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Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

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damuehlbauer

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Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostSun Nov 08, 2020 11:13 am

Looking for a good book, article or video on the topic of 'voicing' for Theatre organs in general, and/or Paramount 341 in particular. I understand how the HW function works. Would like some input on best practices to get the best sound.

Thanks!
David Muehlbauer
Mesa, Arizona USA
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mdyde

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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostSun Nov 08, 2020 11:30 am

[Topic moved here.]
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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magnaton

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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostMon Nov 09, 2020 7:08 pm

The first that comes to mind is Walt Strony's "Secrets of Theatre Organ Registration". It's tailored towards standard and well known registrations but describes what the different ranks should sound like.

From my experience, the Paramount series of instruments are pretty well voiced. You can start playing it right-out-the-box. I consider these to be tweaks vs voicing:
- The Post Horn is the loudest rank of a TO and thus I've had to raise this up bit as its the same volume as the Tuba and maybe a few others. The Post Horn should sit on top of the ensemble.
- I also raise the volume of the Xylophone as I prefer a Master Xylophone sound. (larger Wurlitzers had 2 Xylophones).
- The bass drum's volume also gets raised so you get an audible punch like from a pizza parlor install.
- On my Paramount 3/20, I've tweaked the tuning on the Gamba Celeste to adjust the undulation a bit. Not sure that is an option on the 3/41, if the Flute and string Celeste ranks are independent.
- I've seen suggestions to have the Open Diapason about the same volume as the Tuba Mirabilis to give it a thicker sound when those two ranks are solo'd together.

Basically these are personal preferences based on my experience and audio setup. Your mileage could vary. If I were strictly listening through headphones, I probably wouldn't feel the need to make any voicing change.

Here is a link on creating some TO registrations:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTLkGZu2Bh8

Danny B.
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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostThu Nov 12, 2020 4:29 pm

Hi David,

The POW 341 is a great instrument and sounds pretty good out of the box. However, if you start to go through things on a note by note basis you'll find some rough edges that can be smoothed out with the voicing tools. I've summarized below the major adjustments I've made to my version.

Tuning: There is a lot of inconsistency with tuning between ranks. Some people like this as it is more "realistic", I prefer my tuning to be much tighter.
• Use the Unison Gamba as a reference rank and tune it with a tuning app.
• Use the Gamba to tune the rest of the untremmed samples; the Open Diapason and Color Reeds need this the most.
• For tremmed ranks, record the tuning adjustments made on the untremmed sampled and then copy them over to the tremmed samples.
• One exception to the above rule is one of the Main Voxes, the untremmed sample is very out of tune but the tremmed sample is fine.

English Post Horn: This is a contemporary-sounding set that roars over the ensemble. I personally prefer a more refined Wurlitzer style ensemble Post Horn that crown a Full Organ registration with a crisp "bark".
• Tamed the high end of the rank to decrease the upper harmonic development
• Adjusted the volume upwards to compensate for the decreased high end

Tuba Mirabilis:
• Darken the sound by decreasing the high end
• Adjust volume to sit below the Post Horn in the ensemble

Brass Trumpet: This ranks requires a lot of work. You can tell this was sampled from a diatonic chest from a less than ideal position, the C# side of the rank is louder than the C side of the rank. C side of the ranks as the reference and adjust the C# side to match. You need to do this for both the tremmed and untremmed samples.
• First, adjust the overall volume to be consistent throughout the rank using the C side as reference
• Second, adjust the bright tone of the C# side to match the more subdued C side of the rank
• Third, adjust the volume again of the C# side to match the C side

Tuba Horn: Very good as is, I just upped the volume a little bit

Diaphonic Diapason: I upped the volume on this rank a lot so it would add a lot of weight to Accomp 2nd touch lines and to full organ. I also turned down the high end of the tenor octave to eliminate the "breathy" characteristic.

Open Diapason: Needs a lot of tuning for both the tremmed and untremmed samples. Use the procedure described above

Horn Diapason: Sounds great as is

I will add more to this later, please check back.
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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostThu Nov 12, 2020 6:15 pm

Jcvtpo wrote:Brass Trumpet: This ranks requires a lot of work. You can tell this was sampled from a diatonic chest from a less than ideal position, the C# side of the rank is louder than the C side of the rank. C side of the ranks as the reference and adjust the C# side to match. You need to do this for both the tremmed and untremmed samples.
• First, adjust the overall volume to be consistent throughout the rank using the C side as reference
• Second, adjust the bright tone of the C# side to match the more subdued C side of the rank
• Third, adjust the volume again of the C# side to match the C side

Yes, I Forgot about that one! It was the first one I had to regulate as I remember pausing a few times while playing thinking something was wrong with my audio. After confirming with headphones, realized it was this rank.

Danny B.
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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostThu Nov 12, 2020 6:34 pm

Since I have no experience with actual pipe organs, can one of you clarify the comment 'high end'?

magnaton wrote:Diaphonic Diapason: I upped the volume on this rank a lot so it would add a lot of weight to Accomp 2nd touch lines and to full organ. I also turned down the high end of the tenor octave to eliminate the "breathy" characteristic.


I had assumed you meant reduce the volume of the higher notes, but you know what they say about 'assume'...

I only have a two-channel (stereo) output, so I am focusing on the 'All Perspectives' options:

• All perspectives: overall: tuning (cents).
• All perspectives: overall: amplitude (dB).
• All perspectives: overall: amplitude stereo bal (pct).
• All perspectives: overall: brightness (dB).
• All perspectives: overall: brightness stereo bal (pct, beyond +/-100 inverts).
• All perspectives: tremulant mod: pitch (pct).
• All perspectives: tremulant mod: amplitude (pct).
• All perspectives: tremulant mod: amplitude stereo bal (pct, beyond +/-100 inverts).
• All perspectives: tremulant mod: brightness (pct).
• All perspectives: tremulant mod: brightness stereo bal (pct, beyond +/-100 inverts).
• All perspectives: wind supply mod: pitch (pct).
• All perspectives: wind supply mod: amplitude (pct).
• All perspectives: wind supply mod: amplitude stereo bal (pct).
• All perspectives: wind supply mod: brightness (pct).
• All perspectives: wind supply mod: brightness stereo bal (pct, beyond +/-100 inverts).
• All perspectives: swell boxes mod: amplitude (pct).
• All perspectives: swell boxes mod: amplitude stereo bal (pct, beyond +/-100 inverts).
• All perspectives: swell boxes mod: harmonics (pct).
• All perspectives: swell boxes mod: harmonics stereo bal (pct, beyond +/-100 inverts).

Thanks for the comments thus far -- very helpful.
David Muehlbauer
Mesa, Arizona USA
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magnaton

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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostThu Nov 12, 2020 7:09 pm

The quote you included was from Jcvtpo not me :-).


Danny B.
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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostSun Nov 15, 2020 8:02 pm

damuehlbauer wrote:Since I have no experience with actual pipe organs, can one of you clarify the comment 'high end'?

magnaton wrote:Diaphonic Diapason: I upped the volume on this rank a lot so it would add a lot of weight to Accomp 2nd touch lines and to full organ. I also turned down the high end of the tenor octave to eliminate the "breathy" characteristic.

I had assumed you meant reduce the volume of the higher notes, but you know what they say about 'assume'...


I meant reduce the high-end harmonics of the lower octaves of the rank.

Starting with 32' C the Diaphonic Diapason is Wood Diaphone pipes (assuming it is a Wurlitzer set) until 8' F, at 8' F# it transitions to flue pipes. The next 7-8 pipes are on an offset before they transition to the pipes on the manual chest. These flue pipes between 8' F# and the transition to the manual chest around 4' D are off speech and really breathy. I use the brightness control to tame the high-end frequencies that contribute to the "hiss".
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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostSun Nov 15, 2020 8:14 pm

magnaton wrote:The first that comes to mind is Walt Strony's "Secrets of Theatre Organ Registration". It's tailored towards standard and well known registrations but describes what the different ranks should sound like..


Unfortunately this book has been out print for awhile. I've been looking to find a copy for many years. Walt's web site says he is hoping to have a new edition out by 2017.

Rgdd,
Ed
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Re: Tips on Voicing for Theatre Organ (Paramount)

PostThu Dec 24, 2020 12:34 pm

Thanks for the clarification:

I meant reduce the high-end harmonics of the lower octaves of the rank.

Starting with 32' C the Diaphonic Diapason is Wood Diaphone pipes (assuming it is a Wurlitzer set) until 8' F, at 8' F# it transitions to flue pipes. The next 7-8 pipes are on an offset before they transition to the pipes on the manual chest. These flue pipes between 8' F# and the transition to the manual chest around 4' D are off speech and really breathy. I use the brightness control to tame the high-end frequencies that contribute to the "hiss".


I was able to adjust the appropriate notes (about 1 1/2 octaves) to reduce the breathy sounds and it sounds much better.
David Muehlbauer
Mesa, Arizona USA

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