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Mander Organs

Here We Go Again!


Guest Cynic

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Some interesting points here.

 

Surely the point about broadcasting Choral Evensong on Radio 3 is not to serve the likes of most people who post on this forum, i.e. organists. The majority of people who might be interested in listening in, such as myself, are at 4.00 pm on a Wednesday afternoon either at work or on their way home by bus or train. Equally, most people don't have the technology to play back or whatever it is you call it programmes already broadcast. So, dare one say it, the proposal or fait accompi by Radio 3 to move Choral Evensong to a Sunday afternoon is to be welcomed. Of course, organists who at 4.00 pm on a Wednesday afternoon have their feet up in front of the fire, having already enjoyed their post-lunch siesta, will bleat like hell now that they will no longer be able to hear Stanford in C or B flat but instead are treated to the treacly tones of Brian K. B)

 

Incidentally, on the recorded vs live debate, this week's Choral Evensong broadcast is a recording from Tenbury Wells. Sign of things to come, perhaps?

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Surely the point about broadcasting Choral Evensong on Radio 3 is not to serve the likes of most people who post on this forum, i.e. organists.

Indeed. But moving it to a day where a) participants are disadvantaged, b ) engineers are disadvantaged by having half the usual time to set up and rehearse, c) churches are disadvantaged by having their busiest "tourist day" disrupted, d) the programme will probably lose most of its supporting audience (which I would guess to be mostly musical churchgoers or active/semi-active church musicians) etc. It seems to serve nobody.

The majority of people who might be interested in listening in, such as myself, are at 4.00 pm on a Wednesday afternoon either at work or on their way home by bus or train.

Get a portable wireless set. I listen at work, at home, even in the motor-car. If I miss it, I listen again at home later.

Equally, most people don't have the technology to play back or whatever it is you call it programmes already broadcast.

Nonsense. I cannot think of a single person that can't get internet access.

Of course, organists who at 4.00 pm on a Wednesday afternoon have their feet up in front of the fire, having already enjoyed their post-lunch siesta, will bleat like hell now that they will no longer be able to hear Stanford in C or B flat but instead are treated to the treacly tones of Brian K.  B)

You really do make life sound marvellous! If it were all about hearing Stanford in C or Bb then I wouldn't bother listening. I'm always glad to hear the many new commissions which wouldn't ever see the light of day without these broadcasts.

 

I am not at all bothered by it moving to Sunday - I can always listen again (even though that does bring with it a drop in quality). It just seems like a silly move from the perspective of setting up a quality live broadcast - which I'm sure will be much more difficult to achieve on a Sunday - which really is a lot of the point. As well as the perspective of engineer's overtime rates, there are contractual considerations. By going out looking for recordable venues and not just live broadcastable ones, there'll almost certainly be scope for the BBC to pay less for quality. There's probably something in there too about future use - instead of paying for a live broadcast, the BBC will be paying for the recording rights which means they can do a lot more recycling and a lot less new material.

 

If it really must be moved, then I'm quite sure there's enough repetition on both R3 and R4 to justify broadcasting it twice. When we are always being told we are a matter of months away from doing away with programme transmissions altogether and instead creating our own "radio playlist", it seems like a lot of effort to be going to if there wasn't ultimately a cost saving involved, and the only cost savings I can see involve less quality, lower standards, lower pay and less new material.

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Guest Lee Blick
Indeed. But moving it to a day where a) participants are disadvantaged, b ) engineers are disadvantaged by having half the usual time to set up and rehearse, c) churches are disadvantaged by having their busiest "tourist day" disrupted, d) the programme will probably lose most of its supporting audience (which I would guess to be mostly musical churchgoers or active/semi-active church musicians) etc. It seems to serve nobody.

 

I am sorry David, but this is ridiculous. A professional broadcasting such as the BBC would have little difficulty in setting up their equipment quickly.

 

We are not talking about the same cathedral / church being disrupted week on week. I am sure each establishment would find an imaginative solution to this problem.

 

Telling people to get a wireless (what on earth is one of those these days) and expecting everyone to be on the internet is a little daft.

 

I think moving on to a Sunday makes more sense and would allow the broadcast to be heard by more people than it is now. I was telling a blind elderly friend who is an avid listener, about the changes only yesterday. She was delighted. It meant that she could do other things on a Wednesday afternoon and have some form of worship on a Sunday afternoon which she sorely missed as she could no longer go to church.

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I am sorry David, but this is ridiculous.  A professional broadcasting such as the BBC would have little difficulty in setting up their equipment quickly.

 

We are not talking about the same cathedral / church being disrputedweek on week.  I am sure each establishment would find an imaginative solution to this problem.

 

Telling people to get a wireless (what on earth is one of those these days) and expecting everyone to be on the internet is a little daft.

 

It's equally ridiculous, Lee, to say that "most people don't have internet access", which is the statement of Jeremy's that surprised me.

 

It takes a certain time to do a job; in the case of setting up a high-quality outside broadcast unit, laying cables, doing sound checks etc etc etc I have witnessed on several occasions that this takes considerable time and is NOT something that can be done quickly.

 

I have ALSO witnessed several times, where services are being recorded for later broadcast, double the length of time of the service being spent recording "patches" - yet in the same venue, with the same people and to the same standard as a live broadcast made a day earlier. These patches might include doing readings again because someone coughed, a slightly non-unison "amen", one slightly imperfect verse of a psalm. That's always the danger of "non-live" - which is one of the reasons I think you should just wait for the red light to come on and do it once.

 

I keep saying I have no great personal beef with broadcasting on a Sunday, but there ARE implications for the music and the people doing the broadcasting that I think will suffer more than the listeners will gain.

 

There is already plenty of religious output on a Sunday, on both radio and TV. Why dilute it further?

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I am sorry David, but this is ridiculous.  A professional broadcasting such as the BBC would have little difficulty in setting up their equipment quickly.

 

 

Actually, they take quite a bit of time over it, at least from what I've seen of choral evensong broadcasts, having done a few. I think I'm right in saying that Stephen Shipley got some sort of dedicated rig setup at Lichfield in the late 90's (i.e. lines to go out to OB vans) so that they could use Lichfield at short notice, his son being a chorister there.

 

Personally I like the idea of having it on a Sunday afternoon - my preference would be to keep the Wednesday afternoon "live", and then have it again at some obscure hour in the week. I can't get internet radio at work, nor can I get a radio signal (analogue or digital) in the office - too much computer noise and shielding. I find the audio quality of listen again to be too bloody irritating to bother listening.

 

There are distinct advantages to keeping it live and on what is a traditional off day for most cathedrals - you get a "real" performance and it doesn't disrupt much of the pattern of major services for the rest of the week - i.e. the mid-week evensongs shuffle round a bit, but the Sunday stuff is unaffected. Whenever we did non-live evensongs, there wasn't so much "buzz" as when it was seat of the pants live B)

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I think I'm right in suggesting that CE wasn't always broadcast on a Wed anyway (aside from the additional 10.30 Sunday broadcast)?

 

Given that the programme is one of those most downloaded on listen again, I'd have thought it highly unlikely that the BBC planned to ditch it?

 

I've not read through all the posts on this topic, so apologies if I'm repeating, but won't most establishments find Sunday easier to cope with, in terms of available musicians? Wed is usually 'dumb' day in a couple of hallowed places, I know.

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Given that the programme is one of those most downloaded on listen again, I'd have thought it highly unlikely that the BBC planned to ditch it?

 

Might another way of reading the runes be that the move of CE to Sunday might count towards the BBC's obligation to Sunday Christian broadcasting thereby allowing them to drop something else?

 

Michael

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Might another way of reading the runes be that the move of CE to Sunday might count towards the BBC's obligation to Sunday Christian broadcasting thereby allowing them to drop something else?

If true, I do hope it's Songs of Praise, or the Aled Jones Experience, as I tend to call it. :P I find SoP infuriating because they so often resort to choirs and soloists performing in daft locations miming to a pre-recorded version, and do other daft things like splitting the men and women in the congregation. It's all done in such a false way that I get angry B) and start shouting at the screen. So, if for no other reason than to avoid going nuclear each week and raising my blood pressure to meltdown levels, I tend to avoid it. Roll on Choral Evensong on Sunday afternoons to provide a soothing balm for troubled soles.

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In 1960 I'm pretty sure it was on Wednesday. I reckon 47 years is approximately "always" for the purpose of discussion. B)

 

Some years ago when I was younger, less lazy and more fiery, I wrote to the BBC complaining that the recorded Friday afternoon broadcast was being abandoned. I received no reply - I didn't expect one.

 

It seems to me logical that such a service should be broadcast on a Sunday, but personally it is a disaster. I work in retail, and have to work three out of four Sundays, so Wednesday is far better for me. Yes, I can 'listen again' on the BBC website, but the quality of sound is apalling - worse than an old cassette tape. I could ask someone to record it for me, but the best solution would be to set up a timed recording. Anyone know how? There is no such facility on the website that I can find, and I know of no sound recorder with a timer. Strange, as VCR's have one, and always have.

 

There is one change, though, that the BBC could make, and that is to remind cathedrals that they should 'worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness', not the splendour of ugliness. Too much of the so-called music sung in these broadcasts is, IMHO, awful. We don't want to be stuck in a 19th Century rut, or any other rut come to that, but can no-one write a half decent tune these days?

 

Regards to all

 

John.

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Denon hi-fis are a bit pricy for most of us, but a relatively practical solution for many people are the digital set top boxes which record digital tv on their built in hard disc drives. The freeview television system carries a selection of radio stations, including radio 3, and set top boxes which record cost about £100. Mine can even be set to record every week at a single set up session. Where I live is a long way from the tv transmitter, and quality is not quite as good as fm radio, but it is a lot better than the net. Perhaps someone who lives in a good tv reception area would like to comment on the sound quality?

 

You can even convince the wife that such a box is £100 well spent because it can record the Archers/Coronation Street/Emmerdale... etc while you are on holiday.

 

Back to the original issue, Wednesday evening choral evensong has been the highlight of my commuting week for many years. If it has to be moved to Sunday, could we have choral vespers on Wednesdays instead? The rest of the week's four o'clock programmes are pretty dire.

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Yes, I can 'listen again' on the BBC website, but the quality of sound is apalling - worse than an old cassette tape. I could ask someone to record it for me, but the best solution would be to set up a timed recording. Anyone know how? There is no such facility on the website that I can find, and I know of no sound recorder with a timer. Strange, as VCR's have one, and always have.

 

A Video recorder connected to either a Skybox or a Digi box would do it. Sky + allows you to pause (and play later) any channel. Certain DAB radios have a memory card that also lets you “record” radio to listen later. Hope some of this helps?

 

:P

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Denon hi-fis are a bit pricy for most of us, but a relatively practical solution for many people are the digital set top boxes which record digital tv on their built in hard disc drives.

 

Thanks for that also. I should be ashamed of myself - the shop I work in sells the things! I always forget the radio broadcasts on Freeview, probably because old habits die hard and I use a separate HiFi tuner usually. My original comment was meant to mean HiFi separates rather than systems, but I am content to stand corrected by you both. Thanks.

 

Regards to all

 

John.

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My Denon hi-fi system has a timer on it and I have often used it to record programmes on cassette tape.

 

Hi

 

3 options are currently reasonably available:-

 

1) Minidisc recorder (a proper home one, not a portable - they are still around - the one I use has a timer facility - I use it every week to record "The Organist Entertains"

 

2) Software is available to use a compter for timed recording of TV at least - I've not used it, so no further comment.

 

3) a Hi-fi video recorder - the quality won't be quite as good as the above, but even a cheap machine will do a pretty reasonable job. I suppose you could also use a DVD recorder or one of the hard disc video recording systems, as someone else mentioned.

 

For the best quality, take the signal from Sky TV (if you can) - althoguh I gather that Freeview is a second best - neither of these have the processing that even Radio 3 seems to insisit on adding to the FM feed these days.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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So it seems clear that very few people have difficulty in recording material they want to listen to at a later date.

 

So, bearing in mind Radio 4, BBC and ITV are replete with godslot on a Sunday, and all the previously mentioned disadvantages of moving the broadcasts -

 

WHY????

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So it seems clear that very few people have difficulty in recording material they want to listen to at a later date.

 

So, bearing in mind Radio 4, BBC and ITV are replete with godslot on a Sunday, and all the previously mentioned disadvantages of moving the broadcasts -

 

WHY????

 

This is only a guess, but here goes.

 

Most people in my office won’t listen to (or watch for that matter) anything to do with Religion. Even those who like “classical” music won’t listen to anything mentioning God. I appreciate that my office isn’t a typical cross section of society, but maybe R3 are loosing more listeners by broadcasting a religious service during a prime time slot?

 

:P

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maybe R3 are loosing more listeners by broadcasting a religious service during a prime time slot?

Given that the "listen again" statistics suggest that Choral Evensong is one of the two most popular Radio 3 programmes, I would doubt it. I suppose it could be that Radio 3 is trying to have its cake and eat it too... :P
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The freeview television system carries a selection of radio stations, including radio 3, and set top boxes which record cost about £100. Mine can even be set to record every week at a single set up session. Where I live is a long way from the tv transmitter, and quality is not quite as good as fm radio, but it is a lot better than the net.

I would have thought that the factor most likely to affect the quality of broadcasts on Feeview is the relatively low quality of the TV speakers.
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I would have thought that the factor most likely to affect the quality of broadcasts on Feeview is the relatively low quality of the TV speakers.

 

I’ve feed the output of a Skybox (that had a phono o/p) straight into my HiFi and found the quality to be reasonable. I haven’t tried the same with a free view box so can’t comment on the quality.

 

:P

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Vox,

 

The problem I have is the occasional lost packet, I assume due to a poor signal/noise ratio giving some sort of checksum error. The result is occasional clicks or short silences in the sound. However, in between, the quality is good, and my digibox has a sound line out. I assume that in good reception areas there will be no problem except for a slight loss of bandwidth compared to fm.

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I would have thought that the factor most likely to affect the quality of broadcasts on Feeview is the relatively low quality of the TV speakers.

 

Not necessarily, Vox - it depends on what you have on your TV. Apart from having additional 'surround' speakers, mine aslo has a bass bin - so I can have my own private (well, not if I turn it up loud) rock concert, if I am watching Knebworth or Glastonbury - or even Elvis Costello....

 

Anyway, back to Evensong.

 

Perhaps, one day we shall learn the reason why BBC R3 decided to move it - like David, I see mostly disadvantages.

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Vox,

 

The problem I have is the occasional lost packet, I assume due to a poor signal/noise ratio giving some sort of checksum error. The result is occasional clicks or short silences in the sound. However, in between, the quality is good, and my digibox has a sound line out. I assume that in good reception areas there will be no problem except for a slight loss of bandwidth compared to fm.

 

I suspect that freeview offers generally better sound that DAB, where I understand that varying degress of compression may be applied. Analogue FM still seems the best, where there is a decent signal strength.

 

JJK

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