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Which pipe ranks to add to digital?

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  • Which pipe ranks to add to digital?

    Interested in opinions about which wind-blown ranks would make sense to add to a recent 38-stop Allen digital organ at a medium-sized church in the choir loft. I’m thinking of maybe two ranks. Perhaps built into a new small case designed in the style of the church. This will be a long term project as the funds are located… Perhaps a Gedackt and Principal, both unified, that could either be blended with the Allen, or even used by themselves on occasion? Or should I take a different approach?

    The original purpose of the project is to revive a piece of the removed mediocre 10-rank pipe organ for which funding was unavailable for its past due needed repairs and long-term maintenance and upgrade expenses. I want to satisfy the preservation interests but also provide a practical usable instrument addition.

  • #2
    My home installation has a principal, flute and string pipe rank augmented with digital flues and reeds, and they blend very well together. The principal and flute is a good start for your church. Perhaps you could add additional ranks from the pipe organ, if they are suitable, when funds are available. If that is feasible, it will be less expensive for Allen to build the interface to include future ranks rather than updating later.

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    • #3
      Hope you hung on to parts of the removed pipe organ. Maybe it could be reconfigured into a Great section, or at least part of it. Pipes should not be added to the Swell, because they cannot respond to the expression pedal.

      Rodgers used to do this sort of thing with their analog organs, using maybe two or three ranks of pipes. One problem there was that the pipes sounded so much better than the electronic voices. With a digital instrument, the blend is often better, and it is possible to get results that are almost unbelievable .

      Moller Artiste is right-plan for the future.
      Mike

      My home organ is a Theatre III with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

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      • #4
        Just to add a contrary notion here.... I played for many years an excellent Rodgers digital that replaced an "OK" pipe organ. The church wanted to incorporate pipes from the old organ into it, but the rep from Daffer convinced them that it wasn't wise since NONE of the pipe organ's ranks were as fine a sound as the equivalent Rodgers organ stops. After playing the Rodgers for quite some time I came to agree with that and saw the wisdom in the church's going all digital.
        If your Allen digital is excellently voiced it is a magnificent organ; what could "mediocre" pipe organ stops add to it? And if you unified any pipe additions, all the more so...
        That's how I see it. Good luck and enjoy your Allen.
        R, Bill Miller, Phila PA
        Allen S-100, Cont Carousel, T-44; Wurli 4480; Galanti P-1

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        • #5
          I would also point out that pitch of the pipes will drift with temperature while the Allen will not. This could be a problem if there are temperature swings. I believe that Rodgers had a circuit on the hybrid instruments that would track the pitch change due to temperature. At the least, your Allen needs to have convenient way of adjusting the pitch of the entire instrument to keep it in tune with the pipes.
          -Admin

          Allen 965
          Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
          Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
          Hauptwerk 4.2

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          • #6
            There was a Rogers in Duncanville that had 4 ranks of pipes with it and all of the organ tracked pitch with the pipes, EXCEPT the celeste.
            In order to have a decent celeste one had to tune the rest of the rodgers to suit but then the pipes would be way out of tune.
            Cheers
            Jerry F Bacon
            Last edited by pictureroll; 09-19-2014, 07:56 AM.
            Jerry F Bacon-Dallas,Tx

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Admin View Post
              I would also point out that pitch of the pipes will drift with temperature while the Allen will not. This could be a problem if there are temperature swings. I believe that Rodgers had a circuit on the hybrid instruments that would track the pitch change due to temperature. At the least, your Allen needs to have convenient way of adjusting the pitch of the entire instrument to keep it in tune with the pipes.
              The Allen pipe interface package includes digital tuning that adjusts automatically for pipe tuning drifting.

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              • #8
                I'd add a 32ft Bombard or high-pressure Tuba for the pedals.
                Casey

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SubBase View Post
                  I'd add a 32ft Bombard or high-pressure Tuba for the pedals.
                  Casey
                  Isn't this the way folk go when adding digital stops to a pipe organ (rather than the other way around)?
                  Roland Atelier AT-90s, AT-80s, AT-70, 30, and 15. Roland VR-760 combo
                  Yamaha S-90, Kurzweil PC-3x, Casio Privia PX-330, Roland E-80, G-70, BK-5, Leslie 760, 820
                  Moved on:
                  Allen 3MT/Hauptwerk, Technics GA1, Yamaha HX1, AR80, numerous Hammonds, including 2 M's, an L, 2 A-100's, XP-2, XM-1/1c, & an XK-3. Roland Atelier AT-30, 60r, 80, & 20r(2 units), and a slew of Leslies (147, 142, 760, 900, 330).
                  Korg Triton Le-61, Casio Privia PX-310 & 110, and Kurzweils: PC-2x, SP-88, Pro-III, K1000

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                  • #10
                    Thanks all! Some excellent points.

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