DIYAPASON-L Digest #207 - Sunday, December 17, 2000
  by "David Scribner" <>
Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction
  by "Tim Rickman" <>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction
  by "VEAGUE" <>
RE: [Residence Organs]  Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction
  by "L.Huivenaar" <>
Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction
  by "Larry Chace" <>

(back) Subject: WE ARE BACK!!!! From: "David Scribner" <> Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2000 23:39:30 -0600   Hopefully, for good this time. At 71 hours without power to run the servers our power was restored this evening so with luck we should be running as usual.   Last Wednesday, Little Rock, AR, where these servers are located, was hit with a MAJOR ice storm. We were lucky for most of the day but finally at about 8:30 PM we lost our power. Some of our neighbors lost power during the day but were restored within a couple of hours so when our power went out I hoped that we would get it back quickly. Well, that wasn't the case. With the amount of outages not only here in Little Rock but all across the state it has taken some time to get the power back to customers. And we are luck with just having to go without it for as long as we did. There are still many people, both here in Little Rock and in other parts of the state, that do not have their power restored as of yet. And in some cases it is predicted that they won't get it back until next Wednesday.   I'm sorry that I didn't send out a note anticipating the possibility of this problem but that is in hindsight now. And last night we were able to borrow a generator to get the server up and running for a period of time but the power coming out of it was too unstable to run the list server for too long.   As I said at the beginning of this note, hopefully, we are back for good this time but there is still a possibility that there might be an outage. The winds have picked up here tonight and it has gotten cold again so there is still a chance that a tree limb may fall and knock out the lines again. But I pray that doesn't happen.   You should be getting a backlog of mail from the list. There was mail on the server when the power went out plus any postings sent to the list during the outage were being held by the backup mail server which will start forwarding it on to the list server this evening.   Thanks for your patience during this problem. I have felt so helpless since there was nothing I could do to speed up the process of getting the servers back up and running.   Happy Chatting   David  
(back) Subject: Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction From: "Tim Rickman" <> Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 19:10:20 -0800   Hello List   I guess it's time to come out of lurking and introuduce myslef AND I have = an answer for Larry Chase's question regarding how Wurlitzer set stops on their roll = player.   I'm Tim Rickman, I live in "Sin City",Sunny Las Vegas Nevada and LOVE it = here. I own a 3M 15 Rank Rober Morton Pipe organ that came to me last year with the passing of a very close friend. The organ is now in = my garage / studio awaiting to be erected and installed.   I am also the manufacturer and distributor of the UniFlex-2000 PC Based Computer Controlled Pipe Organ Relay System. I've been involved with computer based relay systems since 1979 when I was then working for Devtronix Organs INC when we began development of the DevTronix Multi Action computer controlled relay system based on the "then" brand new Motorola M68000 16/32 bit CPU. We were one of the first to have this chip, and the first to put a totally computer based software simulated relay = system on the market that controlled the Relay, Combination Action and = Multi-Track record play in one small package.   I worked for Devtronix until 1990 and programmed and supported most of = the 90 or so Multi Action systems that were sold between 1982 and 1990 and then = left the company to start a business of my own, specializing in the installation of = relay systems. Seems everyone wanted to build organs, but no one wanted to WIRE them or = install the electronics. This took me all over the world for 4 years.   In 1994 Devtronix Multi-Action System Designer and Developer Dick Wilcox = who originally initiated the design and development of the Devtronix = Multi-Action computer based relay system thought it would be a good idea to phase out the = propriatary computer and move the control system platform to the ever popular "IBM = PC". Devtroix decided at that time that they did not want to go into the "PC" computer = business and decided not to renew their manufacturing and distribution license from = Wilcox if it was going to change over to the PC platform.   When that decision was made, Dick Wilcox contacted me since I had worked = closely with him and the Multi-Action system from the beginning and asked if I would = be interested in taking on the challenges of redesigning and developing a system that = would run on a standard off the shelf PC. Having had enough of 4 years of travel, = liviing out of a suitcase, and pretty much "wired" out, I accepted and we've been busy as hell ever = since.   In all, we have about 190 relay systems world wide controlling some of the = largest theatre organ in the country, and recently, on of the Major East Coast = Organ builders has begun using our system for their organs, hopefully more will follow as = we enter into the church and classical market with our unique fully programmable organ = control system.   Now to the Rolls ! Over the past 20 years, I have spent thousands and thousands of hours examining and decoding the logic used to create some really beautiful as well as dreadful music from perforated paper rolls. It AIN'T EASY,and if you start down the path of organ roll players, get ready for a fascinating and challenging stroll.   Generally, Roll Player switching logic is very different than organ relay = switching logic. Don't get me wrong, roll players DO incorporate MANY shared switching = concepts found in the traditional organ relay as well as the electronic, solid state, and = Digital Relay systems like our UniFlex System, but there are other switching schemes = employed in a roll player that you would not find in a typical organ relay. So = even if you have an organ relay, and a roll player spool frame and switch stack, it would = be difficult to re-create the roll player "relay" of a Wurlitzer R player, a Moller = Artiste player, a Skinner player, or a Duo Art player WITHOUT having to supply or "roll = your own" (pun intended) external switching logic to do things like select and set stops, switch playing keys to stop keys, activate crescendo actions = and swell shades according to how the data was presented on the roll. Of Course, with the UniFlex-2000 Relay system, ALL of this specialized logic is available = to you as custom logic building blocks that "simulate" the functionality of these = specialized switching components.. but I don't want to turn this introduction into a = shameless or commercialized "plug" for our system, so just ignore that I said that. = ;-)   The same problems are true when interfacing a Midi player onto a pipe = organ to play ORGAN ROLLS. The roll data recorded INTO midi format from the roll player = during the transcription process MUST have all the roll events translated into common = a organ "lanugage" that the organ RELAY can understand before the roll can be = understood by the organ relay. If the roll player has the capabilities of setting = stops, expression and crescendo, then the Midi PLAYER must be capable of communicating to the keys, the stops, the swell pedals, crescendo, etc in the way the roll = player relay sends it out, or through some other kind of translation hardware. = This is somtimes very difficult, especially when latching on and clearing stop = combinations, setting swells AND actvating the crescendo pedal. With these more complex = roll players, you almost have to have the original roll player relay interfaced with the = organ relay, or have a relay system that is capable of simulating all the functionality = of the roll player relay along with the organ relay.   LARRY Chase asked about Wurlitzer's approach to the control of stops. = Well, having spent hundreds of hours working with the three most popular organ = roll formats that Wurlitzer created, they ALL had different characteristics. I assume = Larry was referring to the Wurlitzer R (Residence) organ rolls that had among others the hand = played rolls of Jesse Crawford. The Wurlitzer R player was set up to play a 3 manual = 12-15 Rank UNIFIED RESIDENCE Organs. They did this with 165 holes on a roll measuring = 16-7/8 wide with hole spacing 4 holes per cm. As stated, these rolls were = designed to play RESIDENCE organs, not Theatre Organs as one might think in today's meaning = of "Theatre Organs" associated with the WurliTzer name . These rolls were = for the most part very appropriate for a Residence. Yes, Wurlitzer installed them on = residence Theatre Organs with Tibia's and Tuba's and Percussions, but the voicing = was considerably different for these organs, at least in MY opinion.   The Stop List for the Residence organ consisted of the following stops = taken from my notes and my Richard Villeman notes who was considered the = Wurlitzer R player "expert" and from other sources I've found in my travels. Some additional = notes regarding substitutions are from Dave Junctions Wurlitzer Player notes.   PEDAL: 12 notes at 8' unison or at 4' with coupler. Tuba 16 Diaphone 16 (metal) Tibia 16 Bourdon 16 Clarinet 8 Cello 8 Bass Drum Kettle Drum Crash Cymbal (Tap) Cymbal Triangle   ACCOMP: 58 notes Tuba 8 Open Diapason 8 Tibia Clausa 8 Clarinet 8 Salicional 8 or (Junction lists VDO in the place of Sal's) Voix Celeste 8 or (Junction -VDO Celeste) Oboe Horn 8 Concert Flute 8 Vox Humana 8 Salicional 4 (VDO) Octave Celeste 4 (Junction -VDO Celeste) Flute 4 Vox Humana 4 Chrysoglott Harp Snare Drum Tambourine Castanets Wood Block   GREAT: 58 notes Tuba 16 Bass (Diaphone) 16 Tibia 16 Clarinet 16 Oboe Horn 16 Contre Viole 16 (Dave Junction - French Horn 16') Bourdon 16 Tuba 8 Diapason 8 Tibia 8 Orch Oboe 8 Clarinet 8 Oboe Horn 8 Salicional 8 Salicional 8 (OR subst. 2nd String) -- Dave Junction lists French Horn 8 Voix Celeste 8 Flute 8 Vox Humana 8 Piccolo 4 (Tibia) Salicional 4 Harp Main Tremulants Oct. Celeste 4 Xylophone Glock Chimes   SOLO: 37 notes derrived from switched "pieces" of the upper and lower ends = of the Accomp. and Great manuals Brass Trumpet 8 (Dave Junction Simply TRUMPET 8 -not Brass) Tuba 8 Diapason 8 Tibia 8 Flute 2 Salicional 8 Oboe Horn 8 Quintadena 8 Piccolo 4 (Tibia) Xylophone Glockenspiel Chimes Solo Trems (including Tibia) Vox Humana Trem Piccolo 2 (Flute) Harp Spare -- Dave Junction lists 2-2/3' Flute Spare -- Dave Junction lists 4' Aeoline Spare   As you can see, there was some difference in opinion between Wurlitzer Villeman and Junction on some of the strings and the French Horn. Another note in my file from Villeman shows that a "Violin" and Violin Celeste be = used in place of Salicional / Voix Celeste.   Below is the roll note layout for the 165 notes of the roll. Obviously, = as one can easily see, 165 holes does not easily translate to 3 manuals, Pedals, and = 80 stops, so some very creative circuitry and multiplexing was involved. Here is = how the holes worked:   Hole Function   1 Main Shutters pilot 2 Solo Shutters pilot 3-8 Six Stages of Main or Solo Shutters when enabled by hole 1 = or 2 9 Pedal Stops Pilot 10 Accomp Stops Pilot 11 Great Stops Pilot 12 Solo Stops pilot 13 Pedal Traps Control 14-18 Stops 1 thru 5 19-30 12 Pedal Notes C-B 31-85 Accompaniment Notes (55) notes 86-143 Great Notes (58) notes 144-146 Top 3 Accomp notes (58 notes total) 147 Pedal Unison OFF, Octave ON (4') 148 Rewind 149-163 Stops 6 thru 20 164 Transposer ON (For use in creating the Solo Manual from = the 165 Transposer OFF (Accomp and Great Manuals - total 37 note = Solo manual)   Setting Stops from the roll: There were 20 stops positions perforated on the rolls (holes 14-18 and 149 = to 163) to set a total of 80 stops on the player relay. This was a SEPARATE relay, = not related to the CONSOLE stops at all. They were totally separate. Stop groupings = and settings were determined by 4 division PILOT holes (Pedal, Accomp, Great and Solo).   Mechanically, the Wurlitzer relay used latching elect. pneu. relays to set = stops as follows: On the Wurlitzer roll player RELAY, there are 4 groups of 20 latching pneumatic relays (80 total) with ONE common latch cancel (enable) PER = division group of 20 latches. The Division latch cancel is enabled when the associated division PILOT is enabled, instantly cancelling the = previous stop settings as soon as the division Pilot is enabled. Once the stop setter = latch relays are cancelled or un-latched by the division Pilot, they revert back into the = latch mode and instantly latch again as soon as the appearance of stop data delivered = from the stop bus.   Stop data from the stop bus is routed to the selected division through 4 20 contact spreader board pneumatic switches (one for each keyboard = division), with one side of the switch feeding the 20 latching relay circuits of the stop = division, and the other side of the switch coming from the common 20 switch stop contacts of = the tracker bar pneumatic switch stack stop bus.   This is very similar to computer memory addressing; 20 data lines, 4 = address lines and a couple of write enables and a clear.   When a stop change is called for, First, the selected stop data = perforations (up to 20) appear at the tracker bar as ONE data block slightly AHEAD of = the pilot perforation. This allows the data to be present, settled and waiting = before the division pilot to appear. The stop data perforations appear in total for = about 330 Ms. (1/3 second). The Pilot opens for about 250 Ms. (1/4 second). This = presents the selected stop data or "combination" to the division latches from the stop = bus as soon as the division pilot is enabled. Next, the division PILOT perforation = appears (Only ONE pilot opens at a time per stop change). When the Pilot = perforation is enabled (turned ON) TWO things happen. First, it releases the previously set = stops by enabling the common DIVISION relay latch cancel, instantly breaking the = relay latch and canceling the stop at the organ relay. Second, it enables the = division stop data switch from the stop bus allowing the stop data flow to the specified = division stop latch relays and places the roll player stop latch relays in the latch = mode. Once the stop data is received from the stop bus the data signals, they instantly latch and re establish sustained switch closure of the = selected organ relay stop keyers. When the Pilot perforation finally Closes, the common stop = bus division switch OPENS leaving the data Set and Latched. At that point, the stop = data perforations turn off and the playing notes begin. All of this takes place in about = 250 Ms.(1/4 of a second). And it is just as complicated as it sounds! The roll player relay MUST be = in tip top operating condition as even the slightest delay or sluggish pneumatic can = cause a stop or combination to be missed.   The ONLY time more than one pilot would appear at the same time would be = to enable a GENERAL CANCEL which would consist of ALL division pilots appearing at the = same time, and then closing without seeing any stop data. This occurs at the = beginning of the roll and at the end of the roll. The result of this action would = be the cancelling of ALL latches and no stop data apparing to reset the latches.   Stop changes were quite frequent and generally came at the end of a phrase = and many times with stop changes occurring in one division while another = divison was playing.   The same logic applied to the Swell shades setters. These were also lock and Cancel latches. There was a MAIN shade Pilot and a Solo Shade Pilot (holes 1 and 2) followed by 6 data positions switches (holes 3 thru 8) = Open Pilots would clear previous shutter latches and latch new swell shade openings in = the same way the player set the stops; first canceling previous swell = settings, then loading the swell data and latching the new data. In many instances, BOTH sets of = shades COULD and often did set at the same time by the use of BOTH pilots coming = on at the same time followed by the same Data. The R rolls also made extensive use = of separated swells by activating one pilot or the other along with the desired shade = data. Single chamber organs with only one set of swells had the Main and Solo = swell outputs tied together.   So, in a nut shell Larry, that's how they did it in the R rolls. I won't = attempt to take the time to explain The RJ (R-Junior) rolls, except to say that there ther were fewer = pilots and fewer stops and only TWO manuals on the RJ machines. RJ machines used the lowest 12 = notes of the Accompaniment manual to set the stops, thus sharing playing notes with = stop controls -- another can of worms for another time!   The Wurlitzer CONCERT rolls (Wurlitzer's first attempt at ORGAN Player = rolls) was quite different. In the Wurlitzer CONCERT rolls, they used simple latch relays = and a single, common "General Cancel" latch release.   When the roll first started, ALL stops and controls were cancelled by the = General Cancel perforation. The General Cancel perforation in combination with the SFZ = (Fast) and Swells Closed perforations would insure that the roll began playing with = all swells closed. Individual stop enable perforations would appear at the registration holes = and latch the stop circuit ON. A SINGLE "general cancel" perforation was used to cancel = previous registration and then set new registrations. Problem with this type of stop control is = that the entire organ registration was cancelled every time ANY stop change was desired, and all = stops had to be reset (re-latched) again for the entire organ. This made smooth stop = transitions difficult as the playing had to briefly cease to set a stop change. But, it was a = quick and easy way to do the job.   Expression was quite interesting on the Concert Rolls. Because they only = had 98 holes to work with, there was not enough holes available to set shades = by pilots followed by shade data, so they came up with a series of = perforation pulses. This was essentially the same as an 10 step "Up Down Counter" with an ALL = ON and an ALL Clear. There were THREE controls that opened and closed 10 swell = shades. Swell OPEN, Swell CLOSE and SFZ (Quick Swell).   If a single pulse perforation appeared on "Swell OPEN", the first shade = would open and latch on. If a series of 5 pulses appeared at the Swell OPEN, the = shades would continue to open; adding one additional shade for each pulse. When the = pulses stopped, the shades would maintain their position. When a single pulse perforation = appeared at the "Swell CLOSE", the shades would close the last latched shade. If 5 = pulses appeared at the "Swell CLOSE", as each pulse was detected, the counter would turn = OFF one shade per pulse OR if 10 pulses appeared at the "Swell CLOSE", the = counter would continue closing the shades until the shades were completely closed. For = a FAST swell open or Fast swell close, TWO pulses would appear. One pulse perforation = appeared at "Swell OPEN" along with a perforation at hole 1 (SFZ FAST). This would = cause ALL the swells shades to open at once.   From this point, "Swell CLOSED" pulses could close the shades gradually, = or if a single pulse perforation appeared at "Swell CLOSE" AND at hole 1 (SFZ FAST) all the = shade would immediately close. The mechanism was a neat little affair with pneumatics = activating a ratcheting device that controlled a shorting bar across the swell shade = contacts.   I Hope you could understand that, and I hope that helped. Some of these = roll players have multiple things going on at the same time through the throw of a = single switch; some turnig ON some turning OFF, some latching, some cancelling ! In many = cases it takes many many looks to see what is happening. It is quite a fascinating study = to see what these early pioneers could do with wood, leather, wire and NO diodes.   BTW, we plan to release the Wurlitzer Concert rolls (about 900 tunes) to = interested individuals in several different formats. The UniFlex System format, and Standard Midi = file format for those of you with Midi based players that can read IBM format diskettes = and standard midi files. All stop actions, swells, and playing notes will be on separate = midi channels and no fancy interfacing will be needed. If your midi player can access stops, = swells, crescendo contacts and playing keys, you should be able to play these files. I'll = keep this list posted.   Following the release of the Wurlitzer Concert roll series, we plan to = relase the Skinner Roll library, the Aeolian Duo Art Organ roll library, the = Moller Artiste rolls RE recorded to a common Moller Factory studio organ specification, Welte = Philharmonic rolls, AND the Wurlitzer R hand played Crawford rolls and other selected = Wurlitzer R titles. Several individuals have quietly helped us get access to these rolls, and = it is my belief that the rolls should be made available to the "enthusiasts" with more = desire than dollars, and not simply locked away by the wealthy collectors. Wurlitzer Concert = rolls should be early in 2001. Like I said I'll keep the list posted.   Sorry to have gone on so long.    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction From: "VEAGUE" <> Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 15:45:42 -0500   I have a MIDI on my WurliTzer 2m - 9r home installation. The MIDI was designed and made by ASI from Denver, Co. It plays/ records all manuals/pedal, stops and swells.   I would be interested in any new music on floppies coming out.   Thank you,   Rick      
(back) Subject: RE: [Residence Organs] Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction From: "L.Huivenaar" <> Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 23:19:36 +0100   Hello Tim, I have to restore a Estey Residence Player Pipeorgan from 1923, a 2mp 6D1 organ. How much will it cost to buy your midi system, programs etc. for this type of instrument?   Greetings   Louis Huivenaar Netherlands Harmonium and Reedorgan restorer Appraiser under Oath for Harmoniums and Reedorgans in Europe +31 75 684 4858 ( Tel/Fax Factory) +31 75 684 6552 ( Privat) +31 653 117 697 ( Mobil) Website:   -----Oorspronkelijk bericht----- Van: []Namens Tim Rickman Verzonden: donderdag 14 december 2000 4:10 Aan: Residence Organ List Onderwerp: [Residence Organs] Re: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction   Hello List   I guess it's time to come out of lurking and introuduce myslef AND I have an answer for Larry Chase's question regarding how Wurlitzer set stops on their roll player.   I'm Tim Rickman, I live in "Sin City",Sunny Las Vegas Nevada and LOVE it here. I own a 3M 15 Rank Rober Morton Pipe organ that came to me last year with the passing of a very close friend. The organ is now in my garage / studio awaiting to be erected and installed.      
(back) Subject: Wurlitzer Roll Players and Introduction From: "Larry Chace" <> Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 23:04:23 -0500   For reasons that are not (yet) clear, I completely missed Tim Rickman's very (understatement) interestion note to this list dated December 13. Many thanks to Tim for his willingness to share that detailed description of the Wurlitzer roll encoding. It was, indeed, a stupendous bit of engineering.   Best wishes to Tim for success in his project to make available so many historic roll recordings and in so many formats. That is something that should be of interest to many folks.   As I reported some time ago, we got 1 (count it!) rank playing for the holidays, an Estey Clarabella. Even that, played at 8, 4, 2-2/3, 2, and 1-3/5 (ouch!) on just one manual, was a big hit at our annual Open House this weekend, with a surprisingly large number of guests taking to the organ bench and performing, including several youngsters who did quite well. We also had an Oboeist (who also makes Oboes professionally) perform; she choose a few of the well-known "Trumpet Tunes", which came = off exceedingly well. A few MIDI files of holiday music downloaded from the Web also added to the festivities when no human felt like playing. (And many thanks to the good folks who are willing to share their arrangments this way.)   Larry Chace