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Swell indicators

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

Swell indicators

Postby Thomday » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:05 pm

We are setting up a new console and would like to have indicators for swell shoe positions. Four shoes, Main, Solo, Percussion and Crescendo. Anyone doing this? Suggestions for hardware to use?
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Re: Swell indicators

Postby magnaton » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:50 pm

Hi Thom:

This was listed a while back; a "Head up" display from Classic Midi Works in Canada. It shows 4 indicators. Not sure if it is still available or not.

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Re: Swell indicators

Postby brooke.benfield » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:56 pm

It's no longer available.

One of them was obtained for the HW installation at the church I play for and there was some sort of firmware problem so the indicators didn't work properly. I contacted Classic Midi and they requested I send it back so they could "repair" it. I sent it back and shortly after that the product disappeared from their website.

The church is out ~$320.00 and Classic Midi has not responded to emails about this problem so I have sort of given up.
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Re: Swell indicators

Postby Peter2 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:20 am

The swell shoes appear to control a Voltage Controlled Amplifier, the controlling voltage being somewhere between 0 and 5 VDC. So basically, any voltmeter with that range could be used to indicate the position of the shoe.
Time constraints prevent me from working on this project, but it seems to me that, say, an Arduino programmed as a voltmeter, could drive a vertically mounted standard 16x2 LCD for 2 channels (two of them side by side for 4 shoes).
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Re: Swell indicators

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:38 am

In order to leverage the auto ranging ability of Hauptwerk it might be ideal to read the HW status output, an integer up to 127 if I remember correctly, and use those MIDI signals to drive perhaps 3 20-LED indicators. Sparkfun sells 10 segment LED bargraphs that are one inch long. Two of these can be combined for a two inch high display. A Teensy could drive three of these easily via a 64-bit I2C or SPI board. That way there is no need to make any changes to any existing expression or crescendo pedal wiring.

If there's sufficient interest I will find time to draw up an inexpensive solution. If anyone finds an existing project like this let me know -- no need to reinvent the wheel. I'd envision a Teensy 3.x, a Centipede Shield I2C board, and 6 LED bargraphs for a total of about $60 plus any cabling and mounting solutions.
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Re: Swell indicators

Postby mdyde » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:30 am

Hello Thomday,

[Topic moved here.]

To add to others' replies, Hauptwerk can also output MIDI control change (or NRPN/RPN) messages directly from any of its virtual expression pedals. Just make sure you have the appropriate MIDI OUT port enabled (on the 'General settings | MIDI ports | MIDI OUT ports' screen tab), then right-click on the desired virtual expression pedal, select 'Adjust MIDI/trigger settings manually ..., and configure the appropriate MIDI settings on the 'Primary output' tab).

It would probably be preferable for an expression pedal indicator to be driven by MIDI output from the virtual expression pedal in Hauptwerk, rather than directly/electrically from the physical expression pedal, so that the indicator would show the true position of the virtual expression pedal (which might sometimes be different from that of the physical pedal, for example if you've just loaded an organ but the physical pedal hasn't yet been moved so as to send any MIDI messages).
Best regards,

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Re: Swell indicators

Postby IainStinson » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:00 am

Hardware from may do the job. It relies on MIDI console status output system (pg 222 in the HW manual).

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Re: Swell indicators

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:36 pm

Thanks for the info about the MidiBoutique device. I hadn't seen that even though I ordered a velocity encoder from them just a couple of weeks ago. The price is reasonable as well.
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