Home Documentation Videos Purchase FAQ Contact Forum Configure WARBL
WARBL doesn't make any sound on its own, so you'll need to plug it in to a MIDI host device. This is fairly easy, because most portable devices (and desktops) support MIDI, and there are lots of free or inexpensive MIDI apps. I highly recommend iOS (Apple) devices because they handle MIDI very well and are easiest to set up. Some suggestions for iOS apps include Appcordions Celtic Sounds, EPipes, and Thumbjam. The SoundFonts app is great for producing the sounds of a wide variety of instruments because it plays freely available SoundFonts, including the WARBL SoundFont (available here). Connecting WARBL to portable devices also requires a suitable adapter (not included with WARBL). For iOS devices with a headphone jack, the Apple USB to Lightning adapter is the easiest option. For other devices, see the question below.
If your device has a headphone jack or you are okay using its built-in speaker, you can simply use an Apple USB to Lightning adapter (for iOS devices with Lightning ports) or a micro-USB to USB-C adapter (for all devices with a USB-C port). For older Android devices with a micro-USB port, you'll need to use a USB "On-The-Go" (OTG) adapter.

It has gotten a bit more difficult to use USB-MIDI controllers with headphones because many new devices don't come with 3.5 mm headphone jacks. However, the correct adapter can add a headphone jack to your phone or tablet. For iOS devices (iPhone or iPad) with a Lightning port, I suggest this adapter or a similar one (look for mentions in the dscription or reviews that it works with MIDI keyboards). You can also use a USB hub plugged into an Apple USB to Lightning adapter. For devices with micro USB or USB-C connectors (all Android devices and newer iPads), a USB hub is a great option. This is an example of a compact USB-C hub, though it may interfere with a case on your phone or tablet. There are also many hubs available with short cables that will be less likely to inferere with a case. Here's one example. If your device has an older micro-USB port, you'd want to search for a micro-USB hub instead. In the coming years it's likely that all new portable devices will have USB-C ports, which will making selecting an adapter/hub a bit simpler. Feel free to contact me for suggestions for selecting an adapter or hub.
Bluetooth audio unfortunately has too much latency (delay) to work with MIDI devices, so it would be very difficult to play using Bluetooth audio. Wired speakers or headphones are recommended instead. Please see the question above if your device doesn't have a headphone jack.
Yes, WARBL works with any device that can recognize MIDI controllers. However, some devices may have more latency or take additional time to set up than others, and the reason I suggest iOS (Apple) devices for use with WARBL is that they work consistently well, while Android compatability is difficult to predict. I can accept returns if you buy a WARBL and it doesn't end up working well with your Android device. Android phones and tablets usually require a USB On-The-Go (OTG) adapter, micro USB to USB-C cable, or USB hub to connect to WARBL. For a variety of sounds on Android, Windows, or Mac, you can try using an app that plays SoundFont files, like FluidSynth, for Android, or Sforzando for Windows or Mac. You can then use those to play the WARBL SoundFont file that I made, which contains tin whistle, uilleann pipes, flute, highland bagpipes, and Scottish smallpipes sounds. There is a description and download link here.
The Configuration Tool (and the WARBL iOS app) is only designed for adjusting the settings on WARBL, and not for producing sound. Although it includes a simple electronic sound, that is intended just for quickly testing settings. An app or hardware MIDI host is required for producing high-quality sound. Please see the top question above for a list of low-cost MIDI apps that work well with WARBL.
The hole spacing is the same as that on a great highland pipes standard practice chanter. I arrived at that as a good compromise that will feel familiar to both whistle players and pipers. Here's a photo of the WARBL hole spacing.
WARBL produces no sound on its own, and the 3.5 mm jack is only for the optional "bell" sensor for emulating uilleann bagpipes. If you use the bell sensor, be sure to also use the special right-angle micro USB cord with the slim plug (supplied with the sensor). Many micro USB cords have a wider plug that could put too much pressure on the sensor and cause damage to the device.
The most common reason for this is that the "MIDI Channel" slider (the third slider form the bottom) is set to something other than "1". It may have been inadvertently moved. Another possibioity is that the adapter that you're using to connect the WARBL to the iOS device isn't working properly. Verify that the LED on the WARBL flashes when you plug it in, indicating that it is receiving power, and that the WARBL is recognized by the WARBL app or other MIDI apps that indicate when a MIDI device is connected. The MIDI Wrench app is great for troubleshooting MIDI devices.
I'll consider adding more fingering patterns if they are ones that are close to real intruments and will have broad appeal. Because of limited space, I do need to be somewhat selective. Feel free to contact me with suggestions.
Yes! WARBL is open-source, so you are free to modify the software and use it as you wish, as long it you keep it open source. It is available on the Documentation page and uses the Arduino language. Information about uploading the software from the Arduino IDE is available on the WARBL GitHub page. If you aren't comfortable with coding but have ideas for software improvements, feel free to contact me with suggestions for future updates.
Here's a screenshot of an example setup for controlling drones and regulators. Byte 3 in the button configuration section is the velocity (volume) of the regulators, so you can adjust that to your preference. The drones will turn on and off if you click button 1 while covering only the right index-finger hole. There is a full list of possible drones and regulators here (click on "more" to see the full description of the app with command list).
WARBL sends MIDI messages on Channel 1 by default, so your MIDI app should be set up to respond to messages on that channel. Many connection problems with MIDI apps can be solved by forcing the app to close (on iOS, double-click the home button and swipe the app upward), unplugging/replugging WARBL, or a combination of those two things. Note: If you have been sending CC messages from WARBL to control the volume of the app with the pressure sensor, after every breath, the volume of the app may be turned down to zero. It is easy to forget about this after changing settings, so if your app isn't making sound, check to make sure the volume control in the app itself isn't turned all the way down.
Chrome sometimes freezes if a MIDI device that it's connected to is unplugged before closing the browser. There is now an option in Chrome that solves this problem if you are using Windows 10, which involves telling Chrome to use the Windows built-in MIDI API. In your Chrome address bar, enter this address: chrome://flags/#use-winrt-midi-api Then, change "Use WIndows Runtime MIDI API" to "Enabled". You can also use Firefox or Safari with the Web MIDI plugin, which seems to be quite stable.
WARBL uses MIDI CC messages on channel 8 to communicate with the Configuration Tool. Beginning with firmware version 2.1, you can click "Disconnect" in the Configuration Tool to tell WARBL to stop sending messages. Otherwise, it will continue sending messages until it is unplugged. Most MIDI apps and modules will ignore CC messages in this range (CC 102-119), but if they are causing any problems you can click "Disconnecte" or unplug WARBL and plug it in again to make it stop sending.
I have chosen to only sell WARBL on this site partly because the cost actually ends up being lower for the consumer. Even though you have to pay duty/tax in most countries, this is less than the markup that distributors would charge. The DHL Express shipping is quite fast (around 4-5 business days.
Although the Configuration Tool is primarily web based, there are a few ways to use it offline. If you are using the WARBL iOS or Android app, internet is only required to install the app and then receive new automatic updates to the Configuration Tool (which happens about a year on average, when there is an update to the WARBL firmware). On Windows and Mac, you can run the Configuration Tool directly from your device rather than the internet by downloading the latest version, unzipping it, and opening the "configure.html" file in Chrome. When there is an update to the Configuration Tool you would need to download the new version.

To set up Celtic Sounds MIDI Module, see this video. Also see the question above about using drones and regulators.

To set up the EPipes iOS app, see this PDF.

To set up the FluidSynth app on Android, this video.

To set up the SForzando app on Windows or Mac, this video.

To download the WARBL SoundFont for whistle, flute, uilleann, highland pipes, and smappipes sounds to use with apps that play SoundFonts like FluidSynth, SForzando, and Soundfonts (iOS), look here.

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