2 x 61 note Touch Sensitive Keyboards – 13 note pedalboard
Split Lower Keyboard
Split Lower keyboard option (Programmable Split Point)
Colour Code System for easy access to all sections
GM Sound List (128 sounds). Theatre Organ Sounds (44 sounds), ORLA XR Reality HD Sound List (175 sounds High Quality GM sound Variations). Orla Ultra Reality sound list (34 sounds). Accordion sound List (40 sounds)
9 Flutebars, 4 Organ Presets + 4 User Presets, Attack, Sustain (programmable), Motion Effect, Slow/Fast, Percussion: 5 1/3′, 4, 2 2/3′(programmable levels), 3 Click types, Overdrive, Vibrato (programmable)
5 Flutebars, 4 Organ Presets + 4 User Presets, Sustain
Upper Orchestra 1
405 Internal Sounds, Chorus, Sustain, Octave. User, Volume
Upper Orchestra 2
361 Internal sounds, Portamento, Poly/Mono, Octave, User, Volume
361 Internal Sounds, Chorus, Sustain, Octave, User, Volume
361 Internal Sounds, Chorus, Sustain, Octave, User, Volume
361 Internal Sounds Sustain, Octave, User, Volume
8 x On/Off buttons for each section. Additive or Self Cancelling Modes Sustain: Individually programmable for each sound within the Orchestra Sections.
Octave Shift for each Orchestra section (+ or – 2 Octaves)
106 Super Styles with 3 Variations (5 part arrangements), 16 User Styles, MFC (2 Types), OFC (5 types covering all one finger systems), Auto Bass, Custom Bass, Auto Chord, Memory, Split set, Start/Stop, Intro/Ending, Fade, Fill 1/2, Auto Start, Drum Volume, Acc. 1, 2, 3 Volumes, Dynamic Frequency Compensator. Low/High Frequency Adjustment, Output 2 Volume, Mic/Input Level
12 Types – Room 1,2 & 3, Hall 1 & 2, Plate, Delay, Pan Delay, Organ Room, Organ Theatre Reverb on/off selection for Upper, Lower, Bass, Drums & Accomp. Reverb Lock
Orla Magic Chord
Open and Closed harmonies. Octave Up option on Closed Harmony.
100 folders/disk for data storage. Auto Save System for all files, Record, Play/Stop, Pause, Melody On/Off, Scroll Up/Down, Rew./FF, Volume
MP3 Record/Playback section
It is possible to store almost 99.000 MP3 songs on 32GB USB Disk. Scroll
up/down, Transfer/Play, Volume. General Presets: 6 banks of 16 Registrations: Reality Flutebars, Virtual Reality Orchestra & Reality Band.
Programmable Manual Balance
Bass to Lower
Bass note is automatically generated from the chord played. Root note or Chromatic.
Auto Bass from Pedals
All left or Style Only options
2 settings – Default or Last Registration
Voice Edit system via the Modulation Wheel
106 Style Settings
16 Programmable presets
16 Programmable Styles Style Maker- A very easy system to modify styles
16 Types – Chorus 1,2,3 & 4, Feedback, Flanger, Short Delay, Feedback Delay, Delay 1,2,3 & 4, Pan Delay 1 & 2, Multi Delay 1 & 2
5 Types of Surround Sound effects
Volume Pedal with 2 foot switches and Piano Style Sustain Pedal
Foot Switch functions
Intro/Ending, Fill 1,Fill 2,Start/Stop, Rhythm Variation, Glide, Hold, Registration Shift +/-, Fade, Tempo +/-, Slow/Fast Tremolo, Vibrato, Conductor section control.
Right/Left Balance, Master,Volume, Left Volume, OMC, Set Button
On/Off, 5 selectable Curves
32 Midi Channels, Control Change On/Off, Program Change On/Off, Local Control On/Off, Int./Ext. Clock, Midi In (2)/Out/Thru
2 x L/R Outputs, 2 x L/R Inputs
5 Channels, 5 Soft Cone Speakers, 120 Watts
Walnut, Black and White Polished
(WxDxH): 113 cm x 54 cm x 90 cm (Height excludes Music Rest)
Weight: 70 kg
A review of the Orla Modena by Michael Wooldridge
There is much new or improved in this instrument but I am going to start by telling you about the cabinets! The basic design is the same as the Orla Compact Theatre. This has proven to be a very popular model indeed and by keeping the same design, which at 114cm wide by 53.5cm deep (and 91cm high) occupies much the same footprint as a single keyboard, owners of the earlier Orla models will feel instantly at home and able to find everything. That said, with their clearly labelled buttons and colour coded sections, Orlas are easy to navigate around even if you haven’t played one before. This organ has buttons that are colour coded to their voice sections for ease of use and they are clearly labelled in gold lettering on the panel.
There have been many improvements since the previous already very good and popular instruments, including better sounds and styles. The overall sound of everything is improved by a brand new amplification system, with five channels delivering a total of 150 watts. The Modena has far greater clarity than any other Orla and this really helps many of the voices to sound even more realistic.
A great Orla feature retained here is their Dynamic Frequency Control, which allows you to use straightforward sliders to adjust the high and low frequencies for the whole instrument. This allows you to make the sound of the instrument best suit your room and your taste. Another retained feature is the Automatic Organ. This gives 96 complete registrations arranged in 6 sets of 16, under various headings. When you move from preset to preset, they have all been balanced so they all work together well, both musically and also in terms of volume balances. Of course, these presets do make use of the new voicing and I think the most notable improvement is to the Strings, some of which are now a little edgier than before and consequently more realistic. When creating the presets, they have also taken care to include useful sounds preset in any unused voice sections. For example, if you are using a String preset, you may find an Accordion in the unused voice section.
Besides the six family groups of presets, Flutebars, Theatre Organ, Church Organ, Combo, Orchestra and Band, there is also a useful general set when you first get the organ, so that’s another 16 presets. This wide range of presets covers the things that most players want, so include an easy on the ear Glenn Miller preset, which comes complete with some nice muted brass.
There are superb settings for both the Clarinet of Acker Bilk and the Pan Pipes of Georges Zamphir. If you like organ sounds, the Orla takes care of these very well. Besides their electronic organ sounds, the Theatre Organ is created ‘Virtually’ by using the now renowned sample set recorded from the legendary Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer by Reg Rawlings. These are excellent and the combinations really do give that feel of the Tower sound with the Tibias, Voxes, English Horns and Glockenspiels.
In addition to all of the Automatic Organ Presets, there are many, many more preset sounds tied to the rhythm styles, of which there are 106, each with 3 variations plus the now usual Intros, Endings and Fill-Ins. The Styles on Orlas are always really well arranged to enhance music making but without taking over your music. I suppose what I mean is that they are not generally too busy but do just the right job, with subtle, useful, musical patterns rather than things that only work with one or two tunes. Amongst these styles you will find many new ones, plus some old favourites, now improved by the new voicing and the new amplification. I’m just going to highlight a few of them here. Really the best thing is to have a personal demonstration so you can seek out the ones for the types of music you like.
The Celtic Waltz is delightful, with a super Acoustic Guitar, Irish Pipes and, already set up for use when you want them, some Strings. By contrast to these beautiful and delicate voices, the Klaus Polka takes us to the European Organ sound of the great Klaus Wunderlich, and it really does sound as it should! Trad band is great! It uses Banjo, Clarinet, a Slide Trombone and even a Wood Block to give that Dixie feel. The accompaniments build really well on this one as you move through the three variations. There is an enchanting String Intro to the Love Ballad, which leads to the ideal Style for playing the theme to Love Story.
Another perfect Style is the Epic Ballad, which sets up a Sax with a really nice Delayed Vibrato for the lead, and accompanies it with some very gentle harmonies on a Piano, just moving gently. There are also some good Strings set up ready to use in a spare voice section. Besides the Styles in the obvious Rhythm buttons, there are more tucked away in the User section. These include the most superb Piano Intro and gentle Swing Rhythm for Mr. (Erroll) Garner, a dedicated rhythm for Bolero, which works for the Ravel or things like Temptation or Time To Say Goodbye, and Classic DJ, which gives that sort of Classical Orchestra playing in a modern pop style, a bit like Rondo Veneziano playing Mozart 40 or Rondo A La Turk.
All of the Styles have been set up to sound authentic to the period they represent, using drum and voice sounds that would have been used at the time. For example, if you take a Rock and Roll preset, you’ll hear the sound of the drum kits that were used, and the guitars as well. There are two USB sockets on the Modena. Whilst you can save your registrations on to a USB memory stick, this is only really as a back-up, or if you want to take them out with you to another Modena, as the organ itself stores your presets in its own internal memories. It doesn’t just store the one set you’re using, the organ itself stores more sets of the 16 presets internally than I can imagine just about any player wanting. When you do decide to save to the USB Stick, it saves everything you have set up at the time, including your many sets of registrations, all in one batch.
The USBs do have a couple of more worthwhile uses than just backing up, which in itself is important now and then. Perhaps the biggest of these benefits is that when you receive your new Modena, the USB Stick will give you an extra 128 Styles, complete with Auto Set Ups for the registrations. The other use is as a Recorder and Player. Recording your playing couldn’t be easier. You press Record just before you play and then press it again when you’ve finished. That’s it! When you have some tracks you are happy with stored inside the organ’s internal memory, you can then send them to the USB Stick as mp3 audio files, which you pop into your computer and can then send to friends attached to e-mails, or upload to websites, or burn straight on to CD.
A good feature is that the system has been cleverly designed so that these files always sound their best, are balanced and never distorted, which is why they are instantly ready to use. The same USB socket is used for importing files to listen to, or to play along with. Of course, you can make your own backing tracks and then play along so that there are two of you, a duet with yourself!
There are so many good features I’ve not mentioned here. It has touch sensitive keyboards. There are proper real Flutebars, which are so much more tactile and useable than the various Digital Drawbars offered in screen menus on some other products. There are lots of different types of Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Delay etc. Then there is something that’s often neglected on Orlas, the ability to change (edit) just about everything about everything if you want to.
Probably the biggest benefits of this new Orla Modena are that it is simple to operate effectively and very comfortable to play, helped by the fact the manuals are nice and close together and the stops are within easy reach. I know some people have commented that it is an asset having the music stand at a sensible height as well.
Don’t forget, this organ takes up no more room than a top of range keyboard but comes as a complete unit; a stylish cabinet containing a rich, powerful and clear amplification and speaker system. It is lovely to sit down to play and be able to easily make minor changes and adjustments as the mood takes you and to feel in no way trapped into playing a certain way or with a certain sound.
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