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Thread: Changing Wind Pressure

  1. #1
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Changing Wind Pressure

    The organ in my local church (see my other thread) unfortunately has little penetration into the building. The church is very wide, with three aisles and a small chancel. The majority of the pipework, including the position of the swell shades is facing out into the chancel. There is an arch on the south side of the chancel and one on the east side of the south aisle of the church, both containing pipes in a case which is flat against the archway.

    Because of this, the organ is very imposing in the choir, but in the main body of the church it is just not loud enough.

    Would an increase in wind pressure allow for greater volume and out of interest, how would this be achieved?

    John

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    It might mess the tune up. Krummhorn or someone else can help.
    Welcome to the forum.
    judy tooley

  3. #3
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    You can raise the wind, rescale it and cut it up. It's a pro job not to be undertaken by butter knife tuners. Raising wind alone is incomplete. You'll need to retune the whole thing and do voicing. Make sure the channels in the chests aren't too narrow first. Some ranks may need to be cut-up, which is irreversable. Another option is rescaling a note or two bigger by making new bass pipes, moving the rest over a note or two and retuning. In many cases this is in the relm of being a "Butcher Job" which destroys the integrety of the instrument. But in some cases, if done right can be an improvment. Reversing a previous neo-baroque conversion would be one good case.

  4. #4
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi John,

    Welcome aboard to MIMF

    I can only echo what Mush has stated directly above. At the suggestion of my organ technician (a regional builder of note) we raised the wind pressure 1/8th of an inch to 3". Of course, the tech had to re-voice/re-tune the pipes as the immediate effect of a pressure increase causes the pipes to "overblow" which makes them sound a few cents sharp.

    The congregation noticed the change immediately ... even the tone deaf people remarked to me that the organ sounded "different".

    This type of project is best suited for a professional in the business, one who will readily give you references upon request.
    Kh ~~.
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  5. #5
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Master Krummhorn has it right - Leave it to the professionals - Its way beyond the ken of someone who only has read the treatises of Audsley or Winfried Ellerhorst.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  6. #6
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mush View Post
    undertaken by butter knife tuners...
    Lovely saying, I'll use it.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  7. #7
    Commodore con Forza
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    I've read that, since Daniel Roth has been organist at St. Sulpice, he has had some re-voicing done on that justly famous organ - and that it no longer sounds as it did in the days of Widor and Dupre. Why does someone have to tinker with what probably amounts to historical perfection?

    Ditto on the one at St. Bavo, Haarlem, Holland. There has been considerable criticism of the way that one has been 'changed'. Supposedly, that one is owned by the city, which seems a strange arrangement.

    As an aside, in all the times I've seen Diane Bish play countless organs, I don't recall ever seeing her tackle St. Sulpice. (I have seen her play St. Bavo.) Could that be because those French wouldn't let her near their masterpiece?

  8. #8
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha dll927,

    First off - Welcome aboard! Please do make yourself feel right at home and stay for a spell.

    Secondly, re-voicing the Cavaille-Coll masterpiece at St. Sulpice??? I don't know about that. Remember, Cavaille-Coll used much pipework that came from the shop of Clicquot. Yes, Cavaille-Coll also did some *voicing* of Clicquots work and added more reeds, foundations, strings, mixtures, and mutations.

    The St. Sulpice organ is one of the few surviving organs that have escaped being *raped* by the likes of Gonzalez and others who don't care about the organ patrimony created by Cavaille-Coll. The current curator of the organ at St. Sulpice has been carefully selected by Maestro Roth and the organ committee at St. Sulpice. They are very well aware of what a treasure they have on their hands and the utmost importance of preserving it for future generations. It was only Mutin who added two more stops after Cavaille-Coll reposed and Mutin was employed by Cavaille-Coll!

    Please revisit your critique of whats going on at St. Sulpice. Other remaining Cavaille-Coll organs which are basically *unmolested* are at St. Ouen in Rouen, St. Sernin in Toulouse, and St. Etienne in Caen. There are others but at the moment I forget where they are.

    Cheerio,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza
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    On another thread, there's a tape of Dupre playing the S-S organ. Too bad such things don't exist of Charles-Marie himself.

    There is a story that at some point Widor was asked to record some of his music. He was less than enthusiastic, claiming that, at his advanced age, his fingers were no longer so limber. But he finally agreed, then they had an awful time deciding on just how to place microphones, etc.

    Given that Widor died a few months before I was born, I dare say that whatever recording equiment existed at the time did little justice to either the organ or the church's acoustics. It wasn't until the advent of "high fidelity" in the '50s that organs suddenly became the acid test of recording - and speakers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    I've read that, since Daniel Roth has been organist at St. Sulpice, he has had some re-voicing done on that justly famous organ - and that it no longer sounds as it did in the days of Widor and Dupre. Why does someone have to tinker with what probably amounts to historical perfection?

    Ditto on the one at St. Bavo, Haarlem, Holland. There has been considerable criticism of the way that one has been 'changed'. Supposedly, that one is owned by the city, which seems a strange arrangement.

    As an aside, in all the times I've seen Diane Bish play countless organs, I don't recall ever seeing her tackle St. Sulpice. (I have seen her play St. Bavo.) Could that be because those French wouldn't let her near their masterpiece?

    Old organs have to be revoiced as part of their maintanece. Over time the blocks sag, feet crush, toe holes smash shut and reeds lose their curve.

  11. #11
    Commodore con Forza
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    Supposedly, an organ in the Stanford University Memorial Church can be played at different pitches. I can't see how that could be done short of extra ranks and some sort of control to change windchests, or at least separate stops Any comments?

    Cavaille-Coll (and probably other) organs were built with what they called 'ventils', which controlled separate windchests, usually containing the reeds and upperwork. I don't speak French, but C-C called them 'anches', and they were controlled by little foot pedals (is there another kind of pedal!!), one for each division.

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