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Silver Octopus

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...
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Silver Octopus

PostWed Mar 17, 2021 8:52 pm

In another thread I wrote:Same with Silver Octopus.
They never upgraded their Studio Series to HW5, so I’m not giving them any more business.

I started a new thread so this wouldn't get buried.
My statement was hasty and needs clarification.
The Studio 80, in fact the entire Studio series, was not upgraded to V5.
Their internal reasons are of little interest to me.

After proactively seeking out upgrade info (and several emails back and forth) I received a FREE upgrade to a different series of the same size - the Standard Series. I also was offered a discounted upgrade to the Standard Series.

I was not happy with the new series and don't use it.
It is visually unpleasing (to ME) with no keyboards in the console view (just like Salisbury-a big disappointment)
The stops and couplers are laid out in a haphazard (to ME) fashion. The Studio 80 was quite elegant.

It sounds very good and functions quite well. But because of this I don't wish to spend any more money on yet another series. I had thought about upgrading to the 125 stop, but I'm not comfortable with doing this. I'm spending plenty of money on other new sample sets.

All this happened while I was still getting over the frustration of upgrading everything to HW5.
I should have been a bit more delicate in my denouncement.
For that I sincerely apologize to SO and Charles.

Steven Frank
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David Baldwin


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Re: Silver Octopus

PostThu Mar 18, 2021 5:09 am

I too had the biggest set which I used a lot. I then discovered that it wouldn't work on v5. They told me that they couldn't upgrade it because the person who did it had left. They would consider making an offer but I have heard nothing. I don't look at Silver Octopus anymore
(Dr.) David G. Baldwin
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Re: Silver Octopus

PostThu Mar 18, 2021 9:38 am

I have had only positive experiences with Silver Octopus, so I thought I ought to chime in to this thread.

First, I believe that Silver Octopus has an excellent model for its sample sets. They do not, for the most part, try to duplicate specific pipe organs. Instead, they have developed a cohesive library of excellent British organ sampled ranks that can be assembled into various size instruments. In a sense, they have brought to the Hauptwerk community the same flexibility that the best digital organ manufacturers (Rodgers, Allen, ...) have done. They are pretty much the only Hauptwerk developer to do this.

Perhaps following this model, the graphical consoles they have released are not state-of-the-art. However, since they are not duplicating specific instruments, I don't see a great deal of utility to having slick-looking screen designs. They provide very serviceable stop jambs that should suffice for most Hauptwerk installations. Since I use physical console controls almost exclusively, it does not really matter to me.

Most of Silver Octopus' samples are dry - which, again, follows the same philosophy as the digital organ world. I imagine this is an artifact of their model of mixing ranks form many pipe organs. By removing the room acoustics as much as possible, it is much easier to get the ranks to blend together. It is certainly easy to add reverb as desired - either within Hauptwerk or through additional hardware and software. For me, it is great to turn off all the reverb when I record and add even better reverb in my home studio software later.

I was also a longtime user of the Studio 80 organ. It was a great match to my console and provided a medium-sized British cathedral-style instrument. When HW V was released, I wrote to Silver Octopus and they very graciously upgraded me to the Concert 85. Their decision to do this for free was based, evidently, on the length of time I had owned the Studio 80 and the speed at which I wrote to them. These are both very reasonable criteria - though I expect if you had purchased a Studio organ just before HW V was released that they might also have provided an upgrade to the Concert series (I can't speak to this situation.)

I was so happy with the Concert 85 that I recently upgraded (using money, this time) to the Concert 125. This is one of the few sample sets in the Hauptwerk world that actually fits my new console! It is a marvelous sample set with just about everything one would want for either a British or American Classic instrument.




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Re: Silver Octopus

PostThu Mar 18, 2021 10:26 am

I also have had very positive experiences with Silver Octopus. I've never enjoyed dry, close-recorded samples, personally, but I've used their Georgian 55 with some added reverb and gotten a lot of playing out of it.

More recently, I bought three of the small chamber organs and just now, the Prosser. These are recorded wet in a small room, and work very well with some reverb added by HW 6. Better, to my ears, than anything I can make out of dry samples with my limited voicing ability.

In any case, Charles was responsive through the HW 4 to 5 sampleset upgrade process, and has always answered my requests in a timely and informative manner. I think SO does a great job, and I'm sure the decision not to upgrade some samplesets wasn't undertaken lightly.



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Re: Silver Octopus

PostFri Mar 19, 2021 5:24 am

I too have had positive experiences with Silver Octopus. I have had one of the original dry series at home for many years (always used with reverb), and more recently I bought the Concert 65. As the original set wasn't encrypted, it works with V/VI anyway, but sampling techniques have moved on, which led me to buy the Concert 65. This works extremely well with Hauptwerk's reverb. I believe Charles offered Studio set users some sort of deal on the Concert instruments - which sounds fine to me, bearing in mind that if you are upgrading to V/VI you automatically have reverb available.

I have appreciated Charles' support in deciding on samples to add to the 3 manual pipe organ I play in church, where dry samples were essential for the blending with pipes. These samples, in conjunction with the pipes, have frequently received favourable comments. If you haven't hear it already, listen to Daniel Cook's recital on this instrument: . These samples date from 2010; when things get back to normal, I intend to take up Charles' suggestion that I try some of his more recent samples, which may sound even better.



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Re: Silver Octopus

PostSat Mar 27, 2021 11:26 am

The Willis sample sets are what I was looking at when I first started looking at Hauptwerk. I was wondering why they disappeared!

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