MIDIChanter is a Scottish Bagpipes chanter and drones CoreMIDI control surface for the iPad.
MIDIChanter doesn't produce any sound on its own, it is designed for playing hardware and software VST-style MIDI synthesizers via a CoreMIDI compatible interface connected to the dock connector or virtual MIDI instruments like IK Multimedia SampleTank® for iOS or Sonosaurus ThumbJam running on your iPad.
You first absolutely must turn off "Multitasking Gestures" in your iPad Settings to use this app. When they are turned on, when you put four fingers on the screen, Apple takes over the system, stops all the sounds, and assumes you want to start switching between apps.
The chanter fingerings are based on those used for the Scottish Highland Bagpipes (as well as other related smallpipes).
MIDIChanter supports two independent MIDI channels, emulating the operation of the drones and chanter of a set of Scottish Highland Bagpipes.
Please visit the app support website to see some amazing live demo videos and for the settings you will need to enable in the synth app you are using to have it work with the control surface.
Touch the drone puck to start/stop the drones. For the Highland pipes, you'll want to set the drone transposition two semitones higher than the chanter.
Touch the bar at the top of the screen with your left thumb. It represents the hole on the back of the chanter for the highest note and must be covered for other lower notes to play.
The app uses chanter fingerings based on those for the Highland pipes.
Next, touch the top half of the chanter starting with the tips of your left index, middle, and ring fingers.
Finally, touch the bottom half of the chanter with the tips of your right index, middle, ring, and little fingers.
Touch the MIDI connector icon on the bottom left to bring up the MIDI parameter controls.
You may select the MIDI channel, attack velocity and volume for the chanter and drones independently using the sliders at the top of the screen.
The entire range may be transposed up or down (zero transpose is "C") up to one full octave in semitone increments using the chanter and drone transpose sliders.
All MIDI settings are saved when MIDIChanter quits and restored the next time it is run.
Touch the '?' icon to show the help screen.
Touch the '!' icon on the lower right to quiet any "stuck" notes if they occur.
Drone puck image courtesy of Mike DeSmidt.
Here's the settings changes required for two popular synth apps:
IK Multimedia SampleTank:
- In Settings (touch the gear icon), enable "Background Audio"
- Setup a patch with two parts, the chanter sound on MIDI channel 1 and the drones sound on MIDI channel 2.
- Make sure both parts are enabled to receive data in the SampleTank Parts selector for the patch, and save the setup as a preset.
- In "Prefs", under "MIDI Control", in "MIDI General Options", enable "Use CoreMIDI" and "Active in Background".
- In "Prefs", under "MIDI Control", in "Input Options", turn "Omni Mode" off to allow the chanter and drones to be used on different sequential MIDI channels.
- The "Channel Start" value in "Input Options" is already set to 1 by default.
- Use the second instrument load feature (touch the "1" on the left bar, toggles to "2") to allow a second instrument to be played on MIDI channel 2.
- The instrument in slot 1 (MIDI Channel 1) will be your chanter sound, slot 2 (MIDI Channel 2) will be your drone sound.
- You can toggle between slot 1 and slot 2 to change the sounds in each slot by touching the number in the left bar in ThumbJam
Other CoreMIDI compatible synth apps will have similar settings.
- March 03, 2013 Price decrease: $2.99 -> $0.99
- December 11, 2012 Price increase: FREE! -> $2.99
- December 06, 2012 Price decrease: $2.99 -> FREE!
- December 05, 2012 Price increase: $0.99 -> $2.99
- November 30, 2012 Price decrease: $4.99 -> $0.99
- November 27, 2012 Price increase: $0.99 -> $4.99
- November 22, 2012 Initial release