Although work still has to be done on other versions of this organ, I am happy to announce the release of the jOrgan version.
Much work has been done and more has yet to be done by me and by Graham Goode to whom I remain greatly indebted. Special thanks must go to Paul Stratman (USA) and John Reimer (Australia) for their sterling work in producing this jOrgan version which is made up of 6 samples per octave.
To obtain the download link, you are kindly requested to do so by submitting an order for the free set through the website dedicated to this instrument: http://maltesepipeorgans4.webs.com.
The virtual organ enjoys the full functionality of the instrument as probably was intended by the original organ builder but that the current real instrument sadly lacks. Notes or even entire ranks that do not play on the real organ were reconstructed from the original pipe organ sound recorded. Full restoration of the actual organ was not possible because of insurmountable hurdles that digital technology allowed us to overcome in the virtual world.
Let me congratulate you and Graham and Paul for an outstanding VPO. I am so pleased I was able to contribute by enlarging the soundfont to 6 samples per octave. I knew when I was doing that work that the samples were very good. But they sound even better now that it is all together. It will be very interesting to hear what you make of it as an extended version. Its one-manual limitation will not recommend itself to some of us, although in that, it is typical of Italian and Spanish organs. The split keyboard makes up for it to some extent.
Today my wife was going out for some time, and I had a play with the volume ramped up way beyond what I would normally use. I felt that it really was as loud as one would hear when playing the real thing. In the process it was necessary to wind down the level of the reverberation, for which I use the Freeverb3 Hibiki VST plug-in. I was absolutely delighted with the sound, because as a player of mostly tracker instruments, that is the level of sound I am used to. And that Italian pipework has a sparkle which I think is lacking in the English sound. To me the overall sound was a total vindication of recording the pipe sound up close. Normally I think I would choose a more remote sound for playing, and then I turn the reverb back up, and reduce the total volume. Dry samples give us that choice.
We are still sorting out the releases on the original version. We already have an idea of what form the extended version will be taking and I was already working on it. Work had to stop abruptly when we realised that the IR response I had recorded for moulding the releases was not reflecting (excuse the pun) the natural acoustics of the Basilica probably because I had the mics inadvertently facing the back of the church (facing the organ pipes) rather than the interior of the edifice.
Since, I got someone to record the IR again to capture it more faithfully and all the releases will be based on the new profile. So a lot of work has to be re-done and only after this can progress be made on the extended set.
You may be interested to hear a sequence of chords I played on the Principal Chorus of this VPO to show Mark the fine sound it can make. The reverb used is the Freeverb3 Hibiki in its default Hall preset, which is what I normally use with my console laptop. For this recording the reverb level was set to “-10 dB” compared to the dry sound. I host this VST plug-in with Savihost, which I realised only recently has a built-in audio recorder. So it was very easy to make the recording.