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Thread: "New" organ for my church at last...

  1. #181
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Thank you kindly, Jim! Truth is, I have some big EV subs with 18" woofers in them, but I've got so many irons in the fire right now I haven't had time to make room for one in the sanctuary. Maybe I'll get around to it, now that I've got the other part of the job done. I do appreciate the offer though. Maybe someone is closer to you who needs that box.
    John
    ----------
    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. #182
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    I noticed immediately that I could crank up the 32' stop a LOT without getting any distortion or causing any side effects on the rest of the great/pedal stops. That is a good thing. Before Sunday I just need to spend some time tweaking the bass controls now, as I finally have the freedom to give it all the bass I'd really like to have. I just don't want to blow anybody away or hurt any ears.
    John,

    Have your wife or assistant play. You probably won't hear the 32' reproduced faithfully enough if you're too close to the console. My wife helps sometimes--as much as she can (chords only). It mystifies me how she can play so well as a concert musician, and still have to find her way around on the keyboard.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  3. #183
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Yep, it's astounding how different the low pedal stops sound from different spots in the room. Even moving a few inches can sometimes cause a big change in the perceived level of the very low frequencies. This is why I am so skeptical of "note by note leveling" on pedal stops. You want to get all the notes even -- but WHERE? Get them all level where I'm sitting, and people out in the nave may not hear some of them at all, or may be utterly destroyed by an earthquake when I play my low E-flat!

    What I need to re-think on the MDS is the entire pedal to manual balance. I've been using the 32' Contre Bourdon in far too many registrations, possibly as an all-purpose bass booster. Perhaps my 16' pedal stops are too soft, and I feel compelled to add the 32 even on soft registrations. Or maybe I've been just thinking it was "cool" so I overused it.

    When I get back to the church and have time, I'm going to bump up the Bourdon 16' quite a bit so that it can actually be useful in a fairly full registration, and then I can start saving the 32' stop for the really big combinations.
    John
    ----------
    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

  4. #184
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    What I need to re-think on the MDS is the entire pedal to manual balance. I've been using the 32' Contre Bourdon in far too many registrations, possibly as an all-purpose bass booster. Perhaps my 16' pedal stops are too soft, and I feel compelled to add the 32 even on soft registrations. Or maybe I've been just thinking it was "cool" so I overused it.
    John,

    It's not necessarily wrong to use the 32' Contre Bourdon in most registrations. The issue becomes when it's constantly played in the bottom octave.

    Most hymns have their pedal line written an octave higher than the lower end of the organ's range. It's not uncommon for me to play the pedals in the range they're written with the 32' Contre Bourdon on. Rarely, do I end up transposing the pedal line 1 octave lower for every verse of a hymn. Rather, I save it for the last verse, or the last few notes.

    Like frosting on a cake, it can be overused to the point of making someone sick. However, a little here and there sounds about right.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  5. #185
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Thanks for that word, Michael. Good to know that what I've been doing isn't completely off-base. I rarely play lower than the lowest F on the pedalboard, just because the center notes are easier to reach and I have a habit of keeping my feet in that area. Most of my pedal playing falls between that low F and the second G. Fortunately, that is the range over which the 32' stop sounds best on the MDS. Below that the sub I'm using doesn't do it justice, though I found out after giving it its own amp that it CAN go lower.

    If I get time I want to try bumping up all three of the 16' pedal stops too just a tad, as I often feel that my pedals sound weak unless I do add the 32. I'd like to have the option of using a 16' pedal line alone and not have it seem so puny.

    One thing they thought out really well on this MDS-45 ... each of the four primary low pedal stops is in a different TG group, so I have the ability to adjust the Bass pot in that group to set the weight of each one to my liking without affecting much of anything else.
    John
    ----------
    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

  6. #186
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Finally spent some time with the organ Saturday and brought up the 16' Bourdon and Lieblich Gedeckt stops. And that was a good thing. I noticed immediately in the service today that I had a more substantial and identifiable bass line. And the registrations without the 32' in them were now nicely undergirded with the 16' tone, no more puny bass line. Should've done this a long time ago!

    Now I have better opportunities to build up my pedal department without resorting to the kitchen sink on the first or second step. For the opening hymn, which was "O Worship the King" (Lyons), I started with the three 16' pedal flues, manuals going up to mixtures. Second stanza I dropped the 2', the mixtures and one pedal stop. Third stanza back to mixtures and all three 16' pedals. Final stanza I threw on the 32' stop, the Swell Trompette, and my Zimbel III from the MIDI module. Very good contrast among these registrations, quite effective with that hymn.

    I need to remember this in future voicing projects. It's perfectly OK to have the 16' pedal stops quite big, as long as there is one that is soft enough to go with the celeste or other soft manual stop.
    John
    ----------
    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

  7. #187
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    It's perfectly OK to have the 16' pedal stops quite big, as long as there is one that is soft enough to go with the celeste or other soft manual stop.
    And that's why God created the Libelich Gedeckt!

    Michael

    P.S. Alternately, you can always couple a 16' Gemshorn or Lieblich Gedeckt from one manual to accompany another. Sometimes I think we forget they're there.
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  8. #188
    ppp Pianississmo khouji123!'s Avatar
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    Congratulation MIke for serving the church wholeheartedly!

  9. #189
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    This was one of those Sundays when the church organ seemed muted, at least to me. Not sure if or how any of the recent mods -- adding a bass amp, moving the tweeters -- could be at fault, but it sort of seemed like there was a blanket over the speakers.

    I do have the amps turned down just a tiny bit from where they once were, but I don't think I've turned them down since last Sunday. When I first installed this organ, I must have wanted everybody to know just how big and powerful it was but have finally realized I'm not going to bring in the Kingdom of Heaven with my festival trumpet, much as I might like to ... but I don't think the perceived muffled-ness today was just lower volume, so much as a sense that the air was heavy and thick and sort of hard to move. It was a rainy morning, with a cold front approaching and a weather change about to occur. Perhaps that was part of it.

    Anyway, I no longer feel the need to make the organ roar or to drown out the congregation, so I wasn't unhappy with the situation. It just felt peculiar to me. Or maybe I'm losing my hearing. That would be a bummer!
    John
    ----------
    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

  10. #190
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    After a clear and sunny week, the weather turned rainy again for Sunday morning. But this week it didn't seem to be affecting the organ in the way it did last week. Perhaps my hearing is getting a little variable ...

    Call it maturity or getting more laid back or whatever, but I don't feel the need to blow the roof off the church any more like I thought I had to do just a few years ago. So I've decided that I like the new slightly softer and mellower organ tone that we're getting.

    A friend dropped by the church a few days ago and played the organ, said it sounds better than it used to. Not sure what he heard that gave him that impression except that I have turned the volume knobs down by about 1/4 of a number each, and of course added the amp that only drives a sub. But it could also be that all the voicing and tinkering that I've done in fits and starts has paid off in the long term and that it is getting subtly more balanced and smooth.

    Anyway, I had a very satisfying experience playing this morning. In my old age, I'm finally becoming more confident at the console that I've ever been and I think I'm playing better. I find myself at ease improvising on a hymn tune or something for communion and at other little moments when quiet music is needed. Haven't had anyone look at me like I was having a stroke in a long time now.

    What does all this have to do with an organ forum and the interests of a group of organists? Not sure, but I for one am feeling less anxious about the future, feeling more comfortable with letting things be as they are and not worrying about what will become of traditional worship or organs or choirs.

    Hope you all had a great day.
    John
    ----------
    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

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