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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:03 am 
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Hi I have a lot of whistles and most of them seem louder at the 2nd octave on the 4th to 6th note. I can tame the volume if I tighten my diaphragm, but is this normal do to the physics of the whistle? I notice it more with my higher whistles.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:30 pm 
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Louder, or more penetrating(?).

All my second octaves are more penetrating than the lower ones, this is owing to their frequencies.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:55 pm 
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Yes, the second octave will always be louder on a whistle, and the last two or three notes at the top tend to have an extra kick, particularly the high B. Some whistles are more balanced than others, but the second octave is always louder.

That's the nice thing about flute, if you can figure it out. You can have soft highs and powerful lows, or the reverse, because you can adjust the shape of your lips. With whistles, the embouchure is fixed, so you can only blow harder or softer.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:18 pm 
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more air more push higher note, too me thats why most whistles fail, also i like tuned down whistles, (flat) by at least 20 cents , years ago i use to make NAF flutes and would always tune down the top 2 holes as to "bring in " the note not try to control it , if its anywhere near sharp or exact the push will throw it over , my thoughts anyway

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:44 pm 
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Dreday wrote:
I have a lot of whistles and most of them seem louder at the 2nd octave on the 4th to 6th note...is this normal due to the physics of the whistle? I notice it more with my higher whistles.


Yes it seems that a volume differential between the octaves is an inescapable feature of whistle design.

As you and others have pointed out High B tends to be louder than the other notes in the traditional Bottom D > High B range, and oftentimes High B tends to harshness as well.

Interesting that you say you notice it more with higher whistles, because it seems to me that every quirk occurring in the design of High Whistles becomes amplified with Low Whistles.

I especially have noticed, when comparing dozens of Low D Whistles, that the trickiest thing to balance in designing the various acoustic aspects is the pair of notes Low E and High B.

Low Whistles with nice sweet High B tend to have feeble Low E, and Low Whistles with powerful Low E tend to have harsh shouty High B.

How a maker chooses to tune the octaves has an impact on the volume differential between the octaves:

-a flat 2nd octave means the low octave has to be underblown and the 2nd octave overblown which amplifies the volume differential between the octaves.

-a sharp 2nd octave means that the low octave has to be strongly blown and the 2nd octave underblown which minimizes the volume differential between the octaves.

(At least in the 40 or so Low D Whistles I've owned and tested.)

As AB says that's the huge advantage flute has over whistle: the whistle has a fixed tone-production mechanism while the flute has an infinitely variable human tone-production mechanism. So on flute you can play any note, low or high, as quiet or as loud as you please.

BTW it's said that's why the recorder got dropped out of the orchestra: its inability to play a wide range of dynamics while staying on pitch.

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