A Monday treat

September 19, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

I had previously written about the great pipe organ project we were involved in for Octave Records.

I still tingle with goosebumps every time I hear the playback of that amazing DSD recording session at Temple Emanuel in downtown Denver.

I thought it might be fun to share with you this Monday morning a sneak peek at the setup process for the recording and then an actual performance from that recording.

Go here on YouTube and enjoy trumpeter Gabriel Mervine’s father, Ken Mervine (a master of the instrument), at the keyboard of one of the great instruments of all time.

Just watching his feet dance on the pedals is reason enough to watch.

Have fun this Monday morning.

(This release on Octave Records will be part of a new series we’re preparing: The Art of HiFi. The first release of the new series will be all about ‘dat bass!)

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27 comments on “A Monday treat”

  1. have been in 100’s of organ lofts and this is about the most untidy I have seen, lol. “one of the great instruments of all time”, mmmmmm, not sure about that one, sorry. Organists are a very picky breed of people 🙂

    1. The choir was very good today. A right royal send-off, as we say. The organ at St Paul’s Cathedral is very impressive, been to few gigs there.

    1. I wrote about the placement in an earlier post. However, I used a Blumlein stereo microphone plus the Bock center for a Decca Tree. I placed it right where the organist is playing, then augmented the upper microphones with a stereo pair of DPAs down in the audience area.

      We then repeated the performance and reversed the microphones so the modified Decca Tree arrangement was the main microphones in the audience and the DPS stereos upstairs.

      Everyone who has listened to the final recording prefers the first way we did it.

      Can’t wait for people to hear the actual recording (of course what you hear in the video s just from the iPhone camera).

      1. Still, it’s amazing how much the little microphones on cell phones have improved. Obviously, don’t toss out the contents of your mic cabinet (unless you want to donate them to me), but even casual field recordings don’t sound at all bad these days.

  2. I wanted to subscribe to this posting without commenting. When I try to do this I keep getting weird messages that the link has expired. What’s going on???

      1. Paul, At the bottom of this page just above the black “Post Comment” bar it says “You can also subscribe without commenting”. I clicked on the subscribed and it said I was now subscribed. I then got an email asking me to click on a link in it to confirm my subscribing to today’s topic. I did so and it put me on a page that said the my subscription had expired ( or something like that ). I am still no receiving email updates when there is a new comment. I get the feeling that something is not working right.

    1. You’re right, Steven. Turns out this is there largest pipe organ in a synagogue in the United States.

      Used to be a big deal but I am told that recently there officials of the synagogue aren’t thrilled about its presence and have stopped using it in services. ‘Tis a shame.

  3. Enjoyed that pipe organ is an understatement! WOW I certainly hope there is much more to this pipe organ production. I look forward to purchasing a full copy when it arrives for sale. Always enjoy your talks and surprises Paul. I watch every day on YouTube and being about your same age, I think of you almost as a brother in sound ideas. Keep it coming and thanks. Kenny from Williamsburg VA

  4. Has nobody else picked up the musical cliche – the son of an organist being a trumpet player? I guess only trumpeters or organists would be rolling their eyes? Kinda like the son of a Formula One racer designing high-performance engines….

  5. Paul,

    Regarding your upcoming organ recording, please provide organ instrument details, e.g., name of builder, year of build, number of ranks, number of stops, number of pipes, longest pipes, tracker or electro/pneumatic operation, etc.

    Mike Maduras

  6. Ah, so that’s what subwoofers are for. I previously thought cinematic explosions, such as in The Hurt Locker, had where they were most used. This organ gives them a real workout.

  7. For those who watched the Queen’s Funeral, some of the organ pieces were played by Peter Holder, the Westminster Abbey organist for services and state events. In 2013 while in England I met Peter and he let me and a few other organists take a turn on the Westminster Abbey organ. Of all the dozens of abbey, cathedral and concert hall pipe organs our group got to play during our tours, the Westminster Abbey organ is probably my favorite. Playing that mighty instrument in front of Holder was humiliating, to say the least, but I was hell bent not to pass up that opportunity.

    1. It is a monumental organ. Way back in the 1980’s, I used a Simon Preston (RIP) recording of a Widor Symphony (5th) as a demo for some Rogers LS3/5A and a matching subwoofer

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