Q. What’s the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
A. No one cries when you chop up an bagpipe.
Glamorous MIDI controllers like the Tenori-On get all the press, but MIDI bagpipes are where the real action is.
There’s a significant amount of work being done in the area of bagpipe-style MIDI controllers. And it’s no surprise why: MIDI bagpipes combine two of the world’s most maligned instruments, the synthesizer and the bagpipes, into a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge computer music user interface.
That lets you play Sailor’s Hornpipe.
Check this video out and then tell me it wouldn’t have benefited from a bit of MIDI bagpipes:
Here are the latest options for getting your MIDI bagpipes on:
Master Gaita, top photo, lets you use bagpipe fingering to control the MIDI universe.
The instrument made from a PVC tube with nine touch sensors. A 2.5 meter long cable leaving the plastic box carries the MIDI signals to the computer or sound module.
- Five selectable with a simple command chromatic fingerings (Galician, Asturian, Scottish, French and Extended (2.5 octaves wide).
- Compatible with other bagpipes as Gaita de Boto, Sac de Gemecs, Xeremía, etc.
- Any key/octave performance.
- Independent control of drones. Tenor drone must be tuned either in first or fifth grade of the scale.
- Four switchable sound programs with two instruments each.
- Duete by upper or lower thirds performance.
- Direct PC connection via joystick plug.
- Standard MIDI connection using the supplied MIDI cable.
- MAC or portable computer connection with a USB MIDI converter (not included).
- Auto-shut off after two or ten (by selection) minutes of no activity.
- No mouth or legs support needed because of its bagpipe-like held down.
- No finger moistening needed to activate sensors.
- Nine volts battery or external power supply.
vPipes is described as Next Generation Bagpipes.
vPipes is an electronic Uilleann Pipes emulator (without regulators) affording the possibility of practising in a variety of situations which would prove to be impractical or impossible with a real set of pipes.
- 2 x High-performance, advanced RISC architecture main processors
- Backlit Mini LCD Display
- Continuous force sensor for realistic octave change emulation
- Li-Ion rechargeable battery
- In system battery charger
- Compatible with 4 AA 1.5V standard batteries
- Integrated synthesizer
- RISC-based digital signal processor (Synthesis/DSP)
- High-quality wavetable synthesis
- Serial MIDI in & out
- Effects: Reverb + Chorus
- Surround on two speakers with intensity/delay control
- Four-band parametric equalizer
The Degerpipes is an electronic bagpipe chanter. It’s designed to be a practice instrument, but it’s also a MIDI controller.
- Same size and finger spacing as a long practice chanter.
- Dual output: PHONES and MIDI. Headphones and MIDI devices can directly connect to the DegerPipes Chanter. It’s also possible to connect the phones output to an amplifier or a stereo.
- The chanter contains all electronic components as well as the battery. No external box or additional equipment is needed.
- Authentic Bagpipe sound including drones generated by wavetable sound synthesis. Highland Pipe and Smallpipe sounds integrated.
- Perfectly tuned chanter scale and drones by usage of crystal oscillator and microprocessor control.
- The Pitch is adjustable in a range of more than three octaves. This enables you to play together with other instruments in any key.
- The drones volume is variable and can also be switched off.
- Through MIDI output every MIDI compatible tone generator or other MIDI equipment can be used (for example PC with notation program).
- An extended cromatical scale is available allowing you to play tunes which are not playable on the real pipe chanter.
- Driven by a cheap standard 9V Battery, Accumulators are also usable.
- Up to 100 hours of playing with only one battery.
- Automatic power off after a minute of no activity.
- A Metronome is integrated within the Chanter.