole up there, or a vent hole which allows Low B to correctly overblow.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 11-18-2015 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:33 AM   #9
Kevin
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

Quote:
Originally Posted by baxter View Post
I'm looking forward to hearing more, maybe from the Beta testers. I was wondering if the chanter only works with the same make of pipes?
Hi,

Sorry to weigh in late on this. I was one of the beta testers for Donald's version 1.0 chanter. The folded bore and use of lower extension notes to fill the gap between the normal SSP range and the upper register notes is a brilliant idea and the chanter has been a lot of fun to play with. Donald and I had several interesting conversations about the design during the past year. The right thumb ergonomics were a bit tough to get used to in the beta version but Donald has managed to tweak the design to move the right thumb notes much closer to normal thumb position in the latest version.

I have not come anywhere near to using the full potential of this chanter yet but just having access to notes between low D and high B gives us access to a great many other-than-GHB tunes including a lot of Irish whistle/flute tunes etc.

The chanter should be playable with most SSP pipes as long as it can fit the chanter stock.

I hope this helps and I'll be happy to answer any specific questions if I can.

Best regards,
Kevin
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:15 PM   #10
donaldwglindsay
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Default Re: Extend range pipe chanters

Hi Pancelticpiper!

You're right about the range - it's the core range D to B, with the option of a C natural, which I think pipers will find themselves using the most, and which is parallel to the "most used" range of Uilleann pipes, penny whistle etc.

The chanter is basically able to be to the Uilleann pipe, what a low D whistle is to a high D whistle. Obviously, it's great to have the extra range up to High D, and the other semitones - High G# is particularly good to have, and if only I could work out what it is that needs to be adjusted about the reed to guarantee a low G#! Some reeds do, some don't, and there are a range of factors that affect it, so the work goes on

Kevin - good to hear from you, and to have the benefit of your experiences as a Beta tester. Your input, and that of the other guys who signed up, has been invaluable in developing this chanter to the point its at - the conversations we had in particular regarding double holes, led me to try all kinds of things. I did actually make a chanter which had double holes all the way, as an alternative to the flea hole. Adjustments to the flea hole have greatly improved its response however, and in practice I still find it more convenient than a more generalised double-hole approach (although there are still benefits to that, which I might look into again in future years, as a separate type of chanter in parallel with this one).

The main thing as you'll have noticed that I learned from the double hole experiments, has been to scallop both the double holes. The difference this makes is hard to describe, but it felt a bit like those notes had been unleashed, due to the "trickiness" of fingering them singly or together having been reduced considerably. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you have an opportunity to play your version 2

There were a few ways that were ultimately combined to move those holes up the back. I tried the early-branching idea, but it seemed to produce some funny side effects, and to have a detrimental effect on tone. It might simply have been that my implementation of it wasn't optimal, however I returned to looking at smaller measures. Pipe makers I spoke to confirmed that, even in wood, a double bore could be taken as close as 2.5mm to 3mm between bores. I decided to try 3mm (your version 1 has a 5mm clearance between bores), which bought a couple of mm, and the rest of the difference was made up by angling the G hole quite steeply (one benefit of the thick walls of Smallpipe chanters). Happily, the relocated F# hole then had to be increased in diameter, so most of the "hiss" that some reeds would produce seems to be gone now.

From a repertoire point of view, the core D to B range certainly opens a lot of doors! The C natural is important, and I'm viewing that now as the balancing point for the "flea hole scale". Happily, I can find more than one pitch point for a C natural that works with the drones, between about -13c and +15c, which also makes sense when you look at it from the point of view of the frequency ratios (although I don't think that's the be all and end all when it comes to these notes, which naturally seem more challenging-sounding anyway).
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