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John Robinson

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About John Robinson

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/08/1952

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    A missionary from Yorkshire to the primitive people of Lancashire
  • Interests
    Organ design

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  1. I'm sure I've read other threads on here regarding unequal temperament before, but I think here is as good as any. What I find hard to believe is that unequal temperament is not employed more widely in organs. Perhaps not concert room organs which are required to work with orchestras and many other instruments, but why not churches and cathedrals. How often do we see cathedral instruments being used with orchestras? Surely, it is far more usual - normal, in fact - for them to be used with choirs. I'd go so far as to say that a cathedral organ retuned in an unequal temperament like Kellner would not even be noticed as any different by most people, whereas many are likely to find that they like the sound in preference to how it was.
  2. An interesting phenomenon exists whereby one can 'turn down one's own ears' physically when bombarded by loud sounds. I'm not sure how I achieve this, though I believe it involves tensing muscles attached to the auditory ossicles which, in turn, moderates their movement when transmitting sound from the eardrum to the oval window in the cochlea. I can't even explain how to do this, but I think it can happen involuntarily when we hear particularly loud sounds. On the other hand, I have learnt how to do this voluntarily and I'm sure I'm not alone. However, I also turn my hearing aids down (left ear button) if the ambient sound is generally too loud, or up (right ear button) if I can't quite hear something clearly.
  3. I didn't know about that. I assume that the main door was originally facing the adjacent Princess Road. The main entrance is now at the south-east (liturgical) corner of the building. Very fortunate compensation payment, I'm sure readily accepted! (Marge has asked me to recommend their choral concerts at the church - The William Byrd Singers!)
  4. I'm afraid I haven't heard, or even seen, the toasters! The only organ used in the concerts I have attended has been the pipe organ. I can't speak for services, though.
  5. Not a cathedral, but the church where my wife sings: Christ Church, West Didsbury, Manchester, enjoys an organ of 43 stops including three Chamades, a 32' Bourdon and a surprisingly effective digital 32' reed. Not a bad collection compared to some cathedrals, considering this is only a small parish church. I have never been particularly enamoured of electronic additions to otherwise completely straight organs, but this one has made me think again. I think the church (and choir) are very lucky to have such an instrument. I suppose it all comes down to available funding, though.
  6. Sound advice, if you'll pardon the pun. Fortunately, my (expensive) hearing aids are very good, with one exception: I hear people chatting at the back of the room more effectively than my wife sitting opposite me! Unfortunately, the audiologist can no offer a solution. I paid a lot of money for my hearing aids and there's no way I'm going to leave them in a drawer. On the other hand, my old NHS hearing aids do sit in a drawer on the off chance that I need them in the case of necessary repair to my private ones, which has happened some time ago. When the six year guarantee runs out and a repair becomes necessary at cost, depending upon the cost, I may decide to revert to the NHS aids. Regarding your initial, more important point, I can honestly say that I have not noticed any latency with these hearing aids and I assume that they being near to top-end models (or they were when I bought them) that they would employ the signal processing you describe. Perhaps I'm lucky! I presume that in the absence of any scientific test equipment, I can gain some sort of evidence by relating the sound I hear from the television to the movement of lips on the screen! I have also done this without hearing aids for comparison. Interesting post. Thank you.
  7. Darius, thank you for this additional information. I do think the projected alterations/additions sound excellent choices. The Solo with a Vox Humana (my favourite - perhaps I'm a bit odd!), a dominating Grand Chorus with, presumably, six or seven independent stops (rather than an all-in-one stop as at Liverpool), the Positive remaining where it is and with (from my own experiences) a surprisingly direct sound rather like a 17th century Rückpositiv, and above all a full-length 32' reed - no doubt a big improvement on the underpowered (my own opinion only) existing half-length reed. I look forward to the work eventually being completed and shall make sure that I undertake the trip across the Pennines to listen to the (hopefully) opening recital. I'll even drag along my long-suffering wife. Please let us know when that will be, won't you?
  8. I for one am very grateful to you for this information. I believe we (I say 'we', although I no longer live in God's County) are very lucky to have such an excellent instrument, especially at the time when it seems that interest in the organ is dwindling and instruments continue to be replaced by electronic substitutes or scrapped completely. I think that we are also fortunate that work is to be done to improve and/or extend the instrument. I should be particularly interested to learn of the proposed alterations and improvements to the organ as and when these become available, and would ask if you might kindly provide such details on this forum. In the meantime may I ask you whether, in view of the addition of a fourth manual, the stops of this new division will be taken from the existing ones or be new additions? Also, is the enclosed fourth manual division to be sited above the Swell or located elsewhere? Thank you again.
  9. Well it used to be. Haven't they changed it to Leeds Minster now? It seems to be trendy to adopt the title 'Minster' these days for some reason!
  10. It grieves me too, but it also puzzles me! Why? Why do they decide not to include the organ when it really should be necessary? Is it because there would be the additional cost of ONE more player? Surely not. Nobody's that tight-fisted. Is is because of some innate dislike of the organ? I believe that some musicians regard the organ as strictly not a 'real' musical instrument at all! Perhaps I've missed something. Any other suggestions?
  11. Life can be so unfair. The poor chap had only just retired. At least his memory will live on.
  12. That sounds quite a complicated sequence of events and some quite expensive equipment. Perhaps it might have been easier and cheaper to make twelve wooden pipes to form the bottom octave extension of an existing 16' stop? Of course there is the space consideration.
  13. Ah, worth a visit then, even though I no longer live in God's County.
  14. Yes, I spent many days of my childhood looking around that place (wasn't it on North Parade?) imagining that I could buy one of those items. I shouldn't complain, though. I did, after all, acquire a wheezy old harmonium (with very leaky bellows), a cast-off from the local church, which my dad and his mate struggled to carry up two floors to my bedroom. I distinctly remember it having a fan tremulant which actually rotated!
  15. Even more ridiculous, give each member of the audience one of those 'clicker' things they seem to use on game shows, whereby each audience member can select 'brighter' or 'duller', and go with the majority vote!
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