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Aeolian-Skinner Reverberation System (1964-link in post)

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  • Aeolian-Skinner Reverberation System (1964-link in post)

    Aeolian-Skinner developed a electronic reverbation system involving placing numerous speakers thru out the ceiling of a chapel in Wallingford, Connecticut in August of 1962.

    http://www.nycfarmboy.com/skinnerreverb.jpg

    The ad posted above makes some interesting points and I was wondering if electronic reverberation being added to pipe organs was done or is done now?

    Is this system still in place at the chapel?

  • #2
    Re: Aeolian-Skinner Reverberation System (1964-link in post)

    I have seen several of these Aeolian Skinner systems. They used an endless loop tape recording device, one or several microphones picked up the sound from the organ and it was recorded onto the tape. Then about 5 playback heads picked up the recorded sound some milliseconds later, and it was amplified and sent to speakers placed throughout the room.

    So many churches have inadequate reverberation so this system was an attempt to improve the acoustics for the organ. It seemed to work pretty well but required careful balancing and adjustment, and of course maintenance for the tape recording part of it.

    Such systems are currently in use in many churches with digital delay and reverberation units replacing the earlier tape systems. We have such a system in my church and it is adequate. However nothing replaces excellent acoustics in a real building. Of course for home organs some form of reverberation is a necessity.

    Incidently, Schober also had a tape system available similar to the Aeolian Skinner unit. I don't know which came first or if one was a copy of the other. But the Schober system mixed all of the delays together and back into the main organ speaker, which the Aeolian Skinner system sent the longer delays to speakers further away.

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