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ALLEN MDS-36 - CAN'T SETUP THUMB PISTONS

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...
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Wayne Grauel

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ALLEN MDS-36 - CAN'T SETUP THUMB PISTONS

PostMon Nov 20, 2023 11:55 am

how can I setup the general thumb pistons on the Allen MDS-36. I have the draw stops set up fine, but not able to get any communication to assign thumb pistons to HW general combinations ( using #'s 65 -99 ) launchpad works fine but its a reach when could use a thumb piston for some critical registration changes.

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Wayne
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mdyde

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Re: ALLEN MDS-36 - CAN'T SETUP THUMB PISTONS

PostMon Nov 20, 2023 12:34 pm

Hello Wayne,

(I don't have first-hand experience myself with an Allen MDS organ.)

In order for a digital organ's pistons to be usable with Hauptwerk they would each need to send unique and constant MIDI messages that Hauptwerk can recognise (e.g. MIDI program changes, with each piston using a different MIDI program number and/or MIDI channel and always sending the same message). On some digital organs you have to select a "piston mode" (or similar) within the digital organ's firmware menu in order to enable that. (By default many digital organs instead either send no MIDI messages from their pistons, or they send the current states of their stops after the piston has activated the digital organ's internal combination.)

However, it's important to be aware that you mustn't have both the digital organ's MIDI stops and its MIDI pistons auto-detected to Hauptwerk, otherwise the two combination systems will inevitably 'fight over' the states of the stops (see the "Playing Hauptwerk live from a digital organ" section in the main Hauptwerk user guide -- pages 272-273 in the current v8.0 version -- for more details).
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Wayne Grauel

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Re: ALLEN MDS-36 - CAN'T SETUP THUMB PISTONS

PostMon Nov 20, 2023 12:57 pm

Thanks Martin, Having played trackers all of my life, I'll go with "Draw Stops" any day!
if anyone has discovered a work-around (short of wiring up the pistons to a midi encoder ) I'll be all ears!

you would think that the combination action moving the draw stops would "register" with HW, but that's not the case.
My Eminent has a dedicated combination action with Kimber Allen draw-stops and those " talk to " HW when the solenoids are engaged.

thanks again
Wayne
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mdyde

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Re: ALLEN MDS-36 - CAN'T SETUP THUMB PISTONS

PostMon Nov 20, 2023 1:02 pm

Thanks, Wayne. You're very welcome.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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magnaton

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Re: ALLEN MDS-36 - CAN'T SETUP THUMB PISTONS

PostTue Nov 21, 2023 12:44 am

Hi Wayne:

I take it you want to set a physical Allen piston to a HW virtual piston? I'm assuming that all the physical stops are off and you have blank memory number? The issue with Allen organs is when you press the "Set" button it will send out a MIDI signal but blocks or locks out any MIDI signal from General or Divisional piston that you are trying to assign. So you can't use it to set a HW piston!

For example the physical Gen-1 piston is set to Hauptwerk's virtual Gen-1. To assign virtual stops to that piston you have to press the virtual Set button then press Gen-1 (virtual or physical). Since you have a Launchpad the quickest work around I've found is to assign one of it's buttons as a "Set" piston and use it instead. Basically you totally avoid using the Allen's physical set button unless you want to set physical stops.

You may also notice that coupler pistons (i.e. SW to GT) generate a MIDI signal but don't play nice with HW. The reason is they actually send out lots of MIDI data that HW doesn't need. For these I've used the Bome MIDI translator which you can set to filter out all the bogus or proprietary Allen MIDI streams and only allow the note ON (or note OFF) message that Hauptwerk needs.

Danny B.

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