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Topic: Pipe Organ listening exercise

  1. #1

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    OK, I\'ll bite.

    #1.This could be real, nice celeste and nice ambience.
    #2. I hope this isn\'t the real one, no ambience (I mean really dry) and the notes have a poor attack. You like Widor don\'t you?
    #3. Nice theater organ, very authentic sounding, complete with percussion, and what a tremulant! Nice ambience as well, just a touch of reverb.
    #4. There were slight intonation issues, either the instrument is highly unified or it\'s not quite in tune, or it uses Kirnberger or some non ET temperament.
    #5. More Widor, played waaaay toooo fast. Was this recorded mono? It sounds like an early 50s recording. Of course using mono samples and mono reverb would give the same effect.

    My guess (and that\'s all it is) is #5 because it sounds so mono. The only one I\'m pretty sure isn\'t real is #2. Then again I listened on $40 computer speakers so it\'s not super hi-fi.


  2. #2

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Hi Steve,

    Many thanks for having a go. I\'ll wait for a few more responses before revealing the answers, but I will say that all the instruments are very expensive!

    I hope the quality of the 128 kbps mp3s has not blurred the attacks/transients too drastically. I\'m not sure how good (or bad) $40 computer speakers are these days, but it\'s a good excuse anyway. I find, these days, I have to do most of my listening with headphones so as not to disturb the other people in the house.

    On the Widor (excerpt number 5), I think the organist was just trying to show off a bit! He did play it a bit fast though!

    The recordings were collected over quite a few years, and I\'m afraid are mostly second or third generation cassettes. As always, none of the excerpts I use for the listening exercises come from commercially available recordings. I still don\'t really like the word \"exercise\" to describe these listening thingies, because they are meant to be more fun and interesting than some sort of \'test\'. They are also meant to be somewhat interactive and full of surprises. By the way, I think that I myself would have got most of the answers wrong if I hadn\'t known the real ones.

    Thanks again

  3. #3

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Nicholas, These are very difficult examples and you didn\'t make it any easier by slicing off the endings!!

    1. This is a very peculiar sound! It bears marks of an early digital organ (\"upsampled\" trebles) but seems too responsive in the lower registers to be one of those. I’ll say it’s real although, at least in the recording, it’s not a well-balanced instrument. I don’t know WHAT that right hand stuff is at the beginning! Doesn’t sound like any organ I’ve ever heard! Dethier might or might not have been pleased with the liberties at the end.

    2. I hope this is not pipes. Attack is spongy and uniformly so. Who played all this stuff? Is that you, Nicholas? Quite the fleet fingers/feet! Vierne would have been pleased. Or angry, don’t know which!

    3. Nice sounding theater organ. I’ll say it’s not real though. The lone Pedal note near the end lacked the \"blat\" I’d expect from the Pedal reed of a pipe instrument and the voicing overall is more uniform than I would expect.

    4. I’ll say this one is real. Very close on the microphones. Either your mics are peaky or this organ has an annoying peak of its own in the high frequencies, at least close up.

    5. I’ll go with non-pipe on this one. If I’m right, I’d say the bass gives it away first followed by the \"perfect\" response in the fast repeated notes. I can’t imagine notes firing that fast on anything but an electronic organ. I could be wrong. I often am!


  4. #4

    Pipe Organ listening exercise


    For those interested in organs that use pipes, I have a new listening exercise that may be interesting to try.

    In this case, I have five mp3 excerpts of organs that may use real pipes or are completely sampled.

    At least one (if not more) of the organs featured in following excerpts uses real pipes.
    http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/org1.mp3 http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/org2.mp3 http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/org3.mp3 http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/org4.mp3 http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/org5.mp3

    The idea of this exercise is to identify which excerpt(s) features an organ that employs real pipes, and to give reasons for your choice(s).

    Because some the excerpts are over a minute long, I have encoded the mp3s at 128 kbps to reduce download times.

    Although the excerpts include some virtuoso performances, none of the performances are sequenced.

    p.s. It would be nice to get some responses soon, since I need to reclaim the web space containing the mp3s for other things.

  5. #5

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Fun listening! Good idea Nicolas...

    1 I believe it\'s a real organ, and certainly a real recording of an organ. I hear pipes, yes.
    2 I don\'t hear pipes, I don\'t hear the stop sounds of a pipe when the air no longer feeds the tone. I hear no \'space\' no room. Could be my own samples from the Post Organ Toolkit. They are without any reverb, that is.
    3 I hear a nice tone from time to time, but the vibrato isn\'t real. The reverb isn\'t real also. I hear spring reverb. Right? The low note at the end gives away a certain electronic nature. I guess a combination of real pipes and electronics.
    4 Nice space, nice organ. I hear natural sounding overtones on each individual note. Real!
    5. Very electronic. No pipes.
    Michiel Post

  6. #6

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Hi Doug and Michiel,

    Thank you both very much for your detailed responses.

    Michiel, at last someone has said that it is \"Fun Listening!\". That\'s what it should be (i.e. both fun and interesting, especially if there are a few surprises when the real answers are revealed): Thanks very much for that comment.

    What disappointed me with some of those recordings is that the \'live\' sound seemed to go at least down a futher octave or two! One could actually more \'feel\' than \'hear\' the low notes. This was not captured on any of those recordings , which I found disappointing, especially since the really low notes are a special part of the organ \'experience\'.

    I would like to get a couple more response attempts (if possible) before revealing the answers.

    Best regards
    p.s. I get a fairly strong impression that Steve, Doug and Michiel know quite a bit about pipe organs!
    p.p.s. Are there any other developers of sampled pipe organ CD-ROMs willing to respond? (Franz perhaps?)

  7. #7

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Thanks for the exercise Nicholas!

    I\'ll give it a shot, but I know that I\'m probably waaaaay off here. By the way, the playing is just simply awesome!

    1. The tone of the organ is great, I wish that I had this at home. The only thing that gives it away to me is the lack of a room. It is very clean, maybe too so.

    2. I think that the attacks are just not right on this organ, and I can\'t figure out why. The way that this is played is sure convincing though.

    3. A great sounding organ, I think that it sounds very real, just in the way that the percussion sounds.

    4. This is real. I can hear noises inside the hall that it was recorded in, plus sounds that the movements that the organist is making while he/she is playing.

    5. I must say that I think that this is a real organ. The sounds are not distinct enough to be a sample.

    Please understand that I am not an organist, and I have very little experience in this instrument, although I am a fan.

    Thanks again for the exercise.


  8. #8

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Well, here\'s the complete dumbo\'s opinion:

    1. Real strange

    2. Real dry

    3. Real cheesy

    4. Real majestic

    5. Real fast

    If you hadn\'t told me that there were samples in there I wouldn\'t have guessed.

    The fourth one sounded totally real to me, but the coughs and noises added to that feel (if this is sampled, someone went to a whole lot of trouble).

    If you put a gun to my head I would say that number 2 was \'fake\' (and I\'d probably get shot).

    Interesting choice of instrument - the first attempt to build a synth, now we\'re sampling it.

    And some of those players had ants in their pants (great playing though).

  9. #9

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    Hi Russ and Z6,

    Thanks very much for having a go.

    I agree that the playing is awesome, and way beyond what I will ever achieve on the keyboards. I think I\'ll stick to composing music instead!

    From my last message on this thread I should be revealing the answers now. However, I hope you don\'t mind too much if I just wait a little longer before revealing them: I was hoping Franz would have the time to respond since he developed the VRsound \"3D Pipes\" sample CD-ROM.

    By the way, Michiel Post has developed at least three organ sample CD-ROMs: \"Post Organ Tookit\", \"Post Positif Organ\" and \"Post Theatre Organ vol 1\".

    Has anyone here had practical experience with the VRsound and/or Post Audio Media organ CD-ROMs?

    Best regards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Pipe Organ listening exercise

    1. Sounds real - not a very reverberant room. Reminds me of a church I played at in Wyandotte, MI.

    2. Doesn\'t quite sound real and quite dry. I\'ve played some organs that were electronic that sounded like this. Although I\'ve played some electronic organs that pretty much sounded real in a reverberant church but they just don\'t have the same lowend as the real deal.

    3. Sounds like a theatre organ but may be one of the newer electronic ones as it\'s quite in tune.

    4. This one sounds real. It sounds a little out of tune like the real thing. I don\'t think I\'ve ever played a pipe organ that was totally in tune.

    5. This one doesn\'t sound quite right.

    I was hoping for more registration changes so I could hear the noises that most pipe organs make which always gives them away.

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