Screenshot of PiteƄ School of Music sampleset main console

As a professional organist I must voice my opinion that no virtual organ can compete with a good, well regulated tracker organ. To really develop a good touch one must play the real thing, otherwise it's hard to understand attack/release and to feel how the pallet is opened by the playing finger.

Nevertheless it's impractical for most persons to have a real organ at home and it's in such situations that a virtual organ can be very valuable. Not the least important reason is that, even if it's available at only a fraction of the cost of a real organ, it can sound very convincing indeed.

My hopes are that vpo's and my efforts with them will help more people enjoy the wonderful instrument that the Organ really is.

Welcome to my VPO site!

My virtual pipe organ setupHi and welcome to my Virtual Pipe Organ site! Here I'll share my experience about setting up a Virtual Pipe Organ mainly on the Linux platform. The samplesets I've created for GrandOrgue can also be found and freely downloaded here, as well as documents of my experience from creating the samplesets.

Even if I'd like to have a real tracker organ at home it's simply not possible at the moment due to lack of both space and economy. But as a professional organist I want to be able to practice at home on both manuals and pedal. Enter the Virtual Pipe Organ!

There's a very good free (gnu/gpl) alternative named GrandOrgue (available both for Windows, Linux and even OS X) that I'm using and highly recommend for anyone interested in setting up a virtual pipe organ at home.

There are some other alternatives like for instance jOrgan and Genpo that both mainly use soundfont technology, but the best option is definitely (in my opinion) to get GrandOrgue. The new features that continually flow into the development trunk really makes this software stand out as the best free VPO software avaliable! Even though the current development model makes a normal "stable" release seem distant there's no reason to not start using the released builds in the Testing folder under Files on the GrandOrgue Sourceforge page (or whatever file is the most recent) or adding the repository for your architecture if you're using a Linux distribution. The builds that are released are usually quite stable in their performance.

To have a virtual pipe organ at your home you'll need a few things:

  • A computer with a virtual pipe organ software running - eg. GrandOrgue
  • MIDI keybord(s) and a MIDI pedal
  • A sampleset to load into the virtual pipe organ software (a small demo is included in some versions of GO)

Then to refine your setup you'll likely want to have an external amplifier and good speakers (a sound system) and of course a nice console to be comfortable playing your virtual pipe organ.

I'll try to describe how I have set up my virtual pipe organ in these pages and also give some general remarks that I hope will be useful for other people that want to be able to play a virtual pipe organ at home. As you'll see I've gone from very simple equipment to a more and more pipe or digital organ like setup. Start with whatever you have and are comfortable with, the important thing is to start playing the organ!