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Olde reed organ sample set

Sampling pipe organs and turning them into something you can play in Hauptwerk.

Olde reed organ sample set

Postby engrssc » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:24 pm

I'm sure (or at least pretty sure) that these olde reed pumpers have never been sampled, right? There is something very quaint (maybe even a little nostalgic) about them. 8) Probably too noisy and thus too much work, correct?

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And, yes, you can smile. :o :roll:

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Ed
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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby Andrew Grahame » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:16 am

To my knowledge no suction-type American reed organs have been sampled for Hauptwerk. Maybe one day in the distant future when I am able to find the time to learn how to create sample sets I may attempt to sample one of my own (I have several Estey instruments of various sizes and a big one by the Canadian firm of Dominion, all thoroughly restored and tuned) but that's a very long way off.

However there have been some early efforts at reed organ sampling for Hauptwerk using pressure-style French instruments. Paul Delfierre has produced a few sample sets.

http://users.skynet.be/PaulD/reedorgan/index.htm

These sample sets date back a few years now and the website appears not to have been updated for more than three years.

The inevitable comparison will be made between the quality of these early sample sets and the high standards of today (such as noticeable glitches in the repeat point of the occasional loop) but they represent a small but significant keyboard genre. In addition to the traditional French style instruments by Debain his website mentions a small single-rank Mannborg suction instrument, but I couldn't say if they are still available today.

If a reed organ is to be sampled I don't see a problem in relation to noise if the instrument has been properly restored. However I do see a potential issue with the creation of loops due to the inherent nature of reed pitch to fluctuate ever so slightly with changes in wind pressure (suction) being generated by the foot-operated bellows. When tuning a reed organ I always connect up a temporary tell-tale to ensure that each note is tuned with the bellows at exactly the same pressure, and I would imagine that a similar approach would be needed if sampling so that the pitch of each note remains constant throughout the entire loop. The fluctuations are only slight, but they are noticeable when tuning and I think would also be apparent in sampling. I imagine that the job of sampling a reed organ would present its own unique challenges.

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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby engrssc » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:03 am

Very interesting, Andrew. I helped a family friend many years ago restore such an instrument. He was an avid history buff who wanted to preserve many pieces of musical history. Not sure where his collection finally ended up as he has passed away a number of years ago. i do remember, somewhat fondly, the sound of this instrument.

Regarding varying pressure, as a "deviation" on one of his instruments, I helped him install a remote blower, properly "silenced" in another area which seemed to work reasonably well. This was not unlike the installation of a blower used for a real pipe organ, but on a much smaller scale.

Not sure exactly how "mass produced" such an instrument was as I recall what seemed to be a great deal of hand work. Quite interesting was how volume was able to be increased by moving/spreading apart 2 paddle like devices while pumping with one's knees. Of course, doing that increased the "need" for more "wind" which in turn required the organist to pump even "harder"

I remember a cousin of mine who played one of these in a small country church in Colorado as a young girl. One problem she had while pumping away, was the organ stool started to slowly "slide" away from the organ to the point where she would have to stop playing and "scoot" the stool back as she could no longer reach the keyboard. I thought, at the time, that was a bit amusing, esp in the middle of a hymn. :oops:

Rgds,
Ed

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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby CarsonCooman » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:24 am

Silver Octopus also shows plans to release a harmonium sample set, though no further details are listed:

http://www.silveroctopus.co.uk/prod05.htm
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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby steve till » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:59 am

I remember a friend of mine had a big old Estey 2 manual and pedal reed organ.
Inside there were 2 separate blowers, a pressure one for the electro-pneumatic
actions(!), and a suction one for the reeds themselves. Both made some noise,
but we had talked about mounting them in the basement.

I think that there were about 10 sets of reeds altogether, and I remember seeing
some of the very large 16 foot reeds (no, not actually 16 feet long).
My friend was not an organist, just an antique collector, and this thing was
large with fake pipes in the front, anyway, it was mostly restored and he
asked me to play for him sometimes. Full organ was loud!

Unfortunately, he died some years ago and I have no idea where that organ
wound up, but there must be others like that still around.
I think it would be fun to have a sample set of such an organ.
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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby engrssc » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:04 pm

steve till wrote:I think it would be fun to have a sample set of such an organ.


Agreed !! My mom and dad referred to that instrument as a parlour organ. Not sure if that was a correct name, but it stuck. We visited some family friends several times during the year, when I was growing up, and listening to the "parlour organ" was the best part of such visits, for me that is. For sure it was the closest I got to anything resembling an organ in those early days. Found out later, that many country churches had them. Kind of a piece of Americana and was probably true in other countries as well.

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Ed
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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby jocr » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:42 pm

I owned one of the Estey 2M and Pedal reed organs with mechanical couplers. Its chief benefit was to build up finger and foot strength/coordination. I lived in a church Sunday school room, and the organ was located in a hard-surfaced, echoey room next to the tiny kitchen. Thanks for reviving those memories.

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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby engrssc » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:11 pm

jocr wrote:I owned one of the Estey 2M and Pedal reed organs with mechanical couplers. Its chief benefit was to build up finger and foot strength/coordination.


Interesting how certain words spark mental recalls even if they move one away from the current topic at hand. In that regard, there is an interestingly/useful article by Ina Grapenthin on the Rodgers website http://www.rodgersinstruments.com/pedaling with the title of Does Your Right Hand Know What Your Left Foot is Doing? Try it, you'll like it. 8)

Rgds,
Ed

PS, one piece of advice that I have heard many times, but a difficult habit to break is mentioned, that being To become a good organist, what you do not want to do is permanently position your right foot on the expression pedal and abandon the left to work the pedalboard alone. :o
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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby jocr » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:31 pm

Andrew Grahame wrote:Paul Delfierre has produced a few sample sets.

http://users.skynet.be/PaulD/reedorgan/index.htm

These sample sets date back a few years now and the website appears not to have been updated for more than three years.


Website was recently updated.

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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby Antoni Scott » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:53 pm

There was someone in Vermont that has a two manual and pedal Estey reed organ that is the planning stage to sample. I contacted this individual and he informed me that he was too busy to follow through on the project. The result should be quite impressive since the organ has ten full sets of reeds. Somewhere else in this Forum is a web site address of this sampler. If enough interest is shown by members he might be motivated to finish the sample.
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Re: Olde reed organ sample set

Postby Andrew Grahame » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:06 pm

I think this might be the website in question.

http://www.organexpressions.com/samples.htm

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