January 29, 2008 update:

No new updates or recordings probably until late February! Trevor returns then to work on the tremolos & winkers & to swap out the VHS Tromba for a Trumpet and for a few other things depending on how much time he has.....

until then..have a safe & Happy Winter!!!!!!

January 27, 2008 update:

Posting this pic to highlight the Montre rank. As you can see here the sun shines directly onto these pipes, usually from about 8 a.m. to about noon or so causing alot of tuning issues. SO..this rank only gets used early in the a.m., or afternoons and evenings..or cloudy days!

In person this rank sounds like a pretty standard diapason rank but in my recordings the way the microphones are placed in the house this rank records much more "horn-like"....which really lends it self to being a nice contrasting stop to the rest of the organ. Here is a recording of the theme to Grease: The first "solo" is of the Montre.

January 20, 2008 update:

I'm finally getting around to doing some nicer photography of the various ranks of the organ. I'll be redoing the ENTIRE gallery section of the webpage sometime in mid to late February so stay tuned for that.

A sneak peak:

A look down over the "Great" exposed ranks of pipes...the main chest is the opus 822 original 5 rank chest. The fireplace rank upstairs shown is the "Viole Celeste" rank (for now..that will be replaced (pipes) with a Dulciana rank and the Viole Celeste pipes moved in back somewhere long term).

I've said it many times but I think this photograph makes it obvious...a A-Frame style home is IDEAL for a home pipe organ. Just the original 5 ranks was perfect in the house, the added ranks are amazing, but a simple 5 rank unit organ is well suited in such a small amount of floor space.

A view downstairs.

The Holtkamp console

The Swell Chamber.....WOW...that was A LOT of work getting all that in there. Looking back, thanks so much to Tim, Ed, Trevor, Elias, Bobby & Matt for helping out on getting the various componants of the Reuter opus 412 & 195 installed. A swell chamber like this does not happen overnight. Obviously hours of planning, measuring, thousands of miles of a tremendous effort...but to hear the organ now makes it all worth while.

Lots of "boo boo's" which can be fixed but looking back at this swell chamber as of today almost all of it has worked out nearly perfectly. The last row of 16' Trumpet pipes in the very back is not yet working correctly (wind pressure is still too high)...we are going to move those out front.

If you are a sharp eyed observer you will notice the Trumpet/Tuba in the foreground...this chest is for the Austin Armory Trumpet. That rank of pipes has since been pulled and replaced with the Votteler-Holtkamp-Sparling Tuba rank you see here. You'll note that some of the "treble" pipes are quite large..this particular octave is "harmonic" with double length resonators.

Once I get these tuned better I'll post some recordings.
Bobby helped me install those about a week ago and we are letting them settle in before doing a final tuning to see how they hold up.

How they hold their tune will be the key. The Austin Armory Trumpet would simply not hold tune for more than a few days. I did get a bit of recording done with the Armory Trumpet but I'm pretty sure it won't be making a re-appearance on the 822 organ anytime soon.

Trevor is bringing down another Austin Trumpet rank (actually 2) thinking now is to install whichever of the 2 sounds "brassiest" and to keep the VHS Tuba shown here as a 8' Tuba rank.

The VHS (Votteler-Holtkamp-Sparling) rank is a rescaled Tuba that includes the bottom octave of a Trumpet so it is not quite a true Tuba and not quite a trumpet either. I have a stoptab engraved "Tromba Real 8 '" that I will be using with it.

Whether it stays or not depends on how it holds its tune. It sounds VERY VERY VERY similar to the Austin Trumpet, just a bit less "clangy".

If it holds its tune I'll try and figure a way of keeping it as that sound is musically very useful for some works : (in particular I like how it sounds on American Bandstand and the Theme to Raiders of the Lost Arc.

I will need to locate another chest for a true 8' Trumpet....hat but hopefully Trevor can find something that will work. This would bring the organ up to 22 complete ranks. Plus another celeste which would bring it to 23 ranks.

As you can see though from the photograph we are just plain out of room for many more additions. All the new additions will have to be placed ABOVE the bathroom (where I'm standing taking that photograph). And I can't go wild with lots of additions in that space so that the tonal egress of the swell organ is not altered. Also the swell shades will be going in up there so there is not alot of room left. I think we can get in another 4' trumpet (placing the 8' section on the floor in back) and another celeste. 25 or so ranks long term is the final number of ranks as no more could be shoe-horned in most likely and still be able to get around to work on everything.

January 12, 2008 update:

The Reuter 822 is featured on Berson's Corner, on Louisville, KY t.v. station Fox 41 News during the newscasts on Monday, January 12.

Be sure to be watching Fox 41 all day Monday!

Was very fun to have Fox 41 newsanchor Barry Bernson come and film the pipe organ!!!!

click on pic for link:

Video link at the bottom of the WDRB Fox 41 linked page.

January 5, 2008 update:

Some thinking on the directions I'd like to take the organ:

The Armory Trumpet is just not working out. It does not hold its tune for more than a day and just does not agree with the wind pressure I have it at. Whenever Trevor comes back we are going to once more try the Holtkamp-Vettelir-Sparling Trumpet rank I have..I had had it installed on the 412 chest at 4 inches and it sounded like crap so am going to stick it on the Armory chest and try it at 6 inches. If that does not work I'm going to start looking for another Trumpet rank that is voiced for 5 or preferably 6 inches of wind. The Armory Trumpet of course has a great history to it, including the fact that it was once played by Edwin Lemare, but it has been so adjusted over time that to get it to sound appropriate I'm afraid is just no longer possible. It has been rescaled and reworked from 15 inches to 3 needing a Trumpet rank should contact me..I will most likely be giving the pipes away to whomever wants them so if you are interested contact me and when the time comes that I have another rank to replace it with I'll be moving those along to another home where hopefully they will get a better pressure that suits them more.

The Viole sounds good with the Violin Diapason in the swell chamber, but does not match well with either string rank on the "great" organ, so I'm going to be relocating those pipes to the swell chamber. For that I need another 49 note chest to stick them on, so if you know of anyone that has a extra celeste chest let me know!

Here is a recording of the Viole Celeste matched with the Violin Diapason:

"BWV 622 - O Mensch, bewein' dein' Suende gross - J.S. Bach"

I'm going to replace those pipes with the Dulciana rank from the opus 412 ..and pair the 412's Dulciana with the 822's Dulciana for a proper Dulciana celeste.

This will bring the organ to 4 complete celeste ranks for 2009:

1. Vox Celeste (paired with the opus 412 Echo Salicional)
2. Flute Celeste (Spitzflote)
4. Viole Celeste (paired with the opus 412 Violin Diapason).

3. Dulciana Celeste (paired with the 822's Dulciana)

But...before I put the Viole Celeste back in I will have to make some changes to the console to allow for more stoptabs.

The console fits the house perfectly but is severely limiting due to lack of a 3rd (and preferably 4th) manual and realistically another 75 stoptabs to the 50 or so on it now. I need about 125 stoptabs to spread the 21 ranks over the 3 or 4 manuals in a appropriate fashion so I can "re-unitize" most of the organ. Basically today the organ operates as a "straight" organ with little unification.

I would like to add unit 16', and 4' stops from almost all the 8' ranks as well as many mutations and a few 2's and 1's that I don't have now due to lack of space.

So..if you know anyone that has a 3 or 4 manual Holtkamp console (I would also consider a E.M. Skinner 4 manual as well) please let me know as I'm going to be needing one sometime in the future.

Some other changes: Once Trever gets the swell shades installed we are moving the 16' Schlicker trumpets from the swell chamber to the front of the house. These were voiced to play on 4 inches of wind..operating them at 6 inches is causing tuning stability will try them at 5' from the 822 chest and if that doesn't work we will put in another reservoir and play them on 4"...and..and that point may move the Armory Trumpet back to 4 inches as is not lost for the Armory Trumpet just yet, but if a Reuter trumpet rank comes available I'd be more interested in having the Reuter rank instead.
Trevor has another 16'/8' Austin Trumpet that I'm going to see about as has the 16' section mitered already so it would fit in very nicely.

PREVIOUS blog postings at:

September 2008 - December 31, 2008 blog updates, final remarks for 2008.

July20 - September 2008 blog updates, including information on the clarinet rank.

July1 - 18 2008 blog updates, includes a visit to Georgia, and placement of the Austin Armory Trumpet.

June, 2008 blog updates, including photos of the newly installed opus 412 pipes.

May 6 thru May 31, 2008 blog updates, including photos and historical information on the Austin Atlanta Armory Trumpet

January thru May 5th 2008 blog updates.

2004 thru 2007 blogs.

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