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An Ahlborn H6, a Viscount Cantorum VI and a Roland PK-25A

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  • An Ahlborn H6, a Viscount Cantorum VI and a Roland PK-25A

    I'm putting together a "portable"(!) pipe organ comprising of an Ahlborn H6 and a Viscount Cantorum VI; and just recently, just bought myself a Roland PK-25A pedalboard to complete the setup. But when doing so, I found quite a few issues – MIDI and otherwise – which I hope one of you kind people out there in cyberspace can help me with.

    Starting with the PK-25A and H6, this is how I went about it:

    1. On the PK-25A, I set the MIDI Out transmission channel to Ch. 4 [but more of that later]; and

    2. On the Ahlborn, the MIDI In channel is also set to Ch. 4.

    OK, so far so good!

    But what I found is that the same bass notes can still be played on the lower part of the Ahlborn's manual instead of cutting off when sensing the presence of the Roland. (I had hoped that I would have the full 61 notes of the Ahlborn for the treble voices.) So how can I prevent that from happening?

    Second, I found that the "Split" function on the Ahlborn is severely limited in its application (the display reads: "SPLIT (G2-G3)" - whatever that means!); but although the note/split point can be altered using the buttons on its control panel, it only works for the manuals and unfortunately the bass pedals has to follow suit;

    Third, what I also found was that the bass note G (on the lower octave of the pedalboard) does not sound (i.e. dead) although the other pedal notes work OK. I wonder whether it is this "Split" function which is responsible for that; or maybe there is a fault in the Roland ...? I’m getting it checked out in the next few days;

    And fourth, the swell pedal on the PK-25A generates a [Roland-only] SysEx MIDI message which means that it totally “ignores” the Ahlborn or any other connected [non-Roland] equipment! Is there a small [inexpensive] device which I can buy to connect between the PK-25A and Ahlborn and which can "block" this SysEx? The Roland SysEx could conceivably affect the [non-latching] footswitch functions on the PK-25A as well; but I haven’t yet tried it out …. !

    The whole idea is to first get the Ahlborn + PK-25A combination fully operational [and the faults ironed out] before introducing the Viscount into the equation. The Ahlborn will be the Great; and the Viscount, the Swell. If anyone out there has an identical setup [of these initial two units, the Ahlborn and Roland], I want to hear from you real soon, and how you overcame this problem.

    Once I have this initial problem solved, I will hook up the Viscount (MIDI Out on Ch. 1 of the Ahlborn to MIDI In on the Viscount) and will report the results and any inherent problems on this thread.

    Cheers.

  • #2
    Does anyone know whether there is a third party/generic editing software available to alter manufacturers' original MIDI specs?

    I need it to fine-tune the "dialogue" between the Ahlborn H6 and the Roland PK-25A.

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    • #3
      There used to be MIDI interface boxes available from someone (mu-MIDI?) that could be programmed to tweak the MIDI data as it passed through -- change channels, transpose, delete program changes, etc. I never bought one, but back 10 or 12 years ago when I was tinkering with a VPO setup I did a lot of browsing and shopping for such things.

      Sorry I don't know anything specific. Maybe someone with more MIDI knowledge will chime in here.
      John
      ----------
      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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      • #4
        Hi John. Yes, there still is - and they're called MIDI Solutions Inc. (www.midisolutions.com).

        What I was hoping to do is to simply tweak/fine tune the original manufacturer's specs instead of having to buy one of these MIDI boxes - and I will need several of them for my intended set-up. But it looks like I will have to invest in those devices if I can't get hold of an editing software if no-one is able to assist. I'm keeping my fingers crossed here ....

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        • #5
          After seeing the range of products from MIDI Solutions, it hit me that you could custom create what you need with an Arduino and a little programming. You could have 1 or more MIDI inputs processed into 1 or more MIDI outputs. All SysEx messages could be dropped as well as changing channels of certain messages and many other kinds of edits.

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          • #6
            Hi cinnamon. Yes, those MIDI Solutions boxes are very useful devices to have and use. Their versatility means that they are used in recording studios and taken on the road with touring bands!

            But if someone/anyone [reading this thread] out there in cyberspace knows of any generic editing software for MIDI gear, that would definitely give owners another path/dimension to work from. My idea here is to have the Ahlborn, Viscount and Roland's factory-spec MIDI fined-tuned and only using the MIDI Solutions' devices to fill the gaps. I guess that would make sense.

            So here I am, watching and waiting for a such a software .....

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