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Console and bench by Barry Gerken

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

Console and bench by Barry Gerken

Postby vidarf » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:00 pm

As promised, here is the Gerken console and bench. Quite a clever setup! Pay good attention to the bench - that is certainly a great idea!

I'm hosting the images at my website for him, and have created a simple web gallery with Barry's explanation:
Click on the image to enter the gallery at my website.

I'll let Barry take responsibility over this thread.

I will take this opportunity to ask everyone to share their setup online. It doesn't matter if it looks like a pile of scrap wood or looks like the works of mr. Cavaillé-Coll himself - the goal is to show ideas and the possibilities Hauptwerk offers. To me, HW has made a dream come true!
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Re: Console and bench by Barry Gerken

Postby MattOlieman » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:13 pm

Barry, Fantastic looking setup. I love the table and what you've done with the 88 (I think) keyboard. If you have schematics of how you built this, please share. I currently have a similar situation regarding space. This would work perfect for me :)

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Re: Console and bench by Barry Gerken

Postby GDay » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:35 pm

You win in the Bench category! Very cool.

I still have a few small chickens for sale . . .
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Re: Console and bench by Barry Gerken

Postby Taco » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:05 am

Pitty that we cannot hear the sound at this forum.

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Re: Console and bench by Barry Gerken

Postby BarryG » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:17 am

Thanks for the kind words.

Matt, it is an 88-key synth that weighs about 70 pounds. I think there are three keys (sorry!) to making this approach (of having organ console and piano together) work.

First is being able to slide the piano out of the way when playing organ and then return to a comfortable piano playing position easily. With strong enough glides it might be possible to do that without having the shelf that the organ keyboards sit on also move; I'll not go into the details of how my approach evolved, but were I doing it again I might avoid the top shelf movement. The real trick is to get all keyboards to hold steady while playing, so solid mounting is important in the playing positions.

Second is being able to mount the piano pedal comfortably without conflicting with the organ pedalboard. I only use one pedal for piano playing (half damper/sustain), but could also have other pedals for other synth features. I shaped a piece of wood to fit snugly between the forward-most part of two pedals, covered it with felt, and mounted my pedal on it. The pedal holds quite steady while playing, yet can be lifted out easily to play organ.

Third is having easy access to the music. The stand mounted for playing organ sits too far back when playing the piano -- can't reach it or even see it easily. It slips into a groove behind the organ keyboards for playing organ. I made a long piece of wood that slips/fits snugly over the front of the organ keys (any of the three manuals), lined with felt to prevent scratching, with a groove in the top to slip the stand in while playing piano.

I thought initially that being able to adjust the vertical bench position would be important for moving between organ and piano playing, but this has turned out not to be the case. Whether the same bench height just happens to work for both, or I've adapted, I don't adjust it between instruments. (I build cabinets with adjustable shelves, and find that I usually don't adjust them once they're set up -- but that initial flexibility is quite important.) I'm ready for any guest players, however, who need different height.

Matt, I'm of course willing to share any part of the "design", except that it was more sketches with rough dimensions that over a couple of iterations ended up as it is. If photos and key dimensions would help, I can take those for you. PM me with what will help. The organ components are at AGO standards, and the piano keys are the standard height above the pedal in the final configuration.

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