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Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby adrianw » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:40 pm

A small tip for anyone who needs to download large files from Mega for any reason and can't wait - you can buy 1 month's access safely via the Apple IOS app.

If you are impatient (like me), don't mind occasionally paying a small fee for premium download access but (also like me) have heard bad things about Mega's business practices and are uncomfortable about giving them credit card details - (their "distributors" frankly seem even more alarming) - you may like to know I found I could buy a one-month subscription safely through the Apple Mega IPhone/IPad in-app purchase. All payments are handled by Apple and they do not forward any personal or payment details to Mega. I immediately cancelled my subscription through my Apple store account but still got a full 1-month access: it reverted to a free account afterwards. Subscribing via IOS gives a month's full subscriber access to the Mega account for desktop web-browsers and desktop apps as well as IOS.

NB This ONLY applies to the Mega IOS app - Android in-app purchases do NOT seem to offer any protection.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby josq » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:51 am

Congrats Augustine! I have been able to try out this beautiful sample set - thank you for providing a generous demo set.

In the demo set the bottom and top octaves are disabled, which is of course a strong incentive to buy the full sample set if you want to play any literature on it. But by improvising a bit, this demo set is sufficient to give an impression of all aspects of the organ. Download it!

The sample set is a joy to play. The organ is very versatile, I think it can cover many styles.

This sample set is the largest until now from Augustine (54 stops at 3 manuals). It even comes in a 6-channel surround version ("near", "far" and "surround"). The price is very favorable: EUR 169 for the surround version! Other sample set producers would sell a sample set of this size for something like EUR 500-700.

This made me very curious: is this sample set on par with others, or are there some differences? Objectively, I think there are some differences indeed. I write them in the form of recommendations, approximately in order of importance.

I. Reverb tails: record and preserve the full reverb of each sample. To me it is quite clear that the "near" samples have been cut a bit too much (perhaps to simulate dry samples?). Perhaps this can be improved by reprocessing the sound files in your archive.

II. Multiple releases: I suggest to use at least 3 releases per sample. At this moment fast/staccato playing gives a "harp" effect for some stops because only 2 releases are present per sample.

III. Recording position: I would prefer recordings somewhat closer to the organ, if possible, in order not to loose detail. This might be a matter of personal preference. There might be other causes for any perceived loss of detail, for example aggressive noise filter application to some samples, or artificial decrease of brightness because the sample set producer is afraid that the organ will sound too harsh.

IV. Recorded tremulants. In order of priority: Vox Humana, other soft reeds, flutes 8/4/3/(2), remaining reeds, Tierce/Sesquialtera/Cornet, principals 8/4/3, remaining stops.

Minor recommendations:
V. Give stops/couplers that are not native to the original organ a slightly different color or a separate screen location. I prefer to respect the original disposition, and this is easier if non-native stops are marked.

VI. Arrange stop names by recording position, e.g. "wet - I. - Principal" instead of "I. Principal - wet". This makes it easier to select different audio groups during first time loading

I am very optimistic that the implementation of my recommendations (as far as reasonably possible) will place you qualitatively in a very competitive position. Meanwhile, there are some older sample sets that also do not satisfy these hallmarks of quality. It's about time that the producers will decrease their price because Augustine, you are about to outcompete them by a factor 5 or so...! But above all, I hope you keep a lot of joy in recording so many (Hungarian) organs.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby jharmon » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:14 am

I was pleasantly surprised with the sample set when I found I could hear "ALL" voices. Trying to decide whether to purchase a sample set based on a limited number of voices has never been satifactory. Far too often the voices offered are principals or flutes with one reed and usually no strings. Thank you Augustine for providing full voicing to sample. (I seem to remember one sample set producer providing the full set for examination - but with the protection of having the sound completely stop after a few seconds). That worked for me.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby scottherbert » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:55 am

jharmon wrote:I was pleasantly surprised with the sample set when I found I could hear "ALL" voices. Trying to decide whether to purchase a sample set based on a limited number of voices has never been satifactory. Far too often the voices offered are principals or flutes with one reed and usually no strings. Thank you Augustine for providing full voicing to sample. (I seem to remember one sample set producer providing the full set for examination - but with the protection of having the sound completely stop after a few seconds). That worked for me.


Absolutely!!! Small demo sets are like trying to figure out what an animal looks like from a toenail!

~S
"Life is just a dream, it is in death that we truly awaken!"
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby 1961TC4ME » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:14 pm

I finally got a chance to install and try out the demo of this new set this morning. First, I don't want any of what I have to say being misconstrued as criticism, or being negative, it's all for the most part good and is more just what my first impressions are. Although I haven't had a chance to really fully explore it as of yet, a few things did come to mind pretty quickly. Just for reference, I decided to load the organ in surround format only, so I did not include the close up recordings, only the more distant and rear recordings, so I loaded the 4 channel surround version if you will.

Yes, it's very nice that we can at least hear most of the instrument less a few octaves, but I too would almost prefer hearing it all with the sound cutting out every so often vs. giving up a few octaves as I really wanted to hear some of the the pedal in particular, that I am not able to currently hear. The set has a very clear and detailed sound with much clarity and realism with no harshness, the sound is as good or better than any I've heard. I also noticed (and often first look for) that the mixtures blend in very nicely and unlike other sets I've encountered, the mixtures do not jump out in an annoying or harsh sounding fashion. The stereo field is very nice as well, not quite as expansive as some, but better than others and overall certainly satisfying.

Interestingly the set almost immediately struck me as sounding much like another I have which is the composite set Zurek v5. To verify this to my ears, after playing this set I loaded the Zurek for comparison and yes, to me they are very similar in sound and also stop selection. Don't take any of that negatively.

One other thing that kind of drives me nuts is the fact that out of SO MANY sets now available, there are so few offering a really good lineup of strings, and this is yet another set having that issue for me. If it were to have an additional amount of strings I'd be in line with check in hand to purchase without hesitation. Perhaps we (or maybe it's just me) here in the U.S. have been a bit spoiled by this one factor missing in many of the sample sets. It's something I am not only very used to hearing here at a few different local churches, but also love to hear in an organ, the beautiful strings, hence I will have to play it more before I decide, but will probably continue to wait it out.

Otherwise it seems to be a fantastic sounding set and the asking price is more than reasonable. Overall, well done!

Marc
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby Dnsmo » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:16 pm

Congratulations, Augustine, on your sample set of this versatile instrument.
1961TC4ME wrote:One other thing that kind of drives me nuts is the fact that out of SO MANY sets now available, there are so few offering a really good lineup of strings, and this is yet another set having that issue for me. If it were to have an additional amount of strings I'd be in line with check in hand to purchase without hesitation. Perhaps we (or maybe it's just me) here in the U.S. have been a bit spoiled by this one factor missing in many of the sample sets.
Marc, I imagine you must be familiar with the string stops on the Portland Reuter Opus 227 from Sonus Paridisi. Is that a decent benchmark for "good lineup of strings"?
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby takatsa » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:33 pm

Thanks for the detailed evaluation of Josq and 1961TC4ME. Thanks for Josq's advice and I will use a lot in the next sample.
I have no intention of launching price competition with big companies. Their prices are realistic. There is a lot of work in a sample set and there are few buyers. That is why prices are high. I also worked on this sample for over 4000 hours. :D
My situation is different. For me this is a hobby, so the sample price is secondary. This covers my expenses, and I bought bit by bit the recording equipment from this money. But this money do not cover for my job, it's free. :) My goal is to be of primary pleasure to others and to present my country's organs to the world. During my work I got many friends and this is the greatest treasure.
I tried to make the sample small in hardware. This has succeeded. (8 GB RAM for the stereo mix version and the 16-bit version of the surround version requires 16 GB RAM). That's why there is only 2 releases, but I hope my ambition did not detract from the quality.
Augustine
Last edited by takatsa on Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby takatsa » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:38 pm

I'm sorry for the annoyance caused by downloading the demo version from MEGA.
Therefore, on the recommendation of my friend Gérard, tomorrow, the demo version will be downloadable from Google Drive as well.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby adrianw » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:17 pm

One other thing that kind of drives me nuts is the fact that out of SO MANY sets now available, there are so few offering a really good lineup of strings, and this is yet another set having that issue for me. If it were to have an additional amount of strings I'd be in line with check in hand to purchase without hesitation.


Savaria actually has - by European standards - a good number of strings with 6 ranks: Great Salice 16' and Gamba 8', Swell Vox Coelestis 8' and Violoktav 4', Positive Salizional 8' and Pedal Violonbass 16'.

I've not personally felt any lack, but it clearly can't compete with an American classic such as the Reuter or extended SP Aeolian-Skinner. However, if you want more strings than Savaria at an even more affordable price you might also consider (if you have not already done so) Augustine's extraordinary 1860/1899 Buckow-Rieger 51/III.

You may not like it - I am not even sure I do. Unrestored and in poor condition when sampled, it has a distinctive antique dark tone quite unlike anything else in the HW canon. But it does offer perhaps 10 string stops (and some internal extensions beyond that) in a wonderful 4 to 5 second acoustic.

It was the first of Augustine's efforts that I bought, and at the time I did so in part because I liked the fact that he donates a full 20% of the purchase price to the organ's restoration. Unlike some other sets I have spent much more on and now rarely touch, I find myself repeatedly drawn back to the melancholy Buckow-Rieger for midnight headphone sessions. Perhaps because it brings back a nostalgic memory of youthful winter nights, practicing an ill-tuned organ while locked alone in some vast cold, dark, echoing church!

- Adrian.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby va3ets » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:00 am

This sounds like an awesome sample set. Just purchased it, so waiting to get my download link.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby organsRgreat » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:05 pm

4000 hours – how does anyone find that amount of time? Ten hours a day for a year would only equal 3650 hours. Should the figure be 400? At three hours a day that would still come to over four months – but that looks more possible :)
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby takatsa » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:40 pm

organsRgreat wrote:4000 hours – how does anyone find that amount of time?

Okay, 400. I'm in trouble with 0. But believe me there was so much that it seemed to me to be 4000. :D
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby jkinkennon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:43 pm

Downloaded this in minutes with Google Drive. Sweet. I'm really impressed with what I hear and am off to the web site to place my order now.

Nice work.
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:58 am

takatsa wrote:This has succeeded. (8 GB RAM for the stereo mix version and the 16-bit version of the surround version requires 16 GB RAM). That's why there is only 2 releases, but I hope my ambition did not detract from the quality. Augustine


I wondered why only 2 releases, but it's probably only a minor issue. It sounds quite good.

Eric
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Re: Aquincum Organ from Cathedral of Savaria (54/3+P) - new

Postby magnaton » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:26 pm

adrianw wrote:
One other thing that kind of drives me nuts is the fact that out of SO MANY sets now available, there are so few offering a really good lineup of strings, and this is yet another set having that issue for me. If it were to have an additional amount of strings I'd be in line with check in hand to purchase without hesitation.

Marc


Savaria actually has - by European standards - a good number of strings with 6 ranks: Great Salice 16' and Gamba 8', Swell Vox Coelestis 8' and Violoktav 4', Positive Salizional 8' and Pedal Violonbass 16'.


I agree! Take a listen to the Liszt, As Nos here from time mark 1:33 to 2:58; Clarinet and Strings. WOW! This set just jumped into the top position of my sample set wish list.

http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/playmusic/26934

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