The Schober Reverbatape Unit
THE FINEST SOURCE OF AUDITORIUM ACOUSTICS FOR HOME ORGANS
Anyone who hears sound in a large auditorium or church notices that the
sound itself gives an impression of the size of the place. And if you are
like most people, you notice that most music sounds better in a big hall
- more impressive, grander, smoother.
One characteristic of a large auditorium is reverberation. Each note
actually bounces around the room, from one wall to the other, so that after
the musicians stop playing the music itself does not stop instantly, but
seems instead to fade away gradually. Sounds in your living room, on the
other hand, give none of this effect. They seem "small" and harsh, much
too immediate and closeup.
Reverberation lends enchantment to almost all music, but especially
to organs. Even the best of electronic organs played in homes never quite
sound "real" because the acoustic effect of a large auditorium is lacking.
WHAT REVERBATAPE SOUND DOES
But just as electronic technology found the way to compress the effects
of large pipe organs into the small console of an electronic instrument,
it has made artificial reverberation possible - a method of creating the
acoustic effects of a large hall. The most realistic artificial reverberation
device available to organ owners today is the Schober Reverbatape Unit.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS
The Reverbatape Unit is a small and highly special tape recorder which
becomes part of the organ. A part of the sound is recorded on a continuous
loop of magnetic tape. Approximately every tenth of a second thereafter,
that sound is played back - repeated - just as in a hall you hear a repetition
of the original sound each time it bounces from one of the walls.
Each time the sound is repeated, it becomes weaker - just as in an auditorium.
And after a certain number of repetitions the sound is so weak you can
hear it no longer.
As you can see, reverberation is a form of multiple echoes. Unlike what
we usually call echoes, however, the repetitions come along so fast, one
after the other, that you cannot hear them individually. They blend into
each other and seem only to be a sort of "tail" on the original sound.
How long it takes the reverberations of sound to die away depends in
real life on space and the hardness of the walls. The Reverbatape Unit
has a single control which you set to determine the "reverberation time."
A high setting gives the effect of a very large hall; sound takes as long
as 6 seconds to die out. A middle or low setting gives the sound of a much
smaller room. And the
zero setting removes all reverberation. (Experience tells us that once
you have used the Reverbatape Effect, you will never set the knob back
to zero!) The control is there because each type of music sounds best in
one type of room. Serious, slow music goes well in a very large room -
a high control
setting. Popular, bouncy music sounds better in a much smaller room.
You will find you need no skill to make the proper setting. Your ears will
always tell you what seems best.
Cold words cannot really tell you how you will feel when you use the Schober
Reverbatape Unit. For it is not a technical effect, not a matter for purists
or perfectionists. Any and every player, beginner or professional. is emotionally
affected by the sense of power, the warmth and feeling of
excitement that overwhelms you. The Reverbatape Effect is so real that
it fools your subconscious mind. You actually get the inescapable impression
that you are there, playing in a vast hall and filling it with sound. Each
note lingers a little to mix with the next. The pedal tones acquire authority
and depth that even pipes could not give in a small room. Pitches wander
very slightly and randomly, banishing the scientific precision of electronic
tone and giving the music a lush, warm quality.
The Reverbatape Unit is transistorized and complete in itself, needs no
additional power supply, amplifier, or speaker system in Schober and many
other organs. Each loop of magnetic tape will last for a hundred hours
of actual operation and is replaceable in a minute. (You get three tapes
each Unit.) It fits inside Schober Organs out of sight. Practically
no maintenance is required. The mechanical parts of the kit are preassembled
and aligned. You do only the same kind of electronic assembly as in Schober
For those with technical knowledge. an article giving a complete explanation
of the Reverbatape Unit is available for the asking. The Reverbatape Unit
is also useful for sound recording, motion pictures, and radio and television.
Information on these applications is available on receipt of data about
your proposed use.
The Reverbatape Unit itself does everything needed for organs with a single
channel such as the Schober Theatre, Consolette II, and Spinet Organs and
the Recital when operated as a single-channel instrument. For organs having
more than one channel (or stereo systems) the Two-Channel Adapter can be
added - one Adapter for each extra channel. Up to three Adapters can be
used; three would take care of a 4-channel organ. (Actually more can be
added electrically, but only three can be mounted on the Unit itself.
A great many Reverbatape Units have been added to organs other than Schober.
We have installation instructions for most makes and models and can prepare
instructions for others on request. If you would like to add immeasurably
to the pleasure you get from any organ, request the publication "Information
On General Uses," which will tell you all you need to know.