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Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

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Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:05 pm

I've reached a playable, temporary stopping point on this latest project.

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I want to continue this project for velocity sensitive keyboards and a 7" touch screen for menus and additional stops. Lots of plans but it's time to actually play the organ again and keep this one in the living room until the next project is complete. The bench is borrowed as are the pedals so there's more work ahead.

And the next project is a Rodgers 900A or some model close to that. The usual model plate was not present under the key desk. Lighted drawknobs on this one.

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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby engrssc » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:43 pm

jkinkennon wrote:I want to continue this project for velocity sensitive keyboards and a 7" touch screen for menus


V/S on all keyboards?

Super cool as in very neat. 8)

You might want to look into something like this tablet for your small screen.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Venue-11-Pro-7130-T07G-128GB-4GB-i5-4300Y-Tablet-2Keyboards-Dock-/302251750922?hash=item465f9bb60a:g:P~YAAOSw4YdYx4Ad

This one has a 10.8" touch screen.Can be landscape or portrait. With the dock or a USB Ethernet adapter.,
you can command/communicate with you main organ computer. Lots more features as it is a full blown computer.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby jkinkennon » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:11 am

I am planning to use a raspberrypi with the commonly used 7" color touch display as I think it will fit where the black panel is at the center of the coupler panel. It is readily programmable in a variety of languages and has the access to low level peripherals such as you would encounter with Arduino boards. Not stuck with that approach but hope to start working with the 'pi' very soon.

All four keyboards are velocity. Here's a photo with keyboard ribbons on the left. The purple adapter boards with my name on them need to be modified or, preferably, I need to lay out a new encoder using the small connectors and the faster Microchip PIC32MZ2048EFM. The little board in the center is the Centipede Shield that picks up pistons and the pedals.

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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby engrssc » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:42 am

Figured you had a plan. I tried a small screen for a while and ended up needing to use a stylus to do any controlling.as my fingers "didn't fit". Found the 10" screen more user friendly plus I can use a blue tooth mouse and keyboard.

I originally bought the tablet with a future plan to also use it as a music reader. Haven't done anything more than think about that. I know the pro approach to that doesn't use a PC (normally) altho 10.8" is almost 11" and quite a bit cheaper. Was also "dreaming" of using 2 tablets side by side in portrait for a 2 page music reader. The Dell supports multi monitors and being touch screen - hmmm. Could be easy to move pages between the 2 tablets maybe?. One drawback is only a single USB port. Might have to hack (reconfigure) the dock.

Very neat setup for your current living room instrument for sure. It would go well anywhere.

I noticed your comments on another post re using the upper/lower contacts on velocity manuals. Is the "plan" to slightly delay the action of the upper contacts and "arrive" at 50% contact? Average between the 2 contacts with no latency?

Nice "starter" organ for your next project. 8)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby engrssc » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:51 am

The "living room organ" bench and pedal board match the console very well.

Are the boards mounted on a metal plate or chassis?

Is the center Centipede actually connected to the pistons and the pedals.in that photo?

Lots of (hopefully good) questions.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby johnh » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:03 am

OSH Park?
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby engrssc » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:27 am

Definitely good looking boards. (And purple, too). 8)

Rgds,
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby jkinkennon » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:38 pm

OSH Park for the boards. I haven't tried anyone else recently, but these folks do a good job and are fast on the small three board orders. I just ordered 10 matrix encoder boards at $1/sq. in. They will take just a bit over two weeks.

For the key contacts, if I don't do velocity soon I will modify the adapter boards to pick up the bottom contacts only. I think if you play "into the keys" ad Ed mentioned on another post then it doesn't make that much difference if the contacts are a bit high or low. However, I tend to lightly brush extra keys, especially with my right little finger and those wouldn't sound if I were requiring the second contact.

More than likely I will order one Midi Boutique encoder that has velocity sensing and use it for the bottom keyboard as I have plenty of other projects at the moment.
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby thomas690 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:56 am

Hi everybody,
Hard to understand how can simulate normal action (like in pipe organ) with such velocity sensing keyboard?
Normal organ start to sound just after pressing the key. Say...1mm. Very good self suspended action (Fisk)
doesn't have any dead travel - in such organs full sound is about 10% -20% key travel (full travel about 11mm). Thus, velocity data should be written and send to midi stream after 1mm or 2mm travel - in this case it will be like real mechanic action. I related always to mechanic organ because only mechanic action make organ velocity sensitive. Electric organ don't need it because they have same "speech factor". If we use velocity keyboards how can simulate such precise point with contacts only? Typical velocity keyboards with two rubber contacts (one little higher) are useless because they give you data at the end of travel. Obviously for sound only it is OK but for real organist play maybe not. If we can imitate sound almost real, we should imitate action almost real as well. What do you think about it?
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby jkinkennon » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:33 pm

I'm not a fan of using velocity to imitate the interesting quirks of a tracker action -- my opinion only. I need velocity for extracurricular uses like piano, not that an electronic keyboard gets that touch quite right either.

I'm fine with the contacts a little on the high side most of the time, but the Fatar simulated tracker action would help prevent accidental sounds when brushing a key lightly. Neither lower contacts or a simulated tracker action will make the keyboard feel like a tracker action.

All instruments make a variety or tradeoffs and the "real" of heavy tracker actions and awkward speech with slow velocity is only "real" in a historic sense for the majority of organists. I'd suggest that normal depends a great deal on whether one is primarily playing historic or historic replica organs or playing the vast majority of modern organs.

I thought I saw a discussion recently about a closer imitation of a tracker action for Hauptwerk. Such an undertaking sounds expensive but might be worthwhile for anyone wanting something closer to the genuine historic organ behavior.
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby NickNelson » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:06 pm

Some time ago I read an interesting, and on the face of it convincing, paper on aspects of performance related to tracker actions. The conclusion was (so far as I remember) that while the presence of the 'pluck' in a tracker action was of assistance in matters of articulation, any effects on the actual speech of the organ was negligable.

If this is right, and I'm sure there will be some who disagree, the feel of simulated tracker keyboards would be of some value, while the velocity information would not.

Even if there are audible acoustic effects, it would not be the velocity that matters but rather the distance the key is depressed. While these are loosely related, they are not the same thing.

Certainly, in larger and/or older actions there will significant elastic strain from the trackers, stickers and squares which mean that once the pallet starts to open the organist will have little or no control at all over the actual rate of opening.

If anyone it interested I could probably find the reference.

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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby thomas690 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:43 pm

Yes I'm disagree with that opinion. If it would be true majority of organ builder did not create complicated and expensive mechanic actions. I have to say, I am former teacher of organ music on university level and for me is hard to understand how can even compare this two things (electric, and mechanic actions) . I played quite a few times on organs with so small "pluck" that comparison to electric action would be more realistic.
During whole my life I've seen how electronic organs try to imitate pipe organ sound, and I would say that all what was before HW was not acceptable for me. Therefore I never had electronic organs for practice. I'm only sure if we go on the way where we forget about ALL important factors of "king of instruments" we will have another good, but only electric organs.
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby engrssc » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:38 pm

(Sorry in advance. Really not meaning to derail this interesting post). :shock:

You do bring up an interesting organ playing philosophy, (thomas690) that being, I believe, how a tracker organ gives more control to the organist by the fact that the speaking parameters (to a degree) of the individual pipe are literally in the hands (and feet) of the organist. If I understand your point correctly. This is similar to the difference in playing, for instance, an 8' Steinway or Bosendorf to that of a velocity sensitive keyboard, no matter how good the keyboard is (thought to be). Basically there is no comparison between what the pianist can do (playing technique wise) with a full grand piano.

But back to organs. As good as they have been made to sound, via Hauptwerk and really good samples, this idea of the touch response (for lack of a better term) still is a missing factor. But how could this be accomplished technically? With a variable resistance controlled by the key action "linked" to proper electronics to control (variably) the pipe's speech? Some sort of transducer again controlled by the key action? Myself, I have not seen many, if any, papers addressing this with the exception perhaps of :

http://www.pykett.org.uk/EndOfPipeOrgan.htm

Could it be that this "feature" is just not deemed by one and most as being relevant or important enough to pursue?

While my experience with tracker action is limited by what I have read, my take away is that it takes quite a bit of physical prowess to play one of these instruments, that in addition to interpreting the musical score.

A good while ago I heard of an organist (playing a tracker) that for the final chord, he could only accomplish this by standing with his full weight on the pedals and with all the force he could muster press the keys. Talk about a tactile experience Oh joy. :cry:

BTW, speaking of hard to press keys, my Rogers 340 accomp manual's 2nd touch is right up there. "Play that for a few (aching) minutes," said grimacingly. :mrgreen:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby NickNelson » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:22 am

engrssc wrote:Sorry in advance. Really not meaning to derail this interesting post.


I agree, we should probably start a new thread (or resurrect one of the previous ones) to continue this line of discussion.

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Re: Rodgers 4-manual Phase I complete

Postby jkinkennon » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:56 am

I'm fine with the discussion of velocity keyboards and encoders as that's one of my upcoming projects. I just did a PCB layout and sent it off to OSH Park to fabricate three purple adapter boards that included both the primary and secondary key contacts so that I can try doing a two keyboard velocity encoder using my existing matrix encoders. The boards are small so the cost was somewhere around $35.

Meanwhile I'm getting rear speakers hooked up for surround and will create a pedal division audio group with the existing Rythmik Audio sub, crossing the pedal audio over to the speakers that came in the Rodgers console. They appear to use drivers that are similar to 8" studio monitors so I'm hoping they will sound great. I will once again hook up the Behringer ADAT expander for the extra channels and use my trusty old Sony receiver with the discrete inputs for 5 channels. The rear speakers are Klipsch from my TV setup that I rarely put to use. They are a good enough match for now.

I'm using an APC UPS system as automatically switching on six Behringer monitors was putting a jolt on the computer and had caused a USB hub to reset resulting in HW losing the connections to the two MIDI encoders. A benefit of the UPS is that I now have single button turn on. The computer, monitor, and USB hub are on UPS and the rest of the console is on outlets that switch on when the computer is started. The Organ Ready signal from HW causes a relay to turn on the speakers. The sub does its own auto on which is handy. Shutdown is simple as well using the HW shutdown command. I haven't yet configured an organ control to initiate the shutdown but know it is possible.

I've been looking at the Raspberry Pi but am nowhere close to getting a worthwhile application running.
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