Electronic practice chanter..

Electronic practice chanter..

I am interested in electronic practice chanter, but need advices.. Which one to buy ? Is it possible to get sound on a pc ? what about the rendering of birls etc..

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

I have a Fagertström Technopipes - not to be confused with the predecessor the technochanter which is much more limited.

http://www.technopipes.com/

It is a very simple black tube with small metal contacts at about the same positions as my GHB chanter. The contacts can have their sensitivity changed, depending on how moist or dry your hands are. Some people may find the small overall size and simplicity a bit mickey mousey, but I find it makes for a very transportable package.

Headphones plug into the top of it which is also how it gets turned on. Playing it relies on resting the lower end on something since it is not supported from above. Controlling it is done via some fairly esoteric combinations of keypresses so it is best to keep the instruction sheet rolled up with the chanter wherever you go. The detection of crossing noises is merciless so you won’t develop lazy bad fingering habits playing them. It runs on one AAA battery for about ten hours or so.

They come in various flavours - mine plays GHB and two variants of SSP. The pitch of the current pipes can be varied between Bflat, A, C and D. The fingering can be GHB or chromatic with Border Pipe fingerings, though there is one setting for chromatic but equally tempered as well, which sounds appalling with the drones - the harmonically tuned chromatic scale is fine though.

The sound quality is ok - I have played along in a session with them with the sound going through a friend’s electronic keyboard. Not a good as the real pipes obviously.

So, to summarize, they are a great practice tool. They are of limited use as a performance instrument. They are hugely portable, but not everyone appreciates their small size (I find it ok). Finger spacing is correct though and that is what counts for me.

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

oh yes, Birls and other ornaments are all ok, and you could plug the output into a microphone input on the PC. Alternatively, it can produce MIDI and connect to the PC with a special cable, but I haven’t played with that aspect of it at all.

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

Thank you Crackpot, it seems to be interesting..
I also heard about Deger practice chanter, but it is very expensive and I read it is not better than Fagertström Technopipes. Have you tried it ?

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

There are severals versions of Fagertström Technopipes, french, galician.. you have the scottland one ?

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

I have the older Fagerstrom "electronic chanter" :

No drones

One timbre

One tuning system (which is the normal modern GHB Pythagorean Just Intonation, nicely in tune)

Limited tuning range

It does recognise the "cross-fingered" C natural and F natural but unfortunately does not recognise B flat, D sharp, or high G sharp.

It does finger vibrato.

Just be aware of these differences or limitations if you see a used Fagerstrom come up on Ebay or whatever.

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

I intend to buy a new fagerstrom. I find it for the price of 285 euros. Not so expensive, Deger is more than 500!
Thanks all for your remarks.

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

… and the Uilleann version? …….
(!)

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

Yeah the vPipes will be the best. I’ve been told they will be available this year.

Re: Electronic practice chanter..

Yes, I have the Scottish version. Do beware if buying used - the earlier Technochanter is vastly inferior to the newer Technopipes. Externally they look very similar though.