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Visited a 1985(ish) Schlicker organ

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    #16
    I own three grand pianos, a Steinway, a Mason & Hamlin and a Weber. They all sound different and have different actions and touches. But the brand of piano does not limit the piano repertoire of the past roughly 150 years that I can play with good and expected results. Playing music older than that or music written for harpsichord may not be as musically and tonally successful or "authentic" sounding but I don't play anything that old anyway. So I am happy with the results, no matter which instrument I play.

    That's never been the case with pipe organs. The pipe organ and its literature has undergone many significant changes in the same 150 years and the instruments that support the music of one era and locale may not sound optimal played on an instrument of another vintage, tonal design or origin.

    The development of the American Classic Organ concept was an attempt to create an instrument that could play literature from many ages, nationalities and traditions with reasonably equal success. Variations on that theme added more ranks of pipes to cater to particular types of music to enable the instrument to do a better tonal rendering of that music but the foundation was still reasonably egalitarian. Each builder had a slightly different take on the ACO concept.

    I have two electronic theater organs and two classical organs that I play on a regular basis. The Saville has a bit more romantic tonal design without much articulation in the voices and the ADC-5300 has the influences from Lawrence Phelps and the tonal movement of that time with specific stops having articulation generators. I certainly find myself enjoying the sound of Bach more on the ADC than the Saville. Flor Peeters, Richard Purvis, Calvin Hampton and several other composers I like sound best on the Saville. My theater organ music sounds best with the voices and trems on the analog and digital Allens theater organs.

    At some point in the future I look forward to eliminating all of this duplication of physicality of consoles and speaker systems to have one nice 3-manual console. A variety of sample sets at my disposal playable from that instrument will allow me to enjoy the best tonal choice for any piece of music I am in the mood to practice or play at that moment. This is a huge change in my thinking from just a few years ago when I first joined this forum.

    Despite years of advances in sampling (far beyond the vintage of my ADC organ) there is still something unique about the sound of my 24-channel Saville that captivates me in its spacious, rich "authenticity" of sound so any new software-based instrument will have lots of audio channels to duplicate that result.
    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand name.

    Main: Allen RMWTHEA.3 with Rocky Mount Electra-Piano, Allen 423-C + Gyro cabinet, Britson Opus OEM38, Saville Series IV Opus 209, Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI
    Lower Level: Hammond 9812H with roll player, Gulbransen Rialto, Roland E-200, Vintage Moog
    Shop: Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with 18 speakers and MIDI, 4 Allen theater organ tone cabinets (including 3 Gyros, but don't call me Gyro Gearloose!).

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      #17
      I hear you! Many years ago I played a magnificent Rieger tracker in DE, and a PA company (name began with a W, but not Walker) wanted to sample it. I went to the Sr Minister, who after considering their offer said: "If someone wants the sound of a Rieger, they should buy a Rieger like we did!" He *did* have a point...
      R, Bill

      Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
      Interesting replies everyone!

      When I visited the Skinner organ a few months ago (I still need to go back!) the music director told me that Allen had contacted them about sampling the organ. He didn't let them, and politely also wouldn't let me sample it for my own private project! He wanted to keep that organ unique and I respect that a lot.

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        #18
        Certainly some valid thoughts by Admin and AllenAnalog, though perhaps I didn't explain exactly well Using different virtual organs for the purpose of playing different styles more authentically isn't particularly gimmicky (although it can be), but "virtually" playing a specific organ located elsewhere and trying to recreate that experience is gimmicky and a change away from how musicians have had a "bond" (positive or negative) with their instruments. Maybe my piano example would have been better if I said I wanted a piano which could pretend it was the specific model Steinway CD-396, or pretend to be a harpsichord. When it comes down to it, why should we care where the organ samples came from? I think it's a distraction (other than for educational reasons) away from the direct bond between a musician and the instrument they are actually playing. I'd like to feel like I'm playing an Allen, or Rodgers, or whatever, not an Allen pretending to be a Schlicker located in Florida (not to say that's how they presented it).

        Originally posted by beel m View Post
        I hear you! Many years ago I played a magnificent Rieger tracker in DE, and a PA company (name began with a W, but not Walker) wanted to sample it. I went to the Sr Minister, who after considering their offer said: "If someone wants the sound of a Rieger, they should buy a Rieger like we did!" He *did* have a point...
        R, Bill
        I like that
        Viscount C400 3-manual
        8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
        Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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