Information and requirements of the Soundfont version

What is a Soundfont?
Soundfonts are soundbanks which can be played on a Soundblaster AWE, Live! or Audigy using a keyboard. Soundfonts are very popular between musicans because they have nearly the same quality as a professional hardware sampler. There is one major difference: you can buy a soundblaster from 50 euro, a professional sampler from 1.600,- euro. You can also find lots of free soundfonts on the internet, which is an other advantage. Unfortunately, the number of organ soundfonts is very limited and those existing have a very poor quality.

Most (freeware) organ soundfonts have stops using at best 1 or 2 samples per octave. Often those samples are captured from several organs (or any other vague sources) resulting in an unstable sound with no unity at all. In order to save memory very short samples are used, e.g. 0,1 to 0,5 seconds. As you can understand this results into a very static sound.

Some specifications of the Marcussen Soundfont
- a Sample length varying from 3 to 5 secondds
- Each stop is using 6 samples per octave - The sound of several combined stops is an unity
- It has 6 different tunings to play lots off style periods
- an Adjustable tremolo (speed and depth)
The Soundblaster Audigy ES
Because of the large number of samples and sample length used, the Marcussen soundfont is a huge soundfont of 211Mb. For that reason a Soundblaster AWE/Live! can't be used because they have a sample memory limit of 35Mb. During constructing and testing we've been using a Soundblaster Audigy ES (an Audigy without the SB1394 FireWire connection, wich was purchased for less than 50 euro (The Netherlands). This Audigy has a sample limit of 4Gb!! (according to Creative)

The soundfont comes with 3 EAX presets, containing reverbs like the natural reverb of the church of Moerdijk.

Application to combine stops
To play the virtual organ you need the application Java Virtual Pipe Organ. This is an amazing freeware application made by Sven Meier from Germany. See for details www.meiers.net/sven/jorgan also for downloading of the application. The Java Organ has a very nice user-interface (see at the screenshot section), but also has many ways to pull the stops. Therefore you can choose to use the existing stop knobs on the electronic organ or self-defined hotkeys on the computer keyboard. There is also a possibility to easely create setzers for each manual or either the whole organ (see for this item also the information at the jOrgan website).

The soundfont also comes with 6 Java organ definitions. Each definition holds a tuning temperature. These are the following tunings:

Tuning

Year

Style

Composers

Bank#

Meantone - 1/6 comma

1500

Renaissance

Sweelinck, Byrd

3

Agricola

1539

Renaissance

Sweelinck, Byrd

1

Werckmeister III

1681

Early Baroque

Pachelbel, Buxtehude, Walther, Bach

5

Neidhardt

1724

Baroque

Bach

2

Silbermann

1725

Baroque

Bach

4

Equal

1800

All styles

All composers

0



What do you need?
Besides the free application Java Virtual Pipe Organ, you need the following things in order to play:
- The Marcussen Soundfont
- a Computer with a 350Mhz processor (or higgher) and a minimal of 256 Mb internal memory
- a Soundblaster Audigy (ES)
- an Organ with a midi-out
- a Soundblaster cable (RS323 gameport-conneector, midi-in, midi-out)