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Tone Chambers

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  • Tone Chambers

    What are they actually? Are they an intentional tonal product from the maker or are they just an incidental from physical manufacturing constraints?

    We were sent a video that gives a spin that we had never seen and would like to know more about the actual functionality?


  • #2
    I would guess a bit of both and some lucky happenstance. It is doubtful early instrument makers were thinking about tone chambers as low pass sound filters and were simply making adjustable length tubes out of wood. Fast forward a few hundred years and people have realized the variation in bore diameter can affect the sound and reed stability; makers then fiddled and tweaked with their designs to make the most of it.

    Just my guess. I would be interested to hear what others have to say.


    • #3
      Is the video online?

      (What I wrote before Kevin posted but got called away at work
      A drone that is tunable requires the ability to vary its length. That would be intention/necessity #1. Tone chambers associated with the tuning pins are a byproduct of that. Now, if you are referring to the the chambers in the bells of the drones, then that's acoustic. Makers could have just as easily—and more easily—just bored a straight hole at the top of the drone and called it a day. Instead, somewhere they decided that it was better to flare the bore out then cap it.

      Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. • BDF Moderator - Reference for Bagpipers


      • #4
        I was meaning to say the tenon chambers and not the bell chambers so sorry for the confusion.
        He makes the videos for his clients just to explain why he does the things he does to our pipes so I am not sure if everyone can look at them. I just click on the you tube name in the email and the video just works so I am not sure but I can ask someone who knows about these things.
        My main question is about the tenon chambers and where is there any pipe maker’s information on how they work and how to make them work differently, good or bad.
        Long story short – I had an illness and I lost some lung function and I struggled to play my pipes. I am only a low end piper and I play with a community band and we do not ever compete. I was directed to him to see if he could help with my pipes as he helped many mature aged pipers in a Returned and Services League band in Sydney. What he did to my pipes was like amazing and I am able to pipe regularly like not before. I sent an elderly lady from our band to him and she got the same result but when we told other pipers that he fitted chamber sleeves we were informed that he has buggered up the tone of the pipes with these sleeves.
        How do we know if this is correct? Are there documents from the different makers because as hard as we looked we cannot find any.
        In the video it is very clear that the sleeves make a more humm sound with most reeds and not the buzzy rattle but the best part is the strike-ins. The bass starts every time now without roaring and we do not have to punch the bag to do it. In the video his kid plays that fancy tune you can see he only gently pushes the bag under the arm and so do we now because of the sleeves. My lady friend was so happy after she picked up her pipes she called me from her car on her way back up the coast because she said it was like magic.
        We are very happy with the sound and playability of our pipes and cannot find any information that proves we are ruining the sound so if there is any maker’s documentation that is not subjective opinion I would like to know where we can get to read it please.


        • #5
          Can you post a link to the video you’re talking about?

          What do you mean by chamber sleeves? Do they keep the bore one consistent for the whole length of the drone? Does it impact how much rom you have for tuning?

          As a trumpet player, I’ve seen gadgets (essentially just small pieces of brass tubing) that go in just before the tuning slide to eliminate the step from leadpipe to tuning slide.
          You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.


          • #6
            > when we told other pipers that he fitted chamber sleeves we were informed that he has buggered up the tone of the pipes with these sleeves.

            A good rule of thumb is that if someone tells you a piece of information based on using their eyes or their opinions rather than their ears, then they are not using the intermediary apparatus, the brain. Did these people listen to this buggered up tone at any point? Did they notice the buggered up tone before they found out what was done to the instrument?

            It is possible to make some basic assertions about the effects and properties in changes in the bore in a drone, but anyone who has attempted to work with this information on a practical level will be very aware of how certain you can actually be about the effect of a change. In practice, the tuning chamber is mostly designed on the basis of what the pin dimensions need to be.

            > We are very happy with the sound and playability of our pipes

            Sounds like you have your answer!
            -- Formerly known as CalumII


            • #7
              Sorry for not posting the link but I was in the office and our network is virtual from London, no social media and no you tube and not even gmail. The Poms are paranoid the Russians will hold them to randsome. I am at home now so all good.
              What you say Callum is very correct and no, they can not even tell. I don't want to start a cat fight, I just want to know where all the information is about the "tonal" specs on the tenon chambers. There are so many comments about them but no one has any data. Where is it? Someone has to know.
              The man that makes the sleeves also makes all our split stocks, special adapters, blowstick mouth pieces as well as reeds. He is the only person we have to repair all our old blackwood pipes at a reasonable cost with a great quality and because I am not using a pseudonym I don't want to be the cause for him to get thumped with emails. I know that his debunking the black arts stuff is a bit controversial but in his defense, the black arts thread he posts in has more than 23000 views at last look and not a single rebuttal so I kind of trust what he says.
              I checked and all the videos are called public which means anyone can view them. There are quite a few on different things but the ones I am referencing are named tone chambers. The first one explains what he is doing and the others show the results and for us the second is the most relevant.
              I do not know enough to know how much he knows but I will stand by him for all the help and good advice he has provided me and some of my fellow pipers.


              • #8
                The last post in this thread should give you a hint as to who DavidKnox actually is, after you also consider their similar posting styles.


                To be clear, consistent with the emails and previous posts, there is little doubt in my mind that the posts of Harley G and DavidKnox on this forum are all the work of Dale Jackson, maker of Glenarley reeds, or so says he.

                All the more interesting that in the current thread DavidKnox has already tried to address concerns about his identity by stating he’s not using a pseudonym...

                Notice these posts all start with a question about something someone doesn’t understand, but apparently they are being helped by this expert who they could just go and ask but for some reason they come to the forum, and then after executing the ruse start posting YouTube videos.
                My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC


                • #9
                  On the topic of what do tone chambers do, essentially, here's a few things I know.

                  If there's some dimension out of balnce with the others in the tenor top, in my experience if the through bore is too far off in ID to the tuning bore, or if the tuning bore is too deep (too much of the length of the top is taken up by the tuning bore portion), the tenor drone reeds don't have the correct back pressure to properly change tones into the playing pitch. They'll go straight from a double-tone to shutting off with an increase in pressure. They never hit the actual playing pitch of Low A (octave below Low A but that's splitting hairs). That little shoulder between the through bore and the tuning bore is essential in creating the ideal back pressure to force tenor drone reeds to operate the way we expect them to.

                  In bass drones, it's similar. If the drone is tuning too high on the pin, the shoulder creates too much back pressure, and the bass drone reed is much more predisposed to double-toning and/or roaring.

                  I'm not sure that it does much for the tonal qualities of the drone, because I don't know enough about the harmonic data involved there. But extra internal volume and length will definitely change pitch. And, more importantly to most pipers, the differences in pressure characteristics will definitely impact playability and behavior.

                  Last edited by jackhawkpiper97; Yesterday, 06:44 AM.
                  Serving Jello with a ladle since... forever


                  • #10
                    Has anyone watched and listened to the Tone Chamber 2 Video whilst checking the pitch of those tenors with the Android Braw Bagpipe Tuner?
                    Most interesting


                    • #11
                      Since I’m not interested in wasting my time listening to Dale pontificate, I only measured (per your prompting) the first couple blows I saw scrolling through the video which came in at 445ish with the 440 reference on a Korg tuner. So way super flat since modern nominal pitch is 480 against a 440 reference.
                      My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC


                      • #12
                        When developing the Overtone reeds I used a tenor and bass drone and the Braw Bagpipe Tuner. If one plays a 480 Hz chanter the tenor drone should pitch one octave down (240) and the bass drone, 2 octaves down (120). The tuning pins and bridles on my reeds are setup to pitch at 240 and 120 HZ on my drones and are mailed out at those settings with no complaints.
                        Now, using the Braw Bagpipe Tuner on the Glenarly tenor video I measured 218 Hz, buzzy was the remark. Anyway the drone sound measured from 218 HZ to 235 Hz, nowhere near the 480 Hz chanter pitch.
                        Is it possible the Korg is not the best instrument to use and Glenarly's copies of famous tenor drones are out of spec.? On the 3rd video, him using using a professionally produced bass drone, the pitch measured 120 on my tuner, which is correct.


                        • #13
                          I was referencing the relative chanter pitch. Divide by 2 and 4 to get tenor and bass pitches, respectively.

                          What are you getting at here Terry?
                          My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC


                          • #14
                            Hi Patrick, my post was not directed at you. I presumed Mr Glenarly must have used some sort of visual pitch tuner before making the video and I guessed it was the popular Korg, which requires some math.
                            The tuner app I use is designed for bagpipes and best of all it's free, already!


                            • #15
                              Patrick Mcluran
                              Yes sir I do know Dale fairly well and have for some years and I am one in a list of elderly pipers that are still piping only because of the innovative approach Dale has to pipes and pipers needs and I believe some pipers on this forum also use his devices and can attest to his methodologies.
                              I know that you are that fella from Texas that asked Dale if you could help him with the development of the plastic chanter reeds and then shafted him at the earliest opportunity the same as you did to the plastic reed maker in Brisbane. You can’t deny it as the video is still on YouTube so just because you are against the highland bagpipe developing through innovation and technology doesn’t mean you represent all pipers.
                              Your only claim to fame is a bagpipe website which is mainly a cut and paste of other pipers’ websites yet you paint yourself to be an authority so why not contribute? If you know why the tenon and tenon bore diameters and lengths have an impact on tone tell us all and prove yourself. Put up or shut up.
                              I have not been on this forum since Harley was deleted and now have only returned at the direction of the Piping School regarding the issue of tenon chambers. Your attack on Dale is emotive and personal and as there is no money involved, envy and jealousy are probably the underlying causes but as you shafted him, he should probably be the one with the gripe. As my last login must have been about two years ago your hanging onto this issue for so long starts to ring alarm bells. I was a practicing professional for some decades and for you to keep such an emotional attachment to such a grievance can lead to bigger problems so if you cannot resolve your personal grievance with Dale and cannot let it go you might consider seeking appropriate counselling. Either way, do not use me and this forum to further your grievance with Dale as no one here can help with your issues and there is plenty of help available in the real world if you look. Right now you just come across as an internet troll and it’s not a good look.
                              [email protected]