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Show Us Your Studio!

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Show Us Your Studio!

Postby Logarhythm » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:07 pm

Well I don't think it qualifies as a studio, but I'm really happy to finally have a music room thing again. Some acoustic treatment is now a likely winter project I think.
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Re: Show Us Your Studio!

Postby BillB » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:13 pm

Logarhythm, what’s the amazing pedalboard organ thingy on the right?
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Re: Show Us Your Studio!

Postby Logarhythm » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:01 pm

TL;DR - It's a project that I was gifted but may never actually finish!

It's a pipe organ emulator - a combination of the custom controller you can see in the picture, and a corresponding software instrument. A friend's grandfather passed away a few years ago and the family didn't know what to do with it, so they gave it to me. The chap was quite clearly a genius and this was the final evolution of something he'd been thinking about for years, but the technology wasn't there until the early 2000s to make it workable in the way he'd clearly been musing on since the late 70s.
When I went to look at it, about 50% of his studio/workshop/mancave was almost like a museum on the history of the evolution of sample/synth based music tech, and the other 50% was endless shelves of books on electrical engineering, organ design, music theory, synthesis, and an astonishing collection of scores for endless pieces of organ music. I'm kind of in awe of how creative and intelligent he was - a professor of linguistics who did this as his hobby, along with playing the organ to what I'm told was a very high standard, having given performances at some fairly impressive cathedrals.

The pedal board actually came from a real organ originally - his first "home" organ was a pipe organ that a church no longer wanted, and he had to bend all the pipes 90 degrees to run along the roof of his long and low (as compared to the height of even a modest organ) workshop to fit it in. Must have sounded quite intimidating in there!
There was one of almost every generation of computer that could do any sort of sequencing, from a BBC Micro through Ataris, Amigas etc up to what was once a top of the range 3XS system that this thing runs on (not yet set up in the pictures above - I need to sort a new monitor for it and it's in a gargantuan case, so I probably also need a proper double KB stand for my synths to make a bit more space). Similarly, there were various generations of synths, and an assortment of samplers from Akai and Yamaha, as well as the Korg DSS-1 that I now have behind the EX7.

The two manuals in the main unit seems to be fairly standard MIDI keybeds, but I've no idea where he got the switches for the rest of the console controls. The wooden case is his own construction. He was quite a practical chap - aside from the numerous iterations of organ and most of the furniture in his workshop, he built the 30' river cruiser that was moored on the river at the end of their garden.
The pedals, keyboards and swell pedal link together into a box containing a "brain" that sends data via USB, and this controls a sample-based software instrument of his own creation, that does a pretty good impersonation of a full pipe organ, or rather, some of a pipe organ. Alas he died before he finished it, and sadly I never met him, so it's something of a challenging project - I have never been a particularly competent coder and this is written in a programming language that was completely new to me, there is obviously no user manual, and whilst he did keep reasonably good notes, these span all his organ-related musings across a period that I'd guess starts in the late 70s / early 80s through to the construction of this, so finding specific information is quite challenging...
Alas I haven't actually found any circuit diagrams either, so the "brain" part is going to be a reverse-engineering headache if it ever goes wrong. Oh, and as yet I'm a very long way from being a proficient organist.
Aside from that, it's a really useful instrument :lol:

Now that I've got almost enough space to have it set up I really need to get round to doing a full write-up on it and get some proper audio samples too.
I get the impression he did this pretty much full time after retiring and still didn't complete it, so I've no idea if I'll actually ever get it finished :blush:
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Re: Show Us Your Studio!

Postby Folderol » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:24 pm

@ log

That is absolutely astonishing, I would have loved to have known him.
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Re: Show Us Your Studio!

Postby blinddrew » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:51 pm

An incredible project there, should keep you busy!
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Re: Show Us Your Studio!

Postby BillB » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:40 am

Wow! And I thought I had one or two repair/rebuild/finish projects... that’s just amazing. Really hope you get it sorted, documented and demonstrated as best you can. It’s not often you come across something completely unique.
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