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System for Music in Lodge

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Can any of you recommend a system for playing appropriate music for a lodge in which there is no organist?

Ideally it will be cheap,easy to operate and not take up much space.

Any ideas/pointers will be much appreciated.

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willf (22/09/2016)
Can any of you recommend a system for playing appropriate music for a lodge in which there is no organist?

Ideally it will be cheap,easy to operate and not take up much space.

Any ideas/pointers will be much appreciated.

Will, my first Fridays are clear. I'm cheap, easy to operate and I don't take up much space! I'll see you on 7th Oct anyway if you're there. Shall I bring the kit and 'perform'?

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Trouillogan (22/09/2016)
willf (22/09/2016)
Can any of you recommend a system for playing appropriate music for a lodge in which there is no organist?

Ideally it will be cheap,easy to operate and not take up much space.

Any ideas/pointers will be much appreciated.

Will, my first Fridays are clear. I'm cheap, easy to operate and I don't take up much space! I'll see you on 7th Oct anyway if you're there. Shall I bring the kit and 'perform'?


I was asked by a friend for his lodge and said I would ask on here. They have tried a CD player but that was not very effective and so were looking for something a bit more flexible.

We have an organist for the 7th but thanks for the offer.

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willf (22/09/2016)
Trouillogan (22/09/2016)
willf (22/09/2016)
Can any of you recommend a system for playing appropriate music for a lodge in which there is no organist?

Ideally it will be cheap,easy to operate and not take up much space.

Any ideas/pointers will be much appreciated.

Will, my first Fridays are clear. I'm cheap, easy to operate and I don't take up much space! I'll see you on 7th Oct anyway if you're there. Shall I bring the kit and 'perform'?


I was asked by a friend for his lodge and said I would ask on here. They have tried a CD player but that was not very effective and so were looking for something a bit more flexible.

We have an organist for the 7th but thanks for the offer.


While giving a tour of the Detroit Masonic Temple in one of the rooms we use a Boom-Box that has a CD player. Or if we go up to the fifth floor in the Greek Ionic Lodge room there is a player pipe organ that works on paper rolls. Anyone could play that one.

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A lodge in Surrey uses an Ipad with a Bluetooth connection to a standalone sound bar placed upon the Secretary / Treasurer's desk. The Ipad controls what is played and the level. It is very effective. I can't see any reason why the Ipad could not be replaced with an Ipod or any other Bluetooth equipped mobile phone. The main thing is to get a good quality audio source; CD or commercially produced, rather than a free, download. If a phone is used select one where Bluetooth and the mobile transceiver can be independently inhibited. Airplane mode can be a blunt instrument and inhibit all RF transmissions; WiFi, cell and Bluetooth.

Eng.

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Tom Cherup (22/09/2016)
willf (22/09/2016)
Trouillogan (22/09/2016)
willf (22/09/2016)
Can any of you recommend a system for playing appropriate music for a lodge in which there is no organist?

Ideally it will be cheap,easy to operate and not take up much space.

Any ideas/pointers will be much appreciated.

Will, my first Fridays are clear. I'm cheap, easy to operate and I don't take up much space! I'll see you on 7th Oct anyway if you're there. Shall I bring the kit and 'perform'?


I was asked by a friend for his lodge and said I would ask on here. They have tried a CD player but that was not very effective and so were looking for something a bit more flexible.

We have an organist for the 7th but thanks for the offer.


While giving a tour of the Detroit Masonic Temple in one of the rooms we use a Boom-Box that has a CD player. Or if we go up to the fifth floor in the Greek Ionic Lodge room there is a player pipe organ that works on paper rolls. Anyone could play that one.



Tom thanks but unfortunately, whilst maybe ideal, a player pipe organ would be far too expensive.

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Engineer (22/09/2016)
A lodge in Surrey uses an Ipad with a Bluetooth connection to a standalone sound bar placed upon the Secretary / Treasurer's desk. The Ipad controls what is played and the level. It is very effective. I can't see any reason why the Ipad could not be replaced with an Ipod or any other Bluetooth equipped mobile phone. The main thing is to get a good quality audio source; CD or commercially produced, rather than a free, download. If a phone is used select one where Bluetooth and the mobile transceiver can be independently inhibited. Airplane mode can be a blunt instrument and inhibit all RF transmissions; WiFi, cell and Bluetooth.

Eng.


Thanks, do you know what app they are using on the Ipad? Is it the Virtual Masonic Organist?

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Engineer (22/09/2016)
A lodge in Surrey uses an Ipad with a Bluetooth connection to a standalone sound bar placed upon the Secretary / Treasurer's desk. The Ipad controls what is played and the level. It is very effective. I can't see any reason why the Ipad could not be replaced with an Ipod or any other Bluetooth equipped mobile phone. The main thing is to get a good quality audio source; CD or commercially produced, rather than a free, download. If a phone is used select one where Bluetooth and the mobile transceiver can be independently inhibited. Airplane mode can be a blunt instrument and inhibit all RF transmissions; WiFi, cell and Bluetooth.

Eng.

Yes, Engineer, that kind of interface can work for a limited repertoire but I've found it takes too long to find the sound clip you need in a split second. Scrolling through them doesn't cut it for me. I like to have as many clips visible on-screen as possible for instant access. Each to his own. Good quality audio is, as you rightly say, essential.

Accompanied singing is another aspect; needing odes an anthems at different speeds because larger groups sing slower than smaller ones.

As to volume, the organ's amplifier is usually sufficient for the room in which it is situated, whereas a sound-bar may only have a measly 50 - 100 watts and at full whack the sound can distort. With a fullish Lodge room you need a good bit more because people absorb sound and you have to overcome the idiot with a loud voice who sings slower or faster than the backing you provided!

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Not much help I know, but none of these (except the organ) could be used in I.C. lodges. It is not permitted to have any device in the lodge room unless it is intrinsically incapable or recording. This would, of course, ban all mobile phones - a very good thing in my opinion. Most lodge rooms have an organ/piano/keyboard, but unfortunately the people able to play such are few and far between. This really only leaves a record player for use in our lodges, but I imagine most modern players would have a recording facility included, which therefore forbids them. Occasionally, in some lodges, there is an a capella rendition of the opening and closing odes, but this requires a brave brother to start. Maybe we should have a keyboard training course so that at least the odes could be accompanied. Any music experts think this would be possible?

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Frank (23/09/2016)
Not much help I know, but none of these (except the organ) could be used in I.C. lodges. It is not permitted to have any device in the lodge room unless it is intrinsically incapable or recording. This would, of course, ban all mobile phones - a very good thing in my opinion. Most lodge rooms have an organ/piano/keyboard, but unfortunately the people able to play such are few and far between. This really only leaves a record player for use in our lodges, but I imagine most modern players would have a recording facility included, which therefore forbids them. Occasionally, in some lodges, there is an a capella rendition of the opening and closing odes, but this requires a brave brother to start. Maybe we should have a keyboard training course so that at least the odes could be accompanied. Any music experts think this would be possible?


The odes are fairly easy to play and could be simplified so that only a basic level of skill is required to play them. Your idea of a basic keyboard training course might well work.

A possible alternative is that some organs/keyboards have a built-in playback engine (or sequencer) that can be used to play pre-recorded (e.g. midi, .wav, .mp3) music. Unfortunately the organs found in most of the lodges that I have visited do not have this feature.

Another alternative would be if the organ/keyboard had a midi-in port. Then a basic computer could be used to play the music using the organ. This could easily be one that did not have a recording capability. Again unfortunately the organs found in most of the lodges that I have visited do not have this feature.


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It is over 5 years since we had an organist or music of any kind. We start off one at a time and gradually,one by one,everyone joins in and we generally finish more or less at the same time having explored most of the variations of the tune on the way. What we lack in skill we make up for with enthusiasm.

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willf (24/09/2016)
Frank (23/09/2016)
Not much help I know, but none of these (except the organ) could be used in I.C. lodges. It is not permitted to have any device in the lodge room unless it is intrinsically incapable or recording. This would, of course, ban all mobile phones - a very good thing in my opinion. Most lodge rooms have an organ/piano/keyboard, but unfortunately the people able to play such are few and far between. This really only leaves a record player for use in our lodges, but I imagine most modern players would have a recording facility included, which therefore forbids them. Occasionally, in some lodges, there is an a capella rendition of the opening and closing odes, but this requires a brave brother to start. Maybe we should have a keyboard training course so that at least the odes could be accompanied. Any music experts think this would be possible?


The odes are fairly easy to play and could be simplified so that only a basic level of skill is required to play them. Your idea of a basic keyboard training course might well work.

A possible alternative is that some organs/keyboards have a built-in playback engine (or sequencer) that can be used to play pre-recorded (e.g. midi, .wav, .mp3) music. Unfortunately the organs found in most of the lodges that I have visited do not have this feature.

Another alternative would be if the organ/keyboard had a midi-in port. Then a basic computer could be used to play the music using the organ. This could easily be one that did not have a recording capability. Again unfortunately the organs found in most of the lodges that I have visited do not have this feature.



Frank, I was not aware that recording devices are prohibited in I.C. Lodges. Here in UGLE, it is the act of recording that is banned, rather than the device. In fact I've seen tablets being used for prompting (not that I'm in favour) and as scripts in Provincial GLs.

Yes, playing the several different basic tunes for odes could be done of course. Varying the key can be done on most modern transposing organs but changing speed on the fly to lead the singing can be more challenging for the novice player. He also needs a range of SMIBs.

Will, every one of the electronic organs I've come across (and that's quite a few) has audio playback facilities through its amplifier. The jack socket connectors are often to be found under the keyboard - take a torch! Some organs have midi facilities but you usually need specialist software on the computer to be able to use that. For those who are not aware, the midi system enables the organ itself to be played by the computer, rather than being used as a simple amplifier. So midi only gives you the sounds of which that organ is capable. Using the latter simpler amplifier configuration, I can give anything from the Band of the Royal Marines (processional/recessional marches) or the Vienna Philharmonic (Saul death March) to sound tracks edited from Last of the Summer Wine (after the Almoner's report!) and deep drum rolls for init. can. entry etc. and gentle pipe organ for circumambulations. The repertoire range is infinite. Music makes meetings memorable!

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Trouillogan (24/09/2016)


Will, every one of the electronic organs I've come across (and that's quite a few) has audio playback facilities through its amplifier. The jack socket connectors are often to be found under the keyboard - take a torch!



Thanks for the information regarding audio playback - I have not looked under the keyboard and manuals are seldom present. Are they mainly 1/8" stereo jack, 1/4"" mono jack or some other connector?


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Since Mersey's Organist passed to the Grand Lodge Eternal a few years ago we ended up buying a remote controlled CD player and the Masonic music CD. The Secretary has a note of which tracks can be played at which times and he controls it by remote.

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Trouillogan (23/09/2016)
Engineer (22/09/2016)
A lodge in Surrey uses an Ipad with a Bluetooth connection to a standalone sound bar placed upon the Secretary / Treasurer's desk. The Ipad controls what is played and the level. It is very effective. I can't see any reason why the Ipad could not be replaced with an Ipod or any other Bluetooth equipped mobile phone. The main thing is to get a good quality audio source; CD or commercially produced, rather than a free, download. If a phone is used select one where Bluetooth and the mobile transceiver can be independently inhibited. Airplane mode can be a blunt instrument and inhibit all RF transmissions; WiFi, cell and Bluetooth.

Eng.

Yes, Engineer, that kind of interface can work for a limited repertoire but I've found it takes too long to find the sound clip you need in a split second. Scrolling through them doesn't cut it for me. I like to have as many clips visible on-screen as possible for instant access. Each to his own. Good quality audio is, as you rightly say, essential.

Accompanied singing is another aspect; needing odes an anthems at different speeds because larger groups sing slower than smaller ones.

As to volume, the organ's amplifier is usually sufficient for the room in which it is situated, whereas a sound-bar may only have a measly 50 - 100 watts and at full whack the sound can distort. With a fullish Lodge room you need a good bit more because people absorb sound and you have to overcome the idiot with a loud voice who sings slower or faster than the backing you provided!



I know what you mean about scrolling but as I recall they / he has a dedicated folder with all the relevant music, plus some contingency tunes, one one screen so it is pretty much a case of double tapping each one as required.

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Engineer (24/09/2016)
I know what you mean about scrolling but as I recall they / he has a dedicated folder with all the relevant music, plus some contingency tunes, one one screen so it is pretty much a case of double tapping each one as required.

Yes, I tried that and, as I said, it can work for small playlists. I have some 30 to 50 items in each playlist for each different Lodge/Chapter etc. to give good variety, sometimes more, and a small screen for, say, 50 items doesn't do it for me. You can have a field day at installations! Unscheduled things occur on the fly, as we know. Each to his own!

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willf (23/09/2016)
Tom Cherup (22/09/2016)
willf (22/09/2016)
Trouillogan (22/09/2016)
willf (22/09/2016)
Can any of you recommend a system for playing appropriate music for a lodge in which there is no organist?

Ideally it will be cheap,easy to operate and not take up much space.

Any ideas/pointers will be much appreciated.

Will, my first Fridays are clear. I'm cheap, easy to operate and I don't take up much space! I'll see you on 7th Oct anyway if you're there. Shall I bring the kit and 'perform'?


I was asked by a friend for his lodge and said I would ask on here. They have tried a CD player but that was not very effective and so were looking for something a bit more flexible.

We have an organist for the 7th but thanks for the offer.


While giving a tour of the Detroit Masonic Temple in one of the rooms we use a Boom-Box that has a CD player. Or if we go up to the fifth floor in the Greek Ionic Lodge room there is a player pipe organ that works on paper rolls. Anyone could play that one.


Tom thanks but unfortunately, whilst maybe ideal, a player pipe organ would be far too expensive.


True there isn't that many player pipe organs in working order the one in the temple works on DC power.
Back when I was a DeMolay advisor, and an Audiovisual Tech. for Bloomfield Hills Schools the Chapter used a boom box and cd's work good enough for the young men.

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2 hours ago, Cornish Emigrant said:

This chap supply’s a great range of ritual music and is massively helpful with advice also. https://www.masonicmedia.co.uk/

That's all very well and it's good stuff.  However, I get all mine free from the net, edit to suit and put what I want in the playlists for the different lodges and chapters I service.  The very best orchestras, bands and original film soundtracks; the very best performances by the world's best performers, alive or not.  All seems to be acceptable for provincial and GL official visitations.  Also currently performing in the Egyptian Room at GQS.  So it appears that what I do is working.  The software for editing and for performance is all free too - 'cos I'm a penniless pensioner or a mean old bar steward!

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I don't know whether a similar answer has been given, but one of our Province's Organists, created an app on the iPad that has the music for each degree or order.  It is set up in advance for Lodges that need it and just requires someone to press play and stop at the appropriate point.  Each tune is listed in order making navigation simple.  The only downside to it is that the music cannot be faded in or out.  It's either on or off.  I believe he created it on Vanbasco's Karaoke Player.

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On 12/13/2018 at 9:34 AM, Sentience said:

I don't know whether a similar answer has been given, but one of our Province's Organists, created an app on the iPad that has the music for each degree or order.  It is set up in advance for Lodges that need it and just requires someone to press play and stop at the appropriate point.  Each tune is listed in order making navigation simple.  The only downside to it is that the music cannot be faded in or out.  It's either on or off.  I believe he created it on Vanbasco's Karaoke Player.

The only thing I cannot yet do is alter speed on the fly but I now possibly have a solution.  This is only desirable for accompanying singing but in the meantime I have odes and so on at slightly different speeds, depending on the numbers present (the more there are, the slower the rhythm).  They soon get used to singing in strict time.

What's more, when things go pear-shaped on the floor, I can improvise with amusing snatches 'in the moment'.

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35 minutes ago, Cornish Emigrant said:

Just a thought but replayed downloaded music might run into Public Performance issues for licensing; royalties etc. 

I doubt it, as it's a closed private room.  Anyway, no one has complained and the alternative is no music.

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