Search:
Submit Search


The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby kaspencer » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:41 am

After about 27 hours of downloading, and a further 3 transferring files and installing the organ onto my HW PC, I am now pleased to say that I have the Salisbury Cathedral organ up and running!

I thought that at this stage, it might be helpful to make a few comments which may be helpful to those about to take the plunge and order this organ.

Installation
This stage went without difficulty, all files having downloaded without corruption on the first attempt. It does however take time, owing to the size of the organ, even Volume I.

Loading
I chose to load in 16-bit stereo with all multiple releases, which is the default. In fact, I suspect that I could have squeezed the samples in as 20-bit but I haven't tried that (yet).
My HW PC is dedicated for the purpose: it has a Core 2 Quad CPU, 8 Gbyte RAM, and Windows Vista Ultimate x64. My audio is via an M-Audio Delta1010LT card into a Kef 125W sub-woofer and two M-Audio BX85a bi-amplified monitors.
I am using HW V3.23 Basic - I have experimented with HW V3.3. Although Martin has stated that there would be sound improvements from the use of V3.3, I do not use it as I shall be changing to HW 4.0 Advanced as soon as it is released. Amongst other improvements, this will enable me to separate the audio of the various divisions into their own audio channels and speaker systems.

The Console
There are default combinations pre-set on all 8 Combination Pistons for each of the divisions. However there are no pre-set General Combinations, so I set about allocating each General Combination Piston to each of the 8 pre-sets of each division, so that I can use my Behringer FCB1010 to control the organ.
There are two sets of 8 foot pistons, which normally control Pedal and Swell Combinations, but these can also be set to control the Pedal and Great together and the General Combinations, respectively.
The layout and design of the full array of couplers differs from the original console, for reasons of screen space. However, the layout is logical and easy to use.
The couplers can all be activated by General Pistons, although the Division Pistons can only activate couplers within their division, which is logical. The couplers are particularly flexible, and can be "chained" such that when up to three are active, the effect is different from their individual behaviour. This is described clearly in the manual, which needs to be studied carefully if this aspect is to be understood and used to advantage.
True to the original, there is no crescendo pedal, but two Swell Pedals are provided, one for the Swell Division proper, and one for the Solo Division. LED indicators show the two pedal positions, which are remembered between organ-playing sessions.
As there are no virtual keyboard manuals, nor a virtual pedalboard, there are 5 LEDS provided, which indicate when MIDI data is being received by each keyboard manual or pedalboard - this aids confirmation that your manuals are setup for the correct divisions.
My console has three manuals and a 30-note pedalboard, so I am able to take full dvantage of this organ sample set.

The Manual
The manual is well-presented and thorough. For some aspects of the use of this organ it is essential, especially relating to the use of the couplers. I would have preferred our Native English to have been used in this publication, rather than American English. I also failed to see why the spelling of "canonised" had been queried in a quotation from an English publication.

The Organ
This organ has been very well recorded indeed. Proof of this lies in the excellent balance between the audible direct component of each pipe's speech and the reverberated sound. Each pipe speaks very clearly, and the reverberation, although definitely present, and long, is not at all overpowering. We all know how sitting in the wrong place in an organ recital results in such a muddy sound that the articulation of individual notes simply cannot be heard. There is none of that problem here. When staccato chords are played, they reverberate wonderfully. But when a legato line is played, that is also heard clearly and not lost in the multiple echoes generated as the cathedral fills with sound.
I did note that pipes E0 - A0 on the Bourdon 16 in the Pedal seemed to exhibit rather lower volume than pipes C0 - Eb0 and those above A0, but this could be due the characteristics of my audio setup.
I also decided to raise the audio level somewhat, in the General Settings, by reducing the dB cut from -10.00dB, as I found that the samples were quite low in level, compared with many of my other organs. There was no evidence of clipping after this adjustment, although I did not check that with an oscilloscope!
The tremelo has been provided by recording the pipes separately with tremelo on. This produces a much more pleasing tremelo than post-processing the samples for tremelo, as has been done in many other organs.

Conclusion
I consider this organ to be very different in its characteristics from almost any of the many sample sets that I have heard, played, purchased or trialled. Whilst I have heard, but not played, this organ live, several times, and have several recordings of it (by Daniel Cook's predecessors), I would not be so bold and do not have a good enough acoustic memory, as to say that this is a perfect replication of the original, it most definitely is very well done indeed. I am certain that there will soon be many examples of it's use on Youtube, and on the Contrebombarde site.

I am looking forward to exploring this organ - one thing is certain: I can recommend this sample set, not only to anyone who is looking for an English Cathedral organ in its natural acoustic, but also as a rather distinctive sample set that will please its player enormously.

EDIT: I have just placed a recording of Anton Rubenstein's Melody in F on the Contrebombarde site, just as a quick demonsration (I am afraid that my playing is not of the same standard as most of the Hauptwerk users!). It is at:
http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/2241

Ken.
Last edited by kaspencer on Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:08 am, edited 5 times in total.
Kenneth Spencer
Music Site: http://www.my-music.mine.nu
Project Page: http://www.my-music.mine.nu/project.htm
Books on Hauptwerk and Computing; Novation Launchpad overlays: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kaspencer
YouTube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/kaspenceruk
User avatar
kaspencer
Member
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:42 pm
Location: UK, England, Wiltshire.

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby engrssc » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:29 am

Thanks for that review, Ken. It is concise without being too techie. Good stuff. This sample set is on my list of ones to be acquired as a result. :)

Rgds,
Ed
User avatar
engrssc
Member
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, USA

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby telemanr » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:12 pm

The chaining of couplers is quite interesting and creates some unusual possiblities. (Takes some getting used to and planning).
I love the sound. Ken is right. Clear articulation yet with great ambiance at the same time. Quite marvelous.
Thank you Brett. No slacking though. I'm salivating for volume 2. I'll be dehydrated before volume 3 comes out if I don't keep up my fluid intake.
Rob Enns
User avatar
telemanr
Member
 
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:18 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby Jim Reid » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:51 pm

Well I am now in the midst of a few more hours to download DVD 3, again!
Believed I had all downloaded just fine, including the needed .c2v update
for my dongle. Began the actual installation in HW; succeeded with
DVD 1 and 2, but DVD 3 stopped; at around the 59% point an a error
message pop up that I must download again, as some corruption has occurred!

So, am trying once more, using the free Filezilla, which does stop
frequently sometimes starting again on its' own and sometimes again needing me
to nudge it. If this time it fails, I will just await until the postman comes.
Jim Reid
User avatar
Jim Reid
Member
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Kauai, Hawaii

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby Jim Reid » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:38 pm

A little checking about my DVD 3 download.
File size ought to be some 4.006 GB.
Filezilla downloaded 4.255 GB for me !

Very generous, and so no mystery, except
how could that happen?
Jim Reid
User avatar
Jim Reid
Member
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Kauai, Hawaii

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby B. Milan » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:02 pm

Thanks Ken and others for your comments. Glad you are enjoying the new set!

I would have preferred our Native English to have been used in this publication, rather than American English. I also failed to see why the spelling of "canonised" had been queried in a quotation from an English publication.


We're an American company, thus American English is always used for our documentation. The quote was from an English person, so the English was retained since it is a full quote. Surely this is a minor issue! :mrgreen:

A little checking about my DVD 3 download.
File size ought to be some 4.006 GB.
Filezilla downloaded 4.255 GB for me


Hi Jim,

Have a look at this post for actual file sizes.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5920&start=90#p43643

I probably wouldn't go by what Filezilla is saying, just look at the downloaded file itself, right click on it and choose Properties and it will give you the actual file size. There shouldn't be any way for a file to be larger than it actually is, so I think something else must be happening or you are looking at the wrong setting.

If you are in doubt you can also download an MD5 checksum utility and compare its output to that listed in the post linked to above.
Regards,
Brett Milan
http://www.hauptwerk.com
http://www.milandigitalaudio.com
Send Email

Image

_________________________________
Please use email for contacting us. No private messages please.
User avatar
B. Milan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4340
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:15 am
Location: Tampa, FL. USA

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby kaspencer » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:18 am

I also failed to see why the spelling of "canonised" had been queried in a quotation from an English publication.

The quote was from an English person, so the English was retained since it is a full quote. Surely this is a minor issue!


Thanks for the reply, Brett.
I'm sorry if I appeared to criticise you for that inexplicable "[sic]" and I'm glad to learn that you weren't responsible for it. And, as I'm sure that you'll agree, that little comment does not detract from the very positive response that I tried to put over in my short review, including the many comments that I made about the helpfulness of the manual, especially apropos the couplers.

Keep up the good work!

Ken.
Kenneth Spencer
Music Site: http://www.my-music.mine.nu
Project Page: http://www.my-music.mine.nu/project.htm
Books on Hauptwerk and Computing; Novation Launchpad overlays: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kaspencer
YouTube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/kaspenceruk
User avatar
kaspencer
Member
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:42 pm
Location: UK, England, Wiltshire.

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby dhm » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:48 am

B. Milan wrote:
I would have preferred our Native English to have been used in this publication, rather than American English. I also failed to see why the spelling of "canonised" had been queried in a quotation from an English publication.


We're an American company, thus American English is always used for our documentation. The quote was from an English person, so the English was retained since it is a full quote. Surely this is a minor issue! :mrgreen:

Maybe the gentleman concerned was a Minor Canon? :lol:
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu / http://www.gundulf.org.uk
User avatar
dhm
Member
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:50 am
Location: Rochester, UK

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby rogbi200 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:28 am

Thank you Ken for this very helpful review.

As a youngster bitten by the organ bug, I recall reading Gordon Reynolds' book 'Full Swell', a humorous guide to church music. In the chapter 'Starting at the top', he describes the attraction of the English Cathedral Organ:

"There is a romantic aura about the cathedral organ. It is a treasure chest of jewels deposited on a richly carved platform in a vast and resonant cave. The moment you pull up in the close, its 32' Open draws you out of your car and into the transept... One doesn't begin one's career by wanting to be an organist. One begins by wanting to be a cathedral organist.
...It is a serious matter, weighing up the peace of Salisbury or Ely against the bustle of Westminster Abbey or St Paul's.
...This clearly is the life. Tradition, space, facilities, endless music, efficiency- and omnipotence. But all these are incidental to the undisputed custody of a vast instrument, whose Full Swell brings tears to the eyes and an undoubted boost to the choir below.

Gordon Reynolds, "Full Swell", publ. Novello 1972


Maybe remembering that passage meant I couldn't resist emptying my piggy bank a couple of days ago. Yes, you can still park in the Close at Salisbury; indeed, play this virtual instrument and experience Full Swell for yourself!

I spent plenty of time yesterday, as the snow fell outside, getting to know this sample set, and unsurprisingly (for me), I found myself, rather than finding solo repertoire to play, digging out all those perfect anthem accompaniments and appreciating the subtleties of this instrument in being perfect for choral accompaniment, which of course is its main day-to-day role; as it's always four o'clock :wink: it must be time for Choral Evensong! One can luxuriate in Balfour Gardiner Evening Hymn, O thou the Central Orb, and of course, the opening of the Coll.Reg Gloria. The possibilities for psalm accompaniment, even without the choir and most of the solo divisions, are still huge, and much credit must go to Daniel Cook for his carefully chosen selection of stops for this first volume- it really has just about everything one could need for the romantic choral repertoire.

"...you were once the boy downstairs whose right foot clenched in his shoe as Full Swell came shining through the diapasons..." (Gordon Reynolds)
User avatar
rogbi200
Member
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Rugby, UK

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby imcg110 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:37 am

rogbi200 wrote:
"...you were once the boy downstairs whose right foot clenched in his shoe as Full Swell came shining through the diapasons..." (Gordon Reynolds)

And that swell sure does shine through!! Sent quite a shiver down my spine on first playing.
User avatar
imcg110
Member
 
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:25 am
Location: Scotland

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby RoyKnight » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:51 am

This organ has been very well recorded indeed. Proof of this lies in the excellent balance between the audible direct component of each pipe's speech and the reverberated sound. Each pipe speaks very clearly, and the reverberation, although definitely present, and long, is not at all overpowering. We all know how sitting in the wrong place in an organ recital results in such a muddy sound that the articulation of individual notes simply cannot be heard. There is none of that problem here. When staccato chords are played, they reverberate wonderfully. But when a legato line is played, that is also heard clearly and not lost in the multiple echoes generated as the cathedral fills with sound.


Ken, exactly my experience on first playing. I sensed an intimacy with the instrument, but was fully aware of the cathedral ambiance -- great for practicing and performing!

Well I am now in the midst of a few more hours to download DVD 3, again!
Believed I had all downloaded just fine, including the needed .c2v update
for my dongle. Began the actual installation in HW; succeeded with
DVD 1 and 2, but DVD 3 stopped; at around the 59% point an a error
message pop up that I must download again, as some corruption has occurred!


Jim, my experience was the same -- total download attempt time was about 18 hours. Took 3 or 4 times for disk 3.

And that swell sure does shine through!! Sent quite a shiver down my spine on first playing.


Iain -- absolutely!

Roy
"Practice makes permanent"
RoyKnight
Member
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:46 pm
Location: Grafton, WV

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby ajt » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:55 pm

I've not yet splashed out on the sample set (not yet got enough of a Hauptwerk organ together, not bought HW yet either, just fiddling around with 1 manual and the Free edition), but it's great to see so many people excited about one of the greatest organs in this country (Truro, St. Mary's Southampton & Romsey being up there with it, IMHO).

But... the question, for anyone who has played Salisbury for real, is - is the HW sample a replica of being sat at the console, or being down in the choir stalls?
Adrian
User avatar
ajt
Member
 
Posts: 841
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:40 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby pwhodges » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:22 pm

The Salisbury sample set produces sounds which are stunningly similar to recordings I made about 20 years ago of the organ in concert. I am most impressed.

Paul
User avatar
pwhodges
Member
 
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:08 pm
Location: UK, Oxford

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby Jim Reid » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:48 pm

Yes, wonderful. With Brett's aid I found my problem to load Salisbury after
a successful downloading of the DVD data. My 450 GB HD had only 2.5 GB
free!!

I had to uninstall a couple of seldom used sample sets to free some
50 GB added disk space. Then Salisbury loaded just fine.

Now have a new external Iomega drive on order; ought to be
delivered mid-next week. New one will hold "only" 1.5 TB
of data!! That ought to be sufficient for all samples for
me now and future!
Jim Reid
User avatar
Jim Reid
Member
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Kauai, Hawaii

Re: The Salisbury Organ - A user view ...

Postby dflick » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:56 pm

What kind of HD did you get? Is it firewire?
dflick
Member
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:05 pm
Location: Astoria, NY

Next

Return to Hauptwerk instruments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest