^Gecko^

Hammond Regent 4172 MIDIfication project

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Hey

I'm pretty new to the world of organs, and totally new to this forum. I really have no idea how to play an organ. My grandmother passed away last year and I now have the organ, which is a Hammond Regent 4172. Everything works on it as far as I know, but it hisses like crazy; probably oxidized contacts on the board connectors.

I want to MIDIfy this thing. All I see are complaints about how awful this organ is, but I've always liked it since I was a child. It's not a requirement to keep the original sound working, but that would be a bonus. So I've been looking around at different methods to accomplish this, and so far MIDIbox seems like the cheapest and easiest way to go about hooking everything up. I don't have the organ at hand (just a picture) so I'm probably not going to buy any parts until I get home in a couple of months. I would like to know if the manuals are matrix wired or individual (same for the pedals and stop tabs.) There are a few features I have no idea how to add, like the percussion section, and that weird slider thing between the manuals. It also has a built in leslie, which is controlled by one of the stop tabs I believe.

I wonder if I could also use MIDI to control the original electronics for recorded playback.

Here's what I can make out from my picture; I figure I can use LEDs to show the status of the stop tabs, regardless of which position they're in. Motor/solenoid control on the tabs would be cool but I think that might be too difficult.

Here's a picture of it, and following is a list of what I assume are all of the connections;

IMG_7345.JPG

49 tabs

61 swell

61 great

25 pedal

volume pedal

5+1 piston radio buttons

slider thing + toggle

16 percussion radio buttons

6 percussion toggles

percussion on/off

pistons led

2 other toggles

tempo pot

2 other pots

4 or 5 position rotary switch

4 illuminated pushbuttons (A B C D)

2 red and 1 amber led

power switch, lights pushbutton

This will be the first project like this I've ever attempted. Soldering and electronics aren't a problem, but I've had little to no experience doing any kind of programming. I kind of like the way the new STM32/Core32 looks, anyone used these yet?

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I would suggest that you spend some of your time while you wait to get possession of the organ learning about organs. If you go to www.VirtualOrgan.com you can download the Miditzer for free. That will give you an organ that you can play with just your mouse and screen for the time being. Later you might decide to control it with the Midified Hammond. There is a lot of information about Midifying organ consoles with the MidiBox in the Miditzer Forum under MIDI Electronics. There are other areas where you can find information about how organs work and are played.

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I am not familiar with that organ, but did when I first started building MIDIBoxes, turn a Hammond organ into a controller using MIDIO128. But all the sound generating bits were ripped out and it was just a fancy MIDI keyboard.

All the contacts were indiviual and it was a fairly easy task to wire everything up and program.

As yours has a built in Leslie you may want to seriously consider having playback before you do anything so drastic.

It would make a fine controller for MIDITZER though.

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I am not familiar with that organ, but did when I first started building MIDIBoxes, turn a Hammond organ into a controller using MIDIO128. But all the sound generating bits were ripped out and it was just a fancy MIDI keyboard.

All the contacts were indiviual and it was a fairly easy task to wire everything up and program.

As yours has a built in Leslie you may want to seriously consider having playback before you do anything so drastic.

It would make a fine controller for MIDITZER though.

I do plan on using the internal audio system in addition to having an output section to hook up to an external PA. I'm putting a whole computer system in the organ with the midibox hardware. Originally what I was looking for is something I could plug in to a USB port with enough digital ins and outs that could be assigned to MIDI channels, all in the PC, but I haven't been able to find such a thing. (Or maybe I'm not doing the right search)

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Its going to be a big project with a lot of repetative work.

Is there enough room inside for everything?

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Its going to be a big project with a lot of repetative work.

Is there enough room inside for everything?

If I remember, yeah there should be plenty of room for everything. I'll get pictures and video and everything when I get back to the states next month.

The PC doesn't have to be in a case either; the motherboard could be mounted straight to the side with standoffs. It doesn't have to be ATX either. There's a system called pico-ITX, the whole computer is the size of a cdrom drive, and uses an via nano processor ( http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/embedded/artigo/ ) I suppose the other alternative is a mac mini.

Edited by ^Gecko^

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OK, computer is sorted.

In short, yes MIDIfying this instrument for playback is (more than likely) possible using MIDIbox.

Automation of the tabs etc would be really cool, perhaps Jim Henryknows of something suitable?

I would however suggest you get it playing cleanly before you start building anything.

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OK, computer is sorted.

In short, yes MIDIfying this instrument for playback is (more than likely) possible using MIDIbox.

Automation of the tabs etc would be really cool, perhaps Jim Henryknows of something suitable?

I would however suggest you get it playing cleanly before you start building anything.

Yeah, getting the audio sounding good again is my first priority. If I can't get it working properly, then I won't bother with the old electronics and probably just box them up somewhere.

I would love to automate the stop-tabs. I know it won't be easy though from having taken one out. I don't remember seeing how I would be able to install solenoids in there. I saw a site that made/sold tiny solenoids, but I can't remember where or who they are now. I don't know how much force is needed to push/pull the tabs, but when I get home I should be able to find or rent a tool to measure that (and I'll take one out and take pics and video of it for everyone)

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Yeah, getting the audio sounding good again is my first priority. If I can't get it working properly, then I won't bother with the old electronics and probably just box them up somewhere.

Thats probably the best place to start. The "rules" of MIDIfying any instrument say that any changes should be reversable, which you may want to consider. But then its your instrument!

Good luck with it and let us know what you decide.

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I was given a 1973 Hammond REGENT last year from a local music store that was going to haul it to the dump.

The unit was totally non-functional, yet, the cabinet and everything else was in an almost excellent condition.

Hauled it home then had fun for the next three days by totally gutting it out with removal of all of the defunct electronics, dead amplifier and broken wires. I also removed the tab rail since it was in bad condition as well.

I then purchase Midi equipment from Artisan http://web.mac.com/internationalartists/Artisan_Instruments/Artisan_Products.html to connect the modules to the existing keyboards and pedal.

Programmed the main module to recognize the keyboards and manual for MIDI to the computer.

Installed Hauptwerk and Midizer on the host computer to were, from a dead console to where it can be either a 50 stop symphonic organ or the Wurlitzer 266 organ at my disposal.

A fun project that set me back almost $500.00, but definitely enjoy it now.

Good luck - Stopspost-8165-055204900 1286351602_thumb.jpg

post-8165-072471200 1286351582_thumb.jpg

Edited by Stops116

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Well I finally made it to Oregon to pick up the organ ;) Unfortunately the thing is too tall to fit in the car! If only the car were 6 inches wider...

Anyways, I took the organ apart and got it in. I had to take it all the way, completely apart. I discovered that the pedal has two footswitches of its own; you press your toes to the left or right. I have no clue what they do. There is also a thing mounted inside that has two long springs inside. I forget what it's called, but it has something to do with reverb. The wiring harness is a nightmare!

In the car:

2010-10-29%2016.04.56.jpg

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I couldn't make the Leslie unit, the tone generators, the box of circuit cards, the power supply, or the bench fit in to the car;

2010-10-29%2016.07.59.jpg

2010-10-29%2016.09.41.jpg

2010-10-29%2016.09.50.jpg

The wiring harness;

2010-10-29%2016.13.32.jpg

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I can't believe you took it completely apart, did you try to reassemble it? I used to service those models and know them inside-out, but I doubt you will get it all back again. Those switches on the expression pedal are for piano sustain and Leslie override (switches sound from Leslie to mains).

I am hooking midibox to my Hammond Concorde 2300 which uses the same electronics setup inside, it uses negative voltage to key the LSI chips, zero for off -14 for on, there is also a -28v main in the unit for most circuits. Good thing midi is opto-isolated!

PM if you need any info on that beast.

Goodluck!

Jmayes

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I can't believe you took it completely apart, did you try to reassemble it? I used to service those models and know them inside-out, but I doubt you will get it all back again. Those switches on the expression pedal are for piano sustain and Leslie override (switches sound from Leslie to mains).

I am hooking midibox to my Hammond Concorde 2300 which uses the same electronics setup inside, it uses negative voltage to key the LSI chips, zero for off -14 for on, there is also a -28v main in the unit for most circuits. Good thing midi is opto-isolated!

PM if you need any info on that beast.

Goodluck!

Jmayes

Thanks :D I did get it mostly together. I discovered that it's a tight fit if it's not lined up just right, like body parts on a car. When I was taking it apart is when I realized the sides swung open. Before that, I never knew how to raise the lower manual. I am also surprised by all the strange voltages the power supply gives. I won't be hooking all the original components back up, I'm going to need the harness for the inputs to the midibox boards. I do want to use the power supply to power the speakers. I need to know if I can feed audio from a computer soundcard/line out directly in to the amp, and where.

I just bought the STM32 and 4 DIN board kits this week.

IMG_2164.JPG

Did the -28 also power the lamps? I wonder if that's why there are so many burnt out.

I took the drum radio button set out and took the latching bar out so the buttons are all momentary. I'll feed them all to a DIN board, along with the rest of the toggle switches. No idea what I'm going to do with the A/B/C/D things.

I could have used a little more cowbell!

IMG_2622.JPG

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Did the -28 also power the lamps? I wonder if that's why there are so many burnt out.

I think it was the +14v that went to the bulbs but it's been a long time. Not having to contend with the negative voltage keyers will make life much easier for midifying you should have it going no time.

Driving the amps directly will require a healthy signal, I think they take 2-3v for full output, the headphone output of your computer should do nicely. I hope you did not loose that Leslie!

Good luck,

Jmayes

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I think it was the +14v that went to the bulbs but it's been a long time. Not having to contend with the negative voltage keyers will make life much easier for midifying you should have it going no time.

Driving the amps directly will require a healthy signal, I think they take 2-3v for full output, the headphone output of your computer should do nicely. I hope you did not loose that Leslie!

Good luck,

Jmayes

lol, I still have the leslie and it still works. I had to run a bead of polyurethane glue around the 'surround' portion of the large main speaker as it was breaking off.

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We should keep this project here, I have another organ I need help with the diode question.

I'm getting confused again....

For my project (hammond regent 4172,) I bought seven DIN kits from smashtv to handle each of the inputs from the organ. Am I going MAD or am I setting myself up for failure?

You have what you need, you are going to wire all your keys and stops one at a time to the Din's which will be straight forward. One note, you will need 2 cores to drive 7 Din's (each core can have up to 4).

Good Luck!

Jmayes

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We should keep this project here, I have another organ I need help with the diode question.

You have what you need, you are going to wire all your keys and stops one at a time to the Din's which will be straight forward. One note, you will need 2 cores to drive 7 Din's (each core can have up to 4).

Good Luck!

Jmayes

Uh oh, I only ordered one core kit. Better get another one before smash has a chance to send out the current order. This is true even with the stm32 core?

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As far as I know that is a limitation of the MDIO128 app, unless your going to do your own coding you will need two cores. No real reason to go with the 32 for what your doing, the core8 will work nicely and is less expensive.

Jmayes

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As far as I know that is a limitation of the MDIO128 app, unless your going to do your own coding you will need two cores. No real reason to go with the 32 for what your doing, the core8 will work nicely and is less expensive.

Jmayes

I think I'll stick with the stm32 even though it costs more. I like the consistency and don't want to have to potentially deal with compatibility problems. Plus, I can push MIDI over the USB port, (can't I?) plus "thanks to the MIOS32 Bootloader no JTAG or COM programmer required for common users"

On a different note, I was thinking about what I could do to improve the interface of the physical organ itself. Because there's going to be a computer inside of this thing running it, I thought the front control panel could use an upgrade. A couple of LCD's maybe? The 16 drum buttons could be used for practically anything!

organfront2.jpg

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On a different note, I was thinking about what I could do to improve the interface of the physical organ itself. Because there's going to be a computer inside of this thing running it, I thought the front control panel could use an upgrade. A couple of LCD's maybe? The 16 drum buttons could be used for practically anything!

Sounds like a good idea to me, the spot where the ABCD lights were is ideal for a 2 line LCD display. While the MDIO128 supports a display you can not do custom messages without any custom coding (I don't think). They do have a LCD message app but you will need another core for that.

Good luck!

Jmayes

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I got the STM32 and eight DIN's in the mail yesterday. I must have forgot that extra one for some reason. :whistle:

Started soldering everything together around midnight. finally finished half an hour ago, and the core is talking to studio32 properly. :D

Now I need some ribbon cable and plugs to go with it.

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I think I did a pretty good job, except for the part where I put the resistor arrays in the wrong spot and had to try again :P

I also bought an Antec 350watt power supply. I'll use the 5vdc from that to power the core and everything.

IMG_2653.JPG

IMG_2654.JPG

IMG_2655.JPG

Edited by ^Gecko^

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I've installed the first core and the first 4 D_IN's into the organ;

IMG_2656.JPG

IMG_2658.JPG

This is where I'll probably put the second core, the other 4 DIN's, and some DOUT's.

midibox_future.jpg

These are my fasteners;

IMG_2657.JPG

The power supply and probably location. I have all the power I'll ever need!

IMG_2659.JPG

BTW; I have a CrystalFontz 4x20 serial driven LCD display. Is there support for this? I used it with a previous project based on LCDProc; http://lcdproc.org/

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