Grand Orgue Sampleset creation

  • Hi all!

    I am new to GO - I was a HW user since wow, early 2000's. I finally got my console created and working and wouldn't you know HW security key died just weeks before the new version of HW-V. I know that they are busy with the changes. I have attempted to contact them since the issue popped-up. But no response including in the forum.

    I no longer can afford to upgrade at any level and my internet connection has blown wind for more than 10 years. So I have heard a long time ago about Grand Orgue. Thought that I would have to give it a try. I installed the files and I am impressed with the demo organ anyway, plus I had Piotr Grabowski's St. John Cantius in Cracow as a HW sample-set. I have many, many sample-sets and could just kick myself because it just splurged on the Audioangelorum's Peterborough set. I did not have my console up and running at the time and just listening to hunting and pecking on my office computer - I was genuinely impressed, but alas, I can no longer load that particular set because it relies on the security key.

    I have been very interested in creating sample sets from before I heard HW for the first time. I knew it was possible and I had access to a complete extant Henry Erben 3 manual pre-restoration in Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. I have recording equipment and good interfaces. I had met Mr. Erben's great-great niece who was involved in the restoration of the instrument but had no time to record and it was in bad shape originally with many leaks and missing trackers etc.

    I have since moved back to the Midwest USA and since I am now out on a long-term disability - I have time.

    I was able to create several Hauptwerk dispositions with original material including very good artwork - nothing that I would release to the general public though. Is there a guide for creating a sample-set in Grand Orgue? I have used Cool-Edit PRO waaaay before Adobe bought it for Audition and several looping programs.

    I have not been able to locate anything regarding GO Set Creation.


    Jeffery Rowley

  • Hi Jeff: Ken Barta writing here in NJ, USA. Vincent Foreman in France wrote a GO program called

    OrganBuilder. I have never been able to get it to work, but I know people who have. In any case,

    I have a copy, I can put it on MEGA for you to download.

    Kenneth Barta

  • Thank you Ken!

    I answered the question myself when looking at the structure of the *.organ file. Then I looked at a newer build from Piotr Grabowski - I was shocked! I had put together several custom instruments using mostly stuff I recorded myself. To my surprise I had been looking at some of the builds from over 10 years ago. Guess what...They loaded into GO without any issues.

    So the .organ file is exactly the same as the HW original format - the newer Organ Definition File just had more references and lines per object. I can do that! Although a program to compile would certainly be somewhat of a help. I have plenny of time!

    Say hi to Jersey. I used to live in Manhattan and Jersey City for 20 years. I am snugly back into the upper North Central!

  • I also forgot to mention my just completed console. It was build with Hauptwerk in mind and I prepared for the future. 2 - Xeon Westmere 4 Core processors. 160GB of RAM with room for 128GB more.

    2 ViewSonic Touchscreens - Keyboards by Samson (has a nice light tracker touch0 by accident) MOTU Midi Merger. Pedalboard reed switches by MIDI Boutique (

    I built the main body from an old Haygren (I think that it was the only one in existence) one of the first analog electronic organs (1950's), also CONN and Yamaha donated parts from early consoles.

    Here is the link to my flickr account with documentation if anyone cares to look. You shouldn't need a password to enter or view the photos.

  • Please look at the GO help for a short ODF reference.

    GO ODF is mostly compatible with HW1 (it will load but reports some unsupported tags) - but it got lots of new options for GUI panels, mutli release/attack and much more.

  • Hi Jeff: Ken Barta writing here in NJ, USA. Vincent Foreman in France wrote a GO program called

    OrganBuilder. I have never been able to get it to work, but I know people who have. In any case,

    I have a copy, I can put it on MEGA for you to download.

    Kenneth Barta

    Hi Ken!

    Yes I would love to see if I can get it to work!

    Many thanks


  • Vincent Foremans Organbuilder programm is also available in the Filebase of this website. I see that it is not yet visible in the English version of the website but you will certainly find it if you enter the website in the German language version.

    The Organbuilder programm itself is in English. It is not difficult te get it to work. Its very helpfullto create a basic form of Odf.


  • Hiya Jeff,

    Bob here in the northern wilds of Saskatchewan using wind/solar to run my digital pipe organs. I too have had second thoughts about HW, particularly since this latest upgrade failed to dazzle me. For at least three years GO has offered convolution reverb capabilities while HW users clamoured for it. Poor leadership. The other dark aspect of HW is it's requirement for Windows, which frankly, is simply abominable. If you wish to get into the nuts and bolts of GO, you might also consider learning how to run it on Linux and you will find the results very stable and pleasing. I happen to have a number of HW sample sets and am sad to say, just a few are superlative. By using OrganBuilder you may very well gather your favourite sounds (with similar reverb) and create a fanstastic instrument that pleases you. It would be especially nice if we could share the results here on this site. Even if you're not content with your current results, perhaps we could all whip our work into shape together? Regarding Cool-Edit and Audition, they can transpose your samples while maintaining their original length. Best wishes on your project and thanks for sharing....Bob

  • PS Jeff,

    If you must have just one good organ you van count on as an eclectic instrument, I believe there's none better that Lars Palo's Burea AGO Extended....


  • Hey Bob!

    Thanks for your reply . My thoughts are similar - because I really only want a specific instrument and I have already created it in Hauptwerk but I also did it for Grand Orgue - using the Organ Builder by Vincent Forman. I also have many HW pre-version 3 instruments which simply load into Grand Orgue - no fuss, no muss.

    I already knew the old HW format so I just familiarized myself with all of the new syntax and format. So far I have compiled several instruments mainly because I did not know what was going to happen with Hauptwerk. It took me over two months to get in contact with them and to get a response. I have upgraded to HWV but my days of purchasing any sample sets is pretty much over. I did get one large set recently that is very, very good - the Peterbourough Cathedral Organ - 4 manuals and waaay too many Open Diapasons. But the set is solid and has an interesting mix of stops.

    I have just finished my console - it has been in the works for over 20 years - long before Hauptwerk. The build is huge - I thought of Linux...but I have built other system with the OS, it reminds me of Early Windows NT - very fussy. Everything had to have drivers and network protocols - I used to work for a large Point of Sale company in New York City at the end of DOS into Windows. I am sure that it wouldn't be hard to get a stable system and I feel bloated with Win10 Pro - HW and Grand Orgue are the only applications installed.

    I love Lars' Pieta School of Music too. Very versatile and similar to the organs in this neck of the woods - Heavy Scandinavian influence with North German mixed. So we got a lot of Orgel Bewegügen mid '70-80's organs - all 21-27 ranks. There are a few gems though here and there and before my hospitalization two years ago I played a beautiful 23 Rank Casavant from 1974 - so Gerhard Brunzema voiced.

    I am going to attempt a full Grand Orgue Sample set though. I have several places in mind - I will see if anyone would be receptive to record their instruments. There is a very good chance of getting a theater organ - but I am completely out of my element there - I have to cross my fingers but it is 18 ranks which is kind of big.

  • Well said Jeff, all around. I now use one i7 with 8g ram with Linux Mint 19.3, and this flavour is so much easier to work with, loading all drivers on the first install and routinely booting in about 17 seconds. Compared to Win 10 it just screams. Lars Palo uses GO on Ubuntu Linux and offers some help on YouTube. A fellow named Chris Titus has a debloating scrip for Win 10 available online. It releases about 961 megs, and helps some, though Win 10 is, was, and ever shall be an unmitigated catastrophe, world without end, Amen.

    You know, GO has one feature (for the multi-tasking organist) that just blows HW away: Multiple organs! Therefore at 2am this morning I was fantasizing over which ones to use together to get one single eclectic instrument. I came up with Lars Palo's Burea (AGO extended), a small HW1 3m Marcussen (not Rotterdam, but Zeeland) and the Casavant in Oshawa, Ontario. Put those on one screen and you have everything! Add the Pitea and/or Wildervanck/Walcker organ to that and it would be insane.

    Regarding Pitea, Al Morse and Les Deutsch really turned this one into a success, but the instrument is configured for HW4+. I used OrganBuilder and Audition to rework Pitea with 32' flutes and reeds (in fact, Al used those files). What's unique about this instrument is the Harmonic Flute. In 1967 I had the dusty privilege of crawling around in the Paris Notre Dame organ (I'm getting kinda old) and found that at point-blank range, C-C Harmonic Flutes sound very different. The Pitea Harmonic Flute is a dead-ringer for the C-C. It wheezes, experiences phase shifts, it sputters, it almost sounds like a Calliope at times. That stop alone is worth the price of admission! Glad to hear others are fascinated by this organ. There's nothing else quite like it. This is why Lars is one of the Saints of GO ;)

    As I am fairly new on this site, I wonder if users trade ODF's, old, out-dated or private sample-sets? You're certainly welcome to anything I have in that regard as you endeavour to search out just the right instrument combination...

    All the best in your experimentation....Bob