Sue Smith is the first woman to be inducted into the Walnut Hill Wall of Fame.
She is a member of the ATOS, the Walnut Hill VTPO and Theatre Organ SoundFonts groups on Yahoo! and also holds the office of Research and Development in the Walnut Hill Organ Club.
Below are some photographs of her setup, along with her own words describing her project and how she got interested in the Mighty MidiTzer.
Sue and her Mighty MidiTzer installation.
I became a fan of the Theatre Organ during my teen years in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. My friends and I used to frequent the Roaring 20s pizza parlor and I quickly became addicted to that monstrosity of an organ and the wonderful music that the organists made come out of it! I was a 70s rock and roll kid and I had never experienced anything quite like the WurliTzer before. I thought it was very cool indeed!
My interest was rekindled a few years back and I became a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the ATOS. We are lucky enough to have access to an Allen George Wright 3/23 Digital Theatre Organ. I am not an accomplished musician by any means. However, I love to play and can entertain myself for hours on my Yamaha. I've been fortunate to have a few opportunities to sit down at our Allen console.
With the guidance of a couple of organists from our club, I've had a great time, playing with all of the "bells and whistles", and experimenting with various registration sounds, etc. However, those times are rare and, after playing the Allen, I'd have to go home and settle for playing my Yamaha again.
Then a while back at one of our socials, I overheard someone talking about something called a "MidiTzer". Some kind of virtual pipe organ? Hmmm, this sounded very interesting. So I did a web search, found Jim Henry's website, and the rest is history. I now have a WurliTzer 216 theatre organ in my music room to play whenever I want to. Who would have ever thought?
Sue's Mighty MidiTzer workspace.
As far as my installation is concerned, I am one of the lucky ones. I simply installed a USB/MIDI interface and a SB Live card on my computer. I downloaded Jim Henry's MidiTzer program and Bruce Miles' sound fonts. (Guys, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That's all I can say!)
After configuring the fonts in the Creative bank, I plugged my MIDI cable into the Yamaha, and both keyboards and my pedals were fully functional. No additional soundcard needed, no difficult configuring to do. It just worked.
As simple as this was and being the fact that I am about the most non-technical person I know, I felt somewhat out of place at the notion of being on the Wall of Fame. However, after thinking about it some more, it occurred to me that perhaps there are some people lurking around these groups that are novices, much like me. Maybe there are those who are a bit apprehensive about taking on the MidiTzer project. Using myself as an example, trust me, if I can do this, anyone out there can.
Close-up of the Yamaha organ controlling Sue's Mighty MidiTzer.
There is much good help and technical support to be had as well. The Theatre Organ SoundFont group members have been great. Some of you have gone beyond the call of duty in helping me out. A special thanks to the Bone Doctor for all of your kind words and encouragement and for providing this website with all of it's very helpful and interesting resources. Keep up the good work! And, Russ Ashworth, a big thank you for taking me under your wing and for encouraging me to develop my music theory skills. I'll keep studying and practicing, I promise!
My entire MidiTzer experience has been nothing but very positive and lots of fun. My hat goes off to Jim Henry and I am anxiously looking forward to MidiTzer version 0.4!
Getting inducted to the Wall of Fame is easy!
Who doesn't want recognition for their efforts with the Mighty MidiTzer? Now, you can get noticed on the Walnut Hill Wall of Fame! Folks will see your pictures and be able to go directly to your site by clicking on them. We hope to see many more inductees here in the days ahead as folks step out with their Mighty MidiTzers. So... Dust off those cameras and get snappin'. Also, if you have recordings or any other content you want featured, we can put those here as well.
Email The Bone Doctor to find out how you can be among the ranks of those who are pioneering this Mighty Virtual Theatre Pipe Organ. Join TOSF and Walnut Hill VTPO and make your intentions known to all the folks in VTPO land. We are always glad to recognize those who make the TPO kingdom a better place!