Time has passed…

Posted 15 August 2012 by

After quite a bit of time, some news is appropriate. I have purchased a couple more organs and added a reverberation unit to use with the “dry” sample sets I have acquired.

First the new organs. I have had for some time, now the Casavant Organ, opus 2871 found at St. George’s Memorial Anglican Church in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The samples were recorded by Exemplum Organum and can be purchased through the Milan Digital Audio site (home of Hauptwerk www.hauptwerk.com). The instrument was designed by the famous (or infamous, depending upon your tastes and preferences) Lawrence Phelps, and completed in 1966. This is Mr. Phelps’ vision for the “Organ Renewal Movement” and is classified, and appropriately so, as a “Neo-Baroque”. Instrument. It has little to do with actual baroque era instruments, and has modern elements along with features common to both American Classic design and (somewhat) North German Baroque design.

I like the instrument for early music and modern music. It doesn’t do as well in romantic era music or anything approaching the demands of an “Orchestral” instrument. I like it also because it is very clear, clean and balanced. Each stop is a gem in itself. I can play for hours selecting just one stop at a time. The full ensemble is exciting, with powerful, buzzy chorus reeds. Nice solo oboe and Cromorn (very German). It is great for practice, because one can hear everything very clearly. A big, solo trumpet was added to the stop list by the Software folks. It doesn’t exist on the original instrument. The Sound set comes only in “dry” form, which means my recently added reverberation unit adds significantly to its enjoyment.

The next “new” instrument I added is one that doesn’t exist in real space. It is a compilation of individual pipe samples from several organs and combined into a “virtual” organ. The organ is called the “Major I American Classic” organ and comes from the shop of Etcetera Pipe Organs. Naturally, it too is available from the Hauptwerk website store.

I was just plain curious about this one. Being an organ created, or perhaps assembled, by the software people, it intrigued me. And, there are some delightful ranks in this fairly large instrument. Many individual stops are beautiful, and there is a good variety of color reeds and mutations. The full ensemble is not that pleasing to me. I don’t care for the mixtures–but they do have an authentic sound of some North American organ builders of the recent past. The Principal choruses aren’t all that pleasing, and full organ sounds muddy to my ears. Even so, it was an interesting experiment, and I am glad I have it. For some music, it is truly lovely. Interestingly enough, I enjoy playing early music on it. Smaller combinations of sound and trying some stops in ranges they weren’t originally intended for produce some delightul results.

The reverberation unit I purchased is Lexicon MX200. I do like it especially for the “dry” organs I have. It even adds dimension to the “wet” samples as well. I wish it sustained the upper frequencies at the same rate as lower ones. The reverberated sound tends to sound bassy. But, I’ll keep it. Found a used unit online and it was not expensive.

That’s the latest. I am enjoying my instruments very much and am beginning a recording project, which also works so very well with the Hauptwerk software. More on that later.

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