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  • Re: Unison Off

    In England, we often find independent inter-manual couplers at other than 8ft pitch. In other words, drawing Swell to Great and Swell Octave, does NOT couple through the octave coupler to the Great.

    Instead, we find "Swell Octave to Great" or whatever else it may be.

    I found a particular use for this in "ensemble"....which got around a problem I had for one particular performance.

    The organ lacked brightness without the Swell Octave and the Swell Mixture coupled through, but at the same time, I wanted a telling, but not over-powerful 16ft and 8ft reed to be heard on the pedals in Bach's "Fugue on the Magnificat, " but without having the Full Swell coupled to Great throughout.

    This is where the indpendent couplers really came into their own, for I was able to couple the unison pitch, with 16ft and 8ft reeds plus the Mixture, down to the Pedal, and for brilliance, have the same coupling through at 4ft pitch, with Mixture, to the Great.

    Because it was Bach, I didn't run out of notes, but at the highest pitches, that would have only sounded like a Sharp Mixture breaking back in other works; the Great organ effectively masking any loss of top notes.

    It worked rather well.

    MM


  • #2
    Re: Unison Off

    Another argument for Werkprinzip organs.

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    • #3
      Re: Unison Off

      One more thing,

      On the Austin Organs that had a 4' Krummhorn or Oboe, the unison off can be quite handy for obtaining one of those at 8' pitch.

      Which reminds me of a similar but different reed...

      Those Aeolian-Skinner 16' Swell Clarinets are quite effective...

      - Nate

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      • #4
        Re: Unison Off

        I got told by my organ teacher that if you use it with an octave or sub-octave coupler, it makes all the stops on that manual an octave higher or lower, without it having the note you are playing with an extra octave or sub-octave.

        I can't seem to work out what it does on its own without the other couplers. Sometimes it shuts off all the stops on the manual, sometimes only a few of them. I can't understand why.

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        • #5
          Re: Unison Off

          I have found one useful passage in the last 2 years. Our church has a 13 rank organ that has a bright Swell and loud, flute/diapason Great. I have a piece from "Pull Out All the Stops" where there's a fast, bright Swell accompaniment to a slower, graceful melody line in the Great.

          I needed the melody at the sub-coupler/octave pitch after drawing out the principal chorus. I also need the melody up at the super-coupler/octave pitch too to add a little sparkle so the contrast isn't too great against the Swell. However, at that point it gets really muddy. Knocking out the Unison pitch (8') cleans it up nicely. Get the bass I need, a little sparkle from the top, and the Swell plays at Unison so it all fits together nicely.

          Regards,
          - Jim

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          • #6
            Re: Unison Off

            The pipe organs in my area are 8' foundation organs. They may have a 4' Flute. They may have a 4' Octave. What I use the Unison Off for is to turn the 4' Flute into an 8' - 2' Flute with the sub 16' and super 4' couplers. I love that simple combination.

            Now, on my new Allen 345Quantum at home, I asked the tonal director when he was making some adjustments, why I have a Unison Off for the Choir. I found out I can have whatever Choir stops on, coupled to the other divisions, and have the MIDI 8' Posthorn on the Choir manual. With the Choir Unison Off, I can play the Posthorn on the Choir but still have the rest of the Choir stops coupled to the other divisions.

            Alan

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            • #7
              Re: Unison Off

              Huh?

              Wow, all these silly 'gizmos' just imagine if ppl just played tracker action werkprinzip organs how simple it would all be. We could focus on music and less on bells and whistles.

              My simple rule for a 'feature':Can you pull it and know what it is going to do without thikning about it while in the one beat rest between stanzas in a hymn. If no, then you don't need it, probably.

              hmm..

              I STILL don't get all of those bizzare cuupler things.

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              • #8
                Re: Unison Off

                Wow... I must agree with you on this buzzy.

                If you can't just sit down at an organ and play anything on it without thinking about what it does, you probably don't need it, or are just simply uneducated on the organ ;p

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                • #9
                  Re: Unison Off

                  .

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                  • #10
                    Re: Unison Off

                    Yes, Widor and Vierne wrote for the octaves graves. This is a sub-coupler and in the treble you will not run out of notes. If the last notes of the piece were in the extreme bass you would indeed run out of notes. It--the octaves graves-- is really supposed to be used in place of a manual 32 foot stop which most organs don't provide. This allows you to play these big pieces effectively on smaller instruments without the big 32 Montre on the Great.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Unison Off

                      .

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                      • #12
                        Re: Unison Off

                        I play a 1920s Casavant which extends all the ranks to G above the top keyboard C. (It doesn't have any 1' stops. I would suspect that Vierne's organ did the same sort of thing.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Unison Off

                          .

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                          • #14
                            Re: Unison Off

                            I've tried using this feature before on my organ where I'm constantly using the super and sub couplers to change the sound, and to be honest, I have yet to find a use for this stop. It sounds OK (certainly not as empty as you'd expect), but it's not preferable to playing with two parallel octaves alone.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Unison Off

                              Oh, that makes sense!

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