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Thread: MIDI recording

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    MIDI recording

    Our church is faced with a BIG issue of our organist going off to university. Though I am an organ student, I do not quite feel up to the complete challenge yet, so I wanted guidance on something.
    Recently, our organ was updated to solid state and is outfitted with a very basic MIDI port which no one knows how to use. There are no hidden buttons or screens on the "little black box", just the ports. I was wondering if there was a way to say, enter hymns in Sibelius or Finale or something on a laptop and plug it into the pipe organ to play.

    I would appreciate any input on the subject and any advice or MIDI info (no, there are no speakers in the organ loft).

    -Alex

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I have not a clue. Maybe there will be someone in the congregation
    who can help who knows computers and midi.
    judy tooley

  3. #3
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Hmmm this is a bit difficult i dont think its possible.. the idea of midi is to produce the sound of the organ onto the Computer. not visa versa.

  4. #4
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi Alex,

    Everyone of us who plays the organ in church had to start sometime - ready or not. This may bee your wonderful opportunity and maybe accept this new challenge. I did just that myself about 48 years ago and never regretted my decision.

    You mention that you church has a pipe organ ... and now updated electronics which include midi ports. What I think this means is that the pipe organ console is now configured to play other electronic instruments, not usually the other way around. Since these are "very basic" ports, it's doubtful that something can plug into them that would operate the pipe organ, keys, pull/retract stops, and operate the swell shades.

    Did the organist that is going away to university ever used these midi ports?
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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  5. #5
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I'm thinking his organ isn't a pipe organ as it's not mentioned ... I could be wrong. If it has MIDI ports that means, yes, you plug it into your MIDI controller, then plug your MIDI controller into your computer and you then PLAY whatever - MIDI and pipe organ just does NOT make sense. Hence, me thinking it's a digital organ

  6. #6
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Hello Alex - welcome to the forum.
    I'm with Krummhorn, this could be your big chance!.

    I started in a very similar way - an organist retired and the vicar needed someone to play for a service. That was many years ago now, and although it's a small church, and I'm not the full time organist, I really enjoy playing for services whenever asked.

    In fact, I'd love it to be my full time job - that would just be fantastic!.

    Go for it - good luck!

  7. #7
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    We have several organs here in the UK that have midi out and midi in ports, so it is perfectly possbile to play a pipe organ, record the output, and play it back. Leicester Cathedral being a organ near me where this is possible. This was installed here so visiting organists could check the balance and sound of the organ down in the nave, bearing in mind the organ is in a west end gallery with part of the organ sounding across the gallery, and the main sounding into the nave.

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    It would be nice if I had a chance to even practice. Having a job playing
    that organ would really be fun if I could just prove I could do it.
    judy tooley

  9. #9
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Hi Judy,

    I know what you mean ... I do have pretty much access to play whenever I want, but trying to find the time with a young family and a full time job is always interesting.

    I really envy the people on here who have this great job of being a full time organist, I'd love it!

  10. #10
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Judy,

    Don't sell yourself short on your abilities. Sometimes we have to start out small and build up to the organ that we want to play so dearly.

    My first organist position was playing on an Army/Navy Field Pump Organ for a whole year until the new church could afford to build a sanctuary. They then bought this [horrid] Baldwin Orgasonic Spinet organ which I played for the next 4 years.

    It wasn't until my 12th year as a church organist that I actually had a "decent" organ to play on every week. Finally, after 22 years being in this profession, I finally landed a position with a pipe organ, the church where I have been the organist since 1982. The wait was worth it ... albeit a smaller instrument of 9 ranks (sounds like 15 the way it is voiced) it is mine, mine, mine, all mine for as long as I am able to keep the fingers moving and the feet pedaling along.

    So, the way up the ladder isn't always starting out at the top, with the most desirable instrument. The most important thing you should be doing right now is practicing on the organ ... any organ ... You will not be able to prove yourself unless you do practice and learn a plethora of organ literature. Certainly there are other places in your community that have organs for practice purposes - even a dinky electronic something ... the main idea is working out fingering and pedal technique, not what the instrument sounds like or looks like ... that will come in time later on. The end rewards are worth the effort.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  11. #11
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    WOW!!! Master Krummhorn - Nice posting, and very pedagogical.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  12. #12
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster FinnViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringorganist View Post
    Recently, our organ was updated to solid state and is outfitted with a very basic MIDI port which no one knows how to use.
    Why not ask the company that made the update?

  13. #13
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Thank you for all your advice
    I've heard a lot of "it does work" and plenty of "it doesn't work".
    I figure it would be pretty easy to start by doing the prelude, offertory and postlude, I'ts just the hymns I'm worried about.
    Again, thanks
    -Alex

    PS it is a 38 rank pipe organ

  14. #14
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    38 ranks, very nice.
    Im not sure how long you have been learning, but I know that i for one wasn't prepared fully when i started playing for mass, but it only gets easier, after a few times it seems natural.
    You should be able to find simple pieces for masses, a few ostinato pieces with just chords in the accompaniment part work great for a new church organist, and once you get your confidence up you can move to more complex things.
    What i'm trying to say is, even if you dont feel you are ready, you are probably underestimating yourself, and it will only get easier, its worth a try.

  15. #15
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringorganist View Post
    . . . I'ts just the hymns I'm worried about.
    Again, thanks
    One of the problems about hymns is holding tempo. Congregations are notorious for wanting to drag the tempo - if you listen to them, within two verses you will be at half the tempo as where you were when the hymn began. Although there is some "give and take" between organist and congregation, try to maintain the original tempo that you set throughout the hymn.

    Proper hymn playing is lots more than just playing the notes ... there are certain "tricks" you will learn along the way ... I use some that actually make the congregation pick up in tempo - basically I insert quarter or eighth notes between held chords ... hard to explain without hearing an example. I can write some out some examples in notation if you so desire.

    I agree, 38 ranks ... take it ... take the challenge ... you have four times the organ I have been playing for 26 years. Go for the gusto - you'll most likely not regret it in future years.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    Pro
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


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