Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tech: Generation Whistles

Les in Chorlton 23 Jul 09 - 09:31 AM
Leadfingers 23 Jul 09 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 23 Jul 09 - 10:23 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Jul 09 - 10:45 AM
Paul Burke 23 Jul 09 - 02:54 PM
SteveMansfield 23 Jul 09 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) 23 Jul 09 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jul 09 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 24 Jul 09 - 04:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Jul 09 - 04:13 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Jul 09 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,MC Fat (at work) 24 Jul 09 - 04:30 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 24 Jul 09 - 04:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Jul 09 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,HughM 24 Jul 09 - 08:15 AM
Leadfingers 24 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 24 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Jul 09 - 09:01 AM
Leadfingers 24 Jul 09 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) 24 Jul 09 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 24 Jul 09 - 09:37 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Jul 09 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) 25 Jul 09 - 12:32 PM
Jack Blandiver 25 Jul 09 - 03:35 PM
oggie 25 Jul 09 - 04:44 PM
Jack Blandiver 25 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM
Dave Hanson 26 Jul 09 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 26 Jul 09 - 10:20 AM
Tootler 26 Jul 09 - 12:41 PM
Leadfingers 26 Jul 09 - 01:05 PM
Bernard 26 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) (S O'P) 26 Jul 09 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 26 Jul 09 - 02:30 PM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jul 09 - 04:51 PM
Piers Plowman 27 Jul 09 - 04:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Jul 09 - 05:15 AM
Piers Plowman 27 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM
Bryn Pugh 27 Jul 09 - 05:38 AM
manitas_at_work 27 Jul 09 - 05:45 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Jul 09 - 05:57 AM
Leadfingers 27 Jul 09 - 06:15 AM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jul 09 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Jul 09 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM
Bryn Pugh 27 Jul 09 - 08:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) 27 Jul 09 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Jul 09 - 12:56 PM
Willie-O 27 Jul 09 - 02:27 PM
Willie-O 27 Jul 09 - 02:37 PM
Tootler 27 Jul 09 - 07:53 PM
Tootler 27 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM
Willie-O 27 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM
Tootler 28 Jul 09 - 04:11 PM
Piers Plowman 28 Jul 09 - 04:30 PM
Piers Plowman 28 Jul 09 - 04:35 PM
Piers Plowman 28 Jul 09 - 05:28 PM
Piers Plowman 28 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Jul 09 - 05:41 PM
manitas_at_work 30 Jul 09 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) 30 Jul 09 - 06:45 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Jul 09 - 06:48 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 09 - 01:39 PM
Jack Blandiver 30 Jul 09 - 02:01 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 09 - 02:09 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Jul 09 - 05:19 AM
Jack Blandiver 31 Jul 09 - 05:42 AM
Bernard 31 Jul 09 - 12:27 PM
Jack Blandiver 01 Aug 09 - 04:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 01 Aug 09 - 06:29 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 09:31 AM

I have a number of Generation brass (?) D whistles of varying quality. Even the best one losses a bit at of clarity beyond A at the top end. Is this just chnace? Do I have to buy lots and get a good one in the end? Can anything be done to improve the clarity?

People have suggested bathing in maidens water but you see the ethical issues - never mind simply finding a bathful!

Cheers

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 09:49 AM

Generation Whistles are still (I THINK) the cheapest whistles on the market . They achieve this by having NO quality control at all , so its a case of IF it works its purely by chance ! I have , on more than one occasion , when it was possible to 'Try before Purchase' told a shop keeper that NONE of his whistles were actually playable !
I do , however , have Generations that DO work , over the full two octaves , and at least the next note up in the third .
I would suggest Tony Dixon as a maker - Somewhat more expensive , but they DO tend to work well , and Tony has been known to do a full return if not satisfactory .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 10:23 AM

It is a nonsensical myth that Generations are too poor to play well. They do vary somewhat, as do most whistles, from one to the next. Some are not so great, the majority are perfectly serviceable whistles. Do go to a shop and pick one you like. If they are totally out of tune in the shop you probably need to pull the head back a bit, they usually come sharp and having the head pushed up too far plays havoc with the internal tuning.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 10:45 AM

Trouble is these days you can't go through a box of them to find the good ones; never sue what the variables are, but as with tuning then so with tone. The tune I play when checking a new whistle is the old Abbots Bromley Horn Dance (so-called!) which necessitates using the top three holes as a 3-hole pipe to reach the upper notes.

My favourite whistle of all time is my old red-top Generation Bb bought at the Rothbury Folk Festival in 1983. Never formed a close relationship with any other Generations though; for a C it's a Clarkes every time and even the Clarkes D (not Megs or Sweetones which are shite) is generally preferable to a Generation. My favourite D is from the first batch of Faedogs to hit Whitley Bay around 1983. That said I fell in love with a Shaw D in a Newcastle music shop the other week, but fiscal shortage prevented the union. Next time maybe...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 02:54 PM

You can pay a lot for a whistle and it still doesn't work. Loosen the head on your generation by holding the head in hot water until you can get it off, then cleaning the lacquer from the exposed end. You'll then be able to tune it.

When you're buying one, check that the airways are properly moulded, with the halves of the mould in good registration, i.e. no significant step around the inside of the fipple. Small amounts of moulding flash can be removed very carefully with a very sharp, pointed craft blade.

And don't forget that the breath control around the high notes is absolutely crucial for any whistle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 02:54 PM

My favourite D is from the first batch of Faedogs to hit Whitley Bay around 1983.

They were/are cracking whistles, the original Faedogs - one still sits on the shelf above the computer and gets regular use there.

One thing you really can say 'eee, they don't make them like they used to' about ...

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:09 PM

I suspect the only people who actually like Generations are those who never tried anything else.

If they were software they'd be Windows 3.1.

When you can get a Sweetone for a couple of quid more, why on earth would you bother with them?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:03 PM

I second what Paul Burke said. Also, once you've got it apart, look down the barrel for splinters of brass left on the holes. They probably shouldn't be there.

I have never found a whistle that plays as well as an ordinary recorder, however.

My sister-in-law once went to a whistle workshop at Irish Fest in Milwaukee. She said, "The teacher has a penny whistle with a wonderful tone. Of course, it cost $150."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 04:09 AM

I suspect the only people who actually like Generations are those who never tried anything else.

If they were software they'd be Windows 3.1.

When you can get a Sweetone for a couple of quid more, why on earth would you bother with them?


The first statement is a pretty silly presumption. Generations are what they are and they are generally serviceable whistles, the nice ones capable of performing as well as a heavily over-priced make like for example a Burke.

I have a deep dislike for Sweetones, cheap and prone to rust and their C version the worst tuned whistle I have ever had the misfortune of buying.

No accounting for taste, is there?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 04:13 AM

Jerry Freeman sells tweaked Generation Ds - read all about it Here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 04:13 AM

I switched from an old brass Generation to a Clarke's when the former became unplayable - it always was a bit mushy, and as time went on the mush took over. (Yes, I did try cleaning it.)

I gather that Clarke's whistles are known for breathiness, and that there are various fixes you can apply to reduce this (mainly involving narrowing the airway). I don't notice much breathiness except on one note - the cross-fingered C natural, which is so breathy it's hardly there. Not sure if it's worth taking a mallet to the mouthpiece for the sake of one note. My only other complaint about the Clarke's is that its lower register is so *quiet* - in company I play an octave high if I can, just so I can hear what I'm playing. I might go back to my trusty Aulos Engrish frute - the tone's not beautiful, but at least it's got a bit of an edge.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,MC Fat (at work)
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 04:30 AM

Contact Brian Howard of Howard Music think it's howardmusic.com he was doing some consultancy work for them I think. He a pipe and whistle maker.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM

Jerry Freeman also sell tweaked Clarke's D - see Here, which also gives a link to how to make a muffler which looks like a fun thing to do, tweaked or not.

I think the old Clarke's are generally better; I pick them up in flee-markets & car boot sales whenever I find them. I was wary of the Clarke's Ds when they first came out, but the one my mother-in-law gave me a few years back (10p at car boot) is one of my favourite whistles just now, though not a patch on the Shaw D I fell in love with in Windows the other week. Hmmm - I've got a birthday coming up, but I could do with a couple of new Jew's Harps... Choices, choices!

Never liked Sweetones or Megs; when normal Clarke's sound so good I'm baffled why they bother to be honest. I find them bland and utterly devoid of soul. I see they do other models of Sweetone such as
The Celtic Tin Whistle. Never seen one but I just know I'd buy the ghastly thing if I did.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 04:59 AM

Jerry alters a number of whistles to achieve a voicing he likes. I disagree with his assessment that his (Generation) whistles retain the original Generation sound. They don't, but that said he produces playable whistles in a voicing a lot of people seem to like.

Personally, I'd go to a shop and pick a nice off the shelf Generation out of a batch rather than have one of Jerry's but there's taste for you again, different strokes and all that.

He also does a sweeter voiced model 'the Blackbird' which is supposed to have a more bird-like character. It's main bonus is a better balance, volume wise, between the high notes and the lower octave, other than that the whistle has been described as 'very ordinary' (so you can question the premium you pay for having the work done).

Jerry is a decent guy and serious about what he does.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 05:56 AM

Let's have that again with tweaked HTML...

Jerry Freeman also sell tweaked Clarke's D - see Here, which also gives a link to how to make a muffler which looks like a fun thing to do, tweaked or not.

I think the old Clarke's are generally better; I pick them up in flee-markets & car boot sales whenever I find them. I was wary of the Clarke's Ds when they first came out, but the one my mother-in-law gave me a few years back (10p at car boot) is one of my favourite whistles just now, though not a patch on the Shaw D I fell in love with in Windows the other week. Hmmm - I've got a birthday coming up, but I could do with a couple of new Jew's Harps... Choices, choices!

Never liked Sweetones or Megs; when normal Clarke's sound so good I'm baffled why they bother to be honest. I find them bland and utterly devoid of soul. I see they do other models of Sweetone such as The Celtic Tin Whistle. Never seen one but I just know I'd buy the ghastly thing if I did.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,HughM
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 08:15 AM

I've tried various makes, including one very expensive one which was accurately in tune but sounded awful and took a huge amount of air. Now I normally play a Generation D, or a Feadog which is louder but not so well in tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM

I have tried most of them , and tend to use Tony Dixon more than any other !
Got a full Set of Chieftens , which are good , but too loud if I am backing one singer acoustically
The Shaws are OK , but seem to take a lot of air
Best D otther than T Dixon is a James Galway Autograph that I got out of a box of rejects - I goot FIVE for £5 and sold three for £2 each !
They originally sold for £8 with an instruction book
IF I am doing a workshop . I ALWAYS use Generation mainly for the rason Leenie mentioned ! Its EASY to play a £100 whistle !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM

The James Galway whistle is identical to the 'new' ( from the early 80s on) model Generation and like the original they are as they come, variable.

'Most of them' seems a steep claim given the variety of designer whistles out there these days by the way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:01 AM

Sweetones make good 3-hole pipes actually - especially the C. Wrap some insulating tape around the top three holes and away you go, one hand free throw things at the TV.

So you'd recommend the Dixons, Leadfingers? I've seen them played (by Katie in Chorlton?) and they sound very nice but never tried one myself; must rectify this. I'll save up my pennies for the Fylde Festival market...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:17 AM

Peter - I like to have a set , so dont look at the ones I cant see locally - though the Custom makers dont seem to do the Low A , G , And F , and I dont really like the Low D 's
Overton's are VERY Iffy in Quality for what they retail for in MY opinion .
And Alba LOOK good ,but I am not driving six hundred miles to look at a whistle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:36 AM

Alba have changed their design a couple of times so you pretty much have to try one out if you want to know what you're getting.

Dixons are among the best I've tried, and seem to have very reliable quality control (unlike almost every other make at any price).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:37 AM

I think the consensus would be in favour of the Overtons over the Chieftain/Hardy whistles but that's a controversy best left alone.

I was just trying to say that there are so many whistles available, many decent ones and many cobbled together by people who like to cobble together things but aren't really players at all, that few can make the claim to have tried 'most of them'.

I play Irish music and am perfectly happy playing any old cheap whistle like a Generation , Feadog or Oak, even a Dixon Trad but I do have John Sindt whistle which is very nice and does what it needs to do well.

Other than that, I have hung around the Chiff and Fipple whistle forum a bit too long in the past and had enough whistle discussion to last me a life time. As I see it, it's really a matter of horses for courses and finding the right sound for the music you're playing and the money you're willing to spend, bearing in mind that top range prices don't guarantee whistles best suited for the job. Never buy one before trying it yourself, almost all makes can be quite variable from one whistle to the next (with a few high consistency exceptions).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 10:05 AM

My favourite ever whistle flute (I think) is my gorgeous Slovakian low-G double Dvojacka with mounted brass end-pieces and a drone pipe that works as an amazing overtone flute in its own right. It's decorated with traditional patterns etched with acid, and is, as you might expect, the very pip. I bought this back around 1995 from Knock on Wood, which was then under the Dark Arches in Leeds, part of a limited consignment of such things that they had in as I was passing. You can get similar things HERE but they don't look as nice as mine - no brass mounts for a start!

Hope you're having a lot of fun out there anyway, Jack.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 12:32 PM

Never seen a Slovakian version of that - I have Hungarian/Romanian double whistles made by Gyorgy Ban in Budapest, one in D and one in A, but yours sounds like quite a different beast. What pitch do you mean by "low G", the G above or below middle C?

Off to Gyimes tomorrow where I expect to see some Hungarian instrument makers showing their stuff. The Csango shepherd's flute is a reverse conical bore instrument along the same lines as the Sweetone but made of wood; works very well in the extreme high register. I have an A (the usual pitch) and two different B flats but I could do with a C and a G.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 03:35 PM

What pitch do you mean by "low G", the G above or below middle C?

I mean an octave below a little Generation G; I couldn't imagine a G whistle in a lower octave than that.

Here's a picture of a section of my whistle shelf: Sedayne's Whistles, 24th July 2009 - featuring (vaguely L to R) Simple System C Clarinet / Holy Bible / even Holier Alto Melodica / Cane idioglottal clarinets from Egypt & Damascus / double whistle from Bosnia / Postcard of Much Marcle Green Man above / Hungarian wood whistle / Davie Stewart / Phallic clay whistle from South America / Small Bosnian double whistle / Extremely Holy Slovakian Dvojacka / potful of holy penny whistles: Clarke's, Feadog, Calura, folk instruments from Northumbria & India (including side-blown brass whistle from Pakistan) / Holy Overton low-D & G tabor pipes / Holy Bb Generation from Rothbury 1983 / Holy low-D whistle by Iain Wood / Overtone flutes in bamboo & toilet pipe / Long Suffering Gargoyle: Hear No Evil! / Cuckoo pipes / Holy Turkish tilliduduk / postcard of Canova 3-Graces bum from the Nash / very rare & very holy brass windmill / and a black shakey egg in a holy Ikea egg-cup.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: oggie
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 04:44 PM

My favourite D whistle was made by a guy up at Balnakiel Village (go to the top left corner of Scotland and it's just down the road from Durness) whose name I forget. Plumber's chrome pipe and a padauk block.

I agree about the Shaw's taking a lot of wind.

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM

Anyone got or played the Park's Every Whistle? I do like the idea of a whistle with a volume control!

http://www.parkswhistles.com/Whistles/Every/Default.aspx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 10:07 AM

I've just watch some old film of both The Chieftains and The Dubliners,
Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and John Shehan were all playing Generation whistles.

Packie Byrne used to play them and Vin Garbutt at one time, I think there is a lot of snobbery going about penny whistles.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 10:20 AM

A friend from Seattle told me you'd get dirty looks if you turn up with anything cheaper than a Burke over there. Snobbery indeed.

This clip is a nice one to watch.

In fairness, Sean Potts told me he was never able to find a Generation whistle as nice as the one he played in the early days of the Chieftains, which was stolen after a gig. He plays one now which was altered/customised to Sean's specification by Peter Hunter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Tootler
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:41 PM

I have several Generations in various keys and I don't think they are as bad as some make them out to be. The Bb is probably the best. Like many whistles intonation above top G (in a D whistle) is not brilliant. I tend to use them for practice.

I have a Tony Dixon polymer D whistle which is tunable and with good intonation, but needs handling gently as it takes very little breath pressure to make it overblow especially in the bottom three notes. I also have Tony Dixon Alto G and A polymer whistles which I like. Similar pitch to a treble recorder and nice tone.

The Sweetones - well the less said the better. I don't like them - horrible things.

I have a Susato set - single head with C, D & Eb bodies. Tunable, loud and good intonation. Of the inexpensive whistles, I think these are probably the best. Certainly my D is in tune throughout the range from D to B' when checked against a tuner, though that is not an absolute guarantee, it is a good starting point.

However, for playing out, I prefer Recorder and my wooden flute. I have a couple of "Mollenhauer Dream" Descant Recorders with single low D and C holes which are excellent. Good tone, in tune and quite loud without being shrill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:05 PM

Shrill is what I dont like about Susato ! As Stan Freburg might have said , " Too Piercing , Man !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Bernard
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM

I have a full set of Generations dating back to the late 1960s. The are the red topped brass ones, which were cheaper than the blue topped chrome (?) ones.

They are (lowest to highest) Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and G, and I also have a D tabor pipe, and a tunable low G tabor pipe.

Maybe it's because they are so old, but I've never had issues with their playability or intonation - though the high G can be a bit tricky to blow without squeaking.

I also have a couple of 'C' Clarkes and a plastic 'D' Susato...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) (S O'P)
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 02:14 PM

Thanks for the clip, Peter - that's a fine wink he gives there.

I saw a green topped mellow Walton's today in a car-boot but passed on it after giving it a blow.

Seems to be a general consensus on Sweetones anyway; they are, indeed, the pits, though, as I say, if ever you do find yourself with one in your keeping the C makes a surprisingly passable 3-hole pipe.

Anyone here play a Blackbird? I'm intrigued...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 02:30 PM

I gave Jerry a bit of help when he was developing the Blackbird whistle and in the process received five or six prototypes in different stages of development.

It's possibly not entirely fair to give an opinion on the whistle as I haven't extensively played the product as sold. They're fine, light (too light some say) on the touch, in many ways very 'ordinary' whistles.

I have kept one Blackbird head which I have put on a Generation tube, a combination I liked better than the original. I saw Mary Bergin play a John Sindt top stuck on a Gen tube last week, whatever that means.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:51 PM

I'm still trying to find out what my 7-hole metallic blue whistle is all about; looks like a normal whistle + thumb-hole. Can't figure out the fingering at all... Maybe I'll check over at C&F.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 04:59 AM

Not too long ago, I bought Generation whistles in all of the available keys at the two music stores in the town where I live. As far as I know, they didn't have any other brands of whistles. From low to high, they are in Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G. Some are gold-colored (brass?) with red tops and some are silver-colored (chrome?) with blue tops. There doesn't seem to be any difference in the sound.

I'm happy with all of them. They all cost less than 10 euros and for that price I wasn't expecting the whistle equivalent of a Stradivarius. I could check them against my electronic tuner but it never occurred to me to do this before reading this thread. To be honest, I'm not that bothered if they're slightly out-of-tune or the intonation isn't perfect. I don't expect perfection from very inexpensive instruments like these.

The other day, I saw a street musician playing a flute that he held frontwise (i.e., not transverse), but down at the bottom with one hand. I don't know if he was only playing in a pentatonic scale, but it seemed to have a limited range of notes. In the other hand, he had a drone instrument with a bellows; like an accordeon. I don't know how many tones it played at the same time, three maybe. I thought maybe this is what people here are referring to three-hole recorders, which I'd never heard of before. Just about to look it up. Anyway, I liked what he was playing. Oh, and he had a belt with bells on it around his ankle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:15 AM

Sounds like he might have been playing an Overtone flute, which is a whistle with no finger holes! The notes are overblown, with the open end being stopped to give the extra harmonics. In Norway these are known as seljefløyte, and are surprisingly versatile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlCxUyUY378

Other types exist, with increasing popularity, the world over. If you tape up all the holes of a Generation Bb you'll get an idea how it works. The bellows drone would have been a Shruti Box.

The three-hole pipe is a little different in that its basically a three-hole penny whistle that plays a diatonic scale in the upper octaves, thus leaving a hand free for self-accompaniment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS__oBFqVik


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Suibhne O'Piobaireachd - PM
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:15 AM

"Sounds like he might have been playing an Overtone flute, which is a whistle with no finger holes! The notes are overblown, with the open end being stopped to give the extra harmonics. In Norway these are known as seljefløyte, and are surprisingly versatile."

Thank you, Suibhne O'Piobaireachd, that looks and sounds about right, except it wasn't a transverse flute. However, the principle would be the same and I followed a few links and saw that there are frontwise (?) overtone flutes, too. The only problem is that I have things to do and shouldn't be watching videos!

"If you tape up all the holes of a Generation Bb you'll get an idea how it works."

Hmm. Maybe I'll try this, but I have been quite annoyed about not being able to get the glue off from the price tags they stuck onto the penny-whistles. I've tried scrubbing, soaking ... Not sure the neighbours will appreciate over-blown penny-whistle, either. It may be the straw that broke the camel's back.

"The bellows drone would have been a Shruti Box."

Thank you! I will look this up right away. It can be very difficult to find information in the internet without the right name.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:38 AM

As somebody above said, Generation whistles are what they are, cheap and cheerful. I have a Generation taborer's pipe in D and like it, apart from it's a bit shrill. I prefer it to my Susato D taborer's pipe.

I was at the Festival of History, Kelmarsh, Northants (UK) on Saturday, and apart from seeing and hearing John KP in cracking form I came home with a D Faedog, which is the dog's bollocks. Only £6.95 as well.

As far as I recollect Packie Byrne played Generations.

I have a full range of Generations except the F, the cheap and cheerful brass ones, and it may be that I've been lucky, but they all seem OK.

I too like the Bb.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:45 AM

A friend of mine took a C whistle and drilled an extra hole at the top giving a 7 hole whistle that would play in D but enabled him to play the low leading note which is very useful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:57 AM

except it wasn't a transverse flute.

Strictly speaking a transverse flute wouldn't be a whistle flute; the seljefløyte is just a whistle with the blow hole in the side! But, as you've seen, most have are blown at the end. Actually there are some very good (and very cheap) bamboo Overtone Flutes around at the moment, I bought one in D off ebay last year & it's the very pip:

Overtone flute in E on ebay - other keys available!

You can also get Shruti Boxes off ebay too; I use an electronic one, because it's funny tunable & therefore friendlier to my more recalcitrant flutes & jew's harps etc. You can also change the volume...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:15 AM

Les , the OP , was asking about Generation - Discussion of whistles costing ten or more times the price (Sindt , Burke and Overton) is SEVERE thread creep .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:22 AM

Thanks Mr Fingers. I was seeking advice on improving Generations but as usual have enjoyed all contributions. As whistles can be bought for little more than a set of guitar strings I gues the 'answer' is to bu lots

Cheers

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:31 AM

They can't be mentioned at all? I mentioned both Sindt and Burke in a very sideways manner and don't see the problem to be honest, the thread left the subject of less clear top notes almost from the outset. Actually, come to think of it, it was yourself making the second post suggesting Les should buy a Dixon. How's that from drifting off subject.

While we're at it, I once tried a half dozen of Tony Dixon's tunable alu whistles in Custy's (I wouldn't be able to pinpoint the exact model I am afraid), each of them except one, was more screechy in the high notes than the worst generation I have ever come across. And they came at fifteen times the price of a Generation (at the time, Dixon : €60, Generation €4). I do have a Dixon Trad which works fine, you have to weed out the ones with hissy high G and/or E before buying one, it has a bit of a hard edge to the sound that becomes irritating after a while but it's a nice enough whistle.

That's the thing about whistles, you really need to try them before you buy and pick the one you like best regardless of price or make.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM

The injection moulding process used to make the heads on most cheap whistles has a by-product: the distance between the bottom of the windway and the edge cutting the air is slightly larger than optimal. Makers who adjust these whistles, Cilian O Briain, Jerry Freeman, solve this problem by either inserting a piece of plastic/perspex to close the gap a bit. Jerry, on some types of whistles, also laminates a part of the inside of the head to optimise voicing.

Another thing a lot of people do is filling the cavity in the top of the mouth-piece (wax, blue-tack or whatever is handy. This is supposed to strengthen the bottom notes but personally I fail to see any effect at all which makes me think there's a placebo effect at work there but you mileage may vary.

There are some tips on the main website of Chiff & Fipple concerning these matters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 08:42 AM

I had an Overton taborer's pipe, once, and paid a pretty penny for it. It was shite. I binned it after getting my Generation D taborer's pipe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM

I play G & low-D Overton 3-hole pipes - had 'em for 27 years & no complaints so far, but then I'm not much of a fan of the Generation...

The low-D Overton pipe makes a good loud Overtone flute too; and it's many the sky-clad feral sunrise frolic I've driven along with its raw primal pagan sound! This led to my invention of the two-hole Troll Pipe which I play with crwth drone.

Click HERE to stream audio.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:06 PM

You can always make your own. There are lot of Turkish endblown fippleless flutes that started life as offcuts of plumbing pipe or chairleg tubing and were made any random Joe with access to a power drill.

I made a pretty reasonable alto quena in G out of bamboo once - the time it took to voice and tune it hardly made sense in economic terms, but it was technically free.

Somewhere there is a YouTube video about making whistles out of PVC plumbing pipe. With a drill press, bench saw and a sander it's a matter of minutes. Without, you'd better be really keen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:56 PM

More, on PVC whistlemaking: plans, methods and finished whistles for sale too on Guido Gonzato's website


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 02:27 PM

Just to mess with the assumed consensus on Sweetones, I LIKE THEM! Sure they are cheap (not a drawback) but I like the sound, and I like the tapering barrel--seems like more of the breath ends up as sound than on a Generation. (I have owned many of them and don't care for them any more) Unfortunately they are easily damaged, but then you can bend them right back into shape (sort of), and they have all the more character. I am not enamoured of the seam in the barrel, but it's part of the experience.

I've never seen a Sweetone in a key other than D--they don't seem available in Canada but I'm sure I would try one if I saw it. I am tired of the Generation C I have. Perhaps I will try the effort to get it in tune sometime--it's badly off.

I just picked up a brass Soodlum, which looks like a Generation but seems a lot nicer sounding. I am enjoying having it in my whislte roll.   

I also have a Susato A alto, which I got a couple of years ago when struck with LWAF (Low Whistle Acquisition Fever--it's more intense than a mere Syndrome). Then I got a Howard Low D later, but find I like the Susato A better--OK, there's less of a learning curve and I am a lazy fellow. Haven't tried the small Susatos, but the altos are very enjoyable, including to my fellow musicians, which is a good sign.

Toot on!

W-O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 02:37 PM

Speaking of storage, which we weren't, I have found that these are great for bundling a few inexpensive whistles into a backpack, conveniently and fairly safely: For about the cost of one cheap whistle.

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=41613&cat=1,41504

They are tool rolls designed for storing chisels, either in transport, or hung on the shop wall. I use the canvas one; but the leather ones are nice, and stronger.

W-O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 07:53 PM

In the UK the Early Music shop sells recorder roll bags. They come in 3, 6 and 9 slot versions and work just as good for whistles. You won't get a one or two piece low D in them, but my A and D Whistles go in fine with the heads off and the Gen Bb just fits. Go to http://www.earlymusicshop.com/ and search for "roll bag"

My daughter knitted me a bag for a descant recorder. She made it a little large so it actually holds two recorders and three whistles :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM

I should have said my A and G whistles fit and also I cannot believe the bad grammar "They work just as well for whistles"

It'll teach me not to post without previewing in future.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

I don't think they work at all, but I'm sure they function well.

;)

W-O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:11 PM

Pedant :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:30 PM

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Willie-O - PM
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

"I don't think they work at all, but I'm sure they function well."

I would have thought that they'd whistle while they worked.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:35 PM

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Suibhne O'Piobaireachd - PM
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:57 AM

"Overtone flute in E on ebay - other keys available!

You can also get Shruti Boxes off ebay too; I use an electronic one, because it's funny tunable & therefore friendlier to my more recalcitrant flutes & jew's harps etc. You can also change the volume..."

Thanks again, Suibhne. It's nice to know such things exist, but purchasing one will have to wait until my ship comes in. I'd much rather have a mechanical one. One of those motors that turn fans back and forth could probably be adapted. It might be an eerie sight on stage, shruti boxes opening and shutting by themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 05:28 PM

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) - PM
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:06 PM

"Somewhere there is a YouTube video about making whistles out of PVC plumbing pipe. With a drill press, bench saw and a sander it's a matter of minutes. Without, you'd better be really keen."

The book _Horns, Strings and Harmony_ by Arthur H. Benade contains instructions on making several rudimentary wind instruments out of metal and/or plastic pipe. It's a very good book (Dover reprint). I bought it years ago and never read it until a few months ago. I ought to reread it.

One of the things that did stick was the difference between conical and cylindrical bores: The sounds produced by cylindrical bores (like those of clarinets) will tend to have less of the even-numbered overtones in their "frequency recipes"*; theoretically, they would be missing entirely. On the other hand, conical bores will tend to have both the odd- and even-numbered overtones. Trumpet bores are cylindrical for most of their length with a relatively short flare toward the bell while the bores of cornets and fluegelhorns are conical for more of their length. This explains the "mellower" sound of the latter instruments.

* I think this must be correct, because the first overtone is the fundamental and hence can't be missing. However, if I've got the wrong end of the stick, it will be the odd-numbered overtones that are missing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM

Oh, yes. And flutes have very few overtones at all; the sound is mostly the fundamental. This is why recorders seem to sound low although the of the fundamental is relatively high (f' as the lowest note of a treble or alto recorder).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:41 PM

Due to a micro motor problem, I need a tabor pipe with three holes in front, and no thumb hole - but they won't make them like that -

TRADITION, you know...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:35 AM

Get a 6 hole whistle and tape over the top 3 holes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:45 AM

The bore of recorders and better quality whistles (i.e. not Generations or Overtons)is *reverse* conical. The effect of this is to make the upper register play correctly in tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:48 AM

Get a 6 hole whistle and tape over the top 3 holes.

As I say the Clarke's Sweetone C is very good in this respect, and the Generation D / C / Bb. Makes you play it differently too; more fluid and less piping. I use green & yellow insulating tape.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 01:39 PM

I think green AND yellow is a step too far................. personally


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 02:01 PM

Hey - it's stripy tape! Only the best! Eel coloured, as they say. All together now...

Green and yeller! Green and yeller!
Mother be quick I got to be sick and
lay me down to die....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 02:09 PM

Argh ............. one of my favourite daft songs. You two tempted by the Beech next Wednesday?

Cheers

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 05:19 AM

The problem with just taping over the top holes, is that the thing then plays an octave too high - you need a Low Octave base whistle to start with for that trick - the REAL tabors are twice as long as a whistle of the 'same pitch'... and as far as I have found the 'traditional' Tabor pipe is pitched in G (thus would be a Low G)... :-0

but then I'm a TRAINED (sat formal exams!) muso, so usually can quote the Theory to back up what I'm talking about.... :-P


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 05:42 AM

You two tempted by the Beech next Wednesday?


We're always tempted, Les! And one of these days, when we've got a free Thursday, we'll be over...

The problem with just taping over the top holes, is that the thing then plays an octave too high

Most traditional 3-hole pipes are actually pretty high; the Generation D, for example, is high - with the G, as you say, being about the lowest. Lower pipes come in later - I have an Overton Low-D from thirty years ago. I'd say taping up normal D / C / Bb whistles gives a serviceable 3-hole pipe - and the Sweetones work especially well in this respect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Bernard
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:27 PM

As I said somewhere up above, I've got a Generation Low G tabor-pipe (not strictly correct to call it a 'Tabor', 'cos that's a drum!).

When assembled it measures some 16 or so inches in length (haven't it to hand to measure accurately!), with a bore of around 3/4 inch (similar to a metal Boehm flute). It has a finger loop at the bottom end on the 'two hole side', and has no plastic in it whatsoever.

It's in two sections, making it tunable - around a semitone up or down. If anyone really must know, I'll check it out later and report back, otherwise I won't bother!

I've never seen another like it, so they probably stopped making them. This one dates back to Sidmouth Festival 1969, where I bought it. I suppose it's possible that it wasn't made by Generation, in which case I'll have to try and track the vendor down and get my money back...!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:09 AM

I've got a Generation Low G tabor-pipe

You got a picture of that, Bernard?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Generation Whistles
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 06:29 AM

I trust this thread is not moving into a soft porn?

L in C
Could I just mention Singaround in The Beech, Chorlton this Wednesday?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 June 7:10 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.