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Console

Presentation

The Console view is the view that you get when you start a Napo app and which you use most of the time while playing the organ. Besides the organ-specific switches (stops and maybe couplers and tremulants) in the mid, it offers a volume control at the left and several buttons at the right. Whenever possible, the Console view is designed to resemble the stops board of the real organ console. As an example, look at the Console view of MenzelOrgan. This organ has five manual ranks, each divided in a bass and a diskant stop, a pedal rank, a tremulant and a coupler. Compare the Console view of the app (left) on an iPhone SE to Lars Palo's photo of the real stops board (right):

At the beginning you might find the visual discrimination between active and inactive stops to be difficult, but, like with a real instrument, this is a matter of practice. Furthermore, being the organist, you know and you hear which stops you have pulled, don't you? Anyway, you can select the console style Abstract in the Settings view, which makes it easier to identify active and inactive stops. For Pitea, for example, it looks like this:

Toggling authentic and abstract display mode is also and more easily possible by long-tapping the keyboard icon:

iOS: Here, there is also a menu entry for switching between full and quadrants display. The latter is useful in particular, but not only, for large organs on small screens, where the full display would not allow comfortably operating the stops. For comparison, at the left the full and at the right the quadrants display of Pitea on an iPhone SE:

In the quadrants display one can use swipe gestures to change quickly between the four sections, and toggling between full and quadrants display can be done by pinch gestures.

Volume slider

At the left side of the screen there is the general volume control slider. The fact that there is a dedicated volume control which does not affect the system volume deserves an explanation. There are several reasons for the existence of this control:

The volume can also be controlled via MIDI. You need to configure this functionality in the MIDI section of the Settings view. You will then see the Console view's volume slider move when you operate the external volume slider or swell pedal that you have linked to the general volume.

Furthermore, the background of the volume slider serves as a level display if you activate the corresponding option in the Settings view:

Control buttons

Before we explain the buttons at the right, let's talk about Napo's combination mechanism.

A combination is a set of switch settings (stops, couplers, tremulants) of the organ and allows for fast registration changes while playing. In Napo, combinations are ordered in combination banks. The intention is to create a combination bank for a piece of organ music and in this bank create combinations for the parts of this piece, in the ordering in which one would like to use them. Then, while playing the piece, one can tap a combination button on the screen or a suitable MIDI button to select the combination. Via MIDI it is also possible to step forwards or backwards through the combinations of a combination bank.

The number of combination banks and the number of combinations in a bank are not limited. Banks are identified by a name and offered in alphabetical ordering. Combinations have names, too, but these do not need to be unique, and the ordering of combinations in a combination bank can be as you wish and is editable.

Now the description of the Console view's control buttons, from top to down in the vertical and from left to right in the horizontal layout:

The behaviour of the recording function can be configured after long-tapping the recording button. You can select the bit resolution of the recording (16 or 24 bit) and whether the recording should start immediately when the button is tapped or only when the sound starts. Furthermore you can select whether the app will ask for the name of the WAV file or create a standard name from the current date and time. In the latter case there is no interaction needed when finishing a recording, which is in particular nice when you control the recording by a MIDI button.

Functions like selecting stops, couplers, tremulants, combination banks and combinations can be controlled via MIDI, too. Use the Settings view to configure this.

Starting with Napo 5.2, recording in 32 bit float WAV format is possible, and, after long-tapping the recording button, the parameters are shown more neatly than before:

Screen keyboards

Even though Napo is intended as a tool for making music with MIDI keyboards, there are built-in screen keyboards.

iOS

When you are in the Console view, you can toggle between the stops display and a combined stops and keyboards display by repeatedly tapping the Console view icon. While the screen keyboards on an iPhone are suitable for watching incoming MIDI messages or a running demo piece at best, on an iPad in landscape mode they are suited for playing very simple pieces or for composing music on the road. As an example look at the keyboards of StrandOrgan:

The upper keyboard operates the manual, the lower keyboard plays the pedal stops. Both can be independently from each other be scrolled horizontally by dragging the grey strip. The stops can be scrolled, too, if they are too many to fit on the screen. The empty space between Octava 4' Bass and Trumpet 8' Diskant, for example, is well suited to grab it for scrolling, but you can also drag the stop buttons if you have deactivated Multitasking Gestures in your device settings. This is recommended anyway if you use the virtual keyboards, because otherwise there is the risk to switch apps when you play a chord and move your fingers.

Up to Napo 5.1, at the right end of the grey strips you can see lock symbols. When you tap a lock, the currently pressed keys of the corresponding keyboard get fixed. A fixed key is released only when you tap it again or tap the Notes off button.

Starting with Napo 5.2, these lock symbols are gone. Instead, keys stay pressed when they are tapped only very shortly. No automatic sustain happens after a longer tap (at least 0.1 seconds).

Starting with Napo 5.1, the format of the keys as well as the visibility of the keyboards are configurable. To do this, long-tap the icon of the Console view and select Configure screen keyboards. A slider for changing the aspect ratio of the keys and switches for the particular keyboards will appear, here for instance in Pitea:

Furthermore, starting with Napo 5.3 there is the option to configure for each screen keyboard whether it should send note-on and note-off messages via MIDI:

The messages are sent to all wired MIDI devices and to all MIDI endpoints that are connected via the MIDI paths (Blutooth, Netzwork, Virtual) that have been allowed in the settings of the app. They are sent via all MIDI channels that are assigned to the respective manual or pedal in the settings of the app.

New in Napo 5.5, it is also possible to configure for each screen keyboard whether the sustain function at short attack of the key is active. Hence one can for example use this function for the pedal, but deactivate it for the manuals if it interfers with the playing.

macOS

Here clicking the icon of the Console view opens an additional window with keyboards:

Up to Napo 5.1, the keys stay pressed when clicked once and are released only after clicking again. Starting with Napo 5.2, the bahaviour is like on iOS, i.e. keys stay pressed automatically only after a very short click. Starting with Napo 5.3, the format of the keys, the visibility of the keyboards and their MIDI functionality can be configured, too, and Napo 5.5 allows to deactivate the sustain function.

Scrolling is done not by dragging the grey strip but by dragging the scroll bar at the bottom of the keyboards.