Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does anyone really need orchestral strings on a church organ?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Does anyone really need orchestral strings on a church organ?

    One reason I've often thought I wanted MIDI on my church organ was to have orchestral strings available. Right now, I have my Rodgers/Roland MX-200 expander connected to the Praeludium II at church. Since it's all but impossible to change patches on the thing on the fly unless it's connected to a Rodgers organ, I have it set to be mute on swell and pedal and to produce orchestral strings on the great. It doesn't express with the organ, so I have to turn the volume knob to balance it with the organ, therefore I can't do quick expressive dynamic changes.

    I've tried during about the last three services to use these strings but I'm not finding much pleasure in them. I've blended them in softly with the organ's own celeste, and that probably works better than orch strings alone, but I don't seem to find this sound any more pleasing or useful than the organ celestes alone. I've tried using the orch strings to accompany a solo stop, but I seem to quickly get tired of the sound, particularly the monotonous "swelling" after the gradual attack. Just reminds me of a drunken sailor trying to play the accordion.

    Maybe I'm just not doing this right. Does anybody else have a better use for these sounds?
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  • #2
    As of 7/16/2013, no longer active on forum.
    Practice hard, practice well.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think a good string chorus can be very useful. I am not familiar with your unit but have played a little bit with various versions in jOrgan. In any case I think you would need to find a way to get it to express along with your internal voices. As you know that capability is on my list for my PII project.

      mike
      If it is Caesar that you worship, then Caesar you shall serve.

      Comment


      • #4
        John,

        I believe Orchestra Strings in most MIDI modules use a Chorusing effect or perhaps even a Phaser. If the frequency of that effect doesn't match the celestes in your organ, it probably won't be very pleasing. I'm not surprised it is not disclosed. Have you tried the Orchestra Strings of an Allen Expander? Those may have been created with organ in mind.

        Michael
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
          I've tried using the orch strings to accompany a solo stop, but I seem to quickly get tired of the sound, particularly the monotonous "swelling" after the gradual attack. Just reminds me of a drunken sailor trying to play the accordion.
          I am stuck with the same annoying scenario on my Yamaha PSR 2000 arranger keyboard. Not exactly an inexpensive keyboard, but like you "the monotonous "swelling" after the gradual attack" renders the ton of string voices totally useless!!

          So . . . is Yamaha wrong?? Or do organists merely tend to hear things from an entirely different perspective?? Is it possible that stringists in some way actually find this annoying string kludge to be actually musical in some mysterious manner???

          My Phoenix organ was built with four different and indepent organs within one; English Romantic, French, Baroque, and Orchestral. While I absolutely love the Baroque spec, and have to some degree fine-tuned it to tuned it to turn my crank, the remaining specs don't do a whole lot for me.

          While the Phoenix Orchestral spec has a number of really spectacular solo orchestral voices, such as cello, trumpet, clarinet, flute, etal; they are pretty much status quo (yawn) when it comes to typically annoying ensemble strings. But as I said, their solo voices are spectacular, which includes their most endearing cello. And their cello is awesome.

          For me, the Orchestral spec is totally unappealing: not because of any problem with the orchestral voices; but the crappy organ voices assigned to accompany the orchestral voices within that particular division.

          While I could reassign different organ accompaniment voices to the orchestral division; for me, the entire effort would tend to be a tad boring, with no significant payoff in the end.
          Last edited by Admin; 04-09-2013, 05:12 AM. Reason: fixed quote
          2008: Phoenix III/44

          Comment


          • #6
            Michael, Good idea, and perhaps the Allen expanders do have better strings than the Roland/Rodgers thing. I know there is a patch called "Arco Strings" on the MDS expanders, and I have one sitting unused in the shop. I don't have a power supply for it, so I haven't tried using it at the church, though I need to bite the bullet and get a supply for it. I'll update you when I get a chance to use it.

            Clarion, Unfortunately, even Yamaha does have that strange slow attack on most of their orch strings, and I hear it all the time on the keyboards we work on. Most of the orch strings that I hear, even the ones that are in the orch spec on organs, have the same defect, so I guess it's just a characteristic, the way manufacturers typically think they should sound.

            At any rate, my biggest problem is my playing -- often amateurish and awkward -- and no amount of good orch strings can cover me up! I just need to practice more.
            John
            ----------
            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

            Comment


            • #7
              John, I had a PR-300s (IIRC) attached to "my" Rodgers 950 which I played many happy years. Same deal as regards the Roland strings. I played around with it and finally found that if I brought it (strings) in an octave lower, at a soft volume, under the Swell strings with S-S 4 coupler, it really added something- quite a bit different than using the S-S 16 coupler. The key is to get the volume on the "black box strings" right... not too loud.
              Add Pedal Bourdons 32 and 16, and you've got something good for the beginning of The Lost Chord :-)
              BTW, looks like someone "stole" that R 950 on Ebay for 15K. Gadzooks!

              Comment


              • #8
                John, I really like the strings on my Allen Vista unit on the Q325 I play. They do not have that slow attack that is so common on other brands. That slow start is very annoying to an organist, because we expect the organ to play right away when we press the keys. I suppose it is a "realistic" effect having that feature built in on the Roland ones, but it works better when someone is trying to recreate a string section for background pads and so on. When trying to play a melody, that slow start just messes things up.

                I just dug out the voice list for the Vista, and do not see "Arco strings" on the list. Don't know for sure what that one may be like. I thought most all of the voices in my Vista where the same as in the MDS Expander, but perhaps not. Maybe they changed names on the Vista ?

                One of my favorite setups using the Vista is to put the strings on one manual, and then put Choir Ahhs on another manual and couple them together. That way you can use the nice string section normally, and add in, and fade out, the choir with the other expression pedal as you see fit. With that setup, I also use the Cello Ensemble in the pedal.

                The voice numbers are : #227 String Ensmbl, #228 Cello Ensmbl, and #53 Choir Aahs. I don't know if your MDS Expander will have those or not. My notes that I wrote on the voice list say that #129 to #255 are Allen custom samples. #1 to #128 are General MIDI.

                Another couple of favorite Vista voices are #223 Brass Ensmbl, and #225 Bugle. Both of them are so much nicer than a live trumpeter, because they always play in Tune !

                Of course, the Vista voices respond to the expression pedals on my Q325. Once you get yours set up to do that, it will make it much nicer to use.
                Regards, Larry

                At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2 ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Interesting observations, Larry. The Allen expander I have is the old orginal MDS Expander, so it has fewer patches, only 64 I think, and this one happens to be the theatrical/orchestral version, so it lacks the classical organ sounds.

                  "Arco Strings" simply means "bowed strings" and doesn't identify any particular variety of orch string sounds. I haven't tried using the Allen expander yet because I don't have the power supply. But I suspect these will have a more organ-like attack. As you say, organists expect immediate sound and the slow attack of some string patches doesn't fit well with organ playing.
                  John
                  ----------
                  *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X