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Voicing Rodgers digital organs

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  • Voicing Rodgers digital organs

    I'd be interested in knowing how to voice a Rodgers digital organ by myself. I'm looking at getting one for my home and I want to know if I could do the voicing myself.

  • #2
    It depends greatly on the model. Rodgers digitals have covered a number of generations and technologies over the years, beginning with the "PDI" models of the early to mid-90's, the "Cheetah" series, the Insignia, PDI-II, Trillium, Masterpiece, Infinity, and the various current models and types.

    The earliest models required a special "black box" device that was supplied to the dealers, a unit called the "GC-8" machine. It connected to a special port on the organ, and could be used to regulate each individual note of each stop. These devices are now very scarce, and their operation was rather obscure anyway.

    Later on Rodgers came out with a software program called "GC-10" that could emulate the GC-8 and thus be used to voice the older organs. It was a graphical program, so much easier to use. It was also possible to voice many of the newer models, at least up through the Trillium era, though certain adapter cables were needed to make it work with some models.

    The Masterpiece organs are voiced using nothing more than an ordinary Ethernet cable and a browser (preferably Firefox). Later models have voicing software built into the console, but you often have to know some secret method for accessing the voicing controls.

    Some models, such as the Cheetah organs, have only some tone controls and volume controls for each channel in the form of thumbwheels on the audio processor board. A few models have no voicing controls of any kind, sadly. What you hear is what you get.

    So it depends on the model you get. Once you have an organ in mind, post details about it and I'll try to tell you how voiceable it is and what you might need.
    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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    • #3
      How to voice a Rodgers Infinity 361 organ?

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      • #4
        I have not tried voicing an Infinity series organ, as they are all still under warranty and under the care of the dealers. If you own one privately, you might be able to get a Rodgers dealer or his tech to give you the info. I suspect that the voicing is all done through the console screen. I've not seen anyone connecting a computer to one of these.

        A looming question though is how will the models with Global Organ Group technology inside be voiced, once they begin being sold under the Rodgers name. I believe the very last Infinity organs built with Roland sound engines have now been shipped, and from now on they will have GOG inside. Other GOG organs, such as Johannus, are voiced with a computer program called Intonat. It remains to be seen whether the Rodgers-branded GOG organs will follow suit or will somehow continue to be voiced with on-board systems.
        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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        • #5
          The new GOG Inspire models already remain voicing over the on-board system.

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          • #6
            But how detailed is voicing on-board? I was under the impression that basic settings (speaker/"windchest" layout, minor voicing) are available, but detailed voicing and setup is done via PC
            Allen MOS 1105 (1982)
            Allen ADC 5000 (1985) w/ MDS Expander II (drawer unit)
            Henry Reinich Pipe 2m/29ranks (1908)

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            • #7
              I can't speak to that specifically, having not done it. But I have watched a talented voicer at work on one of these, and he didn't use a computer. He was apparently able to do it all with the on-board voicing program and the video screen, including fine-tuning each rank (he delighted in setting the mixtures deliberately sharp so they would shimmer when draw against the full chorus), and note by note leveling, which he always spent a lot of time on in the pedal stops so as to overcome room resonances and buzzes.

              Keep in mind that adjustments at that level may or may not be accessible to someone who doesn't know the "secrets." As I understand it, there is a way the voicer can "lock" the system when he finishes so that the users cannot tamper with the details of the voicing. While the Master Volume control and perhaps even some divisional volume controls may be accessible through the console menu, the rest of the voicing items may not be visible without knowing how to unlock the system.

              And that, my friends, is all I know about that (if not 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

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              • #8
                It's exactly as you say. The on board voicing programm over the built-in video screen have two levels, a menu for the customer and a dealer menu very detailed, which can only be reached via a buttons combination known to him. The connection of a PC is not provided and not necessary.

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                • #9
                  Interesting. Is Allen setup like that now? or still using a PC?
                  Allen MOS 1105 (1982)
                  Allen ADC 5000 (1985) w/ MDS Expander II (drawer unit)
                  Henry Reinich Pipe 2m/29ranks (1908)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since I don't work for a dealer, I'm not privy to new information except for what appears on the tech website. But as far as I know, detailed voicing on an Allen is still done with DOVE software running on a computer. The extent of voicing possible with DOVE is quite vast, all the way from choosing the sample set for each stop to note by note leveling and tuning within each rank.

                    The stops are grouped into "frames" (similar to the stop group assignments in ADC and MDS models), and each frame has bass and treble controls, and each frame can be steered into any of the available audio channels. How much audio from each frame gets piped into which channels is fully adjustable, so you can get very creative with using the available amps and speakers to spread the divisions around. Certainly DOVE is a very flexible and advanced system for voicing and can address any imaginable need to work with the stops to please an organist or deal with any acoustic situation.

                    As has always been the case, some general adjustments can be made using only the Console Controller -- each stop can be adjusted for level, each audio channel collectively can be adjusted for level, the reverb program can be chosen and the level of the "wet" component adjusted. I haven't tried it, but I have seen instructions that suggest that treble and bass can also be adjusted by channel, at least on the full-cage models. That option seems to be inaccessible on my R-230 and other small-cage models that I have seen.

                    Since pretty much all these options can be addressed via only the built-in video screen on current Rodgers models, that may eliminate entirely the need for a computer when voicing a Rodgers. The drawback being only that some end users have apparently been able to figure out how to hack into the voicing controls even though locked out by the installer, and have done some damage. Moral of that story -- don't try to do stuff to an organ that doesn't belong to you except play it!
                    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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