This is part 2 of our exploration of some of the lesser known features of a Classic System. We have already looked at MIDI Level Select, Key Locks, and a few others, but there is simply too many to cover in a single blog post, so lets keep going.
Ventils: You are probably already familiar with ventils being used to disable a group of stops, did you know they can also be used to turn on another group of stops at the same time? For example, "Antiphonal Off, Reeds On". Ventils can be on pistons or drawknobs and can be turned off by the General Cancel. A mistake many people make when setting up a ventil on their console is, even if the ventil isn't going to be turning anything on, you still have to tell the computer not to turn anything on, otherwise the software gets confused. Instructions on how to do this are in the Organist's Reference Manual.
Lighted Generals and Divisionals: Yes, the combo action pistons can be lit. These will show what piston was last pressed.
Pizzicato Coupler: This is a regular coupler except it is momentary. How long the coupler is active can be adjusted.
Sostenuto: This is a momentary active toe stud which causes all notes that are ON when the toe stud is first pressed to sustain until the toe stud is released. Any notes that are played after the toe stud is first pressed (even if it is still pressed) will not sustain. It typically only affects the Great, but can be programmed to affect other manuals.
Sustain: This momentary toe stud will sustain any notes played after the toe stud is pressed.
MIDI Sustain: This is similar to the Sustain feature. When the toestud is pressed, a sustain command is sent out via the Expander output on all MIDI channels. All MIDI-stops which are ON at the time will respond, if sustain is appropriate to the voice.
MIDI Expression on Crescendo: it possible to use the Crescendo pedal as a MIDI-stop expression pedal. Normally, MIDI-stops are under control of the expression shoe for the division to which they belong. If this function is turned ON, the normal use of the Crescendo shoe is suspended so that it may instead be used to control the volume of all MIDI-stops on the organ.
Console Backup: Using a MIDI connection to a laptop computer running Organ Assistant, all Combination Action, Registration Sequencer, Crescendo Registrations, MIDI Stop Memory, and Organ Configurations can be a saved, just in case of something light a lighting strike or some other catastrophic event.
Soft Switches: Several standard items can be configured by the organist or organ builder such as whether or not the MIDI stops are non-coupling, and if SFZs are accumulative. However there are several unused soft switches which can be customized for your job. For example, if you currently have a stop using MIDI, but in the future a physical set of pipes will be installed, we can make a soft switch available so you can switch over without a program update.
SFZ/Bargraph: An indicator light should always be provided for the SFZ(s), in most cases this is a lit piston or an independent indicator light. However, if you have a Crescendo bargraph we can provide a multi-colour bargraph and use the top 3 red segments as the SFZ indicator.
That's it for now. Often when we get a new feature it's because a builder has requested something special and we just add it to the master software. So if we get anything new, I will let you know.