Klangfarbe

A forum to discuss the arcane art of making uilleann pipes, reeds, and set maintenance.

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learnthegrip
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:23 pm
Real Name: Ken Matley

Klangfarbe

Post by learnthegrip » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:47 am

Klangfarbe (ger): tone color, timbre.

I frequently hear that the tone color of a chanter is heavily influenced by the reed, but I've never seen any description of how this happens. What reed parameters specifically influence such things as bright or dark tone? Why do some reeds sound more 'reedy' than others? Certainly the chanter itself will dictate how much latitude you have in, say, blade width, and the final result is likely the product of the synergy between reed and chanter, but in the course of making reeds for my Ginsberg chanter I've found that some are brighter, some darker, some have more chiff, and some are raspier, and so on. I suppose that as I keep notes on my chanter reeds I will eventually see some patterns, but I'm curious whether other reed makers have made connections between particular reed configurations and tone. Also, if anyone can point me to some discussions of this I'd be grateful. Thanks.

Ken

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JohnnyKerr
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Real Name: Johnny Kerr
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Re: Klangfarbe

Post by JohnnyKerr » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:25 am

Ted recently posted some information regarding some of these things here (7th post down the page): viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1471&start=15

outofthebox
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:02 pm

Re: Klangfarbe

Post by outofthebox » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:38 am

I think that the springing of double reeds is an aspect that is often overlooked. By springing I mean the amount of tension that is placed on the blades of the reed when they are tied on to the staple. For instance I have been experimenting making reeds with staples made from copper tubing. The walls of copper tubing are quite a bit thicker than brass. That means that the reeds are tied on at a higher tension as they must bend farther to close together. As would be expected a higher tension in the springing will produce a reed that will tend to be more 'highly strung'. This will tend to produce a livelier and more responsive tone.

Ted
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Real Name: Ted Anderson
Location: No. California

Re: Klangfarbe

Post by Ted » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:25 pm

K&S brass tubing from hobby shops etc. has a wall thickness of 0.014". I roll staples from 0.020" thick copper sheet, which has proven to be ideal for giving the arch to the reed. I often roll tapered staples which are required for many chanters. Rolled staples are easier for me to make the taper than trying to expand tubing over a mandrel. I found a thicker wall than that to be less than ideal. Been there-done that.

learnthegrip
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:23 pm
Real Name: Ken Matley

Re: Klangfarbe

Post by learnthegrip » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:31 am

Thanks for the replies. So it appears that the main factors affecting the tone color are cane hardness and, maybe, tension. I know also that a brass staple will give a reed that is a bit brighter than copper. Any other factors?

Hans- Joerg
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Real Name: Hans-Joerg Podworny

Re: Klangfarbe

Post by Hans- Joerg » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:15 pm

Another thing I think is the diameter of the sanding cylinder and the opening of the "cat´s eye" of the staple (the latter of course governed by the staple´s "slope"). However, I found that the staple´s material is not important.

outofthebox
Posts: 630
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:02 pm

Re: Klangfarbe

Post by outofthebox » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:50 am

I have adjusted the tone of my reeds by inserting a short rolled up tube of glossy paper inside the staple. I was trying to achieve lower volume from my chanter and I found that this method produced an overall tone in the chanter which I am happier with. I've used the same method with my regulator reeds. It produces a tone that has less of that bright metallic edge that comes from the metal surface of the bore of the staple and feels nicer to play, but I realise this is my personal preference. Others will prefer the brighter tone.

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