Upgrading - Electrification
When upgrading an organ, alterations are carried out as necessary so as to improve the overall function of the instrument.
Electrification works are mostly used to convert pneumatic action organs to electro-pneumatic action as those of pneumatic action are unreliable and difficult to maintain. Sometimes, pneumatic organs are not reliable in warm and humid climates, such as the one in Malta, as the action (the mechanism between the keyboards and the valves, which allows wind into the pipes) involves a series of lead tubes from each key sending wind through an intricate labyrinth of machines containing thousands of valves and action parts, many of which are made of very thin leather. With such limited space inside the organ, the heat and humidity can make it impossible to maintain in reliable and good working order, therefore a new electro-pneumatic action can be introduced which is a common practice that is made all around the world, also on organs of a certain importance. This can simplify the action, and allow the organ to be made more resourceful. This technology can operate the action whilst perfectly maintaining the tonal qualities and pipework of the organ in its original form.
Such technology can provide us the use of an additional console to be placed at ground level if the organ is at the gallery. The console can have additional playing aids; - i.e. a transposing device and also pistons – these are buttons that can be preset to bring out a selection of stops in the middle of a piece of music instantly assisting the organist in dynamic control of the instrument.
A playback system can be also fitted, which enables an organist to pre-record music so the organ can still be played if an organist is not available when required. Similar to the method used with pianola and player organs in years gone by.