Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Pneumatic action - differing delays between manuals

  1. #1
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chelmsford, England
    Posts
    13
    Post Thanks / Like

    Pneumatic action - differing delays between manuals

    I'm currently practicing on a 3 manual pneumatic action organ but am finding one particular aspect of the instrument particularly limiting. Whilst the Great and Choir divisions respond almost immediately to their notes being played, there is a noticable time lag for notes being played on the Swell.

    This is to such an extent that the playing of fast passages with hands spread across the swell and a second manual simultaneously is both difficult and unpleasant to listen to. The same applies if you couple the Swell to the Great or Choir.

    I'm fairly certain this isn't down to the accoustics of the building from where the organist is seated. Has anyone else ever come across this? Is is it typical of pneumatic action organs?

    Martin

  2. #2
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    It sure as hell ain't MY "lucky" country :(
    Posts
    739
    Post Thanks / Like
    Absolutely - it's a common problem. You may have also seen the thread elsewhere in this forum on tracker versus pneumatic.

    I played for several years at an instrument which had exactly the sort of problem you've just described only this was an electric action instrument with the console a fair distance from the organ. The Great and Swell spoke at the same time (albeit with a slight lag), the Choir spoke slightly slower and the Pedals spoke even slower than the Choir! It's a problem common to many pneumatic and electric action organs, depending on when they were built, what sort of materials were used and how well it's maintained.

    One can get used to it with regular practice, but it's a question of how well you want to get used to it. One the biggest problems I encountered was practicing on this instrument and then playing the same piece on a more responsive one. There is a lot of adjusting going on.

    Matt
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  3. #3
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,340
    Post Thanks / Like
    Isn't this precisely what makes playing the organ so, well, deliciously unpredictable?

  4. #4
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    It sure as hell ain't MY "lucky" country :(
    Posts
    739
    Post Thanks / Like
    Too true - keeps one on one's toes (as it were ).
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  5. #5
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,055
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've been thinking a lot about all this recently and I'm wondering if with the electric action, wire lengths and processors speeds play a part?

  6. #6
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    It sure as hell ain't MY "lucky" country :(
    Posts
    739
    Post Thanks / Like
    Certainly does. It's strange how electricity isn't anywhere near as fast as many people think. Apparently with older (Solid State) systems, you can increase the voltage to improve response time but someone with more know-how may wish to comment on this. The worst delay I ever encountered at an electric action console was around 0.5 of a second - it was ghastly. (mind you, I get worse delays between my synthesisers and the computer )
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  7. #7
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,055
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yes - so it's not just me that has noticed that the 'theoretically' instant, isn't necessarily quite so instant as it's made out to be. And yes - The synth-computer links can be chronic at times.

  8. #8
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chelmsford, England
    Posts
    13
    Post Thanks / Like
    Playing on various instruments, I've found that I can get used to quite a significant delay provided that all the manuals exhibit the same amount of delay. I'm not convinced that I would eveer get used to playing on 2 manuals simultaneously and having one hand play slightly ahead of the other so that they sound together.

    On a related topic, I occasionally play piano duets with my mother (retired music teacher), including some excellent arrangements of the Handel Organ Concertos. I suggested we try them on the organ at my church, which has a siginificant delay since the console and organ are at oposite ends of the nave. This proved to be almost impossible to keep together, because of this delay. My mother isn't an organist, and so isn't used to coping with such delays, but I wonder whether it would have been equally problematic if I had tried this with another organist. I'll have to give it a go sometime.

    Martin G

Similar Threads

  1. Tracker action vs Pneumatic action
    By Caddis in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: Jun-18-2007, 17:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •