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 Post subject: Burke Low D going sharp
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
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Location: Finland
Greetings once again,

I recently purchaced a pre-owned Burke Low D Pro Viper, which, as many of you well know, is tunable. So far I'm very pleased with its sound and playing qualities in general.

However, what struck me as rather odd is that when the mouth piece is in place as deep as it goes, the bell note (or bottom D) is very sharp. So much that it's closer to D# than D. I must pull the mouthpiece a significant amount, almost so that it's barely attached anymore, in order for it to be in proper D-tune.

So a question to those with experience with Burke whistles, but also to anyone who wants to venture an educated guess: why is that?
Do you think it's more of a quality rather than a flaw? Is it typical for Burke's whistles in general, or do you suppose it's just this particular whistle of mine?
Is there a reason behind all this that I'm not familiar with?

It's not a deal-breaker or anything, as I can well play the whistle with the aforementioned method, but it puzzles me.

-Hooleh


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Hmmm..
The only way that I can recreate what you're experiencing is if I take the three pieces of the whistle apart and I flip the middle barrel section the wrong way and then push it all the way in... Perhaps that's what you're mistakenly doing?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Torrin Riáin wrote:
Hmmm..
The only way that I can recreate what you're experiencing is if I take the three pieces of the whistle apart and I flip the middle barrel section the wrong way and then push it all the way in... Perhaps that's what you're mistakenly doing?


Thanks for your response. However, I believe that's not it, because there's only one way that the pieces will fit together.

What I just now realised is that the whistle actually breaks into four different pieces instead of three: the mouthpiece, the "body of the mouthpiece", the actual whistle body, and the tip of the whistle. I hadn't noticed that the mouthpiece breaks into two. :lol:
I reckon that the whistle being sharp is just a quality of the whistle and kind of gives room to be tuned against instruments that, say, are a bit sharper than D, and the tuning is achieved by sliding the mouthpiece instead of the whole of which I called "the body of the mouthpiece".

Anyway, still open for discussion if someone has any insight on this.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:56 am 
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I'm not familiar with the innards of Burke low whistles, but I think it's correct that it's intentionally tuned a bit sharp to allow for tuning with sharp instruments not easily tuned, eg pianos or non-tunable whistles. I"d contact Mike for his advice.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:01 am 
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Torrin Riáin wrote:
Hmmm..
The only way that I can recreate what you're experiencing is if I take the three pieces of the whistle apart and I flip the middle barrel section the wrong way and then push it all the way in... Perhaps that's what you're mistakenly doing?

To follow on Torrin's comment, I once sat in a low whistle class (taught by Torrin) where one of the participants had indeed reversed one of the segments of the whistle. Made for some interesting tuning... As he suggests, might be worth checking carefully, as it can be done.

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
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Last edited by Steve Bliven on Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:44 pm 
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I played a Burke Low D Viper for a few years, and I still own Burkes in several keys.

If properly assembled, and blown on a fairly even breath, the whole scale will be in tune to A=440.

On any Burke I've owned it's impossible to get the bell-note to play a halfstep sharp, even by blowing it wrongly on purpose.

I just tried it on my Burke Low Eb. All the notes within a few cents of each other, to an electronic tuner set to A=440.

I tried blowing the bell-note harder and harder to see what happened, and as expected it only went up around 10 cents before breaking into the 2nd octave.

Now, the lowest finger-hole (Hole 6) is on its own section, and if that section is out too far the bell-note will be flat. But you can't make the bell-note sharp without taking off that section altogether.

One question: why would you push in the tuning slide as far as it goes? That will make the entire whistle too sharp, and throw off the internal tuning of the scale. Usually, pushing in the slide by increments will make the higher notes go sharp at a faster rate than the lower notes. If all the notes went sharp at the same rate we wouldn't need multiple whistles for different keys; one whistle could have a super-long tuning slide and play in tune in all keys!

There should be a line cut into the tuning slide showing the proper position, in normal temperatures, for A=440. Try putting the tuning slide there, and all should be well.

BTW on my Low Eb the body section and the barrel section can't be separated. They're fused in some way. So at least on that one you can't reverse the body.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:05 pm 
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I am and was from the beginning positive that none of the whistle pieces was the wrong way around. I even tried to flip the main body, or "middle part" of the whistle the other way around on purpose, but it didn't sit properly enough to be confused with the proper way.

pancelticpiper wrote:
There should be a line cut into the tuning slide showing the proper position, in normal temperatures, for A=440. Try putting the tuning slide there, and all should be well.

This is what I noticed right after realising that the mouthpiece is what's supposed to be slided instead of the whole "upper part" of the whistle. And it does have the line there. Positioned accordingly, the tuning is right on.
However, the mouthpiece/tuning slide does go deeper/further than the line, which indeed causes the bell note to be sharp (and probably the rest of the scale being 'off' as well).

All in all, problem solved!


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