With extensive experience in voicing pipes, Bill is especially equipped to look after the tuning of your organ. Especially with reeds, tuning problems are frequently the symptom of other problems with the pipe(s) which other tuners, not having training and experience in voicing, can miss, leaving you with an organ that will go out of tune almost as soon as the tuner leaves the premises.
We can either do tuning on an as need basis, or we can offer tuning and basic maintenance contracts to suite your budget. Usually included in these contracts is the oiling and maintenance of the blower, something often overlooked, but a new blower can cost the customer thousands of dollars.
Tuning requires two individuals, one to hold keys and one to tune. Outside of Saskatoon we are happy to work with the church’s organist if he/she is willing to hold keys, it can save the church money because only Bill’s services are then required. Within the city of Saskatoon, we prefer to work as a team since Bill’s assistant knows the routine and for this reason the tuning goes more quickly, but if budgets are slim we can also work with the church’s organist.
What is sometimes not well understood by organists, is that no matter how good the tuner is at his trade, the organ will not stay in tune if the temperature in the building goes up and down. The tuning of metal pipes is directly related to the temperature. The more the temperature varies, the sooner the pipes will go out of tune since the metal is constantly expanding and contracting, causing the tuning apparatus to shift over time. Short reeds (Vox Humanas and other regals) are particularly affected by this since their resonators have less control over the pitch of the pipe. For this reason as well, the temperature in the building must be set to normal Sunday temperature well ahead of the visit by the tuner so that the organ is tuned at the temperature it will be used at. If the temperature is turned down during the week, the organ will be out of tune until the temperature is brought back up.
The ranks most affected by change of temperature are the reeds and high pitched ranks, especially mixtures. Mixtures take more time to tune than any other stops in the organ. This makes sense, since a mixture is actually composed of several stops and each one needs to be tuned individually. If a mixture has three ranks, you can expect it will take three times longer to tune than a single rank. Reeds take longer to tune than flue ranks because of the requirements of the tuning wires and tongues. They frequently need to be cleaned as well if a fly or bug has gotten in or the wedge has loosened up. Bill usually checks them through first for reed pipes with particular problems and corrects those before proceeding with tuning.