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Joined: Apr 2017
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GIJack Offline OP
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Hi
I have been reading Piano World forums for a while now. There is lots of great discussions about pianos.
Do you also play the organs? Obviously it is less popular then piano, but I hope some of you still do it.
Some time ago I started helping as a voluntary organist in our church and need a practice instrument. I have got couple of digital pianos at home so thought a Virtual Pipe Organ might be a way to go. I have read about GrandOrgue and Hauptwerk, but feel a bit lost in terms of the hardware, like do I need a computer with 16 or 32GB of RAM with the latest/fastest processor and a massive SSD. I live in the UK and wanted to buy a new laptop/MacBook and with specs suggested on some forums it would run into thousands of pounds.
If anyone uses a VPO would you mind sharing your experience.

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Have a look at this free taster download opportunity. As a sometime user of Pianoteq (and loving it) I look forward to when I can play some of the world's greatest organs.

https://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=5399

You can run any Pianoteq product on a typical desktop or laptop.

If you decide that software organs are not for you then I recommend my Yamaha Tyros 5 which has fabulous organ sounds from jazz, orchestral to full church pipe organs. It will however drain your wallet.

Ian


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GIJack Offline OP
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Thanks for the reply. Would Pianoteq have less demands on the hardware than Hauptwerk/GrandOrgue?

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I use GrandOrgue on a 4 year old Toshiba Satellite Laptop with 8GB ram. It works just fine.

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It's a shame you don't live in the U.S. Churches regularly just get rid of med size 35-50 year old Rogers, Allen, etc. electronic organs that can sound very good right now with some TLC. Of course you'd have to use headphones and it would take over an apartment. But you'd have a real pedal clavier to practice on. smile


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I have used some software organs, but it's been a while and I'm not sure I remember details.

Hauptwerk of course is the top, and it isn't as demanding of computer resources as you'd think. It has free demo versions, so try them out. I got it to run on a relatively old laptop. I used one keyboard, one midi-usb interface which included a sound card, and I ran RCA cables to a home stereo with decent but not audiophile speakers. It worked pretty well. If you're doing multiple manuals and a pedalboard, and running lots of stops, you might need more computing power. I made one bad mistake, I let our regular organist play it outdoors where we needed some volume. I programmed the top few keys on the keyboard as registration keys and told him not to touch them. Of course he did and messed everything up.

There are two other software organs I've used, and both used less computer memory and were more intuitive to learn. Hauptwerk is so feature full it's a little intimidating.

J-organ worked well, I think that might be grand orgue now. And Miditizer was the easiest to get going, and was okay on the old laptop. But it's a theater organ rather than a church organ. Still, I'd give it a try, if for no other reason than to be able to experiment with MIDI and sound cards.

Getting the software to work isn't the hardest part. Any cheap keyboard has MIDI out, but you have to get MIDI into your laptop. I use a Fastrack Pro, which is an inexpensive USB-Audio interface that takes microphone input, MIDI input, and has soundcard output. Then you need an amplifier and speakers. I use a regular thrift shop home stereo. That won't fill a huge church but it's fine for most smaller areas.

Oh. Be SURE to disable any kind of power management. You don't want your laptop going into sleep mode during the sermon, then discover you have to restart all your programs in the proper order right after. I prefer myself to be in sleep mode at that time, not the computer.


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I have been using Hauptwerk for the last 8 years
Nearly everything I have has been bought at thrift shops or inexpensively online. I have less than $2,000 in a 2 manual with pedals organ running on a laptop computer and have 17 organs that I can play, stored on the laptop. Many of them are from Piotr Grabowski, which are free. his sample sets will also run on Grand org. Just Google him and you'll find his site from which you can download many wonderful organs in Europe. I posted a short video on YouTube showing my organ

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I use a Nord C2 with its built-in samples of a European tracker organ. I’m sure there are better options around, but it works ok. I also use the keyboard as a 2-manual midi controller to play sampled acoustic instruments and a virtual analog synthesizer.


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