Reuter News & Updates

This is OLD OLD OLD information posted years ago.

leaving it up as maybe someone will find it of interest or at least perhaps bemusement.

Last updated: February 8, 2006

Plans are underway to install a 2nd console with MIDI controls during the late Spring of 2006.

The original console will remain in its present location, and will still control the organ as originally designed.

The new console will be located on the ground floor one level down from the organ pipes, and will feature MIDI control to allow note sequence software to operate the organ. Also the new console will include memory pistons and further unification of the existing 5 ranks of pipes to include these additional stops:

1. Gravissima 32' (Resultant pedal stop from the Bourdon 16') - Pedal
2. Lieblich Resultant 32' (Resultant pedal stop from the Lieblich Gedeckt 16') - Pedal
3. Sifflote 1' - Swell
4. Larigot 1 1/3' - Swell
5. Tierce 1 3/5' - Swell
6. Contra Dulciana 16' - Swell
7. Super Octave 2' - Great
8. Flute 4' - Pedal
9. Clarion 4' - Pedal

Also the Dulciana stops 8' and 4', and Oboe 16', 8', & 4' will be wired to also operate from both the Swell and Great.

It should be a very exciting addition and will solve the issue of the present console being placed to close to the pipes for extended playing on the louder stops.

This second console is much smaller than the original console and is only 56 notes, however the MIDI control will allow playback of the full compass 61 notes of the original console.

Previous updates are listed in order of post date for historical reference.

As many of you who read this know the organ was really only made completely playable in late July of 2005. We have hit the pavement running to record various works of music to see how they sound on the #822. Although there are only the 5 ranks of pipes to work with, because of the extensive unification there are 32 speaking stops, spread over the 2 manuals and pedals which make for a very useful array of registration possibilities.

Sam Bowerman, Tim Neal and myself are in planning stages now of how to best install MIDI on this organ while maintaining its unique and historical method of operation for future generations.
This will include adding a 2nd console to act as the MIDI interface of the #822, while keeping the original console with its original mechanicals.

As noted in previous posts below, a 2nd console will be useful for accoustic reasons as the original console is right next to the open pipes which on certain stops can make for very loud playing, in particular the Octave 4' and Clairion 4'.

Other options being explored are further unification of the existing 5 ranks to add some additional sythnthetic stops similar to the Orchestral Horn Syn 8'. And thanks to suggestions on The Organ Forum, we are considering the possibility of "adding" a 32' Resultant to the pedal stops, using the 16' Bourdon rank.
The 2nd console has a additional stop tab for a Quintadena 8' which was probably unified from the Gedeckt rank of pipes in combination with the Nazard 2 2/3'.

Although we will be adding a MIDI interface, no digital/electronic stops will be added, we will only be using the existing pipework for all stops and recordings.

July 29, 2005
Sam Bowerman has installed a Tremulant Mechanism on the Reuter 822 on July 26, 2005. Sam also repaired the few pedal notes that were not working (some wires needed re-soldered, and two notes were wired to play at the same time, fortunately Sam figured everything out and the organ is working perfectly) Sam also gave the organ a complete tuning, the 2nd time I've had that done since the organ was installed.

July 15, 2005
Reuter Organ Company has mitered the two bourdon pipes that would not fit beneath a support beam of my house. Reuter did a fantastic job! (I had dropped off the pipes in person at the Reuter Organ Company in Lawrance, Kansas in June). If you are ever near Kansas City and have a chance I highly recommend stopping by the Reuter plant for a tour (call first to see in advance what days tours are given). It is really facinating to see how pipe organs are made.
I'll be posting photographs of the newly installed mitered pipes and tremulant action once we get that installed.

June 20, 2005
I have had the organ installed for over a year now. I'm continually amazed at how well Reuter built this organ, literally the woodwork and pipes are as good as when built. It have no doubt that the 822 organ will be playable for hundreds of years if it is preserved and maintained. The superior Reuter engineering on key contacts is actually quite foolproof, and is in pristine condition despite being nearly 60 years old! Some of the leathers have been replaced, this past spring (early March of 2005) we had the bellows releathered, and the lieblich gedeckt mechanism releathered as well. So now the Lieblich Gedeckt 16' pedal stop operates in addition to the Bourdon 16' (Same pipes but at a higher wind pressure when operated as the "bourdon" stop).

I don't think any electronic organ is playable in a church service after more than 15 years before it begins to fail especially as technologies on electronics change so much from year to year rendering "this year's model" obsolete in a short time. I know why Reuter is still in business building pipe organs, because of the quality of the workmanship and time tested reliability.

Digital Recordings:
I have just begun recording the organ digitally which has in many ways opened up new possibilities in terms of enjoyment of the organ, in particular of adding digital reverbation to the organ on the recordings you hear on this website.

This summer we plan on adding the Tremolo unit back to the organ as well as having the Reuter Organ company mitre two of the pipes that don't fit underneath the ceiling beams. Once those are done I will be adding new photographs of the organ to the website.

If you are ever coming thru Southern Indiana please drop me a email from the main page as I'm looking for guest organists to come and play the Reuter 822 while I record, so if you are interested please drop me a line!

October 31, 2004

The organ was tuned in early October. All went very well with the tuning. We were very happy to discover during the tuning process that most of the remaining non-speaking pipes could be easily made to sound just by blowing out some debris etc. Up until the tuning many of the Dulciana pipes in particular didn't work. Now they all work perfectly! So as of this writing in late October only one oboe pipe does not sound, and 3 gedeckt pipes do not sound (and 2 of those don't sound just because we don't have the pipes in place because of a clearance issue). Another of the oboe pipes is needing a new horn as we have lost the horn that fell off, but it still sounds.

Most of the remaining air leaks that can be fixed are now done so and the organ is a bit louder than it was previously.
Experience with the tuned organ is of course very different from how it sounded untuned. The oboes are now playable, if not quite so beautiful to hear. The same goes for the diapasons which are now tuned, but still of course very loud. We do not yet have the tremolo hooked up yet (I have obtained a Skinner tremulant which we will be using), also the Lieblich Gedeckt mechanism is still not functioning properly (it is stuck in the Lieblich Gedeckt mode at all times which works well for most music actually anyhow).
As of this writing we continue to ponder whether to add the 2nd console downstairs and hook it up to the organ so that two consoles will play the same 5 ranks of pipes. This would solve the loudness problem of the unenclosed (no swell box) pipes. One can play the organ for short periods of time using the oboes and diapasons, but for extended periods of time it is really too loud. When playing Bach's Little Prelude in C Major I like to use the 8' Oboe stop on the swell and the Diapason 16', Oboe 16 & Dulcet 4' on the great with the Bourdon 16' and Diapason 8' on the pedals. It is a very nice effect.
E. Power Biggs said that when a organist first encounters a organ they have never played they have to first "make friends" with it. After the Reuter 822 has been retuned, the sounds have changed so much that I've had to "re-make" friends with it. It is very different. The untuned organ was very fun to play and for some music was even preferable in my opinion. (French organs are rarely tuned but thats another subject). Now that it is tuned I've readjusted to it and made friends with the various stops and can attest again that these Reuter unit pipe organs are truely wonderful instruments worthy of being preserved & played.

June 1, 2004

The last week of May was a memorable week for Reuter #822. Tim was able to finish the wiring on Friday, May 28. All went pretty well on the rewiring of the pipes and console with the exception of a few of the chimes. As last noted in mid March only one rank of pipes were initially functional..the salicional pipes.

Timothy Neal finishing up the wiring.

When I arrived on Thursday, Tim was nearly finished wiring up the last of the Gedeckt pipes. The photo above was taken of Tim that evening. I sat down to the console and smashed the crescendo pedal down to hear the guts of this organ play around 3 p.m.... It was an experience I will never forget. AMAZING.

The accoustics of the pipes being placed so near the console make playing at "full organ" a breathtaking experience, if not totally musical.. in fact I played with headphones to protect my hearing, because the volume of the organ coupled with it being out of tune made for not very pleasant least at first. After all the remaining pipes were connected Tim did some spot tuning of some of the most troublesome pipes to make the organ playable, if not quite yet in tune. The recording below the "listen" button (hit the play button to start) was made the morning of June 1 after some tuning had been done. More is needed obviously in terms of a professional tuning, but the "feel" of the organ is there to be heard.

Harlan Dringenburg, who was organist for many years for the church (Borchers), and spent countless hours playing at this very organ, sat down again to play on Saturday afternoon for a concert of Bach & Hymns (a wonderful concert despite the organ being out of tune, and a sticking pedal note). Once the organ is tuned and working properly we hope to have Harlan again play so that we can share his music here for all to enjoy.

Click the PLAY button (right facing arrow) to play this movie.

For HIGH SPEED internet users wishing to view this movie large size (15 meg size file) click here.

Note: I obviously don't know how to play the organ very well yet..give me some time to practice. (laughing). I promise to learn another song other than "Nearer my God to Thee" but for now it will have to do. (I can play some other hymns, but it would be less enjoyable than my playing of this one if that can be believed). The movie file here starts out on FULL organ on the GREAT keyboard (bottom keyboard), with all stops engaged via the Crescendo pedal. I then pull the crescendo pedal back and throw the tabs on the GREAT keyboard (Diapason 16'/Gedeckt 8'/Dulciana 8' & Flute 4')....then go back to FULL organ...then play on the swell (upper/top keyboard) with the Bourdon 16', Contra Viole 16', Gedeckt 8', Dulciana 8' and the Flute D'Amour 4' before flipping all the tabs on the swell for the "full organ" again.

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