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[Feedback] Opening up a (international) MIDI organ shop.

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  • [Feedback] Opening up a (international) MIDI organ shop.

    Currently, I am in the process of opening up a small MIDI organ shop based in The Netherlands.
    I have made a few sales selling second-hand 27+ tone pedalboards which I added MIDI capabilities to.
    The main advantage of my product over competitors is that it is way cheaper. Secondly, people like the recycling aspect of reusing pedalboards as well.

    At this point in time, I find it hard to scale my business. Not many people are interested in Organs in the Netherlands and part of them rather buy organs from a well-respected source instead of trusting a new business.

    That is why I am looking into extending my offer besides pedalboards. (also such that I am able to ship worldwide) I could sell the hardware to add MIDI capabilities to the pedalboard separately but this is already done by well-known vendors.

    My question is: What problem does still needs to be solved within the VPO / MIDI/ Organ category?
    I think there is still market in making physical stops with little screens on them such that VPO with changing sample sets can use them.
    Would you be interested in such a product? What price would you like to pay for e.g. 20/40/60 stops?

    Any advice on how to grow this business is appreciated. Thanks in advance ;)
    If you have any questions feel free to askt hem in the comments.

    MSc. Business Administration.
    BSc. Computer Science and Technology.

  • #2
    I think there's a market for a little more of a turn-key solution--at least, I would like there to be. If you look at existing solutions, they want you to do all the thinking, designing, soldering, and knowing which parts to buy. Sometimes they want you to do arudino coding. They leave uncertainty about what you are supposed to buy and how to put them together. Often parts ship from an ocean away with a long delay and not really for a good price. I would appreciate a business that sold all the parts you need to convert an old pedalboard, computer, and MIDI controllers into an organ, including information on how to put them together. As a kit. And it would be best if it was sold from within the US.

    Assume the buyer has (or provide instructions to get) the following:

    (1) physical pedals
    (2) a table
    (3) a computer
    (4) a touch screen monitor
    (5) 2 or 3 USB MIDI keyboards
    (6) basic assembly (including gluing) skill

    For me the kit would include:

    1. A pedal to USB conversion kit (assume we already have the pedals) that just involves installing switches and plugging in USB for USB-MIDI. It should't go to 5-pin MIDI. The electronics part of it should be already set-up (plug-and-play) and there should be detailed instructions on how to install the switches given reasonable woodworking skill.

    2. information on which MIDI controllers that do a good job as registers. Can Hauptwerk work with 4 separate USB connections or do they need to be mixed in somehow? If so, the electronics necessary for to convert all the separate USB streams into what Hauptwerk wants.

    3. A tabletop wood stand that holds controllers from #2 and your music, with an LED light, perhaps. Since they are shipped, these could be designed to be assembled by the user, Ikea-style. You could enhance the value by making an arm on the side that accommodates a recommended touchscreen (and/or your physical stops)

    I would buy that kit, but I'd have to see how nice it is before doing knowing what I'd pay.

    I'm also interested in the physical stops, as you suggest. I am not sure how much I'd pay...I would have to see the quality and see it in action to see how much of an advantage it has over the touchscreen and how much I'd pay.
    Rodgers 905


    • daveter9
      ppp Pianississmo
      daveter9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks a lot for your input! Such a turnkey solution sounds nice but may be hard to create considering each manual/pedal has different connectors.

    • lizny
      lizny commented
      Editing a comment
      ppp Pianississmo
      daveter9 - well yes, that's the point. You'd have to decide on a manual/pedal your system would work with and design for that, not try to make a kit that works with any darn thing but requires a ton of hand-fiddling. Someone who just wants an organ and doesn't want to take time out to learn a lot of non-musical skills would be happy.

  • #3
    This. I might have been willing to shell out a pile of money to have a turnkey console I could just buy, but if I was going to do all that work anyway I wasn’t willing to spend a lot. I did learn tons in the process so not sorry.
    Home Organ: VPO Home-Brewed from a former Klann pipe organ console


    • #4
      I'd like to see a MIDI - enabled "dead" switch box, or in other words, a box with 6 to 38 lighted rocker switches that can sit on the organ and be solely for detection and selection in applications like Hauptwerk. A variation could have draw-knobs or even motorized draw-knobs. My Rodgers could put one of them on either side of the music rack and have the controls within easy reach. Having slots to insert P-tape (a Brothers brand of self-embossing tape printers) labels would be good, too.

      Another version could be a strip that could be mounted under a manual to add lighted "presets" that would communicate with HW. They would simply light when activated or change the control in HW when activated. Installed, it would work like... presets. :)

      Anyway, organ-top boxes like the Viscount CM-100 contain proprietary SOUNDS. I don't need sounds - I have Hauptwerk !

      AND... if the buttons were each addressable for channels 1 to 16 (ie, one button for ch. 1, one for ch. 2, etc.) it could activate specific sounds in any General MIDI 2 (2009) device by selecting one, two, or up to 16 sounds to play. (I got that from reading the rules for GM2 and what is required for a "synth.") My Rodgers can select up to 3 x 2 MIDI channels if I merge them, but that's asking for collisions, I've found. My Roland Juno DS doesn't even require that it be GM in the stack. It can use the more modern, much better DS patches in the stacks and address them each to a channel.
      -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
      -- Rodgers W5000C, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06, VR-09B, Conn 643, Hammond M3, E112, and L-102
      -- The mean relative humidity in Atlanta is between 60% and 80% every month of the year.