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Old 09-21-2019, 10:09 AM   #1
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

Hi gang,
So, having been frustrated and fed to the teeth with the fact that my Deger pipes stopped working, and considering the fact that I am picky to death about tuning...
Anders Fagerstrom emailed me the other day asking for some suggestions to improve his Technopipes. However, I would like to see if other pipers around here would like these suggestions too. Note that I'm also including Anders' responses because I want everyone to know.
So, without further ado...

For one, the tuning of course. (Literally the only reason why I do not practice my Technopipes is because some notes are NOT tuned). Would it be a good idea to have the note B to be an exact 9/8 ratio to Low A (perfectly tuned with the drones, not like a piano as it is now), and the note F not only a 5/3 relationship to Low A (instead of being tuned like a piano), but on the GHB pipes I have never heard any real F notes on GHB chanters that harmonically resemble the note E, not at all. Additionally, I've provided him with a tonally improved F wave table to be used on the Technopipes to resemble harmonically what most GHB F notes sound like.
Secondly, the low G and high G on the GHB isn't quite an exact 7/8 (low G) or 7/4 (high G) to low A. Would it be nice to have these notes perfectly tuned with the drones? Being picky as heck about tuning, I would swear by it. Except of course for the equally tempered chromatic scale. Note that on the Smallpipes sound, I think it would be a good idea to just leave the G's where they are.
Third: I'm sure everyone will want this. I suggested for him to delete all of the Smallpipe 1 (first smallpipe sounds he had). To me, it does not sound like a smallpipe at all. Surely he could use that space for other features... in fact I've heard a lot of pipers who strongly objected to the Smallpipe 1 sound. So, the Smallpipes 2 sound would be the only Smallpipe sound on these newer generations. Unfortunately I cannot seem to find the link to the two smallpipes sounds played side by side, but I'm sure all Technopipe owners will be familiar with these.
Fourth: Chromatic fingering. This is the suggestion that Anders objected to because of crossing noises.
So, you know how you play a C-natural on the right hand and the E on the left hand to get E-flat? Well, this doesn't really work on real GHB chanters. In my opinion, perhaps the E-flat fingering could be changed to any form of C on the right hand, while on the left hand still the E fingering. I am absolutely sure this is really really really going to help pipers get used to E/C transitions, and without this chromatic note heard on the way there, this might tell them they are fingering correctly when on the GHB chanter itself they get an E-flat tone instead. Also, the note for High G sharp: In the GHB mode it might be a good idea to add this as a standard note. On most GHB chanters it happens when you play a High G gracenote on the note C, it actually produces a high G Sharp. I also told him that he can also keep the original fingering for that note in the chromatic mode if he wishes. Additionally, perhaps the harmonic array or sound table used for the High A vibrato on the GHB could be used also for the High G sharp. Lastly, any tuning pickies out there might appreciate the suggestion that this note might end up being tuned at a 15/8 to Low A, except of course for the Equal Tempered Chromatic scale. (This would be perfectly tuned to the E baritone drone). Lastly, since the Deger has a High B (JEALOUS, JEALOUS, JEALOUS!), I had the idea he could add a High B with the fingering of B without the left hand thumb.
5. I provided him with an improved set of tones to be used for the GHB drones which I spent all of Monday creating on my own. He loves them so much that he's going to use these drone tones in the newer generations. So, this one is probably definitive.
6. This is just a possibility. Anyone is welcome to offer their suggestions. I am honestly not a fan of how light the Technopipe is (SORRY!), and so I was perhaps thinking that a larger battery cap could be made. You know how one end fits flush over the hole at the end, but the other end is not much bigger so you have to pull super hard to get it off? Plus, I don't want people accidentally destroying their TP's using knives to get at the cap. So, perhaps one end could be the flush diameter to fit over the hole, perhaps a little tighter to compensate for the other end. Would anyone think it would be a good idea for the lip at the end to be a little bit thicker, and maybe a slightly larger diameter more along the lines to that of a sole on a traditional Blackwood chanter? That way you'd still have a flat surface encircling the bottom end of the TP to grab the cap to pull it off, if that makes any sense. (If you need pictures, I obviously can't do that... you could ask my B.F.F. Hailey, though!). I am sure this will help other pipers get the leverage they need to pull off the battery cap. But in order for the cap not to be too loose, perhaps the hole-end could be just a tad bit tighter so that it will not come loose accidentally but still will be easier to wiggle off by grabbing the now-bigger surface. I reckon that if people will see a more sole-like end to the chanter it will seem more comfortable to hold and to play.

I would consider these modifications to be used in the future versions of the Technopipes he would make so that he doesn't have to worry about doing these as a one-off just for me. However, this is the reason why I'm suggesting these right here so that I can get other people's opinions.

Now here is Anders' reply. This is where I would like some input.

Thanks for the samples Michael. They sound nice.
I might use them in the future if that is ok.

All your suggestions so far are fine except for the Eb fingering.
I am very sceptical to the additional Eb fingering. I mean with "any C" on the lower hand.
When I try that, I constantly trigger bried Eb in every single crossing between C and E.
It is short but very disturbing. Avoiding it is almost impossible: you need to close to a low A before lifting the fingers to sound an E or a C.
This will create a crossing noise as you know. If you don't close to a low A, the Eb will sound, if only for a couple of milliseconds.
I can keep this extended Eb fingering if you like, but I will not use it myself.

And my reply to him:
Thanks Anders. If you don't mind, I'd like to post my suggestions for tone and tuning on the Bob Dunsire forums, particularly about the EB fingering. I want you to hear it from other pipers before you make a decision about the EB fingering. I'm sure they will probably relay it to you that on the real pipe chanter you still get an EB when you finger the chanter like I indicated. In fact a lot of pipers have trouble with their E to C transitions because they don't hear it on their Technopipes, they get their GHB pipes out and realize that they are still sloppy at those transitions. In short I'm going to take this up with other pipers first.
Also, I totally forgot to add this suggestion. It's alright if you don't think it's practical but again I'm going to poll this suggestion on the forum. To me, and maybe for other pipers as well, having to stop the pipes playing an unwanted high A does not make any sense whatsoever. Therefore, perhaps an aditional 'start / stop' hole could be added to the chanter which would do two things. 1) Start the chanter on any note, after optionally playing Low A to start the drones, and 2) Stop the pipes on any note. This is another reason why I like the Deger pipes and why I'm missing them a lot.
But, again, I'm going to suggest these on the Forums to see if really any other pipers would like these improvements. Like I said, I'm sure other pipers will benefit from not only the tuning but also the better GHB F tone, as most GHB chanters do not even sound like the note E sped up to the pitch of F).

If anyone is looking for some audio samples, I'm sorry to say this but I don't have links to them. I did, however, send them to Anders himself so maybe he can provide samples of what the new and (**properly tuned**) tones will sound like on what would be the newer generation Technopipes. Perhaps if people hear the new ones this might give a better understanding of how I feel the Technopipes could be improved.

Thanks!

Michael
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:35 AM   #2
Leong
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

Me? I just have the one little thing I want to see the behind of - the pokey little wire cradle for the battery It's hard to get a battery cell out of it, and sometimes a little jostle and the contact is lost with the terminal end and *poof* no more power. It has to go!
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:56 AM   #3
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

In the last two weeks Anders Fagerstrom and I have been swapping ideas back and forth and in my opinion, they are sounding far bettter than ever before. I gave him some note samples / wavetables based on the originals and slightly tonally modified with Audacity, and I personally felt these would dramatically improve the tone. In fact he loves my new samples so much he's going to use them in his next generation release.
Anders Fagerstrom just provided me with a sample of the new release. I gave him some more accurate Highland chanter tones and he's using these. This is the final Highland pipe sound for the commercial release.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Z3...0vEHs0Db9UmRYz
here's a quick breakdown of the different releases. If you have a Technopipe I wonder which release you have?
First generation released in summer 2006 (which I also have, I got it for Christmas in fifth grade): Only two sets of pipes, a Highland pipe and an honestly Brianna-Damrau-level (i.e., worst ever), deafening, 'electric guitar' smallpipe that does not sound even close to a smallpipe at all. Quite a few number of notes on the chanter are tuned like a piano (equal temperament) to the drones, which on bagpipes is frowned upon. Proper tuning on bagpipes is that the notes on the chanter must match harmonics with the drones, and if they're tuned equal temperament they will not match harmonics. This release has no chromatic scale, and every time you turn it on the pipes would reset to factory default. A LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way to catch up to the Deger pipes!
Second generation, released in 2010 (mine): Added a second, tons better smallpipe set to the library since too many people hated the original ugly smallpipe set that doesn't even sound close to any smallpipe in the world (I certainly hated it myself!). The smallpipes that do not sound like smallpipes at all are kept in the library, however. Tuning sadly hasn't changed, so some notes are still not tuned with the drones (particularly B and F-sharp tuned like a piano to the drones, if the pipes are in the key of A). A chromatic scale has been added, and the pipes now save their settings between sessions. One or two steps closer to the Deger pipes, but certainly room to come closer yet.
Here is what Anders Fagerstrom and I have come up with in the last few weeks:
1. Anders is aware that a lot of people do not like the original smallpipes that do not sound much like smallpipes at all, so he decided to delete them, so just two sets (just the Highland pipes and the newer smallpipes).
2. I sent him some slightly enhanced tone samples for the notes used for the Highland pipes. Being that I created these, compared to the original, in my opinion they are more accurate harmonically speaking, including the drones, as well as the F-sharp (older generations of Technopipes had F-sharp notes that sounded like the E was sped up).
3. With the exception of the equally tempered (a la piano) chromatic scale, all notes in the harmonic tuning scales have been corrected for tuning (which is actually the reason why the Technopipes were not my absolute favorite in the past), and a High B has been added to the chromatic scale per my suggestion because I'm so jealous of that Deger pipe which has a High B available on it! (Mind you, ordinary Highland pipes don't have a High B).
4. This is Anders' idea: Pitch remains the same when switching between sounds (on the last releases, switching to either the smallpipes would automatically put the pitch in the key of A, and Highland pipes were automatically snapped to B-flat). On the Deger pipes, sound is independent of pitch, so this is why this feature was corrected on what will probably be the next release. This was per his suggestion.
Most of these modifications to this release is entirely of my correspondence with him. He's aware that I want to help him as much as I possibly can, and he knows I have a perfect ear for tone. So, I'll let you have a listen and evaluate it for yourself. This was sent to me by Anders himself, I don't have the upgrade yet.
Perhaps you could tell others about this next release. I don't know what he is going to call it, but it might have 'next generation' after it. He and I haven't talked about it in this regard yet. I'm trying to tell all my Technopipe owner friends about this amazing next release, and I've even told some people who sell these Technopipes.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy the recording. I'd appreciate your comments!


Michael
PS. Note that I surely don't know exactly if I have the release history correct. I'd appreciate some corrections please!
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
DapperDan
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

I love my Technopipes, they've added a lot of practice time for me.

One thing I noticed is that there are some false fingerings it doesn't register. If you play an "open C" or open D, for example, or take your bottom hand completely off the chanter while playing top hand notes, the pitch doesn't change. I don't know if this is by accident, or to accomodate older pipers who were taught different fingerings. This means also there are some crossing noises involving those holes that it doesn't pick up on.

Otherwise, it's tolerance for crossing noises is very tight, making it a good way to practice smooth note changes.

Also, it's difficult to use when it's cold, and/or your hands are dry.

and yeah, that one smallpipe sound... Maybe it would be interesting to replace that with a Galician pipe? They don't have the same fingering, but have the same number of holes I believe.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:04 PM   #5
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

@Dapperdan, I agree with you.
First, what release do you have? The one with the chromatic scale or not? Does yours always go to factory default when you turn it on? The one without the extra scale and settings memory is the first release.
But here's what Anders and I talked about regarding the EB fingering.
This is the suggestion that Anders objected to because of crossing noises.
So, you know how you play a C-natural on the right hand and the E on the left hand to get E-flat? Well, this doesn't really work on real GHB chanters. In my opinion, perhaps the E-flat fingering could be changed to any form of C on the right hand, while on the left hand still the E fingering. I am absolutely sure this is really really really going to help pipers get used to E/C transitions, and without this chromatic note heard on the way there, this might tell them they are fingering correctly when on the GHB chanter itself they get an E-flat tone instead. Also, the note for High G sharp: In the GHB mode it might be a good idea to add this as a standard note. On most GHB chanters it happens when you play a High G gracenote on the note C, it actually produces a high G Sharp. I also told him that he can also keep the original fingering for that note in the chromatic mode if he wishes. Additionally, perhaps the harmonic array or sound table used for the High A vibrato on the GHB could be used also for the High G sharp. Lastly, any tuning pickies out there might appreciate the suggestion that this note might end up being tuned at a 15/8 to Low A, except of course for the Equal Tempered Chromatic scale. (This would be perfectly tuned to the E baritone drone). Lastly, since the Deger has a High B (JEALOUS, JEALOUS, JEALOUS!), I had the idea he could add a High B with the fingering of B without the left hand thumb.
Anders said: All your suggestions so far are fine except for the Eb fingering.
I am very sceptical to the additional Eb fingering. I mean with "any C" on the lower hand.
When I try that, I constantly trigger bried Eb in every single crossing between C and E.
It is short but very disturbing. Avoiding it is almost impossible: you need to close to a low A before lifting the fingers to sound an E or a C.
This will create a crossing noise as you know. If you don't close to a low A, the Eb will sound, if only for a couple of milliseconds.
I can keep this extended Eb fingering if you like, but I will not use it myself.

And my reply to him:
Thanks Anders. If you don't mind, I'd like to post my suggestions for tone and tuning on the Bob Dunsire forums, particularly about the EB fingering. I want you to hear it from other pipers before you make a decision about the EB fingering. I'm sure they will probably relay it to you that on the real pipe chanter you still get an EB when you finger the chanter like I indicated. In fact a lot of pipers have trouble with their E to C transitions because they don't hear it on their Technopipes, they get their GHB pipes out and realize that they are still sloppy at those transitions. In short I'm going to take this up with other pipers first.
Also, I totally forgot to add this suggestion. It's alright if you don't think it's practical but again I'm going to poll this suggestion on the forum. To me, and maybe for other pipers as well, having to stop the pipes playing an unwanted high A does not make any sense whatsoever. Therefore, perhaps an aditional 'start / stop' hole could be added to the chanter which would do two things. 1) Start the chanter on any note, after optionally playing Low A to start the drones, and 2) Stop the pipes on any note. This is another reason why I like the Deger pipes and why I'm missing them a lot.
But, again, I'm going to suggest these on the Forums to see if really any other pipers would like these improvements. Like I said, I'm sure other pipers will benefit from not only the tuning but also the better GHB F tone, as most GHB chanters do not even sound like the note E sped up to the pitch of F).

Lastly: What are your impressions of the new sound samples? This is just in Highland pipes mode, recorded by Anders himself.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Z3...0vEHs0Db9UmRYz
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:07 PM   #6
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

Adendum: Yes, DapperDan, they do have a Galician Technopipes released. It too might need tuning work for its next release however.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:52 AM   #7
Kevin
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

I love my Technopipes and dread the day when they quit working, but I do find the tuning of B a little off (on my Technopipe at least). Other modifications I would love to see in the future would include a right hand thumb sensor for C-natural and possibly a high B sensor to be played with the left index finger.

Best regards,
Kevin
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:33 AM   #8
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

More Samples!
The only thing that isn't quite right is the fact that the High B is still available in the regular scale. I suggested for him to only use the high B in the chromatic scale, so I'm so sorry that the high B is included in the regular scale.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nV...m9D-dcTF9VAAv_
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Kazmierski Dunn View Post
@Dapperdan, I agree with you.
First, what release do you have? The one with the chromatic scale or not? Does yours always go to factory default when you turn it on? The one without the extra scale and settings memory is the first release.
Mine has a setting for scale that can be changed to chromatic (which I don't really use), and it retains it's settings when I turn it off/on, so version 2 I believe. Also the fingering chart doesn't mention it, but it has a piobaireach High G.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Suggestions for newer generation Technopipes

I have the original technopipes and I really like them. The new improvements sound like they're probably good, but I guess that's like icing on the cake. Always good to continue to try to improve a product though.

FWIW, people who are looking for tools to help find crossing noises might want to look at the Akai EWI. The thing is relentless. It's not a bagpipe and doesn't have a bagpipe fingering mode, but you can play bagpipe fingerings on it and really hear every finger that isn't perfectly timed.

Stuff that sounds fine on Technopipes or a real chanter sounds like a machine gun on the EWI.
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