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  • Adding MIDI to an analog Rodgers Scarborough 750B Organ

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    Rodgers Scarborough 750B Organ I'm Considering Buying

    Hello Folks,

    I might have the opportunity of purchasing a Rodgers Scarborough 750B organ. Only problem is it has no MIDI and never has because it was manufactured before MIDI was developed.

    My question is whether MIDI capability is something that can be added to and made operational on an analog organ that was never designed to include MIDI? Does anyone have experience with successfully adding MIDI functionality to an older analog instrument, especially one like the organ I am considering purchasing? Also, if this might indeed be possible, how much additional expense should I anticipate?

    Thank you for any help and direction you can give me!

    sw
    sw

  • #2
    This was a nice organ in its day, which was early to mid-1980s. It can still be satisfactory if in good working order.

    my sense is that modifying this thing will be tricky. And, if you lack the skills and experience to do the work yourself,will be extremely expensive. That assumes you can find someone in your neck of the woods.

    the same holds true for the ongoing maintenance of this 35 plus year old instrument.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info! I didn't think that MIDI could work on such an old instrument, but I thought I would ask you experts anyway. Also, you confirmed my fears about future maintenance. The organ has no issues at present, so I am told, but something that old, that is a whole new question. It has definitely been well-maintained!
      sw

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      • #4
        So, it's not that hard. I had never done it before but have mine mostly up and running. The only difference is you need an additional board to take the analog signal from the keyboards and pedals which will arrange the output into a matrix form. Then you will go into another board that will encode the signal into midi. The only difference between the one I did is that my keyboards already had the matrix output since my organ was digital. Everything else from the inside was pretty much yanked out. There is a sub forum about VPOs that you can check out. The boards I got were from midi boutique. Jordan was very helpful as I had to rewire my keyboards to make them compatible the the encoder. He provided the schematic and I just followed the bouncing ball!

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        • #5
          Thanks!

          Unfortunately, I am disabled and cannot perform such operations. I am also not tech savvy. But your thoughts are very appreciated, nonetheless!!!

          Thank you!

          sw


          Originally posted by kennyrayandersen View Post
          So, it's not that hard. I had never done it before but have mine mostly up and running. The only difference is you need an additional board to take the analog signal from the keyboards and pedals which will arrange the output into a matrix form. Then you will go into another board that will encode the signal into midi. The only difference between the one I did is that my keyboards already had the matrix output since my organ was digital. Everything else from the inside was pretty much yanked out. There is a sub forum about VPOs that you can check out. The boards I got were from midi boutique. Jordan was very helpful as I had to rewire my keyboards to make them compatible the the encoder. He provided the schematic and I just followed the bouncing ball!
          sw

          Comment


          • #6
            I live in your neighborhood as Vancouver, WA is just a short drive away. I'm retired and rebuild organ consoles as a hobby. The conversions I've done do not preserve the organ's original analog functionality and would cost around $5k either to deliver a new console such as a 3-manual Rodgers with lighted drawknobs or to take your console and return it about a month later, fully functional for Hauptwerk. These costs do not include a computer and sound system, so perhaps this isn't good news at all.

            There are less expensive approaches. I could get the needed hardware to a technical person of your choice for about $500 if they were to do the work. I'm sure none of this sounds budget friendly, but I'm always happy to discuss the subject and get to the Salem area from time to time and would be happy to stop by to discuss organs and VPO software. There's an installation in McMinnville at the Episcopal church that you could check out for an idea of what is possible. My contact info is on the web site below.
            http://www.nwmidi.com

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            • #7
              Thanks, John!

              The analog organ is one I was considering to purchase so I have no organ at present. I've stayed away from VPOs as I'm not tech/computer savvy and it just seems like another layer of disability being added to my already many physical limitations do to my 3 strokes. The original thought was to acquire an organ to promote hand and leg therapy (left side) as my right (dominant) side is paralyzed. I thought that having interesting sounds eliminating from an organ would inspire me to do exercise of my extremities as well as inspire my creativity in music composition.

              Thanks for all your helpful info and I will definitely keep you in mind for others and myself if things change significantly.

              sw



              Originally posted by John Kinkennon View Post
              I live in your neighborhood as Vancouver, WA is just a short drive away. I'm retired and rebuild organ consoles as a hobby. The conversions I've done do not preserve the organ's original analog functionality and would cost around $5k either to deliver a new console such as a 3-manual Rodgers with lighted drawknobs or to take your console and return it about a month later, fully functional for Hauptwerk. These costs do not include a computer and sound system, so perhaps this isn't good news at all.

              There are less expensive approaches. I could get the needed hardware to a technical person of your choice for about $500 if they were to do the work. I'm sure none of this sounds budget friendly, but I'm always happy to discuss the subject and get to the Salem area from time to time and would be happy to stop by to discuss organs and VPO software. There's an installation in McMinnville at the Episcopal church that you could check out for an idea of what is possible. My contact info is on the web site below.
              sw

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