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Posts Tagged ‘music’

… and the barman says “I hope you took the bees out of that first”.

Which is pretty much what happened, with the exception that the barman needs to be replaced with the taxi driver.  I’m not sure I understand…

Sorry for the phonepic, but I wasn’t carrying around a camera. For obvious reasons.

These keyboards are the pleasantly repunit-y age of 111 years old – built in 1901.  They are made of solid oak – a fact which, having carried them all the way back from Lincolnshire on the train, I am eminently qualified to appreciate.  They came from an organ which had a pneumatic action – which means that they will need a bit of adaptation.

I will need to brace the backs of the manuals, attach springs to each key, and adjust to taste.  Which all sounds much easier than it is going to be, given that my woodworking skills are at best mediocre and at worst actively dangerous to myself and everyone around me.  So, this sounds like it might be fun…

As regards actually getting signals out of the keys to the MIDI encoder, I’ve really got two options – either attach magnets to each key and fit reed switches on a bar above the keyboard, or use the existing copper contacts on each key.  The former sounds easier; less wiring to get entangled around the backs of the keys sounds promising.  But this will require research!

There is also the slight issue that they are too deep for the chassis, but I will burn that bridge when I come to it.

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If one removes the hardboard at the back of the Lowrey 44 and takes out the two screws at either end of the big metal tray (the one with the pedal board, the tone generator and the QC board on – visible at the top in this post), then that whole tray pivots outwards around its bottom edge and comes to lie flat.  This gives you access to the rest of the organ.

Pay no attention to the man behind the disconcerting metal flap…

The visible bits of the “rest of the organ” turn out to be: the backs of the keyboards, the disconcertingly gorgonoid backs of the tab stop assemblies, and two circuit boards on the back of the flap.  One of these circuit boards is labelled “C. F. B” and looks exactly like what the photographs in the service manual claims is the “Rhythm Board”.  The other board, on the other hand, is labelled “Rhythm Board” and looks like nothing on earth.

Something tells me these aren’t ROHS compliant.

Next challenges:

  • Trying to work out what contacts on the backs of the keyboards correspond to which keys, starting with the top keyboard.  I know that the top seven keys are wired separately (“solo”, according to the service manual) for some mystery reason.  I briefly attacked the things with an ohm-meter and failed to really get anywhere – so the next step is to attack once again the service manual and try to work out how the contacts line up with the schematics.
  • Trying to get the screws out of the pedalboard.  This is quite a major challenge given that the things seem to have cemented themselves in place.  I think I may need a bigger screwdriver.
  • Trying to work out how to lift out the whole keyboard/top assembly – it looks like I can, but the multitude of screws are disconcerting.
  • Getting a set of two manuals from a Church organ half-way across the UK on a train.  This could be fun…

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Cables, cables, everywhere, nor any drop to – erm –

Things I have learned while attempting to record the Lowrey Genie 44 :-

  1. Do not attempt to record out of the headphone socket.  You will regret it; the sudden alternation of unexpectedly loud 50Hz mains fart and high-pitched tinnitus-inducing heaven-knows-what will not aid you in achieving the zen-like state required.
  2. Do attempt to use the phono socket on the back.  It’s very well hidden, though, being behind (but not central in) a small round unlabelled hole in the hardboard back.  On the Quality Control board, for those of you trying to correlate it at home.  Even if you manage to find the socket, if you have only one or two sounds going, the result is very quiet and a bit noisy.
  3. Except for the pedals, which’ll knock your socks off.
  4. That’s pretty much the best you’re getting in terms of output!

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