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Thread: Different Tone Colors From Reeds

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    Different Tone Colors From Reeds

    Since all the voices in a Reed Organ are generated by Vibrating Reeds, what determines the tonal differences between a Flute and a Violin? An Oboe and a Trombone? etc.

    Is it the acoustic configuration of the reed cells?

    Hal

  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by HiDesertHal View Post
    Since all the voices in a Reed Organ are generated by Vibrating Reeds, what determines the tonal differences between a Flute and a Violin? An Oboe and a Trombone? etc.

    Is it the acoustic configuration of the reed cells?

    Hal
    No, different shape of the reed. Now the vox Humana stop is a fan but not a true stop.

  3. #3
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    I'll be getting my "American Reed Organ" book soon, and maybe there wil be pictures of the reeds that correspond to different Instruments.

    Hal

  4. #4
    ff Fortissimo james's Avatar
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    None of those reeds are going to sound too much like an instrument name such as Trumpet 8' or Oboe 8'.

    Just think with a limited number of sets of reeds as many as four stops play from one set of reeds such as Diapason, Echo Horn both a 8', with the Echo Horn, being a soft stop of the Diapason. It is the same in the other half of the keyboard with Melodia 8's and Cremona 8'. Then your couplers, Sub Bass, and a Celeste stop just those mentioned make up eight stops. Then you have your 4' set of reeds in the bass, and maybe in the treble or another set of 8' reeds. There is not a whole lot of variety just a bit among the stops.

    James
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  5. #5
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    So those are the tonal limitations of the Reed Organ.

    That's OK...just so I can pull a stop that sounds a little different for contrast when I play the second chorus!

    Hal

  6. #6
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    From White's School for the Reed Organ, 1875, p. 4:

    The following are names of the stops as used by manufacturers in this country: Diapason, Dulciana, Melodia, Principal, Cremona, Gamba, Flute, Hautboy, Basson, Bourdon, Sub-Bass, Vox Humana, La Perfectione, Kalophon, Campanella, Euphone, Cello, Tremolo, Octave Coupler

    From the foregoing list of names any one unacquainted with the reed-organ would be led to suppose that an endless variety of tones and effects could be produced, which is not so; for the reason that the reeds from which the various tones originate are very similar in appearance, being simply small blocks of brass, or combination metal, with a tongue or vibrator attached at one end...

    And the advice for using stops:

    ... always remembering to use the DIAPASON and the DULCIANA together. When more power is wanted, draw the PRINCIPAL and FLUTE; when still more tone is needed, open the SWELL, and add the SUB-BASS, blowing steadily, and keeping the bellows full of wind. When a very soft and subdued tone is required, draw the DIAPASON and DULCIANA and blow very slowly, only supplying enough wind in the bellows to make the reeds sound. A very beautiful SOLO effect may be obtained by drawing the PRINCIPAL, DULCIANA, and TREMOLO, and with the right hand play solo on the lower or bass half of the key-board, while the left hand crosses the right and plays the accompaniment, -- a proper use of the knee-swell will greatly enhance the effect.
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  7. #7
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    Scale of reed, scale of reed cell, direction of reed orientation, material of reed cell, size of space under the swells, use of external tone modifiers (metal, soft "swan's-down" materials) all factor into the tone color.
    All of these manipulations cost $$, and were typically never seen on cheap $25-$100 parlor models. By the time you got into $300 range, some better effects were employed. At $750-$1200 you could have a very nice range of sounds, but very few had the means for them.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by SubBase View Post
    Scale of reed, scale of reed cell, direction of reed orientation, material of reed cell, size of space under the swells, use of external tone modifiers (metal, soft "swan's-down" materials) all factor into the tone color.
    All of these manipulations cost $$, and were typically never seen on cheap $25-$100 parlor models. By the time you got into $300 range, some better effects were employed. At $750-$1200 you could have a very nice range of sounds, but very few had the means for them.
    What do you have, i noticed the picture and found it odd that their is a two manual organ?

  9. #9
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Madison View Post
    What do you have, i noticed the picture and found it odd that their is a two manual organ?
    That's a Vocalion (pressure reed organ) of 1891, been sold into a new home. The pedalboard was not installed when I took the pic.
    Casey

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by SubBase View Post
    That's a Vocalion (pressure reed organ) of 1891, been sold into a new home. The pedalboard was not installed when I took the pic.
    Casey
    Thanks for the info

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