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Thread: Cipher solutions: Thanks to this forum!

  1. #1
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
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    Cipher solutions: Thanks to this forum!

    Hi all

    I was practising last night and the entire swell had a cipher so I remembered a tip from this very forum that someone posted - that is to keep pressing the offending key repeatedly. It worked!

    Thanks to all you guys as it has given me a bit of pride - has bumped up my reputation and saved the church some money!

    I was wondering - are there any other solutions to this problem that you can carry out from the console and without having to get up into the pipe chamber?

    Thanks!
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  2. #2
    Captain of Water Music jvhldb's Avatar
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    I had a cipher on the Trumpets during my Thursday practice and used the same trick, the ciphers gone, but now we have dead notes on the trumpet, making them unplayable. I hope we don't get more ciphers, which is highly likely given the weather we had the last couple of weeks, before the repairman can get to us
    Johan van Heerden

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I'm glad this forum did help you. You're welcome!
    judy tooley

  4. #4
    Captain of Water Music C5Says's Avatar
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    Can you explain a bit what this "cipher" is all about? The only ciphers I know has something to do with codes.

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    C5says, a cipher is when a note gets stuck on the pipe organ because a
    certain air valve gets stuck or something in a pipe.
    judy tooley

  6. #6
    Captain of Water Music C5Says's Avatar
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    Ohh...tnx very much Judy...
    Now I knowat least 2 kinds of ciphers

  7. #7
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach>Meer View Post
    Hi all

    I was practising last night and the entire swell had a cipher so I remembered a tip from this very forum that someone posted - that is to keep pressing the offending key repeatedly. It worked!

    Thanks to all you guys as it has given me a bit of pride - has bumped up my reputation and saved the church some money!

    I was wondering - are there any other solutions to this problem that you can carry out from the console and without having to get up into the pipe chamber?

    Thanks!
    Hi Bach>Meer,

    That's really great to hear - we all do really learn from each other in this forum community and that's what most of this site is all about.

    As to other solutions from the console for stopping a cipher, I'm afraid there aren't any, unless one wants to get involved with, what can be, miles of cables between console and chamber.

    If the pipe is one of the large pedal ones, you could stuff a lint free rag in its mouth as a temporary solve - smaller pipes can be oh so carefully and gently pulled from the chest. Some pipes have a greater lead content than others and do dent or bend rather easily - pipe repair is quite expensive.
    Kh ~~.
    Administrator


    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C5Says View Post
    Ohh...tnx very much Judy...
    Now I knowat least 2 kinds of ciphers
    You are very welcome!
    judy tooley

  9. #9
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I had to look "cipher" up in the Macquarie Dictionary ... the mechanical failure of an organ pipe was its elloquent and brief definition.

  10. #10
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster AllanP's Avatar
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    An easy way to stop a cipher is to lift up the offending pipe and place a piece of paper between the pipe foot and the chest to block the air. This way the pipes are left in place so as to minimize damage caused by laying down a removed pipe. An easy way to determine exactly which pipe is to shade the top of the pipe or the mouth with the hand (without touching the pipe). This will make the pitch change on the ciphering pipe. This is necessary as it is sometimes difficult to determine which pipe is the problem.

    Note that touching any pipe will tend to make the tuning unstable and will require some time (maybe a year) to regain stability.

  11. #11
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Hi,

    This sounds like the exact problem I'm having with our pipe organ right now!.
    Is it quite common for the actual key to stick down as well with a cipher problem?.

    Thanks
    Last edited by JONESEY; May-18-2009 at 14:56.

  12. #12
    Commodore con Forza
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    On a mechanical-action organ, yes, the key may stick down, but it won't on an electric one.

    If you have a pipe organ, sooner or later you are going to get a cipher some place. Pipes are sensitive to temperatures, too, which is why it pays to keep the temperature in the church even.

    But that trick of pressing the offending key several times won't always work, so it may necessitate a trip up to the inner sanctum. The obvious temporary solution is - just don't use that stop.

    The one about the "whole swell" sounds like more than a cipher - electrical problem?

    As for which pipe, most I've seen are marked with the key pitch (and stop name).

  13. #13
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Yes, it's a mechanical action organ.
    The problem in my case is that the note is stuck down, so any stop that's pulled out will be sounding!.
    The organ tuner is coming tomorrow, so hopefully he'll be able to sort it out.

  14. #14
    Commodore con Forza
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    Yes, that would be true on a mechanical. So it's not really a cipher, but something in the key action.

    In this vein, would it be safe to assume that materials used nowa days are better and may last longer than was true previously? I once had an LP of Marcel Dupre playing Franck at St. Sulpice, and in quiet passages and wearing my earphones, I could hear the key actions "clattering" when he would let up on notes. That may not be noticeable in the church, but it sure was on the recording. And you hear of old organs having problems with the windchests, etc. Have things improved any since 1862?

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