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Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

Postby mdyde » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:58 pm

A gentleman named Mark Williams has asked that I post the following information and pictures of his set-up on his behalf for the interest of others:

Description of the WILLIAMS ORGAN:

This is a 3-manual Hauptwerk organ designed and constructed by Mark K. Williams of Savannah, Georgia (USA) for his home. The organ utilizes a duo-core PC with 8GB RAM and WinXP64. MIDI interface hardware is from Largonet’s MIDI Gadgets Boutique of Bulgaria (really nice boards). The main goal in the design and construction of the organ was to provide a replica of the 67-rank Harrison and Harrison that Williams plays at Christ Church Anglican as the parish's Organist/Choirmaster. Therefore, Mark utilized Oberwerk as the best program from which he could choose and arrange stops that best mimicked the Harrison and Harrison. Williams also chose Dr. Yves Petit-Clerc’s Oberwerk (Milan Digital Audio) for the simplicity of the application's voicing controls for establishing balance within and between divisions and for its ability to employ treble ascendancy to the voicing process.

In addition, Williams copied the ergonomic design of the Harrison and Harrison console carefully--regarding bench height, height from pedals to bench, pedals to keyboards, and keyboards to the music desk. "The Harrison and Harrison console on which I play every day is the single most comfortable console on which I have played. I can play for several hours at a time with only a couple of breaks for a stretch and a walk around without any serious discomfort," says Williams. "So I took on the task of copying the ergonomics of the church console so that I could enjoy the nearly stress-free playing that I do at Christ Church as well as enjoy little to no transference difficulties when moving between the two consoles."

The secondary goal was to create an instrument that looked as good as it sounded and sounded as good as it looked. Therefore Williams employed two hi-end Sony Surround Sound systems for a total of twelve speakers and two 16'' woofers as well as two powered Behringer monitor speakers (nice matched speakers) to round out the sound.

The third goal was to convince his lovely wife, Tina (who is a lyric soprano and runs a large voice studio), that the instrument would fit into and look nice in the decor of their historic home in Savannah. Once Mark presented a photo of the case of the Bosch-Schnitger/Saint Nicolaas Kerk (Netherlands) organ to her, along with some CADD drawings of their living room space to show her that their grand piano and the newly proposed organ would indeed fit into one end of the room comfortably, she gave the project a green light.

Construction was begun in June of 2007 and voicing completed in March of 2008. The pipes are non-working. The two monitors are touchscreen from Elo Touchscreen Systems. Mark Williams may be contacted at <williams4950 [at] bellsouth.net> for comments or inquiries.
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Best regards,
Martin.

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Postby Stefanussen » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:27 pm

very cool, screens as a music rack has lots of interesting applications. How about a piston for 'next page'? :)
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Postby Sander » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:37 pm

which can be recorded into the sequencer ofcourse. It should be possible with a MIDI to key-pressure program.
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Postby Stefanussen » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:38 pm

It would also be feasible to have MIDI sheet music coupled with an analysis algorithm that moves music for you based where you are in your performance.
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Postby Sander » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:42 am

If you don't make to many mistakes that is. Too bad the sheet music database closed down.
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Source of music on the monitor

Postby Mark K. Williams » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm

Just to help out here....the music on the left touchscreen monitor is being displayed as part of the MusicPad Pro software loaded on the CPU. I have a MusicPad Pro from (freehandsystems.com) very cool tool, and have scanned much of my music into it. The MusicPad itself (not pictured) and the accompanying application on the CPU allow me to turn pages through a simple switch, like a synth sustain pedal or a 3-foot tape switch mounted under the key desk, which I have done both with my Hauptwerk home organ and the Harrison and Harrison at Christ Church. Also, with the software and the use of a touchscreen, you can turn the pages instantaneously by touching the screens on the left and righthand sides of the screen. In addition, you can zoom in on the music to make it larger, add and subtract notes and notations as well as hi-lite (in five colors and four marker widths), write on the screen for annotations, add dynamic markings, etc., and put pages in a repeated sequence to allow for repeats as you page through a piece while playing it. Learning to scan music into the MusicPad cleanly took me about a Saturday of testing, but once I got it down, I had 15-20 pieces on a thumbdrive in a couple of hours. So now I carry my organ music from work to home and back in my pocket and have no need of a page turner!
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Postby deWaverley » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:21 pm

Wow...that's stunning! I recommend everyone have a look at that (MusicPad Pro).

I've been wondering (like many people, I should imagine) why nobody has done this yet...particularly in an orchestral context.

It could be amazingly useful for us piano teachers too, who currently have to lug several hundredweight of music around with us. Can you print out pages from it?

I only wish it could be a fraction cheaper though - would leave a bit more cash available for the next must-have Sample Set!

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Postby Stefanussen » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:51 pm

Yes, very cool indeed, not cheap though...
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MUSICREADER

Postby Geoff Lloyd » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:53 am

There's a software only programme available here which is much more reasonable:

http://www.musicreader.net/

I've been trying the evaluation version this morning, using the same touchscreen as I'm using for Hauptwerk, and so far I'm very impressed.

Best regards,

Geoff Lloyd
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Postby mdyde » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:48 am

Michel Laurent has asked that I post the following to the forum:

Histoire de mon home studio.

Mon premier orgue était un tiger echo (une horreur , mais pour l’époque…)
J’ai construit de toutes pièces un orgue a 2 claviers ,et un pédalier.
Le système comprenait 4 jeux de tirettes d’harmonie comme un hammond.
Le résultat était inespéré.
Je l’ai vendu .
Acheté un hammond a100 , 200 kgs , et une leslie r122.
J’ai construit en plusieurs étapes le wersi helios ,qui était la rolce de l’époque , le rapport signal bruit laissait cependant à désirer.
J’ai posé dessus un yamaha dx7 , une merveille , avec sa synthèse fm.
En 1990 j’ai fait l’acquisition d’un technics c800 digital , c’était le début de l ère du numérique.
Entre temps j’ai essayé l’échantillonneur korg dss1 ,monotimbral .
Le résultat étonnait par sa douceur et par la reproduction de sons échantillonnés.
Acheté ensuite un module wersi pegasus , incomplet , je ne l’ai pas gardé longtemps.
Le suivant était un wersi phoenics , brillant , sons hammond supers , et un bon effet leslie ,
Mais cet orgue manquait de fiabilité.
En 1997 ,je me rends à francfort avec Chistian Denis de Bruxelles pour commander une merveille que je possede toujours .un ensemble allemand de la marque bohm comprenant :
Un merger 4 entrées , 4 sorties , 3 claviers de 5 octaves , et un grand pédalier
Je commence la construction de mon orgue.
Je fabrique un changeur de programmes midi.
Je programme le merger bohm pour gérer les changements de programmes ainsi que la transposition par incréments d’un demi ton.
Cela marche à merveille.
Je connecte le s6000 de chez akai
C’est alors que j’achète un pc que je configure spécialement pour l’audio.
Tascam sort sa merveille, le gigastudio3 , permettant d’échantillonner tout ce que l’on veut .
Je me rends à Paris pour échantillonner un orgue de théâtre allen 317.
Je me rends une deuxième fois , pour améliorer la prise de son qui se fait aux micros , et oui pas de prises pour se connecter.
Le résultat est inespéré mais finalement pas extraordinaire.
Je converti tous les samples au format s6000.
Je suis comblé , cela sonne très bien
Le câblage de mon orgue a changé maintes fois.
J’ai récemment installé un tv de 26 pouces mais à cause de mon arthrose cervicale , je scie mon orgue pour installer un écran tactile plus bas.
Actuellement , je ne possède plus le s6000 , mais les américains ont enfin fabriqué un orgue de théâtre virtuel qui est sans commentaires.
Récemment j’ai transformé un clavier piano roland en changeur de programmes .
J’ai du pour cela ajouter 48 poussoirs en dessous des claviers , qui est somme toute l’endroit idéal pour une utilisation rapide et intuitive (comme sur les vrais orgues de theatre).

Voici la structure complète de mon home studio :
Pc1 : c’est l’ordinateur maître comprenant cubase studio4 comme séquenceur.
Giga studio3 comme échantillonneur.
Le b4 , une reproduction du célèbre hammond b3.
L’ypersonic2 ,tous les sons en général et des
pistes de drum.
le miroslav philarmonic , tous les sons pour la
musique classique (un must dans le genre).
le (virtual midi controler) permettant d’utiliser les
changements de programmes.
Le pc2 est un ordinateur à 4 processeurs , indispensables pour gérer l’orgue de théâtre.
Il faut savoir que l’orgue de théâtre est en fait une immense table de mixage et par ce fait ,demande énormément de ressources micro processeur.
cet ordinateur est en mode esclave du pc1
Chaque pc contient une carte son esi quata fire610 , excellentes et complètes.
J’attends actuellement un orgue classique de style romantique qui se greffe sur la console hauptwerk accueillant l’orgue de théâtre.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cela fait 11 ans que j’ai attaqué ce home studio , je crois en être arrivé à son terme , (j’en vois un qui sourit).
A part cela , je suis hyper accousique depuis l’année 2000 , les machines de bricolage ont créés des lésions irréversibles , surtout à mon oreille droite.
Je ne pourai jamais plus entendre des basses fortes etc. , c’est très handicapant , et surtout que personne ne peut comprendre ce que c’est au juste ,il y en a même qui soupçonnent un problème psychologique.
Je ne leur souhaite pas de le devenir un jour.
A part cela , les gens n’aiment pas l’orgue , sans doute parce qu’ils pensent automatiquement aux musiques d’enterrements que je n’aime pas non plus.
Avant de finir cette tartine que vous avez eu la patience de lire , pour me définir , je suis attiré par l’harmonie , par les sons en général , l’orgue de théâtre produit des sons inconnus par le plus commun des mortels .ils sont inconnus chez nous.
Ils ont étés fabriqués pour accompagner les films muets dans les années cons cernées.
les plus gros instrument au monde sont les orgues de théâtre américains comme le fox à Atlanta qui possède,sauf erreur de ma part , plus de 7000 tuyaux , la puissance sonore et électrique d’un tel engin est stupéfiante.
Les principales marques , a ma connaissance sont : wurlitzer,compton,moler,christie,et standaart (hollandais),qui sonnent différemment.
On les trouvent en grandes quantités aux usa , en moyenne quantité au royaume uni , et un bonne dizaine en hollande.
Je suis né avec une oreille musicale qui procure de réels bonheurs.
Je pense personnellement que l’oreille musicale nous fait entendre la musique en détails , l’harmonie en est facilement décryptée.
Mon regret est, et mes proches le savent, d’être seul dans ce monde musical que je me suis créé et non sans sueur.
C’est avec plaisir que que je vous le montrerai.
Amicalement.
Michel laurent
9 rue roosevelt
6840 neufchateau
Belgique
061/277113
0474/822333


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Best regards,
Martin.

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Postby micdev » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:16 am

I took a few minutes to translate the best I could the first part of Mr Laurent's text.

François
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Story of my home studio.

My first organ was a tiger echo (horrible, but for the time…) I built from scratch an organ with 2 keyboards, and pedalboard. The system consisted of 4 drawbars as used in a hammond. The result was quite surprising and pleasing.
Eventually I sold it and purchased a hammond a100, 200 kgs, and a leslie r122.

Then, I built in several stages a wersi helios, which was the rolls Royce at the time but the signal/noise ratio wasn't good.I add to the Wersi a yamaha dx7, a marvel with its synthesis fm. In 1990 I made the acquisition of a digital technics c800, it was the beginning of the digital age.

Meanwhile I tried the sampler korg dss1, Monophonic. The end result pretty good the sweetness of the sound and quality of the sampled; then bought a wersi pegasus add-on module, incomplete, I have not kept long.

The next once was a wersi phoenics, wonderful, great hammond sound and a good leslie effect but this organ lacked reliability. In 1997, I went to Francfort with Chistian Denis from Brussels to order a wonder that I still own. A midi kit from the German maker Bohm including:
- A controller with 4 inputs, 4 outputs
- 3 5-octaves keyboards, and a large pedalboard

I began the construction of my organ. I programmed the controller to allow program changing as well as transposing in increments of half a tone.... This is working perfectly

I connect an akai s6000, then I buy a pc that I specially configured for audio. Tascam release it wonderful software, Gigastudio3, providing a way to sample and play back anything. I go to Paris to sampled an Allen 317 (theatre organ). I returned a second time to improve the way I'm capturing the sound with the microphone; unfortunatly there is no way to connect directly to the console.

The end result is ok but not extraordinary; I converted all the samples for the S600. I am please with the the results, it sounds very good.

All wiring for the organ was changed many times; I recently installed a 26-inches monitor, but because of my cervical arthrosis, I had to modify the console and install a smaller touchscreen so it would sit lower.

Today, I no longer owns the s6000, but thanks to some Americans I have finally have a virtual theater organ which leave me breathless.

Recently I modified a Roland piano keyboard to act as a program changer. I added 48 push button it below the keyboard, which is, after all, an ideal place for a fast and intuitive use (as on the real theatre organ).

Here is a list of the components use in my home studio:

- Pc1 is the master computer and includes cubase studio4 as sequencer.
- Giga studio3 as sampler.
- The b4, a reproduction of the famous hammond b3.
- The ypersonic2, all the sounds in general and Drum tracks.
- Miroslav Philarmonic, all sounds needed for the Classical music (a must have).
- Midi controller
- Pc2 is a computer with 4 processors, use to control the theater organ (Hautpwerk). You should know that the theatre organ is actually a huge mixer and thereby, demand considerable resources. Each pc sound card contains a quata fire610 esi soundcard, excellent and complete audio card.

Currently I'm awaiting a Romantic classical style organ to use with Hautpwerk (already using it for my theatre organ)

11 years ago I started building my home studio, I think that it is finally done! (I know some of you are smiling...).
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Postby J# Minor » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:28 am

Here's my almost-finished custom Hauptwerk rig, just installed a few days ago.

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Postby Stefanussen » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:04 am

Hi J# Minor,

A couple of questions about your setup,

Is that a Lexicon built into the unit right above the manuals?
What kind of speakers are those? Are the amplifiers built in? If not, what kind of amplifier(s) are you using?
How are you controlling the stops? Do you plan to add a (touch)monitor?
Did you do your own woodworking?

A very interesting setup, I like the way you have a built a console which is pleasing to look at, but is still very practical for Hauptwerk (eg. not a massive AGO console). I hope my questions do not come off as rude, I'm just interested and want to learn more about your setup :)
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Postby Neil Odlin » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:20 pm

It look's fantastic!!!

I have a question as well, what is the wood type used?

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Postby J# Minor » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:46 pm

Stefanussen wrote:Is that a Lexicon built into the unit right above the manuals?
What kind of speakers are those? Are the amplifiers built in? If not, what kind of amplifier(s) are you using?
How are you controlling the stops? Do you plan to add a (touch)monitor?
Did you do your own woodworking?

Neil Odlin wrote:I have a question as well, what is the wood type used?

Sorry for the delay in replying; I didn't have email notification turned on.

It's not a Lexicon unit; it's my audio/MIDI interface. "It" is actually a MOTU UltraLite and MicroExpress. They are half-rack units that can be combined to make a 1RU unit. I am still looking for 1RU rack rail to put in that hole. Everybody sells 2RU and up, but nobody sells a single rack unit's worth.

The speakers are Dynaudio BM5a studio monitors. They have built-in amps. IIRC they run about $500/pair, but I got them cheaper by knowing the right guy at a Guitar Center.

Right now, I use the mouse and screen to control stops. I'm looking at alternative methods. I may add a touch screen, but I am also considering a button box like this one:
http://www.xkeys.com/xkeys.php

I designed the console using Google SketchUp. The woodwork was done by my friend who is a one-man custom furniture shop. The frame is made of oak, and the panels are plywood with oak veneer (a thin layer of real oak). The dark borders around openings are made of walnut. Fully loaded, it's sturdy, yet 30-40% lighter than the spinet piano that occupies the same room. The console finished with tung oil, except for the key cheeks, which have a dark stain.

You can download my console design here:
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/ ... 787a2814bb
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