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.

Creating samplesets for GrandOrgue

Creating a sampleset for GrandOrgue is a BIG investment in time and dedication. But it's certainly doable by anyone with enough time and resources to spend. I'll try to explain how I go about when I create samplesets. There are many ways to do things and not necessarily just right or wrong, but different choices to make.

First of all comes planning! In selecting the source instrument for the sampleset take a few things into consideration. Is it an instrument worth sampling, will the end product be interesting enough to spend lots of hours on? The condition of the instrument and availability? Whatever your reasons are for wanting to sample the organ, you have to be strongly motivated for the task ahead. I cannot stress enough that you should if possible select a small instrument to begin with, or just parts of a larger one so you can experiment and gain experience.

There are a few things you'll need to have:

I'll give an overview of the general plan I'll follow when I create sampleset and a more in-depth description with all details on separate pages for every phase.

  1. Recording of the samples
  2. Cutting the recording into octaves for every stop
  3. Noise reduction
  4. Resampling, Bit-depth conversion, Cutting into individual notes
  5. Tuning
  6. Looping and releases
  7. Organ definition file creation

To the interested reader I should point out that there are excellent information on the Jeux d'Orgues "For organ soundbank designers" Forum that I recommend. What I know I've learned from others (mainly from Graham Goode) and by experience.