Author Topic: vArranger and Latte Panda  (Read 1173 times)

Offline sweetbb

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vArranger and Latte Panda
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:04:55 AM »
Hi,

I am building a new organ console, to be used with vArranger2, for my personal use at home.  My first project, I have an upgraded midified organ console, 3 manuals of 61 keys, and pedal-board of 25 keys. Inside this console, I have installed a full size Intel i7 motherboard, 10 channel audio card, and 5 disk RAID array.  On the outside, I have installed 2 touch screens.  It is really a pleasure to play on this console.  It also has 10 distinct audio channels, but with vArranger, I can unfortunately only use 2 channels. This is the same console I use for playing other music using other software like Hauptwerk (for my virtual pipe organs, both classical and theatre) and also some draw-bar simulators, for that beautiful draw-bar sound. I have realised though, that this is too big for vArranger.  So I'm doing an smaller project now.

My new project is a bit smaller, using a smaller 2 manual and 13 note pedal-board midified Yamaha organ, that currently has a raspberry Pi installed, and runs jOrgan (Java Organ).  It is really cool, as the little Raspberry Pi computer is the size of a credit card.  On this project, there will only be one stereo pair, ideal for vArranger.  I've come to realise, that I don't really need 25 pedals and 3 manuals in order to enjoy vArranger functions. So this new little organ will only be used for vArranger and nothing else.  I want to remove the Raspberry Pi, and install in it's place, a Latte Panda, which an Intel based single board computer (SBC) slightly larger than a credit card, with 4 gig RAM and Cherry Trail quad core 1.8 Ghz computer.  My question is, has anybody tried running vArranger on such a device with success?  I don't want to spend this money, and not have it working satisfactorily.

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 07:38:53 AM »
In this smaller Yamaha organ conversion, I have installed a Yamaha PSR 295 keyboard, as the lower manual.  This means that already, even with the setup as it currently is, I can access all the GM and XGLite instrument banks of this keyboard, which obviously has an extremely low latency, but unfortunately, the polyphony is not has high as with software sound generation.  It is still worth using though.

Offline Dan

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 08:04:47 AM »
This computer should be ok for midi with your PSR sound module
If you want to play VST or the vArranger Software Synth.. I am not sure. 
It is like all the chinese computers that I have bought
https://fr.gearbest.com/tablet-pcs/pp_580292.html
They are at the limit between working and not working... depends on the VST, if you add an audio card, etc... :)

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 08:07:32 AM »
Thank you Dan. I will be adding a high quality USB audio card as well. It is a Behringer USB sound card.

Offline Dan

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 08:11:31 AM »
I have tried it with the UCA202, and the drivers are not very stable
I should try with the Roland interface to see if it works OK

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 10:07:24 AM »
I have bought the hardware now.  It cost about 400 Euro's, actually a bit less.  The screen is a 7 inch with seperate 7 inch, but will fit beautifully with my midified Yamaha spinet organ. I ripped out the bottom manual, and replaced it with a 61 note Yamaha PRS 295 arranger keyboard - not the best, but certainly not the worst either. I had to carefully cut up this keyboard with a small grinder in order to fit it into the console.  Perhaps you have notices that Yamaha keys are smaller than 'standard' keys.  My Behringer and Hammond keyboard keys are certainly larger, I think they are the same size as my digital piano's keys.  This midified Yamaha setup will not need to be mobile at all. I will just use it in my music room.  This project will only have 1 4 channel amplfier, so that I have 1 stereo pair with one subwoofer channel.  I will run vArranger2 on this system instead.


Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 01:25:17 PM »
I have Windows activated on the Latte Panda, and I've installed an $8 USB sound card.  I know it's not the best, but for testing it is working 100% fine.  I've installed Asio4all, and there thus far, there seems to be no discernible latency, and neither have I experienced any sound breakup whatsoever.

I have 2 midi interfaces.  The upper manual and pedal are on the first interface. I've selected the correct channels, and when I play the pedals manually, I see what I expect to see - it plays the selected 'bass' voice in the user interface.  When I play on the upper manual, it also plays the correct part - the 'RIGHT' voices.  The lower manual is the Yamaha PRS 295 and is working via it's own USB cable (midi via USB). It also plays the expected sounds in the user interface - the "left" voices. 

I cannot however, set the split point on the lower manual, like on my other setup.  I can only set the split point on the upper manual - but it has to be on the lower manual.

Any ideas?


Offline Dan

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 02:10:29 PM »
You can limit the LEFT 1/2/3 layers with KEY FROM and KEY TO  to create a split like preset, and SAVE LEFT SOUND

Is WASAPI works too with your audio interface?

Offline Selinita

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 02:23:39 PM »
Ooh! This sounds very interesting - can we see some pictures of your build / ripped out Yamaha? Please :)

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 02:58:28 PM »
I will put photo here just now.  It is a work in progress, so it is not neat at all at the moment.
Dan, sorry, I don't understand.

My midi setup is as follows:
1'st midi interface: Pedal = Channel 4.  Upper manual = Channel 3.  Lower = not used on this interface.
2'nd midi interface: Lower manual = channel 1.

On the photo the bottom manual is the Yamaha PSR 295 keyboard.  the remaining part of this keyboard is lying inside the console, and is vissible - it has a smal blue LCD screen.
The upper manual is the original manual from this organ.

I have used a 4 channel car amplifier in the console, with an HP blade power supply module.  When completed, there will only be the blade power supply, it will power the Latte Panda, amplifier, parametric equaliser, midi interface, Yamaha PSR 295, and everything else inside the console.  I will not be using any additional power supplies, as this PSU gives 12V, 3V, and 5V.

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 03:00:16 PM »
yes, Wasapi also works, as well as d-sound. The orange memorystick in the photo is the memory stick with the vArranger license on it.

In this photo you can view the LattePanda specifications, as shown in Windows 10.

So far, only the vArranger soft synth is working, and there is no discernible latency whatsoever.  I am really impressed!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 03:46:49 PM by sweetbb »

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 08:30:31 AM »
The only way I can get it working properly as an organ, is to have removed the Yamaha PSR 295 arranger keyboard, and replace the original bottom manual of the midified Yamaha spinet organ.  So not it has two 48 key manuals, and one 13 note pedalboard,  I can play chords on the lower manual, and melody on the upper manual.  And I can play manual bass on the pedalboard if I so wish.  It's really nice.  It is working better than expected - no discernible latency, no sound breakup whatsoever, and the quality is great.  I can still connect up to 209 buttons and 64 continuous controllers - this is what is still open on my midi encoder.

Pity I can not make it work with Yamaha PSR 295 keyboard installed inside the console.  It seems that if you want to use it as an organ, your first midi interface will need to have 3 channels - one for pedal, lower, and upper manual.  This is the case with my first console setup - that is why it works there, but in this project, the first midi interface only has two channels for notes. 

One can get it working with MidiOx, but that get's to complicated for maintenance and troubleshooting.



Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 05:22:18 PM »
This afternoon I wired these four large buttons to my midi encoder.  Their function has been assigned the job of the four variations of the arranger.  Really easy to access whilst playing, even without thinking about it. These four buttons are original buttons in this console.  Slowly, I am making some progress.

Offline Dan

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 05:31:19 PM »
Nice.

Will see what can be done for the split on the bottom kb

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 08:34:44 AM »
Thank you Dan.

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2018, 03:42:58 PM »
I forgot to report back earlier.  In the beginning I used Asio4All with the LattePanda and my USB soundcard.  When I loaded the VB3, the sound was terrible.  I then discovered that if I use WASAPI driver, I don't need to adjust latency or anything, and the sound quality of both vArranger2 and VB3 working together, is absolutely perfect, with no distortion, stuttering (sound breaking up) no problems.

Offline Dan

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 04:01:49 PM »
Yes. I recommend to try in this order : first ASIO from manufacturer if available and working OK, then WASAPI if working OK, then ASIO4ALL

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2018, 02:11:16 PM »
I am slowly making some progress.  I have cleaned the old Rhytm section buttons of my Yamaha console, that is now my vArranger2 console.  I can re-use these buttons, I can disable the locking of buttons very simply, so they change from toggle switches, to momentary switches.  Each button you see (there are 14) has 6 change-over switches, but after my modification, they will have 6 momentary normally open switches.  But, one button only needs one switch, so 5 will be unused per botton.   I will just create new labels on the surface of the organ, to show the new functions of the buttons.  Perhaps not everybody will like doing this, but I love doing this.  It took me over 2 hours to clean the switches.  Tomorrow, I can start putting on dioes and wires.

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2018, 04:03:34 PM »
And finally, my Hammond E100 drawbars, will also be added to vArranger.  I hope to control the VB3 directly from this set of drawbars.  This is a dream come true for me.  All the sliders, rotary faders, and momentary switches for this project has cost me about €300. With all the money I have spent on this project, I could have bought mid Korg, Yamaha, or Roland arranger keyboard.  But I will not have had the pleasure of having exactly the instrument that I want to have.

There are a few more original organ switches that I will be using, like the original expression pedal inside the organ. In South Africa, we can buy old Yamaha organ for about €70 to €75 in the second hand market.  I will try to get another one, one which has 2 manuals of 61 notes, then I will use those manuals instead, and will also use most rhytm buttons as well, but all in the current project.

Photo shows some drawbars and other controls that I already have and will install this week, I hope.

Offline Dan

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2018, 04:10:25 PM »
Great progress. I am too building a synth for vArranger. Playing on a personal creation has no price :)

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2018, 04:11:51 PM »
Will you please show your creation too please Dan, if you don't mind.  Perhaps, I can get a new idea, if I look at what you are doing.   :)

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2018, 06:10:37 PM »
For now, I have a good Fatar 61 keys, taken from another synth and pitch bend/ modulation wheels
I have this compact compute under the keys  with fast SSD and 32GB RAM
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc/kits/nuc6i7kyk.html

I have this compact audio card on the side
https://www.roland.com/global/products/mobile_ua/

I have a 7inch HDMI touch screen

I did the electronic reading myself and I am happy about the velocity curve better than most keyboard I have tried

For now I use a Korg Nanokontrol 2

The prototype is in simple wood. It is not finish yet... Will post few pictures

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2018, 06:40:55 PM »
That sounds great, you have a very powerful computer in your project.  But I am really happy with my LattePanda, for me, this is a miracle. 

My 'other ' console, has a complete intel i7 computer built into it, with 2 touch screens, and a 5 disk RAID, and 16 Gig RAM.  It has a 10 channel audio card, with 10 audio channels, and I have installed 5 subwoofers.  But this is not a practical organ for vArranger, because, there are too many audio channels and too many speakers.  On this console, I run virtual pipe organ software, and if I may mention it, it is called Hauptwerk. I prefer this smaller project I am working on for vArranger, it is such a surprised to hear such wonderful sounds, comming out of a 40 year old organ.  My family and friends will be really surprised about what they hear - the sound is usual for very expensive arranger keyboards only.  I have 2 Yamaha arranger keyboards, both are really babies, they are the same ones, PSR 295.  But when I got them, they sounded spectacular.  Now, vArranger surpasses even that with all the styles, and the possibility of adding additional sounds, and also using the XG Lite sounds, built into the Yamaha PSR 295.

Thank you Dan, this software you made, is worth every cent I paid for it.

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2018, 08:26:16 AM »
Today, I completed the planning of button placement on my Yamaha organ, to control VA.

I will be keeping 30 original Yamaha switches in the organ, but wiring them to do new functions, especially for vArranger. For now, I will not be adding LED's to some switches - perhaps later.  I have a MIDI decoder that can do LED's for me.

In the photograph, the switches are all placed upside down, but on exactly the right position they will appear.  I need to put one diode on each switch, then connect to ribbon cable, and then plug into MIDI encoder.

When this is done, I have to start building the place where the Hammond drawbars will be installed, together with the track selection knobs and buttons, for each vArranger channel. These controls will all be placed above the upper manual.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 08:34:23 AM by sweetbb »

Offline momboc

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2018, 11:38:21 PM »
Good work. Very interesting.

I'm planning to do something similar, except I am using an old Hammond Aurora as the cabinet/base.

I intend to use the guts from a couple of Edirol (aka Roland) PCR 800's MIDI controllers to replace the non velocity Hammond keybeds and provide the control surface. I'll reuse the Hammond 13 note pedalboard teamed up with a MIDI Boutique encoder.  This will make it into a MIDI controller, for use with vArranger, that has a spinet Organ form factor.

At this stage I'll use an external PC - but I will mount a touchscreen to the left of the Hammond's music rest.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 11:57:43 PM by momboc »

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2018, 06:29:54 AM »
My first console, was my converted Hammond E100 with 25 pedals, and 2 X 61 note manuals.

I use this console for my VPO using Hauptwerk, for playing classical and such music.  It ha 5 amplifiers, 5 subwoofers, and 10 audio channels - rr to much for VA.  That is why I decided to make a smaller organ.  I don't really need 61 notes / manual for this type of music that I play on VA.  It is a great solution.

Offline momboc

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2018, 06:49:14 AM »
This is my current setup for vArranger and virtual organ.

The keyboard controllers are what I am going to fit into the Aurora cabinet.

I also have a Hammond Concorde (console sized) for future MIDIfication.

« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 06:52:06 AM by momboc »

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2018, 07:30:07 AM »
Wow.  That looks great, and very portable. In my current VA project, I am installing a Yamaha PSR 295 arranger keyboard.  I was unsure what to do, but I have to put it in.  The reason is, I had to cut up the Yamaha PSR 295 with a small grinder, in order to make it fit inside the spinet organ.  I can do nothing else with it.  The reason I want to install it in the first place, is because it has some beautiful XG Lite sounds, and of course, my old Yamaha Electone spinet, does not have velocity sensitive keys, but by adding the PSR 295, I get a 61 note manual with velocity sensitive keys.  for me, it is the best of all worlds.  So although it is still only a spinet organ, it will have 3 manuals for VA, as I have grown used to playing VA. I will not use any arranger functions of the PRS295, only the midi keyboard, and the XGLite sounds, and nothing else.

I was really unsure of where to put the PSR 295 manual. In the beginning, I planned to put it as the top of 3 manuals.  Then I thought I would put it as the bottom of three.  This is where it will stay, as the bottom manual of three.  I will move the existing two manuals up, and install the PSR 295 as the bottom manual.

Portability is no issue for me, becasue, I use my VA only to entertain myself, family, and friends.  I never take it anywhere.

This weekend, I will be soldering a lot of diodes and wires, and connecting them to my Midi Boutique encoder.  I look forward to the work very much, it is really satisfying.

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2018, 04:51:37 PM »
Today I got my part back with drilled holes.  I've fitted the switches, but need to put diodes on, and ribbon cable, then I can plug it into the midi encoder.

On the photo you can see all the switches in place.  There are 14 switches in two rows, they are pre-existing Yamaha switches, that were used to select the rhythm.  I am using them for something else.  To the right of them, are two black switches - also original Yamaha switches, I will also use them for something else.

This panel sits next to the upper keyboard.  On the Yamaha organs that I grew up using and loving, this is where the rhythm section was always located.  So, I have put all the arranger functions there as well, of vArranger.

Green buttons are for Intro, blue buttons are for Fill In, and red buttons are for Ending.  Silver buttons are for Tempo, the reg round button is for Start/Stop, and so on.  Colour coding will help me play easier, as I have not got LED's with the switches yet either.

This old Yamaha organ, is now running on Super Steroids!

« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 04:54:21 PM by sweetbb »

Offline momboc

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2018, 09:09:37 PM »
Interesting to watch this progress

Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2018, 05:10:27 PM »
I've done a bit of work.  First I tried it painting the woodwork black, using chalk paint.  It was a disaster, and I took it off again.

Because I cannot write so small, I will probably paint the organ panels white tomorrow.  Then my label label machine labels will not be so terrible on the wood background, it will perhaps look better on white background, then the label itself will not be so visible.   What do you think?  I cannot find transfer decal of the alphabet in South Africa, where I live.


Offline sweetbb

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Re: vArranger and Latte Panda
« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2018, 06:31:24 PM »
I've been quite busy the last couple of days.  I've looked for ways to add labels onto the organ console, so that I know what each button does.  My solution was to use Artline 444XF Paint Marker.  They are available in white, silver, gold - possibly other colours too.  I made some labels as you can see, but the solution was short lived.  These pens are expensive, and with each pen, I can only write about 40 characters, and then the pen becomes unusable - so that solution will not work for me.  I cannot pay 4 Euro for a pen that will only write 40 letters. 

I will use Brother label printer to mark my other buttons. It is not the best solution, but it is the best that I can find.  I cannot find any dry transfer alphabet decals in our shops, but years ago, we had them in our shops.
I've started sanding down the body of the organ, it is a big job, because I don't want to use machine to sand it down.  The reason is because it is laminated wood, I have to work very lightly, so that I do not damage the laminate.  When done, I will spray clear coat on to make it look as good as new.

The tables will also be used again.  I need to find a way to put a new label on the tablet.  The tablets are not momentary, but because it is only me that will play this instrument, I will not to always manually make quick movement with the tablets, so that assigned functions will work correctly.

Next, I need to start installing the faceplate with all the faders and Hammond drawbars, above the upper manual.  I am looking forward to finishing this project, so that I can concentrate on playing much more.