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Thread: The organ effect

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    The organ effect

    Here's a quote from another forum I inhabit, (and have done far longer than the time I've wasted here).

    I learned a new term today the "organ effect"

    The organ effect is the sound quality that occurs when all the ensemble instruments (concert band, in my case) sound, well, like an organ. Human beings may sound as if they are all starting and stopping together in an ensemble, but they are actually not. When human beings play, we usually cannot hear slight differences in timbre and time of attack. However, in digital music, attacks and timbres are exact. These qualities produce the organ effect.

    My understanding is that the organ effect can be eliminated, or, at least, great reduced, by digitally staggering attacks and same-instrument timbres ever so slightly. I asked how to do that.

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Welland, Ontario, Canada, mid Niagara Peninsula, between Great Lakes Erie and Ontario
    After being the most replied and viewed online forum user for electric guitar forums,
    in Canada, the disUnited States, England, Scotland and India, five years ago, now, is the only music forum I visit and log in to comment, really liking it here.
    That's about my inventive guitar, nothing electrical, but a new acoustic phenomena.
    So I know sound, and have been using an oscilloscope to tune scientifically since 1972.

    The "organ effect" might sound like it makes sense, but it really doesn't, just something to type.
    "The Butterfly Effect", an old best selling book and a recent movie, is where that comes from.
    I'd rather see "The Organ Whisperer" than that.

    What's wrong?
    Pipe organs are built to assimilate the various sounds of symphony instruments.
    Of course, if you take the separate instruments of some of those sounds,
    and play them together, it can only accumulate to sound like an organ.

    Attacks and timbres in digital music are not exact, not at all, just different than acoustic.
    What is exact about digital computer use, is the showing of timing and length analysis.
    By that I mean what the computer tells you it is doing, and where you are in minutes, seconds, etc.
    Anyone who plays electronic instruments onstage will tell you that heat, turning on stage lights,
    the presence of florescent lights, the way the glass washing machine turns on in bars,
    will make electronic instruments detune, waver in pitch, and change the phasing of speakers.
    Do I have to explain the various warnings about magnetic proximity between electronic devices?

    While those aren't qualities that computers like, and might be unable to account for,
    they can be seen as the equivalent of acoustic instruments with tempered tuning.

    In 1977, it was rare to see electronic instruments that allowed the movement of sound envelopes.
    If you had a piano, organ, synthesizer, even an electronic kazoo, all plugged in and mixed together,
    they were all sounding out exactly the same.
    In Toronto, in 1977, my friend David Burke, from Newfoundland, was layering various keyboards,
    using echo, phasing with some panning, and delays, to create a natural blend of instruments.
    This allowed synth vocals to sound natural, making him the hottest keyboard player in Toronto.

    Something tells me you don't understand,
    that is was the invention of the Fender Stratocaster that changed musical history.
    For the first time, there was an individual two-way bridge for each string,
    so you could tune each string scientifically and get perfect harmonic tuning.
    That's what allowed Jimi Hendrix, a former U.S.A. radar technician,
    to use so many effects and multiple overdubs that blended and created new sounds.
    Yeah, new sounds, what a concept!
    Last edited by John Watt; Jun-27-2016 at 02:31.

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