Adrian Melvin chanter reeds and more Rocket reeds to play with

Here’s a few clips of my carved up Colin Kyo chanter with an Adrian Melvin ridge cut reed. In an unmodified CK chanter the bottom hand comes off too sharp because the reed can’t be sunk enough to bring the top hand up sharp enough. In talking with Adrian, the reed I’m using is older and his newer ones balance much better in the CK chanter, so we’ll be ordering some direct to give them a shot for the band. CK chanters have a narrower reed seat than most chanters so if you play just about any other chanter, it isn’t necessarily something you’d have to worry about, especially since they’re better balanced now than before. His reeds have just a great crack on them. Having ordered easy strength, dry it was too hard but slobber on it a bit (quite literally) and squeeze the thick part of the ridge a few times and voila, perfect strength without any loss of crack. The crack and response from this reed is superb. Might give them a go if you haven’t already. Additional to the Melvin chanter reed, this post features Atherton MacDougall spec Rocket tenor drone reeds and a Naill spec Rocket bass drone reed in my 1950s Hendersons. The MacD bass reed was tuning on a nanometer so I switched back to my standard Naill one.

King of Loais, PM Calum Campbell’s Caprice, The Big Yin, and Scotaire Hornpipe – the first tune was chosen to feature the F which is just really sparkling with these Rocket tenors and Melvin chanter reed, as are B and D. I don’t know if it’s the chanter reed, the drone reeds, or both, but live this pipe is singing.

Skyeman’s Jig (arr. Duncan Johnstone) – out of John MacFadyen’s first book mentioned in the previous blog post. First jig in a set of jigs that ended in my drones being too far out to post the rest of the set (about time to reseason the L&M bag on these pipes, they’re getting temporally unsteady) and additionally the kids got home, opened the door, yelled at me, slammed the door, and I boogered up a few times, so, you just get the first tune, lol.

4 thoughts on “Adrian Melvin chanter reeds and more Rocket reeds to play with

  1. Nice Job. I do think as far as my hearing is the top hand on the tune the King of…
    was a tad bit sharp to me and it seemed that the drones were louder than the chanter making it harder to hear the top hand notes in the tunes.
    The second set of tunes sounded better but again we are talking about my hearing which I should add has been in a steady decline over the tears due to my time in the military, so to be true in my view it likely was all me and not the pipes, drones and chanter reeds. It sure wasn’t the piper! Good job Patrick!

  2. Hey Mike,
    I had the drones pointing at the recorder as the post was really to feature the Rockets and the Melvin reed was a way to hit two fish with one post. The high G and A are on the quiet side, something I noticed being in the room. The reed is also all the way in (literally, as far as it would go) to achieve the best balance so the top hand may be a bit on the sharp side. F is a hard one for me to hear, when sharp it isn’t offensive to me so I don’t always catch it. E is finicky sometimes because it will be out and so I’ll test flattening it by placing my finger near the top of the hole so it flattens but sounds worse, but then the solution is always to put a little tape on the hole which bugger all, I have no idea why. So, long story less short, I usually don’t have enough tape on E until the end of a session. Thanks for keeping on me, I’ll get it one of these days!

  3. Patrick – I love the crispness of the Adrian Melvin reed. Would love to get one of those if you put in an order.

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