I am very pleased to announce a new jOrgan disposition/soundfont: the “Balmain 1872 Hill”. Balmain is an old, inner-city suburb of Sydney. I heard this small 11-speaking stops tracker-action pipe organ about a year ago and liked its sound. It may be the second pipe organ shipped to New South Wales by Hill and Son of London, the first being for St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral in 1866. Hill produced a number of fine organs during the ensuing years, culminating in the huge 5-manuals organ for Sydney Town Hall in 1889. At the time, it was the largest in the world.
The Balmain organ is far more modest, in almost every way. Although Hill pipework was used, it seems that Hill outsourced the actual construction to another builder. I was attracted to using it as a basis for a virtual organ not only by its sound, but also by its size: it did not represent too big a task. Last November I recorded every second note for about 6 seconds, and as a general rule used 6 samples per octave for the manual 8-foot stops, the Great Principal 4‘ and the Pedal Bourdon 16‘. Other stops were apportioned 3 samples per octave, but “interleaved” into six two-note zones per octave to disguise what is happening. The excessive noise was dealt with successfully using SPEAR and the capabilities of Audacity.
I am very grateful to Dries Nelemans of Ridderkerk (in Rotterdam) for contributing lovely new graphics based partly on photographs I sent him, and for his making significant additions to the disposition. At my request, Dries also added three extra “consoles” containing general details of the organ and its virtual “copy", a photograph of the organ, and the Settings controls. Thanks also to the jOrgan community for its long-term help, and especially to Sven Meier the creator of jOrgan, and to Paul Stratman, whose “old” version of the Wind Destabilizer I used, somewhat modified, for this disposition.