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Thread: Trinity is doing an about-face

  1. #41
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    In a very large digital, such as the typical Walker, or this M&O under discussion, there are so many separate audio channels, and the acoustics of the building are usually so good, that the sound is going to have that "spread" and movement that we associate with a large pipe organ. Different frequencies coming out of the same speaker will actually be perceived as coming from different locations, as the ears take their cues from the reflected tones. Different surfaces, differently shaped areas of the wall and ceiling, a variety of distances between the speaker and the reflective surfaces -- all these factors will cause the sound to seem to come from more than one source.

    When I was a teenager, the only "organ" in town was the Hammond C3 at the local First Baptist Church, and it was of course a purely monaural instrument, didn't even have a Leslie speaker. There were two 15" stiff-cone "full range" speakers mounted high up in the wall above the choir loft, nothing more. And that was in a 400-seat church. But I remember finding the sound of that organ amazingly rich and beautiful, though of course at that time I hadn't ever heard a real pipe organ in person. But I distinctly remember thinking that there must have been speakers all over the place, and being very surprised when I was shown by someone in the church where the organ speakers were located.

    My point -- A big Walker (or even a good-sized Allen, Rodgers, Viscount, Johannus, etc.) with at least several audio channels can do a good job of simulating that "all over the place" effect of a pipe organ IF the audio system is adequate and the speakers are well placed.

    Given what I have heard here in this place with very few extra nice organs, I don't doubt at all that the Walker in your church sounds awesome, and serves the church just as well as a real pipe organ would. And it isn't nearly as needy in the area of costly service.
    John
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    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  2. #42
    p Piano voet's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    One of my “guilty” pleasures is watching Holmes and Holmes on television. I appreciate that they take a quality approach to building or restoring homes. On a recent episode they installed a metal roof on a home, even though it cost nearly 3 times what an asphalt shingled roof would have been. Their rationale was that, while it cost more initially, the metal roof provided better insulation and would last 4 times longer. Not only would this result in energy savings for the life of the roof, it would mitigate the need to replace the roof every 20 or 30 years. A metal roof lasts 50 or more years. Looked at over the usable life of the roof, it is cheaper to spend more on the metal roof.

    This is a lot like the discussion on this forum about the relative cost of a pipe organ versus an electronic. Yes, a pipe organ costs more upfront, but viewed over the life of the instrument, the difference becomes much less.

    The pipe organs that I have played in my career were, for the most part, very economical to maintain. There were two exceptions; in both cases the organs had been butchered by hacks who presented themselves as organ builders. In one instance, the church had contracted to have the chests re-leathered. Sadly, this was not done, as they later discovered. In the other instance, the person had added many electronic stops which were constantly malfunctioning. When I had them remove the electronic additions, the problem went away. I am not saying that electronic additions are inherently unreliable. The guy who did this work was incompetent. Not only did he do a poor job with the electronics, he was unskilled at maintaining pipes. There was a note in the Great mixture that was unregulated and stuck out like a sore thumb. His solution was for the church to get a new mixture! After we got rid of that service company, the new person regulated the offending note, which took care of the problem.

    Two of the instruments that I played were restored tracker organs. They are 102 and 151 years old and still going. I have played organs in Europe that are over 200 years old. These instruments are reliable and require little maintenance. Certainly not “expensive to maintain.” Over their life, these instruments offer great value.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800

  3. #43
    mf Mezzo-Forte Leisesturm's Avatar
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    Went to the church to practice yesterday. Air temperature outside: 95*F. Air temp in the Sanctuary: 82*F. Don't know about anyone else, but in my previous church (and the one before that, and the one ...) the Reeds would have been unusable. Period. In the last church with the Great and Swell on perpendicular walls of the Sanctuary, coupling the Great and Swell under these conditions would have been ... unwise. I'm loving this Rodgers. I really am.

  4. #44
    ff Fortissimo Havoc's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    You didn't say how many ranks the H&H that the church eventually bought had. No matter, I'm certain it cost about what it cost to purchase to install competently! That wouldn't be the case with a digital. I'm sorry, I simply can't get excited about 20+ or even 30+ rank instruments anymore. It isn't so much the raw rank count, it is simply the fact that the larger instruments plenum, the daily bread and butter tone that will be used for well over 60% of playing time, it is going to be ... 'better' on a 50+ rank (or the digital equivalent) instrument. I'll go way out on a limb and posit that a $20k re-homed pipe organ, with what it costs to install and prepare the space for its care and keeping, will allow the purchase of a re-homed digital organ more than twice the size. It might even allow the purchase of the much larger digital new. If there was an audible deficiency or some other compelling reason to favor the pipe instrument, that would be one thing. In 2018 that simply is not the case anymore.
    WOW... such certain opinion that the quality of a plenum is only dependent on how many ranks an organ has must be surely based on an extraordinary knowledge and enormous first hand experience of organs. Sorry but this qualifies as the most preposterous BS ever written here on this forum.

  5. #45
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    Sorry but this qualifies as the most preposterous BS ever written here on this forum.
    Really? I lead a sheltered life, but I've seen some pretty boisterous statements here.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- 1967 Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  6. #46
    f Forte rjsilva's Avatar
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    By coincidence only I was at an organ installation today where there was a Moller Artist pipe organ augmented by a Rodgers Artist 599 console. The pipes were wired into the Rodgers and used by various stops and alterable voices in combination with built in digital voices.

    I can say that some of the digital stops were good and may have been passable as real pipes (although I wasn’t able to examine everything carefully). However, there were other stops which were kind of a joke—one in particular, me and the guy I was with even laughed when playing one of the Rodgers’ reeds after hearing the pipe reed.

    I can see better now, however, that with Walker’s digital augmentation and their extensive voicing abilities that it could be nearly impossible to tell.

  7. #47
    mf Mezzo-Forte Leisesturm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    WOW... such certain opinion that the quality of a plenum is only dependent on how many ranks an organ has must be surely based on an extraordinary knowledge and enormous first hand experience of organs. Sorry but this qualifies as the most preposterous BS ever written here on this forum.
    I'll take that as an acknowledgement of the fact that there wasn't anything else in that post that you could disagree with ...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by rjsilva View Post
    I can see better now, however, that with Walker’s digital augmentation and their extensive voicing abilities that it could be nearly impossible to tell.
    Nearly impossible?

  8. #48
    f Forte rjsilva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Nearly impossible?
    Well, I haven’t heard a pipe organ with Walker sounds. I do know that some of the Rodgers voices sounded good, but they were also missing the same extent of some of the components of pipe sound (in particular, the wind and jitter) that are very present in Walker’s sound.
    From my own testing I believe that the wind/jitter in Walker’s sound is a separate component from the stop sample which I think is separately voiceable. So listening to some of Rodgers’ digital voices right next to real pipes I realised that Walker has a lot of control over that component I felt was most missing from the Rodgers sounds. So I suspect the Walker would sound more realistic right next to real pipes, and since some the Rodgers sounds were already passable then I’d conclude that the Walker may be impossible to determine. I’m not sure if that would apply to a complete digital organ though, but certainly digital additions.

  9. #49
    f Forte rjsilva's Avatar
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    I was practising on the Walker at church tonight, and maybe because of spending time with the Rodgers/Moller hybrid yesterday I have an increased respect for the Walker. I really didn’t want to stop. The detail in the stops and the balance between and how they mixed together was mesmerising.

  10. #50
    mf Mezzo-Forte Leisesturm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjsilva View Post
    I was practising on the Walker at church tonight, and maybe because of spending time with the Rodgers/Moller hybrid yesterday I have an increased respect for the Walker. I really didn’t want to stop. The detail in the stops and the balance between and how they mixed together was mesmerising.
    At the risk of being obvious ... even Walker at one time must have been ... less than what it is today. I don't know how old the Walker tech is in the instrument you play but is it possible that it is newer ... or if not newer, at a higher performance price point than the Rodgers part of that hybrid instrument? Are you making a fair comparison? I mean what level of digital would you use to augment a few ranks of Moller Artiste pipework? I'm doubting it was the finest of what Rodgers had to offer. Even the Trillium Masterpiece instrument I am playing was not the top of the line that could have been purchased in 2008 when the instrument was obtained. However the voices do have wind modulation and it was bothering me quite a bit until I realized what it was! I am sitting right under the speakers and do not have any sense of what the instrument sounds like at a position out in the Sanctuary. I'll have to set that up somehow but I'm betting that it would give any pipe organ that could possibly be installed in the space that is available for a pipe organ a very good run for the money. As organists we tend to forget that on Sunday mornings, in the average church around town, the organist is the ONLY individual in the entire building who knows exactly what the organ is or is not. Sometimes not even then.

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