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Jeremy J Starcher...
Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:08 pm
 
I am involved in writing a music player for the Great Highland Bagpipes
(GHB), however there are a few aspects of the instrument that seem
incompatible with General MIDI files but I would appreciate clarification.

While most western instruments use /even temperament/, in order to not
cause dissonance from the drones the GHB uses /just temperament/
Mixolydian scale.

In the short, what that means is that the bagpipe chanter doesn't always
stay in the nicely defined realm of predefined MIDI notes.

Rather than try to recreate it, I hope that a link to this table of notes
and frequencies will be acceptable.
http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html


So I ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency that
I am after?

In a related question: The only way I saw to alter volume was through
the 'velocity' of the NoteOn instruction. Woodwinds don't have velocity
in the same way a piano would, but since some notes are louder than
others I would like to replicate this in my playback. Is there a better
way than just adjusting velocity?
 
Stu...
Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:53 am
 
Hi Jeremy,
My thought is that I would expect your focus to be on making a bagpipes
instrument, or, making a mapping to be applied to a bagpipes instrument (if
there is such a thing).
If I was sampling a bagpipes instrument I would do it as bagpipes notes are
written on paper but then only my samples would reflect the frequencies of
the bagpipes. For GM notes that don't exist on the bagpipes the standard
would be not to have any samples playing on those notes, or use the next
nearest note that would be played (then it would be the responsilibity of
the person making the midi arrangement)

Quote:
So I ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency that
I am after?

So I would say yes, but it is only a sampled implementation of an actual
instrument. As far as I know you can't change the note A to 442hz from midi
data.
You might also search the net for sampled bagpipes instruments. This is
something I've never searched for before but I would imagine someone has an
instrument in kontakt format or some such.
Thanks


"Jeremy J Starcher" <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:yWhGn.518$Ak3.448 at (no spam) newsfe16.iad...
Quote:
I am involved in writing a music player for the Great Highland Bagpipes
(GHB), however there are a few aspects of the instrument that seem
incompatible with General MIDI files but I would appreciate clarification.

While most western instruments use /even temperament/, in order to not
cause dissonance from the drones the GHB uses /just temperament/
Mixolydian scale.

In the short, what that means is that the bagpipe chanter doesn't always
stay in the nicely defined realm of predefined MIDI notes.

Rather than try to recreate it, I hope that a link to this table of notes
and frequencies will be acceptable.
http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html


So I ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency that
I am after?

In a related question: The only way I saw to alter volume was through
the 'velocity' of the NoteOn instruction. Woodwinds don't have velocity
in the same way a piano would, but since some notes are louder than
others I would like to replicate this in my playback. Is there a better
way than just adjusting velocity?

 
Peter Billam...
Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 5:17 am
 
On 2010-05-11, Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
Quote:
...
Rather than try to recreate it, I hope that a link to this table of
notes and frequencies will be acceptable.
http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html
So I ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency
that I am after?

In GM2 there is the Scale/Octave Tuning Adjust command which begins
with FO 7E 7F 08, but that adjusts the tuning of all octaves in the
same way. In e.g. baroque music that's what you want; but in your
case,
Note that the MacNeill high G is not an exact octave above
either of the low Gs.
you should probably sample the sounds in their desired tunings,
as stu suggests. That means the tuning is built into your music
player, and people can then feed their nice simple MIDI files
into it and get good bagpipes out.

The other approach would be to put the drones in a different channel
from the chanter, then use the PitchBend command on the chanter-channel
on a note-by-note basis. But that means it's not built into your
music-player; it would have to be done by whatever is generating
the MIDI file.

Quote:
In a related question: The only way I saw to alter volume was
through the 'velocity' of the NoteOn instruction. Woodwinds don't
have velocity in the same way a piano would, but since some notes
are louder than others I would like to replicate this in my
playback. Is there a better way than just adjusting velocity?

The other way is by setting the "Expression" controller, which
is however set at the Channel-level; conventionally, it just
adjusts the volume. But as you want to set some notes louder
than others, you should use the Velocity on a note-by-note basis.

However, again, that means it's not built into your music-player;
it would have to be done by whatever is generating the MIDI file.
So again, it might be more helpful if you sampled the bagpipe sounds
at their correct relative loudnesses, so that people can then feed
their nice simple MIDI files into it and get good bagpipes out.

I'm assuming you're building the sound-engine, and others will
later generate some MIDI files; but if you're building a MIDI
generator to give bagpipish results on a normal synthesiser,
then you'd want to take the do-it-at-the-midi-level options...

Hope I've understood,
Regards, Peter

--
Peter Billam www.pjb.com.au www.pjb.com.au/comp/contact.html
 
Jeremy J Starcher...
Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:21 pm
 
On Tue, 11 May 2010 21:53:23 +0000, Stu wrote:

Quote:
If I was sampling a bagpipes instrument I would do it as bagpipes notes
are written on paper but then only my samples would reflect the
frequencies of the bagpipes. For GM notes that don't exist on the
bagpipes the standard would be not to have any samples playing on those
notes, or use the next nearest note that would be played (then it would
be the responsilibity of the person making the midi arrangement)

I understand ... because of the scope of our project, it looks like we'll
be better off scrapping MIDI all together and going to direct WAV
output. I was kind of hoping to use MIDI as a fall back (and a beginning
test bed) but that doesn't seem to an effective solution.

Thanks for the input.
 
Jeremy J Starcher...
Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:52 pm
 
On Wed, 12 May 2010 03:43:40 +0000, Peter Billam wrote:

Quote:
On 2010-05-11, Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
...
Rather than try to recreate it, I hope that a link to this table of
notes and frequencies will be acceptable.
http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html So I
ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency that I
am after?

Since you seem familiar with pipes, please allow me to be more specific
about what we are doing.

We are writing an open-source replacement for Bagpipe Music Reader. With
the exception of a couple of minor beaming issues, we have a workable
replacement that covers viewing of light music.

Ambitious of a project as this is, it has been written in HTML using the
canvas element for the graphics work.

Of course, we want to add audio playback and we've looked at the various
options. Because of the environment that we are using, should we stay
with MIDI, we are limited to whatever MIDI player is available on the
client or possibly falling back to a flash-based MIDI player. So
downloading MIDI sound-font files doesn't seem like it will work.

While we were sorting out the various timing issues, etc, I was hoping to
use midi as a stop-gap so we could compare it to the output of bagpipe
music writer.
Quote:

In GM2 there is the Scale/Octave Tuning Adjust command which begins with
FO 7E 7F 08, but that adjusts the tuning of all octaves in the same way.
In e.g. baroque music that's what you want; but in your case,

Assuming a missing 'not' above, but I understand.


Quote:
you should probably sample the sounds in their desired tunings, as stu
suggests. That means the tuning is built into your music player, and
people can then feed their nice simple MIDI files into it and get good
bagpipes out.

Which in our case, takes us out of MIDI and into direct WAV playback.

Quote:
In a related question: The only way I saw to alter volume was through
the 'velocity' of the NoteOn instruction.

The other way is by setting the "Expression" controller, which is
however set at the Channel-level; conventionally, it just adjusts the
volume. But as you want to set some notes louder than others, you
should use the Velocity on a note-by-note basis.

*Nodding* Thats pretty much what I had expected.

Quote:
I'm assuming you're building the sound-engine, and others will later
generate some MIDI files; but if you're building a MIDI generator to
give bagpipish results on a normal synthesiser, then you'd want to take
the do-it-at-the-midi-level options...

We are pretty much going to be handling things end-to-end...

Quote:
Hope I've understood,

You've understood just fine. Thanks for the advice and comments.

(If you happen to be curious to see what we've done, feel free to peek.
You'll need a browser with full canvas support like Firefox 3x. IE will
work but it is dreadfully slow.

This is a development snapshot, not even a demo, it defaults to the
ugliest layout engine, but the 'proportional' engine under preferences
looks fairly good.

http://r3jjs.com/js/hdots/ )
 
Richard Brooks...
Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:45 am
 
Jeremy J Starcher said the following on 11/05/2010 20:08:
Quote:
I am involved in writing a music player for the Great Highland Bagpipes
(GHB), however there are a few aspects of the instrument that seem
incompatible with General MIDI files but I would appreciate clarification.

While most western instruments use /even temperament/, in order to not
cause dissonance from the drones the GHB uses /just temperament/
Mixolydian scale.

In the short, what that means is that the bagpipe chanter doesn't always
stay in the nicely defined realm of predefined MIDI notes.

Rather than try to recreate it, I hope that a link to this table of notes
and frequencies will be acceptable.
http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html


So I ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency that
I am after?

I would say "yes!" if you are working in something like Synthedit
which is a building-block approach to sound effects and sound making
software.

It has Soundfont and WAV sample player modules plus MIDI blocks
including a MIDI2CV (Control Voltage) module, and I'd assume that one
would add or subtract voltages depending on the note played.

There are many third party modules out there and various forums where
you can ask questions.

The whole lot can be compiled into a VSTi when you are happy with how
it all works.
 
Pete...
Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 2:21 am
 
In article <l9AGn.3923$rE4.2924 at (no spam) newsfe15.iad>,
Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
Quote:
On Wed, 12 May 2010 03:43:40 +0000, Peter Billam wrote:

On 2010-05-11, Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
...

We are writing an open-source replacement for Bagpipe Music Reader. With
the exception of a couple of minor beaming issues, we have a workable
replacement that covers viewing of light music.

[.......]
Stu and Peter have covered your options fairly well, but there might be

a couple of extra points I could add.

Quote:

In GM2 there is the Scale/Octave Tuning Adjust command which begins with
FO 7E 7F 08, but that adjusts the tuning of all octaves in the same way.
In e.g. baroque music that's what you want; but in your case,

Assuming a missing 'not' above, but I understand.

I think he said it right... (Smile), except that it might do for you, too.
That GM2 command lets you set the offset (in 1/100s of a semitone) of each
of the 12 notes within an octave, so -- assuming that an octave is always
an octave, and each octave has the same tuning -- you can use this to set
any temperament you want.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how many systems implement this recent standard.
My Privia piano for instance doesn't.

Quote:


you should probably sample the sounds in their desired tunings, as stu
suggests. That means the tuning is built into your music player, and
people can then feed their nice simple MIDI files into it and get good
bagpipes out.

Which in our case, takes us out of MIDI and into direct WAV playback.

Not necessarily. One common way of turning MIDI into sound is through
"SoundFonts". These are a standard -- and flexible -- way of specifying
exactly what sound will be generated by a given MIDI note number (under
a specific Program setting). They are sample based, but the exact sample
used, and the frequency at which is played can be exactly specified in the
data. There are many ways of playing them, on any platform. SoundBlaster
cards (for which they were originally developed) can use them, and there are
many software synths (such as the cross-platform, open-source 'fluidsynth')
that use them for their sound libraries.

I see some "Bagpipe" soundfonts on the web, but there's no indication
of the temperament they use. If you're recording your own pipes, though,
you can perfectly well create one to suit yourselves.

Quote:

In a related question: The only way I saw to alter volume was through
the 'velocity' of the NoteOn instruction.

The other way is by setting the "Expression" controller, which is
however set at the Channel-level; conventionally, it just adjusts the
volume. But as you want to set some notes louder than others, you
should use the Velocity on a note-by-note basis.

*Nodding* Thats pretty much what I had expected.

"Velocity" is of course once per note event -- as if a key was being
struck. If you want to control amplitude within a single note, that's what
"Expression" is for... (There's also "Channel Volume", but that is more
intended for balancing instrument levels, and not changed much if at all
within a piece.)
Quote:


I think you might still find it convenient to use MIDI as an intermediary.
It would mean that you can provide something like fluidsynth in the package
to play the music, and drive it with MIDI from your own app. A midifile
might not be perfect as *input* to your program -- I'm not sure how you'd
indicate the 'grace notes' I see in examples on the web, except perhaps by
their length -- but it should be fine as output.

Cheers,
-- Pete --


--
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The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- replies will not be seen...
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Stu...
Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:57 pm
 
"Richard Brooks" <richardbrooks at (no spam) hawker-siddeley.com> wrote in message
news:2pydnaAwR537vHbWnZ2dnUVZ8kudnZ2d at (no spam) bt.com...
Quote:
Jeremy J Starcher said the following on 11/05/2010 20:08:
I am involved in writing a music player for the Great Highland Bagpipes
(GHB), however there are a few aspects of the instrument that seem
incompatible with General MIDI files but I would appreciate
clarification.

While most western instruments use /even temperament/, in order to not
cause dissonance from the drones the GHB uses /just temperament/
Mixolydian scale.

In the short, what that means is that the bagpipe chanter doesn't always
stay in the nicely defined realm of predefined MIDI notes.

Rather than try to recreate it, I hope that a link to this table of notes
and frequencies will be acceptable.
http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html


So I ask: Through MIDI is there any way to achieve proper frequency that
I am after?

I would say "yes!" if you are working in something like Synthedit which is
a building-block approach to sound effects and sound making software.

It has Soundfont and WAV sample player modules plus MIDI blocks including
a MIDI2CV (Control Voltage) module, and I'd assume that one would add or
subtract voltages depending on the note played.

There are many third party modules out there and various forums where you
can ask questions.

The whole lot can be compiled into a VSTi when you are happy with how it
all works.

This is also what I think - what you are really doing Jeremy is "modelling"
an instrument - so why not make it a complete instrument/product? VSTi and
kontakt are great options - and I know you would have a ready market. When
it is finished submit it to the news page of kvraudio.com and heaps of
computer musicians would check it out straight away.

By making an instrument in such a way you could write some instructions on
how your instrument works, and how it is "played" (by midi) to simulate
playing real bagpipes. You would define the rules about how your instrument
is implemented (drone on by default to your settings, or switchable by lower
midi notes/keys, etc.) You could have different presets, etc. This
thinking could help you structure your development by getting exactly what
you what as an end product.
 
Jeremy J Starcher...
Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:59 pm
 
On Thu, 13 May 2010 12:29:39 +0000, Bob Masta wrote:

Quote:
How about using Pitch Bend? I think that's pretty much universally
available... even the default Microsoft GS Wavetable synth has it. The
only thing I'm not certain about is the audibility of the initial
(standard MIDI equal-tempered) note before the bend starts. You can
give the bend command immediately after the note-on, but there might be
an audible shift. My guess is that this would add a "bite" to the note,
which might be just fine for bagpipes.

I looked at pitch bend but my understanding was that various players and
devices handled this differently. Because of the drones, I need to "zero
in" on the frequency fairly precisely.
 
RsH...
Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:25 pm
 
On Thu, 13 May 2010 15:59:45 GMT, Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com>
wrote:

Quote:
On Thu, 13 May 2010 12:29:39 +0000, Bob Masta wrote:

How about using Pitch Bend? I think that's pretty much universally
available... even the default Microsoft GS Wavetable synth has it. The
only thing I'm not certain about is the audibility of the initial
(standard MIDI equal-tempered) note before the bend starts. You can
give the bend command immediately after the note-on, but there might be
an audible shift. My guess is that this would add a "bite" to the note,
which might be just fine for bagpipes.

I looked at pitch bend but my understanding was that various players and
devices handled this differently. Because of the drones, I need to "zero
in" on the frequency fairly precisely.

Search for SynthFont as well, and see if that works for you. There are
76 scale tuning choice built in... so see if the one you want is
already there. If not, ASK and I'm certain that will change to 77
scale tuning choices.
 
Pete...
Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 3:14 am
 
In article <RlVGn.9882$Gx2.7227 at (no spam) newsfe20.iad>,
Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
Quote:
On Thu, 13 May 2010 12:29:39 +0000, Bob Masta wrote:

How about using Pitch Bend? I think that's pretty much universally
available...

I looked at pitch bend but my understanding was that various players and
devices handled this differently. Because of the drones, I need to "zero
in" on the frequency fairly precisely.

Actually I think it's fairly thoroughly standardized, with a default
range (over the 14-bit NIDI value range) of 2 semitones. So you could
use it, provided you're prepared to generate slightly 'hacky' MIDI, with
each note paired with the relevant bend. A plus is that you could
produce a midifile that should sound reasonable on any synth that has
a GM "bagpipe" voice.

You have the advantage that the chanter has a limited range (so having
a table for each note's offset is easy), and you're only playing one
note at a time -- aside from the drones.

Cheers,
-- Pete --


--
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The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- replies will not be seen...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
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Jeremy J Starcher...
Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:27 pm
 
On Thu, 13 May 2010 18:14:59 -0500, Pete wrote:

Quote:
Actually I think it's fairly thoroughly standardized, with a default
range (over the 14-bit NIDI value range) of 2 semitones. So you could
use it, provided you're prepared to generate slightly 'hacky' MIDI, with
each note paired with the relevant bend. A plus is that you could
produce a midifile that should sound reasonable on any synth that has a
GM "bagpipe" voice.

Heh.. I'm trying to get generated audio out of, basically, a web page.
I'll take hacky if it works.

(Later, should we make this more of an 'improved' standalone program,
that will open up a lot of these other possibilities.)

Quote:
You have the advantage that the chanter has a limited range (so having a
table for each note's offset is easy), and you're only playing one note
at a time -- aside from the drones.

For now, yes. If we ever add the Uilleann pipes, all of that changes.
I'm making notes of this whole thread so I don't code myself into a box.

Quote:

Cheers,
-- Pete --

 
Pete...
Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:17 am
 
In article <gbUIn.16186$TL5.9103 at (no spam) newsfe24.iad>,
Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
Quote:
On Tue, 18 May 2010 20:55:26 -0500, Pete wrote:

Just for fun [and you may agree than my idea of "fun" is somewhat odd
(Smile] I've been following up on some of the points raised in this
thread.
Sounds like fun to me.
Mostly... (Smile I also managed to squeeze in a music festival on the weekend

and play a soccer game or two, so it wasn't an exclusive pursuit...
Quote:

Searching around a bit, I found some bagpipe midis -- I suspect probably
created with Bagpipe Music Writer, though they don't say so. (
http://www.cs.uleth.ca/~kaminski/midi/ ) All the ones at that site seem
to have the same format, with drones on channel/track 2, and the chanter
on 1. The tonic is A#.

Since the GHPs have no kind of standardized tuning, thats not
surprising. A can range anywhere from 472Hz all the way up to 490Hz in
current fashion. Pipes from the 70's tended to put A on Bb exactly and
older yet A would hover closer to 440.

Yes, I wasn't particularly surprised (I understand about the variant tuning),
just noting that they were all the same, but different from the other site.

Quote:

One thing I don't quite understand is that they all use 'Program 71' --
Bassoon. OK, so it's a woodwind, but 110 in GM is 'bagpipes', so why
not use that?

Bassoon or clarinet is common. On most computer synths, 110 simply
sounds ... horrid.
OK. I thought it sounded reasonable on my system, but what do I know... (Smile

I do find the clarinet very unrealistic here, though.
Quote:

Anyway, I wrote a little Ruby script, using my midifile-handling module,
to take those files, and add in appropriate pitch-bends for each note.
(And switch to Instrument 110). To my ear it seems quite a lot closer
to a real bagpipe. I haven't done so yet, but if anyone want to take a
listen I'll put them up somewhere on my web pages (with the script).

I'll see if I can pick apart Ruby, if you are willing.
I've put some stuff on the web -- see below.

They I found another site -- http://web.ripnet.com/~nimmos/music.html --
with both midifiles and BWW sources. [....]
They all have 'A' as the tonic, rather than 'A#', and they're all an
octave *lower* than the first set. (And from what I understand the A
(or A#) above Middle-C is the correct 'low A'.) Then they use
'Clarinet' (prog 72) rather than the Bassoon of the others. I begin to
suspect some confusion in the settings when they were generated from
BWW, as the site has a note:
No confusion... thats pretty normal.
Even the octave shift is normal. The Great Highland Bagpipes have a
'practice instrumented' that comes into tune on octave higher. (Has to
do with conical vs cylindrical bore and all of that. Practice chanters
commonly tune at Bb, but A isn't uncommon People who create MIDI files
to play along beside often tune them to the instrument they will be
playing on.)
But an octave *lower*...? (Bass drone at 110 Hz)


I can't thank you enough for the comments and research. I had wandered
in expecting a few brief answers and I've gotten far more help that I was
expecting.
I'm glad that I was able to provide a bit of fun and kick upon the door
to the greatest MIDI challenge of ... well ... the last five minutes. Wink

I forgot to mention before that my adventures included a day or so of
chasing a really, really sneaky bug in my own midifile package that I'd
never have noticed if it hadn't obviously screwed up one of the converted
midifiles. So I wasn't wasting my time by any reckoning!

Anyway, here's the web page with some original and converted midifiles,
together with the script itself:

http://GoodeveCa.net/bagpipe

Have fun with them!

[Heh... I just went to verify the files were actually available (which
they are), but the downloaded bagpipe-voice file started to play through
the built-in synth on my (non-Windows) machine. Never tried that route
before. You're so right -- horrid! Now I see... (:-/)]

Cheers,
-- Pete --



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Pete...
Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:47 pm
 
In article <3BcJn.18487$mi.6731 at (no spam) newsfe01.iad>,
Jeremy J Starcher <r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:
Quote:
On Wed, 19 May 2010 20:56:10 -0500, Pete wrote:


But an octave *lower*...? (Bass drone at 110 Hz)

Eckk -- sorry. My counting was wrong. Bass drone at 55 Hz! The low A
in those files is the one below middle-C -- i.e. 220 Hz; the drones are
one and two octaves below that.
Quote:

Yup ... that is about normal.

On the *Great Highland* pipes, if we assume that low A=440 (which is
rare, but makes math easier) then tenor drones are an octave below that
at 220 and the base drone would be an octave below that at 110.

Yes, that's what the first set of files have (allowing for the semitone
offset).
Quote:

On the Scottish small pipes or practice chanter, low A would be around
220, and then your first drone would be at 220 with your base drone being
at 110.
Is that a typo, or are you saying that in the practice pipes the low A

and the drone are the same?
One web page ( http://www.mcnabbs.org/andrew/comments/pipemusic/ )
states they are the same, but I assumed that was a mistake, too, as
the drones always seem to be an octave below.

And I'd've thought that 'small' pipes would play higher...?
Quote:


[Heh... I just went to verify the files were actually available (which
they are), but the downloaded bagpipe-voice file started to play through
the built-in synth on my (non-Windows) machine. Never tried that route
before. You're so right -- horrid! Now I see... (:-/)]

The default voice for Timidity[1] isn't really any better than the
default voice for Windows...

[1] Taking an assumption there.
Actually not... (:-/) My standard OS is [gasp!] BeOS, which has Thomas

Dolby's old HeadSpace/Beatnik synth. I don't normally ever use it escept
accidentally as above. I either use a hardware module (like the piano)
or fluidsynth with a soundfont like Unison, which isn't too bad for a lot
of things.

BTW, I forgot to ask -- have you ever seen that "Real Bagpipe Soundfont"
that one of the sites mentions? I searched the web with no luck, so I
assume it is probably BMW proprietary. Does it perhaps have Just temperament?

Cheers,
-- Pete --


--
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Jeremy J Starcher...
Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:19 pm
 
On Thu, 20 May 2010 12:47:21 -0500, Pete wrote:

Quote:
In article <3BcJn.18487$mi.6731 at (no spam) newsfe01.iad>, Jeremy J Starcher
r3jjs at (no spam) yahoo.com> wrote:

One web page ( http://www.mcnabbs.org/andrew/comments/pipemusic/ )
states they are the same, but I assumed that was a mistake, too, as the
drones always seem to be an octave below.

And I'd've thought that 'small' pipes would play higher...?

Has to do with the conical bore of the Great Highland Chanter. Given the
same length, a conical bore will be one octave higher than a straight
bore. (There are a couple of horns that follow this principle too.)

Several other forms of bagpipes have at least one drone within the range
of the chanter as well.

The Great Highland Pipes (GHP) and the Scottish Small Pipes (SSP) are,
despite the fact that they use the same fingerings, two entirely
different instruments.

1) Because of the conical bore, the /higher/ notes on the GHP are
/softer/ than the lower notes. High A can, at times, almost disappear
while the low G comes out as a heavy 'honk'. GHP expressions take
advantage of this and use very heavy, almost percussive, embellishments.

2) The SSP is opposite, the higher notes are your louder ones. SSP
players tend to use less complicated embellishments and can't get the
percussive sound of the GHP chanter.

(It isn't uncommon for GHP players to pick up a set of small pipes for
play/practice indoors. Trained ears can easily tell the difference, it
doesn't have the same ... feel. The same thing is true of the practice
chanter, which is really nothing more than an SSP chanter minus bag,
bellows and drones with a cap on it.)
Quote:
Actually not... (:-/) My standard OS is [gasp!] BeOS, which has Thomas
Dolby's old HeadSpace/Beatnik synth. I don't normally ever use it
escept accidentally as above. I either use a hardware module (like the
piano) or fluidsynth with a soundfont like Unison, which isn't too bad
for a lot of things.

Wow... I had no idea there was still any copies of BeOS running. You,
Sir, have earned another star on your geek badge.

Quote:
BTW, I forgot to ask -- have you ever seen that "Real Bagpipe Soundfont"
that one of the sites mentions? I searched the web with no luck, so I
assume it is probably BMW proprietary. Does it perhaps have Just
temperament?

No, I don't have a copy of the sound font, but it does come with Bagpipe
Music Writer Gold.
 
 
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