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Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...
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engrssc

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Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostMon Dec 07, 2015 9:18 pm

Helping a friend with his newly acquired (used) A/G Leipzig (model) organ. Powers up, lighted draw knobs, c/a and pistons (thumb and toe) work, at least light up properly. Has MIDI in/out connectors. MIDI out to a MIDISport sends MIDI to the H/W computer using Auto Detect (okay so far).. Problem keys play an octave lower than they should. Keyboards are 8 X 8 matrix. Pedal board works as a 8 X 4 matrix. Can't get any output via (2) built-in power amps.Nothing smoked or apparently missing. Listening via Hauptwerk installed on my laptop with extension powered spkrs..See a small (plastic cased) relay between the power amp's output transistor's heat sinks that doesn't seem to do anything

Looks to be in good condition, just a little dusty inside. Probably early 90's vintage, as in early digital. Would like to use the original MIDI setup and, if possible, the original electronics in addition to Hauptwerk.

No hiss, hum, snap, crackle or pops from output or headphone jacks and then there's this manuals playing an 8' stop sounding an octave low as if it were a 16'. Haven't found a manual or any other (Leipzig) info on the net. As expected, Hauptwerk doesn't respond to stops, c/a or expression peds.

Ideas?

Rgds,
Ed
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mdyde

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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostTue Dec 08, 2015 3:39 am

engrssc wrote:MIDI out to a MIDISport sends MIDI to the H/W computer using Auto Detect (okay so far).. Problem keys play an octave lower than they should.


Hello Ed,

If you right-clicked on a virtual keyboard and selected 'Adjust MIDI/trigger settings manually ...' then you could apply a user-defined key-shift to compensate for that. (However, if you can address the issue properly within the digital organ itself, perhaps via one of its internal settings, then that would probably be preferable, so as to avoid having to change the settings manually for every virtual keyboard/organ.)
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostTue Dec 08, 2015 8:29 am

Thanks Martin, good info. Problem is I can't tell even which board is the encoder (if that's the problem) as it appears many sections of the organ are grouped together on the circuit boards connected by many ribbon cables. I had been looking for a MIDI box/circuit that might "translate" what is being sent (out) by the organ into the correct pitch but even if such a unit existed, it would undoubtedly add latency. There are a few micro chips on some boards but I don't have an ambition to investigate them. The only brochure we've found says it is a sampled organ. And not (as yet) being able to hear any of the original organ doesn't give a basis for deciding if it's even worth spending any further time or money to make the original organ happen. My gut says no as the technology is at least 20 years old.

We may have to replace the encoder which hopefully would be a solution as well. With that thought tho, I assume the existing voicing circuits would rely on the existing MIDI. I'm concluding I need more info about the existing circuit to make a good call. If it were for me, I would basically remove the existing and just make it a total Hauptwerk organ (which may ultimately happen). It revolves around time which, esp right now, I don't have.

I will say it is a beautiful piece of organ craftsmanship. The wooden keys have dark teak covering for the naturals and a light blond wood for the sharps. Console has very few very light scratches, AGO pedal board with built-in switches connected to the console with a 12 pin umbilical cable (8 X 4 matrix). So it is worth saving for sure. Even came with an adjustable (height) massive bench.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostTue Dec 22, 2015 9:10 pm

Ed,

I've got a more recent Ahlborn console that I have adapted for use with HW. Mine is pretty much a Preludeum V under the hood, using Drake boards. While I don't have any particularly useful nuggets for you, I can tell you that from the information I've been given by my Ahlborn techs here in Germany, the MIDI system is intergrated with the main system control board. On my instrument, the console's analog contacts drive the Drake boards, and this in turn is the source of MIDI data sent to the MIDI output boards. It is likely that the data signal path is similar on earlier models; that the proprietary Ahlborn system drives the MIDI, and not the other way around.

BTW, I have had my own problems with the Ahlborn internal sound generators, which required some soldering by the tech to rectify. Once that was resolved, though, the sound was pretty respectable, although it can't hold a candle to HW.

I would be very interested to follow your progress in this project!

Many thanks,
Matthew
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostTue Dec 22, 2015 11:11 pm

Thanks, Matthew,

We are making progress, be it slowly. We have MIDI connected to a MacMini and playing Hauptwerk. Haven't really tried doing any fine tuning, more like continuity testing presently.

Did find a voltage regulator for the +12VDC supply getting quite hot. The wire carrying that high current goes to somewhere in the tone generator boards, so next project is to snoop that out. Didn't seem to do any damage to the power supply (regulator) because pulling the plug connecting that suspect wire, the reg cooled down and the proper voltage is on the terminal connector.

Not getting Hauptwerk to recognize stops (not a surprise), but for a while H/W was responding to the combination action thumb and toe pistons. Don't look at that as a concern. If worked once we can do it again. It stopped after I pulled out a few power supply plugs looking for what was drawing that high current.

Got too late to do any further testing and my calendar is full until at least after Christmas and probably New Year. Gives me time to think about things. Sure wish I had a schematic tho.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostWed Dec 23, 2015 11:32 am

I might be able to provide a schematic of the data path for my Ahlborn model, if that helps. Let me know, and I'll scan it in and send it to you.
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostWed Dec 23, 2015 11:45 am

blueband95 wrote:I might be able to provide a schematic of the data path for my Ahlborn model, if that helps. Let me know, and I'll scan it in and send it to you.


That's great, would appreciate. Probably best sent via email. I'll send you my email address via a PM.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostWed Dec 23, 2015 11:48 am

No problem. :)
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostWed Dec 23, 2015 3:11 pm

If you are pulling ribbon connectors, just be aware that Ahlborn sometimes runs both data and low-current power through its ribbon connectors.
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostWed Dec 23, 2015 9:54 pm

blueband95 wrote:If you are pulling ribbon connectors, just be aware that Ahlborn sometimes runs both data and low-current power through its ribbon connectors.


In addition, it wouldn't be a good idea to reverse (accidentally of course) a ribbon connector which some instances is possible. I dab a bit a red nail polish on the pin1 end of both the connector and the board (header).

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 3:14 am

I think this thread is the nearest thing to join to explain my problem. I have successfully linked the Ahlborn console to HW. I can link the physical stops to the HW stops OK. I thought the best way to set up the pistons would be to use the console piston system. When a piston is pressed, it will light up the programmed stop(s) and activate the screen stops but if another piston is pressed which is set to cancel any stops, they don't go off. The physical stop would seem to be not sending MIDI out when activated by a piston. You have to actually press the stop tab to get a MIDI out signal. If I try to use the HW combination system it conflicts with the Ahlborn. What is needed I think is to somehow disable the console combination system and use the HW system. Has anyone done this? Or are there any other solutions to this problem?
Thanks in advance for any help with this :)
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 3:41 am

Hello thalben,

I don't have first-hand experience with Ahlborn consoles, but just in case it's relevant, if using a digital organ's built-in combination system it would normally be important that you *don't* also auto-detect its pistons directly to anything in Hauptwerk, otherwise the two combination systems are likely to 'fight over' the states of the stops. The 'Playing Hauptwerk live from a digital organ' section in the Hauptwerk user guide (pages 234-235 in the current v6.0.2 version) has general information on that.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 8:06 am

Thanks Martin for the reply. I was aware that the two systems should not be used together. The issue I have is that I don't know how to turn off or disconnect the console combination system. If it was disabled then, using the HW native combs would work I think. The pistons work the physical stops but the MIDI note on/off messages are not passed on to HW via the physical stops. That's why I want to bypass the console combination system. I'm hoping someone might have an idea how to do this. The organ is an Ahlborn Galanti Chronicler III.
Best wishes, Nigel
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 8:29 am

Thanks, Nigel. Hope you manage to find a way to get it to work.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Problem adding MIDI to Ahlborn-Galanti Leipzig

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 8:56 am

We. found there was 4no simple, easy way to disable the internal c/a system. A workaround, while a bit of work was to disconnect the piston's wiring and instead wire the contacts (switch and lamp) to these:

https://www.midi-hardware.com/?section=prod_info&product=LITSW

and then use the Hauptwerk c/a. While making the converversion we also removed the existing incandescent lamps and replaced them with high efficiency (max 3 ma) LEDs. (1K resistor in series required).

If you require further info - ask. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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