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  • Allen Renaissance 380



    Hello everyone,</P>


    In a couple weeks I'll be performingon a three-manual Allen Renaissance 380 - that's all I know about it.</P>


    I onlygot to play it for a few minutes last month, and will be spending a few hours with it today.</P>


    Any tips, tricks, anecdotes, or opinions on this model? Do you experts think it will be a good experience for me? (as most of you know, I ambiased towardspipe organs)</P>


    Thanks in advance. [:)]</P>

  • #2
    Re: Allen Renaissance 380

    <div><br class="webkit-block-placeholder"></div><div>I've spent an hour or so on a Renaissance 281 (2-manual version) and I was quite happy with it. I don't claim to be a concert organist, and my classical repertoire is painfully narrow compared to many here. However, I found it to be a very comfortable console to sit at and the sound was exceptional. </div><div> </div><div> </div><div> </div>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Allen Renaissance 380



      Thanks so much for responding. The concert I'm playing is going to be very demanding, and I'm very keen for everything to go smoothly.</P>


      I had a bad experience with an older, poorly-maintainedelectronic organseveral weeks ago(*) and I want to make sure to avoid something like that happening for this concert!</P>


      *see this thread: http://organforum.com/forums/permali...ead.aspx#41164</P>


      PS: I'm about to leavefor mypractice session, and will give a little report later tonight or tomorrow...</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Allen Renaissance 380

        [quote user="soubasse32"]


        Hello everyone,</P>


        In a couple weeks I'll be performingon a three-manual Allen Renaissance 380 - that's all I know about it.</P>


        I onlygot to play it for a few minutes last month, and will be spending a few hours with it today.</P>


        Any tips, tricks, anecdotes, or opinions on this model? Do you experts think it will be a good experience for me? (as most of you know, I ambiased towardspipe organs)</P>


        Thanks in advance. [:)]</P>


        [/quote]</P>


        It's a failrly big three manual with a floating solo division. Here is a link with a picture and a stoplist:</P>


        http://www.chopin-music.com/Products...ody_r-380.html</P>


        There are some stops with alternate voices, called second voices. There should be a rocker tab or drawknob that activates this.</P>


        It has a 64' Resultant in the pedals. I don't know how useful it may be.</P>


        It also has a "Tremulants Full" feature that changes the tremulant from classical to theatre/gospel. My guess is you will want to avoid that.</P>


        It is also supposed to have something called "Air Regulator", that when it is on, is supposed to imitate changes in wind supply when playingmore notes. I have not heard this used.</P>


        I also think there is a Sostenuto switch on the side of one of the expression pedals that holds notes on the Great.Another feature you may find annoying.</P>


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Allen Renaissance 380



          Subby,</P>


          Hope you have a much better experience than last time out. I don't think you'll run across anything as obscure or quirky as unlocking the capture on the MICASKO organ.</P>


          However, the Allen capture is also lockable, and it won't be immediately obvious how to unlock it. Perhaps the organist will have left some of the memory levels unlocked for your use. It probably has 16 memory levels.</P>


          BTW, you open the drawer on the left and press the up/down arrow keys to go through the available memory levels. The letter L appearing on screen indicates a locked level.</P>


          Antiphonal controls work as they do on any electronic, though, as Bill said, you'll avoid using some things, and that may be another for a pipe purist to avoid.</P>


          IF the installer did a good job of voicing/finishing, IF the church didn't skimp on audio, IF the church has decent acoustics -- a lot of IFs -- you may enjoy this organ. It certainly has a lot to recommend it, as far as digitals go.</P>


          Can't wait to hear your report.</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


          • #6
            Re: Allen Renaissance 380



            What happened to soubasse32? Did the sound of the Allen so enthrall him that he is stillplaying it</P>


            or...</P>


            did it make him so violently ill that he can't even use his computer???</P>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Allen Renaissance 380



              OK, OK.</P>


              Hmm... what to say... [*-)]</P>


              There were some nice sounds...(I bet you've heard that before! [:D]) At leastI think I can manage to pull off a successful concert.</P>


              I liked the "English Swell" feature. It is a concert of English 20th-century choral works, so it seems appropriate.</P>


              Now the cons:</P>


              The Choir was not to my liking - it was more geared towards neo-baroque, with only a few chiffy 8' stops as a foundation. Odd, sincethe organ hassuch a huge specification. I found very few Choirstopssuitable for this program.</P>


              I'm always torn between making the Great/Choir/Pedal expressive, or not. As a pipe organist, my instinct is to make them exposed; however it seems quite difficult to get a satisfactory balance, and I don't feel I have control. The drawback to making them expressive is that the entire instrument tends to increase and diminish linearly, which lends to the sense of artificiality.</P>


              Thecapture mechanism/thumb pistonsseemed a tad flimsy. I didn't like that certain drawknobs 'wiggled' when I hit the cancel button. [:D]</P>


              I spent more time than I wanted trying to get certain stops to not set on a given piston. I'd play through the whole program, only to find that some pistons werenot as I left them a few minutes before. [:@]</P>


              I appreciated that the expression pedals had some resistance, but thought theywere a bitstiff.</P>


              This particular installation had some quirks - too much reverberation for the room (a rather small parish church with very dry acoustics). As I find with many electronic organs, the sound just seems to emanate from a distant corner; there was a 'fuzzyness' or an indistinct quality to the overall sound. I miss the sense of being enveloped in tone, the way that a properly-scaled pipe organ can do. The Pedal had some boomy notes, butwith 20stops it wasoddly lacking in presence. The 64' stop is silly.</P>


              For me, a pipe organ has the quality of "what you see is what you get". Other than a dead or out of tune note, Icaninstantly comprehend what will emanate from any given pipe organ once I've familiarized myself with each stop. With an electronic it all seems a bit more tenuous - lots of computation and signal manipulation is going on behind the scenes, and there seems to bea never ending stream ofvariableswhicharebeyond human comprehension. I don'tget a sense ofsecurity when I play an electronic - especially a large one. My footnever strays far fromthe expression shoes on an electronic.</P>


              That's a bit more about my feelings of electronic instruments, and less about the Allen 380 - sorry if I've gone off topic...</P>


              Thanks for providing me with the info and links - I appreciate it!</P>


              PS: I'm playing the same program on an equivalently-sized pipe organ. It will be an interesting comparison, especially after I get a chance to rehearse with the choir at each venue.</P>


              PPS: I am very much interested in using the piston sequencer (I assume that it works the same as on a pipe organ). I hit the "+" and "-" pistons, but nothing happened (yes, I had already hit a general piston).Is this another situation whereI need the user's manual? [:S]</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Allen Renaissance 380

                [quote user="soubasse32"]


                PS: I'm playing the same program on an equivalently-sized pipe organ. It will be an interesting comparison, especially after I get a chance to rehearse with the choir at each venue.</P>


                [/quote]</P>


                Is the disposition of the pipe organ more in line with the program you will be playing? If so, and the organ was well built, finished well for the installation and maintained properly, I have no doubt it will be the more enjoyable of the two concerts, for you and probably the audience.</P>


                Let us know how both concerts go.</P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Allen Renaissance 380



                  Hello,</p>

                  Has anyone ever played using the "Air Regulator"? I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it. I like baroque organs and wondered how well it approximated the sound. Is this something they still offer on their modern organs?</p>

                  -Jon</p>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Allen Renaissance 380



                    Jon,</P>


                    Here's the blurb on the Air Regulator (which is afeatureof all Allen organs sold today, including, I suppose, the Elite)from the Allen website:</P>


                    "In a pipe organ, as more stops are played, the winding fluctuates momentarily as the air pressure builds up. This results in interesting sound nuances (pitch fluctuations) that have become an important part of pipe organ sound. With Air Regulator, Allen's digital voices react in this same manor; a very sophisticated, but subtle pipe organ sound nuance." </P>


                    Sounds like just the old "speech articulation" feature they've had since MOS days, possibly more sophisticated. On the MOS organs and on later ones too, such as ADC, with speech articulation enabled you could hold down a high note on a manual stop, play a scale at the bottom of the manual, and hear the high note go "yip - yip - yip" as its pitch dipped each time a low note was keyed.</P>


                    So, yippee-kai-yai-yay!</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


                    • #11
                      Re: Allen Renaissance 380



                      "In a pipe organ, as more stops are played, the winding fluctuates momentarily as the air pressure builds up. This results in interesting sound nuances (pitch fluctuations) that have become an important part of pipe organ sound. With Air Regulator, Allen's digital voices react in this same manor; a very sophisticated, but subtle pipe organ sound nuance."</P>


                      Unless the organ is located in a palatial residence, my guess is that the digital voices react in the same mannerrather than thesame manor.</P>


                      Whatever works . . .</P>


                      [;)]</P>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Allen Renaissance 380

                        [quote user="MenchenStimme"]


                        "In a pipe organ, as more stops are played, the winding fluctuates momentarily as the air pressure builds up. This results in interesting sound nuances (pitch fluctuations) that have become an important part of pipe organ sound. With Air Regulator, Allen's digital voices react in this same manor; a very sophisticated, but subtle pipe organ sound nuance."</P>


                        Unless the organ is located in a palatial residence, my guess is that the digital voices react in the same mannerrather than thesame manor.</P>


                        Whatever works . . .</P>


                        [;)]</P>


                        [/quote]</P>


                        LOL! Who writes this stuff anyway? You'd think a bit of training in the art of spelling would be required of those who write advertising copy.</P>


                        John</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


                        • #13
                          Re: Allen Renaissance 380

                          [quote user="soubasse32"]

                          Now the cons:</p>




                          Thecapture mechanism/thumb pistonsseemed a tad flimsy. I didn't like that certain drawknobs 'wiggled' when I hit the cancel button. [:D]</p>



                          I appreciated that the expression pedals had some resistance, but thought theywere a bitstiff.</p>




                          [/quote]</p>

                          Flimsy thumb pistons are a major bug bear of mine. On our Viscount (which are known for their iffy build quality) the buttons wobble a lot when you press them and they don't give good feedback ie. not sure whether they've been engaged or not. I'm surprised to hear that you found this on an Allen. The Allen's I have played have all had very "stable" buttons which did not move around when pressed and provided good feedback - but I suppose each instrument is different depending on build and usage.</p>

                          I actually prefer stiff expression pedals in that its easier to move up/down in small increments. On our Viscount, the expression pedals have barely any resistance so the slightest touch and it shoots from one extreme to the other - its very difficult to apply correct pressure to be able to move up/down in small increments without looking at the bar graph. Apparently this is a "fault" with Viscounts, that requires frequent tightening...keep that spanner handy I suppose, but it shouldn't be expected from a new instrument from a major builder.
                          </p>


                          </p>
                          1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                          Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Allen Renaissance 380

                            [quote user="soubasse32"]

                            Now the cons:</p>




                            Thecapture mechanism/thumb pistonsseemed a tad flimsy. I didn't like that certain drawknobs 'wiggled' when I hit the cancel button. [:D]</p>



                            I appreciated that the expression pedals had some resistance, but thought theywere a bitstiff.</p>




                            [/quote]</p>

                            Flimsy thumb pistons are a major bug bear of mine. On our Viscount (which are known for their iffy build quality) the buttons wobble a lot when you press them and they don't give good feedback ie. not sure whether they've been engaged or not. I'm surprised to hear that you found this on an Allen. The Allen's I have played have all had very "stable" buttons which did not move around when pressed and provided good feedback - but I suppose each instrument is different depending on build and usage.</p>

                            I actually prefer stiff expression pedals in that its easier to move up/down in small increments. On our Viscount, the expression pedals have barely any resistance so the slightest touch and it shoots from one extreme to the other - its very difficult to apply correct pressure to be able to move up/down in small increments without looking at the bar graph. Apparently this is a "fault" with Viscounts, that requires frequent tightening...keep that spanner handy I suppose, but it shouldn't be expected from a new instrument from a major builder.
                            </p>


                            </p>
                            1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                            Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Allen Renaissance 380

                              [quote user="soubasse32"]


                              OK, OK.</P>


                              Hmm... what to say... [*-)]</P>


                              There were some nice sounds...(I bet you've heard that before! [:D]) At leastI think I can manage to pull off a successful concert.</P>


                              I liked the "English Swell" feature. It is a concert of English 20th-century choral works, so it seems appropriate.</P>


                              Now the cons:</P>


                              The Choir was not to my liking - it was more geared towards neo-baroque, with only a few chiffy 8' stops as a foundation. Odd, sincethe organ hassuch a huge specification. I found very few Choirstopssuitable for this program.</P>


                              I'm always torn between making the Great/Choir/Pedal expressive, or not. As a pipe organist, my instinct is to make them exposed; however it seems quite difficult to get a satisfactory balance, and I don't feel I have control. The drawback to making them expressive is that the entire instrument tends to increase and diminish linearly, which lends to the sense of artificiality.</P>


                              Thecapture mechanism/thumb pistonsseemed a tad flimsy. I didn't like that certain drawknobs 'wiggled' when I hit the cancel button. [:D]</P>


                              I spent more time than I wanted trying to get certain stops to not set on a given piston. I'd play through the whole program, only to find that some pistons werenot as I left them a few minutes before. [:@]</P>


                              I appreciated that the expression pedals had some resistance, but thought theywere a bitstiff.</P>


                              This particular installation had some quirks - too much reverberation for the room (a rather small parish church with very dry acoustics). As I find with many electronic organs, the sound just seems to emanate from a distant corner; there was a 'fuzzyness' or an indistinct quality to the overall sound. I miss the sense of being enveloped in tone, the way that a properly-scaled pipe organ can do. The Pedal had some boomy notes, butwith 20stops it wasoddly lacking in presence. The 64' stop is silly.</P>


                              For me, a pipe organ has the quality of "what you see is what you get". Other than a dead or out of tune note, Icaninstantly comprehend what will emanate from any given pipe organ once I've familiarized myself with each stop. With an electronic it all seems a bit more tenuous - lots of computation and signal manipulation is going on behind the scenes, and there seems to bea never ending stream ofvariableswhicharebeyond human comprehension. I don'tget a sense ofsecurity when I play an electronic - especially a large one. My footnever strays far fromthe expression shoes on an electronic.</P>


                              That's a bit more about my feelings of electronic instruments, and less about the Allen 380 - sorry if I've gone off topic...</P>


                              Thanks for providing me with the info and links - I appreciate it!</P>


                              PS: I'm playing the same program on an equivalently-sized pipe organ. It will be an interesting comparison, especially after I get a chance to rehearse with the choir at each venue.</P>


                              PPS: I am very much interested in using the piston sequencer (I assume that it works the same as on a pipe organ). I hit the "+" and "-" pistons, but nothing happened (yes, I had already hit a general piston).Is this another situation whereI need the user's manual? [:S]</P>


                              [/quote]</P>


                              I am wondering how the concert went.</P>

                              Comment

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