Jim at the console
The MiditzerTM
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The Miditzer
Console Restoration
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what is the Miditzer
Get Started
download the Miditzer
and set up your PC
 Console Up!
setup and use of the Miditzer
The Console
find out what all the controls do
Tech Session
make the Miditzer do more
Recording Studio
record your performances

Joe Barron's Miditzer recordings
Virtual Organ mp3 downloads
Bone Doc's Miditzer recordings
Walnut Hill recording studios

Miditzer 243K zip
from VirtualOrgan.com
Cinema Organ SF
choose the corg_r version
SFpack 192K zip

theatre-sf Yahoo! group
discussion & Miditzer support
Bruce Miles
cinema organ sound bank creator
Virtual Organ.com
Miditzer user site with MP3s


MIDI and organs seem like a natural combination.  But you will find that it takes more than you might think to build an organ by connecting MIDI keyboards to a MIDI synthesizer.  That is what I discovered when I started looking for a way to connect the Wurlitzer console I am restoring to a MIDI synthesizer.

Organs, theatre or classical, are choral instruments.  Stop tabs or drawknobs are used to control what sound or sounds are produced when a key is played on the keyboard.  An essential part of playing an organ is using the stops to set a registration.  This creates a chorus of sounds that will be played.  Stop control seems like the natural order of things to an organist but it is apparently a foreign concept to most other musicians including the architects of the MIDI specification.

To build an organ using MIDI signaling you need to add the equivalent of an organ relay.  Electropneumatic organs, which includes all theatre pipe organs, include a large collection of switching equipment to combine the signals from the keyboards and the stops to produce the signals that operate the pipes.  The Miditzer provides such a MIDI relay.  It allows you to connect MIDI keyboards in a way that will provide the thrilling experience of playing a theatre organ.

Many of you have MIDI keyboards that will provide key signals but you don't have an organ console to provide stop signals.  The Miditzer has a graphical user interface that allows you to control the stops with the click of a mouse or a touch screen.  If you don't have a MIDI keyboard you can use your mouse to play the on screen keys.  You can also play and control stops with just your computer keyboard.  The thumb nail screen shot shows the controls that the Miditzer provides.

Thumbnail screen shot

Go to the Downloads section of Virtual Organ.com to hear examples of the Miditzer recorded live with two keyboards and pedals by Joe Barron.  There is no MIDI sequencing involved and no post processing of the file.  If you have a sound card that supports SoundFont® compatible sound banks and a MIDI keyboard connected to your computer, this is what you could be hearing from your computer as you play.  Joe also describes how he made a MIDI pedal board and talks about using soft synthesizers with the Miditzer.  Richard "Bone Doc" Mogridge has downloadable files at his Walnut Hill recording studios website.  The Bone Doc combines the Miditzer with MIDI overdubbing to get some very interesting recordings.  He also has a lot of news about other goings on in the virtual organ world.

On the Get Started page, I'll tell you how to get your computer set up so that you can have a virtual Mighty Wurlitzer of your very own!  Once you have the Miditzer playing go to The Console to learn more about how the console works.  For those who want to learn more about how the Miditzer works and how to customize it, go to the Tech Session.  It is easy to make great sounding recordings of the Miditzer and you don't even need a microphone!  Learn to record your performances at the Recording Studio.

If you have comments, suggestions, or questions about the Miditzer, the Yahoo! Group theatre-sf provides a support forum for the Miditzer and theatre organ sound banks.  I am a regular contributor to that group.

ATOS 2005 Convention

Last update 10/20/2004
© 2004 Jim Henry All Rights Reserved

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