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really obscure question - has there ever been a pure tracker w/a floating division?

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  • really obscure question - has there ever been a pure tracker w/a floating division?

    They are nothing unusual on large non-tracker pipe organs, or on electronic organs. It certainly seems they could be implemented on a tracker is, after all, just another manual that's missing its keyboard and is all-coupleable. But it seems like it is definitely not something the "purists" would cotton to. Maybe I'm wrong though. When did organs start to having floating divisions, generally speaking? I suspect what could be a little more common, if it all, is a single stop that floats. Also, I am aware of a few very big trackers that have a 4th manual that is something like a "Bombarde" division, only containing 3 bombardes at 16-8-4, which presumably couple to some manuals. I'm looking for a true, put it anywhere you like it, division w/more than one stop.

  • #2
    This is purely uninformed conjecture, but I kind of tend to think that a lot of it is because of the purist design approach, which is the reason trackers still exist in the first place. Floating divisions began showing up at the same time as electrified actions and symphonic (non-traditional) organs, so they all are somewhat linked. Also, since the coupling mechanism in a tracker is pretty close to the keyboard, I wonder if there's a complication in doing it that doesn't just make it easier or inconsequential to just add an additional keyboard- you do of course see quite a few trackers with just a reed chorus or a few solo stops on the 3rd or 4th manual.


    • #3
      This organ looks pretty darn awesome. I heard it will be a tracker, but I'm not sure if the Harmonic division will be or not. Probably not, judging by its size.
      There is no complication per se that I can imagine, but unlike on an electric action, where having a floating division is as simple as programming a computer, the action for a floating tracker division has to be carried back all the way to the rest of the coupler mechanism, which ought to be close to the console to keep response speedy and sensitive. At that rate, you might as well just add another keyboard, and increase flexibility further.
      Pardon me; the Mollterz is making my fingers twitch oddly...
      As of 7/16/2013, no longer active on forum.
      Practice hard, practice well.


      • #4
        Unique idea and question, but I guess I'm missing the point. Aren't most tracker instruments either historic organs of some significance, or an attempt to reproduce historic instruments, sound, and/or literature? Wouldn't the floating division seem odd when juxtaposed with a tracker instrument?

        I guess my base question is, "What stated purpose would justify the need for a floating division in a tracker instrument?" In answer to the original question by Circa, I'm sure it could physically be done, but it would probably financially (and perhaps physically) negate the purpose of having a floating division by having the mechanics for coupling it to every division. I can't imagine playing such an instrument if all the couplers were engaged--it would be a bear to play!

        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos


        • #5
          Swedes gone wild

          Thanks for that link, doucaine.

          "Wouldn't the floating division seem odd when juxtaposed with a tracker instrument?"

          Well, the designers of the Studio Acusticum organ aren't letting that stop them! It's not only a floating division, but a computer controlled 100 note per octave microtonal division! 610 pipes in total I presume!

          I guess my question was partly rhetorical, but doucaine's response vastly exceeds my expectations...not only is there a floating division on a tracker, but one that will be one of the most unique organ divisions ever created. But myorgan I think you are right, generally - if a tracker organ bothers to differentiate a division, it's going to have a keyboard. I just hope if it does, it's adjusted correctly. I remember having a to play a restored tracker somewhere in the inner suburbs of DC, maybe it was in Arlington, that had terribly stiff action if all 3 manuals were coupled. It was unpleasant even in slow passages. Granted I just wasn't used to it...but still. I feel like if I'd spent years playing that organ, my fingers would be all gnarled up lol.


          • #6
            Not a real floating division, but there are instances of floating ranks. I do know of one organ that has a trumpet and principal that can be coupled to either the first manual or pedal. It aren't real couples, it's some tricky jugling with slides and the wind chest.