Step Into Concrète: Organ Sample Sets (and VSTi)

Hello everyone (that I didn’t scare away with my last post).

Today I thought I’d do something a little different and turn you on to some organ sample sets, free as well as commercial.  For the few of you that have no clue what I’m speaking of -A history lesson:

‘Samples’ are snippets of recorded sound used in musical composition.  It technically started in the 1940’s with Pierre Schaeffer and ‘Musique Concrète’.


In the 1960’s Musique Concrète went pop with the birth of the Mellotron, a keyboard that played 8 second lengths of audio tape playing a signle note of an instrument (like a cello, or violin) per key.  Certainly, you’ve heard it.

The strings?  Mellotron.

Then came the 80’s and with it came digital sampling.  The biggest name in the form was the Fairlight CMI.

Peter Gabriel explains the Fairlight!  Yes, in English

Art of Noise with their ground breaking Fairlight track (and amusing vid) for “Close To The Edit”

As the decade wore on, the technology became MUCH cheaper and the data storage much smaller resulting in many different choices in the sampling realm.  From the heavy duty:

The EMU Emulator II

To the down and dirty:

The Ensoniq Mirage (RACK VERSION)

Pete Rock wailing on the now legendary EMU SP1200 (among other things)

To the thing you wish you never bought your grandkid for Christmas:

What they sold you

What you bought!

Replace “Hello My Name Is Herbert” with a fart, or “Billy Is Gay” and the tears, they did flow huh, Gramma?  Yep.

Well, with the 90’s came the advent of computer recording and now, in the late Aughties, anyone with a half decent computer or smart phone (iPhone / iPad) has the ability to also run a top of the line sampler / sequencer through any number of DAW programs like Cubase, Nuendo, Reaper, Fruity Loops, Ableton, Pro-Tool, Garageband, the list is LONG.


go ahead, hit the link, see if I care!

So, why oh, why did I drag through this?

Because some of you love organs, but don’t have the space necessary or means to have one in your home.  Well, if you have a computer, enough space on your hard drive, and money to afford a USB MIDI keyboard controller, I think sampling is the solution for you!  Once you understand the basics of sampling (terms like MIDI and WAV) and spend a little time with a simple program like Garageband (which comes loaded in most iMacs as far as I know) or Cubase lite, the internet will provide you with more sampled organ sounds than you could believe, often cheap, sometimes free!

Here’s a few places to get some organ samples!: awesome pipe organ A Yamaha FE-70 – exactly the kind of organ we love @ Organ *Pron!  I’ve bought from Forgotten Keys numerous times, great stuff and SUPER CHEAP!  I didn’t know about this until TODAY!!  Plenty of classic Drumbox sample sets there, too! A nice Kontakt style baroque organ A bunch of hot combo organs here! A free Magnus chord organ set.  Actually really cool! Hollow Sun, the masters of the weird sample set, offer up a free Novachord, one of the coolest organ type instruments EVER! Speaking of weird and Musique Concrète…

Here are some VSTi (Virtual Studio Technology instrument), basically simulated digital versions of real instruments – no samples.  Some are servicable, some are amazing, as far as organs go, there are TONS and the majority of them are FREE.  So, please, mosey on over to KVR Audio check ’em out!


Welcome to ORGAN*PRON!


NOTE:  This post is a ‘Sticky’, a post that starts the top of each page.  New content continues below!

Hello everybody and welcome to Organ*Pron, a blog dedicated to that most enigmatic of instruments, the electric organ! My name’s Mars and while I’m certainly no keyboard wizard, I do love the artistry and innovation that has gone into the myriad of electronic organs. What I’m attempting to do with this blog is to make a sort of photographic database of the many organs out there. My main inspiration is undoubtedly the unparalleled juggernaut that is Matrixsynth the last word in synthesizer pron on web.

I’ve been cruising both ebay and craigslist looking at the various organs and noticed that, beyond the fact that they’re either blood curdlingly expensive or dirt cheap, there is very little in the way of a comprehensive database to reference these things. I’d like to try and change that. Unfortunately, I know VERY LITTLE in this regard, so I’m hoping that you organ enthusiasts can help both identify the pics of any unknown organs I post and add pictures and reviews of your own!

I do want to make clear that I want to keep the blog fun and loose for now, so don’t expect academia when visiting. The name of the blog is ORGAN*PRON, after all.

Okay, while I want to keep a main focus on organs here, I’m not opposed to string machines, Mellotrons and their family (Birotrons, Nanotrons, Optigans, etc.), artistically interesting Harmoniums, mystery stuff, videos, add ons, VSTi’s, home modifications (can you even do this?), etc.. No straight up synthesizers though, as Matrixsynth has that well covered!

Okay, so a few rules. First, I don’t own the vast majority of what’s going up and what I do have ain’t for sale so don’t ask. If I do decide to sell, I’ll notify you all by posting my EBAY or CRAIGSLIST link. Secondly, please don’t try and sell your stuff in the comments unless you have an active ebay or craigslist post for the item. NO DIRECT SELLING OF STUFF IN THE COMMENTS SECTION – IF YOU TRY I’LL DELETE THE COMMENT AND BAN YOU.

Forget it.  Comments closed unless otherwise noted.

Update October 2010:  I plan on doing more updates now that I don’t have to worry about thieves, jerks and fraud victims clogging up the comments section.  Stay tuned!