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  • Allen MDS-65 Voicing

    Hello,
    I'm a new forum member. I have a first generation Allen MDS-65 (with the card reader) and need some help with its voicing. When I first got the organ, it went into a room with a low ceiling. I pretty much turned things down and understood there's not much that can be done in such a setting. I recently moved and have the instrument in a much larger room (approx. 20' x 30') with a 14' ceiling. Once I hooked her up, I was pleasantly surprised to find the sound and tone really bloomed and came alive. However, stops are out of balance. Can someone suggest an approach / method to go about voicing it? I have the information from Allen on which stop is on which board but there's no real guidance on how to go from there. Also, the two card reader boards have voicing controls on them as well. (I know a lot of people who have knocked the card reader voices over the years but I've found there are some voices that are really nice, so want to integrate it into the instrument as well.) I'd appreciate any help or suggestions.

    George

  • #2
    SchnarrHorn,

    Welcome to the Forum! I hope you spend more time here than you plan!

    We have a few techs on the Forum who can provide you with the voicing guide for the organ. They should weigh in soon. Also let us know if you have ever done this before. It sounds like you've been in the cage already.

    Regarding the Alterables, I agree with you. I especially find the Trumpet A card useful. I may be able to provide information you don't know, though. Through Sam's (Samibe's) experimentation a few years ago, we discovered that MOS cards will work in larger ADC & MDS organs! That opened a whole new realm of possibilities for us. For me, a couple of my favorite cards are the Fernflöte 8', and the Flute Celeste 8' & 4'. I load them in both Alterables and use Celeste Tuning to provide luscious Flute Celestes. I also actually like the Aeoline 8' as a Celeste as well. When you load it into one alterable, it will celeste with 1/2 of the Swell stops, or when you load it into the 2nd Alterable it will celeste with the other 1/2 of the Swell.

    Also with the Alterables, I voice mine slightly different so I can use the same card and essentially obtain two different sound qualities with the same card. For example, the Orchestral Oboe 8' has a decidedly different sound when I use it in one alterable vs. the other. If I need acidic, I have it. If I need smooth and well-rounded, I have that too.

    Again, welcome to the Forum, and I look forward to your participation here.

    Michael

    Allen Tone Card Thread: https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...len-tone-cards
    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      That's a wonderful organ! At church I play an MDS-45, which is exactly the same organ without the Choir division. I have of course spent many hours tinkering with the voicing and find it both challenging and satisfying!

      Since you have the cage chart, you can see which stops come from which cards. You have on most cards two separate voice groups, "A" and "AA" groups, which have separate Bass, Treble, Mid, and Gain pots. Note that the order is, from top to bottom, BTMG on the upper portion of the card, but reversed on the lower portion. (This is different from the arrangement on the ADC TG boards.)

      Somewhere on the forum I spelled out in detail the voicing process for the MDS-45, as another forum member had obtained one for his home. But I don't know how to find that. Fortunately, all you need to do is follow some simple rules and procedures to get a perfect leveling and voicing for the organ's home:

      (1) Start by setting all the amplifier volume knobs to the same number, even though they may be marked with red paint dots at different numbers. This is just a good way to keep the stops balanced in the future if you need to make the organ softer or louder as a whole. I use a setting of "8" in a church, but you might be better off to start with "6" in your home.

      (2) At this point, it is probably a good idea to "exercise" all the pots if that hasn't been done in recent years. And clean and lube the RCA plugs and jacks throughout the system. There is even more routine maintenance that can be done, but those are the most useful things to do, to get the audio as quiet and stable as possible.

      (3) Then, all you have to do is start with a single voice group and set the level to your liking as a reference point.

      Before making level adjustments, it's best to disable the "articulation" sounds so these noises won't keep you from hearing the actual pure tones of the stops. To do this, you can power down the organ and then pull the TG-10 board in slot 4 out about an inch or so, completely disengaged from the backplane. Once all the voicing is done, you'll power down the organ and re-install that board to make your articulation adjustments.

      I normally start with the 8' Principal stop in the great, which is group 7A on your organ. Using a mini screwdriver that perfectly fits the mini pots, and without exerting undue pressure on the pot, set the level of the Principal so that it sounds comfortable, about the way a single pipe might sound being blown in your room. (Make sure the expression pedals are wide open when adjusting levels.) Then listen to the Principal and other stops in the same group and decide if you need to tinker with the bass, treble, or mid tonal regions. You may not need to do any of that, unless you clearly perceive that the stops in that group are obviously too bright or too dull or too boxy or something.

      (4) Once you've established the level of the Principal 8, you'll then use a step by step method to level all the rest of the stop groups. I won't get into great detail, as this has all been discussed at length, but in general:

      Set the 4' octave stop in the great to be just slightly softer than the Principal 8. And then set the Rohrflote 8 in the great to be slightly softer than the great, but still bold. Listen to the Flute Celeste and try to match the levels of the two components as closely as you can using the remaining stop group's controls. At this point, you have roughly leveled the great division. You may need to make finer adjustments in time, or tinker with the tone pots on a given group.

      Now, use the 4' octave in the great and the 4' principal conique in the swell. Adjust the level of the swell 4' to match the great 4' (some prefer it to be slightly softer, but it's a matter of opinion). Next make the Gemshorn 8 in the swell about the same level as the 4' principal. Make the Salicional slightly softer than the 4' principal, then make the Voix Celeste the same level as the Salicional. You have now established a rough balance for the swell. As on the great, make fine adjustments to levels and tone as needed.

      Moving to the Choir, make the 4' principal there similar in level to the 4' principal in the swell, or slightly louder if you like. Next, make the Erzhaler equal in level to the Erzhaler celeste (which you will already have set when you set the 4' principal). Set the Octave 2' slightly softer than the Principal 4. Set the Holzgedackt 8 about the same level as the Rohrflote in the Great. Now you have given the Choir a rough balance. Make minor adjustments in level and tone to suit your taste.

      For the pedals, note that there are four stop groups for this division. To be honest, I have more trouble balancing these than all the rest. You'll see that each group contains one of the primary foundational pedal stops. Adjust 5A so that the Diapason 16 balances with the 8' great principal. Adjust 6AA so that the Bourdon 16 is nice and heavy without being boomy or overbearing. Adjust 6A so that the ContreBourdon 32 is full and powerful but not so big as to distort or rattle the speakers or items in the room. Adjust 5AA so that the Lieblich Gedeckt 16 is somewhat softer than the Bourdon 16.

      That's pretty vague, but once you have rough balances in all divisions and in the pedal departments, you an go back and make changes as you play and listen.

      The Alterable Voices are adjusted with the two TG-5 cards, and I'll let Michael advise you about those, as he is much more knowledgeable than I.

      Also, after restoring the TG-10 board in slot 4, you may want to tweak the amount of chiff and air noise in the various stops, according to the list of stops on the cage chart.

      Hope that will get you in the ball park! Good luck and happy playing!
      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


      • samibe
        samibe commented
        Editing a comment
        One thing I didn't see in John's post, but I might have read right past, is after you exercise the pots, center all of the pots and then voice from there.

      • SchnarrHorn
        SchnarrHorn commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, samibe. I did do that before starting. John didn't mention it here but he did in the other post on voicing.

    • #4
      Thanks, Michael. I'll go through that (lengthy) set of posts on the card reader. Sounds very interesting. I don't know if it's discussed there, but I always wondered how much of the stop sound is on the hollerith card vs. what is reused (and stored in permanent memory) on the card reader boards in the cage. A specific stop card has too little information on it (I'd think) to provide the tone. On the other hand, the card reader voices are inferior to the organ's built in stops.

      Yes, I've gone into the cage before and adjusted things. I mostly just turned things down, especially the treble because it was in a smaller room. Being that Larry Phelps had his hand in the tonal scheme of Allen at the time, the mixtures tend to be a bit more aggressive.

      Thanks, John. That's exactly what I was looking for. I also searched for MDS-45 voicing and found your post on that too! I'll give it a try this weekend and report back how it went.

      Other than voicing it now, the instrument has been very reliable for me. About 3 years ago, the 4' Octave on the choir went out (totally dead). It required the Allen tech to swap out the tone board for that group with a refurbished one from Allen. It was an expensive repair (for me), but considering the age of the organ (it will turn 30 next year!), it really isn't that bad.

      George

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by SchnarrHorn View Post
        Thanks, Michael. I'll go through that (lengthy) set of posts on the card reader. Sounds very interesting. I don't know if it's discussed there, but I always wondered how much of the stop sound is on the hollerith card vs. what is reused (and stored in permanent memory) on the card reader boards in the cage. A specific stop card has too little information on it (I'd think) to provide the tone. On the other hand, the card reader voices are inferior to the organ's built in stops.
        George,

        The punched cards actually hold ALL the information on them for our organs. The waveform is stored on the card, and all the organ does is read the card and reproduce the waveform.

        However, on the smaller 4-digit series MADC organs and later MDS organs, the waveforms are actually stored inside the organ, and the card simply calls up the number. You can tell the difference between the cards because the cards that are Silver-color are the ones that call up the waveform stored inside the organ. The multi-colored cards are the ones that program the waveform into the organ.

        In the tone card thread, David (& Sam in later posts) has created a spreadsheet where one can determine how to punch the cards by putting the waveform into the spreadsheet. Alternately, you can put the card pattern into the spreadsheet to view the waveform it will produce.

        Michael

        P.S. The spreadsheet is located here: https://organforum.com/gallery/displ..._display_media
        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)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

        Comment


        • #6
          Thanks again, Michael. That is amazing that all the information is on the card. It sounds better than I thought it would in that case !

          Comment


          • #7
            Actually, the cards do not hold all the information for the alterable voices on the full cage ADC/MDS models--the internal circuits do some interpolation between card data points. But all the calculated information is derived from info on the card.

            Comment


            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you, Toodles. I sit corrected, as usual.

              If all the information was on the card, there would be no need for an AV-1 or AV-2 card in the cage. However, the point I was trying to make is that the waveforms do not actually exist inside the organ and are called up like the MADC. Oh, well.

              Michael

          • #8
            The Allen organs that store the waveforms inside the organ and use silver cards are: ADC-1100, 2100, 3100 Series & MDS-15, 25, 35, & 38. Even though I sold & serviced Allen organs during both the ADC and MDS eras, I did not know that those smaller models worked that way before reading about it on the Organ Forum last year! I always thought the Alterables on those smaller ADC models sounded better than MOS. Card readers on MDS disappeared quickly due to MIDI as new models were introduced.

            Comment


            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Organkeys Jones,

              Now you know it wasn't all in your head (better-sounding Alterables on the MADC models)!

              Michael

          • #9
            Thank you all for the information. I always thought the card reader with tone cards was a remarkable concept that was useful, not a gimmick. As the advertising said at the time, it's like having two empty pipe chests in the chamber. I remember when I was in the market for my instrument, I looked at what was available near me (there was only Allen, Rodgers and Galanti). The Rodgers dealer at the time was handing out copies of an article that appeared in the local newspaper - that the Social Security administration was eliminating the punched card checks. That didn't dissuade me - I started out in school programming computers with punched cards - I was totally used to the medium.

            The instrument I first took lessons on was a large 3 manual Allen in a large church with great acoustics. The organ sounded fantastic - console centered in the choir loft in back with chambers to the left and right with large, high openings (originally built for pipes but church never had a pipe organ). All hard surfaces. Every ear, be it organist, choir or congregation was far from the speakers, so everything mixed in the air. I think it was a MOS organ (installed early to mid 80's). It had 2 alterables per manual division as I recall, which is really flexible. With the arrangement I have, the alterables can be coupled anywhere but are defaulted ON on the Swell, which is less flexible. At times, the Swell manual has to ride it out if you only want the alterable in another division. I suppose Allen cut back on the number because of the expense and organists were probably not using it to that extent which warranted the flexibility.

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by SchnarrHorn View Post
              It had 2 alterables per manual division as I recall, which is really flexible. With the arrangement I have, the alterables can be coupled anywhere but are defaulted ON on the Swell, which is less flexible. At times, the Swell manual has to ride it out if you only want the alterable in another division. I suppose Allen cut back on the number because of the expense and organists were probably not using it to that extent which warranted the flexibility.
              Qualification/correction on what I said here. Was browsing on the Allen web site looking at their new instruments and they have gone back to the old approach - the Genisys voices are provided 2 stops per division. That's the ultimate flexibility.

              Comment


              • #11
                UPDATE - I took a first pass through my MDS-65 yesterday afternoon. The instrument sounds 100% better. I want to thank John for his step by step process he provided. The documentation I have from the dealer lists the stops on each tone board and highlights one in each group - the highlighted one being the stop to voice that section to. The difference, I think, that made John's process work better for me is that it uses only foundations stops (instead, for example, a Trumpet). The other good approach is the setting of stop volume across divisions to get inter-divisional balance. Previously, I did a little bit of that but mainly relied on the amp volume controls to balance between divisions. That was a big mistake on my part.

                Anyhow, I going to take a second pass today to tweak a bit and will update again later. I'm a pretty happy camper right now.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I agree with John's voicing recommendations, but am wondering if anyone has further references or techniques for voicing that they could recommend. For example, how do you adjust the balance between treble and bass for various stops? I don't think it should necessarily be the same for reeds vs. principals, for example. I also know that Cavaille-Coll reeds tend to get rather weak in the treble and are intended to be drawn with the mixtures or cornets for chorus usage in order to beef up the treble. CC's harmonic flutes, on the other hand, tend to get louder as you go up the scale, but doing that too much will cause contrapuntal music like Bach to no longer work properly.

                  I'd love to hear some experts describe how they figure out these kinds of balance questions and what they play to tell if they've gone too far in one direction or the other. I can do this kind of thing by playing lots of music, and I've learned some passages that point out particular issues, but I by no means consider myself an expert and would love to learn from some who are.

                  Some of these issues are baked into the MDS chips and can't be adjusted, so voicing an MDS-65 should be easier than voicing a Renaissance organ like mine. However, I definitely like the extra flexibility of Renaissance, since I like my reeds louder than Allen typically ships them. My ideal full organ sound has more reed tone and less mixture sound than Allen's factory setup.

                  Comment


                  • SchnarrHorn
                    SchnarrHorn commented
                    Editing a comment
                    mlaird, that's a good question. As you said - with the MDS models, one is stuck with the overall balance. Someone mentioned to me 25 years ago that they didn't like that stops are in groups and one ends up going in circles: tweak group A, then tweak group B, then tweak group C; now group A is not good again - that sort of thing.To be honest, I used to have that problem before but not with John's process. Renaissance does not have these issues, of course, since you have stop by stop, note by note control. I'd think it would be a science unto itself. Does DOVE provide some tools to make the job easier - for example, are there ways to contour stop volume across the keyboard or are you forced to adjust each note individually?

                • #13
                  Yes, Renaissance voicing opens a whole new can of worms, at least if you're brave enough to dive fully into the possibilities of DOVE. When I had my R-230 at home, I figured I was free to experiment, since I wasn't going to mess up somebody's church or recital organ. So I pulled out all the stops (so to speak) and did stuff with DOVE that they never talked about in any of the training sessions. Somewhere on the forum I may have documented that, all the way from devising a completely new set of pitch tables, to moving around the samples within some stops, changing the sample break points, the filter sections. Creating and applying new filters, eliminating some filters completely. Even swapping out three or four ranks for other ones on the CD that I liked better.

                  To my ears, it sounded better when I got through, though it's possible that what I did was sort of make it sound more like an MDS instrument, since I'm not sold on some of the tonal changes Allen bought into when they went from MDS to Renaissance. (I'm more of a Lawrence Phelps fan than somebody at Allen must be...)

                  When it comes to voicing an MDS or ADC model, I always keep in mind that a totally "flat" setting of the bass/treble/mid pots should, in theory, result in a neutral rendering of the samples, with no added emphasis in any frequency band. I'll listen to the primary stop in a group with the controls in that position, and also check out the other stops in the group before I make an assessment. If, in my judgment, the primary stop seems well-balanced from bottom to top, and doesn't get shrill at the top, the flat setting is probably ok. But often I'll feel that the primary (or in some cases one of the higher-pitched stops in the same group) has a little too much "edge" on it or that the top end screams or screeches or gets unpleasant up there, particularly if the room is deadish. Then I'll probably turn down the treble. OTOH, in a room that is quite lively, I may turn the trebles UP on many TG sections, as a lively room can handle more treble, and then you can let the upper harmonics of a stop SHINE!

                  I find the bass control useful mainly on pedal stops, because we nearly always want those stops to get firmer as they go down. And we're battling the inevitable fall-off in output that plagues nearly all speakers in the bass region. So that pot may get cranked up somewhat on pedal stops.

                  Conversely, with 16' MANUAL stops, particularly a 16' Gemshorn in the great, that needs to beef up the sound without making it muddy or thick, it may be necessary to turn the bass pot DOWN on that channel. You can't do that of course if there isn't a separate TG board for the great and pedal divisions, as is the case in many models. But in the full-cage models, like our MDS-45 at church, the great TG's are separate, and I can make my 16' Gemshorn light in the bass without killing the pedals. This same principle may apply to 16' chorus reeds in the swell, which also don't need to be overly thick sounding when added to a full registration.

                  The MID control may seem less useful, as you'll notice that it makes a huge difference in the actual volume of most stops, rather than having a specific effect on the tone color. But when voicing certain models that have the great Trumpet stop sharing a card with the great Mixture, the MID control can sort of serve to affect the Trumpet while the Treble control affects mostly the mixture. But that is not a hard and fast rule. Many mixtures have significant midrange content too, so you have to be careful when trying to adjust only the Trumpet in such a setup.

                  That's about all I know (or more than I know) about that. Mostly I just focus on each stop group, one at a time, and do my best not to make any group overly shrill or boomy, and then I have to trust that the organ will be well balanced and pleasant. One thing I can do is to play it chromatically from bottom to top on each group to make sure there isn't an obvious emphasis or resonance that is going to be unsettling when the organist uses each stop.
                  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


                  • SchnarrHorn
                    SchnarrHorn commented
                    Editing a comment
                    John, that's what I found - the treble control could take the edge off a Mixture (or increase it) but it didn't serve as a separate volume control for the Mixture (which someone recommended to me many years ago). The impact of adjusting the Treble was more subtle. This time around, I ended up leaving the T's and M's at the middle setting. Only the Bass control significantly boosted bass for 16' stops, where needed. At least, that's what I've found.

                • #14
                  UPDATE II - I finished tweaking and have closed her up again. Not much to add, except there were a couple of stops that needed a bit of boosting - these were stops in a group that were not the home ones used to adjust the specific group. I also went to the pedal and upped the bass a bit. I'm in heaven there, because I never got good bass in my previous home. Will have to see how that goes. If it's over done it can get tiring. But that's easy enough to turn down with out impacting other settings.

                  As I noted in my comment above, I did not run into the endless circle of tweaking. One other tip someone recommended to me a long time ago was to adjust BMT according to the stops in the group. For example, if a group had an 8', 4' and half of a Mixture IV, the Bass would adjust the 8', the Midrange would adjust the 4' and the Treble would adjust the Mixture part. That most definitely never worked for me, and I did not use it this time around.

                  When I replaced the articulation/wind board, I ended up turning it down quite a bit. it didn't seem to impact a stop's chiff but provided more of a rushing air sound. I supposed it might work in a large, church with a good acoustic but in my small space it didn't add anything of value.

                  Reverb setting I left as is for now; same with the tremulants.

                  When it came to the two alterables, I ran into a problem. They did not sound right. Peeking in the slot, it looked like there was a dark space with one or more bulbs burned out. When I later went around back to see what it would take to remove the card reader, I discovered that the bulbs are not burned out. it's strange - when facing the reader from the back, the bulb spaces are numbered 12, 11, 0, 1, 2, 3... to 9. Space 11 does not have a bulb - that was the dark spot I saw from the front. There was no hanging wire or solder spot. So, I'm back to square one. When I tried a few different cards, I did notice that the stop plays an octave higher. However, if I played the stop down an octave on the keyboard, it didn't sound correct either (although the pitch was correct). Maybe there's dust in the unit which is blocking correct reading of the card. I'll have to take it apart, but not now.

                  Anyway, that's where I'm at. I consider it a very successful time spent. The instrument sounds fantastic! I'll leave the voicing for a while now and spend my time playing it.

                  Thank you for all the help and guidance. Much appreciated!!!

                  George
                  Last edited by SchnarrHorn; 04-26-2020, 02:56 PM.

                  Comment


                  • myorgan
                    myorgan commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Originally posted by SchnarrHorn
                    I see. You mean bump up the voltage on the power supply - is that just to the card reader? Wouldn't that cause the bulbs to burn out faster?
                    Yes, it will. The card reader has its own power supply.

                    I found in the forum someone using a handy little rack to store them on edge.
                    That is me, and it's a kitchen sponge rack I found at a local store. The cards still develop the bend. If the cards are a bit difficult to insert, check the alignment of the card reader with the slot. It's hard to re-adjust, but it may help you out.

                    Michael

                  • jbird604
                    jbird604 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I recall that when the plastic cards came out to replace the paper cards, Allen found that the plastic would sometimes "grow" over time -- the cards became ever so slightly wider as they aged. The fix was to use sharp scissors to trim a tiny bit off the top edge, just above where the name is printed. It would be a tiny sliver to remove, but that might make them go in easier and perhaps read more accurately, if that's your problem.

                    Do try raising the lamp voltage slightly. The lamps are rated for up to 12 volts, and the system normally runs them at only about 8 volts, so they should last forever, though they don't, as we know. But raising the voltage even up to 9 volts won't cause any problems and might result in more accurate reading.

                  • SchnarrHorn
                    SchnarrHorn commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Ah, OK. Thank you fellows, I'll try bumping up the voltage, and trimming a card.

                • #15
                  Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                  When I had my R-230 at home, I figured I was free to experiment, since I wasn't going to mess up somebody's church or recital organ. So I pulled out all the stops (so to speak) and did stuff with DOVE that they never talked about in any of the training sessions.
                  I agree - I did more adventurous things in voicing my home instrument before I did any of them at church.

                  Somewhere on the forum I may have documented that, all the way from devising a completely new set of pitch tables, to moving around the samples within some stops, changing the sample break points, the filter sections. Creating and applying new filters, eliminating some filters completely. Even swapping out three or four ranks for other ones on the CD that I liked better.
                  I've done some of this as well, basically all of that except for moving the samples within stops. For example, I almost never find the need for a 1 1/3' on the Choir, but I would like a 2 2/3' (e.g., for the Scherzo from Vierne's Symphony No. 2). I took the first alternate tuning and made it a copy of the normal tuning, but the swapped that stop's base frequency to one that is half the normal equal temperament, and voila! I have a Nasard on the Choir. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I can balance it properly at 2 2/3' and still have it work as a 1 1/3', since I need the 2 2/3' louder than when it's a 1 1/3'. But I'm still glad I have the option to play with.

                  To my ears, it sounded better when I got through, though it's possible that what I did was sort of make it sound more like an MDS instrument, since I'm not sold on some of the tonal changes Allen bought into when they went from MDS to Renaissance. (I'm more of a Lawrence Phelps fan than somebody at Allen must be...)
                  It's interesting you say that, since I've never been fond of Phelps' neo-Baroque leanings, so I was elated when Allen finally moved away from his tonal designs.

                  My situation is that I'm fine with manipulating Allen's technology, and they give me enough control to make the organ sound as I want it to, but I'm not well-versed in how to voice an organ from scratch. That means I have to do a lot of trial and error, and I'd love to learn more so I could go about it more scientifically, more methodically, and arrive at my desired goal more quickly as a result. If you all have any suggestions on how I can learn more about the actual voicing tradeoffs and techniques, I'd love to learn.

                  Comment


                  • jbird604
                    jbird604 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wow, you did one thing I haven't tried -- a pitch table down an octave. I didn't even know that was possible! Interesting possibilities there.

                    My respect for Lawrence Phelps is simply based on the "clarity" I hear in the crisp sounds of the ADC and MDS organs. I have found some of the current model tones less appealing, but I'm not really a neo-Baroque guy either. I do find the default Diapason 8 that appears in so many of the Renaissance models quite tubby and slow compared to the lively old Prinzipal that dominated Allen sound for so long. That was the first stop I swapped out when I re-voiced my R-230.

                    Most of what I did was more in the interest of "cleaning up" the sound than in pursuing a distinct philosophy. I always loved the "perfection" of the scaling and tuning I heard in the Allen digitals of yore, and don't care for some of the intentional "defects" the factory voicing seems to carry with it on Renaissance models.
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