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Touch weight? How to measure / regulate? How important is it, e.g. 3oz vs 4oz??

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  • Touch weight? How to measure / regulate? How important is it, e.g. 3oz vs 4oz??

    What's a good weight of touch on a non-tracker instrument? As a part of my quest to build a stack of manuals from scratch I picked up a pair of old OSI manuals to study. But as a non-organist (well not really, I *have* studied, played, but do not currently) I don't have much of an idea for touch weight, what feels good, what doesn't, etc. A document entitled, "American Guild of Organists Standard Console Specifications" specifies, however, that weight of touch should be 3.25 - 3.75 oz "with tracker touch recommended on electropneumatic instruments." I measured mine to four ounces but feel like I should bring them down to 3.5. Thoughts? Or does it not really matter that much? Also, because these have springs in them, the weight of touch is lighter on initial depression and gradually increases to four ounces to bring the key all the way down.

    Also wondering...is tracker action really important or does it not matter than much whether one plays on this vs "spring" electric action? (I have never played a tracker organ but will get to in a few weeks!)

  • #2
    Not an expert by any means, but here's my take in your question.

    A tracker keyboard has lots of mechanics behind it. It is perhaps difficult to reduce the touch weight beyond certain limits.

    An electropneumatic keyboard could possibly have as light a touch weight as you wanted to make it.

    Standardizing the touch weight allows any organist to play any instrument without slamming the keys down (too light) or getting hand cramps (too heavy).

    I don't know how much of an issue that extra 1/4-1/2 oz. would be.
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