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Do you love your crescendo pedal?

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  • #16
    Re: Do you love your creshendo pedal?

    St. Andrew is open all the time. The organist, Bradley Reznichek is the nicest person one could ever wish to meet, and a good teacher too. There was a concert on it on Friday night, and it was free too, next time they have such a thing, I will be sure to tell you.

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    • #17
      Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

      Re: Shoe vs pedal

      I can see where the term came from. I can think of three old organs, one a two manual and pedal reed w/pump handle, which I have played, built between 1880 and 1910, whose expression pedals were shoe-sole shaped! on two of them the shoe was on the far right, about 1/3 of the way up front board the from the highest pedal: a very uncomfortable position to play in, and on one (the reed) it was not balanced, so you had to stay on it.!

      It is interesting how electronics sometimes try to mimic the drawbacks of of pipe organs. Many expression pedals limit their range, when they could go from 0 to full amp, and will try to mute the brilliance in the lower volumn ranges, not that this is bad. Earlier electronics could not resist adding options for multiple strengths of tremelo/vibrato, but most recent ones limit themselves to one, at least in the major stop limeup.

      Good comments all around.

      Lee

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      • #18
        Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

        I used the crescendo pedal for one piece, the berceuse by Vierne...but only on the Casavant I played in Winnipeg, the Letourneau I take lessons on here doesn't have one (which is a bummer, since it has been praised in this thread) but it definitely sounds good used in that piece in one point. And are those organmaster shoe commercials only in the states? never seen one here in Canada, that sounds hilarious though.

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        • #19
          Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

          > And are those organmaster shoe commercials only in the states?

          No, hahaha, they don't exist. I was talking about Dr. Jones just playin around. She'll pretend she's in a commercial...

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          • #20
            Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

            ahh lol, sounds like quite the person to meet. Awesome. By the way, if I didn't already swear by these shoes, the mental picture of that alone is funny enough to convince me.

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            • #21
              Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

              No, I don't like the crescendo pedal. It doesn't give me enough control over what stops are on or off. Hitting it by mistake can lead to unwanted explitives in a worship setting, too. I'm planning to leave one off of my Hauptwerk setup when I get to that part of my project. I really, really like general pistons--divisionals are wasted on me like the crescendo pedal.

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              • #22
                Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                > Hitting it by mistake can lead to unwanted explitives in a worship setting, too

                Yeah... that is true

                Is it possible to have the cresendo pedal physically move the stops? I know that sounds weird, but have it physically add/remove stops based on the position... It seems like a good idea, so you can know exactly what is playing...

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                • #23
                  Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                  I dunno...on lighted stops it'd work well, but on mechanical ones...a little iffy if someone gets their hands on it and plays around with the pedal...they may wear out a little.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                    I love a good crescendo pedal, I have played the large 8 division rodgers at Pensacola Christian College and it had a feature that enabled the stops to move in and out as you used the pedal. My practice Allen does not have one and I miss it.

                    Jon

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                    • #25
                      Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                      Dear back52887,
                      I use it sparingly on pipe organs, but on the occasions when I do need it, it is indispensable.
                      A lot depends on the quality of the cr. pedal -- on the choice of stops brought into play.
                      On the Wicks 32-rank organ I now have access to, the effect is quite artistic with certain
                      types of music, provided you know when to stop depressing the pedal.

                      I use it as a last resort to adjust the overall volume when hands and feet are all busy. I typically have set a quiet registration for a soft passage, then add (all at once) a little crescendo for an abruptly contrasting passage, then go back to the "home" registration. If the piece is leading up to a stormy minor episode, the cr. pedal is effective in heavier doses added gradually. There will be a change in tone color, but this is often welcome. In general, softer stops should be added first. If programmable, like stops should be added first, then progressively louder ones.

                      When Simon Nieminski performed on this organ, he found a striking use of the cr. pedal -- to mimic the blooming effect of bagpipes playing now louder, now softer.

                      I do not use it for hymns (there's always time to change stops by piston between verses), and rarely if ever in Bach. Maybe in Mendelssohn though...

                      Also, on the Allen *digital* organ I used to play at church, there were some interesting solo stops -- such as the 16-foot quintaden on the great -- that were too soft to have much effect at the normal volume setting, but which became eloquent when played with the cr. pedal all the way down. Of course, on a digital organ you can have a true crescendo not possible on a pipe organ.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                        I have never used a crescendo pedal except toward the final stages of a really big opening hymn. If I used it during a quiet moment, although I can't see the congregation from the balcony, I'm sure that they would probably jump 18" out of their seats. Hope it works for you! dec

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                        • #27
                          Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                          Love my Crescendo pedal???, I wouldn't go that far. But I do find it quite a servicable feature on my Wicks. I not only use it for service playing, but also in concert work.

                          I have 10 programmable General pistons that provide adequate flexibility for most service playing. However, I find that reserving 2 of those for Offertory, 2 for Choral presentation, 1 for solo accompaniament limits the range of the remaining 5. Often I use 6 though 10 for Congregational singing with 9 and 10 adding all but 3 of the heavy reeds that Tutti or SFZ adds. 10 adds 2 voices from the principals that the crescendo pedal does not add.

                          Now, how the Crescendo works for me is this. Starting with General 6, with full Crescendo, I might solo voice an introduction using the great accompanied by the choir organ. Then closing the crescendo, move to the great and accompany the first verse of a hymn. Then using preset 5 with the Fanfare/Festival Trumpet on the great and flutes and strings on the Choir, solo voice the second verse. If the Hymn has a chorus, I will open the crescendo, move both hands to the choir. Third verse, preset 7, close the crescendo, move to the great. Chorus accompanied by opening the crescendo about 1/2. After a key change, the fourth verse, preset 8, crescendo closed opening throughout based on phrasing to about 2/3rd's, then chorus preset 9, continueing to open the crescendo to full, with the last phrase or amen played on preset 10.

                          While my Crescendo is programmable, it is not something that can be done during a service or program since it requires opening the console and physically moving pegs. What has guided me in the structure is this. Strings 8' first, flutes 8, couplers 8, strings 4, soft principals 8, flutes 4, vox and other soft reeds 8, couplers 4, flutes 2, soft principals 4, heavy principals 8, medium reeds 8, medium reeds 4, heavy principals 4, heavy principals 2, mixtures III and IV, heavy reeds 8. The last addition of the crescendo pedal is Bombarde (tuba) 16 in the pedal. Tutti adds its 32' extension and the Fanfare 16 to the pedal and Fanfare 4 to the Great. Fanfare 8 is not added to the great under any condition. It is strictly used for a solo stop because of its voicing.

                          I cannot imagine that I would have traded having the Crescendo pedal. However, if it wasn't there, I would find work arounds.

                          Regards,

                          Mark Gilbert

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                          • #28
                            Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                            Some of the really new organs, have crecendos that are programmable through a little screen, and, there is a little LED display that says how many stops are currently turned on. But, these organs are few and far between.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                              I have only ever played on two organs with a crescendo pedal. One was on a Harrison & Harrison organ and it did absolutely nothing. The second one was on an electric Makin organ which was fantastic!

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                              • #30
                                Re: Do you love your crescendo pedal?

                                There was a Cotner organ that I play quite a bit (well, not quite so much anymore) that had a crescendo shoe. It has a little screen (for pistons mainly) but it would tell you how much was playing, by like 'p' for piano, 'f' for forte, etc.

                                When you slowly built up to fortisitisimo (fff, or was it ffff), it was heavenly! The organ is always out of tune though, so you can't hardly do anything with it. But when you built up, it all blended together and would shake the floor (even though the lowest pitch was 16')!

                                Of course, that organ had more ciphers than it had pipes - and every time I'd get in to a piece (with or without the crescendo pedal) I'd start hearing extra notes! I never could figure out what pipes they were though... I tried to sit down and play though the notes to find them...

                                Darn ciphers...

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