Peter is back with a special report: "As 25 January is Burn's night (the Scottish celebration of their national poet, featuring haggis, poetry and bagpipes) it seems an appropriate time to hail the surprisingly common MIDI bagpipe.
The best-looking MIDI pipes ever are these on the right, made by Version Midi (whose website is broken). They sell for around $5,000, and are played by Spanish bagpipe hearthrob José Ángel Hevia.
The DegerPipe is more affordable at around £400. It's made by German bagpipe enthusiast Manfred Deger, and modeled on the chanter, the pipe that plays the melody on a bagpipe. It features drones generated by wavetable sound synthesis and a built in metronome. My favourite sound clip from Manfred's website is "AnDro", which uses "GHB sound" (named after GH Boyd, another midi bagpipe pioneer, not the drug). It starts with what I guess is the electronic version of a bagpipe deflating: link.
In 2005, what you really need are the iPipes (seen above). Actually, they're not called that, but it's a better name than Master Gaita® for so many reasons. It's a PVC midi controller, with the unusual guarantee: "No finger moisting needed to activate sensors."
For more on bagpipes, check out the excellent The Bagpipes Go to the Movies, an exhaustive list of bagpipe appearances on celluloid and TV, from Ally McBeal to Yellow Submarine.