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Digital music rack...

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Digital music rack...

Postby micdev » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:07 pm

From another thread (http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?t=3940) we got "out of topic" after seeing this picture Image of Dick Linder organ.

Dick added a "digital music rack", something I had in mine for a while.... and kind of forgot. Within hours we were a few to post about that subject (within the same thread).

So I'm starting this thread to summerize what we have so far on the subject and to make it easier for others interested to follow and join the discussion.

So far:
- With a 24 inches screen, you can easily display 2 pages. (I tried it)
- One caveat with Adobe Reader is when you display 2 pages, advancing to the next page display the next 2 pages not the next one; ideally, you will want to display page 1-2, then 2-3 (we usually read ahead) and not 1-2 then 3-4.
- Xkeys has different products that can be use to flip pages; some kind of pedal ( http://www.xkeys.com/xkeys/xkfoot.php ) or better I guess a board that can use any kind of switch. ( http://www.ymouse.com/custom/xkmatrix.php ) Ed (engrssc) is using some of these products with great success.
- Xkeys products can send not only one keystoke, but many (like a macro that could do many actions.)
- For those using MIDI, Sander found a program that can translate MIDI into keystrokes. Bome's Midi Translator

I found a program, MusicReader that can display music (import jpg, png and pdf files). The basic version cost $49.95 and the Pro version (capable to display 2 pages at a time) for $99.95 and seems to be able to do "half page turn" so you can read ahead. (features @ http://www.musicreader.net/software/mus ... tures.html )

You can also download an evaluation version of MusicReader (full features of the Pro version (for 21-30 days and a nagging windows every 15 minutes) They even have a foot pedal emulating the PgUp and PgDn
( http://www.musicreader.net/hardware.html )

Question for Dick: can you give us more details about the buttons you're using (products, where to buy etc.)

So anyone with suggestions, ideas are welcome to join the discussion.

François
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Postby micdev » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:20 pm

Since the other thread keep growing with interesting infos (and it is not in a properly identify thread), I decided to copy some interesting comments from that thread and hope that the discussion will continue on this thread.

------------------------------------------------------------

engrssc wrote:One fairly significant advantage with X-Keys, aside from easy to program, is the fact that you can have multiple instructions (keyboard/keystrokes) sent with a single (piston) push. AFAIK, you can only send a single MIDI message at one (stroke). With a single X-Keys (piston), I can select a stop, also change the trem (and maybe dim the room lites) all at the same time

Rgds,
Ed


---------------------------------------------------------

Sander wrote:With the midibox used in this topic you can also do all that. It's a complete MIDI Operating System, so it needs some more programming then the X-keys. But then you can connect your lights to it also!


---------------------------------------------------------

engrssc wrote:Not exactly, Sander, even with MidiBox, you still can only send a single MIDI message at a given instant per output pin. I originally built a MidiBox setup, still have it so I'm not anti-MidiBox. Going to use it to convert a friend's instrument. As you mention, the programming can become quite involved, but once accomplished, the system works very well.

X-Keys, on the other hand, permits sending as many keystrokes (at once) in whichever order you choose and the order (sequence) you choose does make a difference as to the outcome.

BTW, I have downloaded (and read) Graham Wykes' MIDIO Mysteries Revealed http://www.northparkmeadows.com/midio_mysteries.zip Good (and very useful) manual.

Rgds,
Ed


-----------------------------------------------------------

jb wrote:With MIOS it is perfectly possible to send multiple MIDI messages in the order you want at once, only you have to program it yourself. I readily admit that this is much more complicated than configuring the X-keys.


----------------------------------------------------------

engrssc wrote:Thanks, too, for the info, jb. I had raised that issue on another forum and I may have either asked the wrong question or interrupted the answer incorrectly. I admit this continues to be a learning curve for me and love every bit of it.

Rgds,
Ed


---------------------------------------------------------

Richard Linder wrote:Lots of topics--

Touch screen mounting - I used commercial aluminum handrail stuff from McMaster-Carr. The bottom of the pole is connected to the platform and is braced to the console about 1/3rd of the way up. The monitors are KeyTec and there is no glare since the console is illuminated with two spotlights mounted on the opposite wall, 45 degrees off axis and 8' off the floor.

Yes, Ed I did build the dolly: two layers of 3/4" Baltic birch suppported by 9 low profile casters and trimmed with a 6" Poplar skirt. The dolly weighs about 200# and I had to hire some help to get it from the basement to the music room and then place the 500# Conn on top.

The music viewer: I searched quite a while to find a viewer that would respond to all the keyboard commands I thought I would need. A viewer called AHA, downloaded from the net does the job. Francois, a two page display on a wide screen would be great especially if executing "NEXT PAGE" caused the right hand page to move left and the new page appear on the right. I have not been able to locate a viewer that would do that as well as respond to the keyboard command I am currently using. Now, after using the viewer I think I would give up some of the keyboard functionality of AHA in exchange for a dual display that will slide the pages. That would solve the problem of inconvenient page breaks however, I feel a NEXT PAGE and PREVIOUS PAGE key board macro would still be desireable.

I am using an K-Key interface to connect the push buttons, swell microswitches and toe studs. The toe studs (Klann) someyimes turn two pages. They employ two contacts which are bridged by a contact disc which is moved by the stud. Two wiping contacts ! They are not made for dry switching. I am retrofitting the studs with reed switches...we'll see. The microswitches on the swell pedal have too light a touch but otherwise work fine. They will have to be stiffened up with helper springs or replaced with somethng more robust.

Image

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Dick Linder
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Postby micdev » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:32 pm

Dick,

Thanks for the informations. On my side, I downloaded the trial version of MusicReader ( http://www.musicreader.net/software/musicreader.html )

When displaying two pages at a time, MusicReader does something interesting to allow you to read ahead... but it doesn't do what we have in mind (move the right hand page to the left and display the new page on the right).

Instead, MusicReader display the new page on the LEFT side, leaving the page we are actually playing untouch (on the right side). So when you are done with the right page, you continue with the left; while playing the left, paging once more with display the new page on the right.... humm... hard to explain, let's try with something more graphical.

Left Right
1 2
click for next page
3 2
click for next page
3 4
click...
5 4
click
5 6 etc.

At first I found that weird, but once you get use to it, it make sense, allowing you to always have the next page display ahead of time.

Try the free demo, you might like it.
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Postby Geoff Lloyd » Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:54 pm

Hi Francois,

Here are some more thoughts on MusicReader to add to your collection:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/view ... highlight=

Best regards,

Geoff
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Postby micdev » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:34 pm

That's great Geoff! While looking for some kind of affordable software I googled the net... and never thought to search in theses forums.

I love the idea of using speech recognition to turn the pages and that GlovePIE software seems pretty clever ( http://carl.kenner.googlepages.com/glovepie_download ).... not sure yet how it interface with Microsoft Speech software and MusicReader but I will sure have a look at it seriously.

François
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DIGITAL MUSIC RACK / MUSIC FILE SYSTEM

Postby Richard Linder » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:14 pm

Ed enquired about the organization of my music files:

I scan the pages using an Epsom scanner / software. In addition to lots of versatility the resulting scan fills the page (usually horizontally) regardless of the original size. Great for old eyes like mine.

My music books are numbered so I have created separate directories (folders) which contain the filenames from each book. These are subdirectories and reside under two main directories currently named Skinner and Wurlitzer. Having two main directories allows me to have the same book number appear in both. This accommodates books that have both classical and popular selections.

I think it is important to keep the files this way in order to be able to locate the printed original in case a file is corrupted. Now this is very awkward for actual playing so... I created two more diectories named SKINNER MERGE and WURLITZER MERGE. All the fies from all the books in the Skinner directory are copied into the SKINNER MERGE directory. Now all the Skinner files appear in one composite list sorted alphabetically. Same goes for the Wurlitzer side. One advantage here is that I keep my Skinner and Wurlitzer book directories/files on a separate PC, only the two MERGEd files are on the digital music reader PC. I move newly added/deleted files between the two PCs using a jump drive. All this could be done with a data base system but so far this is working pretty well.

I will track down the specifics on the buttons for my next post.

As far as MUSIC READER is concerned, about a year ago I auditioned the trial version and found it more cumbersome than what I just described. Also it did not allow logical horizontal page turning. Maybe the latest edition is better??
Best wishes,
Dick Linder
Burlington, Massachusetts, USA
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Postby engrssc » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:14 pm

I had suggested (tongue in cheek) for registration/combination action changes as a future enhancement using voice recognition with a blue tooth type device for the organist awhile back. (I can hear the audience wondering who the organist was talking to on his cell phone while playing.)

Also, it may be known that there are electronic, digital commercial page turning devices available, one for the paltry sum of $1,400 USD. That's for a single sheet at a time unit with a foot pedal.

Back to some previous thoughts, I originally thought of 2 - LCD monitors, side by side on the music rack. The software should be able to display page #1 on Monitor #1, then after a "page turn" signal move/slide it to Monitor #2 and display page #2 on Monitor #1 in that form progression. Monitor #1 would be on the right with Monitor#2 on the left.

My thought this might be easier with 2 minitors, than to use only one widescreen. Right now with my dual screen setup for video editing, I slide windows (pages) from one screen to the other and can adjust the size as well. Shouldn't the same be possible with the sheetmusic pages?

Question regarding "vertically" printed music vs "horizontal" would be to avoid reducing "vertical" music on a standard sceeen with a blank area on either side for one thing.

Another thought, how about scrolling the music from bottom to top as we do with a script on a teleprompter? We can control the scroll speed as well as direction with a joy stick or scroll knob arrangment.

Some or all of this may have been discussed previously sometime, somewhere. Now to find, free or nearly free downloadable software already created.

I discussed some of the above with a friend/organist this afternoon who's ((only) concern was how much space such a setup would take up on the music rack especially when a "guest" organist wanted to use unscanned, regular paper sheet music. I religated his comment to his being a spoil sport. He agreed.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Digital music rack...

Postby David Pinnegar » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:02 am

micdev wrote:From another thread (http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?t=3940) we got "out of topic" after seeing this picture Image

Hi!

I'm not surprised at that! How could you possibly post a photo of a setup as impressive as that without inviting comment!

However, back on topic, Windows picture viewer slide show responds to next and previous arrows, so converting pdf music to a series of sequentially numbered gif images might provide a solution. Printing out pages from the pdf libraries seems so unnecessary nowadays.

Best wishes

David P
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Postby micdev » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:41 am

Richard,

I did some more tests with MusicReader and here are some interesting thinks about it.

    - You can rotate the screen to use it in landscape or portrait. On start up, MusicReader will ask how you want to display the pages (use a special software to do it.)

    - When you save a piece, you can enter some infos (composer, editor, genre etc). You can select these infos from a list or add new one and they will become available for future save.

    - In the library window, you can search by composer, editor, genre etc.

    - You can create play list (for example to prepare a concert, my favorite, Christmas etc).

    - There is a built-in metronome.

    - On a 24" display, you can view 2 landscape pages side by side (the size is about the same as a printed page 11 x 8.5)



The way MusicReader displays the pages is logicial and always allow you to read ahead. Ed's idea to have the pages moving from left to right is not the best solution I think; for example you're playing page 2, your eyes are looking to the bottom of page 2 (on the right side of the monitor) - you want to display page 3 to be ready, but as soon as you click to display page 3, the page your're reading moves to the left side of the monitor and you loose sight of where you were...

The way MusicReader display the music allows you to keep reading page 2 and display the next page (3) on the left side (exactly like when you're flipping from page 2 to page 3 but with page 2 still visible).

As far as using unscanned music, the monitor becomes the music rack (will need maybe to extend the lower tablet..).

I'll try within the next few day to post picture once my monitor is correctly install on my organ.

Regards

François

P.s. I'm not trying to sell MusicReader to anyone, but for $99 (pro version to display 2 pages side by side), compare to the pro system at more than $1K, it is a pretty good deal; display music, basic library management.
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Postby engrssc » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:00 am

It may have been slightly confusing the way I described the operation above, to clarify, the music should "move" right to left as in from monitor 1 on the right to monitor 2 on the left. The choice of a single widescreen monitor vs 2 "standard" screens is probably an indivdual matter given size of screen vs readablitity.

Rgds,
Ed
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MUSIC READER & PUSH BUTTONS

Postby Richard Linder » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:22 pm

Francois: After reading your description of Music Reader I think there has been some significant changes since I tried it. I will re-visit the product. First I must resolve the contact bounce problem and the hyper sensitive microswitches on the swell pedal. It is too easy to start two projects and only finish one! MUSIC READER will be next!

Ed: The push buttons are manufactured by HAPP. http://www.happcontrols.com/ You can also GOOGLE: arcade push buttons or amusement push buttons and come up with a lot of links. I think HAPP has a $25 minimum but the other sites will sell the HAPP singly and at a very reasonable price. In fact, the buttons sell for less than you or I would pay for the included microswitch!

Regarding the $1400 music reader you referred to: It is probably TABLET based and corrections and notations can be made directly on the manuscript and it will become part of the file. For a professional musician, that isa significant feature.
Best wishes,
Dick Linder
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FILE LAYOUT

Postby Richard Linder » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:45 pm

My file layout for the AHA picture viewer. All files in the archive PC are jpgs right from the Epson scanner. Each music book has its own file folder.

The console PC uses the picture viewer AHA and all book files are merged under two major directories; Skinner and Wurlitzer. AHA is defined as the default jpg viewer.

Image
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Dick Linder
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Postby micdev » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:07 pm

Richard & all,

I took some time today to set up a 24" monitor and install MusicReader on a secondary computer.

Here is a picture of my "temporary" setup. I still need to find a way to easily change pages (for the moment I'm using a second mouse...)

Image

The music you see was formatted in landscape. The best way to display it would be to rotate the monitor and have page 1 over page 2. (I will try the rotation later).

If I decide to use that system, I will modify the organ's music rack so that the monitor is a bit lower with a little shelf so I still can you sheet music.

Btw, MusicReader allows to annotate your music (using symbols or the mouse to write) and the annotations remains with the music the next time you open it. If you need to mark a lot of fingering etc, better print the music, annote and scan it back, but still, you can do it.

I'll keep experimenting and report my progress.

François
Last edited by micdev on Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby engrssc » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:30 pm

Now I'm not complaining, but with just a few more monitors, it will look like a TV studio. Mounting them seems to be something to consider. Thanks for all the info.

Rgds,
Ed
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Postby gingercat » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:51 am

I think the key to avoiding the TV studio look is to mount the monitors in a wooden frame as with some of the commercially available consoles. I'm also very tempted to digitise all my organ music as the propesct of music "on demand" appeals rather a lot!
Regards,
Chris Blaylock
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4 Manual Console, 32 R&C Pedalboard, 3xExpression, Solenoid coupler tabs
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