Regulators is a set of the three drones and three regulators (Tenor, Baritone, and Bass) found on a full set of Uilleann pipes (Irish Bagpipes) in the most common keys of D, C#, C, B, or Bb.
You may tune the drones and regulators +/- 50 cents in one-cent increments using the "Cents" slider on the settings page. Quickly reset the tuning offset to zero by touching the displayed offset value.
The app supports multitouch and independent playing of all three regulators at the same time. You can even touch one regulator key and slide to adjacent keys on the same or other regulators.
By touching the regulator mode switch below the drone puck, you may switch between auto-chord and single regulator play modes. In auto-chord play mode, touching on the left side of the regulators plays the tenor+baritone chord and touching on the right side of the regulators plays the baritone+bass chord.
Regulator auto-chord play mode is quite suitable for live performance along with a chanter when strapped to the leg and played with the side of the hand.
On the settings page, you may set the drones style (Lynch or Crowley), root key (D, C#, C, B, Bb), overall tuning offset, the volume of each of the three regulators and the drones independently, as well as the overall reverb level. All settings are saved when the app exits.
Regulators uses 16-bit 44 KHz, seamlessly looped audio samples based on real recordings of instruments, not synthesized tones, so is very realistic sounding. The samples all are tuned using proper just intonation relative to the drones.
Regulators may be enjoyed by anyone who wants to add the unique sound of the Uilleann pipe drones and regulators to their live or recorded music.
You may now play along with the tunes on your iPhone or iPod Touch, just start the music before running Regulators. Using Apple's Settings app, you may configure your device to bring up the iPod music controls by double clicking the home button to change tracks within an album.
Try plugging your device into a large amp and speakers, either via the docking connector or headphone jack to really appreciate the quality of the sound produced by this app.
Please visit my website for a video showing how to play along with music in your iTunes library as well as examples of the app used in multitrack recording projects where real regulators weren't available.
Also on the website there is a demonstration video showing how to use the tuning feature to play along with historical recordings that may not be at exact concert pitch.
Two-tone drone puck image courtesy of Mike DeSmidt, from a 3/4 concert pitch set he built himself.
Lynch drone samples recorded from my personal set.
Crowley drone samples originally provided by Vinnie Kilduff.
"An example of Regulators in action: this week, we've been in Boston rehearsing for the ninth annual edition of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, a holiday show by WGBG's Brian O'Donovan. Seamus Egan, the music director, played for the assembled musicians at rehearsal his digitally realized conception of one of the arrangements--including drones, from this app. For my part, one piece in the show requires me to play the drones on the pipes for an extended period. For rehearsal purposes, I flicked on the app on my ipad to make my life easier on my elbows, and quite credibly, to create the sound of drones while working on the piece. We had a pleasant surprise and a laugh to see that we were both using this app in our professional lives..." - Kieran O'Hare
Faster playing and audio quality improvements.
Ratings and Reviews
This is a fun app that also has some practical uses. If you are a uilleann piper or uilleann piper wannabe you can set the drones as you work a tune out on your practice set and get a feel of how it will sound on the full pipes. If you play the whistle, you can add 4QuarterSet and have a mini set of pipes for practice or just for fun.
On the practical side, having a totally steady drone at the correct pitch can be a help in tuning a chanter, or setting a new reed. The regulators also can be used to work out a new accompaniment for a tune without having to keep the full set breathing.
The only drawback is that it is a bit pricey, but when you think of the small subset of iPhone or Touch users who are also uilleann pipers it figures that the developer would have to charge a bit more to make it worth the effort.
Another great app from Michael!
a Mhichael choir, a chara,
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better with the 3/4 Set, you once again surpassed yourself! Great job!
At the moment, I am playing it with my Bazpipe, Baz-Deger hybrid, and my Reyburn D and C and Copeland Bb whistles.
I have figured out how to play the regulators with my little finger or with the edge of my fingers or hand, as needed. Your app provides a great accompaniment to either pipe or whistle.
I also just ordered the vPipes from Ramon and Jose, so I am looking forward to testing your regulators with them in both the D and C voices when they arrive a few months hence. I will let you know if they need any "tweaking". Maybe you could coordinate with Ramon re: the tone of the vPipes - perhaps even issue a vPipes patch for the 4Quarter set?
Mise le meas,
PS Lisa loves them too!
A great app
I have had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time working with 4QuarterSet. I suppose the first thing that comes to mind is how basically *neat* the thing is. It is an elegant and beautiful app. The new feature allowing the user to tune the drones and regulators is amazingly useful. I have compared the sound of the regulators in the app to 'real' recorded regulators, and there is no discernible difference in sound quality whatsoever, an amazing accomplishment. It's great for pipers to be able to use, and perhaps even more interesting in that it can give non-pipers some insight into how the regulators work, and therefore more understanding of the uilleann pipes in general. The designer is clearly engaged in a labor of love. A great little app.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.