DIYAPASON-L Digest #975 - Tuesday, March 16, 2004
 
Re: Midi to Magnet Driver
  by "Jim Henry" <jim_henry@theatreorgans.com>
Midi to Magnet Driver
  by "Robert W. Taylor" <rtaylor@socket.net>
Re: Midi to Magnet Driver
  by "Larry Chace" <RLC1@etnainstruments.com>
Re: DIYAPASON-L Digest #974 - 03/15/04
  by "Mickey Sadler" <mickeysadler@wowway.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Midi to Magnet Driver
  by "Paul Kealy" <kealypaul@mediaexcellence.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Midi to Magnet Driver
  by "Drew Taylor" <dhtaylor@netmcr.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re: Midi to Magnet Driver From: "Jim Henry" <jim_henry@theatreorgans.com> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 00:30:23 -0800   Steven,   If this stuff makes your eyes glaze over I think you have no choice but to pay the price of buying a packaged solution.   The problem with the roll your own solutions is that you can't just copy what someone has done. You have to take those ideas and adapt them to = your system, possibly doing a bit of design work along the way. That = information can't be dumbed down much more than it already has been. You definitely need to be comfortable with digital microcontroller type electronics = before you try this as a do-it-yourself project.   I think the Opus Two http://www.opus-two.ca/ may be a good choice for you. Your current objective can be done for less than $1,000 and Dave Milton of Opus Two is very helpful. You will be able to build on this system so = that you can convert to a solid state relay at some point in the future without losing any of your investment.   Regards, Jim Henry   ----- Original Message ----- From: S. Durham To: Residence Organ List Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 11:39 PM Subject: [Residence Organs] Midi to Magnet Driver   List:   I have a electro-mechanical relay on my pipe organ but I want to be able to play MIDI files through the organ and wire a MIDI driver board of 61 notes in parallel with one of the organs keyboards. I will manually register the organ. What I'm looking at is a player pipe organ. Can this be done? And if so, how? Any possible problems? I don't have the money = to convert my organ over to a solid state relay system right now.   Now the next big questions is: Where do I get such a MIDI Driver Board? There is such a limited amount of information available on this subject. = I wish someone with the knowledge would develop a website or book that would describe solid state relay and MIDI systems for dummies like me. This = stuff makes my eyes glaze over!   Steven      
(back) Subject: Midi to Magnet Driver From: "Robert W. Taylor" <rtaylor@socket.net> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 08:28:18 -0600   Steve Durham inquired about putting a MIDI on his organ, in addition to others who have replied, here is my response.   I have equipped my organ with a full MIDI system and have retained all the original E-M relay systems. My project is historical in nature, where I chose to maintain the originality of the instrument, but slightly added to it without changing the basics. While Keith outlines the neat way to get the most out his ranks, I do not have that option as most of my organ resides on ventil chests.   The most important decision in adding the MIDI is defining what the finished product is expected to do. If the MIDI is to operate as a = "Player Organ" as you state, then the MIDI interface must be at the same point as where the MIDI recording originated. For example, if the MIDI file contains only keystroke information, it must be reinserted (Playback) at the key contacts. In this configuration, all stops, couplers and expression, if not recorded, can be added manually.   On the other hand, if the MIDI files contain rank specific note data, then the interface must be at the ranks, downstream of the keyboard.   Since my project is based on using a library of 1,400 rolls that I am converting to MIDI, the point of my MIDI interface is at the key contact level. On some of the rolls, all registration is automatic and that data is also fed into the MIDI interface which is upstream of the old automatic settings system. IOW, the recording of the files does not require = anything except reading the holes in the paper roll. So the MIDI playback is at = the point of the paper roll output.   The rolls don't need octave couplers...that is done on the roll by additional holes. The rolls do need component couplers to turn on the Echo, Harp and Chimes.   So the total MIDI system has five pair of in/out boards. Four are for the 3 manuals and pedal, the fifth is for the stops and couplers. This is = more than needed to playback files made from the rolls, but it enables me to record also any hand playing for playback.   Finally, the boards must be diode protected, either within the board or with diodes on your magnets.   I hope this helps.   Bob Taylor      
(back) Subject: Re: Midi to Magnet Driver From: "Larry Chace" <RLC1@etnainstruments.com> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 11:05:16 -0500   Steve Durham asked about MIDI-driven magnets for automatic playback; to = the good advice given by Jim Henry and Bob Taylor I'd like to add a word or = two.   First, playing one manual via a MIDI file will certainly work (and it will amaze many onlookers!), but if those files are generated by other folks, then you need to worry about the mapping of multiple MIDI channels (keyboards) to the one organ manual. Say the MIDI file composer has some strings on channel 1 as an accompaniment and a trumpet on channel 2 as a solo. How do you want to play that on a single manual? If middle C, for example, is played on channel 1 and also on channel 2, how will the organ respond, and what happens when the note on channel 1 stops playing (do you still hear middle C)?   I've dealt with some of these problems in MIDI files that I've downloaded from the Web (with thanks to the folks who put them there for free access!). It was necessary to deal with MIDI notes that fell beyond the ends of the organ keyboard, multiple MIDI channels in use at once (as mentioned above), and the elimination of MIDI channel 10, which according to the General MIDI specifications is used for sound effects and "traps". Since I don't (yet) have any swell shades, I could blithely ignore any = need for the translation between MIDI volume (or expression or velocity) and swell shade motor operation.   Bob Taylor's comments about the use of MIDI for recording and playback (on the same instrument) are absolutely to the point. In this instance, MIDI becomes "electronic paper" for a "virtual roll player" and many of the = more general problems do no arise. (In the specific case of instruments with Z-tronics relays, we tend to separate the stops data from the swell shoe data, since we don't want to route the swell shoe data through a combination action, if one is present, but that's perhaps a quirk of the Z-tronics implementation.)   Encoding the stops (and shoes) data in a simple form (such as Control Change messages) will make it easier if you want to edit the MIDI files, perhaps adding or removing stops or even printing out a score. Watch out for the encoding of stops as notes, though, since that can overwhelm some MIDI sequencers and can give some surpises when the sequencer is paused/resumed during a playback. (Interestingly enough, the topic of = MIDI stops encoding has been active just now on PIPORG-L.)   As with many things, your first decision is "what am I trying to accomplish?", and the answer to that will help you find or create a suitable solution.   I would certainly agree with Keith Zimmerman's advice that it is better to have a single system rather than a lash-up of different types of control elements, but, as is often the case, these things aren't free. By the = way, one method of achieving the "octet" facility that Keith mentioned is to define some additional "manuals", not corresponding to existing ones, and provide them with suitable stops. If your organ control system is = flexible enough, this shouldn't be too difficult and it would provide both schemes for playing the organ (or the ranks) via MIDI.   Larry Chace        
(back) Subject: Re: DIYAPASON-L Digest #974 - 03/15/04 From: "Mickey Sadler" <mickeysadler@wowway.com> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 13:49:37 -0800   Hi Stephen,   You might want to look at Sound Research at http://www.sound-research.net/index.html , j-omega at http://www.j-omega.co.uk/ and Do It Yourself MIDI Controllers at http://www.ucapps.de/ . There is a thread going on in their forum about MIDI control of pipe organs.   For good information on MIDI in general, check the MIDI Technical Fanatics Brainwashing Center at http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/ and specifically http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/tech/midispec.htm .   There has also been some discussion of MIDI and pipe organs on the pipeorg-l list in the past several days.   Later,   Mickey   On Mar 15, 2004, at 9:29 PM, Residence Organ List wrote:   > Subject: Midi to Magnet Driver > From: "S. Durham" <sdurham11@comcast.net> > Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 20:39:27 -0800 > > List: > > I have a electro-mechanical relay on my pipe organ but I want to be > able to play MIDI files through the organ and wire a MIDI driver board > of 61 notes in parallel with one of the organs keyboards. I will > manually register the organ. What I'm looking at is a player pipe > organ. Can this be done? And if so, how? Any possible problems? I > don't have the money to convert my organ over to a solid state relay > system right now. > > Now the next big questions is: Where do I get such a MIDI Driver > Board? There is such a limited amount of information available on > this subject. I wish someone with the knowledge would develop a > website or book that would describe solid state relay and MIDI systems > for dummies like me. This stuff makes my eyes glaze over! > > Steven > ---- Mickey E. Sadler Dublin, Ohio    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Midi to Magnet Driver From: "Paul Kealy" <kealypaul@mediaexcellence.com> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 13:01:41 -0800   I'm also in the same mode, wanting to equip for MIDI, and studying all I = can .... boy it can be confusing!   I seek all information I can find, so if you know something, please share it.   I have a Baldwin C-305 organ equipped with MIDI which is helpful for a start, but I would think with the power of MIDI it should be easier to = equip to drive real pipes, especially as I seek to test units before installing = on a large installation.   There is some helpful definitions of the potential and also the downsides = of MIDI at www.intermidi.com for a system they have called the PTM (tm) Pipe Traffic Management system. They have a download that answers many of the basic questions.   Also found some MIDI explanation at www.organworks.com/cpocmidi.htm   Paul Kealy    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Midi to Magnet Driver From: "Drew Taylor" <dhtaylor@netmcr.com> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 16:11:09 -0500   About a year ago I was thinking of the same thing. I wanted a system to simply playback MIDI files, no encoding (due to budget). I ended up purchasing a 64 note output board and a 32 note board from JW-Electronics (www.j-omega.co.uk). The whole order was under $300. The 64 note board I wired to a coupler which could be coupled to the Great or the Swell to play any selected ranks in those divisions. I am planning to purchase another 64-note output to play the swell division and a 32 note board to play the pedal division. Each board will be set to a different channel and the MIDI files will have to be edited.   The 32 note board I used to select stops. I wired it directly to the drawknobs using 1 note to push the knob out and turn on the stop and 1 note to cancel the stop. Since there are only 10 knobs, I can define stop changes in the MIDI file fairly easily, as well as control the shades and set the Gt/Sw couplers with the leftover outputs. There are many different approaches to doing this, but for me this was the cheapest and easiest to integrate into the exisitng organ.   This definitely was not a plug-n-play situation. I ended up making a relay board to interface the IC based equipment to the ancient haphazard wiring of the EM organ. In such a complex situation, shorts, ground loops and the like can cause some trouble if you aren't careful. Using a relay board gave me one more degree of isolation to protect the MIDI equipment. Being an electrical engineering student helped as well.   Once I got the system up and running I ended up playing it many days a week for the last year and have enjoyed every minute. It really brought the organ to life and opened up a lot of works for playing. When I purchase a pre-built organ I will work on designing a more elaborate system, but this ended up being very educational.   -Drew Taylor