4QuarterSet is a set of three drones and three regulators (Tenor, Baritone, and Bass) found on a full set of Uilleann pipes in the common keys of D, C#, C, and B.
4QuarterSet is fully tunable +/- 50 cents in one-cent increments.
The app supports multitouch and independent playback of all three regulators at the same time.
Using the iPhone/iPod Touch screen mounted on the leg with a short standoff, it is possible to play 4QuarterSet exactly as one would the physical instrument, turning the drones on and off with a switch and picking out the chords with the side of the hand.
Touch the regulator play mode icon just below the drone switch to toggle between two regulator auto-chord play and single regulator play modes.
On the settings page, you may set the root key (D, C#, C, or B), overall tuning offset, and the volume of each of the three regulators and the drones independently. All settings are saved when the app exits.
The "Cents" slider on the settings page allows you to adjust the tuning +/- 50 cents in one-cent increments. Touch the displayed cents offset number to reset to zero.
The tuning feature allows you to play along along with historical recordings that may not be in exact standard pitches.
4QuarterSet uses 16-bit 44 KHz, seamlessly looped audio samples based on my personal 3/4 set of pipes built by Kirk Lynch, not synthesized tones, so is very realistic sounding. The samples all are tuned using proper just intonation relative to the drones.
Suggestion: To really enjoy this app, try pluging your iPhone or iPod Touch into a powerful amplifier and speakers. The tiny speaker on these devices just can't do justice to the sounds of the drones and bass regulator.
iTunes App Store Review of 4QuarterSet by piper Kieran O'Hare:
"A great app - I have had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time working with 4QuarterSet. I suppose the first thing that comes to mind is how basically *neat* the thing is. It is an elegant and beautiful app. The new feature allowing the user to tune the drones and regulators is amazingly useful. I have compared the sound of the regulators in the app to 'real' recorded regulators, and there is no discernible difference in sound quality whatsoever, an amazing accomplishment. It's great for pipers to be able to use, and perhaps even more interesting in that it can give non-pipers some insight into how the regulators work, and therefore more understanding of the uilleann pipes in general. The designer is clearly engaged in a labor of love. A great little app."
"An example of 4Quarter Set in action: this week, we've been in Boston rehearsing for the ninth annual edition of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, a holiday show by WGBG's Brian O'Donovan. Seamus Egan, the music director, played for the assembled musicians at rehearsal his digitally realized conception of one of the arrangements--including drones, from this app. For my part, one piece in the show requires me to play the drones on the pipes for an extended period. For rehearsal purposes, I flicked on the app on my ipad to make my life easier on my elbows, and quite credibly, to create the sound of drones while working on the piece. We had a pleasant surprise and a laugh to see that we were both using this app in our professional lives..."
Here's a demonstration video showing how to use the app to play along with a Seamus Ennis recording of "The Frieze Britches" where his set is about 40 cents flat of C#.
For this demonstration, I recorded "The Sporting Pitchfork" solo on my Benedict Koehler concert pitch chanter, then overdubbed the drones and regulators using 4QuarterSet. Added a little low end EQ and reverb in final mixdown:
Overview of 4QuarterSet, showing the drones, regulators, and settings:
Multitrack Demo with Uillitina + Englitina + BoxKeys + 4QuarterSet
Regulator notes (key of D)
Here are some screen shots:Main screen
While playing in single regulator play mode:
While playing in auto-chord play mode:
Q: I'm not hearing any sounds on my iPhone! Help!
A: Make sure your ringer switch isn't in the "mute" position.
Q: What's the difference between 4QuarterSet and 3QuarterSet?
A: 3QuarterSet has a tenor and baritone regulator, 4QuarterSet has a tenor, baritone, and bass regulator. When in regulator chord play mode, either app will work with the iPhone/iPod Touch strapped to the leg and the regs played with the side of the hand.
Q: That's a gorgeous bass drone puck, who made it?
A: The puck is from a 3/4 concert pitch set by Mike DeSmidt. He built the set while an apprentice with pipemaker Michael Hubbert and graciously allowed me to use the image for the app.
For those who are just finding out about the Uilleann pipes, I have posted below a short tutorial video by Gary Roche about all the parts of the instrument. 4QuarterSet provides the sounds of everything you'll see in the video, with the exception of the chanter, where the melody is played:
An Introduction to the Uilleann Pipes
From Randall Mathews:
"Thank you for the gorgeous sounds. It really does make the heart sing.
What a brilliant way to experience the value of just intonation. I'm revelling in the experience.
I play a viola with an extra string (8 thou) which gives me fiddle range as well.
Just recently I brought the whole thing down a fourth, so it's an octave lower than a fiddle, and very relaxed,
perfect for drones and two note chords within tunes often in third position.
I'm using the 4QuarterSet for training this practice and it is superb.
Deeply into the tunes since 1978, last St. Patricks day I got to play 'the Cuilin' in the cathedral
during communion, and it was mind blowing."
From Michael Peyton:
"Just wanted to thank you for ur app. I got it 2 days ago just messing around on the iPhone.
I punched in uilleann figuring nothing would pop up and to my suprise I found your creation.
Well I love it and can't keep my pipes down..I have been stuck on a half set for 12 yrs and have a Seth Gallagher set.
Just havn't been able to buy the regs. So until I can throw 3 grand down I have this.
Wells thanks again and all the best!!!"
To learn more about the Uilleann pipes, please visit the following sites:
Patrick D'Arcy's Uilleann Obsession Site
Chiff and Fipple Uilleann Pipes Message Board
I am very interested in any suggestions for features or improvements to the apps for future updates, please drop me an email anytime with your ideas!
My thanks go out to Steve Pribyl, Ben Jaber, Patrick Maun, Fel Bautista, Daiv Boveri, Mike DeSmidt, and Patrick D’Arcy for their help beta testing the app.
For more information, please contact Michael Eskin or visit the Tradlessons.com website: