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  • I'm Finally on Youtube!



    Well, here it is, I'm finally on Youtube. I played for a recital at my church with our old Allen 632-D 3 manual MOS organ. This is the reason we bought an Elite..lol. Nevertheless, it's a start. At least you will get to kind of see who Vercus is. It was shot from behind with an HD Camcorder in widescreen. Sadly, Youtube screwed up the aspect ratio so it looks squashed. I'll have to see if I can figure out what to do so the next clip comes out better.</p>

    I'm playing Vierne's Arabesque from the antiphonal division. I'd be curious on your thoughts.</p>

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bff1JYTnFS0</p>

    Thanks!</p>

    -Jon</p>

    EDIT: Second song added, scroll down.</p>

  • #2
    Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



    Jon, that was fantastic. That looks a bit like the Allen I play in town, only mine is a 2-manual. I subscribed to your videos, by the way. =)</p>

     </p>

     </p>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



      That was very nice!</P>


      It is also nice to have an idea what some of our members look like - that takes a lot of courage!</P>


      I'm glad the video pulled back at the end - I was very curious to see the rest of the building. At first I couldn't figure out what I was seeing, which direction was the front of the church.</P>


      Please post more!</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



        Jon,</P>


        So nice! What a pleasure to see and hear. I trust the entire program was as good.</P>


        Obviously the new Elite will be a big upgrade, but a MOS Allen doesn't get enough credit, IMHO. We're hearing some pretty authentic tonalities here. Take what you hear from this 632 and multiply that considerably with the big 4-computer and larger MOS organs, and there was a lot of potential in that system, much of it never realized due to the high costs of multiple computers and theless-than-ideal audio systems they were using back them.</P>


        But that's another subject. Thank you for putting this up for all to see and hear. The church is very pretty too. Hope you'll post some photos when the new organ is in place.</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


        • #5
          Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



          Hello,</p>

          I just added another song from the same recital. It's the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is our God".</p>

          The first and last verse have congregational singing and the middle is my own improvisation. It's not perfect, but I thought it was fun. Unfortunately one of the pistons misfired during the improvisational part and gave me just a single 2' stop! I'm sure you will hear it. I just hit the piston again and it came back. That's one of a number of reasons we are replacing the organ.</p>

          At any rate, this song was sort of a learning experience for me on accompanying a congregation. I certainly have done it before as I've been an organist for a few years. However, being a recital, I tried to spiff this one up a bit, and think perhaps in the last verse I might have caught some of the congregation by surprise..lol.</p>

          Anyway, enjoy, and as always, post your comments.</p>

          Thanks!</p>

          -Jon</p>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



            Hello,</p>

            Thanks for the positive comments everyone! Regarding the organ, it does have a limited sound system compared to what it's capable of. Worse yet, about a week before the recital, I was practicing, and I heard *POP* from the left chamber that houses the amp rack. After that, the pedals sounded weak. Turned out the amp for the subwoofer failed! So, the next day I ran home, grabbed a Parasound amp, and patched it in so we could have some bottom end. The sub still wasn't as loud as with the Allen amp. I suspect the Allen amps must have more gain. Still, it was a lot better than nothing.</p>

            -Jon</p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



              Jon,</P>


              SOOOO COOOOLLLLL!! "Mighty Fortress" is a difficult hymn for many congregations, even without improvisations going on. They got a little confused, but I'm sure eveyone enjoyed it immensely. I liked that even better than the first piece.</P>


              The swell reeds on that old Allen are just pretty darn good, no matter what anyone says. This is the first time I've heard a good performance on one of these in a long time, and I had forgotten just how much I enjoy those sounds.</P>


              The celeste on the choir sounded pretty good too. I was under the impression that the 632 had a 6-note limitation when the celeste was in use, but I didn't hear notes dropping out. Has it worked pretty well for you?</P>


              If I had the money, time, and space, I'd like to put together an "ultimate" MOS Allen. Buy some old discarded System 1200 (or 1100 MOS2), renovate it to mint condition, and equip it with the biggest baddest audio system imaginable with multipleEQ units andAlesis reverbs. Add MIDI, and have an organ that would give any moderndigital a run for the money. The sounds are in that MOS board, and they are good. They're just longing to get out!</P>


              BTW, I'm going to do a refurb of one of the first System 600 organs out of the factory this week. It's a big drawknob console with double card readers and sequential capture. The amps have been failing and the church is having all new amps -- 1600 watts worth -- put in. I think it will sound mighty good, and the acoustical settting is pretty decent too.</P>


              Keep up the good work.</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


              • #8
                Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



                John,</p>

                I know what you are trying to say here, but I don't think any MOS-1 organ no matter what size can compete with a well installed and voiced modern digital instrument. Only if the MOS-1 organ had at least 2 computers was there any sense of ensemble, due to out of tune-ness. The individual stops only sounded right in the middle of the keyboard due to the fact there was only a single waveform played back, the articulation was rather fake, and the stops, all of them had a buzz to the tone which was hardware induced. What they did have going for them was that the factory got the relative balances between the stops correct, as well as the bass to treble scaling correct.</p>

                The very fact that you still have some enthusiasm for these old beasts is a testament that these instruments were well made, and designed, but also that you don't think all that much of what and how the latest digi wonders are installed and voiced.</p>

                As for me, I don't really care for any of the Allen digitals before the Classic series (mid 80s) and the late ADC organs (late 80s). The tonal definition on the earlier ones just bothered me too much. Mind you most of what Rodgers, Johannus, etc. put out back then bothered me as much or more.</p>

                AV</p>

                P.S. Sounds like the new audio system could be worth more than the intrinsic value of the organ.
                </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!

                  [quote user="jbird604"]


                  Jon,</P>


                  The celeste on the choir sounded pretty good too. I was under the impression that the 632 had a 6-note limitation when the celeste was in use, but I didn't hear notes dropping out. Has it worked pretty well for you?</P>


                  John</P>
                  <P mce_keep="true">[/quote]</P>
                  <P mce_keep="true">John,</P>
                  <P mce_keep="true"> The 3 manual 632 had two computers. IIRC one of the divisions (manuals) was covered by both computers, or at least part of the stops were, and thus it was possible to select a "chorus tuning" or celeste tuning. The 3 computer 900 series had celeste tuning on two of the manuals.</P>
                  <P mce_keep="true">Bill</P>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!

                    [quote user="Vercus"]


                    Hello,</P>


                    Thanks for the positive comments everyone! Regarding the organ, it does have a limited sound system compared to what it's capable of. Worse yet, about a week before the recital, I was practicing, and I heard *POP* from the left chamber that houses the amp rack. After that, the pedals sounded weak. Turned out the amp for the subwoofer failed! So, the next day I ran home, grabbed a Parasound amp, and patched it in so we could have some bottom end. The sub still wasn't as loud as with the Allen amp. I suspect the Allen amps must have more gain. Still, it was a lot better than nothing.</P>


                    -Jon</P>


                    [/quote]</P>


                    Nice videos. I have wondered for a long time what the 632 sounded like. What will happen to that organ when you get the new Elite?</P>


                    Bill</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!

                      [quote user="arie v"]


                      John,</P>


                      The individual stops only sounded right in the middle of the keyboard due to the fact there was only a single waveform played back, the articulation was rather fake, and the stops, all of them had a buzz to the tone which was hardware induced. What they did have going for them was that the factory got the relative balances between the stops correct, as well as the bass to treble scaling correct.</P>


                      The very fact that you still have some enthusiasm for these old beasts is a testament that these instruments were well made, and designed, but also that you don't think all that much of what and how the latest digi wonders are installed and voiced.</P>


                      AV</P>


                      [/quote]</P>


                      Arie,</P>


                      I would take John's comments more along the line of something like "considering how primitive the MOS-1 system was, it is surprising how authentic it can sometimes sound".</P>


                      And in regards to the fact that MOS organs used only one waveform for the entire keyboard for each stop; Isn't that also a limitation of analog organs of the same era? I realize that there were individual oscillators for each note, but they didn't vary in the harmonic spectra, right? In fact, even multi-rank analog organs usually didn't have more than 2, 3, or 4 ranks of oscillators.</P>


                      I still have fond memories of the largerMOS Allens that had multiple computers (3 or more). In the 1970s nothing else electronic came close.And even if their sound was primitive compared to today's organs, I still found the sound pleasing to the ear. Of course, that was because the speakers were not close enough for the digital artifacts to be as noticeable, and of course I was comparing to analog organs. Today against a good digital, I am sure the problems would be noticeable.</P>


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



                        Bill,</p>

                        I concur with your sentiment that the MOS organs sound "better" than they ought to considering the primitive nature of the tone generator. </p>

                        When I come across one of these old MOS-1 organs (I came across a 123C last week), I always listen carefully to the tone that comes out of them, and then think, would I want one of these in my home. Personally, I don't really care for what comes out the the speakers from these instruments, so I wouldn't want one in my house.
                        </p>

                        However, the multiple computer organs, with doubled up speakers in a live room could sound quite acceptable.</p>

                        They certainly were an alternative to the vast majority of analog organs produced in the 70s.
                        </p>

                        In some ways I think if Allen had of worked to improve the basic tone and musicality of their offerings in the 70s and early 80s, they could have put Rodgers and some others out of business. A lot of the Rodgers models (small 2 manual instruments) had very little that could be called music-making resources in them. Conn basically ran out of time, having had big trouble with their LSI stuff. Baldwin tried with their Multi-Wave organs to do something special, but they were expensive and troublesome, so they didn't last long. Only AOB and to a lesser extent Saville built superior sounding analog organs at that time. But then, Allen didn't have to work too hard to improve. They were the big one, and business was good, making lots of money for the Markowitz family. Oh well, those were the days........................
                        </p>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



                          Hello,</p>

                          Thanks for the comments guys. Regarding the organ, it is a dual computer organ and it does have the celeste tuning on the choir. Celeste does limit the polyphony to either 6 or 8 notes (I think it's 6) however, I knew this coming into the recital. For better or worse, this is the organ I grew up on and as a result, I know it's limitations pretty well and am able to play around them better than many people can.</p>

                          As far as it's fate, Allen is "trading it in" when we get our new one. At one time I thought I would have wanted to get this organ after we replaced it, but now I don't really think so. It's getting old and things are failing. It's got electronic problems with the capture action, random noises and notes can sound out of nowhere, (strangely none of this has ever happened to me!) It seems to have a way of always happening when I'm not around. I've played for hours on it with virtually no problems, except for the amp going. However, the organist is a good one, and my teacher, so I trust her. Most of the problems seem to be related to couplers and pistons. I hear it is pretty good at picking up that morse code like pattern that comes from cell phones.
                          </p>

                          I asked Allen what they plan to do with it, and I've been told it will most likely become a donor for spare parts. So we know where the parts come from.</p>

                          So, oh well, my dreams of a room full of organ are shattered. This organ isn't going to be replaced until the spring anyway, so who knows, maybe I'll be lucky enough to have a better organ by then and I won't care anyway!</p>

                          Regarding the sound, I can't say I really care for it. I really think I'd rather either an analog Allen from the late 60s, or an Allen or Rodgers from the late 80s. This one is very sterile and basic sounding with no texture, and the audio system is very weak. Then again, things have been gradually getting quieter over the years, so it's possible a speaker blew (or two) I don't know. I just know that when it was new, the church skimped on the audio system, so it's underpowered for the size church it's in. Most of the chambers up there are empty! That definitely won't be the case when the Elite comes in! We're going to have to build shelves and platforms and such to hold the 35 plus speakers coming in!
                          </p>

                          -Jon</p>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



                            The 632, while it has two computers, did not use the pair for doubling or for celestes. One computer supplies the great and choir stops, the other supplies the pedal and swell. Thus the way the twoexpression pedals are marked -- "Great/choir" and Swell/Pedal"</P>


                            One pluswas that the great and swell would be truly separate divisions with separate audio channels. When coupled, it was truly additive. This is in contrast to the normal MOS system setup where the great and swell (and pedal) all came from the same computer and shared the same audio. Even the true "doubled" organs such as the 600 and 900 had the great and swell mingled this way, so that coupling was not very effective.</P>


                            So the 632 did have its advantage in that regard. However, in order to have a celeste, and not fall back on the analog celeste as in the 300 series, they came up with a way to make a celeste on the choir by causing each key press to activate 2 time slots, one with normal tuning and the other with "sharp" tuning, meaning the tremulant swung fully sharpwise, for that note only. (You can actually modify any old MOS organ to do that, even a 100 series. I've seen a few with that mod, with a tab for it, of course, and it is quite nice, if you don't mind the 6-note limit.)</P>


                            With this scheme, a good celeste was produced, but the downside was that only 6 keys could beplayed at the same time. Remember that this was only done on the choir, and did not affect the swell or pedal. So, one could play a nice celeste accompaniment -- using up to 6 notes at a time --on the choir against a solo stop on the swell and play pedals as well.Withyour6 keys down on the choir,you couldstill play up to twelve more notes on the swell and pedal, as that computer wastotally independent ofthe great/choir. (Of course you would NOT want to be playing your solo on the great, as that would rob notes from the celeste, and you'd probably find missing notes at times.)</P>


                            The System 900 used its two primary computers the same way as the 600 --for doubling the great, swell, and pedal and making chorus and celestes. The third computer was used just for the choir. Since both great and swell could have celestes, they chose not to have one on the choir. But they wanted the choir to have a distinctive "chiff" so they used the double-time-slot method to do that. With choir chiff on, each key press used two of the 12 slots, one for the steady tone, a second for the percussive "chiff" which was actually a 2 2/3' stop in the "swell" memory of this third computer.</P>


                            I played on a 900 occasionally, and found that "chiff" to be too much of a compromise. It sounded nice, but it wasn't worth it to halve the polyphony.</P>


                            In the MOS2 era, I think they quit doing tricks like that. The 705 was a 3-computer model that used its third computer just to create mixtures. The 1105 had four computers, and the stops were indeed spread out among all four divisions, IIRC. One of the computers may have been mixtures only, I'm not sure.</P>


                            Sorry for the boring history. Just got carried away.</P>


                            Yes, Arie, I have some misgivings about the current crop of digitals, and that might explain some of my nostalgia for the MOS organs. True, there was a single waveform and it was optimized for the middle of the range. Low notes could buzz, high notes could squeal.</P>


                            But in one sense, the single waveform is something of an "ideal" approach. We do want a stop to be coherent from bottom to top, and the single waveform insured that. I think the hardware limitations could have been ironed out a little and audio improved and this systemwould have been much better than it was. Might have given the other companies more to worry about.</P>


                            But life goes on.</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


                            • #15
                              Re: I'm Finally on Youtube!



                              But in one sense, the single waveform is something of an "ideal"
                              approach. We do want a stop to be coherent from bottom to top, and the
                              single waveform insured that. I think the hardware limitations could
                              have been ironed out a little and audio improved and this systemwould
                              have been much better than it was. Might have given the other companies
                              more to worry about.</p>

                              </p>

                              John,</p>

                              I must tactfully disagree with you here. Allen may have advertised it as ideal, but in terms of music it is not. A good musical instrument is built along the lines of harmonic structure, for colour of tone. The idea of a common harmonic structure over 5 octaves causes a boring sameness of tone, plus it doesn't give an instrument a vocal, singing quality. You end up with a generic "organ tone". At least with the ADC organs, Allen increased the number of waveforms to 4 per stop over the compass of the keyboard. I do agree you want coherence in stop tone, and do not want noticeable tone changes at the breaks, something which I have come across on some digital organs. Very annoying!</p>

                              I don't believe any acoustical instrument has an unvarying harmonic tone structure over it's compass, but then I may be wrong.</p>

                              AV</p>

                              Comment

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