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Transmissions To Pedal On Large Organs Useful?


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This is an interesting thread. I don't think anyone has mentioned the Raissonance concept of a 4th manual which also provides the majority of the pedal stops. The prototype was provided by Mr Isnard at St Maximin (Provence) in 1774:

 

http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/organs/Maximin...ification.0.asp

 

and the concept was re-discovered by Fisk in their Calvin Hampton inspired organ at the Meyerson Center in Dallas:

 

http://www.cbfisk.com/instrumentFiles/100/100_Stoplist.pdf

 

The concept is now going to be used by Martin Pasi in his organ for the new RC Cathedral in Houston.

 

http://www.pasiorgans.com/instruments/opus19spec.html

and

http://www.pasiorgans.com/instruments/opus19prop.html

 

(although they are cheating and using a new form of electric action. Pity. Fisk uses their own servo-pneumatic lever (similar to Vincent Willis's) and, interestingly, Taylor and Boody are building a split-chancel organ with some high wind pressures in New York City, which will also use a pneumatic lever for the Solo division, see here: http://www.taylorandboody.com/opuses/opus_...5_announce.html Makes Pasi's choice a bit bizarre if you know something of the history of these companies.)

 

I find the Raissonance concept very interesting - does anyone have any first-hand experience?

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

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There's also this and quite a few organs by Kenneth Jones where the Resonnance idea is used. Casavant also used the system at Independence, Missouri (The Community of Christ). It makes me wonder though whether the stops used for Pedal and whatever they call the other 'supplying department' sound more effective on the manuals or on the pedals. Any ideas in this context or with 'mass' borrowed stops in general?

 

Alastair

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Guest Geoff McMahon

What an interesting thread this has become.

 

A number of people have commented on the desirability of being able to draw certain manual stops independently ono the pedal and I can well see the point. However, one has to bear in mind the compromise that brings with it. Unless the stop to be borrowed to the pedal is on a "zwillingslade" (highly unlikely in an electric action organ) it means that such stops have to be on their own chest and not on the main soundboard of the department they are borrowed from. That means they will not have the benefit of being on the main soundboard. The advantages of being on the main soundboard are that they are subjected to the same wind characteristics as the rest of the stops in that department. Where such stops are only ever used in a solo capacity, that is of little consequence, but for stops which are regularly used with other stops on the home department, it will inevitably mean that by being on a different chest, they will not have the same wind characteristics and that has a noticeable effect on their ability to blend.

 

One of the reasons a stop on a chest does not blend so well with other stops is that its winding (the inevitable slight unsteadiness) is not the same as other stops on the main soundboard and that is noticeable. Another effect of a slider soundboard is that there is a degree of "pulling" into tune of all the stops. That too is lost if the borrowed stop is on a chest.

 

John

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Yes, John....Save if the soundboards are of the Registerkanzelle kind,

in which case all stops have actually a different wind, and their own valves.

And this was true for Skinner's organs, Walcker....And not Arthur Harrison;

he had to use much auxiliary chests.

The ancient builders used soundboards with supplementary grooves, like described

by Dom Bédos for the Bombarde manual, which stops were on the Great Soundboard.

 

Pierre

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Guest Geoff McMahon
Yes, John....Save if the soundboards are of the Registerkanzelle kind,

in which case all stops have actually a different wind, and their own valves.

And this was true for Skinner's organs, Walcker....And not Arthur Harrison;

he had to use much auxiliary chests.

The ancient builders used soundboards with supplementary grooves, like described

by Dom Bédos for the Bombarde manual, which stops were on the Great Soundboard.

 

Pierre

 

Quite correct, but neither is used *that* much in this day and age. Although not exclusively, most electric actions nowadays use slider soundboards because of the recognised advantages they bring. The Dom Bédos system you mention is a "Zwillingslade".

 

John

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A number of people have commented on the desirability of being able to draw certain manual stops independently ono the pedal and I can well see the point. However, one has to bear in mind the compromise that brings with it. Unless the stop to be borrowed to the pedal is on a "zwillingslade" (highly unlikely in an electric action organ) it means that such stops have to be on their own chest and not on the main soundboard of the department they are borrowed from. That means they will not have the benefit of being on the main soundboard. The advantages of being on the main soundboard are that they are subjected to the same wind characteristics as the rest of the stops in that department. Where such stops are only ever used in a solo capacity, that is of little consequence, but for stops which are regularly used with other stops on the home department, it will inevitably mean that by being on a different chest, they will not have the same wind characteristics and that has a noticeable effect on their ability to blend.

 

One of the reasons a stop on a chest does not blend so well with other stops is that its winding (the inevitable slight unsteadiness) is not the same as other stops on the main soundboard and that is noticeable. Another effect of a slider soundboard is that there is a degree of "pulling" into tune of all the stops. That too is lost if the borrowed stop is on a chest.

Yes, I can see where you're coming from. But how would that argument apply in the large number of cases where, say, the bottom couple of octaves of a double are already taken off the main soundboard and placed on their own chest due to economies of space?

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Yes, I can see where you're coming from. But how would that argument apply in the large number of cases where, say, the bottom couple of octaves of a double are already taken off the main soundboard and placed on their own chest due to economies of space?

 

I'm particularly interested in this point. At Bristol, virtually any pipe longer than 4 feet is not on a main soundboard, the Pedal stops are spread around all over the place, and the bottom 2 octaves of the Medium Open are in a different case front to the rest of the Great. As many will know, the organ has problems in terms of co-ordination with itself, but I'm sure no-one would disagree that the blend of the instrument is unquestionable.

 

Paul

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Yes, I can see where you're coming from. But how would that argument apply in the large number of cases where, say, the bottom couple of octaves of a double are already taken off the main soundboard and placed on their own chest due to economies of space?

That, I guess, would depend on how the offset pipes are connected to the soundboard.

 

If they are just tubed off with conductors, they still share their wind with the rest of the stops on the soundboard.

 

Or secondly, they could be on pneumatic motors that are fed from the main soundboard (the Cavaillé-Coll way of doing it with the doubles); then, they usually get their wind directly from the main trunk, perhaps with their own regulator, but are still neatly synchronized with the rest of the division.

 

Or thirdly, they are connected to the action electrically in some way. Then, they don't share anything with their home division except perhaps location, roughly.

 

I see our host's point. I find it frustrating to hear a pedal Bourdon tapering off to the low end and coughing its third partial, where it should provide some quiet, but distinct boom. I guess, a well thought-out stoplist and good scaling and voicing will be much more versatile and musically effective than borrowing of any kind, even if space and costs are restricted. Reading the pedal stoplist of the LA Dobson gives me the creeps. Quoting EM Skinner is fine, of course, but he had quite another style in mind. I do like distinct, unenclosed, divided, direct-sounding pedal divisions, best if speaking from the same position as the Great. He didn't. He was a great man, of course.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Guest Geoff McMahon

As additional pedal 16ft stops they work OK, but in order to provide a proper open 16ft register for the Pedal, a new large scale Open Diapason 16 was introduced to the Chancel Pedal in the 1970s rebuild, so I assume that something was perceived as being inadequate previously. I must remind myself of how effective the borrowed stops really are the next time I visit St Paul's.

 

John

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