The Registration Quick Step
Last year we did a new Maestro System for Timothy Easton Memorial Church in Toronto, included in the specs for this organ were 2 new ways to step through registrations, so it seems appropriate to go through the different ways you can now sequence through registrations.
Registration Sequencer (Original)
The Registration Sequencer is the original type of Sequencer available on a Classic system. The organist goes through and programs a series of registrations, this may include any stop, coupler, lighted push button etc, basically anything that can be set on a General piston. They can even save nothing on an individual stage, equivalent to pressing General Cancel. The organist can go back and delete registrations for the sequence, change any stage, or insert a new registration between already existing steps.
General Piston Sequencer
This is the type of sequencer seen more often on European organs, it's not as flexible as the Registration Sequencer, but organists are more familiar with this style of sequencer and we kept getting asked for it, so we made it available. With a General Piston Sequencer you step through the general pistons, when you reach the end of the available general pistons, the organ goes up 1 memory level and General 1 on the next memory level plays. With a General Piston Sequencer you can not insert or delete registrations between 2 already existing steps, as you are tied to the General pistons. If you realize you forgot a registration change between General 3 and 4 on Memory level 5, you can't just add it, you have to re-program every General piston from #4 on.
Any Piston Sequencer
This was added new with Timothy Eaton, it combines the Registration Sequencer and the General Piston Sequencer. The organist pre-programs a series of piston presses, these can be almost any piston on the console, ie Generals, Divisionals, General Cancel, Transposition, and Memory Level changes. These pistons do not have to be in sequential order and piston presses can be repeated. For example, you could have the following sequencer of piston presses programmed
Transpose Up 1
Memory Level Up 1
One thing to keep in mind when programming a sequence of piston presses, is that it is the piston press which is stored, not what the piston does. If the registration stored on General 5 is changed the sequencer activates General 5, not the registration that was previously stored in General 5. Another thing to keep in mind is memory changes. In the above example, if for some reason the organist had to back track down from the last piston press (General 2) the memory level would increase by 1, rather than go back to the Memory Level you are on when you start the sequencer. One way of getting around this is to 1) restate the Memory Level you are currently on, before going to the new Memory Level and 2) doing memory jumps, rather than stepping through memory. Thus, the above sequencer would then be:
Go to Memory 1
Go to Memory 2
The Any Piston Sequencer allow you to add or delete piston presses to the sequence, without disrupting the order of the piston presses, so looking at the above list, you can easily delete the Great 3, then add it again after the second General 5.
This was another new feature added with Timothy Eaton. On either side of a row of divisionals there is a - and a + piston (- to the left, + to the right). By pressing the - and + piston you can sequentially step through the divisional pistons between these two pistons. If these 2 pistons are on either side of the Great divisionals, you will step through the Great divisional piston only. If you want to step through the Swell pistons, you need - and + on either side of the Swell. You do not change memory levels. If there are 6 divisionals and the organ just activated divisional 6, further presses of the + piston will have no affect.
The 3 Sequencers (Registration, General Piston, and Any Piston) are available on both the Legacy and Maestro Systems. The Divisional Stepper is currently only available in Maestro, although if somebody really wants it, we could program it in Legacy. To use any of the 3 Sequencers you would have a Sequencer piston somewhere on the console, you then use soft-switches to select which type of sequencer you want to use. As soft-switches are configurable by the builder and organist, you can change your mind. All our systems have Up and Down pistons, when the Sequencer piston is active, the Up and Down pistons will step through the sequences. You also have the option of having Next and Last piston which can step through the sequences without the Sequencer piston being active. If you have Next and Last pistons, you still need the Sequencer piston, as you will use it while programming.
You do not have to have pistons dedicated to Next and Last. On some instruments there is a dedicated control (rocker tab, piston etc) which when active, changes a bunch of piston ie all numbered divisionals, to Next pistons. Other instruments, when the Sequencer is activated, Swell divisionals automatically become Next and Great divisional become Last.
The Divisional Stepper has no special programming, only the + and - to step through the divisionals. The divisionals are programmed normally.