Sound db level

  • Hello,

    Has anyone wondered or tested db level for a given sound/stop?

    If i setup a simple system at a hall or church how loud should i set it?

    have any of the great people that have recorded it done that say sit back in middle of church with a level meter and recorded the db level.

    ie if i have 1 stop open and its 80db in middle of hall or should it only be 75db or whatever dependent on the stop of course....

  • Each pipe organ is unique - there is no general rule. There are pipe organs, that only fill a part of a (larger) room.

    I guess that most people just verify by sitting at the various listener positions while the organ is played in various registrations.

  • Are you expecting to fully 'voice' the organ? i.e. do you want to set the whole thing so every stop sounds like you want it, and is 'progressive'? My experience in this is limited, but I would start by setting the LOUDEST stop to sound to your satisfaction. Then the second loudest, and so on. Do bear in mind that once you have a crowd of people in the hall/church the apparent volume can be damped down A LOT! On the other hand, you may want some stops sufficiently soft to allow you to play quiet background music sometimes in a nearly empty church.
    I would suggest that as you proceed, you save your work as "presets" at regular intervals, so that when you make a mistake you can fall back to a previous known acceptable state!
    It may be worth saving some presets with just the 'foundation stops' set up first and trying them before you go to the bother of doing the lot.
    At least the procedure with GO is less time consuming than doing it for a real pipe organ, especially because there is no 'fallback' for a pipe organ.
    As far as deciding the best level overall is concerned, I think personal choice and your choir and congregation all matter. My own preference is that for congregation singing I want to sound above them so I can control the singing, for choir the voices should usually predominate, and for voluntaries it's your own decisions.
    Have fun!