Virtual Pipe Organs
Through my work writing reviews for Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade magazine, I have recently discovered the world of Virtual Pipe Organs, instruments that exist only on your computer, to be played with a mouse or, much more practical, by connecting any MIDI organ or keyboard up to your PC. There are many, many instruments you can obtain, some completely free of charge, and many of them produce a stunning sound.
My first attempts were with a totally free instrument called MidiTzer, a recreation of a small Wurlitzer theatre organ which is available as a download from VirtualOrgan.com and is very, very simple to install
I have then graduated on to a whole world of Virtual Pipe Organs available using operating software called Hauptwerk, which is supplied as free basic software and more advanced systems to purchase. Installing Hauptwerk immediately gives you use of a very convincing church organ and, new on the scene, the incredible Paramount Organ Works 3/10 Wurlitzer organ, absolutely for free!
The Paramount Organ has a wonderful sound and for a modest charge you can upgrade from the free 3/10 rank organ onto a wonderful 3/20 instrument. Whilst you will find others available, their Wurlitzer organ Samples seem second to none and, especially with the free 3/10, you can try them out and enjoy them at no cost
The Miditzer Screen Console
You will see that the Miditzer gives you a complete organ on a screen and, as you will hear from the sound files below, it makes a good sound.
The Paramount Screen Console
There are a few clips using the Paramount Wurlitzer below, from which you can appreciate its superior sound quality.
As you progress further into the world of Virtual Organs, you will discover that there is wonderful software available to purchase, which will accurately recreate pipe organs for you, both theatre and classical. Many enthusiasts have even built a console specifically to control their virtual instruments, but don't forget you can just use your existing Midi organ or keyboards to enjoy playing with the panoply of Virtual Pipe Organs. A good starting place for exploring this world is to visit www.VirtualTheatreOrgans.com
I have also recently downloaded and installed the Hauptwerk Virtual Theatre Organ software along with the Paramount 310 sample set and you can read all about my progress by clicking on the button below (by kind permission of Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine) and hopefully you will try it for yourself.