PipeKeysB HD - Irish Uilleann "Flat Set" Bagpipes Keyboard
By Michael Eskin
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
PipeKeysB HD is anauthentic sounding B pitch 3/4 "flat" set of Irish Uilleann Bagpipes chanter, drones, and two regulators in the form of a standard two octave piano keyboard.
Compared to the concert pitch set in D, this set is three semitones lower and has a mellower sound.
Please visit the app website for a demonstration video!
The Uilleann pipes are a complex, bellows blown bagpipe that is commonly used in traditional Irish music. It is heard quite often in movies with Irish themes because of its very unique sound.
The range of the chanter is from D4 to B5 (transposed down three semitones).
Touch the drone puck image to switch the drones on and off.
Touch the keys to play the chanter and regulators. Chanter keys light up green, regulator keys (the lowest two keys) light up red when touched.
Play the regulator chords on the top and bottom halves of the lowest two notes (C and C#) on the keyboard.
The regulator chords available are (referenced to a standard D set, actual sound is three semitones lower):
Finger vibrato for expression, as is done on the real instrument, can be added by sliding back and forth vertical along the length of the chanter keys. The note C has an extended pitch bend range as typically used when playing a real chanter. The low (bottom) D note is generally not played with vibrato on the real instrument, so vibrato is not available on that note in the app.
The volume balance between the drones, regulators, and chanter may be adjusted using the sliders. All settings are saved when the app exits.
You may enable an optional stereo flanging effect for the drones on the settings page. This is particularly effective in headphones.
You may play along with the music on your iPad by starting the track playing and then launching PipeKeysB HD.
The sounds are recorded from a fine set of Uilleann pipes and are of extremely high quality.
Please visit the app website for more information and demonstration videos.
Two-tone drone puck image courtesy of Mike DeSmidt.
Disclosure: I do not own an iDevice on which this app will work. I will gift it to someone who does so that I can play with it. My recommendation is based on the sound quality and potential for a lot fun in a small package.
I visited Mr. Eskin's web site where the principles are well explained and there are examples and tutorials. Anyone with a basic understanding of the piano keyboard should have no trouble making music. The really neat thing is how the app exploits the touch screen to enable the player to execute sounds peculiar to the uilleann pipes.
Uilleann pipes are difficult to master. But, if you are familiar with pipe music, you should be able to have a lot of fun with this app.