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First successful virtual reconstruction of historic ranks

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OAM

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First successful virtual reconstruction of historic ranks

PostWed May 30, 2007 4:56 pm

Hello all,

thanks to Hauptwerk, we now have achieved the first virtual reconstruction of historic organ ranks.

The Bosch-Schnitger organ of Vollenhove/Netherlands had lost two of its prominent Schnitger stops during the 300 year's changing history: The wonderful F.C. Schnitger Roerfluit 8' as well as the typical Vox Humana.

Within a new Dutch documentational project, we got the permission to record those missing F.C. Schnitger stops from the small, but extraordinary Duurswoude organ in Frisland.
First information on this project can be found at
http://http://www.organartmedia.com/Duurswoude-Intro.html

The Roerfluit is orginally left from 1723, whereas the Vox Humana is a complete rebuilt of the original F.C. Schnitger Vox Humana of the famous Hagerbeer-Schnitger organ of Alkmaar.

Both stops were recorded dry, to be able to virtually place them in the Vollenhove church by using special impulse responses of this building.

If you are interested, here are the results:

First a small Frescobaldi toccata with only the "new" Roerfluit, which will replace the Bourdon 8':

http://www.organartmedia.com/sounds/vol ... rfluit.mp3

Compared to the actually exisiting Vollenhove Bourdon 8', which is nice, but less characteristic and sonorous:

http://www.organartmedia.com/sounds/vol ... ourdon.mp3

The virtual placement by impulse response again showed the inherent problems of this techniqe:
All pipes had to be carefully revoiced to adapt to the new room, thus keeping the typical sound characteristics. Some resulting sounds were not usable at all, because the frequency response of the target building disabled a proper room resonance for this pipe, so that this pipe had to be replaced or strongly revoiced. These are excactly the same problems, pipe organ builders encounter, when they install new pipe ranks.

These results clearly show, that applying an impulse response to a dry sample set not automatically reproduces the original room sound. The complete organ has to be revoiced on a pipe per pipe base, that doesn't mean only applying volume corrections, but also correcting the sound characteristic! Don't forget, that additionally each pipe has its own, slightly different, impulse response.

Also, the Vox Humana - now a virtual copy of a physical copy! - will be available for the new extended version .

The organ of Duurswoude is the only still existing organ, which was a complete new build by F.C. Schnitger. This organ will be published separately in near future. The sound, typical for F. C. Schnitger, is warm, rich and powerful.

At last, enjoy the newly recorded Bach Trio-Sonata BWV 525 with the reconstructed Roerfluit 8' and the Vox Humana, which was missing for about 100 years:

http://www.organartmedia.com/sounds/vol ... V525,1.mp3

http://www.organartmedia.com/sounds/vol ... V525,2.mp3

http://www.organartmedia.com/sounds/vol ... V525,3.mp3

Registration details can be found on the demo web site:
http://www.organartmedia.com/Vollenhove-Demos.html

(MIDI files by J. Pressler)
Prof. Helmut Maier
OrganArt Media Sound Engineering
D-88662 Überlingen/Lake Constance
http://www.organartmedia.com
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Grant_Youngman

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PostWed May 30, 2007 5:20 pm

They sound wonderful!

When will the new version with these extensions/modifications be available?

Out of curiosity -- is the wind model being used in the Bach trio demo??

Thanks ...
Last edited by Grant_Youngman on Wed May 30, 2007 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Grant
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adri

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PostWed May 30, 2007 5:42 pm

I am confused: The Bourdon 8' is from Bosch, 17th century. So it was part of the original organ? Then Schnitger replaced it with a Roerfluit? What happened then to the Bourdon 8'? If it is now a replacement of the Schnitger Roefluit 8', where did it come from?
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OAM

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PostWed May 30, 2007 6:14 pm

Thanks Adri,

unfortunately there exist contradictory documents concerning this topic.

In 1808 the Bosch Bourdon was documented as a Bourdon 16' by Freytag together with the Schnitger Roerfluit 8' and the Vox Humana.
Actually we have to find out, if already Schnitger rearranged the Bourdon 8' as Bourdon 16' or Freytag did that 1808.

If so, we would have to leave the Bosch Bourdon as 8' stop together with the Schnitger Roerfluit 8'.
Prof. Helmut Maier
OrganArt Media Sound Engineering
D-88662 Überlingen/Lake Constance
http://www.organartmedia.com
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adri

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PostWed May 30, 2007 9:44 pm

Having a bourdon 16' on the hoodfwerk would be a great help! The organ sounds kind of thin, or shall we say "lightfooted"?
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Csaba Huszty

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IRs

PostThu May 31, 2007 5:27 am

Dear All,

I think it is a great topic where we can collect our experience regarding the application of impulse responses to organ samples, so please let me add mine.

A room impulse responses (RIR) is a function that represents the transfer characteristics between 2 selected points at the room in a linear, time-invariant (LTI) system.

1. It is not evident how to appropriately measure the RIR. First, the equipment has to be carefully selected, because the results depend heavily on the equipment used due to their imperfections (e.g. noise). Secondly, conventional measurement techniques often do not provide good results in terms of signal-noise ratio, so the measured RIR is often not good enough for convolution reverberation. Post-processing is needed. Thirdly, most of the measurement techniques do not provide a perfect impulse response even under perfect conditions. (They have side-lobes before and after the impulse.) Again, post-processing ('regularization') is required. Lastly, the assumption of LTI has to be fulfilled - in huge rooms, it is often a problem.

2. In case of pipe organs, there are several other problems. First of all, when one pipe is producing sound, it often interacts with others, and the organ case generates many reflections and filtering effects before the sound even 'enters' the room (e.g. the church). The approach to record the impulse response per single 'pipe' is difficult if not impossible. The problem here is to select an appropriate sound source that can be put where the pipe is - appropriate would be a source that 1, has the same frequency-dependent directional characteristics that the pipe has OR it is perfectly omni, and 2, a source that is able to generate a broadband excitation signal. The anechoic recording of the single pipe should match - in terms of 1, above - the method of the creation of the impulse response (selecting the microphone, the recording distance, etc), but even in that case, the proper 'final' voicing of the pipe is required.

I think it is better to treat the pipe organ itself as a single sound source with its several unique characteristics, and capture the room impulse response appropriately.

What do you think?

All the best,
Csaba
Inspired Acoustics
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Dutch Brad

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Bourdon

PostThu May 31, 2007 10:32 am

Adri, I have done some indepth research into the organ in Vollenhove. No documents can be found of the Schnitger rebuild. As Prof. Maier stated, in 1808 the Bourdon pipes had been shoved up to create a 16 ft Bourdon. It is unknown if 12 bass pipes were added or where the top octave went. It is a bit difficult to believe Schnitger would have placed a Roerfluit beside the Bourdon-8 seeing as his intention in the entire rebuild was to make the organ more powerful. He did this by replacing the reeds and a number of higher stops. There is no evidence that he did alter the Bourdon though. The original Roerfluit-8 was taken out of the organ in 1977 and used in the Broederkerk in Kampen organ in 1993 by Van Vulpen.

It is most likely though that Freytag altered the Bourdon in 1808, something which would fit the trend of that period. For those who have never heard of Heinrich Hermann Freytag, he continued the organbuilding company of Frans Caspar Schnitger together with Schnitger's son, Frans junior.

I hope Prof. Maier will be able to think up a solution which would allow the organist to choose between the 1720 situation (Bourdon-8) and the 1808 situation (Bourdon-16).

Whatever the case, this is a very important virtual reconstruction of an important Dutch historical organ by a famous Dutch/German organbuilder.
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dhm

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PostThu May 31, 2007 11:53 am

Excellent though they all are - and I get a lot of pleasure and fun out of playing them - the one real drawback I find with all the Schnitgers and Silbermanns from both Helmut Maier and Brett Milan is the lack of more than one 16ft flue stop in the Pedal. I realise it isn't their fault, and this is NOT intended as a complaint at either of them. But, since both of them have in the past "extended" or "borrowed" stops from other departments, or even other organs, I wonder whether they might consider "borrowing" an extra (bigger!) 16ft stop for one or more of these organs? [And whether, before Brett finally releases the Metz organ, he might consider extending some of the Pedal 16ft flues and reeds DOWNwards?]
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adri

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Re: Bourdon

PostThu May 31, 2007 12:48 pm

Dutch Brad wrote:Adri, I have done some indepth research into the organ in Vollenhove. No documents can be found of the Schnitger rebuild. As Prof. Maier stated, in 1808 the Bourdon pipes had been shoved up to create a 16 ft Bourdon. It is unknown if 12 bass pipes were added or where the top octave went. It is a bit difficult to believe Schnitger would have placed a Roerfluit beside the Bourdon-8 seeing as his intention in the entire rebuild was to make the organ more powerful. He did this by replacing the reeds and a number of higher stops. There is no evidence that he did alter the Bourdon though. The original Roerfluit-8 was taken out of the organ in 1977 and used in the Broederkerk in Kampen organ in 1993 by Van Vulpen.

It is most likely though that Freytag altered the Bourdon in 1808, something which would fit the trend of that period. For those who have never heard of Heinrich Hermann Freytag, he continued the organbuilding company of Frans Caspar Schnitger together with Schnitger's son, Frans junior.

I hope Prof. Maier will be able to think up a solution which would allow the organist to choose between the 1720 situation (Bourdon-8) and the 1808 situation (Bourdon-16).

Whatever the case, this is a very important virtual reconstruction of an important Dutch historical organ by a famous Dutch/German organbuilder.


I second the option of having a 16' Bourdon stop on the Hoofdwerk; it would be an absolutely fantastic option to have. The Vox Humana will also be a very welcome addition!
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Jim Reid

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PostThu May 31, 2007 12:57 pm

Adding to, or modifying sample sets we own......?

I have read "elsewhere" the following; I DO NOT
know if this is true or only rumor, only Martin knows,
I guess, but some others also are speaking of something:

"Hauptwerk will be releasing an update which will permit
users to treat all of the packages that they have purchased
as their own personal 'sample library'.

"Then, especially with the much easier ODF creation facilities
soon to come from Hauptwerk, users could create their own
ODF's, deploying their own personal choices from the sample
sets from any manufacturer of readymade HW2 instruments.
Indeed, one could already have a stab at this in the Hauptwerk
Custom Organ Definition Module."

If true, then in time you can do what you please to alter any
organ sample file set you own, including adding to, or extending
ranks using pipe samples from any set you own. You could even,
I suppose add organs together to create monsters, if you have the
RAM.

Sounds like fun, but may not be easy!
Jim Reid
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mdyde

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PostThu May 31, 2007 1:28 pm

"Hauptwerk will be releasing an update which will permit
users to treat all of the packages that they have purchased
as their own personal 'sample library'.


News to me!

The Custom Organ Design Module (CODM) is already provided for just that purpose, i.e. creating custom organs from existing ranks of samples (where sample set licences allow), and there are no plans for another tool to do it. However, the CODM will be extended significantly in the future to make it much more flexible. Oberwerk from Milan Digital Audio is an alternative (PC only).

Best regards,
Martin.
Last edited by mdyde on Thu May 31, 2007 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jim Reid

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PostThu May 31, 2007 1:31 pm

Thank you for clarifying/dispelling the rumor, Martin.
Always best to clear such away as soon as possible.

Best,
Jim Reid

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