September 22, 2010

Temporary Practice "Console"

For the time being, until it becomes clearer that my renewed interest in the organ is more than just a flash in the pan, I am using a very rudimentary setup for practice. I dug up my old Yamaha PSR-185 keyboard that I bought back in 1996 or so to accompany my high school's ice hockey games. (Yes.) That yellow "15" sticker is from a production of Fiddler on the Roof, where I was second fiddle, er, keyboard. 15 was the "stop" number I was using for the celesta riffs in Tevye's Dream, IIRC.

The Yamaha is placed on a pine board spanning the pedalboard, supported by some random furniture I found up in the attic. So at night, I steal upstairs for a little practice with my cheapo Yamaha, silent pedalboard, and the chirp of my iPhone metronome. (Well, actually the clunk of the worn felts on the pedalboard is rather noisy right now.)

Once the pedalboard MIDI is done, I would like to build a simple console frame. I found an interesting one done in plywood, but I'm thinking it might be cheaper and easier with decent-quality 2x4's. For manuals, I'm looking at getting two M-Audio 61es's.

That looks about right for my price range. I certainly can't justify paying for new MIDI-ready tracker touch claviers, and I think my time would be better spent practicing than converting old pipe organ claviers if I don't have to.

But what about swell pedals? Classic sells new ones, but they're pretty expensive, and scrawny; I grew up on Austins, and I like those nice fat, juicy wooden pedals. The trick will be to find one to MIDIfy...

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