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Christmas Morning Service - Organ Conks Out


Lone Stranger

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Many of you have stories of equipment breakdowns during gigs. My story is recent and a bit unusual.

My church has a digital organ made by Content. My guess it is about 15 - 16 years old. It has had several repairs done to it since installation. My fellow organist was playing an improvisation on "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" just before the worship service started and since I was going to play a duet with him after the service on the piano I was walking towards it (Yamaha grand for anyone who cares.) While he is playing the organ it suddenly conks out and within several seconds I sit down at the piano and continue from where he left off. (I have absolute pitch which really helps.) I was completely making it up as I played since I was not prepared. He tried rebooting the organ 3 times and gave up. We are shopping around for a used small tracker pipe organ to replace the Content and hopefully this will speed up the process.

Just an unusual Christmas morning service to make things interesting. I prefer playing the piano myself over the organ so I'm not in a rush to investigate the problem. The organ sounded horrible anyway. I hope nobody else here had problems if there were any Christmas gigs happening.

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I would definitely look into this new organ called "The Hammond B3". Apparently they are very popular in churches, and rarely fail.... If you can't afford a B3, you can get an A100 for around $1000, which is essentially the same thing, but in a different cabinet...

 

All kidding aside.... This is why I am skeptical about any new organ that uses modern components... How long will these companies support them as technology develops... The 1950-60's Hammond just keep on ticking due to their over-engineering..

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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The elephant in the room that nobody mentions, aside from the dodgy Chinese electrolytics that are cropping up everywhere in modern consumer electronics, is lead-free solder. There's a reason there are exceptions for medical and avionic and other life-critical systems...

 

TP

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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The elephant in the room that nobody mentions, aside from the dodgy Chinese electrolytics that are cropping up everywhere in modern consumer electronics, is lead-free solder. There's a reason there are exceptions for medical and avionic and other life-critical systems...

 

TP

Yeah, I used to have no issue leaving my gear out in the cold. Now, I can't trust the solder
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I had a dream last night that my Nord Stage Compact was acting up at a gig. It was a NS, but it wasn't, you know how stuff is in dreams. It would go into "edit" mode and all the lights would flash around and it would change the sound on me. The panel was different than a real NS and under the keyboard was an access panel for diagnosis. Very weird. Now I'm going to have to get it out of the garage and fire it up today and make sure it's working.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

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The organ (an old Thomas) in the church where I usually play (I'm a sub in several churches) has an interesting Swell pedal which has three increments:

1: (0-30%) "Can barely hear it - worshippers reach for their hearing aids; good for prelude music at funerals"

2: (32-70%) "Passable, but the organ tends to get drowned out if the congregation has had their caffeine. 'Silent Night' - no problem, 'Hark, The Herald Angels Sing' - big problem"

3: (72-100%) "HOLY $HIT!" Communal Wine glasses shatter, small children begin to cry, and Pastor glares - good for a Southern Revival, perhaps.

 

"What about the 1% between these three increments?" you ask? That, my friends, is where the volume drops to ZERO between the three levels!

Most organs have a "swell" pedal, this one has a "throb" pedal.

 

/cannot win

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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The organ (an old Thomas) in the church where I usually play (I'm a sub in several churches) has an interesting Swell pedal which has three increments:

1: (0-30%) "Can barely hear it - worshippers reach for their hearing aids; good for prelude music at funerals"

2: (32-70%) "Passable, but the organ tends to get drowned out if the congregation has had their caffeine. 'Silent Night' - no problem, 'Hark, The Herald Angels Sing' - big problem"

3: (72-100%) "HOLY $HIT!" Communal Wine glasses shatter, small children begin to cry, and Pastor glares - good for a Southern Revival, perhaps.

 

"What about the 1% between these three increments?" you ask? That, my friends, is where the volume drops to ZERO between the three levels!

Most organs have a "swell" pedal, this one has a "throb" pedal.

 

/cannot win

 

:laugh:

"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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My Christmas Eve concert problems were of a more human nature; our church and another church agreed to combine worship teams, but the other team's members (drummer and bass) did not practice the songs in advance. They were dismissed and we did the hour-long concert with acoustic guitars, keyboards and latin percussion. It was an improvement.
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Many of you have stories of equipment breakdowns during gigs. My story is recent and a bit unusual.

My church has a digital organ made by Content. My guess it is about 15 - 16 years old. It has had several repairs done to it since installation. My fellow organist was playing an improvisation on "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" just before the worship service started and since I was going to play a duet with him after the service on the piano I was walking towards it (Yamaha grand for anyone who cares.) While he is playing the organ it suddenly conks out and within several seconds I sit down at the piano and continue from where he left off. (I have absolute pitch which really helps.) I was completely making it up as I played since I was not prepared. He tried rebooting the organ 3 times and gave up. We are shopping around for a used small tracker pipe organ to replace the Content and hopefully this will speed up the process.

Just an unusual Christmas morning service to make things interesting. I prefer playing the piano myself over the organ so I'm not in a rush to investigate the problem. The organ sounded horrible anyway. I hope nobody else here had problems if there were any Christmas gigs happening.

 

On a side note, there's lots of folklore about how / why "Silent Night" was written, but the most common account I've heard is similar to your story- organ crapped out just before Christmas services.

 

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I hope nobody else here had problems if there were any Christmas gigs happening.

 

No keyboard problems at church yesterday, but I dug a couple clams during "Joy to the World," that's all.

 

:blush:

 

+1, I did the 7PM service with a guitar player and we had a few hiccups, like a pesky Ab that kept creeping in where it had no business, and the guitar player wrote the wrong chord down on one of his music sheets. It was jazz carols!

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

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On a side note, there's lots of folklore about how / why "Silent Night" was written, but the most common account I've heard is similar to your story- organ crapped out just before Christmas services.

I have heard that story and did play "Silent Night" after the service trying to imitate guitar picking.

A technician is supposed to take a look at the organ on Saturday to see if it is worth fixing. Both myself and the other organist are hoping he will say it's a piece of crap and not worth fixing.

As good as a Hammond is it would sound rather odd with hymns written several centuries ago. Our hymn book has music pre-dating J.S Bach.

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I hope nobody else here had problems if there were any Christmas gigs happening.

 

No keyboard problems at church yesterday, but I dug a couple clams during "Joy to the World," that's all.

 

:blush:

 

+1, I did the 7PM service with a guitar player and we had a few hiccups, like a pesky Ab that kept creeping in where it had no business, and the guitar player wrote the wrong chord down on one of his music sheets. It was jazz carols!

 

Christmas music often wreaks havoc. Some of those carols have way too many chords in them.

 

Anyway, I was playing a few songs for prelude... and when I got to "Joy to the World," I had created an arrangement merging the Hallelujah Chorus into it after the first two verses. But for some reason my fingers just didn't work, and I had practiced that all week!

 

:facepalm:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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As good as a Hammond is it would sound rather odd with hymns written several centuries ago. Our hymn book has music pre-dating J.S Bach.

 

I think it would be just fine. Hammonds were MADE for that.

If the music pre-dates Bach, then it wasn't written for the piano, either. Authenticity would dictate, what? A Clavichord? Harpsichord? Pipe Organ? Hurdy Gurdy? Try a Hammond. Find a nice A-105 and you'll be ever so happy.

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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