March 15, 2010 update:

News: Trevor is working on the swell shade motors in Michigan....they should be installed and operable by mid April if all goes well!

Starting to get things settled for the summer work months... LOTS to do. Tim is beginning work now on the 3 manual console!

Some general thoughts on where things stand: The organ has changed over time and some ranks have been installed and some "un-installed"...for instance the Armory Trumpet and Tuba have been removed for a better fitting Trompette rank.

The Tibia is now functioning quite marvelously. In fact I dare say I really doubt it has ever sounded better since it was built. Trevor has it winded & tremulated I think as perfectly as it could be!

But this has brought about a change that will need to be made...which opens up some new possiblities....

The Reuter opus 195 has 4 "ranks" playable on the expanded 822: Tibia 8', Viole Celeste 8' (TC), Vox Humana 8' and the Subbass 16' 12 note extention rank which works with the Tibia 8'.

Other ranks going in this summer:

1. Echo Swell Bourdon 8/4/2' 2. Nasonflote 8'

3. Dulzian 16'

4. Celeste 8' (TC) for the 822's Salicional

5. Harp (61 bars), QUITE large...stay tuned for the surprise on that one.

6. Xylaphone

7. Acme Whistle

depending on space:

8. Armory Trumpet 8'

and without giving away too much there will be 3 other ranks added as well depending on what comes available over time.

The organ is at 22 ranks presently...this summer it will go to at least 25 ranks or so this summer, to hopefully 30 to possibly 32 ranks.

The Subbass 16' will go into storage and perhaps be used on another pipe organ someday I hope.

February 27, 2010 update

Several new recordings and videos by Donnie Rankin on the Opus 822..check them out on the MP3 and video page!

Other news: I'm starting to rethink adding that Dulzian. I have another project I'm working on, on another pipe organ that could use that rank so stay tuned for that later this summer.

What I may do is set it up on a temporary chest in the house and do a several "baroque" recordings featuring it as a "guest rank" on the 822 before it gets installed on the other pipe organ. Just an idea!

February 16, 2010 update:

I have removed most pre-2007 recordings.

These recordings that were deleted utilized a very BASIC and quite unpleasing artificial reverberation. While it was better than no reverberation added, the files I have left sound MUCH nicer.

There may be some broken links thru the webpages that I missed and some missing links that do not work. If you see something that is an error please let me know!

February 5, 2010 update:

I've obtained a 16' Dulzian 61 note rank reed rank with 1/4 length resonators. This is a "baroque" style reed that is not very loud, and will be placed on the "positiv" division of the Reuter 822 in the future.

Placement of this rank is questionable, but somewhat possible ONLY because the resonators are 1/4 length.

From Dulzian is a soft-toned reed stop made in a variety of forms. Most of the names refer to an old double-reed instrument, an ancestor of the bassoon, which some examples of this stop are intended to imitate. It has been made with either free or striking reeds, and with short resonators (1/8 to 1/4 length) of inverted conical or cylindrical metal, or of straight or pyramidal wood. The resonators are sometimes fully or partially capped. Audsley and Sumner given them a small scale; Wedgwood claims they are large scale. Its tone is most often described as being similar to the Bassoon. It can be found at a variety of pitches, but usually 8' or 16'. According to Grove, the names Touzyn, Toussein and Douseynen were early forms from around 1510. The name Doucaine does not appear in the literature, but we assume it to be a synonym: all known examples are reeds, dating from the second half of the 20th century.

Dulzian 16' ranks are found on several Schnitger organs from the late 1600's.

St. Jakobi

Dulzian 16', Rueckpositiv, Pedal; Dulzian 8', Brustwerk; St. Jakobi, Hamburg, Germany; Schnitger 1693.

Cappel Church

Dulzian 16', Ruckpositiv; Cappel Church, Wursten, Germany; Schnitger 1680 (restored 1977).

The Dulzian rank was common to many organs J.S. Bach would have played at both 16' and 8' pitches on the manuals. I will have this stop unitized eventually to 16' & 8' on the pedal...and at 16' & 8' on the a few divisions of the expanded Reuter822.

January 16, 2010 update:


Trevor shipped me a surprise Christmas present..a Acme Siren...this will go on the Reuter 822 pipe organ (to complete the neo-baroque aesthetic of the organ no doubt!)

January 7, 2010 update:

I have updated the near exact layout of the ranks as installed....and included the 4 additional ranks we are going to be installing early this year.

click to enlarge

January 4, 2010 update:

Tim got the shades stained!!!!!

Getting the correct color took some doing....redwood stain didn't work..had to go with a dark orange to get the best match to the house.

Regards the console: PROBABLY going with stoptabs. Ignore all the "drawknob" ideas posted below. They are interesting, but not in keeping with the design of the Holtkamp console, PLUS I find tabs easier to work with on the fly than drawknobs.

January 2, 2010 update:

a 174 drawknob proposal: much simpler/plainer design. And allows for the control system on the front of the console rather than on the side.

main advantage: more desktop space on the console, and all drawknobs within reach. the "terraced" design below would be a bit of a reach for that top row on the ends!

January 1, 2010 update:

I'm working out a potential drawknob "top" to the Holtkamp 3 manual console.

This does two things:

1. Most important: The Austin 500 is a drawknob console with 156 drawknobs. By using drawknobs on the Holtkamp 3 manual, someday I can swap those drawknobs out on the Austin 500 console.

2. Drawknobs take up less space than stoptabs. The Drawknobs can be placed in a space 1 3/4". The Stoptabs require about 4 inches of space (vertically).....and placing them in this fashion will allow finding the stops pretty easily for the organist contrasted with the stoptabs which if I had rows of them lines up would be quite a "wall" of tabs to navigate to find what I'm looking for.

Just an idea. Email me your thoughts for ideas?

December 26, 2009 update:

I have reprogrammed the Gravissima 32' pedal stop to be a 32' resultant of BOTH the Reuter 822's Bourdon AND the Montre 16'. It now really gives some "gravitas" to the organ! (check out the Widor Toccata #5 on the MP3 page for a sample of that newly much enhanced 32' sound!)

December 23, 2009 update: News: I have located yet another console for the organ.

I call this new 3 manual Holtkamp console the "Holtkamp '3'".

The Holtkamp '3'

I obtained this console from Robert Coulter, in Atlanta, GA. Thanks ROBERT for helping get it all tied down for the trip to Indiana!

According to Robert, the Holtkamp '3' is the very first "Holtkamp style" console built. I will post detailed photographs of the console over the coming days. It is in excellent condition EXCEPT for the ivory key coverings. They are completely shot and will either have to be totally recovered, or I may indeed just swap in another keyboard stack in its place (I'm not overly fond of the stiff "tracker touch" of Holtkamp keyboards).

This console will remain "Holtkamp" from the waste down...but from the keyboards "up" it will be heavily modified. Including as noted:

  • New keyboards (or at the very least the originals will be recovered in new material.
  • A completely new stoptab box & backboard.
  • A new operating system to operate the Reuter opus 822 organ via 8 divisions (details to follow as I get them worked out).

    There will be minimum 120 stoptabs and perhaps as many as 200 depending on the final configuration of the stoptab box...(see insert in photo at the top).

    This will mainly be done to allow for orchestral works to be played on the Reuter opus 822 organ with little or no "transcription"..i.e. strings will be played by strings, oboes played by oboes, flutes played by flutes etc etc.

    Stay tuned for that. In actuality this Holtkamp '3' console will allow the 25 planned total ranks of the organ to be played in an appropriate 3 manual scheme, PLUS the additional 4 divisions will be exclusive computer controlled divisions for orchestral scores.

    Because of the large number of stoptabs I am considering utilizing the Reuter opus 195 color coding for stoptabs:

    This is a photo of the "solo" division of the Reuter opus 195 console, showing the colors chosen for each family of stops.

  • Light Blue: Diapasons
  • White: Flutes
  • Yellow: Strings
  • Red: Reeds
  • Black: Couplers, Traps (chimes, xylaphone etc), Tremulants

    Because there will be at least 120 stoptabs, and perhaps as many as 200 this will help in locating quickly the correct stoptabs over such a vast choice of stops. (this system is also employed on the Wanamaker pipe organ in Philadelphia.

    The color tab thing is an idea only..I may go with all white for "appearances" sake. The colored tabs would be easier for a visiting organist to figure out, but for my own purposes I think I can find things.

    What I MAY do is go with white tabs..then above each tab have a color "marker" ..a little square of colored plastic or dots so that I can figure out where is what easily that way as well, but still have all white tabs.

    You may wonder why I've purchased this console after the great efforts to purchase the Austin 500 4 manual console last summer. The main reason is: The Holtkamp '3' will fit in the house and allow me to keep the grand piano in the living room where it is now and to continue to have a "livable" living room.

    The Austin 500 console would fit, but would require that the grand piano be removed...or that the living room be "squished up" to the point where things would look rather odd and too cluttered....after much much much much much careful thought I have decided I'd rather have the piano in the house, and keep the house "livable"... than have the living room be a "shrine" to the Austin 500 console, even though the Austin 500 console is a stunning console and would look marvelous.

    In the end I have decided to keep the piano (for now anyways).

    The Austin 500 console is NOT for sale. I will keep it in long term storage for future use on another organ or I may change my mind in the next few months and go ahead and install it in the house.

    Also the Holtkamp '2' console..the 2 manual console presently in my living room, will be kept in storage for future use. (It is not for sale).

    I've learned one thing on Holtkamp consoles..the woodwork is amazing. VERY sturdy construction. The only drawback I have seen is that the ivory coverings on the 3 manual console I have just purchased are VERY thin and in very very poor condition (almost 1/3 of the coverings are completely missing!)
    Oddly: The Holtkamp 2 manual console I have is just the opposite..the ivory on it is VERY VERY thick and in excellent shape despite many years of use.

    In the end it boils down to console design. I am a huge fan of the Holtkamp minimalist console for homes and modern structures. For me the Holtkamp console is a perfect match of minimalist form with beautiful woodwork which matches my house very well I think.

    Other notes:
    The organ is once again playing with one little minor item that needs repaired. Ed returned last week to finish installing the windlines...THANKS ED!

    December 16, 2009 update: Ed has installed the newly-releathered bottom boards on the 822's main chest.

    He returns this coming Friday to hopefully get everything back up and running again!

    The newly reinstalled boards.

    The reservoir below the 822 main chest had to be moved out of the way to access the chests.

    Looks like I have some vacuuming to do before this gets re-installed! (don't want that dust to get up in the oboe rank for sure!

    November 28, 2009 update:

    Ed came down yesterday evening to remove the bottom boards of the Reuter 822 main chest. The 822's main chest will be entirely releathered.

    Here is a photo underneath the 822 chest after removal.

    The regulator for the 822 had to be completely disconnected to get access to the boards..NOT a fun project for Ed. The wind lines had been connected "permenantly"...a big mistake....when they go back in we will very possibly go ahead and cut the wind lines and install rubber gaskets as connectors so that it can be removed more easily in the future.
    However it all did come out after lots of work on Ed's part, THANKS ED!!!!

    If all goes well the releathered pouches could be reinstalled before Christmas to allow for some more Christmas music to be recorded!

    Interestingly we had presumed that much or most of the 822 main chest was "direct-electric" action and thought only the bottom 12 notes of each rank would need releathered. However Ed found that indeed most of the chest is electro-pneumatic except for the treble ends of just a few ranks.

    This chest was working 99.9% correctly..just ONE note was not working (a very high 2' Gedeckt pipe would not speak"). The leather was original to 1948. Replacing it now should extend the service life of the 822 main chest for a very long time we hope!

    November 22, 2009 update:

    Trevor has returned to finalize what is possible space-wise in the organ for the "final" installations over the winter.

    He has ascertained that the following additions of 3 ranks of pipes can be done:

    1. Swell: Echo Bourdon rank: the original Reuter opus 412 Bourdon rank. This will work as the "Swell" 8' stopped flute and sits on a unit chest so it will be playable at 8', 4', 2', 2 2/3', and probably 1 3/5' eventually. While the Holtkamp console is being used it will only be playable at 8', and 2'.

    This rank includes a 16' narrow scale pedal offset. That pedal offset will be installed but will require similar engineering to the "Montre 16'" out front but on a much smaller scale. This will give the organ a truely soft 16' pedal stop that it now lacks. (The present 822's Liebich Gedeckt 16' is actually quite powerful due to placement (not under expression).

    Due to placement and to avoid confusion with the Reuter 822's Gedeckt rank and pedal Bourdon stop, the 412's Bourdon will be named "Echo Bourdon 8'" on the swell, and "Echo Bourdon 16'" on the pedal.

    I have placed some of the pipes as a test and it will be a quieter rank than the present Swell's "Melodia". Somewhere in volume level between the Spitzflote 8' and Melodia 8'.

    With the addition of the 16' pedal extention, this will allow for a new dimension in SOFT registrational possibilities on the expanded opus 822 pipe organ.

    The photo above was taken in Michigan where Trevor had been using the 412's Bourdon as a demonstration rank as well as a practice organ for Colin Knapp.

    Placement of the Echo Bourdon will go on the 412's unit chest which was built for this rank originally. Presently the Reuter Spitzflote (of unknown vintage) sits on this unit chest. The Spitzflote will be relocated to two other chests that are being installed in the swell chamber that will JUST barely fit. The Spitzflote will remain on a unit chest and will eventually be available at other pitches other than 8' on a larger console at a future date.

    2. Great: Austin Celeste 8' (TC). This is a 61' note Austin Celeste rank that will work with the Reuter opus 822's Salicional. It will be probably be called "Austin Celeste 8'" on the stoptab to avoid confusion with the other celeste ranks. There is already a Viole Celeste, Vox Celeste, Flute Celeste & Dulciana Celeste so running out of different names for celeste ranks!

    The pipes themselves are marked ONLY "CELESTE" so the name is pretty open.

    3. Great: Moller Nason Flute 8'. This is a chiffy soft stopped flute rank with a bit more harmonic overtone than a standard Gedeckt. It will be placed on a chest along with the Austin Celeste 8' next to the opus 822's main chest. it will make things a bit more cluttered upstairs but it should work placement wise and should be a VERY nice and welcome addition to extend the softer and chiffy registrational possiblities of the organ for baroque music.

    Other news: The actions for the Swell shades have arrived and Trevor will be releathering those over the winter to get the swell shades operational. Should be quite an active winter that will bring some very interesting musical additions to the expanded 822!...the total number of ranks I think now is 22..this will bring the organ to 25 ranks of pipes.

    October 31, 2009

    Happy Halloween....recorded the Toccata & Fugue (J.S. Bach) just for this evening's festivities!

    Also got some amazing Jesse Crawford an amazing artist! The 'Baby's Birthday Party' MIDI "rolls" into 'The Wedding of the Painted Doll'...I left it in as I think it works out interestingly, and both versions of Painted Doll (just an excerpt on Birthday Party) are different and quite fun!

    Previous news: Trevor put on a separate regulator for the bottom 12 notes of the Trompette 16' (Schlicker 16' Trumpet) that works with the Moller 8' Trompette.

    Those 12 pipes now hold tune for the first time since being installed but are not very loud.

    I continue to record using the now correclty tremulated Tibia Clausa 8'...check out the MP3 page for those recordings, and special thanks goes to Benjamin Intartaglia in Paris for sending me so many AWESOME midi files of his own playing, to record on the opus 822!

    Recent projects: have been working on a pipe organ for Borcher's Chapel, the original home of the Reuter opus 822 pipe organ.

    For more information on that project visit here:

    What remains to be done:
    Awaiting some Moller swell shade motors to get the swell shades operable.

    Awaiting a chest for the 8' TC Celeste rank to go with the 822's Salicional.

    Awaiting a chest to allow placement of the opus 412's Bourdon rank. (from 16' thru 2').

    The Bourdon rank will be a VERY soft flute due to placement, louder than the Spitzflote but quieter than my somewhat soft Melodia. It will be a VERY useful rank once we get it in. Placement of the 16' 12 notes will require some creative engineering similar to how we placed the 16' Montre pipes in the front of the house.

    Also awaiting the Xylaphone...that will be last, but I THINK we might be able to get it going one of these years!

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