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  • Tuning Issues



    What causes the "out of tune-ness" in unified organs? If I were to play an 8+4+2 Principal unit (all drawn together) with the super and sub couplers, why does it sound like a tremulant has been activated? (Not that I would actually do it anyway...[+o(])



    Also what are the tuning differences in mutations and standard pitches? This issue has allways eluded me.



    Violoncello


  • #2
    Re: Tuning Issues



    May be the voicing (?), in french "harmonisation", of the pipes in not really good and the smalls differences of pressure cause out of tune ?




    Sorry but I don't understand the second question [:$]





    Fred

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    • #3
      Re: Tuning Issues

      I might suggest that the Principal is actually NOT in tune with itself. Try tuning the TC octave with a tuning device, i.e. Peterson Tuner then tune up on itself and then down on itself. Or you could tune the entire 61 pipes with the tuner.

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      • #4
        Re: Tuning Issues



        Thanks,



        Also, somewhere I heard that mutation ranks were tuned differently than normal unison ranks, is this true?



        Violoncello

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        • #5
          Re: Tuning Issues

          Mutations are not tuned differently. They should be tuned "dead in" with the unison pitch with which they are played. Temperament is a different issue. That's why "wired" mutations on unit organs never seem to be in tune...they aren't. For a mutation to be fully effective, it must be in tune so that it will reinforce a specific harmonic and form a "resultant" pitch

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tuning Issues



            Any mutation derived from a unison rank will (and can) never be in tune. This has to do with the tempering of the scale, specifically for keyboard instruments.




            Unit organswill do much better withindependent mutations - specifically quint and tierce stops.




            Some unit organs can 'get away' with deriving the mutations, simply because they use a large-scaled flute (it can be hard to discern a real pitch); strings can be used, but these work best if they taper off at the treble and get rather soft. Another thing - if you play quickly enough, the ear won't discern the out-of-tuneness quite as easily.




            If you have unisons that are beating, your organ needs to betuned. [:)] Another thing that can be causing some wavering - the pipes might be drawing. If you feel pipes 1& 2 are in tune; 1& 3 are in tune, but 2 & 3 are not you may have a drawing problem. This happens because the soundwaves from one pipe interfere with those of the other pipe. Not much you can do about that, other than to try pointing the pipe in a different direction.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tuning Issues



              [quote user="soubasse32"]Another thing that can be causing some wavering - the pipes might be drawing. If you feel pipes 1& 2 are in tune; 1& 3 are in tune, but 2 & 3 are not you may have a drawing problem. This happens because the soundwaves from one pipe interfere with those of the other pipe. Not much you can do about that, other than to try pointing the pipe in a different direction.[/quote]




              Hi! Isn't a drawing problem an issue of one pipe robbing air pressure from another caused by channels in the soundboard not being large enough? It's therefore normally a problem with unduly compact organs, whether it be by wind robbing or pipe interference.




              By the way, it's not always appreciated how one purpose of aliquot stops is to produce false notes by frequency differences to reinforce fundamental notes. In this way, sometimes in Baroque work in Corette, Balbastre and Beauvarlet-Charpentier one can almost do away with an 8ft stop. But the aliquots have to be properly tuned to achieve this.




              Best wishes and season's greetings




              David P

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tuning Issues



                I think of drawing and wind-robbing as two different issues. Drawing can be caused by wind-robbing, or it could be an acoustical phenomenon caused by soundwaves interfering with other soundwaves. Sometimes turning a pipe is all that is needed to fix the problem of drawing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tuning Issues

                  [quote user="soubasse32"]


                  I think of drawing and wind-robbing as two different issues. Drawing can be caused by wind-robbing, or it could be an acoustical phenomenon caused by soundwaves interfering with other soundwaves. Sometimes turning a pipe is all that is needed to fix the problem of drawing.




                  [/quote]




                  Expanding a bit more on Mr. Soubasse32's comments..."Drawing" is one of the most frustrating aspects of organ tuning. Contributing factors include tight layout, common channel chests and certain styles of voicing. Often it is a matter of knowing which stops (in a given instrument) you can tune with and which you shouldn't. Introducing a third wave often shows the discrepency. Two waves (pitches) will always try to "lock in" with each other.




                  Winding is a whole different can of worms. Some reserviors don't regulate well under light loads. Floating top reservoirs are particularly vunerable to this problem. With only two pipes being played, the pressure may be slightly higher than it would be with a four note chord.




                  I hear a certain "color" change beween two pipes trying to draw. Can't even begin to put that one into words!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tuning Issues



                    The "out of tune-ness" in unified organs could be caused byoverly agressive stretch-tuning?




                    In an effortto make the organ sound bigger than it really is,each octave up frommid-point is tuned progressively sharper;while the lower octaves are tuned progressively flatter. If done properly byan artist who actuallyknows what they are doing,it can providesubstantial benefits fromstretch-tuning, but only if it is done with greatest restraint; like going for a3, 4 or 5second beat rate. Otherwise the instrument has the potential of leavingyou running into the streets, beggingfor relief!! [:S]




                    Sprinkle a little salt on a steak, and it will taste better.Dump awhole cup of salt on the same steak . . . .

                    2008: Phoenix III/44

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tuning Issues



                      I play a unified organ. The tuning is done so that octaves are in tune with each other. After setting the original temperment with an electronic tuner, each rank is tested against itself using single octave spacing between notes or double octave spacing. Thus each rank is in tune with itself. Drawing 8' and 4' diapasons together gives a proper blend. The mutation stops are derived from the flute rank and are thus the pipes are tuned to the notes of the tempered scale. The 12th will be a little out of tune, but no more than a chord containing an interval of a fifth. The tierce is a little more out of tune but again no more than a chord containing an interval of a third. The mutations are extremely valuable to add color to combinations.



                      In summary, there is no out-of-tuneness except the normal tuning drift with time that occurs with all pipe organs. My organ holds its tuning pretty well for about a year. It is contained in a temperature controlled chamber to help the tuning stability.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tuning Issues

                        [quote user="Clarion"]The "out of tune-ness" in unified organs could be caused byoverly agressive stretch-tuning?


                        In an effortto make the organ sound bigger than it really is,each octave up frommid-point is tuned progressively sharper;while the lower octaves are tuned progressively flatter. If done properly by someone, and artist who actuallyknows what they are doing,it can providesubstantial benefits fromstretch-tuning, but only if it is done with greatest restraint; like going for a 2,3 or 4second beat rate. Otherwise the instrument has the potential of leavingyou running into the streets, beggingfor relief!! [:S][/quote]"Stretch tuning" may be something that is done with digital organs (Ifound a thread where it was mentioned byArie V.) but itis inappropriate for a pipe organ.




                        The "stretch tuning" with which I'm most familiar has to do with piano tuning, where it attempts to compensate for the inharmonicities peculiar to pianos.




                        Pipe organs must be tuned dead on to unison; asorgan tone is pervasive (unlike the tone of a piano, which decays) any out-of-tuneness will be immediately apparent. This is especially true in the upper octaves.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tuning Issues




                          The "stretch tuning" with which I'm most familiar has to do with piano tuning, where it attempts to compensate for the inharmonicities peculiar to pianos.




                          Yes - I've never heard of stretch tuning on organs and cannot think that it has a place - even on digitals. On pianos however, it makes the top sound brighter. Why would anyone do it on digital organs?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tuning Issues



                            [quote user="soubasse32"] "Stretch tuning" may be something that is done with digital organs (Ifound a thread where it was mentioned byArie V.) but itis inappropriate for a pipe organ.[/quote]




                            No. Stretch tuning is not used with digital organs! At least Isincerely hope not. [:(]




                            Arie was referring to analog organs of the mid-70s to mid-80s built by Classic Organ Company. While incorporating digital controls, theyused traditional analog-generated voicing. A basic organ incorporated two sets of 96-note pitch generators, with one set being assigned to "diapasons" and the otherto flutes and reeds. In aneffort to introduce some measure of randomness to the tuning, individual pitchgenerators floated sort of free, being every few seconds checked against an accurate reference which would then bring them back to perfect pitch.




                            The pitch generators were programmed tooffer fourdifferent temperaments. For those who weren't interested in different temperaments, the organ could be programmed to offer 4 levels of "stretch-tuning"; and I may have been the first customer to request this option. It didn't really work! But in those days it wasthe best that could be made of a bad stituation. It was better than nothing. I was expecting the same results as achieved by Conn with their stretch-tuningefforts.




                            Conn was the first to do the stretch-tuning thing 'way backin the '50s!The basic organ was tuned to perfect pitch; and then whenyou engaged the chorus control, it would throw the entire organ slightly out of tune in a generally stretch-tuned manner. This worked well for Conn, since their "mechanically" tunedpitches tended to becomedetuned atratherrandom rate, giving the organ a full warm random sound without incurring annoying predictable phase-shifting that might makeeverything sound as if it was being played through a slow Leslie.




                            The Classic effort didn't work so well. Being so accurately tuned, the same obvious, prominent, predictablephase-shifting effortwas always evident no matter which keys/chords were being played; reminiscent the ofa slow Leslie.




                            [quote user="soubasse32"]Pipe organs must be tuned dead on to unison; asorgan tone is pervasive (unlike the tone of a piano, which decays) any out-of-tuneness will be immediately apparent. This is especially true in the upper octaves.[/quote]




                            And thisimportant tuning-principlehas not been entirely lost on Allen. With unison and >2' stops being tuned accurately,Allentended to mess with the 4' stops in an effort toexpand the random sound-richness of their organs, without making the whole organ sound tacky. From my experience withPhoenix, they seem to befollowing the same general principle. Along with>2' stops,mixturesbeingtunedto the very same degree of accuracy as a well-tuned sample organ;and thanks to digital technology; perhaps even better.Most of theuncorrected tuning anomalies on Phoenix Organs tend to artistically reside within the 4' range.




                            The absolute primary tuning-issue with any digital organ hasto do with tuning of unison ranks. For sure you don't want to end up with something that sounds as if it isbeingpumped through a slow Leslie!! [:(]It has to sound natural!! To that end, I believe that tuning unison ranks in a similar manner to the three strings of a piano note; i.e. tuning each onejust a little bit sharp or flat; like to the tune of about one beat every two to five seconds or so wthout incurring repetiion, is a laudable objective. ??


                            2008: Phoenix III/44

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tuning Issues

                              Very interesting...

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