Reeding the MacPherson’s! and playing at A440 yo.

So, I’ve got the chanter stock tied in a little higher and with a bit more string now so things are coming together pretty well with the MacPherson’s. I’ve got one of my 3 ABW Colin Kyo chanters plugged in there. The D is a little flat so sorry about that. But, below you’ll find tons of recordings of me trying to find the right drone reeds or trying some prototypes again. In all it was a lot of fun but a lot of work too. The first recording you’ll find is of just various drone reeds and combinations between them. The recording conditions were all the same, in the bedroom, same spot, pitch, so, ya know, take it how you will.

All the drone reeds in this order:

crozier glass – redwood – crozier carbon – crozier carbon tenors and canning carbon bass – selbie – henderson harmonic deluxe – henderson harmonic deluxe tenors and canning carbon bass – ezeedrone – ezeedrone tenors with canning polycarb bass – colin kyo – kinnaird – ackland – ackland tenors with crozier glass bass – selbie tenors with crozier glass bass?(i forgot to specify in the recording = my best guess)

cg_rw_cc_cb_sb_hh_hc_ez_ec_ck_kd_ak_ag_sg <- Sound file

What’s your favorite from the sound file above?

I really thought the Selbie tenors sang out really well (I know them for this quality, played Selbie’s in my Hende’s for years) and the Crozier glass fiber bass was pretty rocking so I tried that out, as can be heard in the closet recordings below. But…

Crozier glass bass, Selbie tenors, CK chanter

Deer Forest and Helen Black of Inveran (played as a march then reel)

Song for Winter and The Old Chanter

The High Drive and The Snuff Wife (sight reading, back off!)

I couldn’t really get the Selbie tenors to settle. Their tendency to ring is well suited to mellow pipes like Shepherd’s and the like but it was just too much and I couldn’t get them dialed in really well. You can particularly notice this on my slightly out of tune E. So, I thought the sound of the Henderson Harmonic Deluxe tenors was pretty good to (used them in the past), as they are nice and smooth with still some good harmonic presence without the boldness the Selbie’s display so in they went, and I thought it went really well. Only got one decent recording though, then it was time for bed.

Crozier glass bass, Henderson Harmonic Deluxe tenors, CK chanter

Campbell’s Farewell to Red Castle, A Dram Before You Go, Glasgow Police Pipers

I had to go bind my dissertation and that took a lot less time than I thought so instead of parking, walking 15 minutes back to work for only a couple hours, walking back, etc. I figured I’d play the bagpipes! Duh! Checked the mail box on the way in and saw a package from Terry Ackland with a new set of tenors in there so figured, why not?! He sent me a bass reed not too long ago so you get to hear all three in the recordings below. I was having trouble getting the bass dialed in so I left it at one recording and I switched to my Crozier glass fiber bass from the other night (recordings above) and those are even further below. Gotta say, I wait in anticipation for the final product of Terry’s reeds because they really throw out some harmonics! Which coincidentally, make it all the more obvious my D is out of tune, bleh. Cut me some slack, I’m fiddling with drones not chanters here! These were recorded in the bedroom adjacent to the walk-in closet mentioned above.

Ackland bass and tenors, CK chanter

Fair Maid, Gravel Walk, Dick Gossip’s

Crozier glass bass, Ackland tenors, CK chanter

Kenneth MacDonald’s Jig, Thief of Lochaber, I Laid a Herring in Saut

Scarce o’ Tatties, Humours of Ballyloughlin, Troy’s Wedding

As with the Gellaitry’s, I had to give the MacPherson’s their run through at A440 with my EJ Jones chanter. A lot of the tunes above are duplicated below. Recordings were done in the closet. I have a whole lot of respect for border pipers, pressure variability and getting in tune is tricky!

Wygent A440 drone reeds, Jones A440 chanter

Song for Winter, The High Drive, The Hawk

Snuff Wife, Sleepy Maggie x2, Dancing Feet x2

Campbell’s Farewell to Red Castle and Helen Black of Inveran

One thought on “Reeding the MacPherson’s! and playing at A440 yo.

  1. Hi Patrick, excellent stuff to be sure! Great job. Just wanted to mention. I’ve found that with different drone reeds you’ll get different harmonics with the chanter. This doesn’t seem to effect the main notes too much such as E, C and the A’s but it can play havoc with your D, F and B. So for example, a good going chanter that’s spot on with one set of reeds can in fact sound out of tune on certain notes (such as your D you mentioned above) with another set of drone reeds. Interesting stuff! I once played a set of Atherton MacDougalls and the B was a very interesting harmonic on that set. The drones resonated so strongly with the B of the chanter that it sounded almost as if the drones were tuned to the B, pretty cool.

    Keep up the great work!

    Shawn

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