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 Post subject: Made my whistles quieter
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:57 pm 
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My family doesn't share my love for the tin whistle, to put it mildly. I moved from the family room to the back yard, but they still complain.
Anyway, I saw some pictures of a shush whistle and thought I'd give it a try. It looks like it's just a piece of metal surrounding the blade. I bought a sheet of copper (I wanted brass but couldn't find it at the store) and cut a strip about 1/4" wide and an inch long. I folded it such that the end that goes under the blade is about the same length as the blade, and the remainder sticks out of the top of the mouthpiece. It's stuck in place with some blu tack.
I am amazed at how easy it was to make this tweak, and how good the two whistles that I tried it on sound. They're a fair bit quieter than they were before, and their tone is sweet/pure. Most other tweaks I've tried (tape and blu tack on the mouthpiece, among others) tend to make a whistle breathy and require a little more air to play. The whistles are a Clare and a Dixon Trad.
I don't know what else goes in to an official shush whistle, but I'm very happy with the results of my experiment so far.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:12 am 
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Good to know that the folded cardboard method works well if made out of metal. :thumbsup:

I tried several ways initially, but as I got a little bit better at whistle, I didn't blow so hard to get the notes, & as a consequence, played quieter. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:10 am 
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I do OK with the lower octave, but the upper octave notes, especially A and B are loud!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:49 pm 
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Parks whistles have a thing you can turn to make it quieter. I havent personally used it myself but it could help. My tillbury C whistle feels quieter than my feadog. I still don't hit the very top high notes but I wouldn't even want to go half up second octave on the feadog so its still noticeably quieter. You could also get a low whistle, are less loud and shrill.

Glad your silencing has been working. I have similar issues, nobody complains but I feel bad practicing sometimes haha.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:24 pm 
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Alaskamike, would you please post a picture or two of your tweak. Particularly how/where you attached the blue tack to the copper strip. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:46 am 
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Here are a couple of photos of a Feaodog that I just tweaked.

The first picture shows the new brass piece:

Image

And the second photo shows it installed.

Image

I put the blu tack on top of the existing blade and squeezed out the excess as I pushed the brass piece into place. The top got scratched while I was trying to set it in place on top of the blade.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:49 pm 
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Alaskamike, thanks for pictures, that helps!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:42 am 
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Alaskamike wrote:
My family doesn't share my love for the tin whistle, to put it mildly. I moved from the family room to the back yard, but they still complain.

I am amazed at how easy it was to make this tweak, and how good the two whistles that I tried it on sound. They're a fair bit quieter than they were before, and their tone is sweet/pure.


Thank you for the picture. You described it very well.
Could you give us a better description of the degree of quiet you obtained with this tweak.
Are you able to play in the family room?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:19 am 
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The Parks whistle "tone ring" is also supposed to quiet a whistle. It rotates to cover part of the blade area. You can see a nice big picture of it on the head of the whistle displayed here:

http://www.rycooder.nl/pages/parks_whistles.htm

The nice thing about it is that you can adjust it, without any semi-permanent tweak to the whistle.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:01 am 
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Tommy - I tried asking my wife for her opinion on how much quieter they are and she said, "They're both too loud." The best way that I can think of describing the difference is that they've gone from outside voices to inside voices, but not whispers.

kkrell - I have a Parks Walkabout, and the tone ring is great for controlling volume, but I feel like I have to blow harder when the tone ring is more than about 1/2 closed. With this tweak I have to blow much softer. Right now it's a non-permanent tweak but I'm thinking about gluing it in place on one or two whistles.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:53 pm 
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Alaskamike wrote:
Tommy - I tried asking my wife for her opinion on how much quieter they are and she said, "They're both too loud." The best way that I can think of describing the difference is that they've gone from outside voices to inside voices, but not whispers.


LOL I hear the same response from my wife!
Also If I make a voicing tweak that I am able to hear the difference in two whistles, others in a room say they sound the same :-?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:45 pm 
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My family has complained when I was practicing with my Parks with the tone ring completely closed!

I really think this tweak lowers the volume substantially. It's non-permanent, and I only spent about $4 on a lifetime supply of a brass sheet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:13 am 
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@Alaskamike, where did you get the brass sheet? What did you use to cut it? And where does one find blue tack? I have a Shush whistle I love. It's all I can practice on. Its the feadog in D. But man, I don't want to spend another $50 on a C version tweaked professionally to shush it, and the shipping from overseas. I'd like to try this with a few of my whistles in different keys. Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:47 pm 
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I bought the blu tack at Ace Hardware, but I think that you can find it in almost any store like Staples or Walmart. I bought the brass sheet at Hobby Lobby. It was about 4”x7” and cost $4. I cut it with tin snips and shaped it with either sandpaper or a metal file (I think the file was easier to use). I think that putting a relatively large ball of blu tack on the blade resulted in the bottom of the brass piece being flush with the bottom of the blade, even though the brass piece has a wider angle than the actual blade.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:50 pm 
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Since we're talking about making whistles quieter, here's another way:

Needed materials:
1) some cardboard that fits your windway
2) a sharp knife (x-acto)
3) some scotch tape

X-acto + cardboard
Image


Trim to fit windway + window. The tape adds a little stiffness to the delicate part, and slows breath-moisture softening.
Image


Mute next to whistle head.
Image


Mute on top, showing position when inserted.
Image


Mute inserted.
Image


The basic idea is to shorten the length of the active sound-generating edge without occluding the window too much (so as to minimally alter the pitch). Certainly, the breath points for a tune will change (it takes *MUCH* less air!). But, for learning + memorizing finger patterns, and keeping peace with people nearby, I've found it useful.

For the cardboard, I've used those antique (pre-bic) items used for lighting candles, babreques, etc... Certainly, other materials might be better (e.g. plastic, rubber). But, cardboard is often easier to find.

Makes loud whistles downright neighbor-friendly !

cheers,
trill


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