Author Topic: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32  (Read 57566 times)

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Colin Pykett

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2011, 08:11:49 PM »
Barry, the tune I prefer is indeed Barnby's Laudes Domini (I should have said previously).

Interesting that you mentioned Holy Trinity Brompton.  I was told by the seller that the second-hand drawstop jambs on my 3 manual organ console came from there many moons ago, though I thought it might have been an apocryphal story.  I replaced the actual stop knobs with new ones engraved to my specification.  The old ones were solid ivory, though to my mind not in very good condition as well as bearing names that I did not want.  They were somewhat disfigured by minor cracks (called shakes I think?) among other things.  However a friendly organ builder snapped them up in return for some assistance he had kindly offered in other matters.  As a craftsman, he could no doubt have got them back into an acceptable condition.

I also had to purchase the old keyboards, but these were in very poor condition.

Re speakers for electronic 32 flue stops, the prime issue is that one has to move enough air.  This means that the speaker has to be matched to the auditorium, because what will be 'enough' for a domestic room would not be for a church, say.  A picture of the speaker I use at home is at:

http://www.pykett.org.uk/re-creating_vanished_organs.htm#Simulation%20system

(Scroll down a bit if necessary to see the 18 inch drive unit mounted in the ceiling).  This forms an acoustically large structure because it uses the ceiling itself to keep the two antiphase sound waves from the front and rear of the cone apart, and thus prevents them  cancelling each other.  It is driven by a separate 100 watt amplifier.  It rattles doors etc all over the house!

For a large building one would need several such units if using this 'infinite baffle' approach, to increase the volume of air set into vibration.  Otherwise one would need a very large cabinet or a horn, which at these frequencies could easily turn out to be as large as a 32 foot pipe itself if it is to be effective.  Depending on the size of the building, amplifiers of at least several hundred watts might be required, or even kilowatts for the largest ones.

The issues are discussed in detail in the article

http://www.pykett.org.uk/vlf_repro.htm

Colin Pykett

pcnd5584

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2011, 01:28:16 AM »
.... As for 'Harmonics of 32 foot'. there is a 9 rank example on Compton's organ at St Osmund's, Parkstone near Poole.  Church was C of E but is now Romanian Orthodox.  Organ is protected by Grade 1 HOC.  NPOR http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N07503.  Sorry if I offend Compton enthusiasts, but this is definitely one of the least pleasant and daftest instruments I have ever played, partly because of this stop.  If this had been invented and used by Hope-Jones it would have been loudly and widely derided.  But because it was by Compton (most of whose electric technology and some of whose tonal ideas were purloined from H-J), it has people drooling over it.  (Can anyone explain this phenomenon please?.  Someone whom I cannot now recall surmised that it was because Compton was not gay whereas H-J was, at a time when it mattered more than it does now!  There might be some truth in that).

Best

Colin Pykett

Forgive me if I correct one point, Colin. The former church of Saint Osmond, Parkstone, is now used by the Greek Orthodox Church - not Romanian.

However, I have to agree with your assessment of this instrument (which is now in a parlous state). Apart from residing behind a false 'brick' wall, it also contains a rare example of a Sub Quint (21 1/3ft.).

With regard to your last point, I was inder the impression that Robert Hope-Jones travelled to the U.S. somewhat urgently, to escape prosecution. I have been unable to discover if this is correct.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 01:40:50 AM by pcnd5584 »
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barniclecompton

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2011, 01:48:33 AM »
 @ Colin Pykett :-Theres nothing daft about it at all. Probably the "daftest" thing about it to you was because it has a horseshoe console? Oh, and its a unit organ, so that would probably be something to pick at too? Have you played it and got to know it? Or was it just a go on it or a service?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 01:50:50 AM by barniclecompton »

David Pinnegar

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2011, 01:09:40 PM »
Hi!

Colin has detected from the slightly tetchy response above that he might have caused offense and has asked me to reply:
Quote
"It is possible that the sentence in my post of 16 April which mentioned Hope-Jones and Compton has subsequently caused offence.  If this is so, I would like to unreservedly apologise.  No offense was intended, and the Moderators and forum owner have my full support if they deem it necessary to delete or modify my post.

Personally, I read the post without any cause for offense, mentioning as historical fact validly a reason why Hope Jones suffered a prejudice and how this came to influence the organic course of history. Of course this may not be the reason for the tone of the response. However, a forum of people can be a much more understanding place if things are discussed rather than censored or unnecessarily heavily moderated.


For the reason above, were his computer to be working properly, Forum Admin might comment that he hopes that this forum is one where good humour prevails and where differences of opinion are tolerated, indeed encouraged, as a stimulus to healthy discussion perhaps akin to an ancient Greek University.

In trying to further the analogy in suggesting the appropriate manner in which students should approach the teachings of Socrates a reference to Diogenes turned up with somewhat lurid reference to the Dog-Men and anyone tempted to brandish a plucked chicken in front of Plato might be amused and interested to read: http://www.btinternet.com/~socratic/excerpt.htm.

To Carthusians on the point of becoming Old Carthusians, Revd John Witheridge drew attention to three qualities of value - Love, Community and Confidence. Sadly I could not be there to hear exactly what he said but Love is understanding and forgiving one another, often there being nothing of reality to forgive, Community - the effect of that love in living together in common purpose - and Confidence - the confidence of all to be able to express themselves within the context of Love both within the community and beyond.

We cherish different personalities, different perspectives and differing opinions from differing experiences and sources of information, and their whole is more than, and more valuable than, the sum of their parts, a forum such as this having a valuable contribution to the spreading of enthusiasm and knowledge of organs, with all their complexities and variety.

Back on subject, the extraordinary beast of a Sub Quint at 22ft must be to give the effect of a 64ft! WOW!

Sometimes when we experience an instrument which we consider to be an oddity, it may be that someone's trying something out with which we're not familiar. This instrument with 32ft and with the Sub Quint an effective 64ft chorus appears to be leading back to Dom Bedos from which the recent instrument at Rieti gains inspiration with 32ft on manuals . . . :-) Difficult to conceive how this is used, but anyone today taking the decision to study under Philippe Bardon at St Maximin on the August course might start to gain an insight and I recommend it. Before long I'll upload a piece of De Grigny onto YouTube using 16ft chorus on pedals.

Such instruments are quite a mystery in their understanding from a conventional playing viewpoint. Luca di Donato is likely to be the leading authority of the use of a chorus of deep pitches - I wonder if anyone might be able to persuade him to join this forum and write here in the Dom Bedos section of the Forum?

Best wishes

David P

pcnd5584

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2011, 01:32:47 PM »
However, I have to agree with (Colin Pykett's) assessment of this instrument (which is now in a parlous state). Apart from residing behind a false 'brick' wall, it also contains a rare example of a Sub Quint (21 1/3ft.).

With regard to your last point, I was under the impression that Robert Hope-Jones travelled to the U.S. somewhat urgently, to escape prosecution. I have been unable to discover if this is correct.[/font]

Better that it's in a parlous state than destroyed, it could yet be restored, there or elsewhere. It does sound rather fine on Whitlock's recordings, but I cannot imagine that the wall could help. How does it compare to other well-known Comptons (Chelsea, Fleet Street - though it was built after JC's death IIRC, Downside, Derby, Wakefield etc)?

It could indeed be restored. Sadly, the present sound of this instrument is unlikely to match up to the quality of that on Whitlock's recordings.

I have played the large Compton at Saint Luke's, Chelsea - and actually quite liked it (which may surprise Voix Cynique). Having said this, my own preference would be to change the luminous light-touches for conventional draw-stops. I realise that this would alter the appearance of the console, but I had a nasty experience with the 32ft. reed, which failed to cancel at the end of the Gloria of Howells' Colleguim Regale setting of the Magnificat. For those unfamiliar with this work, this is about as desirable as being stuck in a lift with a dead horse....

I suppose that the stop units could be converted to take LEDs, but I would sooner have draw-stops. Such a change was effected on the Compton console of Hull City Hall by, I believe, Rushworth and Dreaper, around 1985. Allowing for the rather 'busy' stop-jambs, this looks reasonably acceptable.




As for RHJ, I thought that RHJ went to the US because Wurlitzers had work for him there, while he struggled to obtain it here, and was the victim of a certain amount of ill-informed criticism by organists who simply didn't understand his organs or how to play them (remember the case of the Holdich at Lichfield Cathedral losing its pedalboard - or was it the whole Pedal organ? - because an organist appointed after its installation declared that he would not use any organ's pedals?).

This seems somewhat more plausible. Wurlitzer eventually bought him out, I believe.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 10:19:40 PM by pcnd5584 »
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revtonynewnham

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2011, 03:49:11 PM »
Hi

I would recommend David Fox's book on RHJ.  (I got a copy from OHS in the States).  It seems unlikely that he went there at the behest of Wurlitzer.  According to Fox, after contacting several organ building firms, he initially joined the Austin company and was with them 1903-04, before setting up a partnership with a Lewis Harrison in 1904-5.  Note the shortness of all these partnerships!  1905-6 sees him with Skinner - and Fox quotes Ernest Skinner:- "I regret to say that Hope-Jones was with my organization for fifteen months"  The American Hope-Jones organ co. existed 1907-1910, when lack of funds led to a virtual "takeover" by Wurlitzer (who were a long-established firm producing and retailing many types of musical instruments).  As was the case with his other partnerships. H-J soon found himself at odds with his paymasters - Fox goes into a great deal of detail about this, and is widely known, he took his own life.

The homosexual incident has not been proved (and H-J himself refuted it) but seems to be the most likely reason for his sudden departure from the UK.

Other sources of info about H-J Are David Junchen's book "Wurlitzer" - primarily about the cinema organs, but covering the earlier H-J work, including the UK and the subsequent developments of the company.  Roger C. Fisher's book "From Wittal to Wurlitzer" is primarily about H-J's early years, and there was also an article (or short series) in "The Organ" magazine IIRC several years ago.

Every Blessing

Tonyt

pcnd5584

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2011, 04:03:44 PM »
Hi

I would recommend David Fox's book on RHJ.  (I got a copy from OHS in the States).  It seems unlikely that he went there at the behest of Wurlitzer.  According to Fox, after contacting several organ building firms, he initially joined the Austin company and was with them 1903-04, before setting up a partnership with a Lewis Harrison in 1904-5.  Note the shortness of all these partnerships!  1905-6 sees him with Skinner - and Fox quotes Ernest Skinner:- "I regret to say that Hope-Jones was with my organization for fifteen months"  The American Hope-Jones organ co. existed 1907-1910, when lack of funds led to a virtual "takeover" by Wurlitzer (who were a long-established firm producing and retailing many types of musical instruments).  As was the case with his other partnerships. H-J soon found himself at odds with his paymasters - Fox goes into a great deal of detail about this, and is widely known, he took his own life.

The homosexual incident has not been proved (and H-J himself refuted it) but seems to be the most likely reason for his sudden departure from the UK.

Other sources of info about H-J Are David Junchen's book "Wurlitzer" - primarily about the cinema organs, but covering the earlier H-J work, including the UK and the subsequent developments of the company.  Roger C. Fisher's book "From Wittal to Wurlitzer" is primarily about H-J's early years, and there was also an article (or short series) in "The Organ" magazine IIRC several years ago.

Every Blessing

Tonyt

Thank you for this, Tony. I found it helpful.

I was interested to read the comment attributed to Ernest M. Skinner. Recently, I have been re-reading back-issues of The Organ. Some years ago, there was a somewhat terse exchange of correspondence between Skinner and other readers, mostly regarding G. Donald Harrison. I gained the distinct impression that, if he thought that he could have got away with it, Skinner would have had a contract put out on Harrison. The stench of thinly-veiled hate phlebotomised from each missive....

The responses were, if predictable, at least occasionally amusing. To quote (I believe) Christopher Dearnley, who wrote to one writer in another periodical: 'You confess to crying over spilt milk, but your letter tastes more of sour grapes....'

And, no, I cannot recall to whom CD had addressed that riposte.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 04:21:14 PM by pcnd5584 »
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pcnd5584

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2011, 04:09:08 PM »
Roger C. Fisher is not, I presume, the Roger Fisher of Chester Cathedral?

So it would seem that RHJ may have been involved in some kind of homosexual encounter and left the UK to escape prosecution for it... and why, I wonder, did the gentlemanly E.M. Skinner use those words?

With regard to your second sentence, I have yet to see any evidence to confirm this.

Ernest M. Skinner was not always so gentlemanly - see my previous post in this thread....
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revtonynewnham

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2011, 04:52:26 PM »
Hi

1) No, it's a different Roger Fisher - this one is involved with the Peel Green theatre organ heritage centre (and H-J museum)
2) I did say that he "MAY have been involved".  Fox's book and the article in "The Organ" (at least) both mention the episode.  I can't remember offhand if Junchen or Fisher make any mention of it, so it's not proved, but does look as if something unsavory was going on.

I'm planning to re-read Junchen later in the year - I'll be out of circulation for a while recovering from hip replacement surgery.

Every Blessing

Tony

Every Blessing

Tony

David Drinkell

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2011, 03:26:48 PM »
Hope-Jones - His last British association was with Ingram of Hereford.  During the construction of the organ for St. John's Anglican Cathedral, Newfoundland (pipework from which survives in the present organ, which I play every day), something happened which caused him to depart for North America in some haste.  It has been said that Ingram caught him in flagrante with an apprentice in the voicing shop.  HJ turned up unannounced in St. John's, offering to supply an organ from an American firm with whom he was now associated (Austin), which he said would be better and cost less.  At about the same time, the Rector was on leave in England and had visited the organ works, being much disconcerted to find that the instrument was not ready.  The adviser, Sir Percy Buck, urged the Vestry to keep to the contract with Ingram, which they did, and the organ was eventually dedicated in 1904.  It had a scheme almost identical to the Hope-Jones/N&B organ at Llandaff Cathedral, was rebuilt and moved by N&B in 1915 and totally replaced in 1927 with a four-manual Casavant incorporating some of the old pipes.

Skinner - EMS was a victim of the times.  His organs were wonderful but went out of fashion and he spent the latter half of a very long life bemoaning the fact.  Some of his venom was directed at G. Donald Harrison, who acquired control of Aeolian Skinner after Hudson Marks died.  The latter had gained financial control from Skinner, and had supported the rise of Harrison.  Some of Skinner's claims were downright untrue, such as the letter in 'The Organ' claiming that the organ in St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, New York was entirely his work, when it had been completely rebuilt and revoiced by Harrison (whom Skinner claimed to be nothing more than an office assistant).  Harrison never entered publicly into the controversy, considering that Skinner was making enough of a fool of himself and any reply would serve little purpose.

Acoustic Basses - Ah! back on thread!  The organ here has 12 tubby stopped quint pipes which draw with the bottom octave of the Tibia Profunda (sic - it's a normal Open Wood) produce, in our acoustic, a pretty good 32'.  One can use it alone with the Swell strings. The Presbyterian Church up the hill (an otherwise wholly excellent early Letourneau rebuild) quints the 16' Open on itself, resulting in an effect which is unsatisfactory even under full organ.

The Willis at St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, uses the Bourdon in quints on itself for the lowest five notes, but the fourth below the 16' in the remainder of the bottom octave.  Now, although this is against the rules of physics, it works very well and avoids the 'Pink Panther' effect which most 10 2/3 quints display when you get out of the lowest notes.

Another superb Letourneau - Holy Trinity RC, New York City - has an electronic 32 sub bass, which helps to produce a very big-organ sound from a relatively small (but very cleverly planned) instrument.
http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/HolyTrinityRC.html

St. Patrick's, Ballymacarrett, Belfast
http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&)rec_index=D01426
has a 32' which is the open wood quinted on itself in the bottom octave, then playing at 32' pitch but with the quint as well for the rest of the way up.  The result is something between a diaphone and a nuclear explosion.  Whether this is an original feature or perhaps a mistake in the wiring from a subsequent overhaul, I don't know.  The church is quite big and the organ originally just a normal Great-to-Fifteenth, Swell-to-Mixture-and-two-reeds job.  Somewhere along the line, it acquired a 16-8-4 trumpet rank firing west, which is of tuba power and completely obliterates everything else.  I suppose that in the heyday of Harland & Wolff, congregations were so big that something drastic was needed to keep them in tow.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 03:39:53 PM by David Drinkell »

David Drinkell

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2011, 05:40:04 PM »
Thinking on about 32's , an acoustic bass is probably best if the 32' effect is quiet.  If the rumble is there, it doesn't have to be loud to be effective.  On the other hand, a big 32' Open Wood can be used under quiet combinations.  The 32-and-strings beloved of cathedral organists was reputedly invented by Father Willis, who demonstrated it at St. Paul's Cathedral with the 32' wood and the Choir Dulciana.

I remember playing a two-manual, mostly extension organ in Walkers' works at Brandon in the seventies.  It was bound for Nigeria and it had an acoustic 32' although the only 16' flue bass was the Bourdon.  Walter Goodey said that they liked that sort of thing in that part of the world.

Those with back numbers of 'The Organ' will remember A Gordon Miller, who harped on about 32' stops incessantly.  Even the smallest organ ought to have one, according to him.  He even suggested using harmonium reeds.

Compton cubes - I think a lot of them weren't effective because of standing waves and such mysteries, and at best were rather amorphous.  There's quite a good one in the early Compton at All Souls, Belfast, but a much less successful example at St. Mark's, Dundela.  Polyphones worked much better and I think Comptons' used them in later instruments.  The early Miniaturas had 16' cubes, which sounded like blowing over the top of a bottle.  They switched to more conventional means in later models.

Ken Jones made a polyphone for an organ in Australia.  At the opening recital, a trumpeter used one of the basses, which was horizontal, to rest his music.  When the pipe spoke, the draught blew all the music sheets up in the air and over the edge of the gallery.

Barrie Davis

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2011, 07:49:10 PM »
David has suggested quite rightly that it is better to have the notes of the Quint even for the bottom octave independent, I have often played Quinted Bourdons which simply do not work.

Best wishes

Barrie

David Pinnegar

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2011, 10:44:59 PM »
The other day a friend of mine mentioned Haskelled pipes . . . and search for that I found another solution to accommodating long pipes - rather shocking:


http://www.organstops.org/_apps/HaskellBasses.html describes Haskell pipes. In the type known by my friend, possibly championed by Walker or HN&B they were open pipes with a stopped pipe inserted in the end. This means that one should have the fundamental note and odd harmonics from the stopped component and the octave up providing a full harmonic sequence to fill in the gaps. My friend said that the examples he knew were very successful.

Perhaps one might be very clever with the octave up open section and drill a hole  in the appropriate place to kill off the harmonics unneeded by the lower pitched stopped pipe . . .

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 11:39:23 PM by David Pinnegar »

David Drinkell

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2011, 10:54:00 PM »
How the heck do you tune those??  I hoped they're properly fastened at the back (memories of a note in a tuner's book: 'One of the front pipes has fallen out').

The Harrison at Holy Trinity, St. Andrews, has the bottom octave of the 32' reed slung from the chamber roof (the only example of a 32' reed en chamade I know of!).

Barrie mentions quinted basses that just don't come off.  It seems to be a bit of a lottery at the best of times, with factors like position and acoustic affecting the result.  In any case, I have seldom met a satisfactory example of a 10 2/3 Quint - it's nearly always better to quint only the bottom octave and borrow the rest from the 16'.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2011, 11:46:48 PM »
The pedal Quint by Frobenius at Kingston Parish church is extremely successful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZCQ3cMr4pk at around 10:00

Best wishes

David P

David Drinkell

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2011, 01:07:40 AM »
Hmmm - always an exception to prove the rule! :)

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2011, 08:21:06 AM »
32 ft. pitch in the manuals???  See the spec of the "nearly new" Opus XIX built by Martin Pasi for the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in Houston, Texas.  The "Grand Choir" manual controls pipework found mostly in the pedal division, those ranks being extended in compass accordingly 8)

Then I got to thinking about the chore of mitering a Haskell bass but then with a bit of thought reasoned out how such a thing could be constructed 8) 8)  and depending on the scale required for a given space it would compare favorably to the cabinet space required to build an appropriate speaker enclosure necessary to provide a competent electronic equivalent.   The one time I experienced a REAL 32' in action it was felt as much or possibly to a greater degree than heard-- and as such speakers in typical HI-FI arrangements at these frequencies fail miserably.  Even in a small domestic environment credible reproduction demands some rather extreme measures to make electronic reproduction come remotely close to the real thing, let alone in a large concert hall or worship space :o

Eric
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David Drinkell

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2011, 03:24:44 PM »
Stephen Hamill, who builds Phoenix electronic instruments, has/had a big three manual example with a 64' reed on the pedal.  Big rumble!!

David Pinnegar

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2011, 04:08:43 PM »
Stephen Hamill, who builds Phoenix electronic instruments, has/had a big three manual example with a 64' reed on the pedal.  Big rumble!!

:-) The Hammerwood beast has a 128ft . . . ! Whilst this is purely electronic, I have been looking for the opportunity to work with a pipe organ builder making a 32ft or 64ft electronic derivation from an existing 16ft pipe rank.

I think it is used on one or two notes in Jeremy Filsell's playing on the YouTube video "Latrobian Dionysian Whirl" and, reading the comments about having measured 4Hz on the recording, by Ben Scott http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOyMKVM0tvA

It would be fun to do this sort of thing wih a pipe organ. St Mary's Edinburgh with 3 32ft ranks might be a candidate . . .

Best wishes

David P

pcnd5584

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Re: Pedal Acoustic Bass 32
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2011, 10:27:59 PM »
... The Harrison at Holy Trinity, St. Andrews, has the bottom octave of the 32' reed slung from the chamber roof (the only example of a 32' reed en chamade I know of!). ...

Christchurch Priory has one: the 32ft. Bombarde (Nave Pedal Organ: GD&R/Nicholson) is placed horizontally in the south Nave triforium. In addition, the Compton/Osmond Organs instrument at Saint Peter's, Parkstone (Dorset) has a sort-of en chamade 32ft. reed. The lower portion is slung at an angle over the sloping roof of the Swell box. This is a slightly strange instrument - in addition to being seriously loud.
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