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Thread: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo allenludden's Avatar
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    MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    Ibought a 1992 MDS Theatre III that has a Yamaha DRC-20 sequencer with it. Disks that were recorded on that sequencer will not play in an Allen Smart Recorder and vice versa. I am wanting to transfer some new disks I bought from the Smart Recorder to the Yamaha, and vice versa (I am borrowing a Smart Recorder for this project). Here is the problem:When I play the disks from the Smart Recorder on the organ, they will not record onto the Yamaha. BUT, if I actually play the keys, the Yamaha will record. I suspect it is not seeing the keying signal or something like that. Any ideas on how to make this work ?





    Thanks !


  2. #2
    mf Mezzo-Forte al's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    Why not just play the SR directly into the DRC? Then youcan play the DRC into theMDS. You could use a splitter to route the SR to both the DRC and MDS. I don't think the MDS midi out is the same as a midi thru.




  3. #3
    mf Mezzo-Forte fredy2's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    I believe that the DRC diskformat is different than the MDS...




    Playing disks on the MDS PROBABLY are not routed through to the DRC at the same time... There MIGHT be a setting that passes the signals through available... but it may not be an option.




    Also SOME of the DRC recorders had MIDI channels that were dedicated... Example, the MDR2 had certain channels pre-assigned to match with the organ it was intended to be used on.


  4. #4
    mf Mezzo-Forte al's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ

    IMHO, the MDS has no record/playback capability. It simply has Midi in/out + audio. The Smart Recorder which is an accessory uses floppys to record/playback the midi data. The disks would not be compatable between the SR and DRC. The SR will play the organ using its own disk as will the DRC, using its own. So if you buy midi files from Allen which are in the SR format, you need to play them through a borrowed SR and simultaneously record on the DRS. It should be noted that the Allen performance midi files contain registration info also, so as it plays, the stop tabs will change as they did in the original performance. The Allen stoptabs are coded by function so a performance recording will accurately play on almost any model MDS or later model instrument.

  5. #5
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    Not a true expert on this, but as a long-time Allen servicer -- I'd have thought the disks you bought from Allen would play in any sequencer as long as it's connected to an Allen organ of the correct type. I don't know that the Smart Recorder disks are anything but regular MIDI files with embedded program changes to turn stops on and off and regulate expression. If there's anything else in there I don't know what it is, perhaps System Exclusive messages of some kind. But that shouldn't prevent the disks from playing in any standard sequencer.




    I guess it's possible that the Smart Recorder uses Mac formatted diskettes, or perhaps your Yamaha does and the Smart Recorder is IBM format. That would certainly prevent either one reading the other's disks. Or your Yamaha may not recognize the 1.44 meg HD disks of the SR.




    Are you certain that the Yamaha sequencer is working properly? Are you sure the connections to the organ are correct? Is it hooked up to the correct pair of MIDI jacks. There are separate connections for a sequencer and for a MIDI sound module.




    Using a borrowed Smart Recorder, you might be able to capture the outgoing MIDI stream on a computer sequencer and then transfer to your Yamaha diskettes -- assuming that the Yamaha uses regular IBM formatted diskettes (or if Mac, that you can get a Mac computer to do this with). You might actually be able to simply feed the MIDI out of the SR into the MIDI in of the Yamaha and transfer the data that way, but I'm not sure if that would work. Would be worth a try.




    Or there may be some bizarre kind of copy protection in the SR disks. You might pose this question to the Allen Organ Owners Forum and see if anyone there has done this.




    Good luck.




    John


    John
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  6. #6
    ppp Pianississmo allenludden's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ

    Hmmmm....lots of good information. I have more clues: My organ has a console controller with a built-in recorder, so I can record a performance and play it back from the console controller. When I play a disk from either theSR or the Yamaha, the expression and stop changes record, but not the keying. In other words, I set the SR to play and then routed the organ's MIDI out cable to the IN on the Yamaha. I can see the expression changes by the LED lights on the console, and the registration changes all record, but no keying information seems to be making it from the organ to the sequencer. According to the console controller, I am using MIDI base channel 1. Any other ideas ?

  7. #7
    mf Mezzo-Forte fredy2's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    You would want the device to NOT be in OMNI mode if it has that as any channel triggers the sound on everything...




    It is likely the Yamaha is using different channels as the default... You need a detailed user manual for it. The MIDI implementation chart in it should give details of channel and the response...




    I would expect that Yamaha disks played in the console would NOT be compatible due to format, etc... A lot of the Yamaha recorders spill system exclusive stuff and set up their intended organs... often this is not compatible with foreign devices...


  8. #8
    mf Mezzo-Forte fredy2's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    I downloaded the DRC-20 manual. This device was intended to be used with the Clavinova and also as a pseudo mixer by mixing seperate tracks recorded on different MIDI channels.




    Two things for your use: You MUST set the mode to "Omni Off" for both transmit and receive.




    You MUST use the 2DD floppies which are very hard to find... these are the 700K type that have no hole in one corner.




    If you try to use the 1.4Mb floppies you should erase them with a degausing eraser used for cassete tapes before re-formatting them on the DRC-20.


  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo allenludden's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    I had a breakthrough...I had not been putting the MIDI stop tabs on for any of these recording attempts. That solved the keying problem. The Yamaha will record, but I have to select the MULTI track mode. Still a little flaky in playback. I've been using 1.4 mb floppies and covering the hole with tape. This seems to work. I'll check the Omni mode and see if that helps. Thanks for the great advice !




    Jeff


  10. #10
    mf Mezzo-Forte fredy2's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Sequencer on Allen organ



    If you use 1.4mb disks you need to degauss them before reformating them...




    The problem with using these is that "artifacts" of the 1.4 formating can be residual between the tracks spaced at the 700Kb dimension and cause read errors.




    If you degauss these with a cassette eraser before reformating them on the Yamaha unit you MAY get more stable results.




    There used to be a slight difference in the coating of the 700 vs 1.4 that caused some marginal reads when using the 1.4's as 700's.


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