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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:12 am 
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I assume you are looking for the sound of the "whistle" in the film Braveheart? One poster said it was a quena, which I could believe. I don't have access to that movie right now, but from what I have heard when I have listened to most whistles used in film is a highly mastered engineered sound. That appeals to most orchestrators and listeners think that the instrument will sound like that when played.

I'd do some youtube searches for whistles being played solo without a lot of engineering. This can be hard to find. I ran across at least one of those review videos where everything was so heavily mastered a pink feadog sounded like it could front the New York Philharmonic.

And there seems to be a lot of folks who have figured out the low whistle really sounds great when played in a stairwell or metal culvert. (It does).

Even a couple of makers are using heavily mastered examples on their home pages, which defeats the purpose for hearing what sound you will get for straight acoustic play.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:39 pm 
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So I dont actually own a low D whistle so I wont give any specific recommendations but-

You asked about tunable. This isnt super important if you are just playing by yourself and usually adds a noticable amount to the price tag. Temperature can effect your whistle pitch slightly, so tunable can help to make it perfect pitch or shift it to be in tune with another instrument/song. If you are just playing by yourself this isnt important. and in most conditions a non tunable professionally made is still in perfect tuning anyway so its not like it will be magically way off if you want to play with others or something.

A important thing I dont think anyone mentioned. In recorded music theres a lot that goes into mixing and mastering. What you hear in the end product usually isnt just the straight up instrument tone. There usually added reverb, EQ, etc. It depends on the instrument. But dont be too disappointed when you hear one in a video and its not as ambient or something, because a lot of recordings and videos they add reverb and stuff. Heres an example of obvious reverb use on a Quena https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6diJzLl8zYQ

And on that its actually a Quena in braveheart, I wouldn't worry too much. Obviously not every instrument you blow into sounds the same, but I feel like the tone is similar enough. At the end of the day its virtually a bamboo whistle without a mouthpiece. Which doesnt sound overly different from a wooden whistle which is pretty similar to a metal whistle. Especially when you factor in the point from above that you are rerly hearing the pure instrument sound anyway when you listen to recordings.

Hope some of this is helpful, best of luck on deciding what to get. But I feel your pain in watching too many videos, I do it every time I'm going to buy anything haha. So I recommend you just pick something you think you will like and go for it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:18 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
You won't be playing fast melodies on a low D.

That is exactly why I advised keeping the Feadóg around. Not every instrument is suitable for every tune.

If I was in the market for a $20+ whistle, I'd do my best to hear them in person before I bought (though, admittedly, that could be difficult in the States). Paying strong money for a premium whistle, only to find that you don't like it after all, is a bit of a downer. However, I'd think such instruments hold their value...and it wouldn't be as aggravating as finding out that you didn't like a premium guitar or other larger, costlier instrument.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:25 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
You won't be playing fast melodies on a low D

Why not?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:42 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
fatmac wrote:
You won't be playing fast melodies on a low D

Why not?

Why not, indeed. In the link below you get both on a low D. The fast stuff starts at 2:50.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rKJHqiJ1eE

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:24 pm 
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Second on fast playing on a low whistle. Granted it's a low Eb, and it's Brian Finnegan, but you can blaze with the right technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7wE0RaCVMw

-Peter


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:55 pm 
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wow. so much to respond to.:-)

first, believe it or not, I'm actually an audio engineer l. shameless self plug...
https://music.apple.com/us/album/you-are-for-me-single/1455110849

i currently do audio mastering as a side job and worked in a professional music studio not too long ago before the owner sold it to move to nashvile. fun times. so i am very aware of the reverb, eq, etc. and i only care about raw demos of all the whistles I've been comparing. i know what i can make it sound like after recording, which i will be doing.

my concern with the tunable head is that i am a pianistand i have a piano and guitar and some tongue drums, so it would suck if my whistle wasn't in 440. whether due to temperature or just manufacturing. so it seems important to have that option. however, not if it introduces some negative aspect to the sound.

i like the braveheart type sound, sure, but i like any flute or whistle that sounds both earthy and natural, but not raspy and overly aggressive. i have no plans on getting rid of my feadog. in fact i want to add the chris wall sweet brass soon. that sounds amazing for the size and scale. I'm sure I'll end up with more, but my favorite sound is a low whistle.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:04 pm 
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luisdent wrote:
nashvile

Do I spy a Freudian slip? :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:46 pm 
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:-o


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:39 pm 
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I'll say it's really difficult, I should say impossible, to judge how a Low Whistle sounds from a sound clip or a Youtube video.

That was driven home to me when I made a "low D comparison video".

I had four Low Ds, all which played quite differently from each other, and which in person had distinctly different timbres. On the video they all pretty much sounded alike. I was using a cheap microphone! But how many Low D comparison videos are using high-end mics? Then it filters through your headphones or speakers or whatever.

That aside, from playing various Low Ds in person I've found that most of them sound more or less alike.

Keep in mind that the Low D whistle as we know it was created in the 1970s by Bernard Overton, who later licensed Phil Hardy and Colin Goldie to make Overton whistles. So the Overton sound is the original Low Whistle sound, and makes a convenient benchmark to reckon everything else by.

There are Low Whistles that sound more pure/clean/plain than Overtons, like Susatos and Burkes.

What you might be aiming at are the ones that sound more complex/dirty than Overtons. I myself haven't played many like that.

They've already been mentioned, here's my impressions from owning them (all Low D)

MK: a unique dirty gravelly sound.

Reyburn early maple head: a unique Native American Flute sound. This is possibly the most distinctive tone of any Low Whistle I've tried.

Reyburn delrin head: Somehow Ronaldo's delrin-topped Low Whistles retain much of their NAF flavour. I've not played anything that sounds like Reyburns, they're unique. Another feature of Reyburns is that I've never played one that wasn't exactly in tune.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:54 pm 
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Yeah, i like to hear breath and rasp like a native american flute in a way, but i don't like it to sound like it is just someone exasperating their breath through the whistle. if that makes any sense? And so far, while they still sound nice, i haven't really prefered a plastic or pvc or polymer whistle except for the chris wall ones. i apparently like the metal ones generally more. brass sounds really nice.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:37 pm 
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Just found this clip from Tony Hinnigan in which he compares a quenacho (the big brother of the quena) to the low whistle. And I played to one of the melodies of the Braveheart soundtrack. It's definitely played on a whistle (or quena) in G. So if you're after that range of notes, a G might be sufficient. Slightly easier to play maybe and more makers possibly. That being said, with piper's grip, I think a low D isn't harder to play than a high D IMHO.
https://youtu.be/ulo2d5HNxIk


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:45 pm 
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luisdent wrote:
does having the tunable head affect the sound in any way? any reason not to get that other than price?



...playing in tune with others or recordings. Whistles can go sharp or flat depending on many factors like room temperature, how you blow and how long in an individual setting you have been playing. Being able to adjust the tuning a bit makes good sense.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:28 pm 
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With the big caveat that this video has horrible sound quality, here's myself playing a maple head Reyburn.

In person it sounds much better! Richer, more NAF-like, a really wonderful sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWr434aFHQk

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:37 pm 
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luisdent wrote:
i like to hear breath and rasp like a native american flute in a way, but i don't like it to sound like it is just someone exasperating their breath through the whistle. if that makes any sense?

So we can get on the same page a bit, in the matter of what words we use to describe what sounds, here's the sort of tone I call "gravelly" "dirty" or "kaval-like". It's a kaval. (Listen at :47 so you can hear him play the low octave, which has the really unique kaval tone.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj-PgWVKFic&t=443s

To me, MK Low Ds are the closest Irish whistle I've played to capturing some of that sound.

Now here's a tone as different as could be imagined from the kaval's, the NAF

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ5XWEOH9Es

Reyburns are the closest Irish whistle I've played to capturing some of that sound.

I don't know how else to put it into words than "NAF-like."

Well I've described the tone of the Reyburn Low D I used to have as "a NAF in the fog".

Are either of these sounds what you have in mind?

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