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Hybrid Organ Basses


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Hi Folks!

 

I'm after some recommendations along the lines of "These people know what they're doing" to "Don't touch the following people, even with a disinfected bargepole", please!

 

I need to obtain some quotations for replacement of some electronic basses in a substantial pipe organ. The present electronic basses (a couple of 32s and 16s on the pedal, and the bottom octave of a 16' tenor C rank on a manual) were installed some 10 years ago, along with some terrific speakers, and were highly effective. Unfortunately, the electronics were plagued with gremlins from day one, and have now broken down almost completely. The church has taken the decision to retain the effective and substantial loudspeakers, but to replace the electronics and, perhaps, to enhance the system a little further. There is no further room for any additional pipes, so electronics will need to continue to be the way forward.

 

So, I'm looking for a company who knows what they're doing with producing convincing electronic organ tones to blend in with existing pipes, and who would be used to getting the electronics to work with the existing transmission and capture systems. I'm a little out-of-touch about the very latest developments in electronic organs, and would like to know of some companies who could be recommended. Google comes up with a number who offer this sort of work and, whilst I'm sure a number of them are good, I suspect (from what I've heard in the past!) that a number of them are less good.

 

In deference to our generous hosts (who, I believe, are not overly keen on having electronic instruments discussed on these forums), and due to the nature of this request, I'd be delighted to receive any advice about this by PM, if anybody felt so willing.

 

Thank you. :)

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Hi Folks!

 

I'm after some recommendations along the lines of "These people know what they're doing" to "Don't touch the following people, even with a disinfected bargepole", please!

 

I need to obtain some quotations for replacement of some electronic basses in a substantial pipe organ. The present electronic basses (a couple of 32s and 16s on the pedal, and the bottom octave of a 16' tenor C rank on a manual) were installed some 10 years ago, along with some terrific speakers, and were highly effective. Unfortunately, the electronics were plagued with gremlins from day one, and have now broken down almost completely. The church has taken the decision to retain the effective and substantial loudspeakers, but to replace the electronics and, perhaps, to enhance the system a little further. There is no further room for any additional pipes, so electronics will need to continue to be the way forward.

 

So, I'm looking for a company who knows what they're doing with producing convincing electronic organ tones to blend in with existing pipes, and who would be used to getting the electronics to work with the existing transmission and capture systems. I'm a little out-of-touch about the very latest developments in electronic organs, and would like to know of some companies who could be recommended. Google comes up with a number who offer this sort of work and, whilst I'm sure a number of them are good, I suspect (from what I've heard in the past!) that a number of them are less good.

 

In deference to our generous hosts (who, I believe, are not overly keen on having electronic instruments discussed on these forums), and due to the nature of this request, I'd be delighted to receive any advice about this by PM, if anybody felt so willing.

 

Thank you. :)

 

Hi

 

The system Hugh Banton put in in Saffron Walden sounded pretty good. I guess any of the companies that custom-build would do something. The speaker system is probably the key ingredient to success. And, of course, real pipes will always be better - is there any possibility of using a Compton type polyphone cube?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Thank you, Tony - and thank you too to those who have generously replied by PM thus far.

 

Fortunately, the loudspeakers are very good, so will be retained. There isn't sufficient room for any large pipes and, as there's more than one electronic rank, a polyphone cube wouldn't be of much use. So, electronics will continue to be the way forward with this.

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Thank you, Tony - and thank you too to those who have generously replied by PM thus far.

 

Fortunately, the loudspeakers are very good, so will be retained. There isn't sufficient room for any large pipes and, as there's more than one electronic rank, a polyphone cube wouldn't be of much use. So, electronics will continue to be the way forward with this.

 

The thing that worries me about hybrid organs, and I have no very strong opinions on the use of electronics in the right context, is that the electronic ranks don't go out of tune, while the pipe ranks can. Does anyone have experience of problems like this?

 

Jonathan

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The thing that worries me about hybrid organs, and I have no very strong opinions on the use of electronics in the right context, is that the electronic ranks don't go out of tune, while the pipe ranks can. Does anyone have experience of problems like this?

 

Jonathan

 

I don't have first-hand experience of this, but I do know that Hugh Banton uses a system in his hybrid organs whereby temperature changes are monitored by the system, and tuning of the digital ranks is adjusted accordingly to stay with the pipes.

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The thing that worries me about hybrid organs, and I have no very strong opinions on the use of electronics in the right context, is that the electronic ranks don't go out of tune, while the pipe ranks can. Does anyone have experience of problems like this?

 

Jonathan

 

Hi

 

Such systems have one drawback. Where do you monitor the temperatore? Room ambient, inside the swell box (we all know what happens if a swell box is left closed and temperature changes), inlet to the blower, etc. I know 2 local hybrid organs - one has a compensating device (and the tuning of the digital ranks still sometimes needs to be adjusted), the other, earlier installation, just has a tuning knob on the console. Real pipes are so much easier!

 

That said, for the bottom notes of 16ft & 32ft stops, small tuning discrepancies are unlikely to be noticed.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I'd certainly recommend you having a chat with Bob Moseley of Dukeries Organs who has done some work on hybrids using the Phoenix system.

 

As far as tuning goes, one approach is to provide a "tuning knob" on the console that enables the organist to ensure that the digital extension rank(s) is in line with the pipework.

 

Sq.

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Thank you Squinius, and others who have helped by PM and by posting in this thread.

 

Tuning was never really a problem as these ranks were at 32' and 16' pitch (and how often do organ tuners tune flue pipes at these pitches anyhow?!). However, if tuning did need attention, a knob was placed just inside the music desk to facilitate this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[Hi

Give David Houlgate a try. He pit in the 32' at the Brighton Dome.

he also built my IVP 87 stop job at home.

A good chap.

 

Will

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  • 1 month later...

Hmm. I wonder. If there is not room for real pipes, is the building large enough for an organ with such stops anyway? I am a firm believer in the room dictating the size of the organ. A small church really doesn't need a cathedral organ in my opinion. As far as Mander Organs is concerned, electronic basses (or anything electronic in the field of sound generation) is totally out. It is not as if we haven't been involved with it either. Christ Church Cranbrook (see in the portfolio page) added them after we had rebuilt the organ and when they didn't work, asked us to get involved. We managed to improve things, but it simply didn't have the ability of a good genuine flu Subbass 32 to sit under the Swell strings with the box closed AND make an audible difference to full organ, as a good Subbass 32 can.

 

John

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I appreciate where you're coming from, John, but, in this case, most of the electronic ranks are replacements for ranks which used to be in the instrument until it was 'classicalised' and pipes removed. Although space could probably be found again for pipes with some rearrangement of the organ loft, the problem of finance is a significant one.

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