This sampleset concerns a versatile organ with three manuals and 40 stops with a typical round English sound.
The sound of the Diapasons and Strings reminds me of the warm sound of a Harmonium.
The organ with the 16 foot 'Open Diapason' and 'Bourdon' have a very nice warm bass in the pedal, which the heavy 32 foot 'Harmonic Bass' can nicely supplement.
What is noticeable is that the organ has many beautiful strings.
As is quite common in such English organs, there are nearly no aliquots as Seventeenths (Tertia) and Fifths (Quinta); however each manual has a Mixture and on the Great there is a very good usable Nazard 2 2/3.
On the Swell there is a nice and clear 'Stop Diapason 8'.
The tremulants are very fast, I shall use them not often, but I use tremulants also not often in other samplesets.
Of course it is difficult to resist the, naturally, very direct 'Trumpet and Chamade'.
The same applies to the combination 'Vox Angelica 8' and 'Voix Celestes 8', that results in a beautiful warm String (a tremulant is then not required).
It is funny that the 'Suabe Flute' (Swell) and 'Suabe Flote' (Choir) have a different name (o/u), if this is a mistake or deliberate, I don't know.
The character of the various keyboards is well reflected: The 'Great' sounds in the foreground, the Swell' stops are more from 'within' the organ.
Partly due to the large compass of five full octaves (61 notes), but also because of the various 'playing aids' (e.g. combination stops, octave-couplers and other couplers) the organ is very practical.
Furthermore, because of the many individual voices, a lot of sound colour is possible, with my twenty examples I show only a fraction of them.
The technically good recording sounds pretty direct (recorded at about 4 meters, the Trumpet en Chamade slightly further back). The ORTF microphone technique is used.
The wind engine is quite noisy; the volume , however, can very simply be adjusted in 'real time' in the Settings tab screen.
From pictures it seems that the Old Independent Church in Haverhill is quite large, although the reverberation is only about 1.5 seconds.
This sampleset is available in four versions:
Free Trial version (10 stops)
MINI (15 stops, about E 90,-)
Full (42 stops, about E 225,-)
Extended (59 stops, about E 295)
The 'Full version' contains two organ definition files (ODFs): 1280 x 1024 (for 17 inch) and 1024 x 768 (for 15 inch).
There are five tab screens:
Console. This tab is very realistic, also easy to read and therefore useful in practice!
Stops+Pistons. The names are easy to read, the contrast between 'on' and 'off' is not so clear.
Left Stops. Very nice and handy if you have two (touch) screens.
Right Stops. Very nice and handy if you have two (touch) screens.
Settings. Here you can real-time adjust the volume (or switch off) of: 'Draw stop sound', 'key/pedal action', wind noise and the Trumpet en Chamade. Very practical!
On the Left/Right screens it is clear to see (good contrast) if a stop is selected or not.
Personally, I regret that in the Stops+Pistons screen, realistic looking 'draw stops' were chosen instead of the more visible (better contrast between 'on' and 'off') buttons.
This sampleset has a clear user manual.
Very valuable is the section 5 'In use ... setting this organ in historical context and some thoughts on registration and repertoire'.
You can load this sampleset, without a lot of loss of quality (16 bit, single loops), in about 2 GB (a computer with 3 GB is sufficient).
Because of the low reverberation, there are also low polyphony requirements (for processor).
When you like the 'English organ sound' and low acoustics are no objection, this is a great sampleset: Technically good, versatile, low requirements and relatively cheap (E 5,- per stop).
Gert, december 2008