Theatre Organ Unification

Find out what all those theatre organ console button do
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ken_m
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Post by ken_m » Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:41 pm

Using version 0.41 with output from Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 split into 4 channels (2 manuals, pedals, aux channel for tabs) using Midi yoke NT.  -- I.E. no keyboards connected at present, just listening to midi's played through MidiTzer.
Not sure if this is a bug or intended since I have no previous experience of Theatre Organs, only Church Organs. If I activate say the 8' flute on the solo manual its volume seems to be controlled by the main manual swell??? This happens with several tabs.
This is not a problem if both swell pedals are joined in the Miditzer settings - but I was wanting to have them independantly adjustable for more variety of sound.
Also if I change tabs as a midi is playing, on occassion the music seems to falter as if something is out of sync & trying to catch up.
I'm running a 1.5gig AMD Sempron with 512meg of memory and an SBlive card and have no trouble running a 37 stop Hauptwerk organ albeit with the latency stretched a tad.
Not withstanding the above, a great virtual organ -- fantastic sound mixing the best of the various SF's
At the weekend I'll try the softsynth version and compare

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Jim Henry
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Post by Jim Henry » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:19 pm

Not a bug.  What you are seeing is the unification of a theatre organ specification.  Unlike church and classical organs, there is no relationship between the manuals and the pipe chambers.  That there is a Solo manual and a Solo pipe chamber is meaningless.  There is no relationship there just because they share the name Solo.  The little white circles above each stop show you which chamber the rank is in.  The black dots are in the Solo chamber and the others are in the Main chamber.  The swell pedals control their respective chambers.  Notice that every manual controls pipes in both chambers.  Also note that every stop labeled Flute is controlling the same rank.  (There are some stops that control the same rank but use different names just to keep you on your toes.  For example, the Bourdon and the Piccolo are also part of the Flute rank.)

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ken_m
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Post by ken_m » Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:30 pm

Thanks for the info re arrangement of the chambers/ranks - I now have to go back to the drawing board and re-register the midi's i'm playing around with! - it explains why with certain tab combinations enabled I did'nt get the sound I was expecting.
I don't seem to be able to operate the pistons from midi. Am using patch changes 1 -10 for solo, 21 - 25 for main etc on the auxilliary channel (16)......OR.......should the piston patch changes be on the respective manual channels?

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Jim Henry
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Post by Jim Henry » Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:32 pm

When coding MIDI files I think it is easier to put the Program Changes
on the same channels as the manuals they apply to.  Another
alternative is that all the pistons can be controlled from the Solo
channel as PC1 to PC23.  The Auxilliary and Solo channels are each
handled the same way.  The main purpose of the Auxilliary channel
is to support hardware for controlling pistons and stops that is not
integrated with a keyboard and thus has to be provided through an
independant MIDI device.

Do remember that you need to have the combination memory set appropriately so that the pistons will do what you want.

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ken_m
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Post by ken_m » Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:26 pm

I have kept all the tab & swell controllers on a separate channel from the music code for ease of finding a controller I want to adjust. I have separate channels available from Cakewalk via MIDI Yoke NT which gives me, I think, 16 separate channels - the output from MidiTzer feeding into my SB Live.
However, I tried the piston patch changes on the same manuals they apply to but still no result.
I'm using the default settings at present. When I depress a piston on screen with the mouse, tab conbinations are activated but I cannot replicate this from a midi file.
I have no problem with individual tabs using controller 81 (ON), 80 (OFF) and PC124 for general cancel, all on the aux channel along with the swell controls.
So the fact I can't get the pistons working is not stopping my fun, however it would be nice to have everything working.
On another subject, in what context should the crescendo pedal be used. There ain't nothing like it on a church organ and I'm not sure how best to use it without going over the top. Could you point me to any websites I might get a better idea of the technicalities of using the registrations properly. Much more to Theatre Organs than meets the eye.
Thanks in adavnce
 

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Jim Henry
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Post by Jim Henry » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:21 pm

If it is easier to put the controllers on their own channel, there is
no objection to using the auxilliary channel for that purpose.  I
am puzzled as to why PC124 for cancel is working and other pistons are
not.  The pistons are treated the same as far as activation by
MIDI messages goes.  You might want to put MIDI-OX between
Cakewalk and the Miditzer and take a careful look at exactly what
Cakewalk is sending.

This statement, "I have separate channels available from Cakewalk via
MIDI Yoke NT which
gives me, I think, 16 separate channels - the output from MidiTzer
feeding into my SB Live" confuses me.  The Miditzer uses 16
channels of MIDI output.  The straightforward use of Cakewalk
would run 3 or 4 channels of MIDI input to the Miditzer and the
Miditzer would be the only thing sending MIDI output to the SBLive.

Crescendo pedals are used more on classical organs than
theatre.  It is somewhat expensive to implement so you will only
see it on higher end instruments.  Opinion as to how it should be
used and even if it should be used rages in the TO community.  It
is handy if you need a quick buildup of stops, the BIG finish for
example, and you aren't too picky about exactly what, exactly
when.  Bear in mind that it is programmable, so if you put it in a
MIDI file you don't really know what you'll get.  I'd stay away
from it unless you have a strong reason for using it.

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ken_m
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Post by ken_m » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:40 pm

Sorry ---- I think I've confused you, but I am 5 hours ahead of you and its way past my bed-time. I have 16 MIDI channels from Cakewalk available using MIDI Yoke NT but I'm only using 4.
Channel 1 for solo, 2 for main, 3 for pedals and channel 16 for aux all feeding into MidiTzer with MidiTzer output feeding the sound card.
I'll look at the outputs from Cakewalk using MIDI-OX as you suggest.
It'll be next week before I can get round to it - got to sort hymns etc out for Sunday services, run daughter back to uni and find time to go to work!!!
OK on the crescendo pedal - I can use the brass without any problem for the big finish.
 

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