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My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

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My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby dsabou20762 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:14 pm

Retired Engineer, former Church Organist, sold my home organ when I moved to Michigan 18 years ago. I recently repurposed a vintage Baldwin organ for Hauptwerk as a DIY project. Gutted the Baldwin, midified the Pedal Board using Reed switches and a Roman Sowa Midi Controller. Added 2 Alesis Q61 keyboards modified to provide an Expression pedal input in lieu of the Sustain input. Added 2 Roland expression pedals (original organ had only 1) connected to the keyboard midi circuitry. Added stereo speakers, subwoofer and 100 W Class-T amplifier internally driven by my MacBook audio out. Using a MacBook Pro with 2 iPads programmed with MIDIDesigner Pro to provide real-time touchscreen control of the selected organ set. Using it in an apartment so have to keep it small and not too loud (I generally use RF wireless headphones for very low latency).

See https://djsorg2062.wixsite.com/djsorgansite for details

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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby 1961TC4ME » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:08 pm

Looks good! Simple and straightforward. I took similar steps for my keyboards using M-Audio controllers and it was quite simple to remove the keyboards from the case with minimal re-wiring and is plug and play. Prior to finding my complete Allen console, I also had a Baldwin pedal board exactly like the one you have. One thing I noticed you didn't do and I also feel I should do is add thumb pistons. For general registrations or (other uses?) I use and might recommend adding a Korg Nano-Key as a simple, inexpensive way of doing it which is also plug and play.

Marc
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby engrssc » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:11 pm

So the advantage of a Korg Nano-Key over a LaunchPad is . . . . .

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby 1961TC4ME » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:47 pm

engrssc wrote:So the advantage of a Korg Nano-Key over a LaunchPad is . . . . .



Ha! I knew somebody would chime in. I see small touchscreens here and that works too.

Nano-Key? At least $50 bucks less, smaller footprint fits perfectly above my 3rd manual, 25 (larger) easier to hit 'on the fly' keys, no crazy lights, and with a little re-engineering you can make it look like it actually belongs on an organ console.
How's all that?

Gotta get back to playing now. :wink:

Marc
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby dsabou20762 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:49 pm

1961TC4ME wrote:Looks good! Simple and straightforward. I took similar steps for my keyboards using M-Audio controllers and it was quite simple to remove the keyboards from the case with minimal re-wiring and is plug and play. Prior to finding my complete Allen console, I also had a Baldwin pedal board exactly like the one you have. One thing I noticed you didn't do and I also feel I should do is add thumb pistons. For general registrations or (other uses?) I use and might recommend adding a Korg Nano-Key as a simple, inexpensive way of doing it which is also plug and play.

Marc

Marc - I was curious about the M-Audio keyboards. The keyboard for the Alesis I bought several years ago does not remove from the bottom of the plastic case. Since the Alesis Q61 is no longer being sold, I will switch (in the future) to M-Audio. I am using an iPad with MidiDesigner Pro (which is plug and play) to substitute for hardware pistons. I feel there are several advantages, such as mirroring the specific organ interface on the computer and programming combos on the iPad, not the organ (preferable for the Basic license).

Don
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby 1961TC4ME » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:30 pm

dsabou20762 wrote: I am using an iPad with MidiDesigner Pro (which is plug and play) to substitute for hardware pistons. I feel there are several advantages, such as mirroring the specific organ interface on the computer and programming combos on the iPad, not the organ (preferable for the Basic license).

Don


Hi Don,

Yes, nice to have the iPad as you say to mirror the specific organ you are playing. I mention the Korg in the event you maybe wanted to add some additional means for doing things and have found mine quite handy.

As for the M-Audio keyboards, I used three of their 61es units which are the most basic without all the extra knobs and controls.

https://www.m-audio.com/products/view/keystation-61es

These in particular are very easy to use and extract the key bed from the case. The keys are on a nice sturdy frame, and I only needed to cut one small area of plastic to get everything out. It was a very straightforward operation that took maybe 10 minutes from start to finish and you end up with something very easy to mount to a board to form your key stack. You do have to leave the small circuit plugged in for the 3 buttons, and also either the modulation or the pitch wheel (don't recall which at the moment), but not both, in order for things to work, but they're quite small and were easily hid in the back part of my console. I even extended the volume slider wires and mounted the slider control on the console which you can then 'auto-detect' with Hauptwerk, so I have an overall volume control right at my fingertips.

Marc
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:28 pm

Try before you buy. I bought an M-Audio keyboard to use for a box organ project and really hated the feel - too much like a piano to me. I ended up going with the Behringer UMX610 keyboards, which aren't perfect, but much better in my opinion.
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby dsabou20762 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:29 am

Tweedle_Dee wrote:Try before you buy. I bought an M-Audio keyboard to use for a box organ project and really hated the feel - too much like a piano to me. I ended up going with the Behringer UMX610 keyboards, which aren't perfect, but much better in my opinion.

Can the Behringer keyboard be removed from the case?
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby 1961TC4ME » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:11 am

Hi Don,

The Behringer UMX610 and the M-Audio 61es are probably the 2 most used MIDI controller keyboards folks here have been robbing the keyboards out of, so yes either unit works and the keyboards can be removed with relative ease.

Concerning the try before you buy: If you have a good music store available locally, perhaps a Guitar Center as an example, I too would suggest going in and getting a first hand 'feel' for each of the above mentioned units. I was completely the opposite in my opinion. The Behringer is nice and has more 'organ like' keys in shape, but felt cheesy and the feel, rather light action, and overall side to side looseness of the keys reminded me of a cheap Casio keyboard (which I own one in fact). The M-Audio on the other hand has a more sturdy, tighter feel to me, the visual drawback being the long overhang under the front of the keys some refer to as 'waterfall' keys, but if you look at most old school French organs as an example they do use waterfall keys, look at the MDA set of the 1902 St. Eucaire as an example. I've seen some here take the time to trim the overhang from the front edge of the 61es keys and it turned out great. Some digging here on the forum might find it, but was a long time ago. As for the M-Audio's supposed weighted keys. Ah, this is really more hype than anything to lure in those piano players concerned with having a feature like this. When I disassembled the keyboards from the case, on the bottom side of the keys they use a small and thin piece of metal they glue in on the bottom side. Can we call this weighted and the results are it's like playing a piano? Ah, nope I don't think so, not even close. If anything it seems to again add a bit more firmness or sturdiness to the keys and takes away that light too easy to press, cheesy Casio feel. I will say this and is probably the same for the Behringer as well, key travel is a bit more than you will find on your average organ but is not ridiculous or way out of parameter. When you compromise and can't cough up $750+ for the basic 'organ' keyboards out there (like me), any way you go you do give up a few minor things but it's nothing that would prevent you from having a great set-up that you'd certainly enjoy.

Marc
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:48 pm

Key travel on the Behringer is less and was really my biggest problem with the M-Audio. But as Marc illustrates, everyone has their own preference.

I'll add that as far as I can tell, there is a "rev 1" and "rev 2" for the Behringer keyboards. The "rev 1" action was not good IMO. I bought one off Craigslist and ended up reselling it. The newer "rev 2" is what I have now and works well enough.
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby dsabou20762 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:06 am

Thanks to all for the insight. I will go to my local Guitar Center and try out the M-Audio and the Behringer.

P.S. I have verified that the 2 iPad approach using Midi Designer Pro works (Left Jamb, Right Jamb so to speak). I am currently setting it up to perform a stepper function. I have been updating my website recently, https://djsorg2062.wixsite.com/djsorgansite particularly the iPad Controller page.
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby 1961TC4ME » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:22 am

dsabou20762 wrote:I will go to my local Guitar Center and try out the M-Audio and the Behringer.



Yes, keep us posted as to what you end up doing. I haven't torn apart a UMX610, and if you decide to go that route I'd be interested in seeing some details of the tear down and how the keys look out of the case in comparison to the M-Audio. My only questions would be are: The UMX610 has a bunch of additional controls vs. the M-Audio which is much more simple in that regard. What ends up happening with all those controls and how many need to be retained / connected in order for the keyboard to work properly? With all those additional controls in play it's definitely something to consider. I've never seen or read here of anyone giving details on this part, but maybe somebody can which could be of value in the decision making.

Marc
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:59 am

In my project I utilize the 8 buttons on two Behringers and 2 knobs from one for swell pedal and master volume. I have notes on it somewhere and a few pictures. I'll see if I can find some pictures to post later.
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby RickC » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:29 pm

My setup started with 2 of the M-Audio units. I added 1 UMX610, but the length of the keyboard was slightly different, and I now have 3 of the UMX610s. Some of the controls on the left side should be left (they can be moved out of the way) or resistors wired to replace the slider controls. Leaving them not connected results in continuous midi chatter. The buttons above the keyboard can be safely unplugged and discarded.
When I started, I wired those buttons to pistons, and it worked pretty well under HW3. Version 4 treated them differently and some would fire on press, others on release. The pistons and expression are now wired to a Teensy, which works flawlessly.
The touch on both of these is nothing like a piano to me, and certainly not tracker touch, but I've become used to them.
Yours is certainly good looking and compact. Enjoy!
Rick
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Re: My repurposed Hauptwerk Organ

Postby magnaton » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:41 pm

RickC wrote:When I started, I wired those buttons to pistons, and it worked pretty well under HW3. Version 4 treated them differently and some would fire on press, others on release.

The UMX610 buttons can act as a stop or piston but they have to be reprogrammed. Actually buttons 7 & 8 work perfectly. The simple reason is buttons 1 through 6 alternate values (0 & 127) when pressed. So to get them to work like us organists want, you sometimes have to press twice. The best way is to make use of the User Memory button and program buttons 1-6 to controls IDs of "7" and "10" since those values are constant. This is why buttons 7 & 8 work as we need for Hauptwerk.

If interested, ping me via PM as I wrote out step by step instructions. If there is enough interest I could post a separate thread.

BTW, the videos from this French organist make for a nice UMX610 advertisement 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MGqZyM3dBU


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