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New Console now with Partials

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

New Console now with Partials

Postby Owen Jones » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:30 am

I have fitted partials to The White Beast, a project which took a lot longer than I had planned.
http://theatreorgans.com/owenjones/consoles.html
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby Andrew Grahame » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:08 am

Hi Owen,

Forgive my ignorance, but what are partials?

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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby organsRgreat » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:24 am

I'm wondering whether “partials” might be used here to mean “harmonics”; in which case it could refer to the non-unison couplers often found on the Solo manual of a theatre organ? Perhaps there was originally too little space to add the appropriate stop tabs, and re-constructing that part of the console was difficult?
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby jkinkennon » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:39 am

I suspect 'partials' refers to the partial third row of stops on the far left and right below the two full rows. Just a guess as I'm not that familiar with theater organs. Seems like there's also a special term for the little panels of buttons often used for toy stops.
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby TheOrganDoc » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:50 pm

Andrew Grahame wrote:Hi Owen,

Forgive my ignorance, but what are partials? (Those Coupler stops, are known as "Trick, Couplers", since they produce chords from one Key), (They must be played 1 Key at a time)
(Partials are also known as Bolsters !)


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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby engrssc » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:54 pm

As an example of the technical term "partial", when a violinist or pianist plays a note, the string not only vibrates as a whole, producing it's fundamental pitch, but it also vibrates in halves, producing a pitch an octave above the fundamental. It also vibrates in thirds, producing the pitch a twelfth above the fundamental, etc.

These various pitches caused by the fractional vibrations of the string are called partials of the tone of the string. Since the tone as we hear it is is the effect of the sounding of all of the included pitches, the fundamental itself is only a part of the tone and is called the first partial. The octave with double the frequency is the second partial; the twelfth, with three times the fundamental frequency is the third partial, and so on.

An added comment, it would be high on my list of requests for a future version of Hauptwerk to be able to adjust each of these partials as part of the voicing structure. Being able to adjust these partials is much different then, for instance, the EQ. They add a great deal to the results and is, among other "features" what (real pipe) experienced voicers work on. I should add, the example above of a vibrating string is perhaps easier to understand as compared to how these "rules" apply to the sound of a pipe, either a flue pipe or a reed pipe.

An interesting side note is the various means that the organ builder is able to make these partials either additive or subtractive to shape and "sculpt" the sound of a given rank of pipes. I found reading the life and works of E M Skinner, all he did to create what he "needed" to hear, very interesting. In addition, after a given pipe is built, it has to be properly voiced as the location (space) is actually half of the end result. The acoustics makes a huge difference and is very difficult to (re)create by "electronic" means. Probably why some HW folks prefer listening via a headset which eliminates the local "room" effect.

I found when attempting to voice an organ by listening via a headset, and then moving the organ into it's intended space, I had to basically start all over as far as voicing it. A huge difference probably to some degree why a pipe organ builder can only do a preliminary voicing at the factory, and then finish when the instrument is finally installed in it's "destination home".

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby profeluisegarcia » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:58 pm

Take a look to a Hammond organ: you can create
many sound just adjusting partials
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby organsRgreat » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:28 am

The above remark refers to the original Hammonds, which were additive synthesisers producing their sounds by adjusting the strengths of sine wave harmonics. Because all the harmonics were derived from an equally-tempered scale, the Hammond had a very distinctive sound. The non-unison harmonics were not in the “correct” place, so a filter was built in to prevent the tone becoming too harsh.

Later Hammonds moved to subtractive tone forming, as used by other home organs of the time; the advantage was that a wider range of sounds could be produced. Then Allen transformed the whole scene with the first digitally-sampled organs, and the rest of the industry had to wait until Allen's patents expired before they could catch up.

Thanks Ed for the clear explanation of partials - I've been a musician for fifty years, and never understood until now why they're called that! My piano tuner often uses the term partials where I would say harmonics. Piano tuners rely on listening to harmonics when tuning by ear, though electronic tuning devices are now available which can give excellent results. Piano tuning is more complicated than organ tuning, because the harmonics of a piano string are slightly sharp, so it is necessary to “stretch” the tuning towards the top of the keyboard. Organs are tuned “correctly”, because the harmonics of a pipe are where they “ought” to be; which is fortunate, as otherwise mutations and mixtures wouldn't work :-)
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:52 pm

It looks as if my latest post to this thread has vanished into the ether. Here it is again.

A closer look at the photos show the console in its latest incarnation now has a third, shorter row of stops underneath the two main bolsters at the bass and treble ends of the console. I am now assuming that the term "partials" in this context may refer to these "partial" bolsters.

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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby engrssc » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:32 pm

Andrew Grahame wrote:I am now assuming that the term "partials" in this context may refer to these "partial" bolsters.


I had that same thought, altho I asked a couple organ (console) builders and they seemed unfamiliar with the term in that context. Of course many words do have dual definitions. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby John_Abson » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:54 pm

It's a term used by theatre organ builders; refers usually to Wurlitzer consoles of four manuals (or more) and they usually accommodate some of the Pedal and Orchestral/Bombarde stopkeys.

The lowest row in this picture of the Troxy Wurlitzer, Limehouse.

http://www.troxy-wurlitzer.org/wp-conte ... nsole5.jpg
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:33 pm

The mystery appears to have been solved!
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Re: New Console now with Partials

Postby Owen Jones » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:56 am

TheOrganDoc wrote:
Andrew Grahame wrote:Hi Owen,

Forgive my ignorance, but what are partials? (Those Coupler stops, are known as "Trick, Couplers", since they produce chords from one Key), (They must be played 1 Key at a time)
(Partials are also known as Bolsters !)


Andrew

Third row of stops on both sides of the console. 30 extra stops in total. Now I am able to use most of the stops on the Paramount 450.
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