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Is my hearing going wierd or something?

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  • Is my hearing going wierd or something?



    Hi,</P>


    There is a small handful of organs that I sometimes play fairly regularly, and I have been noticing for some time now that the volumes of all these different organs is quite different every time I play each one. It doesn't matter whether or not it is a pipe or a digital organ, the volume of each is always different when I go to play them, and these are on organs that I have played quite a lot.</P>


    One reason for this couldbe perhapsthat playing on a loud organ could make the next one seem very quiet, and then after that, the next organ that I would go to play onwould seem quite loud.</P>


    Has anybody else had this before?</P>


    Jezza</P>

  • #2
    Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



    Yes.</P>


    I notice when I play a rather loud organ on a regular basis, I will go back tomy other instrument - it sounds anemic!</P>

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    • #3
      Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



      That happens to me as well. I'll play a "quieter" instrument then go back to my regular one and feel like I have my head blown off.</p>



      I also found that when the TC-3S was in service, on some Sundays it would sound louder and other days quieter. Perhaps there could be a technical reason for this, like analogue technology is more prone to atmospheric conditions
      </p>
      1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
      Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?

        Hi Diaphone32, you are not alone. I have noticed this also.

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        • #5
          Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



          As an organ tech, I used to think organists were nuts when they'd tell me that the organ sounded "different" on a given Sunday, or that it was louder or softer than normal. I just didn't see how that could be true given the stability of modern electronic systems and equipment.
          </p>

          Now that I play every Sunday myself, always on the same organ, and it is in excellent condition, I experience the same phenomenom. I am certain that the organ sounds different from week to week. Loudness varies, the bass-to-treble balance varies, and the upperwork may sound smooth as silk one Sunday and like fingernails on a a chalkboard the next.</p>

          And I'm talking about electronics here, not pipes, which obviously vary in several ways due to changing temperature and humidity. But what could cause an electronic to do this? I'm guessing that the acoustical characteristics of the church vary from week to week with temperature and humidity. Resonances at certain frequencies or within certain frequency bands may come and go depending on the weather, and these changes drastically alter the perceived tone of the organ, especially in the ear of the player. Other people may notice little difference, if any, but it really sticks out to the one who listens most critically every time the organ is played -- the organist himself.</p>

          So, no, Jezza, your hearing is not going weird. Welcome to the club.</p>

          John</p>

          </p>
          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

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          • #6
            Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



            Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit![&amp;] I must be going crazy too. I just noticed it last Sunday.</P>


            One dear lady told me her mother (on oxygen &amp; with hearing aids) was having problems with the organ being too loud--so I turned it down tremendously. The previous Sunday we had double the normal crowd (approx. 60 there), and I couldn't hear the organ at all. Last Sunday, we had our usual 30 or so, and it sounded like the organ had been turned back up.</P>


            I think it may also have something to do with the acoustic variations created by the people in the pews, where they sit, and whether they're standing or not. Any Symphony can tell you that rehearsing in the hall sounds totally different when empty than during a performance. Perhaps that's what we're all hearing?</P>


            Just my 2 cents worth.</P>


            Michael</P>
            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)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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            • #7
              Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



              John,</p>

              While sympathetic vibrations, may come and go, generally electronics are rock solid and don't vary in tone, volume etc. In fact this is one of the raps against electronic organs, or electronic instruments in general. I suppose in an older electronic organ, where audio was keyed through key contacts, volume controls that are dirty or worn, and bad connections, that there may be some fluctuations, but that is because it is not in good order.
              </p>

              My guess is that the differences we perceive is because our hearing changes, due to state of mind, state of tiredness, amount of wax buildup in the ear canal, etc.</p>

              Another thing I have noticed - a lot of people have a very short auditory memory. Unless they make a point of remembering what they hear, they don't keep with them a point of reference. So what is heard is perceived more in point of the moment rather than in comparison with a previous event.</p>

              AV</p>

              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



                It seems to me that several things are happening.</P>


                I think changes in humidity will affect reverberation. I'm sure many of us have experienced playing in an acousticallydry room; there may be some days when there might seem to be a slight bit more reverberation - those days the organ will seem so much better.</P>


                The other thing is the temperature (which only affects pipe organs). If the temperature is at the exact same point at which the organ was tuned, and if the organ was tuned relatively recently, and if the tuning was carefully done... then the organ can sound magnificent! When the tuning is that tight it seems to me that the organ can sound very much louder.</P>


                Aboutauditory memory... all I know is that when I am playinga certain very nice local organ it has an immense sound; even thequiet stops arerobust, and when I play anything above a mezzo-forte the organ bench vibrates.</P>


                On other organs I play (which are scaled much smaller, and some of which are in acoustically drier rooms) they can sound quite tame - even though I'm playing with almost all the stops out. If I haven't played that nice organ in awhile, these instrumentssound more 'normal' - more like I always remember them to be.</P>


                However, whenI playthese instruments at full volume and the bench does not vibrate (as does the louder instrument) ... [*-)] that is something that goes beyond auditory memory. []</P>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



                  All these points are well-taken. Yes, the number of people in the room and where they are seated, if they are standing or sitting -- can certainly affect the acoustics of a room. After all, each person present is equivalent to about 10 square feet of acoustically absorbant material.</P>


                  And one's hearing acuity may vary from week to week due to various conditions -- nasal stuffiness, sore throat, wax in the ears, fluid behind the eardrum, etc. Sometimes subtly, other times enormously.</P>


                  I suppose in my case my perception of the organ on a given Sunday might vary depending on what kind of organs I've been working on and listening to throughout the work week. I know I'm painfully aware of the shortcomings of analog sound when I've workedon a magnificent pipe organ or very fine digital.</P>


                  But all that considered, I still can't help thinking that there are factors yet unknown or at least unclear that affect the sound in subtle ways that we, as the most critical listeners to our organ, can be aware of.</P>


                  My most oft-noticed variation is a difference in volume level and treble content. One Sunday a given registration will seemjust rightand the organ sings wonderfully above full-throated congregational singing. Another Sunday, the same registration will seem almostharsh and overbearing, while on another Sunday it may seem to be barely adequate and not nearly as brilliant.</P>


                  I have gone so far as to check absolute output levels on each channel and find that these do not vary electrically. The effect is entirely acoustic.</P>


                  So, must be something about the variations in attendance, weather, and my own hearing that causes me to perceive these changes.</P>


                  John</P>
                  <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                  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


                  • #10
                    Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



                    [quote user="jbird604"] . . . each person present is equivalent to about 10 square feet of acoustically absorbant material.[/quote]</P>


                    Alas, John, some of us are equivalent to slightly more than 10 square feet of acoustically absorbant material![] [] On the other hand, I think perhaps others are equivalent toslightly less
                    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)
                    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is my hearing going wierd or something?



                      Michael,</P>


                      I'm a little worried about your driving. If you go fast enough to throw the air around inside your car, well, just how fast are you driving? Be safe, my friend. Better late than never.</P>


                      But I do believe you've hit upon a very pertinent factor. Sound travels faster in cold dry air and slower in warm humid air. (I think I got that right. If my physics are reversed here, it doesn't matter. The point is that the speed of sound is influenced by temp and humidity, and also by barometric pressure.)</P>


                      So, on a given Sunday the natural resonant frequencies of the various dimensions of a sanctuary will vary, ever so slightly to be sure, but enough to alter the manner in which certain musical pitches are reinforced or attenuated in a given space. Also, standing waves in a room, which mostly affect bass frequencies, will be altered quite noticeably when the speed of sound changes. A room that is 64' long would theoretically have a tendency to produce a standing wave on the lowest note of a 32' stop. Therefore, that note would seem to be either enormously louder or totally canceled out, should one be seated near the nodes of a standing wave.</P>


                      However, when the temperature or humidity (or barometric pressure) in the room changes, the speed of sound changes, the room no longer supports a standing wave at the exact pitch of that note, so the note no longer exhibits the above anomaly. Now, some other note may seem to be emphasized or attentuated.</P>


                      With an organ creating hundreds or thousands of discrete pitches there are bound to be untold numbers of such acoustical variations introduced by weather changes.</P>


                      Of course, this may all be a bunch of baloney, but it is one theory that I've often pondered.</P>


                      John</P>
                      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                      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

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