Organ matters - Organs matter!

Electronic Organs => Electronic Organs => Topic started by: David Pinnegar on August 05, 2011, 04:15:17 PM

Title: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 05, 2011, 04:15:17 PM
Hi!

I have been in touch with Lancaster Priory about their now redundant 4 manual analogue Makin of 1982. This was no doubt of the nature that John Pilling conceived for Charterhouse Chapel as a replacement of the noble Harrison and Harrison there . . . but which the school authorities then had the wisdom to retain. However, the very fact that Pilling considered such an option is testament to his faith in the quality of his electronic organ synthesis and is good reason for the Lancaster Priory instrument from this time to be preserved.

In doing so, the instrument might do a turn somewhere, keeping the spirit of organ music alive, possibly providing educational opportunities.

The Makin comprises the following:-
1) a large amount of big speakers attached to the West Wall over the gallery (these will have to be removed from the wall in about 2 or 3 weeks time so that the pipe organ builers can start to erect things there).

2) keyboards, stop jambs, etc housed inside the historic Paley & Austin Victorian casework in the North Choir Aisle; plus speakers and chips, electric circuits, wires, etc behind the casework. (In Dec 2011/Jan 2012 this will all be emptied, and the East division of the pipe organ will be erected inside the current casework).

A new console would have to be made to incorporate perhaps the current stop jambs and keyboards.

"As an instrument, the Makin has some nice quiet stops (flutes, oboe, cromorne, corno di bassetto), but has mixtures that are plastic-sounding, and the weakness is that there is no clarity of texture in the lower half of each manual (it sounds like a muddy swamp and you can't hear what notes are being played in the left-hand part of a chord. Also, as an accompaniment or ensemble instrument working with solo instruments/voices or a choir, it is difficult to get good ensemble and ,in the case of singers listening out for their notes from the organ accompaniment, pitching, because the tone of the organ is very indistinct."

I am happy to provide temporary storage for the instrument to enable it to give service somewhere else.

Is anyone interested?

Best wishes

David P

PEDAL

UNENCLOSED
Double Open Wood 32'
Open Wood 16'
Principal 16'
Violone 16'
Sub Bass 16'
Dulciana 16'
Octave 8'
Cello 8'
Spitz Flute 8'
Fifteenth 4'
Octave Spitz Flute 4'
Septieme 2, 2/7
Super Octave 2'
Hohl Flute 2'
Mixture IV
Sharp Mixture III
ENCLOSED
Contra Bombarde 32'
Ophiclelde 16'
Bassoon 16'
Trumpet 8'
Oboe 8'
Clarion 4'
Schalmel 4'
Kornet 2'
(Solo expression pedal)
GREAT
UNENCLOSED
Double Diapason 16'
Bourdon 16'
Large Diapason 8'
Small Diapason 8'
Rohr Gedekt 8'
Quint 5,1/3
Octave 4'
Principal 4'
Gedeckt 4'
Twelfth 2, 2/3
Principal 2'
Super Octave 2'
Blockflote 2'
Tierce 1, 3/5
Cymbale III
Foumiture IV
Plein Jeu VII
Double Trumpet 16'
Trumpet 8'
Octave Trumpet 4'
SWELL
ENCLOSED
Quintadena 16'
Open Diapason 8'
Gedeckt 8'
Salicional 8'
Vox Angelica 8'
Principal 4'
Flute 4'
Super Octave 2'
Larigot 1, 1/3
Sesquialtera II
Mixture III
Mixture V
Double Trumpet 16'
Trumpet 8'
Trompette 8'
Oboe 8'
Vox Humana 8'
Clarion 4'
CHOIR
ENCLOSED
Quintaton 16'
Stopped Diapason 8'
Quintaton 8'
Zauber Flote 8'
Unda Maris 8'
Viole 8'
Principal 4'
Koppel Flute 4'
Nazard 2, 2/3
Fifteenth 2'
Spitz Flute 2'
Tierce 1, 3/5
Larigot 1,1/3
Sifflote 1'
None 8/9
Mixture III
Cymbale III
Scharf IV
SOLO
ENCLOSED
Contra Viole 16'
Hohl Flute 8'
Viole 8'
Viole Celestes 8'
Hohl Flute 4'
Octave Viole 4'
Hohl Flute 2'
Cornet des Violes III
Dulcian 16'
Post Horn 8'
Orchestral Trumpet 8'
French Horn 8'
Cor Anglais 8'
Corno di Bassetto 8'
Cromorne 8'
UNENCLOSED
Tromba Real 8'
Tuba Magna 8'
Grand Chorus Bass 16'
Grand Chorus VII
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 05, 2011, 07:42:44 PM
Hi David,

I'm interested (although my Wife may say differently) although it would need to be at low/no cost given my budget constraints.

Thanks,

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 05, 2011, 11:37:25 PM
Hi James!

Welcome to the forum!

It's certainly possible for the instrument to be a home instrument but it's probably going to end up being quite big, especially as it's analogue electronics and electronics of 30 years ago at that - we're used to much smaller things these days - and it's clearly capable of filling a very large space . . .

Unless you're happy to go up there and supervise dismantling, someone is likely to have to be paid to assist or supervise so that wires and cables and joints are labelled and, for instance, sequences of wires are disconnected and taped in sequence . . .

Were an enthusiastic school or church currently without an instrument and no hope of getting a pipe organ at present to be interested, then I have more than half an idea as to why left hand foundations sound muddy and mixtures sound plastic. . . . I suspect that if speakers are given proper attention and possibly a certain trick used on the mixtures in addition, the whole instrument could be transformed.

Pilling emerged from Comptons and knew well what he was doing . . . so the concepts he used are likely to be fundamentally sound . . . but speakers for electronic organs have always been the bugbear. I was put in touch recently with a major researcher into electronic instruments at one of the universities who has been working on organs for a major part of his career. He sent to me very kindly a paper that he wrote for an Acoustics institution . . . on apparently state of the art reproduction and I know from the designs that better can be achieved . . .

I hope that this will be an encouragement for anyone to take it on and whereever it goes I'm happy to advise or help so that the instrument achieves top results.

I'm not personally familiar with whatever particular technology the instrument uses but instruments of this scale may well have used free phase oscillators rather than coupled frequency dividers. Such solutions can often achieve a more lifelike effect than modern digital electronics. What is also quite insteresting is that most of the ICs of the early 1980s were generic rather than specialised and as such there are likely to be no irreplaceable or obselete components. As an electronic instrument it may have a much greater longevity than subsequent digital electronics using specialised proprietry components.

I'm no great fan of electronic instruments but simply acknowledge that they can serve a purpose - at Lancaster in keeping the flame of the spirit of organ music alive and at Hammerwood in putting the repertoire of the King of Instruments onto the concert platform.

However, I have a healthy respect for the obstinate arrogance that some people have had in attempting to put together musical organ sounds using ingenious application of thousands of tiny electronic components http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOAQ0DlhXKM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOAQ0DlhXKM) however successful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vph8tZ1uOZ4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vph8tZ1uOZ4) or otherwise it might be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ0CQvIJRoY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ0CQvIJRoY) . Tomorrow, members of the EOCS are visiting a member's instrument in Guildford of over 40 stops spread over 4 manuals that took him over 20 years to build.

The sheer scale of the Lancaster instrument certainly puts it into the realm of one of the largest electronic specifications put together and is worthy of preservation for that reason alone, it being clearly satisfactory enough to have served the needs of the Priory for nearly three decades.

As a matter of interest, if anyone would like the Mini Metro Movable organ, which is certainly small enough to rate highly on the WAF scale, I don't really need it.  . . . Contacts need cleaning and a couple of internal wires need reconnecting. With such TLC, it could usefully suffice as a home practice instrument.

Best wishes,

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Barry Williams on August 06, 2011, 08:35:43 AM
"I'm not personally familiar with whatever particular technology the instrument uses but instruments of this scale may well have used free phase oscillators rather than coupled frequency dividers. Such solutions can often achieve a more lifelike effect than modern digital electronics"

At that date the instrument would almost certainly have been a Fourier type system, a method of tone production that is almost as primitive as the totally outmoded 'Bradford' that Makin used subsequently, albeit for a very short time.  (One of their very able representatives and a member of this Board referred to Makin Bradford instruments as "Bradkins".)

"...speakers for electronic organs have always been the bugbear."  Yes and Makin always refused point blank to let anyone hear any of their instruments without the Rotofon being on.  The Rotofon was a device that rotated the speakers or caused a paddle to rotate in front of the speaker.  It was intended to re-create the so-called 'chorus' effect but, of course, did nothing of the sort.  Later, when Makin went digital they introduced the detuning blip, much in the same way as the 'Bradford' system.  All of this is quite unnecessary with competent voicing and adequate speakers, properly situated.  For many years the electronic organ industry has struggled with concepts of music and physics that were known and discussed in the 1930s, yet they simply do not do the basic research.  That, coupled with the desire to cut financial corners (especially over speakers) has led to the unhappy results that we hear all over the place.

Barry Williams
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 06, 2011, 10:53:38 AM
Hi David,

I must admit I have been lurking for a while and have certainly enjoyed many of the threads.

To be frank my intention would have been to use the console components and the speakers as a basis for a Hauptwerk system.  I can't imagine that the Makin is very satisfactory to play and, although I appreciate your wish see it used wholesale, it could be used as a basis for a much better instrument. 

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 06, 2011, 11:23:24 AM
Dear Barry

Interesting points indeed as of course Comptons from where Pilling derived his background were using fourier addition.

I'm looking forward to hearing a CD of the instrument. Of course the mixtures may sound "plastic" on account of missing upper harmonics in a Fourier derived system - although actually that can now be remedied very easily. 8 bit digital instruments lose harmonics in the top octave or two and there is a very easy and effective trick that one can employ to recreate them and wholly enliven what would be considered a dull and dated instrument.

The bottom line, however, is that having survived for so long it must have been satisfactory _enough_ for it to continue to be equally satisfactory elsewhere, either for a home practice instrument (although I think it might turn out to be big for that purpose) or for a more public setting.

Best wishes

David P

I must admit I have been lurking for a while and have certainly enjoyed many of the threads.

To be frank my intention would have been to use the console components and the speakers as a basis for a Hauptwerk system.  I can't imagine that the Makin is very satisfactory to play and, although I appreciate your wish see it used wholesale, it could be used as a basis for a much better instrument. 

Dear James

I suspect that because the console is part of a historic organ front, there is quite a lot of work to do to convert the manuals and stop jambs etc coming out of Lancaster into a new console and for home use you might do better to buy the midified keyboard stack and stop controls that member Eric Daleste on this forum sells - I think there are some on ebay.

For speakers, I'll be interested to see what these are but the tonal inadequacies mentioned may well arise from the use of inappropriate speakers which means that the Lancaster ones may be wasted bother. But in a larger reinstallation they might well be useful elsewhere in moving a lot of air.

For home use for many areas of the organ I'd use Tannoy DC2000 or Tannoy 611 which are incomparably good value at around 100 ish + 25 postage per pair and I have other solutions for where those speakers are deficient. The Tannoys are against my "religion" of speaker design for reasons that I won't discuss publicly, but work well, effectively and indeed excitingly for many things. Importantly however, the concentric design means that the split frequency wave emerges as one wave by the time it exits and this represents an echelon of difference in comparison to other designs.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 06, 2011, 11:46:37 AM
I suspect that because the console is part of a historic organ front, there is quite a lot of work to do to convert the manuals and stop jambs etc coming out of Lancaster into a new console and for home use you might do better to buy the midified keyboard stack and stop controls that member Eric Daleste on this forum sells - I think there are some on ebay.

I don't think that would be the case.  I have built midi-decoding hardware many times over and expect the Makin to be KA components or similiar (in any case - we are only talking switches).  I am currently in the process of building a 4 manual instrument around HW, it struck me that the Makin might be a quicker way to the same end.

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 06, 2011, 12:57:45 PM
I don't think that would be the case.  I have built midi-decoding hardware many times over and expect the Makin to be KA components or similiar (in any case - we are only talking switches).  I am currently in the process of building a 4 manual instrument around HW, it struck me that the Makin might be a quicker way to the same end.

Dear James

Perhaps it may be . . . and if no-one else is interested in taking on the whole instrument . . . a good use for the keyboards . . .  but I hope that even with the limitations that the 1980s electronics had, it might be an opportunity for it to sow seeds of enthusiasm on a wider scale than merely a home instrument.

If useful I have around 30 KA drawstops together with stop heads to which you'd be welcome and have successfully erased stop names and applied new names on my own console.

Perhaps you might possibly detail keyboard midification on another thread as I'm sure other members might be interested and inspired . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 06, 2011, 01:22:42 PM
Hi David,

I agree - I see my use as a last resort prior to the instrument getting scrapped.  Ideally I would like to see it go to a school where it will encorage the next generation of organists.  Lancaster isn't that far from me and I may be able to help out with relocating the instrument if this was the intent.

With regard midifcation although designing and realising custom encodes/decodes isn't a particularly big job, I use http://www.midibox.org (http://www.midibox.org) since there are a few suppliers of the PCBs (and component kits) and it has proven a robust and scalable solution.  Many people have used midibox for organs and there are plenty of threads on the midibox forum.

Many thanks for the kind offer of the KA drawstops.  I would be very interest in these, do you have a figure in mind?

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: revtonynewnham on August 06, 2011, 05:06:17 PM
Hi

In general I would support keeping a major instrument such as this intact - it's very much an example of its time.  But there seems to be little interest in preserving even a handful of old electronic organs (except perhaps Hammonds).  Failing that, the parts should be reused as far as practicable - it's called "recycling"!  If only I had space , time - and above all, cash!

Every Blessing

Tony

P.S. @jwillans - where are you (PM if you prefer) - I'm in Bradford - rather an organ wasteland, with a few notable exceptions.
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 06, 2011, 06:09:35 PM
I agree - I see my use as a last resort prior to the instrument getting scrapped.  Ideally I would like to see it go to a school where it will encorage the next generation of organists.  Lancaster isn't that far from me and I may be able to help out with relocating the instrument if this was the intent.
. . .
Many thanks for the kind offer of the KA drawstops.  I would be very interest in these, do you have a figure in mind?

Hi!

I probably paid around 15 each for them with the stopheads - they are the type with exposed silver wires rather than reed switches but the few I've used are reliable and I have a set of spare silver wires.

On ones that I have used, I have mounted the stophead in a drill and sanded out the stop-name using fine and then very fine sandpaper and then finished with a wipe of shellac. Transparent DYMO lettering works well for labelling and is the same size as many engraved typefaces.

As for Lancaster, your proximity sounds potentially very helpful. It might be an idea to do a visit in the next few weeks before the end speakers are disconnected to try to get a measure of its tonality. I wonder if anyone knows if it is a rotating disc or a solid state design?

A school . . . particularly if it's one where GCSE electronics is taught . . . but one has to be careful as as soon as an enthusiastic member of staff leaves, enthusiasm in something can evaporate . . . leaving dstruction only to be postponed rather than prevented . . . but hopefully a good home will come forward. I'm very much in the same mind as Tony on this in regard to its preservation.

However, it all depends on its usefulness . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 06, 2011, 09:42:34 PM
Hi Tony,

P.S. @jwillans - where are you (PM if you prefer) - I'm in Bradford - rather an organ wasteland, with a few notable exceptions.

I'm based in Sheffield, but travel regularly to Wakefield and less so York.

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 06, 2011, 09:47:42 PM
Hi David,

I probably paid around 15 each for them with the stopheads - they are the type with exposed silver wires rather than reed switches but the few I've used are reliable and I have a set of spare silver wires.

Thanks for the offer but I'm going to pass on this occasion. I'm going down the path of having a couple of touch screens mounted in the drawstop jambs to allow for flexibility of switching HW organs.  I have tinkered with the idea of being able to slide in a couple of real drawstops in front of these for a single "favoured" organ, but this is very much a secondary background idea when I chanced upon a set of appropriate drawstops.

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 07, 2011, 12:46:01 AM
Dear James

I'm happy to take a loss on them in the cause of helping a good project - but the reality is that unless one is creating a prestige console, more flexible arrangements such as touch screens or configurable lit buttons are particularly useful  . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: twanguitar on August 07, 2011, 09:45:53 AM
This is a response mainly to James' thread about home organ consoles, but please don't take it too unkindly as it's not meant that way.

Putting aside cost for the moment, I'm probably stating the obvious, but there's no contest in my view (as a player) between a conventional organ console with moving draw stops or stop keys and one with touch screens.  I've probably played as many home organs as anyone, thanks to the hospitality and kindness of their owners I might add who don't seem to mind when I ask if I can turn up for the purpose!  One of the finest to my mind is without doubt Colin Pykett's three manual affair with both draw stops (for the 'classical' voices) and stop keys (for the 'theatre' ones).  All are operated by a capture combination system which I enjoyed setting instantly at the console (he gave me a special memory all to myself!) and when they move in and out with that satisfying quiet thud, it really starts to make you feel you are that much nearer the real thing.  His has ivory keyboards as well as the woodwork including a lot of solid oak.  And from what he told me, I don't think it cost him all that much in money because he took his time casting around for exactly the right items second hand.  But it probably cost him a lot in time!

So when I play an organ with touch screens, the whole effect just shrieks "electronic" to me rather than shrieking "quality" and this detracts to an unfortunate degree from how it might sound.  Also I had to stop playing one of these when the sun came out because you couldn't see anything on the screens any more!

Going to the usual half way house which many commercial digital organs use, illuminated tabs, the same criticisms remain - they look and feel so cheap, and they also can be difficult to see in bright light.

The feel and general playing effect at the console is so very important, to my mind at least.

TG
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 07, 2011, 12:22:33 PM
Putting aside cost for the moment, I'm probably stating the obvious, but there's no contest in my view (as a player) between a conventional organ console with moving draw stops or stop keys and one with touch screens. 

Whilst suggesting above that touch screens or "configurable lit buttons" can be useful - that is in a context of experimentation rather than a desire to make music with a sound, solid, musical instrument. It's in the creation of the latter that I agree with you entirely. Not only this but in the creation of an instrument that is solid, with appropriate solid console furniture, one will expect solid sounds which are real whereas in the act of pushing virtual buttons on a plastic screen, one is capable of expecting plastic sounds through plastic speakers . . . that at best sound as a plastic CD inserted into the appropriate machine . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 07, 2011, 01:24:24 PM
TG and David - We're going a little off-topic but all interesting stuff. 

My preference too is drawstops particularly since I prefer hand register over other aids such as thumb/foot pistons.  I like the tactile interaction as part of the organ playing experience.  The use of touch screens does not necessarily mean that the rest of the organ is any different to a "conventional" console.  See the following HW console:

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8862/salisburyo.jpg (http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8862/salisburyo.jpg)
http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/8380/zwolle.jpg (http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/8380/zwolle.jpg)

and does (as indicated by the screenshot) give the flexibility for the console to be used for different instruments.  My console will be oak (solid in part) and built from recovered pipe organ components, with ivory keys over the 4 manuals.  To suggest that having a touch screen sets expectation of sound quality etc I think is a little harsh (and I suspect from what you say that you have not played a HW console).  Note also that there are touch screens and there are touch screens, modern IPS monitors with optical touch screens like I will be using, are very good even in bad light and have very reliable interaction.

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 07, 2011, 01:55:35 PM
Dear James

:-) I have played two Hauptwerk systems, both of which provided a good hifi recording of an organ but neither had the feel nor the presence of being the instrument itself . . . but which were fine for home enjoyment. I'm looking at experiencing more than that from Hauptwerk in due course.

The reason for the redundancy of my drawstops is that a particular arrangement of lit buttons that I use has provided some stop group flexibility which is experimentally useful in configuring the instrument I use for different idioms and which I can't replicate with an arrangement of drawstops.

Back on topic, I suppose the next step might be an enquiry to Makins in terms of technology used. We have all experienced ugly electronic sounding analogue electronic organs - but the Lancaster instrument has clearly stood the test  of time.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: twanguitar on August 07, 2011, 04:16:30 PM
"I suspect from what you say that you have not played a HW console"

Er, excuse me but, yes I have played several HW systems!

I doubtless have many inadequacies, but I do try never to criticise an organ (or organ system) that I have never played.  Unlike some on this board I might add ...  !!

TG
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 07, 2011, 05:07:38 PM
The comment was not intended as a criticism of either David, TG or other digital organs - I apologise if this was the perception.  I've had very satisfying experiences playing other digital organs, and I am aware that no two instruments are the same, given the varied nature of buildings and installations, to generalise across brands.

I agree with David in that HW sounds very fine in stereo, a live-CD if you like of a particularly organ.   That is using wet-sampled, however using dry-samples in appropriate acoustics and with appropriate audio system can give the presence of a real pipe-organ.  I have successfully conducted experiments for the latter system type using the drivers that David very kindly (and resonably) supplied!  I hope that David considers trying this type of system out with his Makin.

As you can see from my previous comment, we are all in agreement about the superior nature of drawstops.  I think a system that might incorporate drawstops with the flexibility of different instruments, is one where drawstops can be configured to display different stop names.  A primitive implementation might be to mount a small LCD panel in each stop head, but I can imagine that this can be done more neatly so that the appearance is closer to that of a fixed stop head.
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 07, 2011, 06:15:31 PM
Dear James

Firstly I should have congratulated you earlier on your touch screen pics - looks brilliant . . . and I'm delighted that the speaker drivers I sent have produced a success: it's quite remarkable the change that can be achieved by simply knowing what drivers can sound real rather than synthesised. . . .

Yesterday I experienced first hand the value of analogue organs as a guest of an EOCS member who had built one over 20 years. This sort of dedication requires respect . . . Using free-phase circuits throughout - requiring 600 oscillators to be tuned for a tuning, the overall tutti is great. However I tried out some French baroque and individually the analogue representation of the Cromorne was lacking in spirit and, whatever others might say about temperament being a distraction, the equal temperament does not hold interest or excitement for Couperin, De Grigny nor Lasceux or achieve the pungency which one might want to experience in a Jeu de Tierce. But it's a great instrument on which to try out the most wonderful selection of mutuations and subharmonics that one rarely has the privilege of experiencing.

(http://www.organmatters.com/analogue.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.com/analogue1.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.com/analogue2.jpg)

It's in this way that the Lancaster instrument may be similarly exciting . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 07, 2011, 06:26:10 PM
Firstly I should have congratulated you earlier on your touch screen pics - looks brilliant . . . and I'm delighted that the speaker drivers I sent have produced a success: it's quite remarkable the change that can be achieved by simply knowing what drivers can sound real rather than synthesised. . . .

Thanks although that is not my console but that of another HW forum member.   Full thread can be found here:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7771 (http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7771)

Mine will be similiar in many respects and I expect work to begin in the next 6-8 weeks.  I'll keep you informed of progress.

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin
Post by: dragonser on August 07, 2011, 07:53:18 PM
Hi,
I think that an enquiry might also indicate how easy it would be to re-voice the  instrument, as I think this would probably been necessary unless the Instrument was going to be put in a similar sized venue. From looking at the Makin web site this suggests that the Technology would either be analogue [ not rotating disks ] or the Bradford system. Both of course  have advantages and disadvantages.
I hope that a suitable new venue can be found for this instrument.

regards Peter B




Back on topic, I suppose the next step might be an enquiry to Makins in terms of technology used. We have all experienced ugly electronic sounding analogue electronic organs - but the Lancaster instrument has clearly stood the test  of time.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Barrie Davis on August 08, 2011, 07:47:50 PM
From memory it was analogue, I am sure Anthony Bogdan or Hugh Banton even David Fetterman could answer thisin more detail. I did have the original leaflet on it until recently when I decided I didnt want to keep details of toasters. If it needed revoicing to suit a new home HB and DF are the best people to ask.

Best wishes

Barrie
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: revtonynewnham on August 08, 2011, 08:52:35 PM
Hi

I wonder if illuminated stops al la Compton might be the easiest way of incorporating some sort of electronic display - although of course, you would have to be wary of ambient light.  I've had the "fun" of playing an organ with illuminated rockers with bright sunlight streaming through the window  - obliterating any hope of seeing which great & pedal stops were on!  Not good when there's a Dulciana (in the logical place for the stop) that can be swapped with a Tuba!

The "quick and dirty" solution that I've seen is one Colin Pykett uses - there used to be some pix on his web site - not sure if they're still there.  Basically (he was using plain rocker tabs) printed label sheets that hung from small hooks above the stops.  Load the new set of sounds, and while it's loading, swap the labels over.  Simple - and it works.

That said, I definitely prefer drawstops - much easier to see - or even feel - what's drawn and easier to find in a hurry - especially on a strange organ.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: jwillans on August 08, 2011, 09:13:05 PM
Hi Tony,

I wonder if illuminated stops al la Compton might be the easiest way of incorporating some sort of electronic display - although of course, you would have to be wary of ambient light.  I've had the "fun" of playing an organ with illuminated rockers with bright sunlight streaming through the window  - obliterating any hope of seeing which great & pedal stops were on!  Not good when there's a Dulciana (in the logical place for the stop) that can be swapped with a Tuba!

The "quick and dirty" solution that I've seen is one Colin Pykett uses - there used to be some pix on his web site - not sure if they're still there.  Basically (he was using plain rocker tabs) printed label sheets that hung from small hooks above the stops.  Load the new set of sounds, and while it's loading, swap the labels over.  Simple - and it works.

I don't mind illuminated stop tabs (in fact my organ will have illuminated stop tabs for the couplers) and I can imagine an LCD placed in the middle of each would work well. 

I am trying to think of an appropriate LCD panel which would be small enough to sit in a drawstop, but with text large and clear enough to be seen.  Something like the following but smaller:

http://cgi.ebay.com/LCD-Display-8x1-Backlight-NHD-0108HZ-FSW-GBW-Newhaven-/110469531368?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19b87f46e8 (http://cgi.ebay.com/LCD-Display-8x1-Backlight-NHD-0108HZ-FSW-GBW-Newhaven-/110469531368?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19b87f46e8)

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 08, 2011, 09:59:54 PM
Hi!

It might be appropriate to split this topic in due course more generally into consoles and into Lancaster Priory.

I had a response from Makin today:

1. What technology does it use?
Analogue built by our maintenance manager, David Fetterman.

Did it use the Compton rotating discs or was it more advanced with solid state generators? 
Updated to solid state generators.  

2. What space does the electronics occupy?

Framed on the wall and extremely large (7 ft wide by 5 ft deep) also the capture system within the console (plug in on rack). 

3. Does anyone currently at Makin still maintain it? 
Yes, our maintenance manager, David Fetterman.    Last visit was in July 2011. 

4. Are circuit diagrams available?   No. 

5. How easily would it be to disassemble for reassembly elsewhere even on a temporary demonstration basis? 

This could be a possibility but we cannot guarantee it to work fully on completion.  This would be a mammoth task as the organ does not have any sides or back as it was built into the area in which is currently is.  (There is a fault on capture system on Generals which cannot be fixed.)  This procedure could take possibly up to two/three months provided a casing is made for the organ to fit into.  This is not a guarantee and discussions would have to take place with our maintenance manager, David Fetterman.

Certainly an interesting beast on this scale. It really depends perhaps on whether the sound is worth it . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 08, 2011, 10:07:35 PM
I did have the original leaflet on it until recently when I decided I didnt want to keep details of toasters.

 :) But there are toasters and toasters . . . how does this one compete in scale and ambition? Of analogues, Virgil Fox's Black Beauty was presumably larger . . . ?But how many others were built on this scale?

Whilst of course we all deprecate toasters in generality, at least this one can be celebrated in so far as it's being replaced by a proper organ again - even better - two!

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin
Post by: dragonser on August 08, 2011, 11:27:24 PM
Hi,
many thanks for the additional info. It is a shame that circuit diagrams are not available. as it uses analogue Oscillators this may explain the size of the electronics.......
at least Makin did reply to your questions.

regards Peter B



Hi!

I had a response from Makin today:
 ...............................................................................

Certainly an interesting beast on this scale. It really depends perhaps on whether the sound is worth it . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Jonathan Lane on August 09, 2011, 11:38:49 PM
David Fetterman is a good guy who know a tremendous amount about Makin organs and their technology.  My contact with him was in two places, the analogue organ at Thames Ditton, due to be replaced shortly, and the early digital from Londonderry Cathedral.  In both cases, he solved a number of issues, but most notably with the analogue!

Jonathan
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 10, 2011, 12:06:05 PM
David Fetterman is a good guy who know a tremendous amount about Makin organs and their technology.  My contact with him was in two places, the analogue organ at Thames Ditton, due to be replaced shortly, and the early digital from Londonderry Cathedral.  In both cases, he solved a number of issues, but most notably with the analogue!

I am wondering whether in the light of Makin's response, the issue of possible preservation of the Lancaster instrument might well be down to the extent to which David Fetterman wants to see it preserved and possibly be willing to lend a hand and expertise on a less than commercial basis. The instrument cannot be considered to be of any commercial value but, akin to the issue of the extent to which 1950s and 60s buildings should be or are listed, whether the instrument is a landmark of its type.

If seeking to preserve an instrument of this class, how does Thames Ditton compare? Scale / technology / general effect? To anyone in the south east, the logistics of Thames Ditton are an advantage . . .

Certainly at Hammerwood the Londonderry digital instrument has proved most worthwhile and certain tricks that I have applied both to speakers and to signal processing transform it into another echelon, although I am conscious that the life expectancy is likely not to exceed another decade, and even less if attacked by a mouse. In contrast with that success, analogue technology, however, is the stuff of the well deserved reputation of "toasters" . . .

If David Fetterman is interested, however, his knowledge is encyclopaedic and he certainly successfully helped me out on a Saturday morning over the phone knowing exactly how to achieve a "hard reset" on the "beast".

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Thames Ditton Makin organ
Post by: dragonser on August 10, 2011, 05:57:12 PM
Hi,
I guess as other people have mentioned it depends if the instrument at Thames Ditton  is as large as the one at Lancaster ? I guess probably not. But that might have advantages for a house practice Organ ?
timescale, and also is the console going to be reused ? are two  points to consider.
Does anyone know if the Makin analogue system is Free phase [ as in one oscillator per note ] or Divider [ one oscillator for each note of the scale ] ?

regards Peter B

 
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Jonathan Lane on August 10, 2011, 08:40:20 PM
I can't answer the technical issues Peter as I'm a humble pipe organ builder.

As for details of the Thames Ditton Makin, it is a three manual instrument but for some bizarre reason only a two manual console, with a floating Choir Organ.  I can put you in touch with the relevant authorities.

Jonathan
Title: Rotofon and other speakers that need rescuing from Lancaster this weekend
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 13, 2011, 02:10:56 AM
Hi!

These speakers need to be rescued this weekend to give access to the organ builders installing the pipe organ.

(http://www.organmatters.com/rotofon.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.com/makin-speakers.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.com/rmakin-speakers2.jpg)

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Jonathan Lane on August 13, 2011, 10:21:52 AM
Where are they?
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 13, 2011, 10:36:59 AM
Where are they?

At Lancaster Priory . . .

I have been dealing with Ian Pattinson there. He's brilliant and very kind. If anyone would like to see what can be rescued this weekend he has given me his personal mobile number - telephone me 01342 850594 and I'll find it for you.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Jonathan Lane on August 13, 2011, 11:37:18 PM
I hadn't put two and two together.  Unfortunately I have a full weekend among full weeks at present.  I hope someone can do something, as I believe it is essential we preserve all technology, even if the prove there are better things now!

Jonathan
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Contrabombarde on September 22, 2011, 09:01:46 PM
I'm weighing in here having seen both a very interesting Hauptwerk console mentioned earlier in the thread and a discussion about how stopheads might have changable text for a virtual organ. I suspect most organists would prefer a console with drawstops to any other method of changing registration (unless they are a theatre organist). Personally I could cope in a digital organ having illuminated drawstops (similar to some of Compton's organs) but they tend to only be found in higher end digital organs, and I've never even seen them used in real pipe organs.

The problem with any conventional console with labelled drawstops that is linked to a virtual organ is that you are pretty much forced to play the organ that corresponds to the labels. And the beauty of virtual organs like Hauptwerk is that you can experiment, add ranks and stops sampled from some of the world's finest pipe organs, and generally configure your organ to a limitless degree. That said, there are a number of ways in which this could be overcome. For example, a very simple method would be to have interchangable, slide-outable strips above the otherwise blank knobs so that the specification of whatever virtual organ you are playing corresponds to the knobs:

http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/8117/2ml8.jpg
http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/7647/mg2117fc5.jpg

The Novation Launchpad has an 8 by 8 matrix of square buttons that light up when pressed and a number of Hauptwerk users are using this to control stops, perhaps you could put a swapable clear plastic overlay depending on the organ specification:

http://cdn1.ableton.com/resource/599fec9fc8232063fd8d637816b66b21/launchpad-ableton-main-image.png

With Hauptwerk you don't get a lot of choice about the default graphics that come with each commercial sample set, though if you don't mind losing some functionality you can design your own user interface, though it is supposedly rather complicated to do so. A number of Hauptwerk users are using j-organ for stop controls since j-organ is easier to customise the user interface, such as the photo previously illustrated (notice that when "on", the stops "jump out" at you), and the thread alluded to in Hauptwerk suggested that the current crop of 23 inch monitors are pretty similar in dimensions to a three or four manual stopjamb:

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8862/salisburyo.jpg

THe advantage of a touchscreen over any other technology is that it avoids redundant knobs - with physical knobs or buttons, you are limited to however many you have in your console and if you have fewer stops, some will be unused. With j-organ you only need as many knobs as there are stops in your organ, and a larger organ can be controlled by smaller stops.

But the ultimate solution is perhaps a variation on this:
http://www.gizmag.com/go/7308/
http://xsreviews.co.uk/reviews/other-products/optimus-mini-three/

Just imagine, each stopknob would have the name of the stop appear in a 1 inch or smaller OLED screen on the stop head; and this would change depending on which virtual organ was selected. Undoubtedly very expensive, but crying out for someone to try. I even read that small (1inch diamter) circular OLED screens are now available which would be perfect for such an application.
Title: SOS for help to move Lancaster Priory Makin - April 16th suggested
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 13, 2012, 05:50:23 PM
Hi!

Some members here and I have been urging preservation of the four manual Lancaster Priory Makin.

1. Future home for it: is anyone interested, possibly a school, in four manual instrument that has been inspirational enough to survive for three decades? It could be maintained easily by a school 6th form Physics department.

2. Is anyone able to help, physically, and possibly with expertise and possibly with a lorry to assist in moving it within the week of 16th April?

I have space to house it temporarily in a dry barn.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: revtonynewnham on March 13, 2012, 06:52:26 PM
Hi

Sorry, but health is going to mean there's no way I can help on site.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Holditch on March 13, 2012, 07:32:18 PM
I can help during the day on Friday 20th if that is of any use.

I dont claim to be able to offer any expertise, but I can carry things and being from Manchester, Lancaster is not to far to get to

Please PM if you need me on that day

Best Regards


Marc
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on March 13, 2012, 08:23:18 PM
If anyone in Surrey/Sussex would be able to offer me transport to Lancaster, I'd be glad to help. MusingMuso also is a truck driver (in West Yorkshire) - I wonder if he could help?
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: JKenny on March 13, 2012, 08:59:36 PM
Hello, My school is looking for an organ for its assembly Hall and is just over the boarder in west yorkshire. something like this would be ideal.
Do you still need a home for it?

James
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 13, 2012, 09:54:01 PM
Hello, My school is looking for an organ for its assembly Hall and is just over the boarder in west yorkshire. something like this would be ideal.
Do you still need a home for it?

Dear James

YES! Interest has been expressed on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1265258549 ) from Carl Heslop who has a cinema venue in Newcastle which he is intending as an organ centre, which is very exciting. However, a school nearby, and possibly one where there is a physics department who might take an interest, could be a very convenient and educational use for it.

Jonathan Lane was planning to help out but can't that week. I am willing but its a big time commitment for me especially to come up from down south, but of course I'm happy to do so if needed, but if any recipient can organise the rescue and removal themselves without me time commitments at my end would find that very convenient!

As the console is built into an existing case which is to be preserved, its destination will need a console table to take the manuals and stop-jambs but I'm sure that such problems won't be insuperable.

If you would like to be in touch with the Lancaster team, please email me on antespam at gmail.com.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Lucien Nunes on March 18, 2012, 09:32:43 PM
If for any reason you get stuck without a solution, give me a shout. The timing is very bad and I might be abroad during the move week, however it would be sad to see this destroyed for want of a bit of input. I am happy to give it a home, although this should be a last resort because my interest would be to conserve it as a working museum piece, rather than use it for concerts or services.

I have quite a bit of experience moving large old electronic kit and making it work again afterwards, so might be able to offer a bit of moral and technical support to whoever gets lumbered with the actual move, however I don't know the analogue Makin circuitry specifically. I hope it turns out to be possible to enlist the help of David Fetterman as he will work wonders on it I am sure.

Lucien
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Barrie Davis on March 19, 2012, 01:52:48 PM
Hi

I am sure David Fetterman knows this organ inside out, I am sure he will give advice as he is a real gentleman.

Barrie
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 23, 2012, 10:31:29 AM
Hi!

I have received the following from the Lancaster Priory team:
Quote
An update on the Makin organ at Lancaster is now possible following
last nights project group meeting. Thank you to everyone for their patience
with us and I hope we can reach a solution which suits all concerned.

The week
beginning the 16th April is the best time for the Priory to remove the Makin.
The removal is central to a chain of events with the Organ Builders and to
alter their plans at this point is difficult and will have all sorts of knock
on effects for the project. I hope thats understandable and appreciate that all
involved are organising around these dates to find a suitable home for such a
lovely instrument.

We could suggest that the Priory people take responsibility
for removing the Makin and storing it until whoever can pick it up can make it
to Lancaster to take it away. If whoever wants it could organise for somebody
to be here on the sixteenth to record and photograph the removal so that it can
be reassembled correctly that would be the simplest way through this process at
the moment.

Could anyone in the region offer to do what is necessary on 16th? Or James, if the instrument is coming to you, could you afford to get Makin to send David Fetterman there for the day?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 24, 2012, 08:56:05 AM
Hi!

Can anyone make it on 16th?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: revtonynewnham on March 24, 2012, 09:46:41 AM
Wish I could David, but health means that I couldn't do anything to help.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin now moved to school and INSPIRATIONAL!
Post by: David Pinnegar on April 17, 2012, 05:25:00 PM
Hi!

I have received a few emails indicating success together with a photo of the console on a stage surrounded by a group of very smiling young people. We hope that those involved in the project will keep us posted in due course and look forward to the opening recital.

This is an instance where the rescue of an electronic, in this case a very special one, will introduce a whole group of people to the organ as an instrument and hopefully will excite curiousity and desire for real pipe organs subsequently. The move was made possible by reason of a significant community spirit.

Various people at Lancaster report:

Quote
All is well at this end. The
Makin is coming out smoothly so far and James Kenny and I are doing a trip to
Halifax today and one tomorrow in a project volunteers high top van. Everything
seems to be turning out for the best !.
Many thanks for all the help and
support in recycling such a nice instrument. Its great when a touch of
recycling comes together !!

Quote
thank you to all involved in the recycling of the
Makin organ. It was a long shot to achieve this but was absolutely in keeping
with the spirit of an organ restoration project and I am delighted that we
managed to pull it off between us all.

Quote
I had a welcome telephone call from Charles yesterday evening, telling me of the great efforts that had been made yesterday to take the Makin out and despatch it to its new home.   I am very pleased that such a positive outcome has been achieved, and am most grateful to everyone who has made it possible.

As a footnote, it is probably cheaper for organisations disposing of electronics to do their best towards finding ways of re-use rather than environmental chargese for disposing of what can be regarded as hazardous materials!

Thanks especially to Marion Mclintoch, Lucy Reynolds, Ian Pattinson and Charles Wilson, who all tolerated my enquiries and then joined in with enthusiasm, Gordon Cooper (EOCS member) who went to do a logistical  evaluation and for James Kenny for bringing it as part of his enthusiasm to a place where it will inspire organism in the future.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: MusingMuso on April 17, 2012, 10:25:30 PM
We don't actually know where the organ has gone yet!

Would someone please enlighten us?

I'm interested, because if it has gone to Halifax, I'm only a few miles away and can duly report this fact to the members of the Halifax Organists' Association, of which I am a member.

MM
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on April 18, 2012, 12:35:07 AM
Hi!

I googled James Kenny and found
http://www.rishworth-school.co.uk/default.shtml

Hope he or someone will post photos onto a website somewhere of progress and hope that the rebuild goes well and that the HDOA will find it exciting.

It's probably going to be helped by having a bit of artificial reverberation added if it's in a school hall and I have had experience of this and especially providing transparent, unrecognisable speakers to hang around an acoustically dead space near invisibly so that reverb comes from all directions, naturally. I imported a large number of units from USA for this purpose and still have many spare.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: JKenny on May 23, 2012, 10:15:16 PM
I am pleased to say that the Makin is now being reassembled in its new home in Ludlam Hall at Rishworth School and shall be playable again within the next few weeks!
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Barrie Davis on May 24, 2012, 09:22:41 AM
Hi

Good news indeed, would it be at all possible to have some photograhs of the project as it develops?

Barrie
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin moving to new home
Post by: dragonser on May 25, 2012, 12:57:10 PM
Hi,
pleased as well it is good news.any more info would be great.

regards Peter B
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: David Pinnegar on May 25, 2012, 07:20:23 PM
Hi!

Peter - we've missed you recently and it's great to see you in the land of the living.

James - it will be interesting to know what enthusiasms the instrument generates both in music and possibly in technology at the school and it's great to know the project is coming along fine. Hope you'll YouTube the installation and the inaugural recital too.

It will be great to hear from Lancaster Priory in due course about the progress of their pipe organs, to which the inadequacies of an analogue electronic have led . . . :-) and that's really the good thing about even an electronic, if a good enough one, to inspire.

For readers new to this forum, the importance of the ex Lancaster Priory Makin is that it was one of the largest analogue electronic instruments built still to be surviving and in working order. Most others have gone in the skip - which in the power of an instrument to inspire, is a terrible waste.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Barrie Davis on August 27, 2014, 01:29:06 PM
Is the organ up and running in its new home now?

Best wishes

Barrie
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: JKenny on April 18, 2018, 08:37:34 PM
To keep a complete record on this project -

The school were unable to provide the funds to restore the Makin electronics nor have it rebuilt, so they offered it to me. I've now had the whole console converted to MIDI to use with Hauptwerk. As I am currently training for the Anglican clergy, I am hoping that it will be able to be used in the future for church music and training organists.

Many thanks to all who raised awareness of this organ's availability in 2012. It will be making music for many years to come!
Title: Re: Lancaster Priory 4 manual Makin available to good home
Post by: Lucien Nunes on May 14, 2018, 09:58:49 AM
Thanks for the update and it's good to hear that you are getting some use out of it. The Lancaster organ came up in conversation with Hugh Banton about a year ago and we wondered what was going on. We were both puzzled that no-one had been in touch with him for help and advice in restoring it.

What has become of the original electronics? As with a pipe organ, the tone generators are the heart and soul of an electronic, so the organ you are playing is arguably a brand new (and much better) organ re-using the console, while the Lancaster Priory organ is wherever the original electronics are.