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MMD > Archives > October 2006 > 2006.10.14 > 04Prev  Next

MIDI-played Bagpipes
By Mike Knudsen

I haven't heard the MIDI bagpipes yet, but as odd as it seems, bagpipes
are an ideal instrument for a simple MIDI project.  There really isn't
any expression to worry about and the wind pressure is constant, unlike
a flute, recorder, or tuba.  Incidentally, there's a computer-controlled
robot tuba in Germany).

So all you really need are magnet-controlled pads to open the chanter
finger holes and some simple electronics logic (or firmware) to convert
single MIDI notes into fingerings.

I don't know why the MIDI-fied pipes don't do proper ornaments and
trills, except that whoever prepared the file just didn't edit these in.
It would  be really hard to make a MIDI system play mechanically and
evenly if the stored notes weren't that way to begin with.  So the
problem is with the "roll" editor, not the equipment, or so I would
guess.  Imagine a player piano that could take a hand-played roll coded
with expression, and make it sound mechanically even.  It would be
difficult to do!  Instead, you'd have to prepare such a roll on the
drafting table.

Disclaimer: I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from CMU, so I know
the place.  I also built a MIDI interface into my Raffin 31er crank
organ, and I'm glad I chose such a simple instrument (organ) to
interface, and not something with more nuances.

Now to find the bagpipe website for a look and listen.

Mike Knudsen

(Message sent Sat 14 Oct 2006, 02:44:35 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bagpipes, MIDI-played

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