July 06, 2008


Good times . . .

A long time has passed since I recorded a pipe band competition. When I was a kid I would haul around this bulky cassette apparatus to places like Alma, Michigan, to capture the Grade 1 bands. I still have those somewhere. I then progressed to a Sony Professional system, which for a while was state-of-the-art for handheld remote analog recordings.

But I recently picked up a little device that makes very high-end digital audio captures – not really for my own interest, but for yours. I used it for the first time at Kincardine yesterday. Being on the roster of a band, I recused myself from judging the Grade 1 event, which allowed me to record the contest. The files – 128-bit MP3 format – are very good, and I hope pipes|drums readers/listeners enjoy them.

Interesting, too, that in sync with my plans Michael Grey wrote about the change in the speed of piping and pipe band information due to technology. Like him, I remember well the days when news of results from Scotland would come not hours or even days after the event, but sometimes months in the form of the Pipe Band or Piping Times magazines when I used to read them.

To be honest, I felt a bit of a tube being one of the recording geeks, but I think the trade-off is small price to pay. I plan to bring more of these to the magazine as I can coordinate them.


  1. just curious – have you now revised your thinking on performers’ rights?

    not complaining – whether it’s pipes/drums for free or the world’s cd for $, I’m happy to get it, but it makes some past posts off.

  2. No, not at all. There’s a huge difference between a not-for-profit online magazine posting sound files that are accessible to all for free and a series of commercial products made by several for-profit companies. I don’t believe any of these bands has asked YouTube to remove the myriad videos of them playing, but if they would rather that the music they played in a public performance not be made available directly to the piping and drumming community, then the recordings will be removed immediately.

  3. fair enough. Respect for any band preference IS square with your position that the bands should make their preference known and stand together re the commercialization bit (leaving the free vs. $-use can of worms open to debate another day . . . )
    that said, very nice job on the recordings – ~same day results and sound files is awesome.



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