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MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...

MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Postby Robespierre » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:23 pm

I recently acquired a Baldwin A260 to use with Hauptwerk setup. It is mostly functional; it outputs MIDI from all three manuals, the pedals, the stop rail, and the reversible pistons. However, I cannot get any MIDI data from the expression pedals or the memory pistons. Technically, the crescendo pedal works with HW because it actually activates the stop tabs which output MIDI and activate the associated HW stops, but that's hardly an ideal solution. Before I tear into this thing and retrofit a bunch of electronics, does anyone know any way that these functions can be activated? I do not have the owners manual, nor have I been able to track down even a lead on one.

Far less important than the other things mentioned above (and mostly mildly annoying) is the fact that the couplers on the organ, which output MIDI just fine, also internally couple the MIDI signals coming from the manuals. Basically, the Swell is locked in to channel 1, and if I hit the SW-GT coupler, the Great outputs both channels 2 (what it should be sending) and channel 1. It mostly just means that I cannot switch around the layout of the manuals without some digital "wires" getting crossed. Does anyone know how to disable the internal MIDI coupling.

Thanks!
Rob
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Re: MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Postby engrssc » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:17 pm

Have you looked at the output via MIDI-OX?

http://www.midiox.com/?http://www.midiox.com/moxdown.htm

There might be some useful info here altho this video refers to modern Viscount instruments. There are a series of these on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/bBwTicgkV9Y?list=PLA_dzF-peZ8DoCvoINz6wmKEv20YYRVU9&t=417

The "Baldwin" A260 was actually built by Viscount in Italy, and is likely 12-15 years old. Its voicing is more baroque than romantic.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Postby Robespierre » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:08 pm

Success! Well, partial success. Pistons can be assigned to transmit MIDI program changes in roughly the same way as on modern Viscounts. Still nothing from the expression pedals. All of the pertinent MIDI filtering in the video was handled through the display interface, which I don't have.

I've monitored the output from it with MIDI Monitor, which allowed me to get the bytes from the general cancel, which HW doesn't automatically recognize. Nothing from the swell pedals.
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Re: MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Postby engrssc » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:44 am

Quite a while ago, I converted a console with a similar problem, no usable MIDI output from the expression peds. I added an independent, separate linear 10K potentiometer to each expr ped and connected these pots to an encoder such as this one from Roman Sowa. which can be used to connect up to 8 analog pots giving MIDI output.

https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php?R2=USD&section=prod_info&product=MIDI128

Check out:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10400&hilit=swell+pedal+potentiometer

Something else to consider:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6319&p=44431&hilit=expression+pedal+flooding#p44431

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Postby ldeutsch » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:22 am

Rob,

I assume you have tried letting HW discover the MIDI signals for your expression pedals by simply going to the "Expression/crescendo" menu and using the "Auto detect setting" feature. HW already knows about many manufacturer's proprietary MIDI implementations and it is completely possible this includes Baldwins from this era.

Also, consider using your console's internal combination action instead of wiring the pistons to HW. By doing this, you will solve the problem you have with "MIDI coupling" that you mention in your post. Also, this also allows you to use the physical stop tabs on your console to control HW without having to worry about the confusing wiring often associated with using both your physical stops and physical pistons. This is how I run both of my own HW consoles - including a large Rodgers console that is also quite old.

Another advantage to doing this is that your crescendo pedal will work with all HW organs (since it will control the local physical stops.)

Les
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Re: MIDI with a Baldwin A260

Postby Robespierre » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:26 pm

Thanks, Ed and Les, for your replies! I believe I have the functionality I need for the current moment. More research is needed to bypass the internal MIDI coupling, but the main issues have been resolved.

As I said above, I now can get the pistons to send MIDI Program Changes to control the Hauptwerk pistons. I'd prefer to go about it this way for several reasons. Firstly, many sample sets may have more stops than I have tabs and I'd like them to be available on the pistons. Secondly, I've had to get creative on my stop assignments on some of the sample sets, and so a piston on one set may make no sense on another. Finally, I'd rather not limit myself to the six memory levels I have internally, versus the unlimited options within Hauptwerk.

As far as the expression pedals are concerned, I decided to use the internal electronics, but removed from the internal control board, simply unplugging the ribbon cable that connects all the expression pedals and, after a lot of trial and error, connecting them to a Teensy 2.0++ board that I had lying around. A complicating side effect of doing it this way is that, without the crescendo pedal attached, the organ saw the pedal as being wide open! Nothing that a little 10kΩ jumper couldn't fix.



I took this into account. The code that the Teensy board is running is modified a modified version of the AnalogControlChange sketch in the Teensy examples, which only queries every 20 milliseconds. I also upped the range that it looks for before it outputs MIDI to deal with minute fluctuations.

Rob
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