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Yamaha P-125 Keyboard - MIDI to Add to the Organ Sound Choices?

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  • Yamaha P-125 Keyboard - MIDI to Add to the Organ Sound Choices?

    I've been told it's some combination of odd, amusing, and sad that, even though I took a 15-year detour from my music career to work in computers, I have really no idea how to use MIDI, but it's true, I am basically clueless.

    In the movie, "Philadelphia," Denzel Washington's character says, "Alright, I want you to explain this to me like I'm a six year old" and I would appreciate that here.

    I would like, using the MIDI connectors on my Yamaha P-125 keyboard, to have a "virtual organ" that resembles the 1980's Allen electronic organ I play in church.

    In a few weeks, I'll be taking the Yamaha to a senior home to lead a service with the Pastor and a few people from the choir, I'd like to be able to "play" my keyboard as I play the organ, choosing the stops I want, as I want, during the course of the service. I've got 4 organ sounds on the keyboard now: #1 sounds like a Hammond, #2 sounds like the organ at a baseball game, and #3 and #4 are big, bombastic, tutti-like pipe organ sounds, perhaps suitable for the beginning of the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor, but not of much use to me otherwise.

    Does such functionality exist and, if so, what do I need to buy in the way of software/apps, and what do I need in the way of hardware? I have a 4-year-old MacBook Pro, a laptop that runs the latest Mac operating system, and an iPhone of similar vintage that is also up to date, and an iPad Mini 2.

    Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

    -S-

  • #2
    I have one of these things. It does not, as far as I can tell, do what you are asking. You can, however, use it as a controller to a laptop computer running virtual organ software.

    You need a USB cable with one of the old style square ends and either a connector that goes in your Macbook or an adapter for it.

    You will have to turn the volume all the way down or you will hear both the internal sound and the organ sound.

    You will want to bring along speakers that plug into your laptop.

    I've used it successfully with Grand Orgue, Organteq Alpha, and Hauptwerk free edition, all on my macbook pro, when I get tired of the built-in sounds during practice.

    You can, using Hauptwerk (and probably grand orgue) set the inputs so the piano keyboard is split with the right half playing swell and the left half great, or vice versa but this is not in the six year old explanation.
    Home Organ: VPO Home-Brewed from a former Klann pipe organ console

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lizny View Post
      I have one of these things.
      A Yamaha P-125?

      Originally posted by lizny View Post
      It does not, as far as I can tell, do what you are asking. You can, however, use it as a controller to a laptop computer running virtual organ software.
      That is exactly what I was asking. I think you're just using the correct jargon - my keyboard would be a controller for my laptop - and I'm looking at it the other way, that my laptop would add sounds to my keyboard. I think the end result is the same - I play the keys on the keyboard, and different sounds come out - but please correct me if I'm wrong.

      Originally posted by lizny View Post
      IYou need a USB cable with one of the old style square ends and either a connector that goes in your Macbook or an adapter for it.

      You will have to turn the volume all the way down or you will hear both the internal sound and the organ sound.

      You will want to bring along speakers that plug into your laptop.
      I have lots of gear through which to play, and buying a cable is not a problem.

      Originally posted by lizny View Post
      II've used it successfully with Grand Orgue, Organteq Alpha, and Hauptwerk free edition, all on my macbook pro, when I get tired of the built-in sounds during practice.

      You can, using Hauptwerk (and probably grand orgue) set the inputs so the piano keyboard is split with the right half playing swell and the left half great, or vice versa but this is not in the six year old explanation.
      This is Greek to me - can you suggest a link to something free I could experiment with?

      Thanks.

      -S-

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      • #4
        Yes, I have a P-125. Take a look at Grande Orgue: https://sourceforge.net/p/ourorgan/wiki/Home/

        It runs on Mac - ignore the compile instructions and click the big green Download button.

        Follow the QuickStart guide below the Download button
        Home Organ: VPO Home-Brewed from a former Klann pipe organ console

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        • #5
          lizny, awesome. I'll give it a try and report back on how it goes.

          BTW, can someone tell me how to get email notification of new posts on this thread?

          Thanks much.

          -S-

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          • #6
            Unique in human brains is a structure called the Amygdala. More accurately might be that, in humans, the brain structure called the Amygdala, is the part that tells a person that something is a very bad idea without them actually having to experience what might likely kill or sicken them. My Amygdala tells me that I do not want to take a laptop loaded with Open Source VPO software (and supporting utilities) and MIDI cables, etc. into a field situation. No, just no. Of course people do exactly that. People who have worked with the equipment and are familiar with it. Said familiarity having been acquired over months, perhaps years.

            In my experience Seniors respond way more favorably to piano sounds than to organ sounds. If the house piano (or organ) is sub-par then a keyboard using its native sounds with perhaps suitable amplification for the size of room should be more than adequate. JMO.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Leisesturm View Post
              Unique in human brains is a structure called the Amygdala. More accurately might be that, in humans, the brain structure called the Amygdala, is the part that tells a person that something is a very bad idea without them actually having to experience what might likely kill or sicken them. My Amygdala tells me that I do not want to take a laptop loaded with Open Source VPO software (and supporting utilities) and MIDI cables, etc. into a field situation. No, just no. Of course people do exactly that. People who have worked with the equipment and are familiar with it. Said familiarity having been acquired over months, perhaps years.

              In my experience Seniors respond way more favorably to piano sounds than to organ sounds. If the house piano (or organ) is sub-par then a keyboard using its native sounds with perhaps suitable amplification for the size of room should be more than adequate. JMO.
              Leisesturm, thank you for your reply.

              There is no piano in the room we'll be in, so it will be whatever I bring, which will be a keyboard at a minimum.

              FWIW, gear doesn't frighten me. I grew up playing guitar, so amplifiers and all that are second nature, and I owned and ran a small recording studio while putting myself through college. And if nothing I arrange between now and then works, I'll still have the keyboard, which has a lovely grand piano sound.

              All that aside, it's a fun project for me. Technology continues to improve, e.g., I've had wireless connections for a few years between guitar or bass or keyboard and the amp, and those cost a few hundred dollars and were not terribly reliable. I recently bought the 2019 version of the same - 1/10 the size, cost $40, and works beautifully. I'm am hopeful that adding sounds to my keyboard is better/easier/simpler/reliable-er than it was the last time I tried it 15 or 20 years ago. And familiarity has to start somewhere. All progress depends on mistakes.

              -S-

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lizny View Post
                Yes, I have a P-125. Take a look at Grande Orgue: https://sourceforge.net/p/ourorgan/wiki/Home/

                It runs on Mac - ignore the compile instructions and click the big green Download button.

                Follow the QuickStart guide below the Download button
                I downloaded that and it seems to be working on my computer. The next step will be to hook it up to my keyboard.

                I've also emailed Hauptwerk to see, since my Mac OS is newer than those listed, if that will work and if it does, I will give it a try, too.

                Thanks very much.

                -S-

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