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Outer tenor shutting off prematurely

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  • Outer tenor shutting off prematurely

    I was calibrating my drone reeds recently when I noticed my outer tenor reed shuts off as soon as the chanter comes in, not when I overblow, as it should be. I tried moving the bridle all the way down, to no avail. I pulled out the plastic thing at the end all the way (I am not sure if it makes a difference or not, but such is the nature of experimentation) and nothing. Could this be related to how I have my other drone reeds calibrated? I did one drone at a time; that is, I would cork off the others and then overblow on the target drone and calibrate it by itself. Are you supposed to calibrate them all at once?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Drake15296 View Post

    . Are you supposed to calibrate them all at once?
    With a little thumb pressure on the tongue....try running a new dollar bill...slightly wetted..across under the tongue a few times...this will clean any errant stuff off the underside of the tongue that shouldn’t be there.

    If its a fully demountable syn so and give the whole reed a gentle wash...reassemble and recalibrate for air efficiency. Good luck.


    • #3
      Check the hemp on the offending drone itself. If it's loose to the point where air is getting out, it can cause instability that might shut the drone off. To check this, swap the tenor reeds and see if which drone shuts off.
      You calibrate them all at once one by one if that makes sense. Take one tenor drone and calibrate it for pressure to your chanter. After that, cork the chanter stock and calibrate the next tenor to the first one. Now, get the bass matched to those, where you can overblow and they all shut off together. Check against the chanter again and you should be good. If the chanter will easily squeal when closing from high A to low A or low G gurgles easily without the drones shutting off, that would indicate that they're still a little more open than what the chanter needs.
      Balancing or calibrating drone reed videos on youtube can be some help, too.
      Before you start fixing problems with your reeds, check to see if the bag or stocks are leaking.


      • #4
        I've found calibration to be a tedious process sometimes. I don't think there's a right/wrong approach. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you get the desired result.
        For me, I start out mouth-blowing the reeds in the drone to get them close for strength and pitch (so they tune in the right spot on the drone) and visually try to make the tenors even.
        Then, I cork the chanter stock and blow all 3 at once in the pipe, overblowing to shut them off.
        It's a balancing act. If one keeps playing, I'll close that one down a bit and so on, until all three shut off together.
        New reeds can take me a couple of weeks off and on to get them precisely where I want them.