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When are new console features useful and when are they gimmicks?

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  • When are new console features useful and when are they gimmicks?

    The introduction of simple electronics, then microprocessors and even computers (think IBM and the ill-fated Notre Dame system), into pipe organ control systems has allowed designers to introduce all sorts of new console features that were not easily accomplished with electro-pneumatic relays. Originally designed to cut down the size of the cable between the console and the chambers through multiplexing, they have morphed into featuring much more complex abilities.

    Things like pedal divides, variable tremolo speeds, sostenuto and pizzicato date back to at least the 1920s when theater organs were in their prime. But sometimes I think of the phrase, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." when I see the controls on some newer instruments - European ones in particular. I'll be the first to champion such incredibly useful advances, such as piston sequencers, which really improve console management for the concert performer. But then...

    With the dawn of the digital age of electronic organs, transposers became easy to implement and that has moved into the pipe organ world - transposing the whole instrument. A rather curious (and fun) fellow named Fraser Gartshore has an interesting YouTube channel in which he discusses pipe organs in Germany and organ music. One of his recent videos featured a new console on an older French organ in Germany. There are LOTS of buttons to do things I have never seen on an American organ.

    As we all know, classical organs that are not duplexed or have borrowed stops have each rank of pipes assigned to a specific keyboard. We call them divisions since the pipes may be in separate chambers, or at least in specific areas of the organ. Yes, we have couplers but it is the whole manual that gets coupled at a specific pitch.

    So how about being able to assign stops to the keyboard of your choice? (We're talking pipe organ here, not Allen Genisys voices.) What about being able to transpose a specific stop, not just the whole organ? Or apply pizzicato to just one stop? Do you like those gigantic NEXT [>] buttons?

    Take a look at this instrument and let me know what you think. Useful features for the modern musician or gimmicks?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF3przKzUYE

    If you want to jump right to the console demonstration, click here: https://youtu.be/HF3przKzUYE?t=508

    OK, if that instrument was not unusual enough for you, how about this one? Build your own mixture? Sure!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysnbcjkYNjs
    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

  • #2
    Perhaps the most useful feature I've never used (because I don't have a tablet yet) is the page-turn piston/toe stud, which takes a score on a tablet and turns the page. I think I would find that useful.

    It would be interesting to see a feature which allows the precise amount of air in a pipe, and thereby making a Lieblich Gedackt out of a Gedackt, for example. Or if the same stop is coupled between keyboards, and the same note is played on both keyboards at the same time. In that case, the organ would let a slight bit more air into the foot of the pipe so the actual coupled note is heard a bit stronger, as if an additional note were playing. Of course, that would result in no end of voicing or tuning issues along the way.

    Speaking of tuning, wouldn't it be nice to have a self-tuning organ where the stoppers, sleeves, or caps could be moved up and down from the console? I'm sure that would be quite expensive, but useful! Or if an organ is being used with a Symphony that is tuned slightly sharp or flat of A-440, the organist could change the air pressure to raise or lower the entire organ's tuning. All of these ideas are fraught with potential issues, but I'm sure some smart person could sort it out.

    Just a few of my random thoughts.

    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

    Comment


    • F Kalbrenner
      F Kalbrenner commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't know if this would work but one idea I had is of an organ pipe with a tuning slide made of a different alloys that expands in the opposite direction to the pipe. Some pendulum clocks I remember use a similar idea to correct the length of the pendulum.

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      F Kalbrenner,

      Interesting! It's actually possible to tune (or stabilize tuning) a pipe organ on the fly. Go figure.

      Michael

  • #3
    Oh my, what an organ! I could really love that one. I am going to come back and listen to the whole thing and the other videos as well, but I have to get on with my day pretty soon and will have to quit before it's finished. Taking a quick look at the "build your own mixtures" organ, I think that console is incredibly ugly and tacky, reminds me of some old home organ with push-buttons and multi-colored controls. I'd add that the weird sounds he was getting from it don't seem very useful to me, so that one probably falls into the category of frivolous!

    Back to the first organ, some folks might be bothered by those LED push-button stop controls that replaced the traditional mechanical knobs (I assume) in the former console. Looks like the buttons on an old Rodgers W-5000, but I do remember seeing this type of control many years ago on a new pipe organ installed in a church in Texas, when I went to the dedicatory recital. And the Rogers LED stop-tab controls of the 1980's, which I have enjoyed playing, used the same principle.

    Of course those organs, built 30 or 40 years ago, didn't have the ability to move individual stops around to different divisions! That certainly adds a whole new dimension to the design, and give a player some interesting flexibility, though there must be a learning curve before one gets at all the capabilities.

    In reality such controls probably don't affect the playability, though they might require a bit of getting used to when one is accustomed to traditional in/out mechanical knobs and the traditional arrangement of stops in divisions. The up-side is that they are easier to reach and can be arranged very close to the keys.

    When I was selling Allen ADC models in the 80's, we majored on pointing out that our consoles operated in a fully TRADITIONAL manner, just like any pipe organ, even a pipe organ hundreds of years old. Thus, any organist, either the resident or a visitor, could sit down on the bench and immediately start playing with confidence. No learning curve to speak of (other than simple stuff like how to set the pistons, or use the Card Reader when present, though these were obviously "extras" that a player might not even want to use). These organ console were indeed fully "comfortable" to almost any player.

    But organs with more complexity, such as the old Rodgers W-5000 and the Yamaha HX-1 that I had in my house for a while, are far less "comfortable" to the typical organist because you don't sit down on the bench and see the divisions and stops that you are expecting to see. Likewise, the Yamaha organs I've played from the 1980's with control panels that remind me of the cockpit of a 747 -- lighted buttons, knobs, sliders, wheels, LCD displays, and such all over the place, not arranged into the expected keyboard divisions, with nearly everything being more or less "floating" instead of a permanent part of a division. Such organs force the player to spend a great deal of time figuring out how to use the thing before any music can be made.

    Not to say that this amazing German pipe organ falls into that category, even though some of the capabilities may remind one of those "cockpit" organs. As long as there is a way to play it WITHOUT knowing about all the extra capabilities (as this player demonstrated when pressing the Cancel piston), then we shouldn't have any problems with such an organ. No doubt the resident player has a real party with it though!

    It's when builders put stuff on the organ that isn't obvious, or hidden features than can nearly require a change of pants ;-) when you're just trying to play normally, that becomes an issue. I have an issue, though it's not a deal-breaker, with Rodgers organs that have the "Voice Palette" feature -- you can choose which of two or three or more stops to assign to a given drawknob or tab, and that voice is what you'll get when you draw that stop, unless you press the Set piston first and then choose another sound to assign to that knob. This is unsettling when you pull a knob marked "Flute 8" and forget that the last time you used that knob you assigned the "Trumpet 8" to it! (This is actually the case with one of the knobs on my current Rodgers 677 organ at home.)

    I look forward to continued progress in implementing modern electronics on organ consoles. "Digital Paper" is a concept that could have enormous usefulness as we move toward software-based organs and organs than contain multiple sample sets. If each stop tab or knob has a tiny LCD display that changes to properly indicate what stop is currently assigned to that control that would make me much more comfortable playing such an organ!
    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

    Comment


    • #4
      Many of you will remember the analog Allen Organs with "x becomes y" tabs. Examples: "Flutes become Stopped", "Diapasons become Dulciana", "Organist becomes Competent", etc. Was there a "Sermons become Shorter" tab? I think there were more. They also had "Flutes softer" and "Reeds forte", if I recall.

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep, they were all part of the TC Series organs. I have photos of the General section of a TC-3S on my phone.

        Michael

      • jbird604
        jbird604 commented
        Editing a comment
        "Organist Becomes Competent" and "Sermons Become Shorter" would both come in quite handy!

    • #5
      Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
      In reality such controls probably don't affect the playability, though they might require a bit of getting used to when one is accustomed to traditional in/out mechanical knobs and the traditional arrangement of stops in divisions. The up-side is that they are easier to reach and can be arranged very close to the keys.

      When I was selling Allen ADC models in the 80's, we majored on pointing out that our consoles operated in a fully TRADITIONAL manner, just like any pipe organ, even a pipe organ hundreds of years old. Thus, any organist, either the resident or a visitor, could sit down on the bench and immediately start playing with confidence. No learning curve to speak of (other than simple stuff like how to set the pistons, or use the Card Reader when present, though these were obviously "extras" that a player might not even want to use). These organ console were indeed fully "comfortable" to almost any player.
      So John,

      Here's where the organ "purist" or "traditionalist" might have an issue with one of these organs. Classically trained organists generally know what a Swell Reed Chorus is about, a Cornet, Great Diapason Chorus, Flute Chorus, Choir Solo Reed vs. Chorus Reeds, etc. are and how they are used. The difficulty with these organs is that one could play a Great Diapason on the Swell with the Reed Chorus there or even with Solo Reeds on the Choir. While such an act (latter rather than the former) is generally considered anathema among classically trained organists, a novice church organist could make those faux pas.

      Alternately, a French Reed or Cornet could be coupled with a German or English Flute or Diapason, and while such an act would not generally exist on a smaller classical organ as a single-manual possibility (except via couplers), does the fact it is being done make it wrong? The traditionalist would not accept it, while the 20thc. organist would find it an interesting prospect.

      Personally, I like the possibilities that exist on the first organ where every stop can be coupled to every manual. I would find it liberating, because many times I'd prefer using a Swell Celeste to accompany a Swell solo (Cornet or Flute), and it isn't possible because of the limitations of the organ. The only real difficulty I see is for an organist to readily know which stops are under expression vs. those that aren't (generally Great & Pedal). That is the one difficulty I find with the theatre organ being so unified-it is difficult to tell which rank is controlled by which expression pedal (or in which division) because the organ is so unified.

      Just a few more random thoughts.

      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

      Comment


      • #6
        Recycling some organ stop humor. I'd add, "Pianist learns to play Organ."

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Important organ stops.jpg Views:	0 Size:	88.6 KB ID:	715538

        I would rank (pun intended) piston sequencers and page turn devices for digital displays as the two most useful performance aids introduced in the past two decades. Both contribute to the organist being able to perform a piece without registrants and page turners hovering over the console, blocking the view of the audience.

        I have at times wished a stop were in a different division of the organ so I could create a sound not anticipated or accommodated by the tonal designer. So I do like that feature on the French/German instrument in the first video. Expression can be an issue when you do that but presumably when you make a selection like that you are conscious of the issue and discover any volume anomalies during practice of the piece.

        My mom had a Yamaha Electone with the space age proliferation of illuminated buttons. I could never figure it out enough to enjoy playing it when I visited her and there were times I think she wished she still had the Hammond M-3 spinet organ.

        Having physical stop controls make a sound you were not expecting is certainly a step in the wrong direction. I agree with John that e-Ink displays could solve that problem if they start to find their way into more consoles that feature multiple tonal suites. The last time I looked, suitable displays for VPOs like Hauptwerk cost 48 Euros each, so not exactly an inexpensive feature to add.

        Have any other instruments besides the Johannus LiVE been introduced with that feature?

        Here's a thread started back in 2017 and recently updated about dynamic stop labels: https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...ic-stop-labels
        Last edited by AllenAnalog; 12-07-2019, 02:15 PM.
        Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

        Comment


        • jbird604
          jbird604 commented
          Editing a comment
          I wholeheartedly agree about the piston sequencer and the page turn buttons. I dearly wish I had those two features on my organs. And those scary "Voice Palette" stops on my Rodgers are totally uncalled for. I wish they'd just built the organ without an 8' reed in the pedal instead of hiding it on the flute knob! If I had to play that organ in church, I'd be terrified every time I pulled that knob. Fortunately you can completely disable this feature in a menu.

      • #7
        I'm aware of a place called Orgelpark in Amsterdam which is basically an old church that has been converted into a concert, but also has an impressive collection of pipe organs of various styles all in the one room.
        A couple of the organs there (such as the churches original organ along with a German Baroque style organ) are both wired up to a portable console that has some really unusual features. For example a swell pedal for pressure control, stops can be played on any keyboard they're assigned to, the atack of the notes are adjustable along with a few other features.



        https://www.orgelpark.nl/en/Home

        I also recently came across organ built by Rieger around 2017 that has similar features such as wind control but it also has quarter tone keys on the fourth manual.



        To be honest I find some of these ideas interesting but I don't if they would have any practical use out side of experimental music. The idea of being able to alter the wind pressure is something I am a a bit skeptical about as I don't think it's something that has any practical use, but it may come in handy for something like pitch bend.



        Comment


        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Maybe the quarter-tone keys and/or wind pressure alteration was a means of providing portamento in less than 1/2 step intervals?

          Michael
          Last edited by myorgan; 12-08-2019, 06:22 PM.

      • #8
        As Spock would say, "Fascinating!" On the one hand, not surprisingly, there are many more new-ish or rebuilt Baroque-style and tracker instruments in Europe than America. Organs that require one or two registrants to facilitate a concert performance. On the other hand, there seems to be the interest, imagination (and money) to create new instruments, consoles, performance aids or organ facades that smash the old boundaries and push into new territories. Yes, there have been a few organs built in the USA that have some interesting concepts but they seem to be comparatively rare.

        One could say that having a console with a layout and features that are fairly standardized makes it a more universal human interface to the pipes. (Something that Cameron Carpenter ranted about in a long-winded commentary on the pipe organ.) Any organist can play it with relatively little orientation time, other than learning how to use the piston memory.

        If you look at newer European consoles, builders started moving into piston sequencers long before it caught on in America - even on tracker organs. Some consoles have up to ten sets of Previous and Next buttons arranged in various places. During that same time period American organs just upped the ante in piston count, some having up to 30 per manual.

        Having spent time in voicing rooms when a rank of pipes is being adjusted to work with a new wind pressure (a transplanted rank from an earlier incarnation of the organ) I've seen how some pipes can be very finicky about their working pressure range. So I do find the variable wind pressure concept a bit un-musical to my ears in the demonstration video above.

        If you have organs and consoles in a venue like the Orgelpark (What a concept - I wonder who funded this?), then people can come in to create both experimental music and traditional music but using new console features and techniques.

        Last edited by AllenAnalog; 12-08-2019, 11:52 AM.
        Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

        Comment


        • #9
          I am not a fan of organ transposers. To me they present the following problems:

          1. I find it unnerving to hear different pitches from the ones I am playing.

          2. When the pitch is transposed on most pipe organs, it creates dead notes at the top or bottom of the compass when the pitch is raised or lowered respectively.

          3. One idiosyncrasy of a transposer on an organ I played in college is that it was a bit touchy. I once hit it when I was putting music on the rack and it moved the knob just enough so that none of the pipes sounded. A moment of panic set in until I realized what happened.

          For these reasons, if I want to play a piece in a different key, I prefer to sight transpose it. I can do this fairly well for most hymns, although I never tried it for something as complex as a Bach fugue,

          At my last organ position, I wanted a solo diapason, so I had the techician wire all of the principal stops to play at 8' pitch. It made a wonderful solo stop that was a nice alternative to the usual reed or cornet sound. Fortunately we had a spare drawknob for it.

          My reaction to the console that AllenAnalog mentions in his first post, is that it would take quite a bit to learn how to take full advantage of it. This flexibility is not often offered on such a large instrument. However, it is similar to some smaller 2 manual pipe organs I have seen where they have all Great and Swell stops available on a third manual. This makes a modest-sized instrument much more versatile.
          Bill

          My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

          Comment


          • Jay999
            Jay999 commented
            Editing a comment
            Transposers are wonderful when accompanying other instruments, where their natural playing range is in the key of E, or Bb.

        • #10
          Larry,

          Thank you for introducing me to the YouTube channel of Fraser Gartshore and pipe organs in Germany. His videos are so entertaining and educational. I'm now a subscriber!
          Lloyd

          Happily retired organist/pianist from the Church of the Brethren...Allen ADC-4300-DK.
          Home...Wurlitzer (ES) Orgatron Series 20 Serial #11608 (retrofitted with MIDI and VPO-Hauptwerk) with Leslie 44W (shorty).
          Hammond BC Serial #5070 with Leslie 31A (tallboy) tone cabinet
          A.L. Swan antique pump organ (C.1852) Cherry Valley NY
          Member of the Lutheran Church (LCMS): traditional worship. Cleveland Clinic Spiritual Care volunteer with the chaplain's office.

          Comment


          • AllenAnalog
            AllenAnalog commented
            Editing a comment
            You're welcome. His channel is one of the positive elements of YT that I very much enjoy sharing. I haven't watched everything on his channel yet but his facial expressions in some of the videos are priceless as he shows off the various features of an instrument.

        • #11
          I am an engineer at Classic Organ Works, which means I am the person who does the computers which go into the pipe organs, I've works on hundreds of systems.

          The ability to reassign one stop to another division is something I've been able to do within the software for 30 years, electronically speaking it's not much different to me than being able to disable single ranks of a Mixture for tuning. I could see an organist wanting to do that for a couple stops, but anything more than that and I think you would start finding the pistons/button/switches used to move individual stops around would become cumbersome. Also, if you are going to have a piston to move a stop to another division, why not just add a drawknob or rocker tab and put that rank on other divisions. It is part of your organ builder's job to create a tonally cohesive and functional instrument. I can make the computers do almost anything you want, you just have to tell me what you want them to do.

          As for Piston Sequencers, over the years I have found that sequencers are becoming more common on North American instruments, to the point where almost every instrument I do now has a sequencer of some sort. I am actually aware of 3 different types of Sequencers:

          Piston Sequencer: This is the oldest style that I am aware of. Pressing Next/Last pistons will step through the general pistons, when you reach the last general on a memory level, is increments to the next memory level. Most competent organists will be familiar with this, even if they have never actually used one. It is also the simplest to use, thus a low barrier to learning and using. It does have the disadvantage that if you make a mistake and realise you need a registration change between General 5 and General 6, you have to re-do all the generals.

          Registration Sequencer: This functions independently from the General pistons and memory levels. The organist programs a series of registration changes. Registration changes can be inserted or deleted from the sequence at will, you can even hit generals or divisionals while using the sequencer then hit Next and get the next registration in the sequencer. This gives the organist more flexibility, but does require more time to learn.

          All Pistons Sequencer: I think I have only seen this on like two instruments. This is similar to the Registration Sequencer, but any piston on the console may be included, including memory level changes, coupler reversibles, and piston couplers. This is very flexible, but you could get some odd things happening if you aren't careful, especially when you hit the Last button.

          Ultimately, if you are involved in an organ (re)build and are trying to think about what features to include, you need to consider who is going to play the instrument, and why are they playing, and you need to consider not just who is playing it now, but also who will be playing it in ten years. I am reminded of a church I attending many years ago. They were purchasing a new electronic keyboard. The pianist was quite excited about this and convinced the purchasing committee to get the keyboard she dreamed of, lots of features and sounds etc. A year later she had gotten married and moved. Nobody else ever used more than about 3 buttons on that instrument. I have also see what happens when an organ is designed by a committee, I can do it, but it's usually a mess, and people will be complaining about it a few years later.

          We've had a bit of a joke around here for years "If you can describe it, and pay for it, we can build it" We rarely need to do custom software or hardware around here as 1, many people struggle to concisely describe what exactly it is they want, and account for the various ramifications, and 2 customization is expensive.

          Comment


          • #12
            Classic Organ gave a great description of the varieties of piston/registration sequencers. Indeed, there are challenges to using this. My Content organ has 87 (?) levels of memory for the 10 general pistons. With over 800 pistons at my disposal, I do not miss divisional pistons at all, I just burn through another piston even if I am only changing one or more stops in one division.

            However, this wealth of pistons presents another problem--keeping track of it all. I kept a notebook for this purpose for my Content, but it is cumbersome and frequently I did not want to bother keeping it updated.

            What I found more useful would be to make notes on my score. I would put the level number in a square at the beginning of a piece and then put the piston number in a circle in the places I wanted to make registration changes. This worked quite well.

            Now, however, I have Hauptwerk. Each instrument has separate and discrete pistons, so the problem becomes more complex. Now I enter the name of the piece by sample set, since I may have pistons set on different instruments for the same piece. I try to use the same numbers, but this does not always work. If one piece uses pistons 1-4, I may want to use 5-7 and 8-10 for two other pieces. So far, I have enough spare capacity that It has not been too difficult, but if I have not played a piece in a while on a particular sample set, I may have to do some digging to find the pistons I set earlier.

            Clearly this is a "nice" problem to have. It sure beats the old days of having 5 pre-set pistons or some such option. However, an abundance of pistons and multiple memory levels also bring challenges. I would be interested in hearing how others manage this.
            Bill

            My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

            Comment


            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Bill,

              Then, if you're an organist that travels from organ to organ, you need to try to replicate your piston changes on your organ (in your book), on each new instrument you play. That tends to lead to dissatisfaction and disappointment with each new organ you play.

              For that reason, I prefer to keep my pistons rather simple and easily transposable from one instrument to the next.

              Michael

          • #13
            I've been meaning to say that the idea of sharing a division across two manuals is not that uncommon, for example a lot of the player organs from the early 20th century would have two manuals dedicated to a single division.
            But Another thing that I have noticed is that their are even some tracker organs that do have a division split across two keyboards. I'm not sure how exactly how this works as I can't seem to find any information or diagrams regarding this layout as you would probably have to double the number of pallets inside the wind chest.
            Another thing I have noticed is that often the stops can be drawn on either keyboard but not both.

            http://bigeloworgans.com/opus/42-stop-list

            https://klais.de/m.php?sid=464



            Comment


            • #14
              Raising or lowering the pitch of a pipe organ by adjusting the wind pressure is, as every organ technician knows, fraught with problems. A simpler solution would be to offer a control that meters the right amount of Helium (raising the pitch) or Xenon (to lower the pitch) into the blower.
              John

              Comment


              • Classic Organ
                Classic Organ commented
                Editing a comment
                Although both helium and xenon are noble gasses, so stable, would the church still need some sort of certification to have the gas canisters? :)

              • myorgan
                myorgan commented
                Editing a comment
                No need, Classic Organ. Most churches have a lot of hot air around.;-)

                Can you tell, I'm a church musician?

                Michael

            • #15
              In one of my positions, we got a used early 20th century American organ. When it was first installed, I mentioned to the organ builder that the 8' Open Diapason on the Great, did not sound right to me. The sound was rather dull and uninteresting. After listening to my imprecise comments, he went outside and came back with a couple of bricks which he laid on the reservoir. It was amazing to me what a big difference a small increase in wind pressure made. Adjusting the wind pressure when there is no documentation is guess work. The bricks raised the pressure just enough to make the 8' Open sing.

              On another old organ--a 19th century Odell--I tried under-winding the Swell Dulciana by pulling the draw knob out just enough to get the pipes to sound. I wanted to create an Unda Maris effect with the Swell 8' Open Diapason or Great 8' Keraulophon. While the lower wind pressure did cause the pitch to go flat, it did not affect all pipes equally. It was an interesting experiment, but also a big fail. Pipes are voiced and tuned to a given wind pressure and don't work well when the pressure is changed.
              Bill

              My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

              Comment

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