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Schantz Organ midi file creation without actual recording

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  • Schantz Organ midi file creation without actual recording

    I'm not an organist, I am a flutist and pianist. I'm fairly adept at using Musescore to create midi files to accompany myself on flute with a keyboard when no live accompaniment is available. My church is currently without an organist. We have a Schantz Organ (Opus 1504, 1978) that was refurbished in 2018 with midi added. If an organist records a midi live, playback is excellent on the organ, but if a midi file is created using Musescore software and exported as midi, the midi file is not recognized by our Schantz organ ("Unknown file"). I have taken the live performance midi's opened with Musescore and studied them endlessly, but when I create a different hymn trying to replicate the midi channels, it still says "Unknown file". Could anyone help me figure out what I am missing in this process. We really want to be able to play hymns via midi on our church organ without having to hire an organist to pre-record every one. (However we are actively searching for a new part-time organist.) Thank you.

  • #2
    Have you found a manual with information about the MIDI implementation on the Schantz organ? One frequent incompatibility problem is Type 0 versus Type 1 MIDI files. Some MIDI devices can only deal with Type 0 files. If you don't know the difference, there are guides online explaining the difference you can find with a search.

    Your best bet is to contact Schantz. I suspect they used one of the electronic relay systems made by a 3rd party company. More information about the MIDI implementation file requirements would then guide you as to what you need to create to be compatible.
    Last edited by AllenAnalog; 01-19-2022, 04:43 PM.
    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.


    • #3
      I'm a big fan of musescore. I generally use it for notation but have used it to a few times to create some midi files to play on my organ. In my experience doing that, the midi file that musescore creates is the first step and not usually enough for an organ to play from on its own. I think a midi editor would be a good next step to add information for other midi channels (stop selection, expression, etc.) and help with getting the file into a format your organ can understand.
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      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment

        I agree wholeheartedly, but have discovered the same with any notation program. What I've always wished is to have a setting where one could allow variance in the time code up to a certain number of ticks (i.e.10 or 20). That would allow the resulting MIDI file to sound more "human" than having a perfectly exact timecode for each chord.

        The other wish has been to have the option to record "realtime" with the damper pedal down to carry the note values through to the next event while you're moving your fingers. Right now when recording realtime, as soon as I lift my fingers to move them, the notation program fills in numerous rests. I know quantization can fix it, but it is a nuissance up-front. So, I'm relegated to step-time. Only then do I get to worry about expression and stop changes.


    • #4
      Yeah ... there is a LOT more to an organ MIDI file than the notes. MuseScore will have the notes but cannot set a registration or any of a half dozen parameters that the Schantz would need to initialize the instrument to play the most basic hymn. At a minimum, when you export the file from Musescore, it would have to be in a different format from the native .mscz(?) format. The 'unknown file' message says to me that the Schantz does not recognize the file format it is being presented with.

      XML format is more or less universal. MuseScore can export files in XML format. Obviously, Schantz would know if that would work, as stated earlier. I am pretty certain that there are hardware 'organist in a box' modules that will connect to the MIDI in (out? MIDI is so confusing) of just about anything, and play recognizable hymns. As a working organist, I feel a little greasy even mentioning them but, there you are. Organists are out there. Even a very small congregation should be able to come up with a stipend for a part time organist. It really is the best way to do this.