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Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

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Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby Antoni Scott » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:49 am

Great news from Boardwalk Hall, home of the world's largest organ. It is projected by next year that 50% of the organ will be operational. That would be 225 ranks with about 225 to go. Along with the seven manual console familiar to most, there is a 5 manual console which controls 447 of the 449 ranks.
I am imagining a sample set.

https://www.facebook.com/BoardwalkOrgan ... =3&theater
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby steve till » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:02 pm

This is great news!
I was a member of the ACCHOS for a while and enjoyed making some donations.
Not near the millions needed of course, but what little I could do.
I do miss the monthly updates, and the Boardwalk Hall website gives a little info.

The very first long playing "album" I ever bought was Elmore's Bach on the Biggest.
I still play the the CD from time to time. I was in the Hall years ago but didn't hear the organ.
I would love to make the cross country trip to hear even half of it.
Heh, talk about "Living Stereo" with pipes in 8 different locations.

Steve.
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby Antoni Scott » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:11 pm

Hi Steve:
A very close friend of mine, William Rosser, curator of the organ in the 50's through 70's was present when the recording was made. It must have been really something to hear that !!!! ACCHOS was disbanded a few years back but another group, equally as aggressive, took up the cause. Being the world's largest organ, I can probably say it would be the world's largest rebuild. Between the console and the eight chambers is 137,000 miles of wiring !!!!!! Since I live in Florida now, I can only contribute by writing articles, etc. They do have a team of dedicated enthusiasts cleaning, removing, reinstalling, etc.
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby TheOrganDoc » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:15 pm

I knew Bill Rosser, Way back then,
he took myself and a friend of mine on a tour of the pipe chambers
and the repair shop, as well as having me push the button at the bottom
of the 64 foot Diaphone, that plays it, you can feel the power, and watch the beater working through the window in it's bottom ! :roll: :roll: :roll:

My friend also played the "Kimball TO in the AC, Ballroom" after getting used to the acoustic delays that are
1/2 second (appr.) for the right chamber and about 1 second from the left chamber.
One has to play Organs in huge halls, either from music or memory,
Certainly not listening to what you are playing because of the long acoustic delays.
Even though most of these two organs were not playable at the time,
the sound of them in the Halls was breathtaking ! :D

BTW we also have lived in Florida for many years, a long ways from AC !
Best wishes, Mel
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby steve till » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:50 pm

Antoni Scott wrote:Hi Steve:
ACCHOS was disbanded a few years back but another group, equally as aggressive, took up the cause.

That is good to hear. I found this article:
http://www.newser.com/article/be874f603 ... -loud.html
And this:
http://www.boardwalkhall.com/arena-info ... on-project
And this is how you join Friends of the Pipe Organs of BWH:
http://www.boardwalkhall.com/arena-info ... rship-page
I will try to join. I am a very long time fan of this organ. I was reading the online book about it until the website for Boardwalk Pipes went down. I guess I would like to buy that book anyway.
Steve.
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby Antoni Scott » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:38 pm

This is all good news. Curt Mangel (curator of the Wanamaker), with Friends of Wanamaker, did a fantastic job with the organ, console refurbishing, etc. The Orchestral division, buried inside another chamber since 1927was brought out and installed in a new location. The organ sounds better now than in a 100 years. Remarkable.
Now, Curt is over at Convention Hall. Although the Wanamaker is technically the largest organ as far as total ranks, it is a completely playable organ. The organ at Atlantic City is the largest, pipe-wise, 33,112 vs 28,000. I'm sure any support will speed up the process of a complete restoration.
I wonder how much memory would be required to play the organ via a Hauptwerk sample set ? Doesn't Hauptwerk have a 33,000 polyphony. Interesting coincidence !!!

Antoni
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby steve till » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:30 pm

Antoni Scott wrote:I wonder how much memory would be required to play the organ via a Hauptwerk sample set?

Well you could always use multiple computers, like they did at Trinity Wall Street.
But of course they didn't have all the Hauptwerk advantages, I am sure that HW is much more efficient.
I believe they used 7 computers, but I think that two or maybe 3 Mac Pros would do the job. Of course
then you would need a pretty large room, and I would be inclined to use a stereo pair of studio monitors
for each rank, so maybe 900 speakers plus about 100 subwoofers. Remember the real 64'!
And some of those speakers would have to be large horns, for the likes of the Grand Ophicleide...
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby Organorak » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:00 pm

I was fortunate enough last summer to visit both leviathans as they are only around 60 miles apart. There is something rather lovely about the Wanamaker organ, though one cannot but help feel a little sorry for the history of the building it's in - the department store is now only a fraction of its original size and most of the galleries in the central space have been "glassed off" as office space. But the additional reverberation must do wonders for the organ.

The Atlantic City organ - how does one begin to describe it? A noble venture begun right before the Great Depression that kept most of America's finest organbuilders in business? A pointless monument to excess, with three out of seven keyboards more than five octaves? Probably both. The convention hall is vast and obviously needs an organ of considerable power, but the enormous windpressures did make it sound too overblown. It was hideously out of tune and experienced several ciphers during the course of the recital I attended. And only about a quarter of it was connected at the time - though that still represents around 8000 pipes!

I gather there is optimisim that the restoration target of $30 million or so is going to be reached so the whole instrument will be fully playable again soon. Exciting times lie ahead. Meanwhile whilst my first impresions of Atlantic City were that it was something of a backwater with little to commend it other than the organ (and a huge casino owned by Donald Trump). Yet the hall runs weekly recitals and free tours around the innards of the organ, which are extremely informative and I can highly recommend them (as too I can recommend the monthly tours of the Wanamaker organ).
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby IainStinson » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:28 am

Cross- posted from the piporg-l list.
Did anyone catch the 2 minute report on the restoration of the Midmer-Losh organ? It was on TV, NBC Nightly News, last evening:

https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/largest-instrument-in-the-world-being-brought-back-to-life-after-nearly-being-destroyed-64254021798

I was just thumbing through Steven Smith's fine book about the organ when, suddenly, the console appeared on the TV screen!

Good job!

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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby Antoni Scott » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:16 pm

The recent regional AGO ended in Atlantic City Convention Hall with long awaited recitals demonstrating the vast resources of this amazing instrument. The organ has never sounded so good since ACCHOS ( and now HORC) committed to restoring this instrument. Countless hours of work resulted in 225 playable ranks. The crowning glory is a fully operational (and reliable !!!!) combination action. Unfortunately, recordings can't do the immense dynamic range of this organ justice. In addition to the 429 rank Midmer-Losh is an impressive 55 rank Kimball in the Ballroom. Dr. Carol Williams performed on both instruments. They are also planning to resurrect the magnificent five manual organ and use it while the seven manual console is being refurbished. There are good things happening in Atlantic City. I wonder when it will be sampled !!!!
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby Antoni Scott » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:16 pm

The recent regional AGO ended in Atlantic City Convention Hall with long awaited recitals demonstrating the vast resources of this amazing instrument. The organ has never sounded so good since ACCHOS ( and now HORC) committed to restoring this instrument. Countless hours of work resulted in 225 playable ranks. The crowning glory is a fully operational (and reliable !!!!) combination action. Unfortunately, recordings can't do the immense dynamic range of this organ justice. In addition to the 429 rank Midmer-Losh is an impressive 55 rank Kimball in the Ballroom. Dr. Carol Williams performed on both instruments. They are also planning to resurrect the magnificent five manual organ and use it while the seven manual console is being refurbished. There are good things happening in Atlantic City. I wonder when it will be sampled !!!!
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Re: Atlantic City Organ rebuild making headway

Postby organtechnology » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:29 pm

Antoni Scott wrote:The recent regional AGO ended in Atlantic City Convention Hall with long awaited recitals demonstrating the vast resources of this amazing instrument. The organ has never sounded so good since ACCHOS ( and now HORC) committed to restoring this instrument. Countless hours of work resulted in 225 playable ranks. The crowning glory is a fully operational (and reliable !!!!) combination action. Unfortunately, recordings can't do the immense dynamic range of this organ justice. In addition to the 429 rank Midmer-Losh is an impressive 55 rank Kimball in the Ballroom. Dr. Carol Williams performed on both instruments. They are also planning to resurrect the magnificent five manual organ and use it while the seven manual console is being refurbished. There are good things happening in Atlantic City. I wonder when it will be sampled !!!!


They will sample it when someone has a computer to play it back on. :) and will thus pay for a sample set.

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