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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:20 am 
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As a complete beginner, my sensitivity to different whistle tones is not yet fully developed. Would anyone with experience of both MK Pro Low Ds and Overton (Colin Goldie) Low Ds like to try and describe the difference between their respective tonal qualities. Do they both produce the "cosmic drainpipe" sound? To my untrained ears the MKs tone sounds fatter rather than rounded and almost akin to the sound of the Uillean Pipes but then that's my ears.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:32 am 
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Mikethebook, I don't think that it makes a difference how you describe the different tonal qualities of whistles. If anything it will close your ears to hearing what the whistles really sound like because you will have a preconceived idea of what they sound like. Everyones understanding of different words, and especially descriptive words, are influenced by their experiences. So my idea of "resonant" or "bright" or "fat" etc is different to everyone else's... and none of us are right.
The best thing that you can do is to listen to as many recordings of the respective whistles and listen carefully and deeply. Your ear will develop over time and you will learn what you like and don't like in a sound. Forget about trying to describe the sounds. Words just get in the way of your direct experience of the tone. The answer to your request is in the sounds of the whistles themselves and not in anyone else's description of it. It's just another obstacles getting in the way of the sound as it is.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:06 pm 
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I agree with therykos, mostly, that verbal description is pretty meaningless, unless both describer and describee already have extensive shared listening and playing experience with many different examples - and I mean live, not recordings or clips. Cases of descriptive words meaning very different things to different people are rampant on the Chiffboard. And the physical response of the instrument is at least as important to a player's perception as the acoustics.

For example, "the MK's tone sounds ... akin to the sound of the Uilleann pipes" makes absolutely no sense to me. I can hardly think of 2 instruments that sound less alike than low whistle and pipes. If your perception allows for that comparison, then I'd have no confidence that anything I could describe would communicate anything, because we're living in different sonic universes.

Mind you, that's not a put-down. The perception of tone quality takes time and practice to develop. Beginners are often listening for the "wrong things" from the perspective of more experienced players. And a given instrument in my hands may sound quite different in yours.

To choose a good instrument, you look around at what the good players out there are actually playing. They're the vanguard, and their choices speak louder than words. :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:15 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
I can hardly think of 2 instruments that sound less alike than low whistle and pipes.


Image

Image

VS

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Wise guy, eh? :lol:

Actually, pipes and hurdy-gurdy ...

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Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Well said, and the pictures say it all.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:56 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
And a given instrument in my hands may sound quite different in yours.

I'll bet you a buck if we both take a whistle and whack it up against a tree, my clunk will sound just as good as yours. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:14 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
I agree with therykos, mostly, that verbal description is pretty meaningless, unless both describer and describee already have extensive shared listening and playing experience with many different examples - and I mean live, not recordings or clips. Cases of descriptive words meaning very different things to different people are rampant on the Chiffboard. And the physical response of the instrument is at least as important to a player's perception as the acoustics.

And I agree with both of you, and was thinking just this morning how odd it was that we (yes, I've done it!) tend to use terms like 'flutey' to describe softer (even woollier) whistle tones when most of us are trying to sound anything but flutey (by that definition) on flute!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:09 pm 
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I should clarify things a bit. When I compared the tone of the MK Pro to the Uillean Pipes I was meaning just the chanter when played alone. Listening to the low octave of the MK Pro reminds me a little of the fat honking tone of the chanter. I'm probably just digging myself into a bigger hole though!!! ☺


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Mikethebook wrote:
I'm probably just digging myself into a bigger hole though!!! ☺

Yep. :P

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Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Ha ha. Moving swiftly on, whilst you (MTGuru) are in conversation, did you see yourself mentioned in a recent thread called Whistle Angle referring to the different angles at which people hold whistles (especially low whistles) in relation to their mouth.

Dr Phill wrote:

Everything affects the whistle tone. The angle at which air enters the windway is one of the many variables that can be used to control the whistle tone. I have not studied those players, but I would not be surprised if the angle of the whistle changed with the note they are playing, the tune they are playing, the whistle they are using, and whether they are posing for a photo.

I think MTGuru posted an essay on this topic which would be of interest, but I am not sure what to search for.


Can you point me to that essay by chance?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Oh, sorry Mike, I forgot. Sure, I'll track it down for you.

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Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:37 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
Oh, sorry Mike, I forgot. Sure, I'll track it down for you.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=84670&p=1043822#p1043822

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Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:54 am 
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Hey guys what about this!! Taken from the Piper's Grip low whistle web-site:

The description of the "Vibe" series of low whistles on the Alba Whistles website reads (and I quote): "This is a very Uilleann pipey sounding and is not in any way a replacement for our Standard Low D but more to complement it, it has a differant sound to the Standard Low D more Vibrato hence Vibe."

See, I'm not the only one comparing the sound of a low whistle to that of the Irish pipes.☺


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:00 am 
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Link to Alba sound samples:

http://www.albawhistles.com/sounds/index.php

Seems to be marketing. Sounds nothing like pipes to me. ;)


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