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Go back to The Walnut Hill General Store main page. Go back to the January, 2006 page. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the March, 2006 page. Go forward to the Walnut Hil Website Credits page.

Grandma's olde pump organ. Click here to return to the main Archives page.

Volume Three - Issue Two

Contributing Editors

The Control Room - Richard Mogridge - Webmaster
Console Up! - Tom Hoehn, Lead Editor
The Skandia WurliTzer - Per Olof Schultz, Associate Editor
MidiTzer Boot Camp - Russ Ashworth, Associate Editor
Mighty Hauptwerk - Jim Reid, Associate Editor
Desktop Goodies - Fred Willis
NYTOS Field Reporter - Eugene Hayek

Office of Operations

Walnut Hill Productions
1233 Sims Street
Ridgecrest, California 93555
Phone - 1-727-230-2610
10AM to 6PM PDT
Email - slowdog294@yahoo.com

TOP STORY

Click here to join or log into the MidiTzer forum at virtualorgan.com and learn about the new 3MSP!
Screenshot of the new MidiTzer 3MSP Virtual Theatre Pipe Organ

Super-Size Your MidiTzer!

The MidiTzer Development team has been hard at work on a 3 manual version of the MidiTzer. The 3 manual version is a combination of the Balaban 4 and the Style 260, each among the biggest 3 manual WurliTzers made. Throw in a few extras from the Style 216 and you've got a really big 3 manual WurliTzer. The 3 manual version is being called the 3MSP, the WurliTzer factory designation for a 3 manual special, an organ not made to a standard WurliTzer plan.

Program developer Jim Henry reports that the 3MSP has so many stop tabs that it is unlikely that it could have been fit into a standard WurliTzer 3 manual console. Joe Barron, a member of the testing team, had this reaction when he first saw the 3MSP:

Sheesh! Is this thing big! Congratulations, you've emulated the intimidation that comes when sitting at big organ consoles. I love it.

DAILY NEWS

02/28/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 19,046 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/27/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 19,005 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

19,000 Visitors!

Walnut Hill continues to see very rapid growth this year, with 19,000 visitors since we reset the counter on January 1st of 2005. To date, there have been a total of 28,950 enthusiasts of the King walk through our front door since we went on line in April of 2004.

I want to give you, our loyal visitors, the credit for making Walnut Hill one of the top ranked and most visited Theatre Organ sites on the internet. I also want to give credit to all those who helped us out, both financualy and personally, offereing generous support as we relocated to the sunny state of Florida.

02/26/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,958 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/25/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,901 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/24/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,852 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/23/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,802 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/22/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,759 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/21/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,696 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Walnut Hill Gets A
32-Note AGO Pedalboard!

Today, Harold Whipps, fellow VTPO and TOSF member and organ lover, travelled up from Manatee County to deliver a gleaming Conn 32-note AGO pedalboard with the original switch assembly and some nice new reed switches to our studio here in Clearwater. This concave and radiating walnut pedal clavier is in almost new condition and should be a cinch to retrofit to MIDI using the provided reed switches and a soon to be aquired Sound Research encoder from Vern Jones.

Thank you, Harold. We shall dedicate the console to you when it is completed. This pedalboard was the last major hurdle toward building our Virtual WurliTzer. The rest will be easy. We are on our way!

Harold saw the Mighty MidiTzer 3MSP in action and loved it. Bruce Miles' magical pipes rang out with that sweet sound that only comes from a large WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ, and the virtual machine infected Harold with the desire to build one for himself. Go get 'em, Harold!

He also got to hear the vintage Conn played, and agreed with me: there is nothing as warm and pleasing as the sound of tubes glowing red on an old Conn, save for the real thing. Gabby sounded sweet today, indeed. She behaved quite nicely, and rewarded us for giving her attention and love.

02/20/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,640 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/19/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,600 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Pipe Organ Paradise Hosts
CFTOS February Chapter Meeting!

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing Johnnie June Carter explaining her love for the 3/12 Grande Page Theatre Pipe Organ.
Johnnie June Carter explaining her love for the
3/12 Grande Page Theatre Pipe Organ.

The Central Florida Theatre Organ Society held its monthy chapter meeting at Pipe Organ Paradise in Wimauma Florida, residence of Johnnie June Carter and home her the magnificent 3/12 Grande Page Thetre Pipe Organ.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing Johnnie June Carter playing the beautiful 3/12 Grande Page Theatre Pipe Organ.
Johnnie June Carter playing the beautiful
3/12 Grande Page Thetre Pipe Organ.

There was quite a turnout for the event, with refreshments served and open console at this very rare Theatre Pipe Organ. Folks took a look at the chambers and viewed the newly installed Combination Action. Johnnie June treated us to several songs from her vast repituer of material before turning the console over to those who wishe d to have a go, including the Bone Doctor and Tom Hoehn.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing Rosa Rio giving us a history lesson about the 3/12 Grande Page Theatre Pipe Organ.
Rosa Rio gives us a history lesson about
the 3/12 Grande Page Thetre Pipe Organ

Attending the event was the Legendary Rosa Rio, House Organist at the Tampa Theatre 3/14 Mighty WurliTzer, who gave us a detailed rundown on the history and lore surrounding this very rare instrument. As usual for Rosa during public apperences, she was in top form and very entertaining. Her in-depth knowledge of Theatre Pipe Organ history is a special treasure, indeed.

Unfortunately, Tom had a busy work schedule. Since Kimmy and I were riding with him, we had to leave the meeting early enough for Tom to get to work on time, so we were not able to stay for her performance.

Next month, the CFTOS will hold its meeting at the Polk Theatre, in Lakeland, Florida, home of the wonderful 3/12 Robert Morton Theatre Pipe Organ.

02/18/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,568 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/17/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,513 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Jim Reid Posts More
Hauptwerk 2 News!

Click here to learn more about the massive Allen TO-5Q as seen in Walnut Hill's Feature Organ of the Month section.
The Mighty Allen TO-5Q Digital Theatre Organ
Opus 1, installed at the residence of Jim Gallops.
Above, it is seen during the 2004 Annual ATOS Convention.

Jim Reid, fellow Walnut Hill Wall of Fame member, WHOC Officer, and field reporter for Walnut Hill Productions, posted this on Walnut Hill's VTPO newsgroup on Yahoo! Music Groups today:

The owner of the Mighty Allen TO-5Q Opus 1, Jim Gallops, is augmenting his five manual Digital Theatre Organ via MIDI and a computer running Brett Milan's Virginia WurliTzer sample set for Hauptwerk 2.

Here is a very interesting post that Mister Gallops made at the Hauptwerk 2 forum. We quote Mister Gallops below:

"I am the owner of an Allen TO-5Q, the largest non-custom Digital Theatre Organ Allen makes. Mine is Opus 1, and was seen at the 2004 Annual ATOS Convention.

This instrument has 3 Tibias. All are sampled WurliTzer Tibias without tremulants and have the trems generated by low frequency oscillators in the digital sample processors along with the tremulant waveforms. This is very similar to what Hauptwerk 2 does. I added a fourth Allen Tibia sample to the instrument, which is a Tibia with the tremulant on in the sample.

Actually only about 2 octaves have the sampled tremulant on and the rest have the trem generated by the low frequency oscillator. Well, you can't tell which notes have sampled trem from the ones that are low frequency oscillator tremmed, since the two trem methods sound identical. Ditto for the other Tibias that have all of their trems generated by low frequency oscillators, and then playing the Tibias with the sampled trems. They all blend nicely, too!

So, it seems like a lot of noise is being made about having to sample Tibias and Voxes with their trems on when, in fact, you don't have to and it still sounds authentic and credible. For those of you who have access to an Allen LL324Q, go play the Tibia, which has about 2 octaves of trem that is sampled and the rest LFO generated and tell me where the break points are from sampled trem to generated trem. I know exactly where they are since I had to install it on the Allen TO-5Q.

I have a computer running Hauptwerk 2 hooked up via MIDI to the Allen TO-5Q to provide stops I don't have on the instrument. The audio is provided by the Allen TO-5Q and Hauptwerk 2 plays back through the Allen TO-5Q amps via its EAC box. IR reverb is added by the Allen TO-5Q, so you can't tell where the voice was generated from.

The Allen TO-5Q is also an excellent instrument to launch virtually into another builder's Theatre Organ using those samples via Hauptwerk 2, and at some point, I would also like the instrument to have the voices of a big Kimball or Barton. That is what I fully intend to do, since this hobby of ours is really about pleasing ourselves as owners and players. Software such as Hauptwerk 2 gives us many choices and the opportunity to explore them all.

With that being said, the Allen TO-5Q is an excellent instrument as sold by the Allen Organ Company. It will more than satisfy most people on the planet who want the wonderful sound of a Theatre Pipe Organ in their living room, and then some. As it sits now in my music room, the instrument does indeed sound like a big WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ, and not a digital instrument.

All the best,

Jim Gallops"

You can read the original unedited version of the above post if you should care to do so by clicking here. Mister Gallops' post is well down the page of comments.

After a few responses to that post, Mister Gallops posted a follow up. This is where some very interesting information is revealed (at least I find it so.) Again, we quote Mister Gallops:

"Allen's samples are proprietary to Allen and are encrypted, so they do you no good on anything else (including Hauptwerk 2,) except for another Allen. However, you can move samples between Allen models. I do it all the time. If you have other Allen questions, please email me directly since this is not an Allen forum.

I have Hauptwerk 2 on my Allen TO-5Q for precisely the reverse reason you stated. Namely, I want to go out and sample really good Theatre Pipe Organs and use those samples on Hauptwerk 2.

I will then one by one remove the voices from the Allen TO-5Q and use Hauptwerk 2 to generate the voice I want. I can use the freed up stop tab(s) to control Hauptwerk 2 directly from the console, so no touch screen is required. I do not want to be limited by the manufacturer (in this case Allen) with their selection of samples (or lack of them.)

I personally prefer the sounds of a Kimball or Barton to a WurliTzer. When was I ever able to get these samples from Allen?? Well, never sort of comes to mind.

This is what started my interest in Hauptwerk 1 originally, and of course, prompted the question to Martin Dyde about being able to do theatre style trems.

Hauptwerk 2 is of course the answer. I have lined up a couple of places to sample what I want on my Allen TO-5Q. If things turn out OK and I like what I get, then I will make the samples available through Milan Digital Audio.

Jonas Nordwall and Jelani Eddington have provided suggestions to me on what venues are in really excellent repair and are excellent examples of the particular builder I am interested in. Of course, this does not rule out finding a good WurliTzer and sampling it, since I am not averse to compiling an organ made out of ranks from many different builders. (Jasper Sanfillipo's instrument is such an instrument.)

I have an excellent platform with the Allen TO-5Q, even if I turn off all the Allen tone generation and use Hauptwerk 2 exclusively. Hauptwerk 2 understands the NRPNs the Allen TO-5Q sends for its stop changes. However, there is a small issue with program changes, which send no NRPNs. So you have to keep your real capture system in sync with the virtual capture system on Hauptwerk 2, otherwise things don't work quite right.

If you want my email address for private Allen concerns, you can find me on the Yahoo! Music Groups Allen Organ Owners Newsgroup.

Best Regards,

Jim Gallops"

So there you have it, from the owner of the Mighty Allen TO-5Q Opus 1, Jim Gallops.

Recall that Jelani Eddington recorded several of the Virginia demo tracks for Brett's demo pieces of his Virginia WurliTzer sample set. Apparently, he liked what he heard!

It is interesting to note that back on January 30th of 2006, Brett Milan, in a response to some criticism of the Virginia WurliTzer sample set, posted the following, and we quote him in part below:

"When they talk bad about the demos and the organ, they are putting down the organ itself and all of those that have worked on the instrument to keep it alive throughout the years. This is a small 8 rank WurliTzer that is in need of attention and certainly must not be compared to the top notch well maintained Theatre Pipe Organs that those with plenty of money have to put into them. The Virginia Theatre is always looking for revenue to put towards the theatre and the organ.

I am happy to state that we will be donating money from the sale of each Virginia WurliTzer sample set CD to the Virgina Theatre's organ fund. So, perhaps those that complain about it can do something by buying the CD and helping out the organ. Or they can go support the giants who squash about 400ms into their samples. I've received numerous emails complimenting the Virginia WurliTzer sample set, so I am not going to let these folks bother me. Perhaps they should visit the Virginia Theatre and hear the organ for themselves.

That said, it should be known that we will be putting together a 'high caliber' theatre organ over the course of the year. It should be a fairly large set and will contain high quality Theatre Pipe Organ samples throughout. Once we have more information, I will gladly let you know more about it. Until then I do hope that this first little WurliTzer will tide you over and give you something to work with and have fun playing."

That last paragraph above by Brett Milan, along with the posts by Jim Gallops, is exciting news and certainly gives me a whole lot to look forward to over the coming months of 2006!!!

Best to all,

Jim Reid

02/16/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,476 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/15/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,411 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Bob Davidson Gets A Server!

This evening, Bob Davidson, Vice President of the American Theatre Organ Society, took delivery of his new Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4 computer that was being built for him by CoyoteNET Digital System Solutions.

Click here to download a 1944 x 2592 JPG image showing Bob Davidson's new server undergoing final testing.Click here to download a 1944 x 2592 JPG image showing the insides of Bob Davidson's new server.
On the left, Bob Davidson's new server undergoing final testing.
On the right, the insides of Bob Davidson's new server.

This is a monster machine based on AMD/VIA technology with a 2600 Sempron CPU. It is rather unique among the machines we have assembled in that there are four ATAPI devices including a CDRW, DVD Reader and DVD Burner, along with an Iomega ZIP drive. It has an aluminum removable hard drive drawer with a cooling fan for extra storage and two internal 80GB Maxtor ATA 133 hard drives, a standard floppy, 1 GB of PC 2700 DDRAM, an nVidia 4X GForce4 MX/400 64MB AGP video engine, a D-Link 100MIPs LAN card, and onboard stereo audio. It is powered by a 450 watt PSU. The monitor pictured belongs to the shop and is used for building and testing, an old but trusty 15 inch Gateway Vivitron CRT.

Click here to download a 1944 x 2592 JPG image showing the tower of Bob Davidson's new server with the hard drive drawer extended.Click here to download a 1944 x 2592 JPG image showing Bob Davidson's new server just moments before delivery.
On the left, Bob Davidson's new server with the hard drive drawer extended.
On the right, Bob Davidson's new server just moments before delivery.

In the shots above can be seen the Logitech Elite Keyboard which allows one touch access to many of the functions on this very powerful SOHO server. The software bundle includes Windows2000 Server SP4 with DirectX 9c and Internet Explorer 6.1, Windows Media Player 9, AVG Free Edition, ZoneAlarm Free Edition, AdAwareSE Personal, SpywareBlaster, Spybot Search & Destroy, Microsoft Office 2002 Small Buisiness Edition, Adobe PhotoShopCS and Acrobat Reader 7.07, Nero Burning ROM Enterprise Edition, CD Architect 5, SoundForge 6, and Sonar 2.2 with Waves DX Audio Plugins.

And there you have it. Another success story for CoyoteNET Digital System Solutions. Bob Davidson now has a great machine to use as he endevours to do great things for the ATOS.

02/14/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,363 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Tom Hoehn Accompanies Silent Movie At
Central Music In Clearwater, Florida

Click here to hear Tom Hoehn atthe console of the Roland Atelier Digital Organ during a silent movie special at Central Music.
Central Music front entrance
5175 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater, Florida

On Hanuary 17th of 2006, Central Music at 5175 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater, Florida hosted a performance by Tom Hoehn accompanying the classic silent short movie entitled The Rink starring Charlie Chaplin.

We have added a new page in Tom Hoehn's pages in the Featured Artists section dedicated to this fine performance. Click here to see the new page featuring seven tracks from the show!

02/13/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,335 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/12/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,292 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

More On the Virginia WurliTzer
For Hauptwerk 2

An Editorial by Per Olof Schultz, Walnut Hill Organ Club

Click here to download a 2953 x 1849 JPG image showing the console of the Virginia Theatre's 2/8 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
Looking down at the console of the
Virginia Theatre's 2/8 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Hi, Gang.

Since a couple of days ago, I have had the subject gadget up and running. Following are my very subjective thoughts.

It was very easy to install, but it took some time. Setting it up with the MIDI stuff was not straight forward. Although logical, it was still complicated.

Presently, I have only the pistons working. The stop keys will be done later. The first thing you see on your screen is the console. This is a photo realistic console. It looks like the picture above. Everything works like the real thing. You can hit keys, stops and pistons just like we are used to doing at an actual Theatre Pipe Organ.

People with touch screens are out of luck with this display. It's also difficult, if not impossible, to read the text on the controls. Luckily, there is another display just a mouse click away which looks like the MidiTzer layout, but with no keyboards. Here, everything is legible. All of the stop keys are actual photos of the real thing.

Another display shows the chamber with the regulators and wind demand. If you switch on the trems, the regulators shake just like the real thing. Do they sound? Yes, there is blower noise in the background. Of course, it changes if the trems are on, different for each trem. Funny, but you can always argue about how useful it is. More interesting is the noise from the combination action. It also varies depending on how many stops are drawn.

Does it even sound? Yes, provided you switch the blower on. Does it sound like a real WurliTzer? Hard to tell for me, as I have only limited experience in this area. I did visit my friend who has a real 2/7 instrument in his basement just a couple of months ago. At that time, I really sat down and listened carefully to each rank. In his installation, the console is only a few meters away from the chamber, which is different from a normal installation.

As far as I can tell, the Virginia WurliTzer for Hauptwerk 2 is not too far away from the real thing. You will probably have to read most of the comments from others regarding the Virginia, ranging from crap to excellent. Recently there have been made available at the Theatre Organ SoundFonts newgroup on Yahoo! Music Groups some comparison recordings for you to judge. These three tracks by Walnut Hill VTPO member Roger Dunk are easy to distinguish, but which is the best one? You decide.

There have been some discussions about trems, synchronized or not. I have never been bothered by Bruce Miles' Cinema Organ SoundFont trems on the Sound Blaster being out of sync. In fact, I can't hear this. In my MidiTzer, I have a mixture of Bruce Miles' and John Tay's SoundFonts. But I never wholeheartedly liked the Tibias from John Tay. They are alright when playing single notes. The Virginia WurliTzer sample set and John Tay's SoundFonts sound similar note by note, but if you try chords with 8' and 4' Tibias, there is a difference. The Virginia sounds a lot better to me, and this could be the trems, which are synchronized like the real thing.

Were there any problems? Yes. The Chrýsoglott brings my computer to its knees. Strange, but there seems to be a problem with Hauptwerk 2, but I think this will be resolved soon. I will not be buying a new computer in the near future to remedy this.

To Jim Reid, a fellow Hauptwerkian, you will be OK, as computers with the speed of light and terabytes of memory are not affected!

So which WurliTzer simulator is the best? No answer from me, as I don't think you can compare the Virginia with MidiTzer. They are directed toward different "markets". Which is best, a motorcycle or a car? Both will take you from point "A" to point "B". My MidiTzer nametag is firmly attached to my instrument and will remain there.

Have fun, May is approaching fast!

Per Schulz, WHOC, Assistand Editor, Walnut Hill Gazette

02/11/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,237 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Frank Vanaman's
Wall Of Fame Page Updated!

Frank Vanaman, fellow Wall of Fame inductee, has uploaded a new shot of his Mighty MidiTzer setup. Also included is a picture of his MOTM Modular Synthesizer.

Click here to visitf Frank Vanaman's Wall of Fame page and see a new shot of his Mighty MidiTzer setup.
Frank Vanaman's Mighty MidiTzer.

We quote Frank below:

You can see my Yamaha HX-1 (really CHX-1 innards on an HX stand - note the wood CHX-1 pedalboard!), Casio CZ-1000 for the Solo manual, Planar 17" touch screen monitor. What looks like another synth keyboard behind the casio CZ is actually in a rack about a foot and a half behind the console. I just got the angle of the picture a bit wacky.

02/10/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,144 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Taking the TPO Mainstream

The Walnut Hill Productions Team has been doing a bit of promotion and educating off site at one of the world's largest gathering of digital artists known as deviantART. We have three accounts there. The Bone Doctor has set up a journal in his account in the name of Slow Dog, containing a rather extensive Special Feature on the King of Instruments.

Doc's account has many sections, one being a Gallery of the Bone Doctor's own artwork, another of his favourite images from those who are known on deviantART as "fellow deviants", and lots of other goodies and links to other places in the world of this rather eccentric and crusty old professor.

At deviantART, all works done by the artsts of this community are called "deviations". Below is a small sampling of the Bone Doctor's "recent deviations".

Doc's dearest friend Kimmy also has an account at deviantART that showcases her art. She also has another that showcases her photography known at deviantART as "Stock", pictures intended to be incorporated into the works of other artists through the process of computer photomanipulation.

Be advised that deviantART is not for everybody. It is on the cutting edge of the art world. One must approach this site with an open mind. Most of the art is like that which you find in most art communities on the internet, but there are a few very special artists who do some excellent work. It is for this reason that Doc and Kimmy belong to this great community of thousands of artists, showcasing their work and spreading the word about the King of Instruments where ever they can.

Enjoy!

02/09/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,106 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

More On Hautwerk 2 From Jim Reid

After a couple more days, Leo Christopherson has added comments, and another, Swift-AU, also comments on his first use of the Milan Digital Audio Virginia WurliTzer for Hautwerk 2:

1. Leo Christopherson

I listened with great interest to the real TO sounds refered to... in another thread, (referring to:

http://theatreorgans.com/southerncross/Radiogram/radiogramtitle.htm

scroll to the bottom of that page and look for "What Sound is That", the presentation by Buddy Cole of his WurliTzer/Morton TPO individaul pipe sound demonstrations and chorus.]

"It made me realize that I know very little about theatre organs. That was a very illuminating bunch of recordings. Though the quality was limited, the real sound comes through.

I now think that I had the rank levels rather out of balance. My Strings were not nearly as loud as those on the recordings. My Vox Humana was way too loud. The Diapason was way too soft. With the eight ranks going to separate channels through mixers, I can adjust levels and tone easily. I'm going to try to match the sounds on the recordings and see what happens. Of course, the recordings were of a much larger instrument so perhaps one can't expect sounds to match.

After listeneing to the cuts on that link, I may have to go along with comments on another thread about the trems being not the same as the real organs (at least the recorded organ). I'm not sure. But the trem-free ranks sound just as real as any of our Hauptwerk stuff (which is to say very good.) But when the trem is added I get a sound that I'm just not familiar with... I like it a lot, but I really don't know how real it is. I can say it doesn't quite match the trem sound on those recordings.

I'm still experimenting with the setup, and also having a great time playing the theatre organ... trying to learn more about that ellusive theatre organ style.

There is a whole lot involved in getting the balance between stops right. Using the sounds from the recorded theatre organ Buddy Cole demonstration as a starting point I did readjust my levels and did a bit of equalizing (attenuating upper range of the strings for example.)

There came a time when everything just seemed to come together right! Just about every combination of stops worked out. Now, I may be trying things that a theatre organ professional would cringe at, but I like the sounds better and better. I don't recall classical organs being this finicky when it comes to voicing. Perhaps it's because the theatre organ has a group of VERY different sounding stops that are more difficult to integrate(?) whereas classical organs come with groups of ranks meant to build a chorus.

My recognition that I had it about right was when I realized I had been playing for half an hour without any more tweaking. I was just enjoying playing the music, not worried about some imbalance or other. By the way, I also set the latency up to 20 ms (1024 pipes - ASIO) which greatly increased the pipe organ "feel."

I especially enjoyed the sound of the Main stops (Diapason, Flute, and Strings with Celeste) on the Accompaniment keyboard without tremulant. There is that sort of out-of-tune, large, old organ sound that is terrific when playing hymns. I had the Tibia and Vox vibrating away on the Solo, and switched between keyboards. What fun! The pedal Diapason and Bourdon 16' are nice and huge sounding and the Tuba 16' just made the sound complete.

And then, there's the Piano. When I was a kid back in the stone age, I used to tinker about on an old piano. But I always wished I could play the bass notes with my feet. Well now I can! A whole new world of improv.

Leo Chris

2. From Swift-AU

Just thought I'd quickly throw in my first experiences with the virtual Virginia WurliTzer. In short, I can't be bothered writing too much, as I'd much rather be playing (with) it, because it sounds absolutely awsome! I must admit that after reading some of the negative comments from those supposedly "in the know", my expections were slightly lowered. However, it took about 10 seconds of playing it to have even my initial, rather high expections simply blown away. If you are in any way even slightly interested in the theatre pipe organ, then you simply MUST purchase Hauptwerk 2 and Brett's Virginia WurliTzer sample set. This thing is awsome folks, trust me!

With no reverb or limited reverb, the organ sounds a bit like Leon Berry's basement organ (no suprise there!) With the "right" amount of reverb added, it sounds absoutely wonderful. Does it sound like the San Francisco Fox organ? No, of course not. Does it sound like the Virginia WurliTzer? I think so. Does it sound comparable to any small WurliTzer? I think so. Is it a big enough organ to have a heck of a lot of fun with? Hell yeah!

But, I must continue to wait until my PC is operating again...

Jim Reid

02/08/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,049 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/07/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,049 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Leo Christopherson Test Drives
The Virtual 2/8 Virginia WurliTzer
From Milan Digital Audio!

This was posted by fellow WHOC Officer and Wall of Fame inductee Jim Reid on Yahoo! Music Groups Walnut Hill VTPO today:

From: Jim Reid
Date: Mon Feb 6, 2006 9:27 pm
Subject: Virginia Wurlitzer Owner Report

The first known Hauptwerkian with Brett Milan's Wurlitzer sample set has posted a short report about his first few hours with the organ:

I've just spent the last couple hours playing the Virginia which arrived today. I just can't imagine that anyone will be anything but thrilled with its sound!

As one would expect from a combination of effort from Martin and Brett, the pipe sounds are quite real. You switch on the key and hear the blower start up and bellows fill. . . neat!

At first I played through headphones. Then I got things going through my big speakers (just in two channel stereo so far). The sound through speakers is somehow much better. The trems are really exciting! I just don't think that HW2 internal computer recording will be able to capture how real this thing sounds through speakers. I eventually plan to record it using mikes if possible.

One 'stupid me' thing: I played happily for about an hour before noticing that the string stops were extremely weak in the upper keyboard area. Then it finally occurred to me that the expression pedal defaults to closed. When I opened it, the difference was like night and day!!! I had to play everything over again for another hour to enjoy the big increase in higher frequency sounds. The expression really does way more than just changing the overall volume as in HW1.

This evening, I will set things up with multiple-channel output, thanks to a bit of help from Martin to get around the bug 16 problem. I now have my computer loaded with two M-Audio 1010LT cards which gives me eight stereo channels to drive my eight stereo mixers. The Virginia has eight ranks, so I guess I'll just try outing a rank in stereo per mixer. The special effects (toy counter stuff) can be distributed all around too.

By the way, I have been able to set up the Ott-Orgel with each of the five ranks going to a different set of stereo speakers. There is a noticeable increase in clarity with all five ranks going at once (I think so anyway. . . I don't think it's just psychological).

I'll update my findings when I have tried out the multi-speakered Virginia WurliTzer. I expect even greater satisfaction! I just wish I could get those theatre people to hear this live speaker sound!

Leo Chris.

Leo has a website where he has posted .mp3s of some of his "stuff". I am sure, in time, he will be posting demos of Brett's Virginia WurliTzer sample set. His site is here:

http://www.leochristopherson.com/

Interesting photos of his various virtual organ set-ups are at the site.

All the best,

Jim Reid

Stay tuned for firther developements on this as the story unfolds. Thanks, Jim. You did good!

02/06/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 18,000 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Walnut Hill Reaches 18,000 Visitors!

Walnut Hill ended the day today with 18,000 visitors, for a grand total of 27,850 wonderful people to visit our site since it went online in April of 2004. During our 23 months of operation, we have averaged 1,174 visits per month or about 39 per day. Attendance to Walnut Hill is at an all-time high, even with things being slow at the site.

Many things are on the agenda in the days ahead. We have at least two more Wall of Fame inductees to greet and lots of great music on the way as soon as it is mastered for broadcast. Also, the media in WTPO's playlist is up to be resampled so that it streams better, and we intend to begin placement of the announcements, jingles and advertisements as soon as the production division finishes their work.

This has started off to be a great year so far in the Land of the King as the Walnut Hill website goes commercial.

Kimmy, the Bone Doctor's dearest Tiny One, has joined the Walnut Hill Production Team as Lead Graphic Artist. She has established herself in the digital graphic arts communities on the internet as a very capable digital artist in a short period of time.

Tom Hoehn is doing quite well selling copies of his wonderful Sounds of Grace CD.

Jim Henry has released the 3 manual version of the Mighty MidiTzer for beta testing in preparation for the first release candidate version sometime in April, according to current timelines on the project.

The Slow Dog has begun promoting the Theatre Pipe Organ offsite at other places on the internet including deviantART and Renderosity, two of the world's largest digital art communities.

Membership in the theatre organ related newsgroups at Yahoo! continue to rise to record levels as more folks become interested in the King of Instruments, largely due to the Mighty MidiTzer, which now has over 6,000 users worldwide.

Finally, preparations are underway for the 2006 ATOS 51st Annual Convention to be held in Tampa, Florida. This is one event you do not want to miss, so sumbit your registration now at the site!

Yes folks, the future is bright for the Mighty Theatre Pipe Organ, indeed!

02/05/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 17,957 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Bill Brown Remembered

As all who read the Walnut Hill Gazette or subscribe to the Theatre Organ Home Page mailing list know, Bill Brown passed away on the 2nd of February, 2006. Below, we share some of the memories of the people who knew him best.

Scott Smith

A few years ago, I was hired to play the Chicago Theatre WurliTzer for a private event that took place there. This was a dinner that hosted the new interns at a large law firm around the corner, and served as a "welcome" gathering. The entire stage and orchestra pit were jammed with tables and chairs, dress was formal, and the entire event was catered. The elegant table settings and special lighting likely rivaled stage shows that had taken place there in decades past.

I played throughout the dinner and was told to "open 'er up" afterward. This was right after the work performed by Clark Wilson and crew, and the combination action and organ in general could not have performed better. I did miss the second Tuba Mirabilis and Posthorn on a few pieces, but the Foundation Tibia was still as lush as ever. Everything was done to the n'th degree and all handled professionally. I cannot imagine what the whole event must have cost.

Even longer ago, in the summer of 1977, Bill Brown hired me to sub for Lyn Larsen at the Organ Stop Pizza restaurant on Seventh Street and Missouri, while Lyn was touring in England and France. It was a great experience, and I played the 5/36 (then a 5/21) WurliTzer in Bill and Barbara's home many times while there.

I found Bill to be an honest and forthright businessman who let you know in short order if you had screwed up, and was just as quick to let you know if he liked what you did. In our initial meeting, Bill thanked me for sending an audition tape, but jokingly said that he hired me because I was the only applicant for the job from Michigan. He then told me of his Battle Creek connection.

Over the years, I saw him many times at conventions, and in fact, sat with him at dinner in Milwaukee in the company of others whose names this list would know. Bill was always a kind and generous soul, and along with many others on this list, I will miss him. He was a great guy.

Scott Smith

02/04/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 17,926 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/03/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 17,871 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

02/02/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 17,850 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Bill Brown Promoted To Glory

Bill Brown, owner of the Richard Vaughn Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
Bill Brown, owner of the Richard Vaughn
5/36 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Click here to download a 2048 x 1536 JPG image showing Bill Brown's installation of the Richard Vaughn 5/36 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ at his residence in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Richard Vaughn 5/36 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
installed at the residence of Bill Brown in Phoenix, Arizona.

William P. "Bill" Brown, owner of the Richard Vaughn 5/36 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at his home in Phoenix, Arizona, passed away peacefully at his home on the 2nd of February 2006, surrounded by his children. He is survived by his two sons, daughter, and five grandchildren.

Bill was born in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1925 and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He attended New Mexico Military Institute during high school and college, where he was known as "WP", and went to Japan with the Army during World War II. Upon his return, he took his MBA at Wharton and then began a career in real estate development among the first recruits at the Coldwell Banker's then-new Phoenix office.

Over the years, Bill served on the Phoenix Planning Commission, held many offices for the Downtown YMCA and Midtown Rotary, and was active in the Phoenix Ski Club and NMMI and University of Pennsylvania Alumni groups. He supported many people and organizations with his time, energy, leadership, and resources. Bill may best be known as the owner of the legendary Organ Stop Pizza restaurants.

An accomplished pianist and theatre organist in his own right, he loved music and was happiest when sharing it with others. With his restaurants, he entertained vast numbers of people, brought the theatre pipe organ and its music into the vernacular, launched the careers of many artists, and inspired and helped others to create similar restaurants across the country. He was a leader and active participant in all the major theatre organ organizations, receiving honors and accolades from many. He also supported the installation of dozens of great organs here in the valley and across the country, including the Phoenix Orpheum Theatre. His contribution to the theatre organ community is difficult to over estimate.

Bill was also a father. He was a father to his children, and adopted father to many younger men and women who came to know, respect, and love him. Despite an ubiquitous to-do list, he was always present for and involved with those he cared for, sharing his love of music, the fun of water and snow skiing, the skills of a craftsman, his enthusiasm for life, his good sense, good humor, and good heart.

Active to the last, Bill traveled the country and world visiting friends and many interesting places, continued to cross things of his to-do list, and even went jet skiing a month before his illness. Yet, he has sorely missed his dearest wife, Barbara, who passed some years before him. May they be reunited.

Bill, you have loved and taught us well, dearest father. With deepest respect and boundless love, you will be missed and remembered by many, many people.

Memorial Services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 100 West Roosevelt Street, on Friday 10 February at 11 a.m. A viewing will be held at the church an hour before the service. Bill has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to either the Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014, or the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, 2645 N. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008.

Guest BookFlowersGift ShopCharities

Published in The Arizona Republic from 2/5/2006 - 2/8/2006.

Bruce Miles Comes Home!

Visit the website of Bruce Miles, Mighty MidiTzer Cinema Organ SoundFont creator.
Bruce Miles at the console of the Mighty Compton Theatre Pipe Organ.

Bruce Miles, creator of the SoundFonts for the Mighty MidiTzer and fellow Walnut Hill Wall of Fame member, has fought and won a battle with heart troubles. He is now home after a lengthly stay in the hospital where he underwent surgery to cure his ills.

Fellow Theatre Organ SoundFont member and webmaster for VirtualOrgan.com Joe Barron posted this on the Yahoo! Music newsgroup today:

I'm passing this info on to the group. Bruce Miles is out of the hospital and back home recovering after a lengthy stay. Bruce is the father of the Cinema SoundFont, the voice of the Mighty MidiTzer. We wish him a well and hope to hear from him soon.

Our prayers are with you Bruce!

Bruce is a pioneer in the virtual organ movement, and through his work, organists around the world can enjoy the sound of a pipe organ on their computer for free. His high quality digital sounds provide virtual ranks for both theatre and classic organs.

Bruce Miles website:

http://brucemiles1.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/

Joe Barron, virtualorgan.com

02/01/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 17,801 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Go back to The Walnut Hill General Store main page. Go back to the January, 2006 page. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the March, 2006 page. Go forward to the Walnut Hil Website Credits page.

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