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  • Is the Konzerthaus organ out of tune?

    Maybe I'm just imagining it but E4 (mi) on the Konzerthaus organ sounds strange to me. Is it out of tune or am I imagining it? Somehow the note just grates in my ear. Maybe I need a new ear.

  • Each organ does have slightly out of tune samples.

    We avoided to correct this too precisely, because if you stack different stops and everything is 100% in tune it would sound very artificial, because that's not the sound we are used to hear.

    However we've corrected really bad tuned pipes to a certain degree. So the sampled version of the Konzerthaus organ is more in tune than the original one.



  • I found your comment very interesting. It leads to two further questions. 1. Do the engineers who maintain the organ ever try to correct the pitch of out of tune pipes? 2. Are there samples available of the original out of tune data? Whatever your response I find the compromise solution to be a sensible idea. The strangeness of certain notes has an appealing quality. But I can't help wondering..... what did the original samples sound like.

  • Thanks for your interest, Piranesi.

    The problem is not that the original Konzerthaus Organ is in bad shape in any way, quite on the contrary. But due to the facts of life, many (if not all) af those 8000+ pipes are prone to detuning, mostly because the dust gathers in them, partly also because the materials they are made of are ageing. - We were told that it takes almost a year (!) for a specialist to completely re-tune the whole organ, and that he has to start over again as soon as he's done, actually. :-P ... So - in Real Life you will always run into those tuning issues.

    For the virtual Vienna Konzerthaus Organ we have chosen some kind of "iterative tuning", which mean that we tried to minimize the absolute variance of pitch offsets within a given stop, while maintaining the tendency of its general condition.

    IOW ... the "original" samples sounded exactly like what you hear from the Vienna Instrument, just with about 40 dB more noise, and some odd maverick note crying to be brought into the boarders of accepted detuning. 8-)

    For the fun of it: If I find the time next week or so, I'll post one or two descriptive examples of the raw recordings and the edited samples. Other than that, we have no plans to release the un-edited material.

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • So the Konzerthaus organ is almost a living creature with a doctor in continuous attendance. I would imagine that the tone of the instrument has changed over time with the wear on the parts. And perhaps some of the original parts have been replaced by modern materials when they eventually wear out altogether. I think this mighty organism would be a great subject for a documentary. Perhaps I'll even suggest that myself. I look forward to hearing any examples of the recordings when you get the time.