Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by schmidtc » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:14 am

The Yamaha SK series have synths in the ensemble. Apparently, it's early FM synthesis. They're pretty rare but when they do turn up they're relatively cheap.

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by StepLogik » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:58 am

Johnny Lenin wrote: Not so much for the large console organs, though. They're really, really big and heavy and I don't think they really offer anything that a modern synth can't do. On the other hand, they are cool to look at... And I do keep hearing about a revival of theatre organs... The one at the Loews Jersey in Jersey City is pretty amazing. I almost s**t myself when I heard it live.

[youtube]jDmjTlwsE6M[/youtube]
DAMN that is just a monster rotund fat a*s wall of sound! The guy playing it is quite good too.

Hmmm, make me want to dial up some organs patches and start mashing out big thick 5-note chords

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by cornutt » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:16 am

Johnny Lenin wrote: Not so much for the large console organs, though. They're really, really big and heavy and I don't think they really offer anything that a modern synth can't do. On the other hand, they are cool to look at... And I do keep hearing about a revival of theatre organs... The one at the Loews Jersey in Jersey City is pretty amazing. I almost s**t myself when I heard it live.
I'm sure you already know, but for anyone that doesn't... that's an honest-to-God pipe organ. And the part you see is only the console. The organ itself probably takes up half the building, and moving it is pretty much impossible.
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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by StepLogik » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:31 am

cornutt wrote:
Johnny Lenin wrote: Not so much for the large console organs, though. They're really, really big and heavy and I don't think they really offer anything that a modern synth can't do. On the other hand, they are cool to look at... And I do keep hearing about a revival of theatre organs... The one at the Loews Jersey in Jersey City is pretty amazing. I almost s**t myself when I heard it live.
I'm sure you already know, but for anyone that doesn't... that's an honest-to-God pipe organ. And the part you see is only the console. The organ itself probably takes up half the building, and moving it is pretty much impossible.
more info: http://www.gstos.org/wonder.htm
The organ has 4 manuals (keyboards) and 23 ranks (sets) of pipes for a total of 1774 pipes, some 16 feet long and others 5 inches long. It has 228 stops, over 9000 electrical connections and many miles of wire.
that thing is an insane bit of engineering

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:06 am

Yeah... the Loews organ is absolutely amazing. Anyone in the New York area really should make a trip out there for a show [it's right across from the Journal Square Path station]. In fact, if anyone is up for a field trip, there's going to be a performance in December 12 before a screening of the film The Bishop’s Wife. It's really worth the trip.

The videos and recording really don't do the monster justice. The theatre itself is really part of the instrument. The acoustics of the room are integral to the sound of the instrument, and it is absolutely spectacular from any seat. What's really amazing is that it doesn't JUST sound like an organ; it is capable of producing a huge range of sounds, like a complete orchestra. It's sort of a pneumatic synthesizer.

Playing that thing must be a real blast. Seriously.

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by StepLogik » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:08 am

how much latency is there from the console? with all the pneumatics/relays/etc it seems like there would be a bit... ?

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:11 am

StepLogik wrote:how much latency is there from the console? with all the pneumatics/relays/etc it seems like there would be a bit... ?
Probably quite a bit, but I imagine that it would be much less than a traditional church pipe organ. Playing it certainly requires its own skill set -- not just the keyboard skills and the sound mixing, but also adapting to the idiosyncracies of the instrument. When I first heard it, one of the things I kept wondering was "how do you practice to play this thing?"

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by cornutt » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:47 am

One thing I think is interesting is that a lot of the Wurlitzer theater organs have something called "second touch", which is a sort of polyphonic aftertouch. Pressing harder on the key can bring in a second rank of pipes or another sound. Remember, this was circa-1910 engineering.

As far as the delay, one thing to keep in mind is that some of the pipes may be as much as 200 feet away from the console. So in addition to the delay in the mechanism, you've got the accoustic delay of the sound coming back to you. And at, very roughly, 1 ms per foot, that can be a whole bunch of delay.
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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by Syn303 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:15 am

Oddly enough no one has mentioned the Eminent 310 Unique, the dutch built
organ with the famous solina string ensemble sound. Released somewhere
around 1974. It also had the distinct Orbitone speaker system.

Made well known by Jean Michel Jarre for those phased sweeping string pads
on Oxygene and Equinoxe, using a small-stone phaser or electrix mistress pedal.

Image

some sounds here from per kristians website
http://www.perkristian.net/Eminent_310_Unique_Audio.htm
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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by StepLogik » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:47 pm

Johnny Lenin wrote:
StepLogik wrote:how much latency is there from the console? with all the pneumatics/relays/etc it seems like there would be a bit... ?
Probably quite a bit, but I imagine that it would be much less than a traditional church pipe organ. Playing it certainly requires its own skill set -- not just the keyboard skills and the sound mixing, but also adapting to the idiosyncracies of the instrument. When I first heard it, one of the things I kept wondering was "how do you practice to play this thing?"
i tried to find some schematics but couldn't find anything. the organ is very old, so obviously there is no CPU to scan the switches and keys. all of that must be wired up to the solenoids that control the air-flow valves via good old-fashioned relay and diode logic. that must be ridiculously complicated.

if you look in the gallery, you can see picture of a large cabinet with a bunch of PCB cards in it. it looked pretty modern, so i wouldn't be surprised if they restored the unit's control systems using solid state (TTL chips for logic, SCR's instead of relays, etc) to reduce the latency and failure points.

would love to know more!

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by alpha5000dk » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:39 pm

There's also the Jen Synthetone organ with the Jen SX-2000 built in. There was one for sale in Denmark not so long ago. Don't know what it went for thou, but looked really nice :lol:

I would have loved to own it, but didn't have the money nor wanted to drive several hundred kilometers to pick it up :(
Last edited by alpha5000dk on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by cornutt » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:34 pm

I've seen setups where guys take a Moog PianoBar and install it on a Hammond so they can use it to control synths. John Novello (Niacin) has a setup like that.
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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by rhino » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:17 pm

my 1976 Lowery H25-3 is basicaly a 500-pound Arp Quartet: seperate 'sections' for organ, piano,brass, and strings. interestingly, while the organ uses bucket-brigade chips to achive a chorus effect, the strings use the organ TOS plus two more complete master osc./divider chains with six semi-random vibrato oscs.
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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by Clavier » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:31 pm

You have an H25-3? I would love to see pictures/demos of that!

For those who don't know, the Lowrey H25-3 was used by The Band's, Garth Hudson as his main instrument. It's the Lowrey organ companies most fully featured analog organ. It dates Circa 1969 and is believed by many to be their best instrument, (including me).
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Re: Organs with Analogue Synths Built-In?

Post by Clavier » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:13 pm

Just so you all know I'm compiling a list of "Synth-organs" for you to salivate over. Before I do though, a few notes about the list:

-It isn't THE definitive list of applicable instruments

-It's probably not completely accurate

-Some speculation is involved where indicated

-Since organ companies tend to make a graduating product line, I mostly stuck with flagship and near top of the line models that have the most relevance.

-Don't expect a Minimoog. Very few organs have any sort of built in monosynth and the ones that do, rarely have a good one with a great sound and lot's of modulation.

-Don't expect a Prophet 10. Electronic organs rarely can be described as fat sounding. Most have more of an airy/ethereal tone. Many organs have great strings, some have good brass too, occasionally you find ones with good bass, and sometimes good leads too. A lot of what makes an organ a great sounding instrument relies on it's ability to layer sounds well.

-Feel free to add to the list.
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