Category Archives: Bagpipe Sound Research

Tuning Tenor Bold Pipes

I have recently re-fallen in love with my Colin Kyo drones made by Murray Huggins. To make a long story less short, I started playing Colin Kyo chanters in September of 2008. Sometime later I advised a student to purchase a set of Murray’s pipes and not knowing anything about them I advised my student to buy plain Jane Ezeedrone reeds. When the pipes arrived and we set them up, I clearly remember standing behind my student tuning the tenor drones and noticed this audible ring coming off the tenors. I thought, “Wow, Murray can make chanters AND drones!” I was in graduate school and my wife was in medical school so I didn’t have the dough to get a set myself. A few years pass and a local piper buys a used set of full moose mounted Colin Kyo bagpipes in 2012. I then bought those pipes from him in 2014 when he bought a new set of Colin Kyo pipes half mounted in engraved silver and moose antler. While his set of magic Canning drone reeds didn’t come with the set, I’ve since found my favorite set of reeds for this pipe so far. Ezeedrone! The same reeds I had my student purchase 4-5 years earlier that had that distinct ring off the tenors.

Now, on to how the title and content of the blog post are related. That ring off the tenors is grand, and gives great harmonic blend with the chanter. It makes every note sparkle and sound different from each other. It can also be tedious to tune such drones to the chanter. Those overtones, like the ring off the tenors, are so audible that not only do you have to get the fundamental of each drone audibly aligned, you also have to get those overtones in tune with each other which requires very accurate fine tuning. For some background on that, read this blog post about drone locking.

My tuning routine is as such: 1) Turn off bass and middle tenor, tune outside tenor to chanter low A, 2) Turn on middle tenor and tune to outside tenor and check against low A, 3) Turn the bass on and turn off middle tenor and tune the bass to the outside tenor and check against low A, 4) Turn on middle tenor and make sure all is well. However, this is only sufficient for tenor dominant/audible overtone producing pipes if you’re lucky. I found myself spending a fair bit of time tuning using the above method and then preparing to record a set of tunes only to find that while the drones sounded good against low A, E and a couple other notes would be out of tune just enough for me to notice and not be able to focus on the tunes. That, and I’d never want to intentionally record something for distribution with drones out of tune when I could fix it. So, I had to devise a new method. The new method is exactly the same as the above, except after verifying each set of drone combinations is in tune with low A, I then fine tune each new drone against E (of course, this requires your chanter to already be in tune relative to itself). The method of also checking against E works pretty well I think. You can hear an example of me tuning this way here (note, I often play either high A or D when physically moving the drone; I like D because it has the least harmonic overlap with the drones allowing me to focus on the tuning between the drones whereas high A could obfuscate the drone tuning since it’s just a couple octaves up from the drone fundamentals; make sure your chanter is sounding when tuning drones!):

Tuning

The clip starts with all drones going and you can notice they’re not quite in tune. I shut off the bass and check the tenor unison against low A. I get them settled against D while moving the drone, then low A, and then check against E and you’ll notice they are out of tune against the E even though they sounded fine against low A. This is where you fine tune the overtones. Now, in the clip, before I finish tuning the tenors together, I turn off the middle tenor because I’m going to check the outside tenor by itself against the E first (there’s no point in proceeding if your reference drone isn’t in tune), which it sounded fine so I don’t move it. I then bring the middle tenor back in and you can hear it’s out against the E (since I didn’t fix it a moment ago) so I move it once and check against E again to hear that it is now in tune. On comes the bass with the middle tenor turned off. Again, it sounds good against low A but it’s out of tune relative to the E. 3rd time is a charm for the bass. I almost found it easier to tune the bass against E because its easier to tune the higher frequency overtones of the bass against the E than it is to tune the fundamental to low A. This is because the overtones make the wawawawa sound faster than the fundamental. The bass fundamental wawawa against low A gets to be so slow sometimes it can be hard to hear if it’s my terrible blowing or it’s actually out of tune! The result of tuning with the additional check against E is then heard for the first bit of I Am Proud To Play A Pipe. The first two variations can be heard here as a continuation of the above clip:

I Am Proud To Play A Pipe (forgive the phrasing, I don’t play piobaireachd)

Now I’m eager to try Ezeedrone reeds in all my pipes! We’ll see if it’s Kyo magic, Ezeedrone magic, or a mix of both. Note that I’ve discovered Ezeedrone reeds can’t be set for strength by mouth blowing them. They shut off very easily when mouth blown, disproportionately easy relative to the pressure required to shut them off in the stock. Just a heads up!

The Illusion of Drone Locking

Tenor drones produce a fundamental pitch one octave below low A. Bass drones produce a fundamental pitch two octaves below low A. However, both drones produce higher frequency pitches called overtones. The first overtone of each is the next A up. So a tenor drone’s first overtone is the same pitch as the chanter’s low A. The bass drone’s first overtone is the same pitch as the tenor drone’s fundamental. The second overtone of each is an E. So the second overtone of a tenor drone is an E with the same frequency as the E on the chanter.

These overtones, when present with enough amplitude to be heard, manifest as a pleasant ringing sound that seems to hover over the top of the overall drone sound. Many may often hear this ringing only transiently as their pressure fluctuates enough for the ringing to fluctuate in and out. Overtone tuning is very sensitive and here’s why.

Say your chanter tunes at low A = 480 Hz, a common pitch in modern piping. This means your tenors should tune to half that at 240 Hz and the bass tunes at half that, 120 Hz. Say we are tuning our tenor drones and one is at 240 Hz but the other is at 245 Hz. They are out of tune. What you will hear is a beating frequency of 5 Hz, the difference between the two frequencies: 245 – 250 = 5; this is the wawawawawa sound produced by out of tune drones. The overtones produce their own beating frequency. For example, our 240 Hz tenor drone will have an E overtone frequency of 720 Hz. The tenor drone playing at 245 Hz will have an E overtone frequency of 735 Hz. The beating frequency between the E overtones is 735 – 720 = 15 Hz. Therefore, if you can hear this beating frequency it will sound very out of tune. That’s fifteen wawawawa in one second! If you tune the second drone down from 245 to 241 Hz, the fundamental beating frequency between the two tenor drones is now 241 – 240 = 1 Hz and the E overtone beating frequency is now 723 – 720 = 3 Hz. The beating frequencies are smaller (not quieter) so our drones are getting closer in tune.

What does this have to do with drone locking? Well, if you can’t hear the overtone frequencies all that well then you don’t have to worry about their faster beating frequency. All you have to do is get your drone fundamental beating frequency small enough that it sounds as if the drones are in tune. I believe many pipers have often favored bass dominant pipes because they feel they “lock” in tune better. Locking is piper code for drones staying in tune for a long period of time without the need for retuning. I postulate that the perception that bass dominant pipes lock better is due to the lower amplitude in overtone frequencies that make their overtone beating frequencies harder to hear. Thus, the illusion of drone locking is simply due to not being able to hear one’s drones go out of tune because the fundamental beating frequency is still too small to hear and the overtone beating frequencies are too quiet to hear. Note the difference in the words used. Too small to hear means the wawawawa is so slow it can’t be discerned. Too quiet to hear means regardless of how fast it is, you cannot hear it.

I offer an audio sample to guide your understanding. This is made possible by a bum reed the manufacturer has already replaced. This bum reed needed a replacement because it sounds terrible. It produces this huge, nasty overtone that just hurts to listen to. Which makes it a great reed to prove my point, you can definitely hear the fundamental beating frequency along with an overtone beating frequency. You may need to turn up the volume to a setting that is generally considered too loud to be able to discern both beating frequencies. Notice how much smaller the fundamental beating frequency is relative to the high pitched, grating overtone beating frequency. Even near the end of the audio file when the drones are pretty close to in tune, you hear the overtone beating frequency go in and out as I try to find the perfect tuning spot for the second drone. It’s almost impossible and so I will never use this reed in public or even in private, hence why I asked for a replacement.

Tenor drone tuning

EDIT (28-06-2016):

I have received a copy of Mode Locking and the Highland Bagpipe by John Kidd and Peter J. Lindstrom published in Sonus, Vol. 32 No. 2, 2012. I found a couple of statements from the article interesting, they are as follows:

“Preliminary measurements have shown that the effect is real. The phenomenon has not yet been quantified by detailed measurements of instruments of our design. The instruments to be measured must be of this design because those made in the traditional manner, and not modified, will not mode lock.”

“Pipes with abrupt changes in cross section of the drone interiors and cylindrically bored stocks will not mode lock.”

To paraphrase, “single reed” mode locking is specifically the coherence, if you will, of the fundamental with the overtones and occurs very quickly, within the first second of playing a tone on an instrument. “Multiple reed” mode locking is the coherence between two instruments, e.g. two tenor drones.

Mode lock = Phase lock + Frequency lock

By measuring the frequency of the two tenors of the specially designed pipe they determined it took over 30 seconds for them to frequency lock. They made no determination for phase locking.

“Instruments made in the traditional way do not mode lock; however, there are several examples of modified pipes with tapered, but not flared, stocks that have mode locked.” Examples given in the article include: John MacFadyen’s Hendersons (mode locked in 20 minutes), Colin MacMellan’s (Lellan’s?) MacDougals, and Robertson pipes in generally (mode locked in 20 to 30 minutes) due to tapered stocks.

MacDougal designed the bell of the drones (a low pass filter) to allow only the fundamental and a couple overtones to pass. It is also claimed that MacDougals exhibit papered (tapered?) stocks and internal bore chamfering. Mode locking occurs in about 20 minutes.

Highland Pipes in G

As with most of my piping adventures, this one starts with someone asking me how to do something and then I take it way too far; and end up somewhere really cool! A local piper asked me, “How do you get your drones to tune to A440?” The answer, brass tubing! For bass drones and reeds, you’ll probably want 3/8″ K&S engineering brass tube, for tenors maybe the same or maybe 11/32″. It has to go on the outside of the reed tenon (where the hemp on the reed goes) but also on the inside of the drone reed seat (so it can’t be too big around). There are commercial drone extenders available but they do not get you down to A 440 Hz. The drone reed has to basically be sticking out the bottom of the drone stock just a little bit to have any chance of getting to A 440 Hz. See photo below of a tenor drone.

brass_drone_reed_extender

I’ve had limited success with 1/4″ tube put inside the bottom of the drone reed. It would seem to be drone reed dependent.

Of course, since I have yet to take this too far (there’s nothing new so far) I’m not actually going to use this to play with an A 440 Hz chanter (although I do have one). I’m going to use these now super flat drones to play with a normal A 470+ Hz chanter. Except, I won’t be tuning the drones to A but to the note G. Woot!

These are 1950’s Henderson pipes with Rocket drone reeds, Colin Kyo Pipeband/Samurai chanter, Shawn Husk chanter reed.

Grimstock and Dick’s Maggot – Watch this performance on YouTube

Keelman Ower the Land – Watch this performance on YouTube

Untitled and Ulverston Volunteers – Watch this performance on YouTube

What’s tricky about tuning the drones to G is you have to retune the entire chanter. In a pinch it means taping every note except the Gs, and maybe F(#). I also tune the C to a C natural so as to play in the key of G. The tuning offsets can be had in the this chart (look at the middle table, the top table is the normal offsets for tuning against A drones; the bottom table is the offsets for tuning against B drones).

I can tell, you’re excited, because it sounds so cool! Hey, you can do it too! How? Go buy some brass tube (hobby or art shops usually have this), a tube cutter, and a cheap hand reamer (harbor freight has these). You’ll also need some teflon tape to seal the gap between the tube and the drone reed whether the tube goes on the outside of the drone reed tenon or the inside. Don’t forget the tube will have to also seat well in your drone reed seats. How to actually get it down flat enough is up to your pipes and your chosen drone reed. I’m using old Naill spec Rockets in the recordings above (there’s an “8” written on the bass drone tongue but that’s the only marking). The tube will need to be cut long enough so that the drone reed sticks out into the bag just a tad (bass drone stocks for tenors anyone?).

You’ll also need a chanter that doesn’t mind a lot of tape. I went through 3 before I found one that worked well enough for my liking: old carved up CK, Kron Medalist, and finally, third time’s a charm, a new CK Pipeband/Samurai prototype chanter (Thanks Murray Huggins!). Make sure you set your equal temperament regular old Korg $20 tuner to read in tune/green light on low and high G (instead of low and high A). Then use the offsets from the table linked above to dial in your chanter. Again, I tune the C to a C natural so there’s lots of tape on my C (this is really where things can get wonky, you’ll note a reluctant chanter when it is hesitant to switch to the C natural note if coming from B or D). I guess you could learn to cross finger C natural, but meh, I’m lazy. You could also buy a Boderiou Bagad chanter that comes with pastilles (inserts) that turn your C into a C natural for you (also F into F natural if you wanted to play in C major, muahahahahahahaha).

Lastly, you’ll need some tunes to play! Never fear, I’ve been playing smallpipes like this for a few months now and I’ve collected a lot of tunes in the key of G (again you need a C natural here; what’s the point of G drones if you aren’t going to play in G major?). The tunebook of my collected tunes can always be found on my Free Tunebooks page (you’re looking for the “A dorian chanter tunebook” as G major has the same notes as A dorian). I update it as I find new to me, but not copyrighted, tunes; always check back to see if there’s some new tunes. Also hit me up if you know of tunes that would work but I don’t have them in the book!

Campbell Bb pipe chanter + Chris Terry ABW drones

In the last week I’ve received a blackwood set of Chris Terry drones (references here, here, and here), apparently reproductions of a Duncan MacDougall set owned by John MacFadyen, and also a Campbell tunable Bb pipe chanter, produced by McCallum bagpipes from the mind of Kyle Campbell, the inventor of the Flatland chanter you may or may not have heard of years ago. It is a tunable chanter because there is a dial, or rheostat-oid thing, that you turn on the outside of the chanter that moves the chanter reed up and down in the reed seat without having to remove the chanter.

Impressions of the chanter:

1. The range of motion will not take the reed from all the way in to all the way out. You’ll still have to adjust the hemp a bit and then use the dial to fine tune. So, if you expect to plop a reed in there, turn the dial, and viola, your expectation are a little off. The reed seat is fairly large compared to what I’m used to so it’s very accommodating, meaning you’ll need to get roughly the amount of hemp on there you need. The greatest advantage of the dial tuning is once the chanter is set, you can fine tune as conditions change, say, the few minutes before you go on in the heat of summer and your top hand just went sharp.

2. It is based on McCallum’s regular Bb (in my case) or standard pipe chanter and as such has McCallum’s design characteristics. Most noticeably, this means an overall wider finger spread relative to my usual Colin Kyo chanter, but maybe not as noticeable if you’re used to other Scottish made brands. I will note that the C hole seems to be a bit higher relative to the B and D holes than what my fingers are used to, so that would be different than your run of the mill chanter regardless of make. I’ve only found a few chanters with higher C holes, this Campbell/McCallum and the MacLellan come immediately to mind, I think the McCallum McC2 is also like this. It’s perfectly logical to place this hole a little higher if you’re afraid of a flat C from an unbroken in reed. Designing a chanter with no flat notes requires you to consider what reeds one will be using, and inevitably you’ll be breaking in a new reed which are notorious for flat C and F, not surprising since these two notes are what put the pipe chanter in the key of D, meaning they’re really C# and F#, not C and F. This modification isn’t my cup of tea however as my fingers aren’t used to it; I’m used to a more uniform distribution of the C hole between B and D, meaning I have to deal with the occasional flat C when breaking in new reeds. A picture comparing the bottom hand of a Colin Kyo chanter with the Campbell chanter is below.

CK on bottom, Campbell on top.

chanters

3. I find the chanter tunes very well and true. The reed in the video linked below is well known to me to have a flat high G, so I ultimately have to push the reed in and “break” the low A/high A octave to get the high G up to pitch (and make the rest of the top hand sharp in the process). I then have to uniformly tape high A all the way down to B (except high G of course) to flatten those notes back down. That I have to do the same thing to every note speaks to the trueness of the tuning of the chanter.

You can see my first trial of both the Terry pipes and the Campbell chanter in this youtube video (it’s 51 minutes long and I’ve included links to skip to relevant parts, I wanted a true sense of how much play the Campbell chanter gives you as regards to quick tuning and a completely honest review, at the bottom are audio files taken from the end of the session when everything is in tune):

Here are some pictures of the Chris Terry pipes with imitation ivory mounts and what I believe to be aluminum ferrules.

projmountbottomprojmountbelldronetop

Some observations about the pipes:

1. Upon receipt (they’re used) I couldn’t really figure out which tenor top went with which tenor bottom. This speaks to the quality of the dried wood and the manufacturing process, the two tenors are nearly identical.

2. I put a new Rocket bass coupled with old Rocket tenors (louder than the new Rocket tenors) and got a great sound. I was out on the pins but the drones were solid. A noticeable ring off the drones helped really dial in E on the chanter. Also speaking to the quality of manufacture is that the tenor tops weren’t floppy despite just barely hanging on. There’s no warping throughout the entirety of the tenor tuning chambers.

3. These are great pipes and I look forward to having the time to try many different drone reeds in them. I’ll be hard pressed to take the Rockets out though. Someday!

Recordings taken from the end of my session with the Campbell Bb chanter with Terry pipes are below. Some of them can be heard in the video above, some were recorded after the video was turned off. These are offered in chronological order so I’m still fine tuning throughout, the best is last, fwiw.

Fair maid + some reels (under blown high A to keep E in check) – meh audio

74th’s Farewell, Battle of Waterloo, 51st Highland Division (blowing out high A now) – better audio, darn fingers!

Green Hills of Tyrol, When the Battle’s O’er, Marcus McLaurin (E and B finally taped to be in tune so high A can be blown out) – best audio

Brighter tenors in the casein Robertsons!

The previous post on these pipes had me running Cannings in them but I felt the tenor need a boost so I’ve recorded them with a Selbie bass and either the Selbie or Wygent Duatone tenors. I likey like!

Selbie tenors

Leaving Port Askaig, The Quaker, Angus McKinnon, and Ellenor – mic off my left shoulder

Rossshire Volunteers, Susan MacLeod, Miss Proud – mic behind me

Fairie’s hornpipe, Jolly Beggarman, Pigeon on the Gate, Rocking the Baby, the Panda, Rob’s Shower Shabang, Kesh Jig – mic in front of me, tunes I haven’t played in a long time; trying to mix it up

Wygent Duatone tenors – fingering sucks, beware!

Mist Covered Mountains, Calum Campbell’s Caprice, Big Yin, Rory Gallagher – mic behind me

Inspector Donald Campbell (Ness) and I Laid a Herring in Saut – mic in front of me

Henderson’s with Atherton MacDougall spec Rocket drone reeds

Here’s my 1950’s Hendersons with the Atherton MacDougall spec Rocket drone reeds. Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoy playing them, way better than with what I’ve been calling Naill spec Rocket drone reeds that look eerily similar to what someone else claimed to have D. MacPherson spec….maybe they’re the same/similar? Anyone else out there have Rockets with an 8 written on the fiber glass bass and little dots on the tenors, and that’s it?

Patrick McLaurin (by Jack Williamson) – Jack named this nice 4 part 9/8 march after me, thanks Jack!

Mrs. Duncan MacFadyen (by Donald MacLeod) – played it kinda slow, but it’s a nice tune

John MacMillan of Barra (with roll off count) – this belongs in the previous post by I slowed waaaayyyyy down so, ya know, not very useful for drummers

Calista Anne McLaurin, Kitty O’Shea’s, and Mason’s Apron – all these recordings were with the Adrian Melvin reed that I’ve boogered up just a little as the blades are now a little off center after all my wetting and squeezing, but it being a ridge cut reed I figured I’d show you, considering that the post 2 down from this one deals with accidentals in pipe music, this recording is an excellent example of how ridge cut reeds don’t play accidentals that well. Can you tell I’m trying the 2nd time through Kitty O’Shea’s? Also shows the reed is a little unstable due to the offset blades as at the end the drones are more out of tune as the low A isn’t being blown out (blown in tune).

Naill’s, drone reeds in the Gellaitry’s, and Husk vs. Ezee = Whew!

I’ve sort of convinced my friend that he doesn’t really need a set of Naill’s he has so it looks like he’ll be selling them to a local police officer as he learns the pipes. Don’t worry, he still has 2 sets of Robertson’s, a set of Marr’s, and a poly Dunbar. I was given charge of the transaction, so I decided to bid them a fond farewell. They were made in the late 1980’s and I’ve fitted them with my Naill Rocket’s for the recording. Original Naill chanter is reeded with an old Gilmour of mine. Passed onto the student, the chanter was fitted with a SuperSoft Apps reed which worked really well.

Amazing Grace

I recently picked up a set of Rocket drone reeds and a set of Crozier Carbon. The Rocket’s (Naill variety) are going in my Henderson’s unless displaced by the Crozier Carbon’s (not likely). The Rocket’s are excellent reeds but can be a bit bass heavy, so they are unsuited for the Gellaitry’s which already a rather strong bass presence (not a Henderson overall bass tone though). However, it quite easily picks up the bass that’s a bit lacking in my 19050’s Henderson’s. Below you’ll find recordings of 4 sets of drone reeds in the Gellaitry pipes: Kinnaird, Rocket, Crozier Carbon, and Crozier Cane. I’m going to stick with the Kinnaird, put the Rockets in the Henderson’s, save the CCarbon’s for the MacPherson’s on order, and lend the CCane’s to my 1950’s Robertson friend, in which I think they’ll be FANTASTIC! Recordings are unnormalized and were taken in a walk in closet, which makes for terrible recording conditions. I face the mic several different ways, hence the wawawa in between bits of pseudo-in-tuneness (I gave blood earlier today, so keeping steady pressure was hard enough).

kinnaird, rocket, croziercarbon, croziercane

Here’s a contribution from a reader (I presume). A quick blow through Ezee and Shawn Husk tenor drone reeds in a Dunbar P1. I’ve often thought that Ezee’s had a very nasal sound to them, and compared to cane, they do! Hence you’ll notice there are no plastic tongued drone reeds that I’m considering up above for my pipes. Ezeedrone is first, then Husk cane.

ezeedrone_vs_cane

Piobaireachd high G tunings

Hugh MacCallum – World’s Greatest Pipers Vol. 2 1987 – Lament for Mary MacLeod – A=472 Hz G=439 Hz -> Spot on 16/9(A)

Jack Lee – Dr. Dan Reid Memorial Challenge 2001 – Lament for Mary MacLeod – A=480.5 Hz G=844.5 Hz -> ~3 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Alasdair Gillies – World’s Greatest Pipers Vol.12 1994 – King’s Taxes – A=476 Hz G=834,832,833 Hz -> Spot on 7/4(A) – funny he actually starts a tad sharp at 834, he underblows it a bit on the next one at 832 and you can hear the slight discord with the drones, and then on the third pass you hear him blow harder as he’s still underblowing it a bit at first to come in right at 833 Hz by the end of the note.

John Wilson – World’s Greatest Pipers Vol. 5 1996 – Glengarry’s March – A=481 Hz G=845 Hz -> 3 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Michael Cusack – Glenfiddich Piping Championship – Park Piobaireachd (No. 2) – A=472 Hz G=824 Hz -> 2 Hz flat of 7/4(A)

Stuart Liddell – 1997 Recital Series Vol. 2 – Battle of Auldearn – A=474 Hz G=838,835,836 Hz -> 4,7,6 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 8,5,6 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

John MacLellan – Classical Music of the Highland Bagpipe – Lament for MacSwan of Roaig – A=476 Hz G=839 Hz -> 7 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 6 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Murray Henderson – Glenfiddich Piping Championship – MacDougall’s Gathering – A=476 Hz G=839,836 Hz -> 7,10 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 6,3 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Robert U Brown – Vol. 1 Masters of Piobaireachd – Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon – A=476 Hz G=389 Hz -> 7 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 6 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Piobaireachd high G

Here I was, wondering about the Piobaireach high G. I was under the impression that the Piobaireachd high G was the 16/9 ratio to the fundamental coming in at ~4 cents flat of equal temperament. However, when I tuned my chanter as such (it would barely get sharp enough), it sounded pretty bad. However, Hugh MacCallum’s on his World’s Greatest Pipers album is awesome at the 4 cents flat tuning. So, I tuned the Piobaireachd high G by ear instead and found it tunes just where the light music high G tunes at ~31 cents flat, only it sounds different (sharper to my ear, of course, given my previous misunderstanding). Below you’ll find a mp3 of the normal high G followed by a Piobaireachd high G and also a fourier analysis of the time domain signal normalized to the fundamental high G note. Note the Piobaireachd high G is in red and the light music in green; and because their spectra overlapped exactly (proving they both tune at ~31 cents flat) I had to offset the light music one (green) up 20 Hz to make it easier to see their relative ratios. Colin Kyo chanter, Gilmour reed, Gellaitry pipes with Redwood reeds.

High G MP3

Recording from inside the bag

So, there’s a debate going on whether sympathetic beating of the drone reeds leads to more stability in tuning. I say it practically doesn’t happen, but I won’t go there. Instead, here is a recording from inside the bag, just for giggles. Cool uh? or I guess for you Canadians, cool eh? :o) I don’t think the recording means a whole lot in the context of the debate, ah but whatever, you may draw your own conclusions.

A Father of Piping, Brian Barrow (from inside the bag)

My list of excuses:

This is about 8 minutes into a 9 minute practice session because it’s late and I actually wanted to go to bed instead, but I figured this would be interesting enough to warrant the loss of sleep. So, the drones aren’t in perfect tune, and they go out towards the end. Sorry about the high A crow at the end. My bad. Gannaway bag, Crozier Cane tenors, Kinnaird bass (the cane wasn’t stabilizing fast enough), in Gellaitry pipes with a carved up Naill chanter and a crowy reed.