Based on per-note sampled sounds, "Bagpipes Pro + MIDI" is five realistic sounding sets of sampled bagpipes for the iPad that may be played using standard Scottish piping fingerings on-screen or using a MIDI chanter such as the Fagerström Technopipes.
Both GHB and Chromatic style hardware MIDI chanters are supported.
The app includes the following five sets of Bagpipes:
Great Highland Scottish Bagpipes - The most popular Scottish marching pipes, in the traditional key of Bb.
Scottish Border Pipes - A Scottish smallpipe in the key of A with a sound distinctly different from but similar to the Highland pipes.
Scottish Smallpipes - A Scottish smallpipe in the key of A, one octave lower than the Border Pipes, and has a rounder, bubbly sound.
Irish Uilleann Pipes - A set of bellows driven Irish bagpipes in D. (Two octave range when played with a MIDI chanter)
Swedish Säckpipa - A set of Swedish bagpipes in E with a very haunting sound.
The instruments may be transposed up to +/- one octave in semitone increments as well as tuned up to +/- 50 cents
IMPORTANT: Since this app requires as many as 8 fingers on the screen at the same time if playing manually by touching the screen, before playing, you must disable "Multitasking Gestures" on your iPad (in the Settings app, under the General section, turn the Multitasking Gestures switch to the off position).
Start/stop the drones playing by touching the drone puck. Select standard or alternate drone note from the controls.
Use the Transpose slider to set the overall instrument transposition in semitones. Touch the transpose value to the left of the slider to reset the transposition to zero.
Use the Tuning slider to set the overall instrument tuning offset in cents. Touch the tuning value to the left of the slider to reset the tuning offset to zero.
Use the Volume controls to set the balance between the chanter and the drones.
Use the Reverb controls to change the reverb type as well as the drone and chanter reverb level.
Use the Drone Channel slider to set the MIDI channel for the drones.
Use the Chanter Channel slider to set the MIDI channel for the chanter notes.
Use the Chanter Lowest MIDI Note slider to set the MIDI note for the bottom note of the chanter. Range is from 55 to 79.
MIDI default parameter values are based on the Fagerström Scottish Technopipes:
Drone Channel: 15
Chanter Channel: 1
Chanter Lowest MIDI Note: 67
The drones will start upon receiving any MIDI Note-On event with the note number less than 80 on the drone channel. A MIDI Note-Off event with the same note number that started the drones on the drone channel will stop the drones.
You may enable Chromatic to GHB scale mapping using the Chromatic Map control.
When the Chromatic Map is set to "Off", the app passes the notes directly through with no remapping for chanters that do the GHB fingering mapping in the device
"GHB-G" is for chromatic chanters where the bottom note is assumed to be the leading G tone.
"GHB-A" is for chromatic chanters where there is no leading tone and the bottom note is the A tone.
Optional pitch bend response is based on a two semitone maximum bend range.
If the instrument is set to Uilleann and Chromatic Map GHB-A is enabled, the range will the same as the GHB, i.e. one octave plus the bottom G.
Once set, the MIDI parameters are saved when exiting the app.
To play the chanter manually, touch the bar at the top left with your left thumb. This bar is the hole normally on the back of a real chanter and must be covered for the lower notes to play.
Next, touch the top three holes of the chanter starting with the tips of your left index, middle, and ring fingers.
Finally, touch the bottom four holes of the chanter with the tips of your right index, middle, ring, and little fingers.
Touch the "i" to show/hide the audio and MIDI controls.
Touch the "?" for on-screen help.
Useful Free App for Configuring "Bagpipes Pro + MIDI" to Work with your MIDI Chanter
When using a MIDI chanter with an iOS device, it's often useful to be able to see the whole MIDI data stream coming in over your hardware MIDI interface so you can properly configure MIDI channels and bottom note offsets in apps like mine. I have found this free app to be extremely useful:
Pipe Major William Robertson has an extensive set of free online Highland bagpipes lessons.
City of Winchester Pipes and Drums in Virginia has a very nice collection of tunes in standard notation as .bmp images.
The Fort Collins Pipe Band has many tunes online, also some solo marching drum recordings.
There is a wealth of information online at Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums.
Online Säckpipa Resources:
Olle Gällmo has extensive information about playing the Säckpipa on his Swedish Bagpipes website, including free online lessons, audio files, and demonstration videos.
Seth Hamon is a builder of fine instruments here in the USA: www.swedishbagpipes.com.
For more information, please contact Michael Eskin or visit the AppCordions website:
Sounds provided by ePipes: