Allen 4600

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StageaXSam
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Allen 4600

Post by StageaXSam » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:02 am

I am new to this forum, but have had an interest for some time in having a virtual TPO. I have limited knowledge of electronics, but dabbled a little in the 60s/70s with Conn organs. Today, I have two Yamaha stage instruments ELX-1 (1993) and Stagea ELS-01X (2005) The latter is not sold in the US, but has 509 sampled voices, mostly orchestral. It has a few nice classic organ voices and a few TO voices, but they are limited and not very real. I really want the TO sounds and the console to have a look and feel of the real TPOs.

Hence the need for another console to convert to a virtual TPO. I first acquired a Conn 652 to convert it to MIDI. It should be an easier conversion than the Conn 650 or 651 because the 652 keying was multiplexed, and it aleady has an extra key finger under each manual key that is unused. It would require a MIDI system to be wired in. The original electronics are in serious trouble, and I had not intended to restore the Conn voices, just use the keying system and 4 channel amps, etc.

Shortly after acquiring the Conn, I found an Allen MDC4600 (3 manual Allen TO new in 1981). It already has the keyboard MIDI interface, so I thought it would be an easier conversion. Also, the combination action is standard (stops move) whereas the Conn had a few factory presets.

I would hope to ultimately have the 260SP, but am unsure whether the combination action could ever be wired into the Miditzer system to work as a normal TPO does.

With that background, I have a few questions of those of you who have experience.

Has any forum member converted an Allen MDC (digital) TO? And, if so, do you have time to give me some pointers as t how to set up my MIDI connections, etc.?

Secondly, I have not read anything about amp/speaker systems. My experience (60s/70s) with speaker systems was that home audiofile systems did not work well with electronic organs. Organ makers used speakers with characteristics as a sort of final filter. Even good audio systems made strings sound like reads, and the organ overall just too bright.

Has anyone with Miditzer experience found some modestly priced sound systems that work will with the Miditzer system? And for those who have the 260 system finalized, how many sound channels did you create? My Allen has 4 (self contained) which would be a start. However, every electronic organ I ever played sounds much better with external speakers.

I would be most greatful for the requested information.

Regards

Sam

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Jim Henry
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by Jim Henry » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:14 am

Welcome Sam.

Do you know if the Allen combination action produces MIDI Messages? If you are unsure using MIDI-OX or MIDI Medic is probably the easiest way to find out:
http://site.virtualorgan.com/community/ ... =17&t=2719
http://site.virtualorgan.com/community/ ... =17&t=2611
You'll also need to know exactly what MIDI Messages are sent which either of these programs will show you.

There is a Sound Systems and Speakers area of the Forum that might be helpful with that side of things.

I would encourage you to stick with the 216 until everything is working to your satisfaction. The 260SP works exactly the same so if you have an issue with the 216, you'll have the same issue with the 260SP.
Jim Henry

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rraymond
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by rraymond » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:17 am

I think you will find your organ is actually an Allen model ADC4600.
And I am pretty sure that the only MIDI information that is output will be note on and note off information for each of the keyboards and pedalboard.

Firstly, I suggest that you follow Jim's advice, and use MIDI-OX to verify what MIDI signals are being transmitted.
That way, you can verify my suspision that the Allen will play notes on the Miditzer, but will not be able to change stops without some additional hardware.

Rodney

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silentfilmmusic
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by silentfilmmusic » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:17 pm

Any update on this? Just curious, as I've accompanied a couple silents at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. I've just confirmed that the Allen they have is also 4600 and I'd like to know if I can use Miditzer with it next time I play, instead of the organ's on-board sounds.

Thanks.

Ben

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rraymond
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by rraymond » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:49 am

Ben,

The Allen ADC4600 will transmit MIDI note on/off info only.
The expression will not transmit MIDI info, neither will movement of the stop tabs or piston operation.

Rodney

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silentfilmmusic
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by silentfilmmusic » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:21 pm

I'm going to be at the AFI Silver on Saturday 3/16 for a show, and back again 3/30. I will play the Allen 4600 for the show this Sat, but will bring my laptop and if there's time I want to hook it up to the organ to test it. If I can get it to work I may try to use Miditzer 260 with it at the 3/30 show.

Do I need MIDI cables for each manual/channel or is there just one MIDI out? Where do I find the MIDI out on the 4600?

Thanks!

Ben

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rraymond
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by rraymond » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:34 am

Ben,

Sorry, I didn't see this post in time to respond promptly - to get to the MIDI connection you will need to remove the back of the organ (lift the lid, and then there will be a couple of clips at the top of the back that hold it in place) and hopefully the MIDI sockets will be fairly obvious on the back panel.

There is only one MIDI cable required, the different manuals transmit on different MIDI channels.

Rodney

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silentfilmmusic
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by silentfilmmusic » Thu May 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Thanks for your reply. Sorry I don't check the forum more often. I've temporarily bagged this idea, since the swell pedals on the 4600 are not MIDI. I know I could route my laptop audio-out through them, but I do not want to take any chances unplugging and re-plugging audio connections on this 1980's instrument. If I can find a good workaround to this, I may try again in the future.

Thanks!

Ben

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Joe Roberts
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Re: Allen 4600

Post by Joe Roberts » Sat May 18, 2013 12:27 pm

hey sam.................
i have two separate vtpo set-ups that i use both models of miditzer and a dozen more of another brand.... geez....talk about trying to decide which to play first when i get started....
anyway..........on my smaller, single-keyboard setup, i just plug my laptop audio out into a good quality SOUND BAR (Vizio is ok).....with a nice sub-output port for the rich bass notes.......and wal-la...what a great sound.......
i will get around to posting some pics on this unique setup one of these days....my main setup is in the "show us yours" section......
hope this helps...
joe r

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