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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Location: Halden, Norway
A few weeks ago I got my brass Killarney in D and I love the sound, feel and playability of it. But recently I am having a strange problem playing it. When I go from A to G (in the low octave, mind you) in a split second there's a frequency that actually hurt my right ear quite bad. It's like a short whoof/airpressure that sometimes makes me a bit nauseous. I have never experienced this before and I play different whistles, both low and high and Uilleann pipes without any ear problems. The Killarney is a very nice whistle, and the second octave is sweet and very pleasing to my ears. So strange to have this problem in the low octave and ONLY when I go from A to G...

Any thoughts?


Last edited by Ketil on Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Very strange. I'd love to hear a recording.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:56 pm 
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That's a good idea! If it is a frequence only my ear dislike you would probably not hear it. But if it is something off with the whistle a recording will catch it. I'll try to find some time for a recording one of these days.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:46 am 
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Have someone else play the whistle and see if you still hear this phenomenon from out in front. Doesn't even have to be a whistle player. Just show them how to finger A, then put one finger down for G.
Does this happen in the second octave too?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:01 am 
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I have a brass Killarney and no problems here. Probably not a universal problem.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:56 am 
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Does it happen in multiple locations? Sometimes the room I'm in seems to cause a specific note to reverberate exactly the right way to cause me discomfort. E.g. if I sit on my couch and play in the living room, no problem, but if I move over to the top of the stairs and walk up a scale, the 2nd octave E just rings my ears (but even higher notes are not a problem).

If you always practice in the same place, you might try it in a different room or outside and see if that makes any difference.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:35 pm 
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I found two threads which may be related to your trouble.
You may check your whistle with applying petroleum jerry or bee wax on your fingers, or applying it at the head/body joint.
Good luck!

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=103637
sonofahoran wrote:
I recent purchased a brass Killarney D whistle. ------
But, I am having a strange problem with it. It literally slips out of my grasp when I am playing it.
When I am playing an A or B with only L1 or L1 + L2 fingers on the whistle (plus my thumbs), it tries to slip down and roll clockwise in my grip, -------

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=103633
winterparkmarc wrote:
I have two Killarney whistles, one nickel and one brass. -------
I have noticed a slight leak of condensation from the head/body joint and today I have had an air leak, which ruins playing. --------


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Location: Halden, Norway
I could not find any info in those threads about my problem. It is not a grip issue. I made a short recording and I can still hear the frequence that bothers me. I have tried to play it in different locations and it is still there. Maybe only in my head, but it is real for me...
Follow the link for the recording.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fq61397g8ys8b ... y.m4a?dl=0


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Can't hear a problem!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:01 pm 
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I kind of expected that. The feeling I get is more of change in pressure in my right ear more than a actual sound. Very strange! But it is enough to put me of playing it for longer periods. A real shame as I really like the sound and feel of the Killarney. And this post is by no means any put down on the quality of the whistle. Probably best of taking to my shrink about it (my wife is actually a psychologist).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Can't hear a problem!

Ketil wrote:
I kind of expected that. ------

I could hear your problem in your recording, and could confirm it on my tuner software (s8tuner).
When you tried to go down from A to G, I can see both G and A are sounding simultaneously.
There are clear two peaks on the tuner FFT display at that time for relatively long period.
When you go up slowly at the initial part of your recording, G and A are completely separated without problem.

I do not know how this happens and can only suggest to wash the inside of the whistle head thoroughly with soapy water.

Someone making whistles (brewerpaul?) may be able to find the solution.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:34 pm 
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I also hear something, barely noticeable and not particularly objectionable. If you lower T3 slowly onto the hole as you go from A to G, is there ever a moment when the whistle jumps up to the second register? If so, aim for the following:

- Drop T3 fast.
- Get a good, solid seal on the T3 hole right away. (Hand lotion or beeswax can help, as mentioned above.)
- Drop your breath pressure slightly as you land T3, perhaps dropping it low and back up to play the G.

Does that help?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:35 pm 
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I think you're dropping some of your fingers too slowly, so that right before the fingertip seals and the new note sounds, you have the previous note sounding + an airleak at the next hole, which adds squeal. Done intentionally, this is one way of producing what in ITM is sometimes called "nyaa"* - the sound you get when slide into a note you want to emphasize. I think when your fingering gets crisper the problem will go away.

*Also taken to mean some sort of mystical hoo-hah "essence of the music" gestalt, but the word began as onomatopoeia for the sound of sliding into notes you want to emphasize.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:38 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Can't hear a problem!

Since I still don't think there's anything wrong with your whistle or you're doing anything wrong, I'm going to advance another theory...

I've listened to your recording multiple times thinking if you hadn't said why you'd made it nobody would guess. But there is a slight difference in apparent tone quality between the A and the G which could be explained by various things including natural variation through hole size, sounding length etc. So I tried my own Killarney (original nickel, so not exactly the same) and think you might be hearing (and close recording?) the 'pop' of the finger landing on the hole through the normal whistle tone, possibly amplified by subconsciously heavier landings through repetition expecting something to happen. So maybe try going down the scale and/or repeating your A-to-G fingering only (no blowing), then blowing as well to compare finger pop effect?

Whatever, I'd suggest just enjoying playing the whistle, giving it time and hoping/assuming you'll eventually stop noticing what wouldn't bother me.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:32 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
I think you're dropping some of your fingers too slowly, --------

One thing you may try.

Close T1 and T2 holes with a tape and play A and G closing T3 hole with your index finger.
If you still have your problem, your whistle may have some defect.
If you do not have the problem, your ring finger movement may be causing your problem.
You may be able to confirm it by closing T3 hole with your ring finger in the same taped situation.


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