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Armley vs Haverhill

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Armley vs Haverhill

Postby Daniel Dries » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:57 am

With the suggestion that Armley Extended will be released next week, I am wondering if someone who has Armley and Haverhill could make an objective comparison between the two sets. As well as a couple of excellent French 'cathedral' sets, I have Haverhill Extended. I think Haverhill is an excellent set, especially for learning notes and for bashing out a good hymn tune (with a truly splendid Tuba). However, as an organ (apart from the Tuba), it probably lacks the 'wow factor'. Is the Schulze going to be significantly different and better than Haverhill?

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Re: Armley vs Haverhill

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:18 am

Hi Daniel,

In a word, yes. While Haverhill is a nice big organ - and one of the first I acquired in my early days with Hauptwerk - the Armley sample set is in my view worth the outlay. For a start, it's a sample set of an organ with a much higher profile on the international organ scene than the Haverhill instrument. Also, the sampling is very good. It's been a while since I last played the Haverhill so I'd have to load it up again to be sure, but I believe that the Armley sampling has benefitted from experience. A great deal has changed since the days of Haverhill.

Yes, Armley lacks a Tuba, but it was never meant to have one in the first place. If you want a Tuba, then get Hereford (also from Lavender Audio), Salisbury (from Milan Digital Audio), or the Willis Studio series from Silver Octopus Studios.

Armley is one of those sample sets which - to me at least - allows a player to enjoy the sounds of a truly historic instrument from the comfort of home. You may know the lovely Walker organ of 1866 at St John's Cooks Hill. When I played there the late 1970's I didn't concern myself with the stops which it didn't have, but revelled in the ones it did. Just 11 stops over 2 manuals and pedal, and with a Tenor C swell - but it was an absolute delight and privilege to play it almost daily for 4 years. You'll derive similar pleasure from Armley.

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Re: Armley vs Haverhill

Postby Bri » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:14 am

Without going into the niceties of what organ has what, I can only say "you will not regret getting the Armley"!!!!
I have had the Haverhill extended for a long time and was very happy with it.
I have now had the Armley 32 for about 5 or 6 months and hardly play anything else.
The sound is absolutely gorgeous, and as I have said elsewhere on this forum, I can only dream of what the complete version will sound like.
Thare a number of us that have been (rather impatiently) waiting for David to release the full version - says it all!
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Re: Armley vs Haverhill

Postby scottherbert » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:38 pm

Excellent advice on the English organs Daniel, but since you asked about French "cathedral" organs (I assume you are referring to romantic) I will chime in here.

One can never go wrong with the Caen from Sonus Paradisi, especially with the new extension from Jake (subbass32)! Other excellent choices from SP are the St. Omer (also Cavaille-Coll) and the new Rosales which is voiced in French romantic style. There are others, to be sure, like the Bonn-Buell from Pipeloops, St. Eucaire and the Notre Dame de Metz from Milan, and Ducroquet from OAM (which is HW v2). Each has their pluses and minuses, but my personal favorites are all the ones from Sonus Paradisi.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other French organs in the SP stable that aren't quite "romantic", like the Forcalquier which only lacks celeste stops, but is beautiful, powerful and flexible. The St. Max, a mighty classical organ, full of colorful reeds as is the Dom Bedos. St. Michel goes to a more classical area (older) as does the Rozay, not quite suitable for more modern works, but splendid in their own right.

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Re: Armley vs Haverhill

Postby Odegarden » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:52 am

Don't forget the 1874 Schyven/van Bever fr. romantique organ by Pipeloops, sometime it was sampled now but still a wonderful instrument. Just listen to Vierne 1 by Anton Dornheim..: ... Laeken.mp3
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Re: Armley vs Haverhill

Postby ReinerS » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:21 pm

The Schyven instrument is in fact very much different from all other sample sets. While this is primarily owed to the fact that the recordings have been done a long time ago when individual pipe sampling was not an option (highly limited polyphony, the best software available at that time was Gigastudio and the organ was sampled for that), the approach of sampling stop combinations rather than individual stops adds a lot to the sound. This becomes especially true when many stops are sounding. The result of the sound from the pipe mixing in the air and with the complex acoustics and also the resulting interactions between sounding pipes is in fact different from the sound of completely eclectronically mixed sounds. Unfortunately the approach of sampling combinations is very limiting, because you can only sample a certain set of such combinations, and it becomes rather difficult to register your pieces.

So, a very different kind of sample set indeed, but it certainly has its advantages!

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