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A New Console With The Help Of Friends

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

A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby ecmartinjr » Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:02 pm

Two years ago I discovered Miditzer by chance. It was amazing that I could download it for free and, out of the box, it emerged tooting and playing. Seeing it as a challenge I decided to design and build a console and vitrual organ, something that I had no experience with at all. The Miditzer and the Hauptwerk forums became my guides. Both forums are distinguished by the generous sharing and civility of those who participate. Now it is finished and I attach a photo of the end result. The console and related computer dedicated to it is a dual boot system (XP for Miditzer/GSO and Vista for HW). I wanted to make the console look like something that Bach would have understood to be an organ. Of course, I would have to explain to him some concepts such as electricity, computers, midi and audio speakers. My special appreciation goes to François Ratté (well known on both forums as "micdev", without his help I could not have made it work. Having built and put it all together I was stumped by the configuration issues. Happily, I obtained the professional service of François who was able to control and configure my computer from Quebec by the use of the "LogMeIn" program. He is uniquely able since he is both the IT director for a large law firm in Quebec as well as being a skilled virtual organ enthusiast. From my home I was able to watch and learn as he accomplished the configuration. It became obvious to me that there was no hunting and guessing for the solution to a problem -- he simply knew the right answer. While he was friendly, yet he was always professional. There was never any wasted time and he proved to be a thoughtful teacher, helping me to understand why he did things and how things worked. His charges were certainly reasonable and I would recommend his help to anyone like myself who needs it. It appears to me that many of the classcal organs are named for saints so I have christened my console "Saint-François d' Quebec". Saints often seem to become saints by virtue of their piety or miraculous powers. François' piety is uncertain but I can personally testify to his miraculous powers. He raised my console from the dead and made it sing! Now, all I have left to do is practice, practice, practice. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this long journey. Ed
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby GDay » Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:25 pm

Beautifully completed project. Congratulations and many hours of enjoyment.

G'Day
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby Turbo327 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:26 pm

What a beauty! Congratulations on a fantastic job.
Happy playing.
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby gingercat » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:53 am

Wow, that's an amazing looking console - congratulations!
Regards,
Chris Blaylock
i5 4670k, 32GB RAM, Win7, 2xELO 1280x1024 Touchscreens, Focusrite Saffire, MIDISport 4x4
4 Manual Console, 32 R&C Pedalboard, 3xExpression, Solenoid coupler tabs
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby G3 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:54 am

Gorgeous! A work of art... one of a kind. Congratulations. The pistons are so cool... I'm using the same device.

George (G3)
Owner/Builder of Hammond-Hauptwerks X-66 3-manual organ.
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby dalest » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:57 am

fantastic !!!!!!!!!!! bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby hinemini » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:34 pm

Do there exist more pictures or something like a report of the building process?
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby Jim Reid » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:12 pm

I also have benefited from the aid of Francois via the "LogMein" program.
He dug me out of my problems establishing Sonar and Pristine Space
convolution for my XP-64 system, for which I am very grateful.

Your system is beautiful! Enjoy.......
Jim Reid
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby ecmartinjr » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:18 pm

I will try to take a few more photos and write up a description of the "innards" of the console and computer if you are interested. Ed
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby dalest » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:58 pm

yes of course ! it will be a pleasur to see it
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby vidarf » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:39 pm

PLEASE do that! :) I have just started on my console... Fantastic piece of wonderness!
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby ecmartinjr » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:48 pm

To those who have requested a few more photos and some notes about the innards, I'll do that. I am leaving for about 2 1/2 weeks and I'll do it when I return. I didn't want you to think that I was ignoring your request. Ed
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby micdev » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:27 pm

OK, I'm back from my "work rush"... for the last 6 weeks I've been working days and nights... and I missed the forum chatter and Hauptwerk and my organ in general.... :cry:

Anyways, since Ed is away for a while and I worked so much remotely on his system, I think that I can provide some informations about his whole system.

First a little background. Ed emailed me asking if I could help him out. He wrote:

.... My problem is the set-up of the various programs which I have already installed in the dedicated computer but can't seem to coordinate correctly. After pulling out what remains of my hair I hired a young guy who claimed to be an expert in midi matters. We are now 10 hours and $400 into his efforts and he still doesn't know what to do. I spoke with the Chair of the Electronic Music and Computer Science Department of the University of California at Santa Barbara and he said that he didn't think that I would find anyone in the Santa Barbara area who was skilled in such matters....


He then explained that he wanted to use Hauptwerk, Sonar 7 with pristine space, Garritan Steinway Piano, GSO+Miditzer, Winamp to play his collection of midi files thru Hauptwerk and other midi modules... he built a great organ console... but couldn't used it. :cry: So I accepted the "challenge"...

Here are some informations about his whole system:

Computer: Xeon with 32 Gb of Ram, a few terabytes of disk space (multiple disks) , 26 inches touchscreen, a few USB hubs...
OS: Vista 64 and XP 32 (dual boot)

The organ:
  • 3 x M-Audio 61es midi keyboards
  • pedalboard from CMK
  • 3 swells + 1 crescendo (yamaha FC-7 Expression pedals)
  • 4 X-keys sticks (16 pistons/stick)
  • Foot pistons (unknown)
  • CME GPP-3 piano pedals)

Audio & midi:
  • Motu 24i/o
  • Motu Express 128
  • MPC32xr pedalboard encoder from midi gadgets (for foot pistons)
  • 11 x Mackie MR5 (7 front, 2 surround front, 2 rear) + 1000w subwoofer
  • Behringer AMP800 stereo headphone amp

Softwares used
  • Hauptwerk
  • Sonar 7
  • Garritan Steinway piano
  • Gigastudio 3
  • Miditzer
  • Winamp
  • Midi-Ox

So patiently with Ed's help we began our work remotely; often asking him to press a pedal, move a swell, connect a cable, reset a device etc etc etc. There was all kind of weird problems caused by the fact the the Motu 128 didn't initalized properly after a reboot; many midi devices were conflicting. Of course, being 3000 miles slowed a bit the process since I couldn't by myself identify something, move a cable or check things out. I had to create an image of what Ed was describing to me to guide him for the physical interventions.

It has been a great experience and a proof that remote configuration of such a complex system could be done. In the process I made myself a new virtual friend :D

All in all we have spent over 100 hours, testing, setting up, modifiing, voicing; in the process I was explaining to Ed what I was doing so he could later on make adjustment, understand the voicing process, midi devices assignment etc.

I'm honored that Ed named his organ based on my name and city.... it's a first for me!

My services

Don't hesitate to contact me if you need some help with your system, I'm always surprise when I meet (in real or virtually) an Hw user, how little they understand the product and its possibilities, how often they must "live" with limitations and problems when they can easily be solved.

In the survey, 25% of you were ready to pay for some support/help; I'm please to officially announce that I will gladly help you out... for a fee. How much? Hard to say since each case is different, remote support of course takes more time, so an hourly basis rate is sometimes hard to apply, but the same way I dealed with Ed, we can do it "after the work"...

Of course that doesn't mean that I won't continue to freely help all of you who need some help, but if you're thinking into getting a system, or change your computer and are afraid of all the setting up or aren't truly satisfy with your system, think about adding more speakers or want to use Sonar with some dry samplesets, maybe some $$$ invested in remote support will help you get finally your dream organ. Feel free to contact me and we will see what can be done.

All in all a great experience. I hope to have the chance one day to go to Santa Barbara and see Ed's work "live"

Best regards
François
Virtually sharing my enthusiasm and experience with you
Worldwide technical assistance, consultation and ready to play system.

http://www.HauptwerkConsultant.com
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby johnstump_organist » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:12 pm

How hard the X-key sticks to program to send the right MIDI signal/code to act as pistons? Or is that done in HW, telling it to accept whatever code is sent by the sitcks.
Thanks
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Re: A New Console With The Help Of Friends

Postby engrssc » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:29 pm

You can view a Flash Video under Launch Applications as well as other pertinent information on this page: http://www.xkeys.com/software/mwii.php

Another comment which is subject to a choice as to what to use. My own opinion is the 16 button X-Keys strips are pretty but anyone thinking of using them should consider the buttons obviously are close together and are subject to a (mistaken) push. Not only that, but they are quite sensitive to the touch also making them vulnerable for wrong "pushes". Obviously, real thumb pistons have greater spacing and are not so sensitive.

Rgds,
Ed
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