The Wanamaker Organ is a fantastic example of the flexibility and adaptability of Opus-Two.  Absolutely no new components were designed or engineered for the project – the same components that had been in use for years in other organs were used.

Some facts:

  • The Opus-Two console scanning matrix is made up of 30 Input Cards and a C-I-K Controller.
  • There are 72 “normal” couplers in the organ (Great to Pedal 8′, for example)
  • There are several hundred “floating” couplers that determine what physical divisions play on which keyboards (such as Celli on Choir)
  • The original Tutti and Crescendo mechanisms work in tandem with Opus-Two to maintain history while providing functionality

The chamber tuning controls:

  • Each chamber stop control is routed through that particular chamber’s Controller Card
  • The console scanning matrix keep track of whether the console is actively being played or not and includes that information in the frames sent to the chambers.
  • If the console is not being used (and hasn’t been for a few minutes), the chamber tuning controls are allowed to turn stops on and off.  This prevents stops from being “left on,” which was a periodic problem in the past.
  • Opus-Two Wireless Tuning Keyboards are also enabled or disabled based on the console activity status.

The Pedal Divide System

  • One of the many features requested by the curator staff was an adjustable pedal divide with multiple operating modes.
  • The Pedal Divide split point should be settable on any piston and should default to note 12 (low B).
  • A button was located to be used as a “set button” for the pedal divide – simply hold down the pedal and press the button and a new split point has been set.
  • In order to store that split point on the pistons, a clever technique was devised to allow the Opus-Two relay and the Peterson Combination Action to communicate.
  • There are three Pedal Divide Controls:  Pedal Divide, Pedal Divide Right, and Tuba Magna on Pedal Divide.  Pedal Divide (normal) takes the native pedal stops and plays them up to the divide point, (only) above the divide points, any couplers that couple “to Pedal” play.  Pedal Divide Right allows the “to Pedal” couplers on the left hand side of the console to couple with the native pedal stops on the “lower half” of the divide, but the “to Pedal” couplers on the right hand side of the console get restricted to the “top half.”  Tuba Magna on Pedal Divide does just what it says – Pedal Divide on the upper half.

The Expression Coupling System

  • The original expression coupling system was originally a series of pneumatic coupler switches, similar to the divisional key coupler switches in use until the 2013 changeover.  A Peterson Diode-Matrix was the first electronic replacement for the key coupler switches.
  • Several of the organists desired features for expression coupling would have been very difficult to accomplish with Diode-Matrix technology, making the expression coupler system a natural inclusion with relay replacement.
  • These “exotic” features include making some expression shades follow the keying couplers (for example, if “Celli on Choir” is pressed, the string shades in front of the Celli stop tracking with the rest of the string and start tracking with the choir shoe).  Another feature is the reversing swell shoe – it forces a second shoe to be “opposite” the first – as one shoe is opened, the second closes.  As the first closes, the second opens.
  • Some features that were intended but (for whatever reason) were never implemented were able to be implemented.  These include things like the Choir Expression Master.
  • Previously, the expression sliders under each keyboard were physically wired with the expression shoes.  They are currently read separately and merged in software.  On command, either the shoes or the sliders can be “separated” from the other.  These separated sliders can be coupled to, and used to control tremolos, for example.