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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:34 am 
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Hi guys,
here are some pics of a little project of mine. I bought a box column drill and some tools and upgraded my whistle-making which so far I did in the kitchen or on the patio in the summer and now have moved to the basement. I worked with PVC tubing so far but wanted to try my hand at an alloy whistle for quite some time. It turns out, it works better than plastic. Tried some standard designs first but the voicing didn't work really nice and making the mouthpiece was a pain. I noticed the square alloy profiles in the hardware store and remembered that there have been square whistles before (and recorders--Paetzold developed his bass-recorders with a square profile in the 1970's and Nick Metcalf also made some prototypes of square low whistles). So I gave it a try. And it turns out that it is much easier to make than a round whistle--especially centering the holes and making the fipple, etc.
The whistle turned out great (not yet happy with the sloppy brushing--I tried different patterns) and plays in fact better than many a whistle I bought. Very "velvety" sound and nice dynamics. It has some quirks which I need to solve, like the cross-fingered C nat. And I need to fine-tune the hole calculations which I did with an app called "DIY flute" from the google play store (really great tool). So far I just re-calculated the diameter from square to round and it worked out pretty well, except for the highest notes which are a bit flat (might just be the large bore but the next smaller size of square tubing is too small). Still plays well enough in tune with my wife's accordion however.
So here are the pics. Sound clip to follow.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:59 am
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Location: Coventry, England
At last, a true Doctor Frankenstein whistle!

(sorry, couldn't resist, I'll me my coat).

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Andrew Wigglesworth
http://www.greenmanrising.co.uk


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:52 am 
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Wow that has a fiercely industrial look. The tin whistle the Terminator would play!

Can we hear it?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:57 am 
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@ecadre
Yes, the Frankenstein-style was intentional. I didn't wanna use glue to fit the block or simply press it in place as it could later shift and I wanted it to be absolutely bullet-proof. That's why I used the screw. It adds nicely to the "industrial" look I was going for.

@PB+J
I will record something today and post a link later on. Stay tuned :D .


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:53 am 
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So I made a little video I uploaded on youtube:
https://youtu.be/Y3vSVW3Iep4


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:03 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Sounds nice......& it won't roll off the table.... :thumbsup:

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Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:17 am 
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:D they also can be stored better by making a large pile :lol:.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:33 am 
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Location: Europe and Japan
How does it feel in your hands, compared to an ordinary round or a conical whistle?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:54 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
When you consider that a large number of varieties of flue pipes in organs have square profiles, it's no wonder this works. But organ pipes have one pitch, and this has to do multiple pitches. I am surprised you can can get it even close to being in tune over the compass.

It is worth noting that the square section Paetzold bass recorders have square tapered cross sections, unlike this whistle. That mostly solves the tuning problem.

http://www.lazarsearlymusic.com/Paetzol ... escription

[Not an advertisement - purely for info.]

Perhaps we can look forward to a bass whistle?

Great work!

Andrew


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:48 am 
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Thanks! I am pretty happy with the tuning. Yes, the 2nd octave has to be blown a bit harder to be in tune (like on many other whistles). But it worked fine when playing together with my wife on accordion. At the moment I have two of these and tried different window sizes and voicings. One of the two is more chiffy and the other has a purer sound. They both play great. The slightly flat 2nd octave is maybe because of the large bore and not so much the square shape I suspect--when calculating the surface of the bore--the 13x13mm would be a diameter of roughly 14.7 mm for a round shape--about as much as a Thunderbird "mezzo" D. So I suspect with larger holes the octaves might be better in tune but the whistle would also get louder. I will do some more experimenting on the weekend. I did also think about manipulating the inner diameter with some sort of "Fajardo wedge" or something with a similar effect, like a collar. That might get the octaves better in tune without making the whistle louder.

@Tor
Concerning the comfort-level when playing--it is actually easier to get a good seal with the "flat" holes compared to a normal whistle. So I noticed that I am not using as much force when bringing down my fingers for faster ornaments like taps. That actually reduced the stress on my fingers, which can sometimes hurt from working on a computer all day. So all in all I did get used to it very quickly and now think that is is actually more comfy to play than a normal round whistle.

For now--here are some more pics--as you can see, I tried different brushing techniques but the Dremel-brushing turned out much nicer than the rougher brushing I did with the box column drill and a bigger steel brush. I will try a proper "jewelled" brushing on the weekend.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:50 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Acoustics of pipes demands some conicity for second octave tuning. A Farjado wedge is a clever way of producing an approximate tapering. They work well in cylindrical PVC flutes. The tuning issues are not due to the cross section , but the lack of taper. Look again at the Paetzold recorders.

Andrew


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:18 am 
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I know. A taper would fix it. Bigger holes would also have an effect however. I did look at the Paetzold design BTW (thanks) but it is not a solution for my design. I would have to find a smaller bore square tubing that fits exactly inside the larger one and that doesn't exist unfortunately, at least I haven't found it yet. And I'd have to find a way to fix it inside the other part of the whistle. However--like I wrote, the tuning is good enough to play with others--maybe not with a symphony orchester. Messing with the internal diameter would probably ruin the construction and design. But I might come up with a solution. I'll keep you updated. When checking against a tuner the whistles only get noticably flatter on the 2nd octave B so I think that is pretty good. Still it could be improved. I think one way would be an insert, like on a V5, MK or the Alba-Design. On all those, the insert should have an effect on the 2nd octave tuning. I remember a "Zauberflöte" by Sandner I had as a child--a marching band fife. It had a cool construction for tuning, a plug with a small plastic rod that could be moved to reduce or increase the overall volume of the air-column inside the flute-head to bring the octaves in tune. That should be a similar effect to a Fajardo-wedge.
It can be seen here--the black plastic rod can be pushed in or out of the head of the fife.
https://www.thomann.de/de/sandner_806.h ... 12cadbb44c
Edit: just checked some other whistles. My Killarney needs to be blown much harder in the 2nd octave to be in tune compared to my square whistle.
Here is an interesting thread on the subject, which I have read a while back but am just re-reading to work out my design. Maybe I should make some kind of insert after all. But still--with the design as it is right now, the whistle is already better in tune than some I have bought.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108141&start=15
With this trick I have also fixed the tuning on my alto G Dixon which was horrible.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:28 pm 
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Location: Washington State
Way to think outside the box, erm, the tube. I like the square idea, like Craig Fischer's square uilleann chanter.

How about a smaller size tubing for the lower half of the instrument? Or multiple sizes of tubing, creating the stepped bore as somebody else here mentioned? I'm pretty sure you can buy thinner-walled square brass tubing in sizes that would allow this, but might have to venture beyond the local hardware store to find it.

Didn't somebody used to make a telescoping whistle? Was it stepped/tapered bore?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:36 am 
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Yes, that would probably work but the sizes from the hardware store don't fit. The next smaller size would be too small. There would be a huge gap. But I already have an idea how to fix the problem. Even though, the tuning is already pretty good.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:06 am 
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Based on the earlier thread you linked to, I think a simple constant-thickness shim at the head end would serve you as well as or better than any more complicated arrangement. Attempting a tapered or stepped bore in the body would be more difficult to tune, and could leave you with uneven tone or tuning in other parts of the scale.


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