History of "Radial Transmission"

Discussions on various technical aspects of carillon instruments and standards.

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1. This forum section is for discussions about keyboard and design standards, the merits of various types of action, the history of what various founders have done in the past, etc.

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Re: History of "Radial Transmission"

Postby FrancesNewell on Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:31 am

So, aside from issues about having enough room in the tower, it seems that the main benefit of radial transmission is more balance in the bell sounds.
However, can this positioning of the bells cause those bells' overtones to overlap too much?
I have a tough enough times keeping my bells' overtones from clashing even though my bells are all lined up in a straight row!
Frances Newell
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Re: History of "Radial Transmission"

Postby JohnGouwens on Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:51 am

The arrangement of the bells isn't going to prevent the sounds of the various bells from accumulating as several are sounded, no. In fact, ideally, the layout should allow all bells to be heard from all sides. Your instrument is rather low pitched, and as a two-octave carillon, it's difficult to do much in the way of harmony without what we might call tonal collisions. That means your carillon has a grand sound, but you have to use it rather sparingly, I'm afraid.
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Re: History of "Radial Transmission"

Postby JohnGouwens on Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:27 am

Frances, no arrangement of bells is going to keep the sounds from "piling up," and in a good carillon, they are supposed to run together. The choice of which type of action is used is determined mostly by the desire to have the best response from the action. Acoustical considerations come into play when deciding how the bells should be arranged in the tower, but the only thing that will make a 2-octave carillon in concert piece sound clear is to play fewer bells. Some companies prefer one type of action over another, and that drives the choice as much as anything else does. I'm afraid you're mixing three things together here.

The acoustical issue I'm referring to is simply a problem with certain instruments in which some bells are relegated to places in the tower that block the egress of sound. The partials of the bells, and the decay time of a bell once sounded, are totally independent of what type of layout or transmission is used.
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Re: History of "Radial Transmission"

Postby FrancesNewell on Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:35 am

Indeed, I LIKE to build up the overtones on top of each other.
Certainly, as you say, I must do this with care, fewer bells, and make each bell really count.
However, that is a composing/arranging issue which
Is a digression from the radial transmission topic here.
Thank- you for clarifying that the Bells' positioning does not affect how they overlap.
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