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"Adding" tracker touch?

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

"Adding" tracker touch?

Postby scottherbert » Fri May 25, 2018 2:00 pm

Hello all. A question for those of you that have added 'tracker touch' to keyboards. I have heard that using neodymium magnets and a metal strip does a good job of simulating a tracker touch. My question is, for those of you that have done it successfully, what size of magnet results in an adequate resistance? Not too much, not too little.

Thanks,
~S
"Life is just a dream, it is in death that we truly awaken!"
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby profeluisegarcia » Fri May 25, 2018 6:54 pm

I have experimented successfully gluing small ring type neodymiun magnets (facing equal charges) on naturals in Fatar keyboards; one magnet glued to the base, the other one to the metal of the key. The magnet is as wide as the two metals of the lower framework of the key. It adds some grams of force to the touching.
¡Experiment yourself!
Regards
Luis
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby scottherbert » Sat May 26, 2018 9:20 am

:D Gracias Luis!

~S
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby Paul Hodgetts » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:58 am

I used these. The 250 pack I needed for 4 x 61 note manuals cost around £40.

They keys are centre pivoted, 240mm from their front edge and I superglued the magnets underneath the keys 90mm behind the pivot point. A 20mm long M5 bolt passes vertically through the key above the magnet for the magnet to pull on, and it is adjusted so that there is the tiniest possible air gap between its end and the magnet (avoiding a loud click as the key returns to position).

A weight of 150grammes applied at the key is required to overcome the top resistance, which then falls to around 100grammes to complete the key movement and hold it down, which is pretty close to what I've found on the internet as recommended values.

Err on the side of having too strong a magnet, because you can adjust the bolt away from it if it's too strong.

According to the magnet website, the attractive force between a magnet and a piece of steel is the same as that between two magnets.

Caveat, I've not yet completed the console so can't vouch for how it feels when used in anger, but on the few notes I've set up and played with (and measured) it feels pretty realistic.
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby anco111 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:14 am

Could check out these pictures for ideas on how to do the magnet thing. It's dutch, but pictures don't need translating.. ;)

http://pcorgel.nl/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=286&p=30275#p30275
http://pcorgel.nl/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=647&p=28195#p28195
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby Paul Hodgetts » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:29 pm

I think i've just learnt the Dutch for "you do not have permission to view this picture"...
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby scottherbert » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:49 pm

Thank you all for your replies! Paul, I had wondered if those were too small to be effective, thank you for your input! And anco111, I am in the same boat as Paul, cannot see the images. :roll:

~S
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby profeluisegarcia » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:53 pm

Hello Paul¡ : Trying to fell tracker touch, It seems to me you use attractive magnetic force while and I`ve used magnetic repulsive force. ¿Any comment?
Thanks
Luis

Although I prefer Allen over Viscount and others, this related link is interesting:
http://www.viscountinstruments.com/medi ... _v_1_4.pdf
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby scottherbert » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:16 pm

I have two Classic Midi Works CMK 2 keyboards, and would like a third, but my finances will not allow another CMK. For this reason, I was thinking about adding something like a Behringer UMX610 and adding the tracker touch. I understand the touch may be different, however, not having a third manual vs. having one with a different touch is an easy decision! The tracker touch is the deal breaker!

~S
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby organtechnology » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:11 pm

scottherbert wrote: The tracker touch is the deal breaker!


I will never understand (as a non-player) how or why the imperfection of the organ mechanism in a tracker touch organ, the defect that the builders worked so hard to eliminate, has become such a desired feature. (insert emoji for :tounge-in-cheek here).

Thomas the builder.
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby engrssc » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:26 pm

Looking for that answer also. Often wondered. :shock: I had 3 manuals (not tracker) but basically require heavy touch. After a short time my hands would ache. I figured age was involved until a younger, very talented organist played. He said that it hurt to play as well. Of course these manuals are no more. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby scottherbert » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:41 pm

organtechnology wrote:
scottherbert wrote: The tracker touch is the deal breaker!


I will never understand (as a non-player) how or why the imperfection of the organ mechanism in a tracker touch organ, the defect that the builders worked so hard to eliminate, has become such a desired feature. (insert emoji for :tounge-in-cheek here).

Thomas the builder.

Ah, that one is easy for ME to answer!!! For me alone, it cleans up my playing considerably! I have nerve damage from an accident years ago that leaves me with unequal strength in my fingers. The tracker touch seems to require just a little more effort, and thereby eliminates the variability of stronger vs. weaker fingers in fast passages. I still must "sister" my left pinky with my ring finger to be able to press anything, which gets some funny looks, but it's the only way it works! :lol:

Whenever I play a 'normal' touch keyboard, my technique is very imprecise, slushy. But that's just my excuse! :D

~S
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby RaymondList » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:00 pm

I was going to suggest it eliminates 'bumped key' mistakes. I need all the help I can get with that, which is obvious as I play my non-tracker touch keyboards! But I have fun anyway! I just pretend those mistakes never happened.
Ray
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby profeluisegarcia » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:13 pm

organtechnology wrote:
scottherbert wrote: The tracker touch is the deal breaker!


I will never understand (as a non-player) how or why the imperfection of the organ mechanism in a tracker touch organ, the defect that the builders worked so hard to eliminate, has become such a desired feature. (insert emoji for :tounge-in-cheek here).

Thomas the builder.


Hello Thomas:
High ranked organists are able to feel the point when the valve opens in a tracker organ allowing the wind to leave toward the pipe. This is the point of higher resistance in the trajectory of the key and it is called the pluck point, and at both sides of it the resistance is much less significant. It seems this action allows those organists have a better control when playing notes and melodies.
The problems associated to the pluck point are: a) it is very, very short in time, b) can be very hard to the touch , c) usually are unstable and variable in each key and all over the keyboard. These are the problems perhaps you had in mind, and organ builders try to solve them , usually with very little success .

But tracker touch action -contrary to just electric action- provides certain resistance very useful to muscular control of the key movement by the fingers (remember "tracker" vs. electronic typewriters action¡).

I think the ideal of getting an authentic tracker action on electronic keyboards is more romantic than practical. What we really need is to find some resistance to the touch (medium, hard?). The "snap" function with rubber used in some Fatar and MidiWorks keyboards are good, but perhaps adding neodymium magnets in the system may serve to this purpose better and longer.

Best regards,
Luis
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Re: "Adding" tracker touch?

Postby organtechnology » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:19 am

profeluisegarcia wrote:
organtechnology wrote:
scottherbert wrote: The tracker touch is the deal breaker!


I will never understand (as a non-player) how or why the imperfection of the organ mechanism in a tracker touch organ, the defect that the builders worked so hard to eliminate, has become such a desired feature. (insert emoji for :tounge-in-cheek here).

Thomas the builder.


Hello Thomas:
High ranked organists are able to feel the point when the valve opens in a tracker organ allowing the wind to leave toward the pipe. This is the point of higher resistance in the trajectory of the key and it is called the pluck point, and at both sides of it the resistance is much less significant. It seems this action allows those organists have a better control when playing notes and melodies.
The problems associated to the pluck point are: a) it is very, very short in time, b) can be very hard to the touch , c) usually are unstable and variable in each key and all over the keyboard. These are the problems perhaps you had in mind, and organ builders try to solve them , usually with very little success .

But tracker touch action -contrary to just electric action- provides certain resistance very useful to muscular control of the key movement by the fingers (remember "tracker" vs. electronic typewriters action¡).

I think the ideal of getting an authentic tracker action on electronic keyboards is more romantic than practical. What we really need is to find some resistance to the touch (medium, hard?). The "snap" function with rubber used in some Fatar and MidiWorks keyboards are good, but perhaps adding neodymium magnets in the system may serve to this purpose better and longer.

Best regards,
Luis


Maybe you could take the vacuum pump out of a harmonium and use it to hold little valves at each key closed? :)

T
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