Information: Please take a moment and visit your profile to choose a flag.

tuning drones

Moderators: earthjig, anima

User avatar
anima
Site Admin
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:19 pm
Location: Kansas City, USA
Contact:
United States of America

tuning drones

Post by anima » Tue May 04, 2010 8:50 pm

What is the proper or best method for tuning the drones?

Jeff
The Managment....

LuifeSpain
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:58 pm
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by LuifeSpain » Thu May 13, 2010 7:37 am

Very easy: do it as the rest of pipes...Listen the drone note and compare it with the tonic of the chanter...If the sounds makes WAWAWAWAWAWAWAWA the tunnings is bad, you can cover the subtonic hole for listen if the drone it´s low, or uncover the tonic hole for listen if the drone it´s high. The correct tunning makes an uniform WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA between drone and chanter. You can play with the drone near to a wall for amplify their sound. Of course, close all drones, and tune the bass drone first. The you can tune the rest with the bass drone.

User avatar
anima
Site Admin
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:19 pm
Location: Kansas City, USA
Contact:
United States of America

Re: tuning drones

Post by anima » Thu May 13, 2010 8:58 am

bass drone first, good to know. I usually tune my uilleann pipes tenor drone first.
The Managment....

User avatar
Antimir
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Vladivostok, Russia
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Antimir » Fri May 21, 2010 11:57 am

Can anybody give an advise about tuning drone with shiftable pitch? I have a bass drone tuned in C, but with hole which allows it to play D. Sometimes, when C is tuned, I can't get proper D just by opening the hole and need to move a part of a drone for some millimetres. Sometimes it is uncomfortable, especially when i need to change the pitch while other instruments are playing. Are there any tricks to deal with such kind of a drone?

Yuri
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:57 am
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Yuri » Sat May 22, 2010 11:29 pm

What kind of pipes are you playing?
And what do you have to do to get the hole uncovered? As in, lift a finger (unlikely), turn a ring or any other means?

User avatar
Antimir
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Vladivostok, Russia
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Antimir » Sun May 23, 2010 11:15 am

I play galician gaita. The hole in the last third of the drone is covered by special cap. Some makers drill such hole as an optional.

Yuri
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:57 am
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Yuri » Sun May 23, 2010 6:19 pm

Can you post a photo? To give you an answer, I'd need to know what it looks like exactly. And also, is it too high or too low?

User avatar
Antimir
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Vladivostok, Russia
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Antimir » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:35 am

The construction is same to http://www.terra.es/personal9/981431549 ... roncon.jpg. Now i began to think that the problem is in tuning of the plastic drone reed itself. (i can't generate the exact pressure of the bag with my mouth when i try to tune the reed separately from the drone). To get D after C i usually have to make the pitch higher.

Yuri
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:57 am
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Yuri » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:42 pm

I still am not clear how the cap fits over the hole.
But in any case, having had a look at the pic, it's clear that the matter is simply of tuning the hole just right. Tuning the reed will not change the relative tuning of the open/closed hole (more exactly, it will, but not to any appreciable extent.) What you need to do, is tune the C exactly in tune, then, while playing, undo the cap, and listen to which way the D deviates from the tuning. If it is too low, you will need to enlarge the tuning hole. If it's too sharp, you need to make the hole a bit smaller.
How you find whether it is too sharp or too flat is this. Play D, it is not it tune. Now slightly shade the C fingerhole, that is start covering the edge of it just a tiny bit, and listen. If it gets closer and closer to the right sound, and eventually gets just in tune, that means the tuning hole is a bit flat, and you need to enlarge it. If it gets even worse, try opening the E fingerhole just a fraction, and keep going until just in tune. In this case the D is a bit sharp, you need to make it smaller.
To enlarge the hole, roll up a strip of sandpaper into a really tight cilynder, just fat enough to pass into the hole. Use grade P120-150. (I'm not sure that you use the same designation in Russia. P120 means that the biggest size of the abrasive grain on the sheet is 1/120 of a mm. P150 means it's 1/150 mm, and so on.) Coarser than that is too coarse, finer will simply take much longer. Now start sanding away, slowly, and most importantly, check the tuning frequently. Do not be impatient, it will take some time. Pull the top joint out for sanding, otherwise the reed will get choked by the dust. So it's sand a bit, put the top joint back, tune the C, play a few notes, open cap to D, play and listen. Then repeat until you get it right. Next day try again, and you might well find that by then it is again not quite in tune, though it will be much less difference. So do it until just right.
If it's too sharp, you need to put some stuff onto the rim of the tuning hole. Traditionally it is wax, and it still works very well. It just is not very decorative, at least if you need to put a sizeable blob of it on.If the differnce is not particularly big, you can use a bit of glue of some sort, neatly put around the rim of the hole. PVA will work for that. Very probably you will overdo it, and the hole will become slightly flat, in which case you will need a very sharp, narrow-bladed knife to trim th excess glue away. Whatever glue you use, you need to wait until it is completely dry before testing the tuning.
If it is very sharp, say, a semitone, the simplest way is to plug up the hole, and redrill with a smaller drill, but I think that is unlikely. If it is, though, you will need an access to a lathe to turn the plug exactly, and a proper way of drilling. Let me know if that is what you need to do, I'll explain how to drill it without exploding the wood.
Let us know how it went.

User avatar
Antimir
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Vladivostok, Russia
Contact:

Re: tuning drones

Post by Antimir » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:54 am

Thanks a lot, Yuri. Very interesting to learn. But now it seems that weather itself did everything of what you said. The temperature and humidity here became considerably higher and now i began to notice much less deviations in the tuning.

Post Reply