Last updated: 13 January 2018. Click About This Website for update list.
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For over eighteen years the most stable and extensive resource on the Internet for pipe and electronic organs
The hub of this site is the Complete Articles page which gives you instant access to many detailed articles dealing with numerous technical aspects of both pipe and electronic organs. Use the Google search box below to quickly identify areas of interest. While browsing, why not also listen to over 4 Ĺ hours of music played on the three manual organ below and the Prog Organ virtual pipe organ here?
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Early bird (mp3 - 1 MB/1 m)
The dawn chorus seems to have started early this year. These feathered friends have taken to singing in the pitch darkness around 7 am recently in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere. The background noise was caused by the breeze in their poplar tree outside our bedroom window. Better than an alarm clock!
A major problem in synthesising musical sounds lies in assigning values to the large number of parameters associated with each note. For example, in additive synthesis the relative amplitudes of each harmonic have to be specified together with the way each one varies throughout the sounding epoch. Or in a physical model of an organ flue pipe the parameter set describing the aerodynamics of the pipe foot and mouth, as well as the properties of the resonant air column, likewise becomes inconveniently large. In such cases allocating values to the parameters to achieve a desired timbre is therefore a major challenge. The problem is particularly difficult for the organ because each stop is in effect a different instrument with a distinct character. Furthermore each stop also comprises many separate notes which all have to be individually voiced. This results in a serious parameter overload and estimation problem in current synthesis techniques for simulating the pipe organ.
The picture above is of a test rig used for experiments on pipe organ valves, such as those described in the articles entitled Calculating Pallet Size, Touch Relief in Mechanical Actions and Response Speed of Electric Actions. These can also be accessed from the Complete Articles page where summaries are also available.
This electronic organ is a dual purpose instrument containing both "straight" and "theatre" voices, designed and made by the author. It is tuned to the author's Dorset Temperament with the addition of some impure octaves as described in Keyboard Temperaments with Impure Octaves. A full specification is available for download here (PDF file, 117 kB).
The things they say:
These recordings span some years and they were made in various rooms and auditoria. The older tracks were made using analogue equipment and some were recorded acoustically using microphones, hence the occasional noises due to piston thuds and page turns, etc. Other tracks were captured electrically. All are of real players performing in real time - no synthetic MIDI 'performances' here. I have not got round yet to normalising the volume settings of all the tracks so they are compatible with each other, therefore you might wish to adjust the volume between tracks depending on which ones you select. Do not be alarmed if some tracks appear to start with an excessive noise level - this simply means they were recorded at a higher level than others. Just turn the volume down to suit. In any case, it is a wise precaution to always begin playing each track at a low level to protect your audio equipment and your ears from unexpectedly high signal levels when the music begins. Although the instrument has 13 ranks of theatre organ voices in addition to its 'straight' sounds (see specification), copyright considerations preclude the inclusion of much theatre-style music here. Playing time 1 hour 35 mins approx.
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