Australia as a continent is no stranger to managing the huge distances involved to make society work. As early as 1928 the country established the Flying Doctor Service which as far as I know remains a unique Australian feature of life.
So I was hopeful for this and a few other reasons that customers in Australia would accept that often local assistance would not be an option and so accept help from wherever it could logically and practically be found.
Viscount Organs now have an abundance of features
In the case of a Viscount organ there are now an abundance of features that make it near impossible for the usual musical instrument dealer to keep abreast of all the sophistication and features the Viscount instrument has to offer.
This was certainly the case when I was recently contacted by Anne based in Sydney who wanted to carry out a software upgrade to her CL6 instrument.
A year before she had contacted us with a much simpler problem. Her instrument lacked reverberation which is crucial to really enjoying most organ playing. Like many customers Anne had failed to find the ‘reverberation volume’ control hidden away under the keyboard shelf. It was easy by email to tell her how to sort this issue out but the latest problem was far more complicated.
Upgrading a Viscount Organ to the latest platform
Many, or in fact the majority, of Viscount models are based on a software platform for sound generation. This allows Viscount to make improvements over time which customers can access just by ‘loading’ a new file to the instrument.
But the process is a little obscure.
You need to:
- Find the file on the Viscount Italy web site or request a dropbox link from us.
- Load it to a USB pen
- Find the ‘operating system upload’ option in the control screen to load the file.
You will find our blog here that describes the process in greater detail.
Process of upgrading the Viscount instrument
The above can be quite complex and even with quite detailed email guidance Anne was clearly finding this a challenge. We very quickly moved the communication to phone and also WhatsApp which allows a very efficient means of sending large video files.
A combination of these media and finally a phone call with both of us sat at an instrument with Anne following my detailed instructions achieved the file update.
A frustration for Anne and working slowly at distance was the ‘menu screen’ reverting after 10 seconds or so to its entry level display.
It does this if buttons are not regularly pressed to display the key information the player needs to see. But working rather slowly with Anne this became a real nuisance so we turned that feature off for her. This is done in the ‘Utility and Midi’ section of the menu.
Once done the screen stays put and you can take your time using the navigation buttons to make the changes needed.
If you are interested to see the video we made for her you can find that below.
A glowing testimonial of our remote customer support
Anne, who bought her instrument back in 2014, now has a Viscount Organ updated to the specification that comes out of the factory today.
We also sent her a file to create the superbly voiced ‘English Instrument’ in the style of William Hill, who was responsible for so many of the fine pipe organs that exist in Australia to this day.
Anne has provided the comments below which I am very pleased to share with you.
The 12,000 mile distance between the UK and Australia is no barrier when requiring specialist assistance from Viscount Organs UK.
Viscount’s willingness to assist via Email, WhatsApp and FB Messenger was paramount in addressing this particular issue.
David Mason’s expertise, tolerance, understanding and excellent communication culminated in a successful outcome.
Whilst logistically, an 11 hour time difference can make direct contact with other companies almost impossible, Viscount Organs UK can make it happen.
Supporting our customers around the world remotely
So while at the moment no ‘Flying Visits’ are possible even if we wanted to, the internet does as I hoped allow the very next best thing. A virtual visit with us looking over your shoulder while you follow the instructions.
Anne bought her instrument in 2014 from a general musical instrument retailer but on two occasions the answer to her problems came for Viscount UK.
One might have expected a general retailer to have known about her issue in 2020 but the complexity of the recent matter will be beyond the knowledge level a general retailer will ever accumulate.
As we sell close to 200 instruments each year we have to know all the amazing features that a Viscount instrument offers. We were happy to help Anne even though she was not our customer. You can be confident that, even based as we are 11,000 miles away, the power of the internet allows us to be there for you, just as a local supplier.
But we also have more local representation with our partner company 3 Monkeys in Perth Western Australia. 3 Monkeys help out with delivery logistics and can of course also provide a personal service in WA.
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.