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   The Reynolds Virtual Pipe Organ

A Virtual Pipe Organ


Imagine being able to play a real pipe organ with every pipe reproduced accurately including tuning and voicing reality in individual pipes at a sound quality level far greater than the best CD recordings, and with the acoustics that belong to the original organ venue. Build a real console, connect it to an advanced computer containing the recordings of all the pipes of the real organ, and you have an instrument that is good enough to be a cost-effective replacement for a real organ.

Rod Reynolds has been playing with this idea since the mid 1960s when he tried unsuccessfully to make an instrument using endless parallel tape recordings. Another attempt to make a pedal board for a Harmonium in 2012 rapidly escalated into the present instrument, which, while it started out as a trial, was so effective that it is still in that form today with only minor design changes. The instrument has now appeared in many classical music concerts in and around Melbourne with the major symphony orchestras in the major venues, played by organists of international renown.

A detailed operating and design manual can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. Anyone contemplating building such an instrument for personal use does not need to go to so much trouble. The Reynolds organ is essentially compliant with what is known as an AGO (American Guild of Organists) layout and includes many performance aids that are typical of modern organs built for the most complex concert work. An organist familiar with the world's great organs can sit at this console and play it without assistance, and can ignore the computer entirely.

Part of a rehearsal session can be heard and viewed if you click here - this is part of the Sanctus from a Mass by the French composer Castagnet - played by the American organist Thomas Gaynor in Christ Church South Yarra. For best effect a quality sound system is needed. If the video or sound becomes uneven, download the file and play it directly.

Contact Rod at rod-reynolds@outlook.com(send email)