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Peterborough Hill first impressions

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...
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CWEB

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Peterborough Hill first impressions

PostTue Jul 16, 2019 5:02 pm

Having come to Hauptwerk a couple of years ago I have, ironically for an English organist, been without an English sample set. Hereford doesn't quite do it for me and Salisbury is very expensive - both are in a way too similar to the Willis/Harrison instruments I know in the flesh. Armley is very tempting but not really 'English Cathedral'. The Mount Carmel Skinner might have got my vote but I couldn't live with the single releases. So the long awaited Peterborough set has been an answer to a prayer.....

I was a little apprehensive about fitting it into my 16GB RAM, thank goodness it's a stereo ambient set not a triple channel job. It seems fine though. I've gone single loop and though I haven't made a direct comparison I don't notice any problems so far. I've also muted some of the tremmed ranks, which I haven't missed, so it fits with a bit to spare.

It's been very easy to set up - not really any different from the real thing. I'm guessing it might cause some head scratching amongst our continental cousins (stick with it!), but for those of us who know these instruments everything is just as it should be.

It's possibly a little closer recorded than my personal preference, but the acoustic is there in the background and there is logic to hearing it this way - it would be a very common position to hear it from and undoubtedly the real organ is voiced accordingly.

I've noticed also the dynamic range feels really large. I think this is accentuated by the recording position. But reflects also the need for the instrument to accompany intimate services in the Choir as well as large congregations in the nave. The solo stops often need a very gentle accompaniment and crescendos have to be carefully judged!

It's a very versatile instrument, and in some ways more 'classic English' than the better known Willis and Harrison organs which are almost styles of their own. Depending on the way it is used, you can have fairly clean flue choruses, fiery tutti, or smooth diapasons and trombas.

It's large enough to hold a few surprises. Highlights for me? The Solo Unda Maris is lovely when you want to die away to nothing (you might want to turn down the blower noise though), and the Swell Salicet 4' is surprisingly useful in the build-up given the rather bold Principal.

Many hours of enjoyment await for me, and feel free to listen in the concert hall!
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Andrew Grahame

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Re: Peterborough Hill first impressions

PostTue Jul 16, 2019 9:11 pm

Agreed!
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Trenchardb

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Re: Peterborough Hill first impressions

PostFri Jul 19, 2019 3:11 am

CWEB wrote:I was a little apprehensive about fitting it into my 16GB RAM, thank goodness it's a stereo ambient set not a triple channel job. It seems fine though. I've gone single loop and though I haven't made a direct comparison I don't notice any problems so far. I've also muted some of the tremmed ranks, which I haven't missed, so it fits with a bit to spare.


Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, which are very helpful! The sustain samples recorded were quite long (10 seconds minimum), which means often the first loop is some way into the sample playback. It also gives a better chance of finding good loops in the more tricky ranks, but unfortunately, it does take up a fair bit of RAM! I hope that you’ll find that, given the extra length of the samples, single loops isn’t too much of a compromise. And I very much look forward to hearing what you get up to on Contrebombarde!

Ben.

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