Latest Updates on Progress...
Hauptwerk V has been released! For those of you who choose to upgrade, the Peterborough Hill is now available for Hauptwerk V. If you choose to stay on version 4, and have already purchased a Hauptwerk 4 licence, then I will continue to support this for the forseeable future. Note that Hauptwerk plan to stop allowing version 4 licences to be sold from early next year, so if you wish to purchase the Peterborough set for Hauptwerk 4, then you will need to do so before then.
I am also making great progress with the concert pitch instrument updated to the current specification. I plan to release the Wet stereo update to all existing Peterborough users in the first half of 2020. The multi-channel set is also under active development and I hope will be complete next year. More soon!
The Stereo Organ is finished, and the installation packages are being uploaded to my website now, and will be available for purchase shortly. I would like to say a big thank you to all who have helped me test and fine tune the organ, and in particular to David Lamb and Christoph Schmitz who have gone out of their way and then some to help me finally release this great instrument. I hope that you all enjoy it and that the patient among you forgive me for the protracted wait!
If you have not already done so, please take a look at the organ details, or download the Organ Manual pdf to find out more.
I am putting together the final release version of the stereo set, and I'm now focussing on getting the website ready for release. I hope that it will now be available by the end of June. Have a look at the organ details and watch this space!
Just a brief update: The Beta testing is proceeding well! I would like to offer my considerable thanks to those kind and talented individuals who are generously giving of their time to help me debug and improve the set. For those of you who havenít done so already, I would recommend that you listen to some of Davidís (agnus_dei) excellent recordings on www.contrebombarde.com using the Beta instrument. I am now working on documentation, and will be updating this website shortly with further information, including system
Specifications and pricing. I am tentatively planning to be ready to release the set towards the end of June, and I hope that the long wait will have been worth it as we finally share the full glory of the exquisite Peterborough Cathedral Hill Organ!
All of the audio samples are now complete and formatted with correct markers, loops, pitch info etc. I have some further adjustments to make to the organ definition in relation to the enclosures and the wind model. The next step is to get it all out for testing and to identify any issues which need addressing prior to release. The instrument is sounding fabulous, and Iím particularly pleased with the results of the processing to reconstruct the acoustic tails which were hidden below the noise floor. The advantage of doing this is that the set can be played without any ambient or blower noise (if required), which results in a great sense of clarity, particularly with the quieter ranks. I still donít have a firm release date, but once I have feedback from beta testing, I should be able to clarify this! I cannot stress how much work has gone into the production of this virtual instrument, and I am very grateful for the patience and encouragement from all who have been in touch with me throughout the project.. My own experience of sampling this organ (which has taken years) has reinforced my respect and admiration for all those sample set developers out there. Itís a great deal of hard work, but it is also certainly very rewarding. I hope that you will all find it as enjoyable to play as I do!
I am making great progress at the moment, with another Beta version very close to being completed. On the list to complete is to validate the Swell and wind models, fix a few issues with a couple of tremulant ranks and finish off the custom organ rank definition files. In response to some questions on the Hauptwerk forum regarding the piston configuration on the console, see below a rather rough and ready image of the real console showing the piston layout. Note that there are 8 general pistons with 128 levels of memory (1-4 on the Left hand side of the solo piston rail, and 5-8 on the left hand side of the Swell piston rail, and 8 general toe pistons which also double up as the Swell divisionals at the flick of a switch), 8 divisional pistons with 8 levels of memory, and various sequencer frame + and - pistons on the Swell and Great. There are also reversible thumb pistons for coupling each manual to the pedals, Swell to Great and Swell to Choir, and reversible Foot pistons for both the 32' pedal ranks, Swell to Pedal and Great to Pedal. I hope that answers the question, but please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions!
I have completed the graphics and programming of the registration sequencer (It now works like the real thing with the LED display showing the frame and bank numbers and all the buttons (bank + / -, locks etc.) working as they should. The samples are complete and I am currently fine tuning the markers and timings for start and release. This is incredibly time consuming, as it involves going through every single sample one by one and ensuring they are correct - I estimate a couple more weeks to complete this. The Swell tremulant (which was not functional during the sampling sessions) has been re-created using recordings taken subsequent to re-pitching using the hauptwerk tremulant model. There is still some work to do to fine tune the results here, but the hard work is complete. The Choir and solo tremulants are in almost all cases using direct tremulant effected samples (which in theory could be used to create Hauptwerk sample models if required) The logic of this is that there is more realism as the tremulant is heard correctly in the accoustic (which is a problem with the modelled tremulant), although this is at the expense of synchronisation of the tremulant between notes - I would be interested to hear peoples comments on the relative merits and realism tradeoffs of each method! The next job will be to fine tune the swell and wind models (which are only set up roughly so far) using data derived from reference recordings. I then need to get the whole lot off to my Beta tester volunteers to see what they make of it! At which point I need to start building some of the website functionality to host downloads and manage payments etc.
The time and attention to detail involved in a sampling project like this is enormous. Having developed software to manage many of the more laborious tasks (With the robot recording the notes and placing the markers, and the software doing the bulk of the denoising and preparing the samples, I can now create a rank with very little human intervention (save for a manual pass to edit and clean up after the denoising processes, and a manual check on marker placement). Without these aids, I fear I would simply not have had time to devote to this marvellous project!
A note on generating ambient samples: I have spent a great deal of time optimising the process of removing noise from ambient samples. The problem as I see it is that the reverb tail gets gradually quieter and eventually falls below the noise floor; In a large ambient