The main UI for Bagpipes consists of several controls including Legato / Phrase selection, Impulse Response (reverb), Tempo Sync, Intelligent Time Machine and Bagpipe type.
Phrases and Legato
Choose either performance-sampled Phrases or playable Legato by clicking either button.
Origin and Type
From the four different countries and styles of bagpipes you can make your selection with the ORIGIN or TYPE menus. Click within the oval to select one of the different types of bagpipe.
Impulse Response (IR)
Bagpipes comes preloaded with a convolution reverb sampled from an actual space to simulate a realistic playing environment. Turn this on / off with the IR button on the left. From the Kontakt Configuration panel menu you can adjust many aspects of the reverb including wet/dry levels, pre delay, dampening and width.
Click the button to activate tempo syncing of the performance sampled phrases. Bagpipes features adaptive tempo syncing which will lock the phrase playback to tempo even if the host tempo is changing during playback.
Intelligent Time Machine (ITM)
The ITM function syncs samples to half-time or double-time when extreme tempo values are used. This can also be turned off. Click the button to enable / disable this feature. You may prefer to have the ITM function turned off when using adaptive tempo¬syncing functions previously mentioned, so that the samples do not suddenly switch to half/double-time when manipulating large tempo changes.
We found it particularly intuitive, when composing to see what length a phrase would be. Since not all phrases are cut out with computer science in mind, they are more focused on musical and artistic expression, there’s a lot of variety in length and duration of a phrase. Hence the “Phrase Indicator” that shows you the remaining length by steadily following the phrase progression, filling the sphere with a transparent ‘hour glass’ like substance.
Each different style of Bagpipes have their own keyrange for the legato instrument and a drone triggered by a single key. Although the drone key (G2) is common to all different sets of Bagpipes, the note played will not be a G but will be the actual root note of the authentic set of Bagpipes sampled realistically. All samples loop indefinitely.
Legato transitions will trigger automatically as long as the second note is played before the first is released. Trills can also be played easily by holding one note whilst repeatedly triggering another. All legato patches are velocity sensitive to allow a full range of expression.
With the performance sampled phrases, Bagpipes provides red colored key switches from A0 to G#1 which will become yellow when selected:
Use the orange keyswitches to set the pitch of the phrases then use the upper white keys to trigger them. The white key at G2 performs the same drone function as the Legato patches. However, it is pitched to match the phrases and will also change pitch, depending on the keyswitch selected.
The Tempo Sync and ITM buttons explained above will ensure that the phrases sync to your host tempo. Bear in mind that the traditional loose playing style of bagpipe performance has been retained in these phrases. Some phrases do not begin on bar 1 but half a beat beforehand.
Purging and Disc Usage
To save on system resources and RAM, Bagpipes loads each set of phrases, as they are needed. Depending on your disc speed you may need to allow a few seconds for these to load once you select a new set of phrases or select a new root pitch.