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Allen AP-3 voicing

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  • Allen AP-3 voicing



    I just purchased an Allen AP-3 with a sequencer and Midi expander IIIfor at home as a practice organ. I play an AP-4 at church which also has the sequencer and Midi III, and bought the AP-3 since it is nearly the same, except the "princess" pedalboard (it is different, but not as bad as I had imagined it could be, hated the Hammond C-3 we had prior to the AP-4). </P>


    Anyone have any step-by-step guidelines to adjust the voicing. Since I am an electronics technician and deal with audio systems daily, I think that I can do this. I have an external speaker arrangement in my room which is built into a box in the wall and originally installed it when I owned a 1953 Baldwin, and then used it with my 1975 Conn. Now I have it attached to the Allen. Trying to adjust it by myself it tough. I have the Great flute to where I think it sounds great, and the Pedal Bourdon is very good, but still have too much treble on some of the rest. </P>


    I know you should start with something, and then add other voices and adjust them to match. Is there a suggested sequence to do this? Like start with the Flute, Adjust the principals a little louder, etc.</P>


    If anyone can suggest a method, I'd appreciate it. Maybe I just need to call my Allen dealer, and have them come and do it, but I don't like to pay to have something done if I can do it myself.</P>

  • #2
    Re: Allen AP-3 voicing



    Russ,</P>


    Since all the voices are lumped into just four groups, you can only do so much. You should have a chart that shows which stops are produced by each of the four tone generators. If you don't have the chart, you can of course turn the Gain of all four down fully, then bring up one at a time and see which stops come on. (I'm not sure about this model, but it's possible each mixture stop may be produced by two different generators, one for the octave-sounding and the other for the fifth-sounding ranks.)</P>


    When I voice one of these W5 models, I normally start bysetting the Bass, Treble,and Gain controls to the center of their range. (The "W" or wind control should be turned off in each section when you are adjusting levels so the noise will not confuse your ear.)</P>


    Then I'd set the amplifier volume knobs to 8, and then start by turning the TG gainpot for the Great Principal 8 up to an agreeable level -- about the strength you'd expect from a single pipe rank -- being careful not to get it too loud, as you'll be sorry when you add all of them together!</P>


    Next, adjust the level of the other Great divisional TG using the Octave 4 stop, which will be in a separate group from the principal. It should be approximately equal in volume (pitch for pitch -- middle C of the principal should be compared to tenor C of the octave) with the Principal 8, or slightly less. That should bring the two Great channels into balance.</P>


    Now, adjust the TG gain that affects the 4' principal (or spitzprincipal) on the swell, and make it about equal in volume to the Octave 4 on the great, or just slightly less.</P>


    Then, adjust theGain pot of the remaining TG by comparing the two portions of the swell celeste stop pair and making them equal. Another method is to check the balance of the swell trompette 8 against the swell basson 16, or whatever 8 &amp; 16' chorus reeds are on the swell. The 8' should be somewhat louder (pitch for pitch) than the 16. A third test would be to compare the 8' and 4' flute stops on the swell, setting the 8' just a tad louder than the 4. If you check all these and find that you can't get them all just right, you'll have to compromise a bit, but keep these all in mind.</P>


    Back to the great, you can tweak the two TG gains by comparing the Principal 8 to the Gedeckt 8 (or other 8' flute) and also by comparing the 8' and 4' flutes on the great.</P>


    This will give you a rough balance among the four TG modules. Then you can use the bass and treble controls to fine tune the tone qualities of the various stops in each group. Obviously what you do to one stop in a group will affect them all, but you can regulate the apparent strength of your 16' pedal stops by adjusting the Bass pot in the appropriate channel, and you can modify the brightness of the mixtures by adjusting the Treble pot in the appropriate channels.</P>


    In the other channels, adjust bass and treble as you wish, but be aware than you can really spoil one stop while trying to "fix" another! Keep listening to all the stops in a channel as you work on it.</P>


    Finally, adjust the Wind in each group to your liking. Some people like a lot of it, as it makes these organs sound like a leaky old pipe organ, but that is "authentic" isn't it? I like it myself, but not too much. Some people don't like it at all and prefer to leave it fully off. Suit yourself.</P>


    Hope that will help. Let us know how it goes.</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!

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    • #3
      Re: Allen AP-3 voicing



      Checked the docs. The mixtures are NOT divided into separate channels, so when you find which gain control works for a given mixture, that's the whole thing. However, note that there are two different mixture stops, and each one is in a different channel.</P>


      Also verified that the stops I listed for you to use as reference are correct. The two swell voices in the celeste pair are Viola and Viola Celeste, each one on a separate tab. So you can draw each one separately and match them in level and tone.</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

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      • #4
        Re: Allen AP-3 voicing



        Thanks for your help. Yesterday I got into it again, had my wife playing the notes and voices, and got it much better. The highs are not nearly as shrill as they were, and it is much better matched.</P>


        Still may get my local Allen dealer to come set it up, since they are the professionals. They did do an excellent job on our church AP-4, and have been very happy with it.</P>


        Thanks again.</P>

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