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TOPIC: Optimal drone tuning positions

Optimal drone tuning positions 2 years 6 months ago #246

  • DrBlow
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Smallpipes newbie here...apologies in advance if this question has an obvious answer!
If I'm setting up my highland pipes with new reed(s) I know exactly where I want the drone slides to sit (tenors and top bass with 2mm hemp visible and about 2 Fingers width on the bottom bass slide. Are there similar sweet spots for smallpipes? Or is the balance of harmonic generation different? I have a set of A smallpipes and noticed my bass was tuning with only about 10mm gap on the bottom slide and 15mm gap on the top slide. My chanter is bang on A=440 with a true scale so my pitch is Ok....should I try moving the drone reed pitch to open the slides up?

Bob
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Re: Optimal drone tuning positions 2 years 6 months ago #247

  • ggreig
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Hi Bob,

I am assuming that your smallpipes are bellows-blown. One significant difference you will find between smallpipes and GHB is that the moisture presented to GHB drone reeds is pretty nearly constant, whether from your blowing or controlled by a canister. Not so with smallpipes. You will find that the tuning changes significantly with humidity as well as temperature (as the reed opens up or closes.) What this means is that the position of your drone tuning can change quite a lot according to the weather and your central heating etc..

My experience is with Moore smallpipes with cane reeds; other pipes / reeds may differ. I have the upper slide of my A bass drone set just to cover the hemp and have never moved it from the day I got it. The lower slide goes up and down with the weather. I only change the bridle on the reed when I am forced to do so because the drone is getting too near one end or the other. My own approach is to try to have the reed set such that there is sufficient adjustment to cover most situations. My recommendation would be to move the top section out and then adjust the reed to allow the lower section to be about the middle of its travel. BUT, BE WARNED, the reeds are very sensitive as well as being easily broken; only a very small movement of the bridle is likely to be needed.

Hope that helps,
George.
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Re: Optimal drone tuning positions 2 years 6 months ago #248

  • DrBlow
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Thanks George! As it happens I have Ezeedrone reeds and am (painfully) aware of how they need to be micro-manipulated. I shall press gingerly on!

Bob
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