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Thread: Eminent Organs and mistaken identity

  1. #1

    Eminent Organs and mistaken identity



    There has been a lot of question on here as to who makes Eminet organs and if Eminent makes DMP or Cathedral Organs ( what an original name)
    </p>

    ( Disclaimer - I import Eminent organs )

    </p>

    I can assure you that Eminent is not in any way making or has
    anything to do with DMP organs. I won't even go there with an opinion
    of DMP.</p>

    The only clue that i have to the Cathedral connection
    is: Cathedral Organs in the UK is a company Name, not an Organ
    Manufacturer. They are a long time Eminent representative, lots of
    organs in nice venues. However, the web has probably linked the name
    Cathedral by association.</p>

    Unfortunately the Web can be like
    reading the bible... One has to often research further then reading a
    single source or opinion. Like some of the posts on here... If one's
    mind is already made up, then one will hear what they want to hear in
    anything.. While often coming back to their own original assumption or
    decision.</p>

    So, I certainly am not a proponent of knocking
    someone else's endeavors in organ building. You have those posts that
    use terms like additive syntheses... saying the technology hasn't
    changed much in the last 15 years.( So how many people take that as an
    authoritative statement. It's one person's opinion.. (of which he has many) from someone who works / worked for an AG dealer. So.. how critical do we get with the opinion that ( in his opinion) - they do not sound very "pipe like"... A lot could be said about any organ that is not set up properly... obviously not very pipe like..</p>

    Or the Room ( or lack there-off).. Take an old Allen TC3 and drop it into a cathedral with 6 or 7 seconds of really good acoustics and you could sell probably 75 percent of every church committee that walked through the door in the first 5 minutes of listening to it</p>

    Back to Additive syntheses.. What's your first impression when you hear that
    statement? A bunch or analog transistors? What? a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer.. A far cry from the
    studio synth units of today. </p>

    And let's take it one step
    further... recording musicians seek out instruments like the mini
    Moog and the memory-Moog all the time. they were classic and
    everything else is a digital imitation lacking in the true body of the
    original sound.. so, Is the latest technology the tail wagging the
    dog - nothing more than the marketing hype required to "SELL" the
    typical ignorant church organ committee that would not be able to
    differentiate the sound between an off-the shelf Moller pipe organ and
    a Richards &amp; Fowkes, Paul Fritts or a Brombaugh. to some of us,
    there would be a hands down "not even close" response to that
    comparison. and there is the remote p[possibility that some of you may
    have never heard of the latter three.. who knows... I can guarantee
    you, you go to a church committee in charge of "Shopping" for and
    organ, and they will look at you like you have three heads if you ask
    them that questions. Why Moller of course, they're famous!</p>

    ( and music being art.. to their ears the Moller may truly sound better)</p>

    There's
    my point! Perhaps the first place to start when asking about any
    "instrument" would be someone the knows something about it.. like
    someone who represents the company.</p>



    Wayne Grauel</p>

    Eminent-USA.com</p>



    </p>

  2. #2

    Re: Eminent Organs and mistaken identity

    Wayne,<DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>While you are here may we hit you with a few questions?</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Is Cantor still around?* Someone raised that question a few weeks ago.* The Cantor samples on your website sound very interesting, considerably more distinguished (less generic?) than typical sampled sounds.* I was surprised.</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Also, would the major manufacturers of synthesis digital organs be Eminent, Cantor, Veritas, and Allen?* I'm not familiar with the current work of any of these--even Allen--since recently everyone seems to be buying Rodgers in this region.</DIV>

  3. #3

    Re: Eminent Organs and mistaken identity



    Hi Mark,</p>

    Quote:.. Also, would the major manufacturers of synthesis digital organs be
    Eminent, Cantor, Veritas, and Allen? I'm not familiar with the current
    work of any of these--even Allen--since recently everyone seems to be
    buying Rodgers in this region.
    </p>

    Allen is not real time - it is a sampled organ. ( and a relatively good sounding, solid well built instrument along with Rodgers ).. I remain silent about others! ( well known sampled organs)
    </p>On Cantor...

    A simple answer to your question is Yes and NO ( on Cantor)..

    the organ is not being manufactured ( as such) but built only on a to -order basis. They had tried the route of a full time shop but the world economy basically took a dive and made it impossible to sustain in the environment.
    </p>

    </p>

    Eminent (also using a real time system) was and is a long established builder in Europe and they have a solid foundation - basically less effected by world economics. ( Mr. Johannus even worked for eminent in the old Analog days)</p>

    Eminent has proved to be a really solid instrument that offers me a lot of versatility in the design process, and also total distinction due to it's inherent ability to actually voice the instrument. their newest processors have really stepped up to the plate with the ability to delve into specific attributes of the processor that is available from the console ( voicing points, stop volumes, trems speed and depth, programmable, and other cool features that can be assigned to each individual disposition ( of which there are three ) . and a voice library of 64 stops on top of the specified stop list gives the organist a lot of options when you consider you can choose from 110 speaking stops (available) on a 60 stop console. ( While leaving the actual Harmonic Content of the stop to the voicer - much like the average organist should , For God's Sake, stay away from real organ pipes ( including myself)!
    </p>

    Cantor ( the name) was basically taken over from Van der Pool who used Musicom.. and then he came back using another real time system. ( not sure which one ).. but the reality is, that with the real time systems.. you can actually voice and organ. Not to be condescending - but there are numerous web pages from organ companies ( dealers) talking about how their organs are voiced in such great detail. All one has to do is do some web searching and look at screen shots of each builders software ( seek and ye shall find). Let's just say that seeing Chorus, Treble, and Bass as the options to voice a stop is not my idea of how a pipe voicer voices an instrument. ( Chorus is probably a necessity to keep the sound ( which is looped ) from seeming overly sterile - but then you run into the old concept that pipe s are never in tune.. Hog Wash!.. I prefer to play organs that are in tune, personally.
    </p>

    So, about voicing?
    </p>

    What about the harmonic content of the given stop. Changing the mouth of the pipe achieves that as well as the actual construction of the pipe and the pipe material or metallurgy involved. All of those factors contribute to the actual harmonic content ( orver the entire compass) of the pipe.. thus changing those parameters dictates if we hear a Principal ( however broad and "sandy" - to a Violone - to a salicional - to a Gamba, and right on down the line.. ( or alter the harmonic content significantly and you enter another entire class of pipe - flutes for example. So Bass and Treble to accomplish these results just won't cut it. ( and samples are what they are.. cast in stone and played back via looping ). No system is wrong, each serves a purpose for each individual or their tastes.</p>


    So in the case of these instruments, any of these real time
    builders has the capability to potentially build a good sounding organ because the
    organ is not in a technology war of who builds the fastest sound card or best able to loop a very short cample.
    ( it's a moot point).. the processor produces harmonics and speech
    attributes, so the real sound of the instrument is based more on who is
    doing the voicing and their tonal concepts. If you want to build an
    Aoleine skinner symphonic organ, I'm not your best choice.. simple as
    that..Maybe after more experience in that realm of tonality i
    may change my opinion of myself... It all depends on the skill and
    "what we hear".. the software and the systems provide that more of the
    concept of "to think is to act" with these organs.
    </p>

    Obviously Sampled organs are easier and cheaper to "mass produce" on a large scale. ( and geared for the masses as it were) with impressive consoles that "look like a real organ so they must sound like one" - however, the results are pretty much cast in stone until you deviate from the stereotype of "less expensive" mass produced sample systems and start looking at totally custom organs in that field.. like Doug Marshall and Walker.. then you're talking something totally different in pipe tone.
    </p>

    Like I said, No system is wrong, each has advantages to each person. My lean is on the ability to take the instrument out of the crate and build on the creation of sound and tonality. I don;t believe organs should be copies of a little of this and a little of that from a bunch of organs all over the world. Each instrument should stand on it's own tonal merits ( in a perfect world). </p>

    Obviously, any custom builder is facing an uphill battle against the marketing power of the big guys ( all 3 or 4 of them). but, I have clients who buy relatively expensive organs right from the CD. then you take the average church committee made up of people who have varied backgrounds and perhaps "different" organ backgrounds... ( or no background at all ). In their case, it's like the "Pocket Fisherman" or the "Spray On Hair". It's never the product that sells, but the marketing!</p>

    Gee. I hope I answered your question? :&gt
    </p>

    Wayne
    </p>

    </p>

  4. #4
    Senior Member radagast's Avatar
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    Re: Eminent Organs and mistaken identity

    [quote user="Wayne Grauel"]


    but the reality is, that with the real time systems.. you can actually voice and organ. Not to be condescending - but there are numerous web pages from organ companies ( dealers) talking about how their organs are voiced in such great detail. All one has to do is do some web searching and look at screen shots of each builders software ( seek and ye shall find). Let's just say that seeing Chorus, Treble, and Bass as the options to voice a stop is not my idea of how a pipe voicer voices an instrument. ( Chorus is probably a necessity to keep the sound ( which is looped ) from seeming overly sterile - but then you run into the old concept that pipe s are never in tune.. Hog Wash!.. I prefer to play organs that are in tune, personally.
    </P>


    So, about voicing?
    </P>


    What about the harmonic content of the given stop. Changing the mouth of the pipe achieves that as well as the actual construction of the pipe and the pipe material or metallurgy involved. All of those factors contribute to the actual harmonic content ( orver the entire compass) of the pipe.. thus changing those parameters dictates if we hear a Principal ( however broad and "sandy" - to a Violone - to a salicional - to a Gamba, and right on down the line.. ( or alter the harmonic content significantly and you enter another entire class of pipe - flutes for example. So Bass and Treble to accomplish these results just won't cut it. ( and samples are what they are.. cast in stone and played back via looping ). No system is wrong, each serves a purpose for each individual or their tastes.</P>


    Wayne
    </P>
    <P mce_keep="true">[/quote]</P>
    <P mce_keep="true">Wayne,</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"> Would you say then, that since sample playback organs have tone controls, that using them is more like "finishing" a pipe organ than "voicing"?</P>

  5. #5

    Re: Eminent Organs and Voicing



    Would you say then, that since sample playback organs have tone
    controls, that using them is more like "finishing" a pipe organ than
    "voicing"?
    </p>

    <u>Nope! </u></p>

    Actually, tonal finishing is voicing.. it is the process of voicing the organ once in place. - regulating the pipe from one note to the next, and how the pipe actually sounds ( it's tonal characteristics) . Obviously pipe organs have to be voiced to even speak with any degree of regularity ( or at all) . Lousy ones are voiced in the shop and then installed and any glaring deficiencies are smoothed over. (Find some pipe organ technician who does (OR DID) installs for one of the "off the shelf" pipe organ companies and see if they will share horror stories with you)
    </p>

    Good ones ( A Richards &amp; Fowkes for example ) that I know of personally was voiced in the shop and then installed and voiced ( tonally finished) from a period of somewhere in September - till early January. Now.. this is a 24 stop organ! so, obviously a lot more work went into this (spectacular) instrument than adjusting tone - and this is part of what makes a spectacular instrument ( and the cost reflected it)
    </p>

    I really can't (ethically) answer your question other than to give you some information and let you draw some conclusions - on your own. </p>

    Let's take a principal 8' and go from tenor C ( C2) to C4 ( one octave above middle C). Within that range of the stop the principal 8 will (should) change drastically with the most noticeable variance in the octave below middle C. And you would notice the "bloom" in the stop more so going down from middle C. Its character and harmonic content there is something that has immediate cause and effect in the sound and the regulation of the stop.. not only it's relative and apparent strength, but the actual harmonic structure of the stop. From real world experience.. changing the relative strength of only one or two of the harmonics at a specific "harmonic pitch" ( or partial) of the note as we hear it will have a very noticeable result ( be it good or bad). </p>

    So... one would have to ask.. in order to really critically change the way the pipe sounds... given the two options at your disposal:</p>

    1. changing the intensity of tone ( treble or bass ) of the sound of the given stop at a given note</p>

    2. Having the ability to single out 1 specific harmonic and changing that harmonic level of a specific stop at a specific note or voicing point.</p>


    what type of conclusion would you draw? ( privately).</p>

    I hope we all agree that sampling is not bad... thats not what I'm saying. It's just a matter of where does one want to go ( tonally) with an organ? Most of the clients that have gravitated to my instruments have really wanted something... personal... So I feel honored that I was able to do that. I have had clients that this was their first and last instrument, and some others who tried some other route first and were disappointed with that decision after a short while. Each person has to look 'carefully" at what they want - especially if they plan on buying 1 instrument and having it be "the one". </p>

    Another consideration that you may want to think about... why would an organ company want to use samples if they could cost effectively switch right over to some system that would allow harmonic alteration of a stop or note... Some form of Quality Control would be my first suggestion!</p>

    Can you imagine what would happen to a large corporation if any given dealer or salesman who was selling widgets last year and now selling Brand X digital organ was able to totally change the organ - even to the point of having it be unrecognizable as an organ? Not good for corporate shareholders!
    </p>

    So, I guess the most important things I can say about organs is ... you can't be all things to all people! I've had people who have heard my instruments and chosen another builder. I'm not insulted over that. In the same respect I've had people who have heard other builders and chosen my instrument. That does not make these people any different ( or right ) . The reality is, that each one of them had a choice and each made the decision that was right for them.
    </p>

    thanks again!
    </p>

    Wayne</p>


    </p>

    </p>

    </p>

  6. #6

    Re: Eminent Organs and Voicing

    Wayne,<DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Thanks for your response!</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>I was mostly curious because of the sound of Principal 8' on the Cantor "home" organ samples.* It is quite amazing to hear this, especially without any significant reverberation--natural or artificial.*</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>For some reason I thought that Allen was using additive synthesis rather than record/playback.* Was this true of their earlier digital organs?</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>It would seem that a larger manufacturer could use real-time generation and try to do a decent job of voicing it at the factory, allowing for limited changes by local (less-qualified?) technicians on site.</DIV>

  7. #7

    Re: Eminent Organs and Voicing



    thanks Mark, I really appreciate your feedback. and i can guarantee you that there are a lot of people out there that will not agree with you...</p>

    there was one poster long time ago on here.. ( evidently as it turns out I think he's a kid but he had a gazillion posts on here) ,,anyway...he gave a whole bunch of "authoritative" posts on my instruments and how fake they sound... to each his own! - but that makes the world go around.. i really have a take it or leave it approach. And that's how it should be.. there are certainly plenty or organ companies to go around for everyone to find what they like and if you have to twist someone's arm to convince them your organ is what they want... the i can guarantee you, they are making the wrong decision.
    </p>

    For Allen or any huge company to change gears like (switch technology) that is probably easier said than done. For one thing.. it's pretty hard to save face and tell the world that one system is no longer "their choice of technology" after you have pioneered the path like they did... Of course, they could invent a special buzz word for it like everything else... ( kidding)
    </p>

    lumitech technology... that's a light rocker tab... people have been using them for years until Allen invented the concept with their new technology.</p>

    and don't forget - their keyboard switches are the only ones that are Hermetically sealed so they never need cleaning.. Hmm... I've never see dust get into the glass bubble of a reed switch before -... OMG.. a simple reed switch !,,, AH Yes... hire a marketing consultant..!
    </p>

    pardon my sarcasm... it's been a long day!
    </p>

    No, in all seriousness and fairness,, Allen is a good solid company, good build quality, and they use real real moving draw stops - albeit they manufacture their own so if you compare them against a pipe organ supplier, they're a little smaller with a little shorter throw and not what you'd get if you bought pipe organ hardware like we do and phoenix, and Veritas , and copeman hart, and walker, and doug marshal ( get my point).and some others.. .. unless you dig into your pockets and ask them to upgrade to harris or something - but they aren't those cheap flimsy lighted things that you'll find on ( some ) organs that are made to wow people regardless of what it sounds like. ( BTW.. Rodgers uses lighted drawstops by default but they are made by Syndyne..( I'm pretty sure).. if not - they are still a good quality as far as LDK's go. same company we would use if somone requested them as a cost saving measure.

    </p>

    Wayne
    </p>

  8. #8
    Senior Member radagast's Avatar
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    Re: Eminent Organs and Voicing

    [quote user="MarkS"]
    <DIV><BR class=khtml-block-placeholder></DIV>
    <DIV></DIV>
    <DIV>For some reason I thought that Allen was using additive synthesis rather than record/playback. Was this true of their earlier digital organs?</DIV>
    <DIV><BR class=khtml-block-placeholder></DIV>
    <DIV></DIV>


    [/quote]</P>


    I know you asked Wayne this but I am going to answer. Allen has never used the kind of additive synthesis that Eminent and other organs use today. The original MOS organs had single cycle waves. These waves were created by a software program that allowed level adjustments of 24 (I think) harmonics. The program then did number crunching (Fourier) and transformed the data into a waveform that was stored in ROM. Once the wave was created, it was static, meaning it couldn't change unless the process was started all over again. That is why Wayne calls the Eminent system "real-time". The sound is the result of additive synth generation that comes from sine wave generators and therefore can be adjusted at will. The harmonics can also be programmed to change over time in pitch or loudness so that there isn't a static wave being generated, just like real acoustic instruments do. The way this is done with sampled organs is having long samples that capture the changes that occur during the sustained portion of the sound.</P>


    Allen's early MOS and ADC models had static single cycle waves in which there was no change in the levels of the partials over time. Kinda like an analog synthesizer spitting out a sawtooth wave. Of course the digital waves of the Allen were a lot more complex, they just didn't change over time when holding a note.</P>


    Since the MDS series, they have been using full blown samples that change over time, but are still not changeable except by tone controls. The samples can be swapped out for other ones but that's a different thing.</P>


    I hope that's not too confusing.</P>

  9. #9

    Re: Eminent Organs and Voicing

    In the past, perhaps when business was good, some companies did introduce different technologies for custom organs, e.g. Baldwin Multiwaveform and Allen Classic I.* (The first exposure to the Baldwin on a demo record was a surprise--as was playing the Allen.)* It takes a lot of guts to introduce an organ with fewer steps for more money, emphasizing better tone and higher quality construction.* It also seems that such efforts were rewarded with a resounding yawn in the marketplace.<DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Do we really need eighty stops with four or five different versions, for a total of 320 or more voices?* How about a two manual organ of fifteen stops with extraordinary focus on the tone?* Or a three manual of twenty-five?* Skip the 32' voices, multiple celestes, divided expressions, heroic trumpets, etc. and give us some really good principals.* And some keyboards that don't go limp after a few years.</DIV>

  10. #10
    Senior Member arie v's Avatar
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    Re: Eminent Organs and Voicing



    Bill,</p>

    I think the MOS organs, as well as ADC instruments, can be said to have repetitive waveform readout. Basically, what was stored was one half of a waveform, consisting of 16 points, with 8 bit dynamic range. What was read out was the positive part of the wave cycle, the negative side was the data read out in reverse. Since all stops were treated alike, soft stops didn't get anywhere near using the full 8 bits, and they generally also didn't sound very good. When stops were added, the computer just did a re-calculation, and spit out a single waveform that was the sum. The computer 10 bits of dynamic range (or steps of voltages) in it's output, so you could have quite a number of stops on before the computer overloaded, which they did if you put on more than say two thirds of the total stops on the organ. The MOS organs as well as the early ADC organs for the most part had only a single stored waveform for each stop. In other words, harmonic content was totally the same across the whole compass of the keyboard. That, plus the lack of filtering at each voltage step change gave the early Allen digitals the sound they had, sort of a hollow bass end, stringy top end, and this constant buzz in the tone. ADC organs, especially later ones, had a lot of stops with 4 waveforms across the keyboard compass.
    </p>

    Judging, by e-bay and other organ classifieds lists, these organs have very little appeal or value these days. Not only are they getting on in age, they just don't sound terribly musical.</p>

    I serviced an Allen MDS-1 yesterday, and I'm not sure whether that organ had sampling technology in it. Sounded pretty much like an ADC organ to me. BTW I got her going again, much to the satisfaction of the owner.</p>

    AV</p>

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