View Full Version : GrandOrgue and jOrgan as external MIDI Modules
12-02-2010, 03:24 PM
I've done some old electronic console conversions to MIDI and then connected an internal computer to the new MIDI systems and run jOrgan for a couple of churches. I've now been asked to look into creating a 'MIDI Extender' for a console that already has MIDI, so I was wondering if anyone here could provide some ideas of how this might look? I would imagine that the extenders have some sort of Stop Control? The software side is easy for me (I can do either GrandOrgue or jOrgan), as is the computer bit (I can make a little black box with all the computer hardware in), but I'm trying to imagine how best to have the end user control the extra stops...
Hope that makes sense.
01-07-2011, 09:54 AM
Hmm, no one answered, so I guess I'm on my own here. This is a long term project so we'll see what happens :)
01-07-2011, 01:12 PM
Graham, a few years back I was using jOrgan to supplement the stops on the Rodgers 660 analog I was playing in church at the time. I had added MIDI to the Rodgers by connecting a MIDI translator at the ganging boards, but it was labor-intensive and I never got around to MIDI-ing anything but the choir manual. The Rodgers foundation stop themselves were decent enough, so I was using jOrgan only to beef up the stoplist with some percussions, celestes, orchestral voices, and solo reeds, which really made the old gal much more interesting to play.
Anyway, I purchased a used touch-screen monitor on ebay and had it on a small stand at the right end of the console. The 8 or 10 stops I used were represented on-screen as drawknobs, and I had some pistons on the screen as well. I cobbled a wire onto one of the tabs in the choir division so it could serve to enable MIDI. That way I could preset some stops on the jOrgan screen and draw them with a single stop on the console.
I had plans to re-wire the choir divisional pistons on the organ to make them control the on-screen pistons (I was going to break apart a USB 10-key pad and tie those contacts to the pistons on the organ) but before I could get to that we got a better organ.
Keep us posted about the project you have in mind. I still get the jOrgan forum emails but don't have much time to read them.
01-07-2011, 01:22 PM
Graham, Artisan Instruments here in the USA might have something for you. Contact Mark Anderson and see if he can help you. www.artisanorgans.com
01-07-2011, 04:53 PM
I have a friend that wanted to augment the voices on his pipe organ with a small external synthesizer that he had. We installed Midi into the pipe organ and then I designed a small controller using the MidiBox hardware. He made a pullout drawer with buttons and a display and I wrote software for the MidiBox. The finalized box allows up to 3 voices to be assigned to each manual that can be enabled to play at the same time. The control of the voices can only be changed using buttons on the pullout drawer. There could be ways of enabling the selected voices from pistons on the organ but this was never added since his organ pistons don't send Midi Program Change messages.
The picture below shows the finalized panel. Ignore the extra shadows on the picture. They aren't seen in real life.
01-08-2011, 08:30 AM
Hi Mike and Pete,
Thanks for the input. I have MIDIbox boards (the MIDIO128 project), so I will take a look at extending that with some buttons, LEDS, and a screen. I need to keep this as DIY as possible so that others in South Africa can do it for themselves as well.
01-08-2011, 04:45 PM
I was wondering how many stops you wanted to control on jOrgan or whatever. With jOrgan and the display on your PC you probably have all you need without any added expander box. If your organ sends Program Change messages, you could also change the stops assigned to the jOrgan pistons from the organ console pistons. But this requires a PC with touch screen to set the piston values for jOrgan.
Or does your project want to be an add-on device as a separate box?
01-10-2011, 08:19 PM
For this project a touch screen is out of the question. It is basically for an organist who is somewhat technology challenged... So I need to make it look and function pretty much like adding another row of tabs to the organ. So I'm thinking of a micro-mini computer motherboard running jOrgan from a USB key, or an SSD harddrive running GrandOrgue. The simplest would be to create momentary contact tabs that lit LEDS when the Stop was on. That way I wouldn't have to worry about moving the Stops. A set of combination buttons could also be added. The MidiBox project seems well geared to something like this.
This would be an add-on device, so the number of stops won't be too large, 12 to 15 in total.
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