My Organ Family
For those who are especially interested in all things technical.
"Miz Dixie"
Allen R-311 Digital Theatre Organ
Hammond A-102
Hammond ExtraVoice F-100
Conn Theatrette 580
Roland Atelier AT-30
19th Century Estey Pump Organ

My Allen R-311 Digital Theatre Organ
My "Miz Dixie" Allen R-311 Digital Theatre Organ is a first generation Renaissance instrument, which has had all the technical upgrades available.  I have the DOVE software program that allows me, with a lap-top computer,  to voice and finish the instrument.  After 5 years of trial and error voicing I think this organ has a  tone second to none.  As you will see I have added an additional sound module and a digital grand piano, as well as Burl Updyke's Digital Toy Counter.

R-311 Stop Specification
16 Ophicleide
16 Diaphone
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Violone
8 English Post Horn
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Flute
Accompaniment to Pedal
MIDI On Pedal
Bass Drum
Tap Cymbal (Brush)

[Transmitting on MIDI Channel 2]

6 Toe Studs are associated with the pedal stops.  However, 1 through 4 I have rewired for the Digital Toy Counter. (See Toe Stud Effects in the General column.)

Pedal Divisional Toe studs 5 & 6 affect the voice selection of the Pedal division of the Allen
Ensemble Module, line 4, A & B.
8 English Post Horn
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Violins 2 ranks
8 Concert Flute
8 Vox Humana
4 Octave
4 Piccolo
4 Violins 2 ranks
4 Concert Flute
4 Vox Humana
Chrysoglott (Wood Harp)
Snare Drum
Tom Tom (Castanets)
Cow Bell (Wood Block)
Hi-Hat (Tambourine)
Tap Cymbal (Brush)
Alternate Traps
Accomp Traps 2nd Touch
MIDI On Accomp.

[Transmitting on MIDI Channel 3]

The 6 Accompaniment Divisional Pistons are associated with the Accompaniment stops.  They have been programmed to also affect the Pedal Division Stops.

The Accompaniment Divisional Pistons 1 though 6 affect the stops, and voice selection of line 3, A & B, Channel 3, of the Allen Ensemble Module for the Accompaniment,  and the 2nd touch, line 4, channel 5 division of the Allen Expander II.

8 English Post Horn
8 Tuba Horn
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
Sub-Chrysoglott (S. Wood Harp)
Great Octave
Solo Unison
MIDI On Acc 2nd Tch

[Transmitting on MIDI Channel 5]

The 6 Divisional Pistons associated with the Accompaniment stops normally activate the 2nd touch

Accomp pistons affect line 4, MIDI channel 5, of the Allen Expander II which is the "MIDI on 2nd Touch" stop.   .
16 English Post Horn
16 Tuba Horn
16 Diaphone
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Orchestral Oboe
16 Violins 2 ranks
16 Vox Humana
8 English Post Horn
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Violins 2 ranks
8 Concert Flute
8 Vox Humana
5 1/3 Fifth (Tibia)
4 Octave
4 Piccolo
4 Violins 2 ranks
2 2/3 Twelfth  (Tibia)
2 Piccolo
1 Fife (Flute)
Solo To Great
MIDI On Great
8 Grand Piano (Great only)
8 Grand Piano (All Divisions)

[Transmitting on MIDI Channel 1]

Great Divisional Pistons 1 though 6 affect the voice selection of line 2, A & B of the Allen Ensemble, and lines 2 & 3 of the Allen Expander II, all of which are receiving on MIDI channel 1.
16 English Post Horn
16 Tuba Horn
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Vox Humana
8 English Post Horn
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Violins 2 ranks
8 Vox Humana
4 Piccolo
2 2/3 Twelfth  (Tibia)
2 Piccolo
1 3/5 Tierce  (Tibia)
Sub-Chrysoglott (S.Wood Harp)
Cathedral Chimes
MIDI On Solo

[Transmitting on MIDI Channel 4]

Solo Divisional Pistons 1 though 6 affect the voice selection of line 1, A & B of the Allen Ensemble, Channel 4, and line 1 of the MDS Expander Module.
There are 10 General pistons that affect all stops and MIDI.

There are 6 Divisional pistons each for the Solo, Great, Accomp, and Pedal.

There are 2 traps pistons (T1, T2) which affect all traps effects, the Alternate Traps stop, the Accomp. Traps 2nd Touch stop, as well as the Accompaniment to Pedal stop.

There are 8 Capture Action Piston memories selectable by the Console Controller.  (Total of 80 General presets, and 48 for the divisional presets.)

All pistons can be reconfigured as Divisionals or Generals using the Console Controller.

There is an "R" recall piston which re-registers (recalls) the registration of the last piston engaged.

There is a Sostenuto toe switch on the right side of the Solo swell shoe.

Melody Coupler
Master Expression
Acc Violins>Dolce Erzahlers
Chrysoglott>Wood Harp
Great Sostenuto (toe Switch)

Main Tremulant
Oboe/Tuba Tremulant
Tibia/Vox Tremulant

Persian Cymbal (Rolled Cymbal)
Cymbal Crash (fff)
Bell Tree I (slow-descending)
Splash Cymbal
Bell Tree II (MIDI Ensemble Pedal  Effect)
Battery (MIDI Ensemble Pedal Effect)

Chinese Gong
Zing (Bell Tree Up Quick)
Temple Block
Zills (Finger Cymbals)
Bird Song (short sequence)
Zimbelstern (continuous loop)
Surf Effect (continuous sequence)
Police Siren
Police Whistle
Klaxon Auto Horn
Whoopee Whistle
Jinglebells (continuous loop)
Shuffle Tap Dancer (continuous loop)
Quicktime Tap Dancer (cont. loop)


Allen Ensemble
(Built in drawer mounted module)
Grand Piano 1
Bright Piano 2
Electric Grand Piano 3
Octave Piano 16'- 4'
Piano 16'
Honky-Tonk Piano
Electric Piano 1
Electric Piano 2
Harpsichord 8'- 4'
Harpsichord 16'-8'

Vibraharp B
Orchestral Bells
Music Box
Wood Harp 8'
Wood Harp 4'
Tubular Bells

Octave Violin
Cello Ensemble
Tremolo Strings
Pizzicato Strings
Chamber String Ensemble
String Ensemble 1
String Ensemble 2
Synthetic Strings 1
Synthetic Strings 2
Choir Aahs
Voice Oohs

Orchestral Harp
Acoustic Nylon String Guitar
Acoustic Steel String Guitar
Jazz Electric Guitar
Clean Electric Guitar
Muted Electric Guitar
Overdriven Electric Guitar
Distortion Electric Guitar
Guitar Harmonics
Acoustic Bass
Finger Bass
Picked Bass
Fretless Bass
Slap Bass 1
Slap Bass 2
Synthesizer Bass 1
Synthesizer Bass 2

32' Posaune Bombarde
16' Post Horn
16' Posaune
16' Tuba
16' Contre Trompette
16' Clarinet
16' Clarinet w/Trem
16' Dulzian
16' Rankett
16' Musette
16' Musette w/Trem
16' Vox Humana - A
16' Vox Humana - B
8' Spanish Trumpet
8' Post Horn
8' Tuba
8' Trumpet
8' Trumpet w/Trem
8' Trompette
8' Cromorne
8' Cromorne w/Trem
8' Rankett
8' Musette
8' Musette w/Trem
8' Krumet
8' Krumet w/Trem
8' Cor Anglais
8' Cor Anglais w/Trem
8' French Horn
8' French Horn w/Trem
8' Clarinet
8' Clarinet w/Trem
8' Rohrschalmei
8' Rohrschalmei w/Trem
8' Vox Humana - A
8' Vox Humana - B
4' Klarine
4' Clairon
4' Rohrschalmei
4' Rohrschalmei w/Trem
2' Zink

Brass Ensemble
Brass Section
Synthesizer Brass 1
Synthesizer Brass 2
Orchestral Trumpet
Orchestral Tuba
Orchestral Muted Trumpet
Orchestral French Horn
Orchestral Soprano Sax
Orchestral Alto Sax
OrchestralTenor Sax
Orchestral Baritone Sax
Orchestral Oboe
Orchestral English Horn
Orchestral Bassoon
Orchestral Clarinet
Orchestral Piccolo
Orchestral Flute
Pan Flute
32' Violone
16' Diapason
16' Diaphone
16' Gamba
16' Bourdon
16' Quintaden
10-2/3' Gross Quint
8' Principal
8' Principal w/Trem
8' English Diapason
8' English Diapason w/Trem
8' Bourdon
8' Bourdon w/Trem
8' Quintadena
8' Quintadena w/Trem
8' Gedackt
8' Gedackt w/Trem
8' Harmonic Flute
8' Harmonic Flute w/Trem
8' Viole Celeste
8' Flute Celeste
8' Dulciana Celeste
5-1/3' Principal Quinte
5-1/3' Flute Quint
4' Octave
4' English Octave
4' Harmonic Flute
4' Harmonic Flute w/Trem
4' Viole
4' Viole w/Trem
2' Piccolo
1-1/3' Larigot
1-1/7' Septieme
1' Fife
Zimbel III
Cymbale III
Mixture IV
Grand Mixture IV
Sesquialtera II
Sesquialtera II w/Trem
Cornet V
Cornet V w/Trem

8'- 4' Flute
8'- 4' Flute w/Trem
8'- 2' Flute
Organ Registration - MF
Organ Registration - F
Organ Registration - FF
Organ Registration - FFF
Tibia Clausa 8'
Tibia/Vox Humana 8'
Tibia/Vox Humana 8'- 4'
Tibia Chorus 16'- 8'- 4'
Drawbar Organ
Percussive Organ
Rock Organ
Church Organ
Reed Organ

Steel Drums
Taiko Drum
Melodic Tom
Synthesizer Drum
Reverse Cymbal
Snare Roll
Cymbal Roll
Crash Cymbal
Bell Tree

Lead 1 Square Wave
Lead 2 Sawtooth Wave
Lead 3 Calliope
Lead 4 Chiff
Lead 5 Charang
Lead 6 Synthesizer Voice
Lead 7 Synthesizer Fifths
Lead 8 Bass + Lead
Pad 1 Fantasia
Pad 2 Warm Synthesizer
Pad 3 Polysynth
Pad 4 Choir Synthesizer
Pad 5 Bowed Synthesizer
Pad 6 Metallic Synthesizer
Pad 7 Halo Synthesizer
Pad 8 Sweep Synthesizer
Soundtrack Synthesizer
Guitar Fret Noise
Breath Noise
Sci-Fi Synthesizer
Synthesizer Voice
Orchestral Hit

Bag Pipe Drone/Chanter
French Accordion
Tango Accordion
Blown Bottle
Agogo Bells
Tinkle Bells
Crystal Bells
Bird Tweet
Telephone Ring

Allen Ensemble
MIDI Implementation
Line 1 A & B--------------------------->
Line 2 A & B--------------------------->
Line 3 A & B--------------------------->
Line 4 A & B--------------------------->
MIDI Channel 4 = Solo A & B (Two voices)
MIDI Channel 1 = Great A & B  (Two voices)
MIDI Channel 3 = Accompaniment A & B  (Two voices)
MIDI Channel 2 = Pedal A & B  (Two voices)

Allen MDS Expander II
(Organ top module)
01  MIDI Off
02  Harpsichord 8 & 4
03  Harpsichord 16 & 8
04  Lute
05  Harp
06  Celesta
07  Music Box
08  Handbells
09  Arco Strings
10  Choir
11  Piano 16
12  Piano 8
13  String Bass
14  Electric Piano
15  Elect Bass/Elect Piano  
16  Chrysoglott
17  Chimes
18  Cast Bells
19  Zimbal III
20  Cymbale III
21  Mixture IV-A
22  Mixture IV-B
23  Grand Mixture IV
24  Fife 1
25  Septieme 1 1/7
26  Quintflöte 1 1/3
27  Sesquialtera II
28  Principal Sesquialtera II
29  Principal 5 1/3
30  Quint 5 1/3
31  Viole 4
32  Harmonic Flute 4
33  Harmonic Flute 8
34  Gedackt 8A
35  Gedackt 8B
36  Flute 8 & 4
37  Flute 8 & 2
38  Quintadena 8
39  Principal 8
40  Principal 10 2/3
41 Gross Quint 10 2/3
42  Bourdon 16
43  Gedackt 16
44  Quintdena 16
45  Principal 16
46  Klarine 4
47  Clarion 4
48  Rohrshalmei 4
49  Rohrshalmei 8
50  Barpfeife 8  

The Allen Ensemble is drawer mounted in the organ and is integrated into the organ audio, as is the DTC (Digital Toy Counter.)

The Allen MDS Expander II has it's own 2 channel amplifier and speakers:
4 Sansui 1600 Speakers (2 per channel,) 1 presence projector for each channel, and a right and left elevation of large CONN speaker pipes on separate channels.  It is expressed through MIDI data transmission and it has it's own Alesis reverb unit.

51  Musette 8
52  Cromorne 8
53  Krumet 8
54  Rankett 8
55  Vox Humana 8A
56  Vox Humana 8B
57  Hautbois 8
58  English Horn 8
59  French Horn 8
60  Clarinet 8
61  Tuba 8
62  Trumpet 8
63  Trompette 8
64  Spanish Trumpet 8
65  Posthorn 8
66  Musette 16
67  Basson 16
68  Dulzian 16
69  Clarinet 16
70  Rankett 16
71  Diaphone 16
72  Trumpet 16
73  Trompette 16
74  Tuba 16
75  Posthorn 16
76  Electric Organ 1
77  Electric Organ 2
78  Electric Organ 3
79  Orchestral Piccolo
80  Orchestral Flute
81  Solo Violin
82  Octave Violin
83  Cello A
84  Cello B
85  Orchestral Clarinet
86  Orchestral Oboe
87  Orchestral Bassoon
88  Orchestral French Horn
89  Brass Ensemble
90  Bugle
91  Orchestral Trumpet
92  Wood Harp 4
93  Wood Harp 8
94  Marimba
95  Vibes
96  Glockenspiel
97  Orchestral Bells
98  Xylophone
99  Sub Xylophone
100 Tympani                  

A Yamaha Digital Stage Grand Piano is also MIDI-ed to the organ and is independently switchable to play either from the Great only or from all keyboards and pedal. It has it's own audio.

An Updyke Digital Toy Counter is integrated into the organ, and is played from a button bar mounted  just under the music desk, and from the first 4 Pedal Toe Studs.  This is a total of 18 effects on the button bar, and 4 more on the Pedal toestuds.  It's audio is routed through the Allen Expander II's natural connection to the organ audio with piggy back plugs. Toy Counter Effects are easily changed by downloading Mp3 FX files to a compact Flash Card provided with the unit.  (These effects can be found on-line.)

Allen MDS Expander II
MIDI Implementation
Line 1----------------------------------->
Line 2----------------------------------->
Line 3----------------------------------->
Line 4----------------------------------->
MIDI Channel 4 = Solo
MIDI Channel 1 = Great
MIDI Channel 1 = Great
MIDI Channel 5 = Accomp 2nd Touch
With the two MIDI Modules configured as described above:
 There are three voices available for the SOLO Manual; one from the MDS Expander II, line one, and two from the Ensemble A & B, line one A&B, activated by the "MIDI on Solo" stop.
 Four voices are available for the GREAT Manual; two from the MDS Expander II lines 2 & 3, and two from the Ensemble, line two A & B, activated by the "MIDI on Great" stop.
 There are two voices available for the ACCOMPANIMENT Manual  from the Ensemble,  line three A & B, activated by the "MIDI on Accomp" stop;
And one voice for the ACCOMP 2nd TOUCH from the MDS Expander II, line 4 set to receive MIDI channel 5, activated by the "MIDI on Accomp 2nd Touch" stop.
 There are two voices available for the PEDALS from the Ensemble, line four A & B, activated by the "MIDI on Pedal" stop.

All of these module voices can be captured and selected by the Divisional and General Capture Action Pistons, which makes  them completely versatile in practical use.
The organ speaks through 3 HC-14s per-channel (total of 6.) The console speakers provide a monitor function only (very low volume,) and maybe switched on/off.  The HC-14 speakers are placed at either end of the music room, some 30 feet apart in a left main chamber enclosure and a right solo chamber enclosure.  The MDS Expander II Pipes and speakers (with independent 2 channel amplifier and Alesis stereo reverb) are placed immediately behind the console, much as a "positif" installation would be, which means that sound surrounds the listener from every direction.  No special bass speakers are used as they are not needed -- the HC-14s handle the 32' Posaune, 32' Violone, and 10-2/3 Gross Quint Resultant very well.  I can't keep the pictures on the walls straight as it is!
Allen Digital Theatre Organs are widely acclaimed for their accuracy in reproducing the authentic sound of the theatre pipe organ. These organs start with the finest theatre pipe organ samples, including the attack, steady state, and decay.  When combined with authentic digitally sampled theatre organ tremulants, this creates a magnificent ensemble that is unmatched.  Allen organs are made in the USA and are the standard for quality craftmanship.  Click on the Allen Home button to visit the Allen Organ webpage.
Digital Toy Counter
The Digital Toy Counter was developed by Burl Updyke, inventor and Theatre Organ enthusiast, to provide those fun sounds that make a theatre organ come to life. Made of the highest quality materials, and utilizing the latest technology, the DTC is easily attached to most organs.  To find out more click on the pic. <<<<
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Miz Dixie in her natural environment.
Since Miz Dixie has established herself
as the ruling Queen of the house there have
been some additions to her family:

Frenchy and Buddy

FIRST there came an addition given by a local church, who decided that the beast that languished for 30 years in a utility closet needed to be carted away somewhere (they were thinking about the local landfill.)  Well, they asked me if I wanted it before it was hauled away.  I took one look at it and knew there was a diamond under the spattered paint and plaster and grease.  He came home with me where I cleaned him up, oiled him up, fixed a few minor problems, and added a Leslie Speaker.  Now "Frenchy," a 1962 Hammond A-102 in French Provincial, is part of the family. That's his good friend, Buddy, on the right, a Hammond F-100 Extravoice, topped with a Hammond Auto-Vari 64 Rhythm Unit.  Buddy and the AV64 were low cost eBay aquisitions.

My organ tech, Mr. Bill LeVey, is an expert on Hammond Organ repair and modification.  He rewired the vibrato generator so that I can add Vibrato Celeste, a feature found in much later vintage organs.  It is switchable from the repurposed "Normal/Soft" switch, a fair trade in function.  Also, Bill was able to expand the percussion feature to have preset voices: Chrysoglott, Guitar and Banjo.  They are acessed through the reverse color upper preset keys.


THERE must have been some magic in the air with Frenchy in the house.  Up for adoption at a crazy low price on eBay, was an instrument that I have wanted since I was an organ crazy kid.  I used to regularly go to the Nice House of Music here in Jacksonville, just to "visit" the organs. (I'm sure I drove them crazy.)  One day there was a 3 manual Conn organ that was "just my size" and I played it every chance I got.  I wanted one so bad I could taste it!  "Babe" is a Conn 580 Theatrette organ, and she is a blast from my past and I very much enjoy playing her!  I called her "Babe" because she looks like the baby daughter of the Allen R-311!

I've had a slight modification made to this organ.  I had Bill, my tech friend, install a "Channels Reverse" Leslie switch so that I could play Tibia tones from the stationary speakers and Reeds, Strings, and Diapasons, from the Leslie speaker.  The reason for this is to make use of the Tibia and sustain, which create beautiful bell tones when on the stationary speakers, and to have tremolo on the other voices for accompaniment. The strings sound heavenly through the Leslie Celeste!


THEN came yet another eBay surprise!  A dear lady put her late mother's Roland Atelier AT-30 up for bids.  I made a really ridiculously low bid and, much to my astonishment, I won it.  "Telly" is great fun to play and is quite versatile inspite of his small size.  Because he comes apart and is easy to transport, he frequently goes "on the road"  with me to play gigs.


Although Telly has lots of prescored accompaniment backgrounds, I find I don't use them very often, though I do use the drum rhythms occasionally.  The wonderful thing about this organ is the individual instrumental sounds, which include excellent "Tonewheel" type patches and really good Theatre Organ ensembles.  The icing on this cake is the extended lower keyboard with it's own piano sustain pedal.  
EVERY spinet organ should be made this way.


No family is complete without a grand parent to coddle and spoil the young'uns.
GRANNY came to live in the house from an estate sale.  She was forgotten and shoved into a dusty a corner and she sold cheap, but she has a place of honor in this organ household.  Granny is a 19th century Victorian Estey pump organ.  She doesn't work well, but that's ok because she's retired!

Though Granny is old, one can get a decent sound from her, if you can pedal hard and fast enough to fill the leaky bellows.  One day she'll get patched bellows and a nice electric blower; but for now she looks classy and quaint.