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What are those buttons?

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  • What are those buttons?

    I probably ought to know this but have never played an organ with them... I have noticed on the LDS Convention Center organ and Cameron Carpenter's touring organ rows of what look like pistons/buttons above the top-most manual. On the LDS organ they appear smaller than the pistons but look to have writing on them. Richard Elliott never seems to push them. On CC's organ they are much larger and there appears to be a lot of them but I don't see him using them either. What are they for?

  • #2
    They look like knobs (to me) on Cameron's organ. And they seem to be grouped by division.
    http://www.cameroncarpenter.com/glamour2/

    They look like mini stops on the Conference Center organ. I've wondered if they are couplers or other controls.
    Click image for larger version

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    Sam
    Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
    Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

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    • #3
      Rob,

      There are several possibilities. On some organs, there are stop faces placed flat on the wood above the top manual. On pipe organs, they often refer to levers above the pedalboard which will bring on certain combinations, and the buttons are on there for reference. Of course there are other functions as well.

      If the buttons you refer to are perpendicular to the topmost keyboard, they are often couplers for the various divisions. If they are actual horizontal buttons on either keyboard cheek or across the top, they can also be couplers, or even buttons to bring on traps (like snare drum, cymbal crash, etc.) on a theatre organ.

      There are several other options, but right now I just can't think of more. I hope you find out what you need.

      Michael
      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

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      • #4
        I don't know what they are--one photo of the console makes them look like miniature drawknobs. You might see if "Music and the Spoken Word" airs locally or on your satellite/cable network. Often during the performances they have some close up shots of the organist/console. If you have a DVR you can freeze frame and in high def can see a lot of details.

        Sometimes the broadcast is from the Tabernacle, and sometimes from the Conference center. Website: http://www.musicandthespokenword.com/index2.shtml

        December, June, July, August are the likely months for broadcasts recorded in the Conference Center.

        Note that if you are doing searches, it is the Conference Center, and not "Convention Center".

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        • #5
          This is indeed very puzzling, though I do think they are simply knobs on Cameron's. Possibly some volume controls or EQ or something that he might conceivably want to modify in the midst of a performance for some reason, though that seems a little redundant on an organ like this.

          But those doo-dads on the Conference Center console don't look like anything I've ever seen on a console. Too small to be useful as drawknobs, but strangely they seem to be some in and some out, as if the player has adjusted them. Perhaps some kind of quick way to configure the combination action, link the pistons of a given division to the pedals or to the couplers or whatever. Just a guess.
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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          • #6
            Maybe combination action couplers--such as adding pedal settings to other division's pistons? Maybe MIDI controls? I'll be interesting to find out.

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            • #7
              AM radio push buttons by Motorola...

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              • #8
                Naah, I'm pretty sure they control the organ's air conditioning unit . . .;-)

                Tony
                Home: Johannus Opus 370

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                • #9
                  On the Conference Center organ, could they be there to allow you to make the expressive divisions adjustable by the various swell shoes? For example, if I put all the expressive divisions on the first swell shoe (or whatever happens to be the most convenient one), that's the only one I'd have to worry about to open and close all the boxes, rather than have my foot/feet on all the swell shoes?

                  - - - Updated - - -

                  On CC's M&O organ, there are 5 manuals and only 3 swell shoes (assuming that the fourth is a crescendo pedal. That means he needs the ability to assign any of the five manuals to one or more of the 3 swell shoes.

                  It could be, too, that some or all of the pedal is under expression.

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                  • #10
                    So here's the specification for the Conference Center Organ. What is strange to me is that the 'mini stops' seem to be grouped 4-3-5-4-1 (from left to right) but nothing on the specification jumps out as corresponding to that pattern. I think I have seen them move with a piston change during a performance.

                    Isn't the usual convention to have rocker tab couplers in this location?
                    like this Click image for larger version

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                    Tony, from the spec it appears there is a 'console fan on/off' switch somewhere on the console.
                    Sam
                    Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
                    Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

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                    • #11
                      Are they mechanically moving indicators for? I don't believe this or any Schoenstein console has any lit gadgetry?? And it would be somewhat difficult to reach all of the way up there to push a button mid performance?? They might be the adjustments for the various tremulants too?
                      Last edited by JohnBoyDeere; 11-16-2018, 12:37 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnBoyDeere View Post
                        Are they mechanically moving indicators for? I don't believe this or any Schoenstein console has any lit gadgetry?? And it would be somewhat difficult to reach all of the way up there to push a button mid performance?? They might be the adjustments for the various tremulants too?
                        Yeah, I thought they might indicators as well, but rather an unnecessarily crude approach. The spec does call out a 30 segment LED display for the crescendo pedal, so it would inconsistent to use mechanical indicators for the swell shoes.

                        The spec does call out adjustable trems, so that's a possibility, as is something to do with MIDI routing, or the built recorder. Another thought I had was that they have something to do with selecting the current memory bank for the combination system.
                        -Admin

                        Allen 965
                        Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                        Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                        Hauptwerk 4.2

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                        • #13
                          Somebody give Mr. Alex F. Schreiner a call:)...

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                          • #14
                            I can tell you what they are NOT, if that helps. I pulled these pictures from the OHS database of the stop jambs.Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              I'm going to guess the 18 Special Couplers listed in the specification document:

                              Pedal Tutti to Swell
                              Pedal Tutti to Choir
                              Great Tutti to Solo
                              Pedal Divide 12/13
                              Pedal Divide 17/18
                              Pedal Divide 20/21
                              (Pedal Divide deactivates pedal coupler notes 1 - 12 and pedal stop notes 13 - 32, etc. )
                              Swell to Great Sforzando
                              Solo to Great Sforzando
                              (Sforzando couplers activated by toe lever)
                              Grand Solo off
                              Solo Grand Solo on Great
                              Grand Solo on Swell
                              Grand Solo on Choir
                              MIDI to Great
                              MIDI to Swell
                              MIDI to Choir
                              MIDI to Solo
                              MIDI to Orchestral
                              MIDI to Pedal

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