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Console changes with Launchpads

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Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:37 am

A while ago I posted a picture taken a year ago of my 3-manual console built on an Ikea Galant table. Back then it used two monitors and four launchpads. I've just made some changes, necessitated by the demise of the left monitor.

Here again is the first shot, dating from February last year, with the Silver Octopus Studio Willis 80 on the screens and launchpad overlays. Only the front launchpad on each side was used for this sample set.

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Now here it is following last night's modifications. I've removed the failed monitor, and relocated the double launchpad array to the upper level of the Atdec supports where the monitor used to be. It is now absolutely rock solid. I then did the same with the other side, and placed the remaining monitor down low on the laptop tray which previously supported the two launchpads. On the left, on another laptop tray, I've added a fifth launchpad plus a Korg nanoKey unit mounted vertically.

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The intention behind all those launchpads is to provide - mainly - for the Paramount 450. When completed, the overlays will put all speaking stops on the square buttons. The Korg unit is intended for non-tonal percussions. The round buttons are for a range of non-speaking functions such as couplers, plus Hauptwerk functions such as sequencer, organ loading, recording control, organ shutdown, audio engine restart and the like.

Watch this space later in the year (perhaps much later, as there's lots yet to do) for when the new 4-manual keyboard stack currently being made for me replaces the three Behringer keyboards.

I envy those who have the skills, tools and time to build wonderful woodwork-style consoles. Mine is modular, off the shelf, easily dismantled if need be for moving, and has the flexibility for making changes from time to time as needed. It's the kind of approach which suits a non-carpenter like myself. Perhaps other console-builders will benefit from seeing this effort.

Salisbury is on the screen. It takes up just two launchpads with its overlays, and even then there's room to spare which allows for flexibility in layout.

Andrew
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Erzahler » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:22 pm

You have lift off Andrew!
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby ajt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:16 pm

Captain Kirk would be proud!
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks guys! I should point out that there is very little about this console which I would call original on my part. Almost everything there has been derived from seeing it first in someone else's console - on the pcorganwebsite, here in the forum, and from many other sources. Now its my turn to give something back, by showing the "work in progress" as it stands today. I suppose the message is that if I can do it, anyone can.

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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby ajt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:34 pm

I too am a non-carpenter. I have a dog's breakfast of a console at home; 3 badly skinned keyboards, no casework, etc.

Which width Galant did you go for? the 120cm or the 160cm?
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:52 pm

It's the 160. This gives plenty of space at the sides for sundry hardware items. I bought the matching computer rack too, so the PC hangs below the table on the left.

I agonised for about three years on the subject of skinned keyboards, before finally biting the bulllet and employing a professional to make the new 4-manual keyboard stack.

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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby kiwiplant » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:02 am

Looks great ! What hold the launchpads and computer screen? Does it just sit on the table?
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:34 am

I'm using hardware from Atdec.

The upper mount is a Visidec Focus monitor support. I've purchased an extra long pole for it.

http://www.atdec.com.au/content_common/ ... -micro.seo

The lower mount is the Focus Notebook Tray.

http://www.atdec.com.au/content_common/ ... k-tray.seo

I have done some mixing and matching. I use a single notebook tray unit to hold two launchpads. The launchpads are attached to each other and to the tray with double sided mounting tape.

The launchpad pairs on their tray now mount directly onto the upper monitor support bracket.

The lower single launchpad plus nanoKey on the left and the remaining monitor on the right are both attached to laptop tray support arms.

Here's a view of the left side from behind.

Image

The pole attaches to the table by way of a single hole drilled through the table, with a large screw holding it from underneath. The units come supplied also with a clamp to attach to the table edge. This avoids the need to drill a hole, but with the Ikea Galant table there is a problem as the metal frame which supports the table top gets in the way. Also the frame does create issues when drilling the hole.

Image

Here's a closeup view of the upper mount. This was originally intended as a monitor support. I've now put a laptop tray there instead. The four-screw mounting bracket has adjustable arms to cater for differently spaced screw holes. For the laptop tray they are fully in, but for a monitor they pull fully out. The large Allen key for tightening the various screw fittings on the brackets and for the mounting clamp or the screw underneath resides inside the tube, hanging down inside the black plastic cap on the top of the tube.

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Here's a closer view of the lower left launchpad. This is on a laptop tray still mounted on its original angled bracket and adjustable arm.

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The monitor support bracket and laptop tray arm can be moved up and down the pole to any position and held in place with a friction screw device. The large chrome ring with the three black bands around it is turned to loosen or tighten the fitting.

Here's a front view of my old Salisbury overlays. I plan now to redesign it. I now want the pedal and intermanual couplers for all my sample sets to be in a common location on the round buttons. Only the intradepartmental couplers will remain with the speaking stops on the square buttons. Also, I've recently purchased a colour laser printer which will allow me to print yellow lines to delineate each stop grouping. These will show up well against the black of the launchpad surface. I prefer the launchpad buttons for stops to be either on or off. However for some Hauptwerk functions such as organ loading (the left vertical column of round buttons) I keep some lit all the time.

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Here's a full view of the left side. The Korg nanoKey was an earlier purchase, before the days of launchpads, to provide "pistons". I have included this one here specifically to control the non-tonal percussions on the Paramount 450.

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On the right you can see the matching pole. The laptop tray on the lower level has been removed, and the monitor is attached directly to the four-screw bracket.

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The monitor clears the table enough for the mouse to live underneath.

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Here's a shot of the underside of the monitor, attached directly to the laptop support bracket without the tray.

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For my purposes the Atdec mounts have been ideal. It's an off-the-shelf item with flexibility, and they look good. For someone who just wants to assemble the parts rather than create a console from scratch this is a good option to consider.

Andrew
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Ted Williamson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:40 pm

Hi Andrew,
I really like the look of your setup. I use Launchpads too and have wondered about how to place them in a strong setup so they don't move.

Can you tell me how stable are the Atdec mounts. I noticed you are putting three Launchpads on one pole. For example, when you push a Launchpad button or several buttons, all at one time, is there any give and take, movement, wobbling, or shaking?

Thanks,
Ted Williamson
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:23 am

Hi Ted,

Stability is good, especially so since I made the recent changes.

The pole itself is quite strong. Before the changes I had monitors at the top and launchpads at the bottom. The monitors weigh considerably more than the launchpads.

With the twin launchpads at the top, attached directly to the monitor support bracket, they are totally stable. The monitor support bracket includes a set screw - adjusted by a small allen key which is supplied - and this locks the bracket firmly as far as lateral movement is concerned. The other two adjustments on the bracket are locked with the large allen key, and height is locked with the friction ring around the pole. In short, nothing moves on the upper level once all the screws have been tightened.

Here's a photo of the set screw.

Image

When adjusting, I set the height first, then loosen the three screws slightly. Sitting in a playing position at the console I can then adjust everything so that it's exactly where it needs to be - then I tighten the screws.

The lower level is a different story. There is no set screw on the laptop arm assembly, since it is really designed so that it can be readily swung in and out, assuming it's being used to hold a laptop at your desk. I am adapting to another purpose, and it doesn't quite measure up. I found that it helped to support the front corner by letting it sit on the key cheeks, and a small square of double sided mounting tape kept it from sliding off. These squares of mounting tape can be seen in some of the previous photos, though they remain in position from the previous setup. I've not yet put fresh in place for the revised layout.

The extreme outer edge of the dual launchpad setup, when on the lower level, did move a bit but not distressingly so. The movement has significantly reduced now that just one launchpad is down there. I deliberately put the Korg nanoKey unit on the outer edge, because its buttons require less force to press than those on the launchpads, so pressing them is less likely to create a wobble. Even so, the jury is still out, and I may revise this further when I put the new keyboard stack in.

I still have a fair bit of left-over Atdec hardware since I've mixed and matched. I may yet reinstate the original short pole to replace the laptop arm, buy another monitor support to go with it, and reattach the launchpad that way. I am also thinking of doing the same on the right with the remaining monitor, because the monitor currently lies back too far and the tilt can't be changed any further. By contrast, the monitor support bracket offers a much wider degree of tilt adjustment.

However, the two upper pairs of launchpads are now exactly where I want them and they are totally rock solid.

Andrew
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:20 pm

Yesterday I took delivery of my new 4-manual keyboard stack. It was built for me by forum member Ian Sell. Ian is an experienced organ technician who has in recent years been building Hauptwerk-based organs into reconstructed consoles of old electronic organs.

Last year I donated my old practice organ - a two-manual Miller Norwich analog organ dating from 1966 - to a small country church. Ian used the high-quality console to create a splendid Hauptwerk-based instrument for this church. My new keyboard stack is based upon the approach taken by Ian when he rebuilt the Norwich console to equip it with digital keyboards.

The keys themselves are from skinned Behringer UMX-610 keyboards. The stack dimensions conform to AGO specifications. I will be installing a large number of Syndyne thumb pistons. There will be 28 pistons to each manual plus a fifth piston rail also of 28 pistons above the Solo manual. There are also 4 LCD screens - two on each side. The slider from the lowest keyboard has been retained and fitted into the bass key cheek, to use as a master volume control.

Here are a few quick photos. More to come, in greater detail, once I've inserted the pistons.

Here's the completed stack prior to delivery.

Image

Here's an amazing sight - the stack minus the top section fitting neatly into the trunk of my car for the trip home. The keyboards fit together with dowels anchoring each into the one below. They were placed into the car one at a time.

Image

Last night it took only a few minutes to remove the old keyboards from my console and place the new ones into position. The Solo manual is not yet connected as I need to solder a different plug onto the power supply cable. I am powering the keyboards with Behringer power supplies and using the MIDI output, as I have found this this method to be more reliable than USB. The top unit, containing the LCD screens and fifth piston rail, can't be installed just yet as I will first need to raise the height of the "bridge" which spans the keyboards and supports much of the wiring at the rear. The music rest will also need to be reinstalled. The pistons have yet to be inserted, and much work has yet to be done finishing off the electronics to drive them. I expect to be doing this work when on holidays in a month's time. Here it is for now. The first three manuals are playable, and I'll have the Solo manual working within the next few days.

Image

My heartfelt thanks to Ian Sell for creating this masterpiece. The standard of finish is very high. I had wrestled in my mind for about three years as to how I could construct a keyboard stack myself. I could probably have done it eventually, but nowhere near as well as this.

Andrew
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby T.C.Lake » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:10 am

Fantastic Andrew -I think I am going to set fire to my current
effort on a DIY Stack which looks more Heath Robinson than Chippendale !!

Best Regards ,

Terry Lake (UK)
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:37 am

Thanks Terry! It certainly is a delight to look at, and it was my fear of spending many hours only to end up with a mess which eventually prompted me not to risk my limited skills and instead pay a professional. I still have a fair amount of work to do myself, but those tasks fall within areas of relatively greater expertise on my part.

Andrew
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:00 am

Pistons now temporarily in place. I've not pushed them fully home yet. This gives me time to decide on any last-minute swaps. Also, when doing the wiring I'll be removing the rails, so that's when I can push them right in after ensuring they are straight.

Here are the four keyboards and their pistons.

Image

And here's the top box which contains the fifth piston rail.

Image

Andrew
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Re: Console changes with Launchpads

Postby durufle2 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:49 pm

Very nice. And yes, Ian did a great job. Once your pistons are all operational, will you be eliminating the launchpads?
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