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Mander Organs

Steve Goodwin

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Everything posted by Steve Goodwin

  1. Most of the small digital recorders - especially Edirol and Zoom - have pretty decent microphones and while it's true that a quality external mic can be better, it won't be cheap. (You can certainly forget the ones in the attached video which are all cheap 'n nasty and also years out of date!) I have a Zoom 2 and a Zoom 4 both of which produce entirely acceptable(*) organ recordings - assuming your talking streaming/podcasts and not professional CD quality recordings. You'd probably want mid range mics in the £200 - £400 range to get significantly better than built in ones. Don't forget that positioning is vital - try lots of places and see what sounds best. S (*) - acceptable to me - and I'm an electronic engineer not a musician!!
  2. Having been organist of the same small parish church for 30 years, it has been very odd! I still video a few hymns each week (on home Hauptwerk) which go online with the service sheet but it still seems strange not to have choir practice, services, etc. ... but after 3 months I find I'm not missing it that much. I worry about the future though. Like many other smaller churches, our choir has dropped from 35 about 30 years ago to 20 fifteen years ago and now to about 10 - and the number of youngsters has gone from over 15 to none. Most All of those remaining are over 60 (and most over 70) and you must wonder how many will come back - especially as it looks like there will be no singing for a while. Sadly, i think this could be the end for some of the many small groups in small churches. Steve
  3. Paul - I get this too - definitely a sharpening for me. Steve
  4. Ben - be interesting to hear a bit more about how you are doing it. I'm sure some of us have tried it and some haven't but advice from someone who's made it work would be great! Steve
  5. Both my church and I are happy for the organ to be used more or less any time. However it's easy for us as it is a semi-rural church which is open all the time and rarely anyone else there. There's only been about 4 'learners' used it in the 30 years I've been there though.
  6. We have a 'stable' of about 6 or 8 settings we use and we change once or twice a year. The congregation have frequently commented they don't want the same one all the time and I find the wider the range I offer them, the wider their tastes become! Personally, I find Appleford a bit dated but there are many, many service settings around in all sorts of styles and many are very good. I'm no composer but I still managed a setting based on a couple of hymn tunes which they seem to like. I've been very lucky with clergy in my 30 years at this church. We've got through about 8 but all have been supportive, interested and happy to leave the music to me!
  7. ... and it's also going to depend on the age of the voicer. We all suffer from age-related hearing degradation even if we don't need a hearing aid so the same pipe is likely to sound different to a 40 year old or a 60 year old organ builder. Steve
  8. Thank YOU, Colin, for starting this thread. It's made me realise that there might be something that can be done! Steve
  9. Be interested to know what make/model you are using! Steve
  10. Interesting, because I got my first (NHS) hearing aid about 3 months ago. (I'm 69) The tests showed the usual age-related drop off in high frequency abilities. As others have said, there is no doubt it improves my ability to hear what people are saying. However I find it a significant detriment to hearing music. When I'm playing or listening to music, everything seems to have a 'sharp edge' to it. Almost like a high pitched 'edge of distortion' on top of everything. They said they would contact me to see how I was getting on and when they do, I'll certainly discus this. No one mentioned 'music' settings but to be fair, I never thought about it so never mentioned music! No idea if it's true but the audiologist said that expensive, private aids undoubtedly had many more bells and whistles but that their acoustic properties were not significantly different. Steve
  11. Huge amounts of water being sprayed into the towers which doesn't bode well ☹️
  12. Live on France24.... https://www.france24.com/en/live
  13. My first ever RSCM diocesan choirs festival was conducted by him - 1966, St Albans!
  14. Endorsing what others have said, when I was in my teens in the 60's, I approached my local largish parish church who had a very nice 3 manual to ask if I could practice there. The response from the organist was that it was reserved for 'his pupils only'. Visiting the church for a service 40 years later and enquiring if I might try it afterwards, I received the same response from the same organist! To be fair, three other local churches (2 Anglican and one Free Church - all with small organs) were more than happy to let me play. I think I paid 2/6d an hour! SG
  15. I really don't think that's true. As has been discussed above, there is much, much more to the choice than just 'caring about music'.
  16. I've been organist of a small parish church for 30 years and it is currently debatable whether me or the organ will fall apart first. 15 years ago, our then organ tuner said to me 'This is the last pipe organ you'll have here' and I suspect he's right. There's no doubt that 99% of our congregation would be unable to tell the difference. Particularly as ours is already a hybrid 13 (excellent) digital stops added in 2002 to the original 16 pipe stops. I think it is right that much will come down to finance. It's much easier to find the capital cost of an electronic than of a pipe organ - even if it comes up more often. We all know that a pipe organ will last much longer but, given the way our congregation is shrinking, whose to say that the church will even be there in 30 years time? It will be different in churches with a higher level of musical tradition, or historic organs, (or more money!) but for the small parish church I think it will become ever more difficult to justify a pipe organ.
  17. 'Pipe organ building firms' (without the quotes) does bring up a lot of pointers to suppliers including via Wikpedia and IBOB. I don't think this is peculiar to organ builders. I suspect suppliers of very high value bespoke items are less likely to sell over the internet. Yes, they need a presence but their sales are probably less related to general web advertising.
  18. "Messy Church" has been going on for years in our church but it's not a 'service'. It's more of a couple of hours of activities for kids that takes place in church once a month. Doesn't involve any music. Seems very popular. Steve
  19. I agree totally with Colin. I too have had about 30 years of playing at my local church and have had my fair share of c--k-ups - although probably no more than those caused by clergy, servers, sidesmen and all the rest. We're not a cathedral, we're a group of amateurs in a small parish church. We always do our best but, as you say, mistakes happen. Most congregations are understanding and accepting. Steve
  20. ... or for something completely different, Paul Ayres Toccata on 'All you need is love' http://paulayres.co.uk/catalogue/243.html Steve
  21. Seems to be OK now - can't see any odd links here Steve
  22. No - but I was very happy to contribute to the upkeep of the organ and if you couldn't (or didn't) pay, no one was going to complain. With the (few) regular users at my church (who do not play for services - or come to church) we make no charge but ask for any donation as and when they see fit. Seems reasonable to me! Steve
  23. When I was a lad, the organist at my my local parish church wouldn't let anyone touch the organ unless they were having lessons with him... Other churches nearby, although not as conveneint, were much more helpful. Most made some nominal charge which was fair enough - 3/6d an hour if I remember rightly (this was a long time ago!). I think it was 5/- at St Johns in Stanmore but that was worth it for Rothwell's wonderful little tab stops between each manual! Steve
  24. I don't think this is peculiar to city churches. In the 20 years I've been at a middling sized Gloucestershire village church the Sunday evening service has dwindles to almost nothing. The powers that be have tried all sorts of services - choral, said, Taizé, Iona, etc - but it's just the faithful (very) few that come. Different times made no difference. Over the same period, the Sunday morning service has dropped a little from around 65 to 55 but nowhere near as much. Even churchgoers just don't seem interested in Sunday afternoon/evening any more.
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