With most of the organ now restored and in playable condition, it’s time to start learning about voicing the organ. I understand that this is a process involves many variables, including the organ, the amplifier levels the speaker placement, listener placement and the room acoustics and probably a few more I have yet to learn about.
My initial goal is simply to do a first pass, both to become familiar the process, as outlined in the Rodgers 340 Service Manual, and to begin to hear what this organ is capable of. First, a quick video…
My friend, Edward Torres, from Old Town Music Hall, offered to help with the voicing so we made a day of it. In preparation, I went through and labelled the pots and racks on the organ to make it easy to find things. When Edward arrived, we regulated the organ according to the steps in the service manual. We then tweaked levels to please our own ears. Then, after a few adjustments, we repeated the process. I understand that it’s not uncommon to repeat this process many times until it sounds right. Since I am not yet done messing with speakers, etc. I know I will be doing this again, soon.
The process is not too difficult, but it does require two people – one at the keyboard (Edward) and one behind the organ (me) to make adjustments. I would not be surprised if professionals have a third person to walk to the room to hear how it sounds at various locations.
Since I do not yet play the organ, I asked Edward to play a few pieces so that I could walk around the room and hear it. He did and allowed me to share these recordings on my blog.