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krusty
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Post by krusty » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:06 pm

tompipes wrote:
We may as well face the facts,there is not a single one of us who contributed to this thread that knows what they are talking about when it comes to understanding the acoustics of a chanter
I think that it'd be fair to say that a good few of the contributors here do know what they're talking about.Tommy
You could drive a car for thirty years and know how to change the spark plugs but that doesn't make you an expert motor mechanic and being the best piper in the world will not make you a professor of musical instrument acoustics so I stick by my opinion .
With all the negative opinions on useing a rush I have not heard one solid reason based on acoustical principals why a rush should not be used.
What we need is an opinion from someone who would know,and I think Alain Froment would know and we know what his answer would be .

Krusty
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Peter Laban

Post by Peter Laban » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:00 am

With all the negative opinions on useing a rush I have not heard one solid reason based on acoustical principals why a rush should not be used.
Maybe it wasn't mentioned because it seems obvious that any irregularity like that in an otherwise clean bore is likely to cause unwanted and unpredictable turbulence that has an undesirable effect on the overall sound and therefore shouldn't be a permanent feature of the design?

Edit : Thinking back, Tommy did in fact mention this in the context of rushing his regulators so maybe you failed to recognise the significance of the remark

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krusty
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Post by krusty » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:37 am

Peter Laban wrote:
With all the negative opinions on useing a rush I have not heard one solid reason based on acoustical principals why a rush should not be used.
Maybe it wasn't mentioned because it seems obvious that any irregularity like that in an otherwise clean bore is likely to cause unwanted and unpredictable turbulence that has an undesirable effect on the overall sound and therefore shouldn't be a permanent feature of the design?

Edit : Thinking back, Tommy did in fact mention this in the context of rushing his regulators so maybe you failed to recognise the significance of the remark
You may be satisfied by a simple answer ,but I personally would want a more in depth explaination.

Krusty
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Peter Laban

Post by Peter Laban » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:04 am

Ofcourse you do Herschel, maybe read up then on turbulence in woodwinds, why you would want to avoid it and find out about the implications of the 'simple' answer for yourself.

How many pipemakers do you know by the way who hold a professorate (or even a degree) in musical instrument acoustics? The answer to that holds the key to why there's still black magic involved with the (making of the) instrument: more often than not makers just start to copy what's there and stumble into things that work, after a fashion, before developing a degree of understanding of what is involved as they go along. Sometimes things are arrived at and settled upon that do indeed 'work' but are less than ideal.

I, for one, remember 'a certain maker' who arrived at a tionol during the early eighties with a chanter proudly proclaiming 'this is a copy of a Ginsberg'. There was a few years worth of slagging in that, but it shows you what some careers were built on and how much people had to find out on their own. There was no body of knowledge open to any of today's makers and most of what we see today was developed on trial and error basis. While the theoretical basis is expanding, it's still relatively narrow and few, if any, can oversee all of it. There are plenty of issues that yet need resolving. Recapturing the knowledge of the old makers is still an ongoing process.

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Post by David Stephenson » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:12 pm

One of my dear friends and another top pipe maker does have the very qualifications that were mentioned earlier, he has a top degree of doctorate in music, he thinks along the same lines as myself and says it is a passtime which neither himself or any of the makers themselves who use tuning aids will know the proper answers, if they did then these things would probably not exist.

The old makers would definately know a few things that are not done today, this is one of the reasons why I opted for the hands on approach, making things using the same tried and tested methods metalwork/rolling process from the off, many of their ways are in my eyes still the best way to do certain jobs which give good looks and or results, it may be a bit slower but can still be acheived using hand skills, machinery definately has its part to play, but takes away most of the feeling and expression when turning etc.

I know I have mentioned Peters name many times and to some peoples annoyance, but we must remember, he had access to some if not most of the best of the old sets in his early days, which I think is reflected in his work, and many for sure are very grateful for him sharing this knowledge over the years, if there was a god as someone mentioned, he was in Ireland during the early seventies, with the initials PSH, I have spoken to R B, who said that Peter is probably one of this centuries greatest makers.

There is no saying that a rush should not be used, but there are many reasons as I have tried explaning throughout my post on the subject which make it much easier without them, which work.

This has been a very interesting debate, which I have enjoyed immensely, but one that I have nothing further to add, so I will leave things as I see and believe of them, no doubt there will be more questions to be asked, good luck.

Less can be more

Davy.
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krusty
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Post by krusty » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:18 pm

If you want something done properly,do it yourself ,goes the old saying .

So I done a little research and heres what I discovered ,my explaination is very basic , bear with me if its a little out in places but I hope you understand the principle.
Leaving aside the reed for the moment, the tone of any note from a chanter is governed by the frequency spectrum of that note. The frequency spectrum shows which harmonics in the make up of a note are being boosted by the instrument that the note is coming from. A chanter with a bright tone will be producing a note with strong high frequency components . Basically when the vibrating air is sent down the chanter from the reed the side walls of the bore influence the frequency spectrum to produce the sound we here. So this establishes that the bore dimensions, ( including lumps and bumps) are critical to the tone that the chanter produces.
So a pipemaker finds a chanter that produces a beautiful tone that he wants to copy but he find that the chanter plays sharp of A=440 due to changes in the pitch standard. You might think just reduce the bore to bring down the pitch ,but this also alters completely the frequency spectrum that he is trying to reproduce ,so this is out of the question.

Due to research done on muteing brass horns ,it has been shown that if a object of relatively small dimensions(relative to the bore)is placed inside the instrument it has no influence on the frequency spectrum,but has got an effect on the pitch.
So in effect when a rush is placed up the bore of a chanter ,the internal bore dimensions are not altered in any way, the lumps and bumps are still there and they are still the same distance apart on opposite sides of the bore walls,but what happens is that the bore volume is reduced bring down the pitch. The reflective qualities of the metal rush or the shiny surface of a organic rush and the fact that the rush runs parallel with the wave form means there is no turbulence produced by the rush.

So there you go,now you know and contrary to what some believe a rush has no effect on the sound except to lower the pitch and Like all the best innovations the genius of it is its simplicity.


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tompipes
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Post by tompipes » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:22 pm

Due to research done on muteing brass horns ,it has been shown that if a object of relatively small dimensions(relative to the bore)is placed inside the instrument it has no influence on the frequency spectrum,but has got an effect on the pitch.
So in effect when a rush is placed up the bore of a chanter ,the internal bore dimensions are not altered in any way, the lumps and bumps are still there and they are still the same distance apart on opposite sides of the bore walls,but what happens is that the bore volume is reduced bring down the pitch. The reflective qualities of the metal rush or the shiny surface of a organic rush and the fact that the rush runs parallel with the wave form means there is no turbulence produced by the rush.
Rubbish.
A D chanter is about 14.5 inches in lenght and how long is a trumpet if you unravelled it 3 -4 feet, more...

It's impossible to compare.

The simple fact is that any obstruction in a bore has an effect on notes under the obstrucion. Be it good of bad the sound waves go bananas and not all of the effects are positive. Yes if you have a honker of a reed the strenght of the sound waves will over come it. Stick a rush into a narrow bore chanter and instant auto-cran.

Then there's the whole thing of metal rushes not being taperd. This has been written about already on this forum. i.e. a 1mm rod at the A hole will have an entirely different effect on tuning as the same 1mm rod at the bottom of the chanter. The amount of cross section bore area that they are displacing are not in sync at all. the rod would have to be 2.5 or 3mm at the bottom to have the same overall effect.

contrary to what some believe a rush has no effect on the sound except to lower the pitch
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one :D

Tommy

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Post by PJ » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:50 pm

krusty wrote:... muteing brass horns ...
You're comparing muting a brass instrument with rushing a woodwind!! Two completely different things.
krusty wrote:... contrary to what some believe a rush has no effect on the sound except to lower the pitch ...
I can HEAR a difference in tone when I put a metal rush up the bore of my chanter. That's called empyrical data.

Where did you come up with all this anyway? Did you make it up?
PJ

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Sorry couldn't resist

Post by David Stephenson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:48 am

It seems that our freind has been cutting and pasting straight off of Google here, I have just done a search and found a similar paper.

It also seems he has become an instant expert of such things, have you ever heard the saying, a little bit of knowledge can be very dangerous, I know of a man from Yorkshire who thinks he is a pipe maker, but that's an entirely different story.

As PJ and Tom have said, it is impossible to convert metal to timber readings of any standing wave form, metal has no absorbancy properties like that of timber, so the two cannot be extrapolated.

On the subject of copying a beautiful sounding instrument, this is entirely possible and in any pitch of your choosing, there is an extrapolation theory, where your faviorite instrument can be made to the pitch above or below it, this does work as the many who have used it will tell you, if there are any who might be further interested in this, please PM me.

We can all bang on about rushing until the end of time and never learn anything, my experience is this, if anyone has to use a rush in order of getting things into tune then the instrument is not made correctly, you are simply building an instrument to fit the tuning aid, when it should be the other way round, deleating the object in question, this has been done by several top players now on numerous occasions, less is more.

I have also just recieved knowledge about one of our top reed makers, who tuned an instrument from someone, by one of Europes top makers, he managed to do this by elliminating the rush altogether, only to find out that the owner, who then sent the instrument back to the maker, who then immediately refitted it, this tells us, that some have the knowledge to make things work on their own and some don't.

If you like a challenge buy an instrument with a rush fitted, but don't go screaming to your maker when things go pear shaped, have a go at making a reed for them and then post your comments.

Davy.
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Post by Monteverdi » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:30 pm

One of the many things that I love about the uilleann pipes is the lack of standardisation in their making and the great tonal variety in their playing. If this means that some chanters will continue to have rushes while others don't then that's fine by me.

One thing about this thread surprises me:- it's kind of hinted that droves of pipers have either been sending back their chanters to a well known French maker or have sold them on because they have been going out of tune. Can this be true? Has the number of second hand sets by this maker for sale increased recently and if so, do we know the reasons? Maybe people are feeling the credit squeeze.

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Post by David Stephenson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:14 pm

This might be another interesting thread, why not post it up, saying who sold their pipes on, and their reasons for doing so.

You hear of so many horror stories, most of them I think you will find are from people who buy pipes from the Asian continent, are these makers pipes also included in your variation, and it would be interesting to find out what design they are using, they are definately good at copying things and do not fit a rush.

Some sort of standardisation is definately a good thing for the maker at least, if he wants to make his life a whole lot easier, otherwise every chanter you make will have to be seperately tuned for each and every reed you make, if not a single piece of standardisation exists, you will never be able to remember what every reed was like, which would make it impossible to send out another reed for a chanter you made several years ago, you can normally spot these instruments, they sometimes have larger than normal oval tone holes.

It is because of the variation throughout the uilleann world that passtimes like rushing occurs, if there was a simple answer to all of this, share that knowledge so the pipes can move into the modern age, and save the poor buggers the pain of dealing with what is already a very difficult instrument to handle as it is.

Davy.
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krusty
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Post by krusty » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:29 pm

tompipes wrote:
Due to research done on muteing brass horns ,it has been shown that if a object of relatively small dimensions(relative to the bore)is placed inside the instrument it has no influence on the frequency spectrum,but has got an effect on the pitch.
Rubbish.
A D chanter is about 14.5 inches in lenght and how long is a trumpet if you unravelled it 3 -4 feet, more...

It's impossible to compare.Tommy
I never compared a chanter to a trumpet,even through they are both conical bored aerophones and the sames laws of acoustics apply if its one foot or three foot long. I was pointing out that it has been proved that a small diameter object can be placed in a bore and not have any effect on the frequency spectrum. To mute a trombone by even a small amount took a relatively large diameter piece of metal.
Flutes and clarinets can be made of wood or metal or plastic ,they may sound different but the laws of acoustics that apply to them are the same no matter what they are made of.
tompipes wrote:The simple fact is that any obstruction in a bore has an effect on notes under the obstrucion. Stick a rush into a narrow bore chanter and instant auto-cran.
So people keep saying,but nobody has explained why and I think thats because nobody knows,so they are only say so because they think it should.
We are only talking about wide bore chanters ,a narrower bore is completely different as the relationship of bore diameter to rush diameter is different. But I'm sure if you stick a very light gauge wire up a narrow bore there would be no auto-cran.
tompipes wrote:Then there's the whole thing of metal rushes not being taperd.
This is where I thought it gets really interesting.The metal rush has a relationship to the volume of the bore ,but it also has a relationship to the pressure inside the bore. As the travelling wave gets reflected back up the bore to become a standing wave,due to the restriction of the narrowing walls the pressure in the bore rises ,to compensate, the actual rush should be thicker at the top,but in conjunction with the conical bore the rush works best when straight.
tompipes wrote:We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one
My solicitor told not to agree to anything.



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Post by tompipes » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:34 pm

it's kind of hinted that droves of pipers have either been sending back their chanters to a well known French maker or have sold them on because they have been going out of tune. Can this be true?
This is a tricky one. I could name a dozen pipers who have Froment full sets that don't play Froment chanters. But why, I don't know and we shouldn't automatically assume that it's because there's something wrong with the chanter.

There are many pipers who have full sets made by one maker but play chanters by another because the happened to get a second hand one cheap, they prefer the tone or tuning, they happend to move to a city where another maker lives and bought a chanter from them. It's not always because somethings wrong with the chanter. Even at that, some folk are fussier than others. You may thing there's some tuning issue with your chanter and I may think its fine...
Some people get bored playing the same pipes after a while. Look at the amount of sets of pipes Willie Clancy owned in his short life!

It could be a simple reason that some pipers kept playing the chanter they owned before they got the full setfrom Alain. Even myself, I've Kevin Thompson drones and regs but I never ordered a chanter from Kevin because I was happy with my Bourke chanter.



Another factor is that there are many more great makers out there nowadays and pipers have choices.
Has the number of second hand sets by this maker for sale increased recently and if so, do we know the reasons?
Not to my knowledge, at least not on this side of the atlantic.

Tommy

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Post by krusty » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:46 pm

Monteverdi wrote:One thing about this thread surprises me:- it's kind of hinted that droves of pipers have either been sending back their chanters to a well known French maker .
Second hand Froment chanters with rush included are rarer than rocking horse shit and when one does come on the market there is a crazed stampede to buy it .

Krusty
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Post by David Stephenson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:02 pm

I wonder who is selling the most seperate items like chanters, and which makers instruments bring more than a new price when they come up for sale second hand.

Davy.
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