MK Chameleon

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Tell us something.: I am a flute, guitar, keyboard + whistle player learning about quality whistles, musical possibilities and playing techniques. I've recorded a CD of my own music and am creating music for kids.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by RoberTunes »

A comedic belch from a marketing meeting at MK. They must be thinking they're the only whistle makers who can make a chromatic whistle,
and that they're going to condition the whistle market to think it's a luxury item to salivate over while you're saving up for your second Rolls Royce.
That's SO FAR from the reality.
If it's as I suspect; If progressively more whistle players, especially pros and recording and performance musicians want high quality whistles that
are fully or mostly chromatic, instead of the old standard of only having 6 finger holes, then there options that will grant
you such a whistle at a fraction (say that word out of the side of your mouth in a wildly musical way), a mere fraction of $1400.

1) Call a custom or high quality whistle maker and see if they'll add a few more tone holes to your whistle, whatever key it is.
If you have already found your preferred performance or session or recording whistle brand and model, this method makes lots of sense.
2) Shearwater makes a chromatic whistle in C
3) Bracker Whistles (currently still not making whistles since COVID shut things down) offers/offered a variety of 8 and 9-hole whistles
in full variety of keys and some interesting options. Their website is still operating and there's lots of great info and photos to learn from
even if they aren't currently restarted.
4) If you want a low instrument but aren't so stuck on a whistle, try a tenor or alto recorder. Tenors are just under $100, sound great,
are fully chromatic and highly durable with only one key, for the right hand pinky finger. I've had a Yamaha and the tone is great.
5) If you want a high key whistle that's chromatic, for above D, try a sopranino recorder, they have a great smooth tone for such a high key, are loud enough, fully
chromatic, durable, no keys and have a professional level design (I have a Yamaha and there are other brands available) and sell for around $25 or less.
6) Calculate the position and size of the hole yourself using the many guides available online, and drill out the extra holes yourself. If your whistle is a standard
$10-$15 tin whistle then you can proceed and remain well under $50, plus any costs for drill bits of the required size, a magic marker, etc. :thumbsup:
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Narzog »

Another option for chromatic players is to just get a keyed concert flute. While top end ones can cost a crazy amount, they can also be had for much cheaper than a lot of whistles. Shortly after I started whistling I thought I needed chromatic and got a Cecilio flute. Its like a little over $100. Plays significantly easier than my dixon 1 piece flute. Now it has this weird rasp but I think thats because I damaged it. And while this is a different instrument, a good whistle player could very easily pick up concert flute, at least to a decent level. But what I found was chromatic wasnt the solution to any of my problems. Just because you can play in any key doesnt mean you have the range, and it gets more complicated fingering. Buying more whistles was much easier.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Another option for chromatic players is to just get a keyed concert flute.
Just to avoid confusion, mind the terminology, 'concert flute' is still often used for the flute in Ireland, especially among older players. It did sink in after a while you meant the Bhoem but it wrongfooted me initially.
My brain hurts

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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Sedi »

I'd much prefer a concert flute (the Irish version) with just a few keys over any Böhm flute :D (I know some people can make it work -- even for Irish music but there are not that many who do it). A baroque flute would also be a good option when wanting to more easily play chromatically coming from a keyless flute or from the tin whistle. But I think easiest is to use a combination of half holing and cross-fingerings on keyless instruments (cross-fingerings work quite nicely on the low D whistles with thick walls). I think it's not that hard to play chromatically on the normal MK Kelpie. One key for the Eb would be enough IMO. Or make the holes a little bigger so you can half-hole the Eb -- I wonder if a split hole might even work, like on a recorder. But then of course it might be a bit harder to play for people with small hands -- always a downside to any change in the design.
Still kudos to MK for innovating though I am not sure it will catch on.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Nanohedron »

fatmac wrote: Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:34 am The keys stick out so far that they are likely to get broken ...
That's another of my issues, although in a different direction. Of course this is all speculation based on mere appearances, but the side keys look ungainly, and I wonder if the high profile of the touches would impede smooth or rapid playing. One would think that something a bit more form-fitting would be not only more aesthetically pleasing, but doable. I would also like to have seen a profile view of the back keys, as a front-on view tells me nothing.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by pancelticpiper »

To me, MK's choices are a bit head-scratching.

If adding keywork to a Low D I would first want a Short F key.

Next a G# key.

That would be ideal for me, a 2-key whistle.

C natural and Bb can be crossfingered in both octaves, and there's little need for Eb.
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Tell us something.: I love traditional Irish music on higher and lower whistles. Yet, I'm not a good player. The forum is a way to connect with members, ask questions and receive advice, tips on learning whistle. Or, just read and also participate in discussions. Thanks

Re: MK Chameleon

Post by babyface36 »

I need to buy 1. Looks very interesting. Maybe, my playing will improve.
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