I recently came across the website of a Swedish organist, Lars Palo, who has recorded several organs in Sweden. One organ, from the Pitea School of Music, tweaked my interest because it has a very complete three manual disposition. His samples are free and were made for organ software that I don't use, but they appeared to be of reasonably high quality. So I imported them into a Hauptwerk CODM organ and tried them. There were a number of fixable sample flaws and it cried out for multiple releases to eliminate the old HW-1 "bell effect".
I fixed the flawed samples and generated short releases. I think the results are quite good. The acoustic is still 90% "real" and the organ has a lot of "presence", by which I mean it gives the impression of sitting right in front of the pipes. This organ has less than 2 seconds reverberation which, combined with the complete disposition, makes it a good one for practice. It may be fun to play cathedral organs, but most of us belong to churches with similar short reverberation.
Here are two screenshots. I'm not a big fan of photo-realism, so the actual organ doesn't look like this. I prefer large, readable stops arranged in a standard, logical pattern. I think this is probably the way the real organ sounds, but I couldn't resist extending a few stops and adding a few gadgets.Console ScreenshotStops Screenshot
The organ requires Hauptwerk version 4. it loads in slightly less than 1.5GB RAM and is probably usable with the free edition.
The organ installation file is about 710MB and can be downloaded here:Pitea SoM InstallationFile
This organ is free but not "freeware". The original samples were provided under a Creative Commons license. The license extends to my samples which were derived from them. The license is included in the sample set and essentially means that the organ cannot be used for commercial use and that any derivations of it are also subject to the Creative Commons license.Update July 29, 2013
A 48 stop extended version of Pitea is available and described later in this topic. Here is a screenshot of the extended organ, with the new stops turned on:Stops Screenshot