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Skinner Wet Diapason

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Skinner Wet Diapason

Postby TomBentley » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:21 am

I am enjoying very much the Mr. Carmel Skinner wet set but solicit here some advice. I find that on both the great and swell division the diapason's are extremely loud and quite muddy sounding. I can reduce their overall volume through the voicing controls which seems to help, but if they are played on their own which I assume would be a diapason chorus, its not a satisfying sound -- rather muddy and dull. Since I am not a trained organist perhaps the problem is my lack of understanding exactly how to use these stops. Should they always be used with swell or choir stops coupled? Overall I guess I would say that I find them to be muddy and stand out rather glaringly in comparison to the rest of the set. Any advice on the proper use of these stops would be most appreciated. I have the same problem with the Harmonic Flute sounding dull as well. Thanks for any insight you might be able to give as to how to employ the use of these stops or any experience you might have had with voicing these stops if you use the Skinner wet. Thanks in advance.

PS --- I have heard for a long time heard that there would be a new upgraded Skinner coming out but it seems this may have been put on the back burner since gentle pokes have not elicited a response from MDA as to any expected upgrade.

Tom
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Re: Skinner Wet Diapason

Postby mnailor » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:47 am

I use Skinner wet with releases truncated in a range from 3.5 seconds for basses to 2 seconds for upperwork.

The balance between the Great Diapasons and other 8' flues is pretty typical of Skinner (and Willis). The First Diapason is fairly hard and smooth, and dominates the other 8' flues. It is meant to be massive. It doesn't have as much harmonic strength compared to the fundamental as a European Principal. It can be used as a tenor solo voice, but mostly I bring it in for loud choruses including upperwork and trumpets.

A decent principal chorus can be built from the Second Diapason, flute, octave 4, twelfth, fifteenth, and mixture, possibly coupling a similar chorus on the Swell.

For 8' fonds (French symphonic), I always omit the First Diapason until I add the reeds and upperwork. It doesn't allow the Swell 8' with Oboe to vary the coupled dynamics enough if you include the First. I do the same on Hereford.

If the music calls for Diapasons, that usually means 8'open and stopped diapasons alone, for which the sound equivalent might be Second Diapason and flute 8' unless it's supposed to be really loud.
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Re: Skinner Wet Diapason

Postby mkc1 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:27 am

You might find these articles interesting. Basically, as mnailor alludes to, diapasons on English Romantic, and by extention American, organs are muddy. I believe that's part of what prompted the so-called Organ Reform Movement, which tried to return to more transparent principals (diapasons) and more developed upper chorus work.

http://www.colinpykett.org.uk/principals1.htm

http://www.hectorparr.freeuk.com/hcp/organs.htm
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Re: Skinner Wet Diapason

Postby Lauwerk » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:41 am

Thank you, mkc1, for posting these two links. They provide excellent review of what I heard (perceived) as a youth and what I ultimately came to believe, but I never so fully studied out.

Thanks again.
Don Vlazny
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Re: Skinner Wet Diapason

Postby mkc1 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:06 am

Glad you found it interesting. Hector Parr's essay on Hymn Playing touches on some of the same points in the "Registration" section.
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