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Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby Andrew Grahame » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:37 am

That's right, Ed. There are plenty of organ teachers around who work with advanced students, and that's fine. I work now with students at the absolute beginning of their musical training. This is a calling which many would find more challenging than teaching an advanced player, and I was in that category myself once. It's now 15 years since I made the move from secondary to primary/infants teaching, and with plenty of experience with students from Kindergarten to Year 6 now under my belt it's been a logical step to use these skills in connection with the organ. When the students - and I - see even the smallest increase in their skill level it's immensely rewarding for all.

Today I was at my other school. Here's the latest photo of its organ - which now uses a Studio Logic 17-note pedalboard. The swell pedal here is actually by Hammond, specifically designed to sit on top of the 20-note Hammond pedalboard now at the other school - but it was a failure there. It sits too high and the angle is impossible - there's nothing wrong with my right ankle but I couldn't get this pedal to open up fully without great difficulty. Used separately on the floor it's fine. The MIDI connection to this swell pedal - and to the 2 Yamaha pedals at the other school - is via MIDI Solutions Pedal Controller units. The 20-note pedalboard now supports a Behringer FCB-1010 pedal unit.

The large brown box to the left of the cupboard is actually a Viscount monophonic organ speaker/amplifier. It was originally in the parish church, paired up to a Viscount Cantorum III (interestingly, the same model of single-manual digital instrument I used to have at my former high school). In 2004 I had better speakers installed in the church, and the old Viscount box made its way into the school where I still use it. Even though it's only mono it does a good job with Hauptwerk, as well as serving as my classroom audio system. I have mounted it on castors so it can be wheeled around the school, including into the playground, for PA purposes. There's a mixer hidden in that front cupboard which I use to manage various audio inputs en route to that speaker.

Image
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby engrssc » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:13 am

Any details on the (2) keyboard stand?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby Andrew Grahame » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:22 pm

Hi Ed,

Here's a view of the stand without the keyboards. This is an old photo - the MIDI Solutions Pedal Controller box is now attached directly to the pedalboard.

Image

Here's a link to an Australian retailer of this keyboard stand.

http://www.anthonysmusic.com.au/stands- ... -four-legs

I use stools like this.

http://www.bigmusicshop.com.au/jamstand ... bench.html

Andrew
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby engrssc » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:09 am

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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:48 am

Yes Ed, it's quite stable. It's also not ridiculously heavy so moving it isn't' hard. It's adjustable for height and width, and it easily straddles the 20-note pedalboard.
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:11 am

Just a quick observation on my last photo. That keyboard frame is actually now the one on the Red organ at the other school. The Hammond power supply is distinguished by the red voltage selector switch, and the other clue to me is the powered hub. The organ at the second school now uses another of the same type of keyboard stand, but with an entirely different accretion of cabling and interfaces. The Studio Logic pedalboard is OK as far as it goes, but it has inferior MIDI capacity compared with the Hammond units, necessitating a very different cabling approach.

In the last 6 months or so I've carried out a fair amount of swapping. The hardware I previously had in a third school where I no longer work has been divided up and relocated into the current places. This has necessitated much rewiring, and even as recently as yesterday I was making wiring changes at the second school. If you look back to the photo taken yesterday you can see the results of my latest change - running across the floor underneath the keyboard stand. There's now a cable-tied bundle containing three cables - one from the USB hub to the computer, and a second (white) audio cable leading from the computer's audio output to just behind the launchpad for headphones, and a third cable bringing mains power to the organ. The computer sits on a mobile computer desk just behind the organ, connected to the organ by this new cable assembly. Previously I'd put the computer on the side table next to the launchpad. The MIDI Solutions pedal controller plus a 2-into-1 MIDI merge box are mounted on the pedalboard. The newly created single cable links this assembly neatly to the computer desk behind, so there's just one cable on the floor between the organ and the computer table. There's a second cable across the floor from the computer desk back to the cupboards, bringing mains power, an HDMI cable and a separate audio cable to the computer.

Keeping cables neat, with a minimum of wiring on the floor, is essential in a teaching environment. I'm sure you're all familiar with a typical "rat's nest" of cabling which usually falls to the floor underneath a typical desktop computer installation and no doubt behind many Hautpwerk consoles. Here I can't afford to have cables all over the place due to safety concerns. Also, having cables tied, matched in correct length and easily connected to their respective ports all helps to make this portable setup very quick to assemble or dismantle. Yesterday I was using the organ while teaching from 1.30 until 2.00 pm. The space I use as the music room in that school is actually the school hall. My last lesson of the day was cut short to make way for a whole school assembly at 2.00 pm to hold the Easter Egg Raffle - a school fundraiser ahead of the Easter school holiday which begin today. I shut the organ down just a few minutes before 2 pm, and while my class put out chairs for parents and visitors I pulled the organ down and stashed it into its cupboard. The organ was locked away by the time the whole school was assembled and the raffle was ready to start. It has to be a quick, simple job to set these contraptions up or take them down, because there's never an abundance of time in which to do it. In the first school, where I have the 3 instruments, the total setup or packup time for all the instruments is less than 15 minutes.
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby engrssc » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:55 am

If we didn't know better, I would make a guess that you enjoy what you are doing and continue to think about how to make improvements. I congratulate your effort. Not everyone has a profession like that, something more like an avocation.

I have similar "ambitions". After being involved in large (component wise) audio and Hauptwerk setups, I've gone the opposite way. Now thinking in terms of a more minimalistic approach without sacrificing quality of sound or control. Find that's more challenging. Now if their was a (fast) computer smaller than a Mac Mini with 32 (or more) gb of RAM, at least a 4 core CPU with a built-in MIDI interface and say a 16 channel audio card all condensed into a tiny package not requiring any cooling etc, etc. :roll: And did I mention minimal external cabling.. 8) There is no reason not to envision such. With today's technology.already being obsolete. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:33 am

That's right, Ed - the magic word here is "enjoy". There were many times in years gone by when I was required, usually for political reasons, to spend my time at work on pursuits of spurious value. I am now free of those constraints and able to inject my personal enthusiasm for music directly into my teaching without having to satiate third parties first.

When I speak with the parents of my current students I am repeatedly told that their children love coming to my classes because it's "fun". At one school where we run a fortnightly timetable - odds and evens - I am usually greeted upon my arrival by students keen to know if their class comes to music that day. They cheer when I say "yes"! I worked for a very long time in environments of a vastly different nature, so this present-day experience still freaks me out at times!

It's also great fun for me to pursue the organ building work at school! I did it first in pre-Hauptwerk days but it's so much easier now.
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Re: Collapsible Hauptwerk consoles

Postby engrssc » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:45 am

There's an inherent truth in what you say. The same is true not just for young students but for many of us who have more years behind us than in front of us. It's difficult (not possible) to "make" good music when we are frustrated or just not satisfied with ourselves or conditions. That said, I also have found, if when making music, we can push past that point of frustration, etc, music can have an effect to transport us out of current "issues" and into a "better" way. (The power of music). If youngsters can discover that for themselves, they've gained a valuable lesson beyond the basics or mechanics of making music.

In my office, I have quite a large sign that reads "Why not?" And then over the door another sign that reads "Yes !".

Then there is the area of fun. :D

Rgds,
Ed
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