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Viscount expression pedal

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  • Viscount expression pedal

    Hi all, first post.

    A few months ago I picked up a Viscount Classic 4500, which looks exactly like this:

    Click image for larger version

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    It's got MIDI out so it almost plug and play into Hauptwerk. The exception is the expression pedal which seems to be just a glorified volume control for the speakers. But it doesn't send any MIDI signals.

    So I would like to get inside it and do something to it to get it to start sending MIDI signals. The question is what the cheapest and easiest thing to do is. I guess I would have to get a potentiometer, which I would affix to the pedal inside? And then plug the potentiometer into some sort of MIDI board? Which would need to get power somehow? Can it take power from the Viscount console, or is that playing with fire? In any case I then need to combine the MIDI signals from the pedal and the board before it goes into the computer? The last bit I think I could probably manage.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Maybe someone with more experience will chime in, but I'd guess you'll need two MIDI devices: (1) a MIDI encoder of some kind that can receive the varying resistance of the potentiometer and convert that into a stream of MIDI data, and (2) a MIDI "merger" that will take the MIDI signal coming out of your organ's existing MIDI OUT jack (which contains the note data) and blend it with the MIDI data coming off the expression encoder, producing a single unified MIDI stream that you can use to drive your Hauptwerk system.

    I believe there are actually MIDI encoder boards available that feature built-in MERGE capability. That would be your best bet, if someone can point you to such a product.

    Good luck with your project and with your organ playing. That's a nice little starter organ.
    *** 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!


    • #3
      MIDI Solutions makes a pedal controller module that takes a potentiometer input and applies a function based on the potentiometer to the MIDI solutions--in that sense it acts as a controller and merger in one unit. It can be set to send volume control or expression control to the MIDI channels, so it will do what you want. Note that MIDI volume control and expression are different functions. It is about $120 street price, $150 list.

      You need to use software to setup the device, but MIDI Solutions provides the software free of charge.


      • #4
        Ok i am sure this is closed but for a expression pedal to used midi will use either ch 4 or ch 11 and this will most likely solve the problem.


        • #5
          Pick up a Teensy board from for $12 to $30. Use their example Arduino sketch File->Examples->Teensy->USB_MIDI->AnalogControlChange and you will have an encoder that can handle four potentiometers. It hooks up to your computer with a USB cable so you don't need any other power. Use the extra inputs to set up a Hauptwerk volume or reverb control.