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Thread: Moving on into the Virtual world

  1. #11
    pp Pianissimo OneWatt's Avatar
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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Nico -

    If I understand correctly, you're trying to connect your laptop's VPO output to your existing amplifier & speakers. If so, the challenge most likely is on the laptop side of the equation.

    Sure, the laptop's headphone out stereo jack (1/8") is a quick fix, but for better sound quality you probably need to step up things at the laptop.

    Rather than an internal sound card inside your ("aging") laptop, I'd recommend an external USB audio interface, because this will have most of the higher end sound resolution you'll ever want, plus in many cases, also provides a MIDI input to connect to your laptop which will have even lower latency than ASIO4ALL.

    It'll also be portable to any future laptop/desktop configurations you may evolve towards over time.

    Here are a few inexpensive options (under US$100):

    Presonus USB Audibox
    Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD

    These interfaces connect to your laptop via USB cable with high audio resolution and convenient audio outputs to reach your external speaker/amp.

    Specifically, look at stock pictures of the output side of (either of) these audio boxes - it will become evident how you can easily connect the output produced by your laptop (Hauptwerk, whatever) to the speaker systems you already have on hand.

    Hope some of this helps you wade through the VPO morass. Enjoy! - OneWatt

  2. #12
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Thanks OneWatt. Just the kind of information I needed.

    And for this you are now promoted to TwoWatts!!

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  3. #13
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    OK, Using a simple 3,5mm to RCA stereo cable from the headset output of the laptop and connected to the 2.1 input on the amp I got some awsome sounds from the amp. I tried all three (Miditzer Style 216, Hauptwerk free and GrandOrgue) and they all work. I found GrandOrgue working the best for ease of operation and choice. I will likely stay with GrandOrgue for the moment. I have not yet connected the setup to the Organ but simply played some midi files from the laptop. The sound is very pleasing. I got what to me sounds like a 32" bass thundering through the amp and had to turn the volume way down for fear of rupturing the speaker.
    Comments welcome.
    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  4. #14
    p Piano KOC62's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread for me. I'm just starting to get my head around virtual organs. I'm good with electronics but not so good with music and organ terminology.

  5. #15
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Just to update:

    I built myself a little trolley on castors to accommodate the laptop, amp and other paraphernalia. Connected the setup to the Technics organ but nothing. I tried connecting the two midi plugs to all three sockets in various combinations on the organ but cannot get any connection with the laptop. The organ has the following three midi sockets: In, Out and Through. The UM-one has two, In and Out. (I am unsure if this refers to in and out of the laptop or instrument). The laptop recognizes the UM-One but there seems to be no connection from the organ and the sound only emits from the organ speakers. No lights light up on the In or Out led's on the UM-One. I know I am doing something wrong but what? Is there perhaps something I should activate on the organ itself?

    I purchased a very inexpensive external USB sound card (C-Media 48XX or something) which is plug-and-play but have not managed to connect that properly to the amp. This does not concern me overly much at this stage but I would like to get the Organ to talk to the laptop at least.

    Perhaps someone can venture an opinion - all welcome.

    Thanks
    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  6. #16
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Start by considering only the MIDI OUT jack on the organ. That is the only one that you will use, so forget the other two. They have no function in the setup you are trying to do.

    Next, you will have to determine which of the connections on the midi adapter is the one receiving signals. This is the only one that you are going to use. You have no need to send any MIDI signals back to the organ. So, you can try them one at a time. Plug one of them into the MIDI OUT jack of the organ and play keys. If you get some activity, you are good to go. If nothing happens, switch to the other cable of the adapter -- remove the first one from the MIDI OUT of the organ and plug in the second one. You should now get activity.

    It is indeed confusing, which cable to use on the USB adapters. I have several of them, and the MIDI IN and MIDI OUT connections are sometimes marked differently. One of the adapters has them plainly marked as "IN" and "OUT" and I know to connect the "IN" one to the "OUT" of an organ. Another adapter has them marked the other way, with arrows that indicate which one is meant to connect to the "IN" and which to "OUT" of the organ. But I have to think about it and try it both ways every time.

    Once you get the correct plug into the correct jack, if you still get no response, perhaps the Technics is not actually transmitting any MIDI signals. There might be a menu item that has to be enabled to make this happen, or maybe a tab or control on the panel. I'm not at all familiar with Technics organs, so I can't advise in detail. Perhaps someone else will chime in.
    John
    ----------
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    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
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  7. #17
    pp Pianissimo OneWatt's Avatar
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    Organfella -

    John's advice is spot on (as usual) for the MIDI cabling in eliminating some of those variables. I suspect there's also something internal to the Technics organ that, as he also suggested, you need to enable for the keyboard unit to send MIDI out data.

    I tried to google the owner's manual for your organ to see what menu/switch you might need to engage to enable MIDI out, but cannot find any mention of the specific model #s that you've cited above in your thread (seems like there are two different references, neither of which got me hits).

    Do you have the owner's manual? Can you provide the exact model number to see if we can hunt it down?

    - OneWatt

  8. #18
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I appreciate the help.

    I wanted to take some pictures this morning but that thing with a face and two hands showing the time of day caught me and I had to rush.

    The organ has a little lcd screen which I have not been able to decipher as to its function. When the organ is played normally, there is no change to what is on it. I am more convinced that the issue is not with the adapter or computer, but rather on the organ side.

    Attached is what I have on the midi (Note I got them today so have not studied them). A quick look indicates the answers might lie within...

    Nico
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Organfella; 07-26-2017 at 08:44 AM.
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  9. #19
    pp Pianissimo OneWatt's Avatar
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    Organfella -

    Yep, you've got the essential instructions in hand. So now please do the following:

    - Use the MIDI "OUT" port on the back of your Technics (i.e., not the "THRU" port).
    - Turn on the respective channels to transmit on all fronts (UPPER, LOWER, BASS, SOLO); see page 2 of the instructions (shows as page 3 of the pdf file).
    - Turn off the "Organ Sound" on your organ so you don't double up by playing the Technics sounds... unless you want to "layer" with your internal organ sounds with your VPO setup at the same time

    Hopefully you'll now see that little LED light on your USB/Midi cable flickering to indicate that the MIDI data is indeed being sent from the Technics to your laptop.

    If not, there's more sleuthing to do to get to bottom of the issue.

    If so, from there, you'll need to set up your VPO to accept the upper, lower, bass (pedals) and solo keyboard info on channels 1,2,3 and 4 respectively and then assign those channels within the VPO software as you wish to have your VPO respond accordingly.

    Hopefully you'll be home free soon.

    - OneWatt

  10. #20
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    Roland have been clever with the UM-One's cables. The IN lead is marked as 'Connect to MIDI Out'! And the OUT lead is marked 'Connect to MIDI In'. So if you read that and follow the instructions, yo should be fine. I can't see anything in the manual to disable or enable MIDI overall, looks like it's permanently on.

    So as OneWatt said, you should see the red LEDs on the UM-One flickering.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

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