Category Archives: Drone Sounds of the GHB

Drones are the most expensive part of the bagpipe. This is to be a resource of what different makers’ drones sound like with whatever particular reed happens to be in the drones.

Compositions by Gord(on) MacDonald of Island Bagpipe

Many of you will be familiar with Gord MacDonald of Island Bagpipe. Gord also runs a bagpipe identification website. Gord and I have gone back and forth about a few things piping over the years and I have used Island Bagpipe as a retail supplier many times (sometimes it’s cheaper shipping from Canada!). Many years ago, I’m thinking 2013, I asked around for tunes that people had composed that I could play on the blog and Gord took me up on it. He didn’t know it would take 6 years but I finally got around to recording the tunes he sent me; though I’m still sight reading them so bare with me a bit.

Pipes are Colin Kyo drones and chanter with Ackland 480 drone reeds and Husk chanter reed. Enjoy!

Kyle MacDonald

The Flatliners (Jim Medley’s Hornpipe)

The Crocodile Smile

Heather’s Jig

William G. Pritchard

Ackland Prototype Drone Reeds in Colin Kyo pipes

I spent my afternoon Sunday playing with the different widths of tongue blades on these Ackland prototype drone reeds. I discovered the wider tongue gave a smoother, simpler tone whereas the narrower tongues gave a more harmonic tone. I much prefer the narrower tongues. The previous post featured the wider tongues, so this post will feature the narrower tongues.

I recorded this go around with the Zoom H4n Pro feeding the audio into my iPhone 8 via a Blue Mikey Digital (the previous blog post used recordings made with just the Blue Mikey Digital’s microphones instead of bypassing them as I did this time).

Pipes are all Colin Kyo, Husk chanter reed.