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Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

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Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby organsRgreat » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:59 pm

I have two Wurlitzer theatre organs (the Paramount 450 and MDA 3/31) on which “one shot” percussions on the Accompaniment manual only re-trigger after the keyboard has been completely cleared. So if I'm using a cymbal for instance, it will only replay if I take my hands completely off the keyboard. Quite often I want to sustain a note in the left hand on that manual, in order to provide a counter-melody, but when I do that the cymbal only sounds when I change the sustained note.

However, on the Virginia Wurlitzer, also from MDA, one-shot percussions on the Accompaniment manual do re-trigger whenever I play a new note. Is there any way to make the other sample sets behave like this?

Thanks :-)
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby engrssc » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:26 pm

If you have one, you might try a MIDI implemented toe piston to trigger a cymbal maybe? Otherwise, there are external pedal units like guitarists use which output MIDI that are available.

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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby organsRgreat » Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:39 am

The sort of patterns I want to play on cymbals (etc) are too fast to be controlled by a toe piston! Since my Hauptwerk software is linked to Reaper, I realise that I could add a VST sample player in Reaper, and probably achieve the effect I want. However I thought it worth asking first whether this can be done within Hauptwerk. The more complicated a system becomes the more things there are for me to get confused about :(
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby mdyde » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:47 am

Hello organsRgreat,

I've just had a look at the MW 3-31, and the tap cymbal on the Accompaniment division is hard-wired internally (within the sample set) to trigger when an Accomp. key is pressed, but only if no other Accomp. keys are already playing.

There isn't an option/preference switch within the sample set to change that behaviour. My guess is that the same applies to the Paramount 450, but I don't have that installed at the moment to check.

However, with the MW 3-31 you can also trigger the tap cymbal from the C-sharp key immediately to the right of middle C (MIDI note number 61) if you configure input to the '07-Percussion ...' entry in the left-hand browse list on the 'Organ settings | Keyboards' screen. Perhaps using some external software or hardware (e.g. some MIDI event processing plug-in in your VST host, if you currently have MIDI input going through Reaper to Hauptwerk) to cause that particular MIDI note-on/off event to be sent whenever any other MIDI note-on/off message is sent/received for the Accomp. MIDI channel. (I'm afraid I'll have to leave that one to you, though, if you want to try it.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby TheOrganDoc » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:03 pm

Hello "Organs are Great"

Yes, "Organs Are Great" !

From my past experience, Repairing,and Reinstalling Theater & Classical Pipe organs,
Once any key is depressed on the Acc., or Ped its Traps Buss is kept on (Traps Relay ),
so it is not possible on a Theater Pipe Organ to re-trigger its traps. :roll:

Most Theater organists, will turn on the Reiterating version of that particular trap,
and or play rhythmic block chords !

Best wishes, Mel :D
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby ldeutsch » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:29 pm

I use second touch for this effect. Simply couple the percussions to the second touch and then you can retriever them by easing up on the keys and engaging the second touch as you like.

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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby organsRgreat » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:07 am

Martin – That's very helpful. I've experimented with the Percussion manual, and it seems to respond only to C# as you say. Brett explained that the organ was designed for an earlier version of Hauptwerk, and at the time a percussion manual was the only way the facility could be implemented, though he didn't go into detail.

I can see what needs to be done in principle: put the percussion manual on a separate MIDI channel, and alter all notes on that channel to output a C#. An octave range from tenor C upwards should cover enough notes. I have a MIDI processing box which can do this, but it would be neater to do it within Reaper. A VST sample player within Reaper could be best, as I would then have access to a greater variety of sounds. That would take more time to research and experiment, but I'll see what I can find out.

Mel - Thanks for contributing from the perspective of a technician who has actually worked on “real” Wurlitzers. I wasn't suggesting that the behaviour of the MDA and Paramount organs is not authentic – that doesn't bother me, because Hauptwerk is already able to do things that the original organs couldn't. For instance, the melody couplers are very useful, but rarely seen on pipe organs. I'm impressed by the way drummers in a dixieland jazz band enhance the music by playing a variety of patterns; it wouldn't be practical to produce that level of complexity on a theatre organ, but it would be interesting to experiment.

Les – I'll need to experiment further with this idea – it certainly looks promising, but I haven't been able to make it work yet. Does it require a keyboard with second-touch contacts? I've looked onto getting one, but they're very expensive. Can it be done using Hauptwerk's system for sensing velocity, and bringing in second touch stops when velocity exceeds a certain value?
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby mdyde » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:30 am

organsRgreat wrote:Does it require a keyboard with second-touch contacts? I've looked onto getting one, but they're very expensive. Can it be done using Hauptwerk's system for sensing velocity, and bringing in second touch stops when velocity exceeds a certain value?


Although Hauptwerk can be set to trigger virtual second-touch based on key velocity, that wouldn't help in this case, since MIDI keyboards only send the velocity as you press the key down initially.

You would need a MIDI keyboard that either has:

1. Real theatre organ 2nd touch key contacts. (Ideal, but rare/expensive.) Or:
2. MIDI polyphonic after-touch (a.k.a. 'key after-touch'). (Also fairly rare/expensive.) Or:
3. MIDI channel after-touch. (Reasonably common.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby engrssc » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:00 am

This is a question - could the (in this case the Accomp manual) be split somewhere in the middle with both halves having the same (voicing/pipe) registration but the left hand portion set for the percussion as well? This is assuming the left hand would be "playing" the percussion. Assuming also that the keyboard's encoder would have his "split" capability. Just a thought as I've never tried to do this.

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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby ldeutsch » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:25 am

I was assuming you had (or could get) true second touch contacts. However, there is another option. You could use monophonic aftertouch to get the effect you describe. While polyphonic aftertouch is rare and expensive (out of my entire collection of keyboards, only one is quipped with this) monophonic aftertouch is much more common.

Unlike other second touch effects, percussion keying should be easy to do with monophonic aftertouch.

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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby organsRgreat » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:12 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. As a general rule I find it disconcerting to have to think in terms of different degrees of touch when playing an organ – it's an extra complication that gets in the way of the music. On the piano (my first instrument) it's automatic – but piano actions have a much more controllable touch than the average organ or synthesiser keyboard.

I've just done a quick search on the internet, and there are plenty of free VST soundfont players available. Downloading them and and finding out which works best for me will be a time-consuming nuisance, but I should end up with a much better playing experience than by trying to coax Hauptwerk sample sets into doing things they aren't designed for.

Another approach would be a sampler as such – more expensive, but it would probably simplify the task of mapping the same cymbal sound across several keyboard notes. With modern musical electronics there's usually a way of achieving any reasonable aim – the trick is to find the method that gives the desired result most easily :?
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby organsRgreat » Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:54 pm

I've now been able to get quite near the effect I want by using Ed's idea of splitting the keyboard. I've set up my MIDI processing box to send on Channel 3 across the 61 note range. It also duplicates on Channel 6 notes from middle C upwards.

Within Hauptwerk, the Accompaniment keyboard is set for the Primary input to receive on Channel 3 up to note 059. Input 2 receives on Channel 6 from middle C upwards. Also on the Input 2 tab, the theatre organ second touch input is set to “Separate set of hardware 2nd touch key contacts”, receiving on Channel 3. Traps are switched to 2nd touch.

Provided I keep my sustained counter-melody notes below middle C, and play repeated notes on middle C upwards, Hauptwerk doesn't see any sustained notes, and the traps happily repeat.

I don't quite understand why the second touch contacts need to be set to Channel 3, but these settings are working reliably on the MW 3_31. Presumably I've duplicated the way Hauptwerk would receive MIDI messages if I had a keyboard with second touch contacts. I'll keep everything as is for a while, and report back if I encounter any problems.
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby engrssc » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:08 pm

Since you haven't reported back, can we assume there are no problems with your setup? 8)

Rgds,
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Re: Theatre organ one-shot percussions - re-triggering

Postby organsRgreat » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:13 am

I haven't played that sample set for quite a while, but the above system for re-triggering percussions always worked perfectly. Thank you for the suggestion which led to this solution :-)
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