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Organ set recommendation

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Organ set recommendation

Postby ZObGuyn » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:31 pm

I'm looking for an organ set recommendation.

I have an old 3-manual Allen Organ repurposed for this. Currently I am running the Hauptwerk evaluation, but plan to upgrade when I find an organ set.

As far as the music I play, it pretty much consists of stuff for church. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and I play for congregation accompaniment as well as organ solos. Everything I play at church is hymns. Some classical hymns if they are familiar to the general population.

At home, every now and then I play some well-recognized classical piece, such as tocatta and fugue in d minor.

I fancy myself an organist with an intermediate to late-intermediate skill level.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby engrssc » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:42 pm

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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:40 pm

Portland Rosales is a great do-it-all 3-manual set on the dry side which makes it great for practicing. I also love the Armley Schulze, but it's a little wet for serious practice in my opinion (given that I play in a rather dry church.) It's like my dessert after practicing a while :D.

If by "Church of Jesus Christ", you mean LDS, I KNOW your church is bone dry.
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby 8ftStop » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:59 am

If your church has a dry acoustic, I recommend practicing with a sample set that is also rather dry. That is my situation. My go-to instruments for practice are the Sonus Paradisi Casavant and the Skinner. Those instruments are most like the instrument and acoustic that I have at my church job. If you get used to using a more staccato touch on a wet practice instrument, then you need to adjust to a more legato touch at the church or your playing will sound choppy.
It's fun to play a wet sample set once in a while (sort of like comfort food), but for routine practice, I recommend a dry set.
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby abaymajr » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:31 am

ZObGuyn wrote:I'm looking for an organ set recommendation.

I have an old 3-manual Allen Organ repurposed for this. Currently I am running the Hauptwerk evaluation, but plan to upgrade when I find an organ set.

As far as the music I play, it pretty much consists of stuff for church. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and I play for congregation accompaniment as well as organ solos. Everything I play at church is hymns. Some classical hymns if they are familiar to the general population.

At home, every now and then I play some well-recognized classical piece, such as tocatta and fugue in d minor.

I fancy myself an organist with an intermediate to late-intermediate skill level.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


I would strongly suggest the Altenbruch Klapmeyer organ sampleset from Sonus Paradisi. This organ is a baroque wonder with many many qualities. For a 35/3+P organ, its disposition has plenty and well colored 8' fond and flute stops, that might be valuable for your main congregation accompaniment role. In love with its reeds as well, and its two mixtures and scharff give us rich nuances in that regard. As for technical adaptation in a church ambiance, the 6-channel surround sampleset has two direct channels which sounds (almost) as a dry sampleset, specially when applying Hauptwerk <500ms builtin trimming on releases. The other 4 channels can put the organist and/or the listener in any virtual location of the original room acoustics. Surely, in many aspects, one of the very best samplesets I have experienced since 4 years of sampleset 'digging' for Hauptwerk. Second to it comes the St. Pons Micot, also recently released from Sonus Paradisi. This organ obviously attends more specifically to the flavor/peculiarities of the French Baroque repertoire, but has to some degree similarities with the qualities I have pointed out in the Klapmeyer organ/sampleset.
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby ZObGuyn » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:33 pm

Thank you all for the recommendations. I originally though I would just want a single organ set, but I can see how an organist can accumulate many.

The chapel I play in is definitely dry--as dry as the Idaho desert I live in. It is carpeted, and even has carpet halfway up the walls.
As a side note: I just moved to the Bear Lake Valley in Idaho, and the historic Paris, Idaho Tabernacle has a beautiful building and organ. It's interesting to see the shift from back then.
https://utahsadventurefamily.com/paris-tabernacle/

As far as my home set up goes, here is a shot of it:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BvenQWJFKkx ... hare_sheet
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:12 pm

I'm glad to see the old tabernacle still has a pipe organ. Neat building.

We have family in Utah and visited last summer. We toured the newly renovated St. George tabernacle. There were some nice looking pipe facades and I was very curious to find out about the pipe organ. No one seemed to know anything, but finally found someone who could tell us about it. Sadly, they had replaced the old pipe organ with electric. :cry:
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby 1961TC4ME » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:21 am

I'll second the vote for Armley Schulze! It's a great 'church music' instrument and then some! :D

Have a listen for yourself. https://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/ ... demos.html

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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby castaway » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:16 pm

I suggest you *not* purchase a "dry" organ just because that is what you play on Sunday. Get an organ that you will play most of the time (your organ at home) and enjoy the larger acoustic of a "wet" organ.

If you are halfway serious about the organ, I suggest you purchase the Hereford Cathedral from Lavender Audio. Transitioning from it to an "Allen" or "Rodgers" (like I do every Sunday) is not difficult at all. I make no
pretense of playing anything classical on the Rodgers: the acoustics (better, lack of) in our chapel are dreadful.

I particularly suggest the Hereford for its beautiful flutes and reeds on the Solo manual, and the incredible string on the Swell. Melodies played an octave lower on the Solo, with accompaniment on the Swell, are probably the closest you or I are going to get to playing the Tabernacle organ.

But make no mistake, if you really prefer Baroque or French organ music, you will be disappointed if the Hereford is your sole organ. However, as I have grown older (I am facing 80 years eyeball to eyeball) my dexterity has diminished. My tastes have now switched to Romantic and early 1900 orchestral arrangements.
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby murph » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:03 pm

If you want the best of all worlds, try Goerlitz. The front direct is bone dry, great for practice. The front diffuse/rear are swimming in reverb, for those fun moments. You can make it fit your computer with the alt/configs. One for front direct, one for diffuse and if you like the back seats, one for rear.
Armley, if you can deal with it's limitations, sounds better,( than anything else!). It's not as good for pointing out mistakes, but sounds like nothing else
Menesterol is a very good all-rounder for church practice. Use the moist/surround option.
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby RichardW » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:20 pm

If you want to practice on the organ then I would advise against anything too "wet". You quickly lose detail in the pedal part,

While I love the MDA Salisbury set, I cannot practice some new pieces on it because the pedal part is so indistinct. I usually revert to my trusty OAM Vollenhove set in such instances.

Basically, you need to buy lots of samplesets so you have one for every occasion! ;)

Regards,
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:12 pm

RichardW wrote:Basically, you need to buy lots of samplesets so you have one for every occasion! ;)
Regards,


Ha! I sometimes wonder of all the sets some here probably have, how many of them actually get used after the initial charm wears off? Nothing wrong with having a bunch of different sets mind you and I'm not knocking that idea. I've got a couple of freebies I've enjoyed along with 4 sets I've purchased. Armley and St. Max get used most of the time depending on what I'm into on a given day, and St. Eucaire gets used on occasion for certain pieces, and that's about it. The rest I haven't touched in a year +. Of the many sets out there I've checked out, I've asked myself why I'd even need them? For me, unless it's a set that's very distinct or significant in terms of size or notoriety and is actually intended for a different kind of music compared to the other sets I already own, I pass.

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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby engrssc » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:04 am

Then in addition, I also have several Theatre Organ sample sets as my basic converted Rodgers 340 is/was, in it's former life, a T/O. Such a pity there are so many choices. :wink: That's not a complaint. By the same token, can only drive one vehicle at a time irregardless of the occasion.

I think Marc is correct in that after the "shine" wears off, we settle on just a few favourities. Something like kids, who end up playing with the boxes the toys came in. And our "toys" back then, weren't downloaded.

My folks often said, 'The more you have, the more you want.' Altho the family finances controlled that to a great extent. :shock:

At Christmas, we were allowed one toy. The other gift(s), something we could wear. And we were no less happy. :)

Rgds,
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby RichardW » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:55 am

I was originally attracted to Hauptwerk because of the MDA Mt Carmel Skinner. I could not believe that the sounds I was hearing were Brett in a studio rather than on a real organ in Chicago. It seemed to be quite a good all-round performer as well.

Then I got serious and thought about actually buying something. At that point I realised that I liked Bach and some French composers so two organs would be required. Silbermanns are a bit too "steely" for me so I went for a Bosch Schnitger and a Cavaille Coll.

OK, completely set up now - except, being British and hearing massive cathedral organs at all the big religious events, I wanted a big cathedral organ, preferably a Willis. The MDA Salisbury fitted perfectly.

My local village church is like a smaller version of St Anne's but the local parish church has a very nice three manual Hill so I bought one of those as well.

Generally, I am quite happy playing the Salisbury all the time but to practice pedal parts I need to use the Bosch Schnitger. Sometimes that is too much of a jump and that is where the Laurenskerk Transept organ comes into play. French music is OK on the Salisbury but for the authenticity the pedal reeds are a bit too refined so I revert to my MDA Notre Dame de Metz set and sometimes I just need the added piquancy of the Vollenhove Bosch Schnitger for Bach.

So, I major on one organ with two in close reserve while a few more are used for practising and for reminding me of the organs I heard growing up. If I knew more about the various styles of organ music I would probably "need" some more samplesets.

I do have some free ones that I never play any more and I have a bought one that really only duplicates the Metz. Some people will have fewer sets and some I know have many many more. It is all down to personal taste and finances.


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Richard
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Re: Organ set recommendation

Postby 1961TC4ME » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:10 pm

I will admit the upcoming Peterborough holds some interest. I'm waiting for that one large instrument of English or American disposition that's in a cathedral setting that I can afford and or justify (talk myself into :mrgreen:) forking over the entry fee.

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