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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 07-15-2017, 04:20 PM   #11
Pppiper
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Default Re: Electronic Pipes

The A-pipes look very tempting, and compared to other products, it's on the expensive side, but still quite reasonable. It MIGHT be the perfect alternative to the other electric sets I have/use.

After reading this and investigating the A-pipes site, I'm very much considering this. Please let us know if you pull the trigger, and your thoughts in using it!

I have both an older set of RedPipes (electric contacts on chanter, not optical), and an older Deger chanter. Both have their advantages in one way or another, and both drive me a little crazy in one way or another.

The RedPipes were a bit of an impulse buy on my part, and if you want to play on stage and "look" like you're playing the real thing, this is nearly as close as it gets. I also liked the idea of playing with a bag, and opening the air valve so that it takes a similar amount of air pressure as an actual set (keep my lips in shape when I can't get away from my apartment to practice).

For one thing, the air pressure settings are awkward, and no matter how much I'm fiddled with them, I can't seem to get them to feel like I'm playing a regular set (which to me, was half the point). And around the house, the drones ended up being more of a nuisance, so I pulled them off. Funny enough, I now have put reeds in the RedPipe drones, and use them for rowdy stage shows as actual highland pipe drones (since they're plastic, and actually sound pretty decent).

I never feel like using the whole thing (bag, etc), so they don't really get used compared to practice chanter and Deger. They're good for MIDI though, so I've used them in mixing some recordings in a pinch. Good as well for some stage situations, but I don't really like playing "faux pipes" in public .. nothing against them, it's just not my preference. But with rock bands, electronic music, that sort of thing ... the RedPipes solve a BUNCH of problems.

The Deger chanter is good and portable, but the dry-finger issue borders on maddening. Lick your fingers, fine .. but two tunes later, you're doing it again, and again, and again. Otherwise, I kind of love it. It's invaluable for helping to finger things by ear (since you can adjust pitch, you can pretty much play along with anything).

The Redpipes can be sent back to get the optical upgrade, but those cost me enough as it is already, and I've heard their optical chanter has trouble in certain lighting conditions. The other advantage to sending them back though would be using a chanter with actual pipe-chanter holes. We'll see.

It sounds like the A-pipes has addressed the light issue, as well as having an actual pipe chanter. And since it can be fitted into a pipe bag at will (since, lets face it .. your highland pipes will be sitting there wishing for you to play them) .. it seems to be quite perfect for practicing in silence, yet keeping the feel of things as close to how they'd be when playing normally.

Also, according to a review on the site, the A-pipes allow "bending" notes, like an actual chanter. This fact MAY have sold me.

https://www.a-pipes.com/en/feedback/john_g

Worth considering, in my view ... but everyone's needs are unique.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:17 AM   #12
paul_111
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Default Re: Electronic Pipes

I really like the Technopipes - it has allowed me to practice more than with the traditional noisemakers. It is great on a plane or at night or early morning. What drives me nuts is how sensitive the sensors are to dry fingers. Yeah, I use lotion when it is around, but sometimes it is not. Thusly, sometimes I have to put them down out of dry-finger frustration.

The poly A-pipe is currently on sale. While $340 is not cheap, if it lives up to the claims and the optical sensors work better than the Technopipe, it will be a winner.

I was toying with the eChanter on the diy forum, but it still has the dry finger issue.

I like to buy quality - it only hurts once. The ability to silently practice and get new tunes under finger is (almost) priceless.

I'll let you know if I bite...

Paul
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:01 PM   #13
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Electronic Pipes

It's interesting to hear about the various electronic things.

Myself, I've only owned the Fagerstrom, and I love it.

It's greatest use, for me, is at work and on flights. It's so compact.

I rarely have the dry finger problem. When I do I use hand lotion, just a little.

I paid around $100 for mine, used, many years ago. It's an early model. There are two problems with it, both of which I assume have been addressed on newer models:

1) the pitch adjustment maxes out at around 480, not high enough to match many modern recordings.

2) the batteries can be difficult to find (three small watch batteries). Every place in Japan had them, but on other trips I've not been able to find them anywhere.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:47 PM   #14
Ron Teague
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Default Re: Electronic Pipes

I have the Fagerstrom guy. It works great in a Midi environment such as Studio Piper and Universal Piper and Garage Band ( but you need to get a MIDI adapter for it]. I almost never use it stand alone. Yes if your hands are dry you need to wet them. One could use some sort of cream but I just wash my mitts or if one finger is dry, I just lick it. Kinky but effective
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:57 AM   #15
dave11
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Default Re: Electronic Pipes

I'm leaning pretty hard on this one because of the optical pickups and actual holes in the body of the chanter. I was going to get a set of Fagerstrom technopipes, but this has pretty much the same features with the added drilled holes which I like for a "feel" that an electronic contact can't give.

So who's going to take the plunge?
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:07 AM   #16
Pppiper
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Default Re: Electronic Pipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave11 View Post
I'm leaning pretty hard on this one because of the optical pickups and actual holes in the body of the chanter. I was going to get a set of Fagerstrom technopipes, but this has pretty much the same features with the added drilled holes which I like for a "feel" that an electronic contact can't give.

So who's going to take the plunge?
I just might do it .. it's bad timing though, as I just bought a ton of pipe books, and that ES Session chanter. Both well spent, but ... money ... (slaps forehead).

I'll drop a line if I go for it. If not now, then I definitely will in a few months.

Cheers,
~Nate
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