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Esztergom Pipe Organ Samples

Key features

  • The organ
    • the Mooser symphonic organ of the Esztergom Basilica, Esztergom, Hungary; entirely virtualized
    • 77+1 stops, 5 manuals (with 61 keys) and pedal (with 32 keys) of which 4 are fully functional
    • electrical console
    • Equal tuning at a=440 Hz
  • The recording
    • High Definition Sampling (HDS) — all stops were sampled chromatically at 192 kHz / 24-bit
    • Advanced Pipe Organ Measurements (APM)
    • IA's proprietary post processing technology allowing pristine reverberation and precise response
  • The sample set
    • 48 kHz / 32-bit stereo format
    • Natural sound image — the samples contain all spatial information as they are heard
    • Single loops per sample (86.6% of all samples), 2 loops per sample (13.4%), 3 loops per sample (0.3%)
    • Acoustics
      • natural, out-of-the-box cathedral acoustics, wet
      • 16-second release sample tails with more than 9 seconds of original reverberation time and more than 120 dB of dynamic range
    • Noises
      • optional organ engine (blower) noise
    • Dynamic KeyboardMass™ functionality
      • simulates and controls the weigth and inertia of organ keyboards and action independently using a dynamic model
      • allows you to adjust the weight of the keyboards in real-time while you play
    • Independent Combination Action — entirely GUI-controllable faithfully reproducing the original organ's
    • Graphical interface
      • Single and multiple touchscreen-optimized pages best viewed at 1280x1024 native resolution
      • Entirelly remodelled and extended photo-realistic console, perspectivic keyboards
  • Shipping
    • download delivery
    • retail box

Details

The Esztergom Pipe Organ Samples is an advanced virtual pipe organ that uses state-of-the-art technology to reproduce the symphonic organ sound of the Mooser pipe organ of the Esztergom Basilica.

Feature / Edition Collector's
Stops
91
Compass* (manual/pedal) 61/32
Chromatically sampled
Single-page & multi-page horizontal touch screen ready
Stereo
Dynamic KeyboardMass™ feature
Custom Combination Action
Keyboard assignment matrix
Programmable Tutti and Plenum
Divisional tutti, plenum and cancel
Programmable 61-stage crescendo with 4 free programs
Engine noise optional
Original church acoustics
Shipping and availability  
Academic discount for personal use
Retail box availabilty
Download availabilty
Download size 71.5 GB
Trial version 12.4 GB

*Compass is the number of available keys on keyboards or pedals.

The Esztergom Organ is available in both personal and commercial/limited worship installation licenses. For commercial inquires, please contact us.

Collector's Edition

At the time of this release, approximately 70 stops of the instrument are still to be built, but 77 stops are fully functional. The instrument is being built with modern perspectives but in a manner that respects and craves to recreate the majestic and antique sound of this Mooser organ, with notable amount of the original pipe-rows (which already can be heard in this sample set).

This current release is titled "Collector's Edition", meaning that this virtual pipe organ is for the serious and enthusiast collectors who are committed to the case of this instrument or curious about it and wish to support the reconstruction and extension of this remarkable 19th century symphonic organ. As a plus to this edition, the already great and versatile Esztergom organ has been virtually extended with 13 stops, with samples supplied from other instruments, for better playability and use.

When the organ construction is fully ready, all stops are planned to be recorded again to bring you the final release.

History

This organ is one of the greatest creations of Ludwig Mooser, the builder of nearly 180 instruments, belonging to a long line of distinguished organ builders. The instrument was largely built on-site, the metal pipework was brought from Austria in September 1854. The organ's inauguration date was the same as the Basilican inauguration itself: 31 August 1856. The organ was the largest in Hungary with 49 stops, 3,530 pipes and 3 manuals. The extreme rapidity of the organ's construction manifested in a series of early faults, first catalogued as early as March the following year, with significant problems in the tracker action and wind supply to the chests. The organ was however, largely unchanged for a long time, being imperfect, but operational. The next relevant touch after the assembly of the instrument was during the Great War, when the frontal tin pipes were removed as a necessary stock supply for the war. They were replaced in 1924 with ones of zinc by Joseph Angster. Extensive damage to the organ case and tracker mechanism was sustained as a casualty of World War II. Until that time, the organ was in it's original state (apart from the exchange of the front pipes).

In early October 1945, the organ was no longer functional. Despite of the fact that the damage to the organ was not incorrigible, the decision was made to temporarily substitute the instrument with a 2-manual electropneumatic organ, installed into a part of the original organ case by the Rieger Ottó firm. During the installation of the Reiger temporary replacement, the console and tracker action of the Mooser organ were irretrievably damaged in a manner which displayed little regard for the historic value of the original instrument. Some number of the Mooser-pipes were built into the temporary organ, others remained in their original place in ruinous condition or disappeared.

The still-current reconstruction of the organ dates back to the mid-1970's, when István Baróti (organist and choir master of the Cathedral from 1975) led a rebuild and massive enlargement of the instrument. The starting point for Baróti's plan — to create an instrument worthy of the Cathedral, well adapted to its prodigious dimensions and acoustics — was to be the salvage, revival and meticulous restoration of the characteristically archaic and solemn sound of the Mooser pipe-rows. In the '70s, the practice of restoring instruments was unknown in Hungary, therefore Baróti and his students carried out the restoration themselves, unselfishly sacrificing lots of their time and efforts, while they gained friendly but skeptical attention of professionals.

Prof. Baróti conceived a new and innovative stop list as part of his development plans (among Baróti's many remarkable designs is the stop list for the pipe organ of the Palace of Arts Budapest, 2006). With the necessary funds provided, it became possible to purchase certain parts and pipe-rows, with the result that by the end of 1980 the first seven restored Mooser stops were operational, at which time the temporary Rieger organ was permanently decommissioned. Later on, the initial spark of the restoration started to fade, the restoring and building process got slower and slower. In 1999, only 39 of the planned 147 stops were functioning, and at this time many pipe-rows purchased in the late '70s and early '80s were still waiting to be installed into the instrument.

In 2011 approximately 80 stops are speaking. Although Baróti has devoted the major part of his life to this cause, the organ’s completion is still a goal to be achieved in the future. In a 2008 interview he said in reflection, "... and then the restoration started. As a result we have a unity, an instrument with a special sonic personality that may be unlike what we expect from current modern pipe organs." He continued, "I practice, most often, after the Basilica closes its doors (for the night). The organ and me is a fantastical loneliness."

The sample set

Sample format

All pipes were recorded with the same recording equipment, under the same acoustic and physical conditions, entirely at 192 kHz / 24-bit. The final sample format is 48 kHz / 32-bit, 2-channel stereo for all samples.

Acoustics

The natural church acoustics representing the recording conditions are embedded in the samples; the acoustics heard in the sample set corresponds to the sound heard in the organ nave. A new technology was developed to support an artifact-free natural sound decay for the full length of the natural reverberation. This highly complex process is a result of years of research, and empoys a unique technology. Each release sample layer of the sample set was engineered with this technique. Due to the immense size of the cathedral, the sample set uses three independent layers of a 16-second tail for each pipe, individually, to reproduce the more-than-9-second reverberation experience of the Basilica. The unparralled realism of the reverberation sets a new standard for sample sets. The sample set is recorded in a way that it is also fully compatible with dry acoustic spaces and additional convolution reverberation. Also, the samples fit perfectly to Hauptwerk's* release sample truncation.

Dynamic KeyboardMass™ and touch response

Keyboards and tracker actions of pipe organ have mass, inertia, which describe their response while you play. The Dynamic KeyboardMass™ is a special feature in the Esztergom Pipe Organ Samples that allows you to simulate and control each of the organ's keyboards heaviness independently, even if your keyboard controller does not support any dyanmics at all. This revolutionary feature adds a new layer of realism to play the virtual pipe organ.

The Dynamic KeyboardMass™ model sets the response of both the speaking and the release part of the pipe sound simultaneously and dynamically, adopting itself to your actual keypresses. Practically this makes the virtual organ a living instrument and ensures that the virtual instrument remains very responsive even if you set it to have very heavy keyboards.

Optional noises

The organ engine sound is optional for your convenience. The reverberation continues below the noise level of the organ engine so you can create high quality recordings with this virtual pipe organ.

Independent Combination Action

The Esztergom Organ's own combination action is reproduced and fully supported allowing you to use the original combination action that serves the pipe organ.

Advanced Graphical User Interface (GUI)

The Esztergom Pipe Organ is equipped with multiple pages, providing extensive support for various touch-screen setups from 1 screen to multiple screens. All elements on the graphical interface are fully functional.

Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition sample set was recorded at a time when 77 stops were fully functional (and they still are today), and approximately 70 stops were still to be built. Though the organ is being constructed by professionals with modern approach and knowledge, the aim is to recreate the archaic and solemn sound of the 19th century symphonic organ. This release is for the serious and enthusiast collectors, who are curious about the instrument, and wish to support the restoration and extension of this great and unique organ.

As a plus to the release, the disposition is virtually extended with 13 stops from other instruments, for better utility. When the organ is fully ready, all stops are planned to be recorded again to bring you the final release.

The Collector's Edition features 91 stops in a stereo, 48 kHz / 24 bit configuration with out of the box wet acoustics.

Availability and box contents

The Esztergom Pipe Organ Samples is available now. The retail box version is shipping on an External Hard Disk Drive (USB 2 compatible external HDD).