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Armley Schulze

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Armley Schulze

Postby IainStinson » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:48 pm

Following a comment in the thread http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12539 I went to the Lavender Audio website and found the details of the Armley Schulze organ here at http://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/armley/. This is an important instrument which as fairly recently been restore by Harrison & Harrison to tis 1905 condition. The Lavender Audio pages give a good summary of the history of this instrument (which has had three homes) and details of the sample set with some fine audio demonstrations. A small demo and volume 1 are available now. Volume 1 provides a 32 stop instrument and volume 2 completes the organ; the site says the full organ will be released as soon as possible in 2016. The excellent user manual for the volume 1 sample set has a publication data of 2015. There are both single and multi-channel versions of the sample set available.

As a teenager I was able to play the St Mary Tyne Dock Schulze (now relocated to Ellesmere College (see http://www.ellesmere.com/the-schools/all/clubs-and-societies/the-arts/music/the-organs-of-ellesmere/) and have heard the Armley instrument on a number of occasions. These instruments sound truly wonderful and had a great influence (for the better) on British organ building.

Following on from Herford, I expect this sample set will do the Armley Schulze justice.

Iain
Last edited by IainStinson on Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby David Butcher » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:19 pm

Many thanks, Iain, for this post introducing the Armley Schulze and I'm very pleased to be able to make this instrument available for Hauptwerk. Having updated the Lavender Audio website with all information on Friday afternoon, the weekend suddenly got rather busy, hence the slightly delayed announcement of this sample set (note to self: don't try to do important things at the end of the week!)

As Iain mentions, Schulze was hugely influential to a range of English organ builders in the middle and latter part of the 19th century and the Armley instrument is considered to be one of the best preserved in the UK.

With just a couple of minor compromises, the single-channel set works well with Hauptwerk Basic Edition. For details of this, along with plenty of other information such as the enhanced organ definition that is included in every Armley Schulze order, please visit http://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/a ... 2stop.html . A 10 stop evaluation set is also freely available for download.

The 32 stop sample set is available to order now both for download as well as via worldwide Airmail delivery on DVD. The complete instrument of 57 speaking stops will be released later this year.

Image

Best regards to all …
David
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby Erzahler » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:31 pm

This is great news and thanks David for making this possible.
Some more info including specification here;
http://www.armley-schulze.co.uk/OrgHist.htm
http://www.harrisonorgans.com/wp-conten ... l-spec.pdf
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby organsRgreat » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:00 am

I've downloaded the free evaluation set and there are certainly some beautiful sounds here, especially the Great Major Principal, which was a reference point for Ralph Downes when designing the Royal Festival Hall organ in London.

However, I note that even in the extended set (not yet available, but there's a picture) there's no independent 2ft on the Great or Swell. On the Great one has to use a Mixture which includes the Twelfth; on the Swell there's just the 4 rank Cymbel above 4 foot. There are times when one wants the purity of an 8-4-2 chorus, without any mutation; it seems that Schulze chose not to provide this option. One could approximate it by coupling the Swell 4ft Octave through to the Great using Hauptwerk's 4ft Master Coupler, but that's not the same as a properly scaled 2ft, and of course it wouldn't work at all in the top octave of the keyboard.

For a while I played a Hill Norman and Beard organ which had this arrangement – the Great Diapason chorus had no independent Twelfth or Fifteenth – they were both on the same stop tab. I found it really frustrating! What do other people feel?
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby IainStinson » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:36 pm

I decided to buy the first volume of the Schulze sample set and chose the MutliChannel version.

Installation
I was provided with instructions and credentials to download the sample set from Lavender Audio (not wanting to wait for the DVDs). I followed the recommendation to use FileZilla (an FTP client) to download the component files and this worked well. [I even checked the MD5 checksums of each of the files.] I applied to MDA for an update to the HW licence dongle to enable the sample set on my system. This arrived promptly.

The HW installation of the various files which form the sample set went smoothly and so did the dongle update. I restarted HW and loaded the sample set. I assigned the Chancel and Nave outputs to my main output group (5 stereo channels, using the HW cyclic algorithm) and the surround channel to my pair of rear speakers. I set the Chancel level to 127, and the Nave and surround each to 80. I loaded the sample set in 24 bit with all loops and releases (maximum realism) and it used around 27.4GB of main memory.

I used auto-detect to assign the three manuals, pedals, swell pedals and general pistons to my console and we were up and running.

First impressions
It sounds very grand!

The Great chorus is clear and bright: with the “Octave 4 Feet” you almost fee the 15th is present. The Mixtur V is every bit as exciting as I remember the real stop being. The Trompete is bright and firey. The Hohl Flute and Gedact are warm without being muffled.

The soft stops on Swell are beautiful individually and in combination. The secondary chorus (on the swell) is considerably softer than the Great and I may increase the volume of the whole of the swell (from the settings page – not HW voicing). The Swell reeds were both a pleasant surprise – the H&H restoration has made them sound better than they do on some recordings made before the work in 2004.

The Choir is very soft (and the Echo, when delivered, is softer…) and may benefit from some adjustments to fit “home” use. The Harmonica is quite beautiful (when you can hear it) and the Clarinette provides a good soft solo reed. The extension provides the Trompete on the Choir and this can be adjusted independently of its incarnation on the Great.

The Pedal organ provides good support for the manual divisions: I really like the 16 Violon and the Principal Bass Wood provides much better definition than many 16 Open Wood stops found on other instruments.
The extended version has some additional couplers not found on the real instrument and increases the number of divisional and general pistons provided. The touch screen layouts are clear and nice to use.

I’ve played some Bach, Mendelsohn Karg-Elert all of which work well and sound very good (limited by the player…). The organ will allow me to play a wide repertoire of music, if perhaps not always with quite the “accent” in the ear of the composer.

This is a very professionally assembled sample set and a joy to play.

I’m now waiting enthusiastically for Volume 2!

[Please note that I have no relationship with Lavender Audio other being a very satisfied customer.]

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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby 162_Ranks » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:45 pm

"This last enhancement includes an appearance of the Great Trompete on the Choir which may be separately voiced to give solo reed possibilities. "

Is a very delicate way of saying: "So you can voice it up into a MASSIVE TUBER TO RULE THEM ALL!!!"

:twisted:

PS: I am VERY pleased with the trial edition and will be ordering soon. I urge anyone on the fence to give it a try -- it has a more "immediate" presence than their larger cathedral organs which is very compelling.
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby 162_Ranks » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:14 am

So after a day with this instrument I am very excited for Volume 2 as well! I'm wondering about what extensions are being considered. It is a lovely stoplist and it doesn't seem like it would want for much. I'd love to see:

1) A 32' pedal reed
2) Complete the Great reed chorus with a 4' Clarion
3) a 2' principal on the Great and a 2' flute on the swell
4) A celeste rank on the Echo

Not a stop: Potentially "enclose" the Echo with a second swell?

But I wonder what else would even be desirable? Any thoughts from the producer?

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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby IainStinson » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:55 pm

Lavender Audio’s website says the details of the extended version of the full organ will be announced in the future – so I guess we might want to try and influence their thinking.

The 1862 Edmund Schulze organ at St George’s Doncaster (now Doncaster Minister) was a larger instrument than the Armley organ, though its Solo manual was largely borrowed by mechanical transmission from the Swell organ (until Norman and Beard’s work in 1910 when a separate pipework was installed).

The Schulze specification for St George’s had a very large pedal organ including a 32 Contra Posaune and two mixtures. The Great Chorus reeds included a Clarion 4 and the Great had a Fifteenth and separate Twelfth. There was Flautino 2 on the Choir; there was no separate 2ft on the Swell but it did have a Double Basson.
[see Thistlewaite: The making of the Victorian Organ, pg 490].

Norman & Beard , Walkers made other additions to the organ, whilst leaving the existing pipework unchanged.

The extensions to the Armley sample set mentioned in an earlier post, except for the provision of an expression pedal for the Echo organ, would seem to be “in the spirit” of Schulze.

Lavender Audio’s extension to the Hereford sample set were in the spirit of the Willis organ – the only new stop added was the 16 Lieblich Bourdon on the Choir; they also enclosed the Choir, improved the operation of the 16/8 Solo organ reed stops, added a Great Reeds on Choir transfer and extended the compass. These were all welcome enhancements.

Would they go further with the Armley instrument? Can they re-use some of the samples they already have from the instrument to add a Pedal 32 Contra Posaune and a Mixture, a Great 15th and a 12th and a Choir Flautino 2? Is there space on the stop jambs for these extensions? What might such an extension cost?

We’ll have to be patient and see what is announced whilst we enjoy volume 1 of this great instrument.

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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby murph » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:17 pm

The demo has impressed me more than Goerlitz! (which says something.) So, bills??? what they?
On order, hopefully the DVD's don't get" lost in the post".
I will report properly when the 32 is installed.

As for extensions, enclose the choir and echo. Duplex the 16's and a couple of the 8's from those divisions to the pedals. That should do it. (i.e. treat like a 1905 German re-build.)
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby 162_Ranks » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:55 pm

Only one more thought - I wouldn't let lack of space on the "jambs" hold you back. I'm perfectly happy with the "Simple View" e.g. Sonus Paradisi for access to extended features. In fact I kind of prefer it; leave the realistic view as per the real organ.

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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby murph » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:05 pm

Agreed on the simple jambs, normally.
However, the L/R portraits on the Armley are FAB!!!!
Add an extra column, if needed, please.
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby einer_von_weitem » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:12 am

Dear me. The sample set isn't even finished and already people are falling over each other bemoaning the lack of certain stops on this famous organ and clamouring for "enhancements".

I'm very excited at the prospect of having this grand instrument in my living room AS IT IS. Tel quel.

If I may weigh in with my tuppence worth: not only have I no desire for any extensions or "enhancements", but I would actually like to discourage them.

Please use the time and effort needed for "enhancements" to sample additional REAL instruments!

(While I'm on THAT subject: as I have said about 327 times, I would like a sample set of an 18th-c. English organ...like the Bridge organ at Christ Church Spitalfields... PLUS, as I don't think I have said before, at least not as often, I'd like more options for MEDIUM-sized Victorian instruments... the unaltered 1883 Willis in St Dominic's Priory, London comes to mind...or the smaller 1882 one at Wadham College Chapel, Oxford...or how about some William Hill? the 1848 organ at St Mary-at-Hill, London? Charles Allen -- the 1837 one at Everingham? James Bishop -- the 1829 one at St James Bermondsey...? Now look, we're almost back in the 18th c. here...)

If "enhancements" are to be made available I trust that it will be possible to NOT buy them! Or at least to keep them off the screen if the sample set must contain them.

Augustine (of Augustine's Virtual Organs) always adds things to his sample sets that do not exist on the real organ. I wish he wouldn't; or failing that that it were possible to load a version of the organ that does not contain them; or at least, that you could see on the screen which stops are authentic and which are added.
My Hauptwerk Recordings on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu6YY ... XMA/videos
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby josq » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:24 am

einer_von_weitem wrote:Augustine (of Augustine's Virtual Organs) always adds things to his sample sets that do not exist on the real organ. I wish he wouldn't; or failing that that it were possible to load a version of the organ that does not contain them; or at least, that you could see on the screen which stops are authentic and which are added.


Agreed, not only for AVO but for all producers. Extensions certainly can be valuable, especially if historic situations can be simulated. Maybe for some people it is nice because they can afford one or two sample sets only.

That said, for an organ builder, it should have been relatively cheap to add a few high-pitched ranks, those small pipes do not consume a lot of material or room. This organ builder choose to omit them. Intentionally, I would suppose - certainly he must have been familiar with the concept of a 2' octave or flute. So let's try to understand and use the concept that the organ builder intended, rather than making each and every sample set "universal".
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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby 162_Ranks » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:09 pm

I love extensions! They are a fun way to play with concepts of what the builder would have done given more budget/space. As long as they are clearly marked, I don't see them harming the concept of the "true" instrument at all. And, although someone who has really build a sample set can correct me if I am wrong, I believe that they are a miniscule fraction of the overall time required to create a new set, so I don't see how they take away at all, only add.

Please, keep creating sets with (tasteful) extensions!

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Re: Armley Schulze

Postby David Butcher » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:50 pm

Firstly, many thanks to all those who have posted such kind and enthusiastic comments regarding this sample set. They are certainly very much appreciated and provide a lot of encouragement. I'm also very keen to be able to play the complete instrument, so the release of volume 2 as quickly as possible is an absolute priority for me.

I value also the various suggestions for enhancements to the complete organ - they provide useful food for thought and all will be carefully considered.

If "enhancements" are to be made available I trust that it will be possible to NOT buy them! Or at least to keep them off the screen if the sample set must contain them.


I agree that this is important. There are a significant number of people who wish to play an organ very much as it is, rather than as it can be via the magic of Hauptwerk, so the Lavender Audio sets will always include an organ definition which presents the organ with no additions or enhancements. In the case of this set, separate standard and enhanced organ definitions (each with unique ID numbers) are provided.

However, I note that even in the extended set (not yet available, but there's a picture) there's no independent 2ft on the Great or Swell.


I guess this is a reflection of the philosophy of Schulze and other German contemporaries ... the twelfth is a harmonic part of the 16 foot and 8 foot chorus, so the convention at the time must always have been to draw both together. Interesting the mention of Ralph Downes as he specified a combined twelfth and fifteenth for St Albans Abbey, an organ I knew fairly well as a youngster. The two were separated during the most recent rebuild there, which does underline the benefits of being able to draw 8, 4 and 2 without any quint ranks.

1) A 32' pedal reed
2) Complete the Great reed chorus with a 4' Clarion
3) a 2' principal on the Great and a 2' flute on the swell
4) A celeste rank on the Echo

Not a stop: Potentially "enclose" the Echo with a second swell?


The Echo Vox Angelica is an undulating rank (it works well with the Echo Oboe which, despite its name, is a flue stop). Otherwise, all excellent suggestions and as volume 2 progresses I'll see what can be done. As Iain mentioned, the Echo is very quiet, so a virtual enclosure of the Choir might be a better option.

However, the L/R portraits on the Armley are FAB!!!!
Add an extra column, if needed, please.


Thanks!! Will try to fit everything in by preserving these graphics if I can.

And, although someone who has really build a sample set can correct me if I am wrong, I believe that they are a miniscule fraction of the overall time required to create a new set, so I don't see how they take away at all, only add.


By and large, yes, the enhancements and extensions don't take so much time, hence when there aren't too many of them it's often possible to include them with a sample set at no extra cost.

Thanks again for all the interest!
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