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Topic: Pipe organ samples

  1. #1

    Pipe organ samples

    Well finally, I have taken the plunge and purchased Gigastudio plus a couple of soundcards. The rest of the upgrades will have to wait for a little bit.

    Suffice it to say, apart from the appallingly bad \"owners manual\" I am slowly getting to grips with what appears to be an awesome tool... maybe I should consider writing an owners manual properly.

    As such, I am in posession of over 1200 individual samples of two fantsatic organs. One is still probably the ultimate concert organ and the other is pretty good but nothing vastly special. I am referring to St Georges Hall Liverpool and Huddersfield Town Hall respectively.

    As a pipe organ builder and musician involved heavily in electronics, I have a pretty good idea of what is required for sample production of pipe organs and know the pitfalls surrounding the provision of the same.

    Whatever happens, I shall be creating considerable libraries for my own use but in the end, there may be others interested in what I have available.

    So what are we talking about here ?

    Well, it\'s quite simple - the provision of a complete library of individual stops and combinations recorded on average of 30 secs each with a very expensive AKG microphone - the recordings took 5 weeks in all and each pipe is recorded warts and all from about 2\'. All stops will be in C and C# sides. Mixtures will be available as they stand or alternatively made up compounded into any combination with breaks as required. Poor speech will be corrected, finished stops will be available in almost any pitch etc. etc.

    The purpose of this little diatribe is to find out if anyone at all is interested in this......

    E-mail me if you wish at chas@macb.freeserve.co.uk or reply on this.


  2. #2

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    I hope this doesn\'t come off the wrong way but why would you sample organ notes for over 30 sec\'s? The organ has a very distinct even sound that could be very easily looped. For memory sakes it might have been better, or would be better, to shorten them to around 8 sec\'s and loop that.

    What about release triggers? These are kind\'ve essential for organ samples especially in a church space. The Peter Ewers organ is a great example of how this can work.

    \"an expensive AKG mic\"...what does that mean? Did you record this is stereo? I sure hope so! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Which AKG mic? Just saying \"an expensive one\" doesn\'t say much at all and kind\'ve gives the impression that you dont\' even know what mic it is.

    Again, I\'m definately not trying to be rude but guys around here will eat you up for some of those things...trust me!! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  3. #3

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    I was a church organist for 30 years. One of my goal was to reproduce a realistic organ sound electronically. I bulit my first 3 manual analog electronic organ in 1986. From thereon I did systematic reseaches in room acoustic and electronic organs. I studied, listend and followed most of the DIGITAL organ technologies of ALLEN, RODGERS, JAHANNUS, AHLBORN and CHURCH ORGAN SYSTEMS. I also built a combined ORGAN POSITIV with real pipes controlled via midi with a 3 manual BALDWIN organ.

    Today I own a 2 manual CHURCH ORGAN SYTEM with 29 ranks over 6 audio channels. The sound is very nice and realistic but I still prefer to play on a real pipe organ.

    After all these researches I came to some basic conclusions:

    1. The lenght of a organ sample is not the main issue. It can very well be looped after 5 seconds or so.

    2. Let\'s say you made an excellent sample of one stop. Then next step would be to check if sounds are even over all the 61 keys. Most organ samples I heard were suffering on the lower sounds. When playing a chord with the right hand and a melody with the left, the melody was barely hearable.
    Therfore any organ sampling should have the possibility of individual voicing/scaling of every single note.

    3. Layering of stops needs also to be addressed. Best would be sampling of all single stops/ranks and then layer them when playing, such as the organist does. Sampling combinations is only a compromise since it pre-occupies the organist\'s choices and variability. On the other hand layering of organ stops might bring unbalanced sound reproduction.

    4. To capture the whole sound geometry of a church organ is another issue. A stereo sample will just not do it. RODGERS (www.rogerscorp.com) came up with a very new technology in 2000 called the \"Dimensional Sound Modeling Technology\". With basically a few audio channels you can capture the whole organ geometry and create individual sound fields. This means you can let the Principals hear from where they really are and you can hear the Trumpets from the back of the hall if you want.

    5. Most organ companies offer many other parameters along with their sampling technologies such as WINDCHEST SIMULATION, RANDOM DE-TUNING, several TUNING TEMPRAMENTS and more. These additional technologies give the organ more live and character.

    Those words should not dicourage any organ sampling for the GS. But so far I was disappointed on what I heard on .gig organ samples. I got 3D pipes today.

    If a good pipe organ would be rated 10, then I would rate the best electronic organ products from RODGERS with 8 , my CHURCH ORGAN SYSTEM organ with about 6, Peter Ewers with 4 and 3D pipes with 2. I also ordered the POST organ CDs but did not receive them yet.

  4. #4

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    Silver Octopus,

    Please don\'t be discouraged by the above two responses. I for one would be interested in what you are doing. (I agree though that you might want to look into the looping idea.)

    I think we are still a long way off from anything like the \"ultimate\" pipe organ sample. All the existing libraries have limitations that I think the existing technology could address. It just requires someone to do it. There is nothing out there yet anything like the pipe organ equivalent of say the PMI Grandioso Steinway. True, a sampled organ cannot be as good as the real thing, and it may still fall short of some of the more advanced electronic pipe organ imitations, but it would still be a valuable thing to have.

    Look out for email!

  5. #5

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    Dear maestro,

    your screen name implies your extraordinary talent. It would be nice if you could perform Toccata really quick and record it so we can compare the Rodgers with my 3D Pipes.



  6. #6

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    Thank you for your reply Z6.

    Sorry if I offended somebody with my \"rating scale\". It\'s a personal opinion and it should be kept as such.

    Silver Octopus: Your intention is great and I\'m highly interested to support your products. If you need any help, let me know.

    DCB: I agree with your reply. I think to get good organ samples, more work needs to be done. I just bought VOTA and Garritan\'s GIGA HARP. Two outstanding products!

    Unlike any other instrument, digital sampling for pipe organs goes back at least 20 years and there is a whole industry supporting it. Moreover, there is a lot of potential \"know how\". Some is available and some is not easily accessible. Why not use some of it, when creating new samples for GS?

  7. #7

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    Just to add my thoughts, I think there are plenty of good organ sample collections out there. The profitability of such a product might be compromised by the saturated market.

    I would think long and hard about putting all that work into it.

    For example I started tracking a solo flute to build a great flute library, then I realized that Dan Dean already beat me to it and it just didn\'t seem worth the time. I mean at best all I can accomplish is something that\'s subjectively better or worse than Dan\'s work.

    I dunno, I hope I\'m not sounding too cynical....I would just rather spend my time on something more unique that hasn\'t been addressed by other developers....maybe pianos, yeah, I think that\'s a pretty unexplored instrument, I will spend the next year of my life sampling a piano!!!!

  8. #8

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    Originally posted by midphase:
    [QB]I mean at best all I can accomplish is something that\'s subjectively better or worse than Dan\'s work.

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Yeah, but this period, when it\'s possible to produce \'unique\' instruments isn\'t going to last very long.

    I\'m glad I can choose between different chocolate bars or cars etc.

    If you have a flute that might or might not be better than DD\'s, then think about how many people would buy it for ten bucks?

    The great thing about the DDSS is that he put it on to the market at $100, so I can buy wonderful strings cheaply. But now the DD collection seems to be all \'upmarket\' and way out of the range I\'ll consider for those instruments.

    And (contrary to some of the responses I get when I\'m griping about \'high\' prices) when you sell a whole lot of cheap things rather than a few expensive things, you get a lot more than just revenues; it adds a lot of intangibles to your business model (that I won\'t carp about here).

    Apart from any of that; the more the merrier. Publish it. One day you might be telling someone \"Hell, I remember when there was only one flute on the market, I should have entered the fray then - before there were two hundred\".

    It is seldom the originator of anything that profits most from his/her innovation. Making money is usually not about being first; it is often about being the best (and you can choose what to be best at: value and service are as important as great samples), and more often about who has the deepest pockets to start with.

    But! Remember when you put a sample library on to the market, you\'re doing more than producing a product; you\'re making the world a tiny, tiny bit better of a place.

    In a world where we can download from the web, it may be worth a try. I always want great basic sounds; the miniscule market for all the articulations may be articulated a lot on this forum, but you\'ll reach most people with great sounds.

    The \'best you can acomplish\' is to add something to the great scheme of things; and that\'s not so bad (and of course, I\'d like a ten dollar flute [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] ).

  9. #9

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    There\'s something I\'ve noticed about the replies to this thread that indicates a fundemental misunderstanding of the nature of pipe organs. Each individual instrument is custom built and has a unique sound. The comparison to flute libraries is inappropiate because while there are minor differences between individual instruments they pretty much all sound alike. Pipe organs are a different story.

    It\'s akin to fine wines where you\'ll have cabernets, chardonnays, pinot noirs, etc. With organs there are distinctions between North German and South German (Schnitger vs. Silberman) much less French and English varieties. Heck there are distinctions between different eras within the same company, a Casavant from 1900 will sound very different from one built in 2000. If the organ in St Georges Hall Liverpool is the ultimate concert instrument I say publish it. I\'m curious who built it, is this a Hill Norman and Beard instrument or some other noted English builder and when was it built?

    If you do I would suggest not sampling each individual stop separately. The polyphony demands would be too much. It would be best to give us 15-20 representative stop combinations and maybe we could add the mixture on top when that\'s appropriate.

    Tell us more.


  10. #10

    Re: Pipe organ samples

    Seeing as it\'s Friday and I\'m bored at work, I can\'t help adding a few comments to my last interminably boring post that relates to Octopus and midphase\'s comments.

    Sonic Implants are about to release their much-awaited string collection, and ears are currently throbbing as they collect the precious information from the first MP3.

    When I first heard that SI were introducing a string library I had hoped that they would continue their tradition of supplying cool sounds at knock-down prices.

    But (and I hope I\'m wrong) the talk is of another $1,000 job. No doubt there may be some argey-bargey about how hard it is to produce a library..blah..blah and how much would it cost to hire a string section etc.

    But I believe the current world of developers is putting too much pressure on a market that needs to change very fast. It is no longer about how much it would cost to hire such and such, because the real market, that exists in wait, would never have done such a thing.

    I just bought a digital camcorder (not only can I choose between libraries, but often find myself choosing between completely different \'stuff\' altogether \"Nope, no library for me; I want a camera!\").

    I would never have hired a TV studio or the crew required to make video, but at $400 I\'ll buy a TV studio.

    Say there are 1,000 users on this forum. If SI charges $1,000, it is in the same \'space\' as GOS, Miroslav and a few others and maybe twenty to thirty or forty members here will buy it.

    If they charged $200 (and it is indeed as good or better than the other offerings) they\'d probably sell to 95% of this market alone. That\'s $20,000-$40,000 versus an entirely possible $190,000. Even spotty little techno geeks (such as myself) wouldn\'t say no to a wonderful string section that doesn\'t have to compete with the next auto purchase.

    Another fact that is often overlooked when we\'re told that a price with a lot of zeros is \'cheap at the price\' is that the developers are forgetting how much we already spent (or have to spend) before we can even load their sounds. If I want to effectively use some of these libraries, I need a whole system dedicated to it, replete with sound cards, plug-ins, controllers, etc.

    I\'m not telling SI or anyone else what to charge, but the days of baroque graphics and elegant ads have to be numbered. All the top hats and tails implied in the advertising let us see who they think they might be able to sell to.

    The reason I mentioned Dan Dean in the earlier post was that he got it right in the first place with his strings (although he might have thought he\'d made a mistake).

    So midphase, if you have a flute; great, but if what you\'re really after is something unique that\'ll clean-up. Provide ultra-high quality at insanely low (in today\'s terms) prices.

    Have a look at sounds online. They know they\'re charging too much, otherwise they wouldn\'t knock 60% off the prices every time they find an excuse: that, in itself is evidence that prices are artificially inflated in the current sample library market.

    Current prices make the assumption that they\'re selling \'professional quality\' to professionals, but there are not that many \'professionals\', and if I\'m to believe a lot of developer posts here, it\'s mostly the \'professionals\' who are stealing the products anyway.

    Dan Dean and Nick (for example) have $300 - $500 libraries selling at knockdown prices all over the place; this helps to denigrate their wares in the market\'s eyes.

    It\'s a shame that SI doesn\'t want to really \'clean-up\' here and instead is perhaps about to join the \'strings urinatory-tract\' contest.

    After the \'light\' versions\' and the \'mono\' versions, and all the sales and \'one-off\' cut prices we might at least see someone in the right place at the right time with the right skills give the market what it really wants .

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