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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:41 am 
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I have read the discussion about the definition of "chiff" as seen by organ players (where it means the attack before the tone actually sounds) but I think we agreed ages ago that chiff means breathiness on a whistle?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:45 am 
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Sedi wrote:
but I think we agreed ages ago that chiff means breathiness on a whistle?

I'm sure we never agreed that!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:47 am 
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I am pretty sure we did as I have read the discussion here on C&F.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:54 am 
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Which discussion? There have been several (possibly even many) going back years. Like, for example, What is chiff? from 2004, which clearly wasn't the first. And all they individually or collectively prove is that there's no consensus. So, in discussing chiff, first define your chiff!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:08 am 
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Yep, I was looking for it but couldn't find it either. But there was a thread where the general consensus was running along those lines. So even though the original meaning was something different, I think most who use "chiff" would think it means breathiness. Whistles are not organ pipes (most organ pipes have no opening at the end so they are more like ocarinas, which have more chiff than a whistle, and most whistles have not much noticeable chiff in the original meaning of the word. Maybe a hard-blowing Goldie does. A Generation Bb does. In general, a longer windway and longer window leads to more chiff. So I think the OP is looking for a whistle with a pure sounds and that would involve little or no chiff and no breathiness.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:06 am 
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Wanderer wrote:
ytliek wrote:
I think you already have the ideal whistle, Killarney, for what you're asking,


I agree here...and was gonna say the same thing. But then I re-read the post and figured he wanted the Killarney for his 'good' whistle, and wanted something to knockabout with.

Yes, I agree completely.

I still stand by my original post even though the Potter whistle is brass. At the price of a Potter when the tarnish sets in too much I'd just buy another shiny brass Potter whistle. :D

Another further thought as the OP has opened the thread to include "outdoor" factors, wind, heat from volcanic lava flow, sand, wet, etc., not many whistles no matter their cost will fit and play well in that environment.

Aloha!


Last edited by ytliek on Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:56 pm 
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Although it's likely clear at this point, I indeed thought chiff was a word used to describe the breathy, airy, 'complex' tone some whistles have. While I know this could sound wonderful with the right whistle in the right context, my preference at this point is for a 'cleaner' sounding tone with as little extraneous noise as possible...

Initially, a lower price was a consideration for me, since I anticipated this whistle getting some abuse, but then I became curious which whistles you all have played that would fit that 'pure' tone profile, regardless of price.

Good to be specific though...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:21 pm 
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If cost isn’t in the equation... Oz Vambrace. Great tone. Great intonation. No chiff.

A close second would be a Burke. Any Burke.

In third... Susato Kildare. Both the small bore and the very small bore. Very clean tone. Excellent intonation. The small is loud. The very small bore is VERY comfortable.

Ymmv.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:52 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
Yep, I was looking for it but couldn't find it either. But there was a thread where the general consensus was running along those lines. So even though the original meaning was something different, I think most who use "chiff" would think it means breathiness. Whistles are not organ pipes (most organ pipes have no opening at the end so they are more like ocarinas, which have more chiff than a whistle, and most whistles have not much noticeable chiff in the original meaning of the word. Maybe a hard-blowing Goldie does. A Generation Bb does. In general, a longer windway and longer window leads to more chiff. So I think the OP is looking for a whistle with a pure sounds and that would involve little or no chiff and no breathiness.


I'm pretty sure we've been arguing over chiff since the start of the board back in the 90's.

I mostly use it to mean 'start of note chiff' when I use the term. Others mean 'non-musical sound in a note' (ie: breathiness or scratchiness). We've never had a consensus, and even if a small handful of people agreed at one particular point in time, that consensus will not hold as people come and go.

Always better to just clarify. ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:59 pm 
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Now, I'm even more confused.

So "chiff" is supposed to be both breathy and scratchy?

I know what traditional Generations sound like, and I know what Recorders sound like. I know that tweaking a Generation can remove some of the typical scratchiness, which might or might not be a good thing. To my ears a Killarney is more like an old Generation. Some wooden whistle are more towards recorder.

What is "breathiness"? Is it like the wind rushing or breath whooshing without a musical tone?

Some flute players push the air in a way that you hear the wind of their breath in addition to the note. Others shape the tone quality to emphasize a rough, raspy tone. Is breathy on a whistle where you can hear the rush of the wind?

What whistle style exemplifies "breathiness" but not scratchiness?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:38 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
ytliek wrote:
At the price of a Potter ........... when the tarnish sets in ............. too much I'd just buy another shiny brass Potter whistle. :D



"When The Tarnish Sets In" would be an incredible song name with so many applications. Just thought I'd point that out to any treble clef artists or lyricists out there. Go for it! A line or two about getting too much "chiff" would work too. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:34 pm 
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I'm enjoying this conversation! I was definitely under the impression that chiff meant breathiness and scatchiness in addition to the whistle's underlying tone, however I totally respect that my terminology was flawed, as I only gleaned the term from reading other threads here and may have very well taken it out of context. Although I've never played a recorder or even heard one in person, I do understand that the tone is considered to be perhaps 'purer' with little or no extraneous 'breathy' sound, and this is indeed what I'm seeking in a whistle.

To be as clear as possible, I mean no disrespect to the other end of the spectrum (breathy, scratchy whistles), in my mind it all comes down to personal preference since each individual is spending many hours with their instruments and sounds definitely seem to affect people differently.

Any other recommendations for pure-sounding, perhaps recorder-like high whistles that are mostly metal (not mostly plastic) and hopefully not brass? Ha ha, no disrespect to brass either!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:47 pm 
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tstermitz wrote:
What is "breathiness"? Is it like the wind rushing or breath whooshing without a musical tone?

Yes.

tstermitz wrote:
Some flute players push the air in a way that you hear the wind of their breath in addition to the note. Others shape the tone quality to emphasize a rough, raspy tone. Is breathy on a whistle where you can hear the rush of the wind?

I'd say, yes.

tstermitz wrote:
What whistle style exemplifies "breathiness" but not scratchiness?

IMO "breathy" sounds nice, "scratchy" not so much, even though the underlying principle might be the same -- a sound that accompanies the note. I think it is maybe similar to "distortion" on a guitar. There is the nice sounding version (best achieved by amps with vacuum tubes) and the nasty kind, often caused by other electronic parts or bad contacts. Like scratchy sounding earphones. I think what causes the impression of nice and not so nice are probably the frequencies either building some kind of harmonic overtone or a dissonant sound.
Edit: besides that I'd say a scratchy sound is often caused by some defect. A crack in the mouthpiece, plastic in the windway, etc. A breathy sound is mainly caused by the design of the blade and the length of the window. Longer window and/or longer blade (labium) causes generally a more breathy sound and harder to reach second octave. I managed to more or less exactly replicate the breathiness of a Generation Bb by copying the length and width of the window and the length of the windway.


Last edited by Sedi on Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:57 pm 
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Take a listen to my High D, a c1970 Feadog Mk1.

It's the purest, sweetest, easiest-to-play High D I've ever played:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8&t=22s

That is, until I got a Killarney a few years ago, with nickel body, which is the tiniest bit easier/lighter in the high notes than that Feadog.

But the Feadog has a more complex sophisticated tone IMHO.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:13 pm 
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tstermitz wrote:
Now, I'm even more confused.

So "chiff" is supposed to be both breathy and scratchy?


This is exactly the reason why I use "chiff" in the traditional sense. When used that way, everyone knows what you're talking about. Technical terms should be a shortcut to a specific idea, so that you don't have to explain the idea--you use the term instead.


When you expand its meaning to include all non-musical sounds of a whistle, the shortcut becomes irrelevant--you have to explain what you mean anyway or people don't know exactly what you're talking about. When I'm writing reviews, I tend to use chiff to mean the burst of harmonics at the start of a note, and then I'll use other descriptive terms to describe the note itself: Hissy, windy, breathy, scratchy, pure, etc.

But that's just me. Others feel passionate about the expanded use of the term 'chiff', and it's been an ongoing (if only occasionally) discussion for over 20 years on the various incarnations of this message board ;)

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