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  • Allen Tone Card question

    Does anyone know if Allen ever manufactured a tone card to imitate a celeste stop? Just curious...the 122C that I'm acquiring has the card reader, but I'm having my doubts as to whether or not they'd have a tone card for this stop. I don't think that this particular model has the celeste tuning stop either. If I'm wrong, someone correct me.
    Craig

    Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

  • #2
    Allen's first single computer digital organs that offered any celeste voices actually used a rank of analog oscillators for the celeste voices. No card voices that I know of offer a celeste voice unless the organ has celeste tuning (or its equivalent).

    I'm pretty sure the 122C does not have celeste voices at all.

    Comment


    • #3
      MOS organ tone cards had no way to affect tuning--the punches used binary code to encode a tone waveform shape (which, in turn, was the result of manipulating actual stop sounds to simplify them). The waveform encoded on a card was simply played over and over continuously at the appropriate pitch as long as the key was held. (We don't need to go into how that was done--it's pretty complicated, and was discussed in some detail in an older thread on the subject).

      All MOS tone cards create stops that are 8' or harmonics of 8' pitches--16' is not possible. ADC tone cards do have the ability to produce real 16' tones (and the higher registers are better defined). Neither system has the ability to alter the tuning, but some ADC instruments have the ability to use alternate tunings to create celestes. I am not sure whether it is possible to assign an Alterable stop (tone card) to the celeste tuning, though.

      David

      Comment


      • #4
        David, to clarify the subject of celestes from cards on ADC models... Most ADC models were built with the Card Reader (Alterable Voices) as a "floating" division rather than as a resident stop in any division. Then each division would have a coupler to play the Alterables from its keys. (Some models had Alterables by default playing from the Swell, but with a Swell Alterable Off tab to kill it in the swell when desired).

        That was a departure from the MOS organ practice of putting two or more Alterables in each division. But there was a method to the madness.

        Nearly all ADC organs had exactly two Alterable Voices in this floating division, and they could not be coupled separately, just both at once. These two Alterables would be in opposite audio channels and also would be controlled pitch-wise by the left and right pitch sources. So, pulling out the Celeste Tuning control would cause the tuning of the two Alterables to diverge, just as it would do with the rest of the stops.

        Celeste Tuning was originally a feature of the dual-computer MOS organs, in which every stop was duplicated by the left and right (or A and B) computers. Drawing Celeste Tuning would spread the tuning of the two computers and turn every stop into a celeste. On dual-computer MOS organs (600, 900, and above in MOS-1; 505, 705, 1105, and others in the MOS-2 line), there would be some Alterables in the left computer and some in the right on each division, so these voices were also affected by Celeste Tuning. You could put the same card into two Alterables, draw Celeste Tuning, and create a celeste version of any card voice.

        By the ADC era, stops were no longer being duplicated in the two separate "sides" of each organ division. To create celestes, there would be a pair of complementary string or flute stops, one in each side, in a given division of the organ -- for example a Salicional and a Voix Celeste in the swell -- and drawing Celeste Tuning would spread the tuning to create a perfect celeste pair.

        The Card Reader took advantage of this effect, with one Alterable Voice in each side. Loading the same card into both Alterables, then drawing Celeste Tuning, you could create a celeste version of any card voice. Lovely celestes of unlimited variety, including the beautiful "Virgil Fox" 16-8-4 String card!

        On the larger ADC organs, the ones with horizontal multiple board cages, the Alterable Voices were in fact Swell stops, even though they could couple independently of the other swell stops. They sounded through the Swell audio and were dependent upon the swell for their pitch information. Thus the swell tremulant and celeste tuning functions affected the Alterable Voices regardless of which division they were coupled to at any time. This made the Alterables perhaps more useful as swell stops, but not exclusively.

        The MADC models with card readers -- 1100, 2100, 3100 and variants of those three -- had an interesting way of doing this, that took advantage of the slightly peculiar way that tuning, tremulants, and other pitch effects were applied in that series. The Celeste Tuning of those organs would effect the Alterables from whatever division they were coupled to. So, if the Alterables were played from the swell, it was the swell Celeste Tuning (and tremulant) that made them "celestial". But when playing the Alterables from the great, it was the great's Celeste Tuning that affected their tuning.

        In other words, just as when swell voices were coupled to the great in those MADC organs, the coupled voices became dependent on the great division's pitch generators. A feature with good and bad qualities -- good to be able to make a unique celeste on the great and not have the swell voices affected, but the downside was that coupling the swell to the great did not add anything pitch-wise to the ensemble mix, as it would do on the larger organs on which the pitch effects were truly coupled along with the stops.

        Sorry to get so long-winded. Just thought I'd throw that out there. As always, I've done far more than just explain the issue at hand!
        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


        • #5
          Thank you gentlemen, for the very thorough replies. I learn so very much much when I read here, and I appreciate the wealth of information that you give!
          Craig

          Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
            On the larger ADC organs, the ones with horizontal multiple board cages, the Alterable Voices were in fact Swell stops, even though they could couple independently of the other swell stops. They sounded through the Swell audio and were dependent upon the swell for their pitch information. Thus the swell tremulant and celeste tuning functions affected the Alterable Voices regardless of which division they were coupled to at any time. This made the Alterables perhaps more useful as swell stops, but not exclusively.
            John,

            Just to clarify, I believe the Alterable Voices belonged to the Swell only in the 3-manual models. With 2-manual models, it would render them useless if you couldn't break the connection to the Swell (like in my MOS-2 505B). My horizontal, multi-card cage ADC-4300 has the 2-Alterable "Floating Division" as you describe, but both the ADC-5400 and ADC-6000 have horizontal, multi-card cages, and the Alterable Voices belong to the Swell and cannot be muted (i.e. to couple to another division). I seem to remember someone getting an ADC-6300 (later ADC) complaining that the Alterable Voices on the Swell on his organ could not be muted either.

            All the ADC models (that I've played) have Celeste tuning (and/or Romantic Tuning) available. As John stated, the MOS-2 multi-computer organs have the Alterables in different computers so the Celeste Tuning acts on the computer, rather than the card.

            If I'm not mistaken, the organ you're getting is an MADC. Correct me if I'm wrong, folks, but wasn't Celeste information stored as part of the wave for the card in question? I'm betraying my limited experience with MADC organs here. John, don't you have one at home you could test?

            Hope this helps, Craig.

            Michael

            P.S. Craig, I just saw in another thread where you mentioned the organ you're getting (MOS-1). Sorry for getting it mixed up in my post. What John said is right on the money. Sorry for the confusion.:embarrassed:
            Last edited by myorgan; 03-24-2016, 07:30 AM. Reason: P.S.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by myorgan View Post
              John,

              Just to clarify, I believe the Alterable Voices belonged to the Swell only in the 3-manual models. With 2-manual models, it would render them useless if you couldn't break the connection to the Swell (like in my MOS-2 505B). My horizontal, multi-card cage ADC-4300 has the 2-Alterable "Floating Division" as you describe, but both the ADC-5400 and ADC-6000 have horizontal, multi-card cages, and the Alterable Voices belong to the Swell and cannot be muted (i.e. to couple to another division). I seem to remember someone getting an ADC-6300 (later ADC) complaining that the Alterable Voices on the Swell on his organ could not be muted either.

              All the ADC models (that I've played) have Celeste tuning (and/or Romantic Tuning) available. As John stated, the MOS-2 multi-computer organs have the Alterables in different computers so the Celeste Tuning acts on the computer, rather than the card.

              If I'm not mistaken, the organ you're getting is an MADC. Correct me if I'm wrong, folks, but wasn't Celeste information stored as part of the wave for the card in question? I'm betraying my limited experience with MADC organs here. John, don't you have one at home you could test?

              Hope this helps, Craig.

              Michael

              P.S. Craig, I just saw in another thread where you mentioned the organ you're getting (MOS-1). Sorry for getting it mixed up in my post. What John said is right on the money. Sorry for the confusion.:embarrassed:
              No problem, Michael. There's a ton of info here, so I'm sure it's easy to get mixed up. I'm looking forward to having this instrument. Like I said in a previous post, I was hoping to acquire a 301, but that one slipped through my hands. That model would have had the celestes on it and also a 32' stop as well. I was a bit bummed, but I'm grateful for what I'll have in a few weeks!
              Craig

              Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                If I'm not mistaken, the organ you're getting is an MADC. Correct me if I'm wrong, folks, but wasn't Celeste information stored as part of the wave for the card in question? I'm betraying my limited experience with MADC organs here.
                No, the MADC organs did not include tuning in the card information. It did include percussion, percussion length, and chiff, so there was no separate percussion tab nor length control, but tuning was controlled by the "celeste tuning" and/or romantic tuning tabs, one for each manual division.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am curious about the difference between "celeste" and "romantic" tuning. I think I understand "celeste" tuning--each note has a pitch just a few Hz different from the main set so there is a slow undulation when played with the matching stop. What does "romantic" tuning do?

                  David

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    David, "Romantic Tuning" was a feature introduced in the late ADC era and was in effect an "alternate tuning" scheme that could be switched in to replace the standard table of pitches used by the system to assign a frequency to each note of the scale. It is similar to the old "chorus" tab on some MOS-1 (and maybe MOS-2?) single-computer organs, though it produces a more dramatic effect.

                    As an example ... Let's say on a typical late ADC organ like the 2160 I have at home the normal offset in tuning between the great 8' principal and the great 4' octave is 2 cents. This tuning offset is set by the table of pitches stored in the Frequency Number chip on one of the boards in the cage, and is maintained more or less throughout the scale so that whenever those two stops are drawn together, when you play a note there will be a very slight mistuning between them resulting in a subtle movement in the sound.

                    Now, as you know, drawing the Celeste Tuning tab is going to shift the pitches of the two sets of stops in the great division quite a bit, perhaps 10 or 15 cents apart at middle C, and more than that the lower end, less at the higher end so as not to produce ridiculously wild beating. That pitch divergence is done by re-directing the tone generator system to a secondary pitch table within the Frequency Number chip, so that each note of the scale in the "sharp" channel gets a higher pitch.

                    But the Romantic Tuning tab (which is a general tab rather than just for the one division) provides a much more limited but still quite noticeable divergence in pitch between the two halves of a division than celeste tuning. There is also a greater than normal octave-to-octave variation in tuning, and more tuning offset between the swell and great divisions. As with Celeste Tuning, this works by re-directing the tone generators to yet another pitch table in the FN chip. What you hear is a somewhat more pronounced beating between stops in opposite channels, such as the principal and the octave, sounding more like a pipe organ that is about to need a tuning than one that is freshly tuned.

                    The nice thing about the Romantic Tuning tab in the general is that is also provides a fourth pitch table -- a "Romantic Celeste" if you will. So when you have the Romantic Tuning tab on and then draw the Celeste Tuning, the celeste is a bit "wilder" than normal.

                    Nowadays, with the Renaissance/Quantum technology, there is still Romantic Tuning as one of the alternate tunings available in the Console Controller, where you can also select various non-equal temperaments like Kernberger etc.
                    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


                    • #11
                      OK. I was aware that different pitch tables were in use, just didn't know how many.

                      David

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
                        I am curious about the difference between "celeste" and "romantic" tuning. I think I understand "celeste" tuning--each note has a pitch just a few Hz different from the main set so there is a slow undulation when played with the matching stop. What does "romantic" tuning do?
                        David,

                        Just think of it as a tab that makes the organ slightly out-of-tune like you'd experience in a pipe organ. To some, that's a desirable thing to have.
                        Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                        David, "Romantic Tuning" was a feature introduced in the late ADC era and was in effect an "alternate tuning" scheme that could be switched in to replace the standard table of pitches used by the system to assign a frequency to each note of the scale. It is similar to the old "chorus" tab on some MOS-1 (and maybe MOS-2?) single-computer organs, though it produces a more dramatic effect.
                        The Chorus Tuning in the MOS-2 series (like your 305B) adds a slight variation in frequency so the ensemble isn't so "sterile." I know the instruction on my 505B is to use Chorus Tuning with the Reed Chorus on the Swell to provide a nice fanfare. I use it on the fanfare part for God of Our Fathers for Memorial Day or Veterans Day Sunday.

                        Also, your 305B probably has the Delay tab as well. That stop simulates a pipe organ's chamber where some stops are as much as 10-20' further back in the chamber than the façade pipes. The theory is that the sound from the pipes in the back of the chamber will be slightly delayed, so the Delay tab is to emulate that effect. That said, however, I've found it introduces a bit too much delay and somewhere I think I remember reading it also uses twice the computing power. For my tastes, it's a bit too much demand on the limited computing resources of the MOS-2 organs.

                        Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                        The nice thing about the Romantic Tuning tab in the general is that is also provides a fourth pitch table -- a "Romantic Celeste" if you will. So when you have the Romantic Tuning tab on and then draw the Celeste Tuning, the celeste is a bit "wilder" than normal.
                        My tastes switch from time-to-time, and sometimes I like the Romantic Tuning, while other times I think it's a bit much. However, I generally use it on French music from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

                        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


                        • #13
                          It seems that this thread has deviated significantly from its original thought. We have decided that no Tone Cards had the ability to provide celeste capabilities, have we not?

                          David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
                            It seems that this thread has deviated significantly from its original thought. We have decided that no Tone Cards had the ability to provide celeste capabilities, have we not?

                            David
                            That's kinda what I gathered.....

                            Thank you everyone for the lively discussion. I appreciate your input.
                            Craig

                            Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
                              It seems that this thread has deviated significantly from its original thought. We have decided that no Tone Cards had the ability to provide celeste capabilities, have we not?
                              David,

                              None of the tone cards, in and of themselves, have the ability to create a celeste from the card itself. That said, however, certain cards were designed with the intent to be used for the purpose of celestes. The MOS-2 organs had a Flute Celeste card for use in two-computer organs only, that had at least one alterable in each computer. Then, by using the Celeste Tuning stop, you could have a very nice Flute Celeste from the card. I also like the Fernflöte 8', the Aeoline 8', the Erzähler 8', and Dulciana 8' used as a Celestes as well on my MOS-2 505B.

                              On the ADC organs, I've found I also enjoy the Aeoline 8' as a celeste. The other cards I mentioned above aren't available for the ADC organs, to my knowledge. Beyond the ADC organs I have (i.e. MADC and MDS), I have no firsthand knowledge of the ability of those organs to use the cards to create celestes--other than what Toodles posted above. I trust his knowledge on the subject.

                              I hope that answers the question.

                              Michael

                              P.S. For those who don't know from the other Allen Tone Card thread, David has created a spreadsheet to create cards based on a waveform. His spreadsheet exists for both the MOS and ADC organs.
                              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

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