ePipesKeys HD Ultimate Bagpipes Keyboard
By Michael Eskin
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
ePipesKeys HD Ultimate is four authentic sets of Scottish and Swedish bagpipes in the form of an easy to play keyboard.
Please visit the app website for a live demonstration video!
The four sets of bagpipes are:
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.
Swedish Säckpipa - A set of Swedish bagpipes in E minor, with a very haunting sound.
The keyboard, starting on the note G, exactly matches that used for traditional Scottish bagpipes tune transcriptions.
Touch any key to start the chanter playing. Once a key is started, the chanter plays continuously just like a real bagpipes chanter. This accurately emulates the behavior of the real chanter, the sound keeps going as long as there is pressure in the bag.
Play a melody on the chanter by touching the keys.
Touch the drone puck image to switch the drones on and off. Stopping the drones also stops the chanter sounds.
Touch the "i" on the upper right corner to bring up the instrument selector and volume controls.
The balance between the drones and chanter volume may be adjusted with the sliders.
There are two basic play modes.
Choose the "Easy" play mode to play the main Highland chanter notes using just the white keys.
Choose the "Normal" play mode to play all the notes on the chromatic keyboard.
Touch the ePipes or Tradlessons logos to visit our websites.
Playing Tip: To make your playing sound more authentic and for repeated notes, quickly slide from an adjacent black key to the note you are playing to simulate a piping "cut" ornament.
You may also play along with the music on your iPhone/iPod Touch by starting a music track playing using the iPod app on your device, then launching ePipesKeys. Double click the home button to bring up the iPod music controls while the app is running.
For more fun and to experience the full quality of the samples used for the app, try playing the app through an external amplified speaker connected to the headphone jack on your device.
The Scottish bagpipes samples are supplied by ePipes.co.uk based on their "Studio Piper" virtual MIDI bagpipes instrument. If you want to control bagpipe sounds using MIDI, check out their products. The sounds in this app can only be played from the iPad, not MIDI.
Audio samples for the Säckpipa provided by Jonathan Parker from an instrument made in 1986 by Leif Eriksson.
Drone puck image courtesy of Mike DeSmidt.
For the same sounds, but played like a real Highland chanter instead of a keyboard, be sure to check out my "Bagpipes Royale" app for the iPad!
What's New in Version 2.0
Fixes for iOS 8
Worth 99 cents.....maybe?
Keyboard response is much too slow to even play what I wanted to play. Drone sounds thin and overall samples are not very impressive. After you press a note, notes stay on and do not shut off when you release keys. You actually have to stop drone to stop notes making it even more difficult. (If you are using a keyboard as an interface, why wouldn't you make it play like a keyboard?) Drone has a "loop sound" and you can hear it loop every few seconds. Wish I had my money back to be honest. This app is pretty much useless unless you're a kid having fun.
A little slow
Keyboard lags a bit, making it hard to do grace notes, trills, etc. Handy to have though. Maybe some day they will add other medieval winds like Rauschpfeife/Shawm, Cornetto, Gemshorn...