A ‘Twinset Organ’ is a relatively new term in the organ world it means configuring one of the latest arranger keyboards to be used as an organ setup, typically with bass pedals and lower manual.
This is often done with a ‘dummy’ keyboard and standalone set of midi bass pedals communication being via the standard midi ports.
Another way of achieving a Twinset organ is to by connecting a dedicated home organ to an arranger via its midi ports, here I show you what I have done with my Orla Grande Theatre and my Pa900 keyboard but similar things can be done with any modern keyboard and organ, though some may be more or less suitable depending on midi specs, the Orla and Korg Work seemlessly after some one-time configuration work!
Sheet Music Display
I used a Korg pa900 keyboard partly because I wanted to control the Twinset from my iPad Pro (I have the larger screen size, which is much better for displaying sheet music). The application I use is the ever popular Somgbook+ application which works with the Korg Pa Songbook facility and the Yamaha Tyros Registration System, the Korg is very easy to setup the tyros slightly more cumbersome but I have heard that the latest Yamaha Genos is even better than a Korg, but at 5 times the price of my pa900 I won’t be changing soon!
Another BIGGGG advantage of the Songbook+ app is you can annotate the digitised sheet music with customised midi controller buttons…. yes that’s right no need for a separate midi controller! I used the iPad to display the music at the click of a button, bring up the the correct sounds and styles and also have buttons configured to remotely control the keyboard…. I can change style variations and one touch settings etc by clicking virtual buttons on my sheet music. Songbook+ has made it easy to copy and paste whole sets of buttons to a page.
so the iPad sits on the organ music rest, I search the iPad for a tune to play it brings up the sheet music and away I go.
Midi out for keyboard goes to midi in on organ. L and R 3/4” mono jacks are used out form keyboard to in on organ.
1 Orla Organ Configurations
Not much needs to be done!
First I set the ‘Power Up’ to Last p38 user manual, and set the touch sensitivity to 1 (and ensure touch sensitive button is on).
The only other to do is click all conductor buttons and set all volumes for each conductor channel to zero, (as we probably don’t want to mix organ sounds with keyboard at least at this stage). This can then be saved to an OVP.
One great thing about the Orla is that it has 3 channels for upper and 1 for lower which coincidentally matches the keyboard therefore you can even use the organs conductor to conduct the preset keyboard voices!
2 KORG PA900 CONFIGURATIONS
Clicking global-midi and then midi-in it is easy to pair up the channels of the organ conductor channels to the appropriate keyboard section.
We also have to configure the lower manual of the organ to trigger chords for the auto accompaniment. All controller midi events eg volume on organ swell and the organ’s sustain pedal are also matched to the keyboards control channel. Finally set style ‘Memory’ button to ON, and Synchro Stsrt ON, we also use the Pa900s midi filter for each channel to filter out all midi controller changes (this ensures any volume changes on the organ conductor instruments has no effect on keyboard volumes for the respective instruments).
Finally I save to ‘My Setting’ so on power up everything is always ready as before.
IN PRACTICAL Use
I sit at the keyboard and create songbook entries and set up the songbook to call up the correct sheet music (photographed from a sheet music page) I then only have to annotate the sheet music once for each page with the group of buttons corresponding to the style controlling buttons on the keyboard (eg var1-4 and intro/endings etc), it is then ready to play from the organ, I just place iPad on music rest select the music and play, controlling the keyboard remotely using the controller buttons on the sheet music!
So far this works seamlessly! With the added bonus that the Orla Magic `chord OMC (which is similar to technicord on technics, magic genie on lowreys wersichord on wersi etc) works great!