New stepper system for pipe organs
With the new system, most organs can be equipped with brand new stepper system without much effort. The system provides all common stepper functionalities and enables some new approaches for registration pre-programming.
Contrary to all console integrated steppers, the new system runs on a Linux notebook with a graphical user interface. This means: programming the combinations is no longer done at the organ console but on the notebook. There you can switch each stop on and off, save your stop combinations, create and save sequences for individual music pieces, save them into the file system of the notebook (and organize them for easy lookup in your preferred way) and combine several sequences together to a new sequence (e.g. if you want to play several pieces for a concert and just cycle through this combined sequence during your concert).
You have a lot of editing tools for your sequences, such as the insertion of additional steps, the overwriting of existing steps, deletion, copy/paste and even undo/redo. In each sequence the step numbering starts from 1 and has no upper limit. Therefore you don't need to worry anymore about available free space in this system. When your sequence is ready you can step through it using additionally installed +/- pistons or push buttons.
Apart from that, there are 5x5 separate combinations available which can be freely programmed. They are independent from the step sequences and are used mainly to store your favorite instant combinations, for example for use during services. These combinations can also be activated by additionally installed pistons or push buttons.
A big advantage of this system is that all your stored combinations are login protected. That means other users can't overwrite them. The number of possible users is not limited.
Another very interesting feature is that there is a preview mode where the stops in the organ are not switched when you select them in the user interface. This allows you to check or to modify all your settings without any noise, which can be quite useful just before or during a service.
The export of all your settings via USB stick is also possible. With the exported data and a Windows variant of the stepper programe you can review your combinations at your own PC. Modifications can be made or new sequences created and can later be re-imported into the Linux notebook at the organ.
The installation effort and the price for the system is quite low. Apart from the installation of some pistons and push buttons, the console isn't modified and can therefore be used without the new stepper system as before, which is important if your instrument is of historic interest.
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