The organ is an amazing instrument that is very similar to the piano in that they are both played using the same musical principle based on white and black keys that represent the musical scale. This is however how far their similarity goes. This instrument has an interesting and rich history which you can find here.
While the piano naturally delivers a bright, delineated sound that is only sustained when a sustain pedal is used or while the note is held down, the organ on the other hand delivers a rich sustained sound that has a naturally lengthy decay time.
This instrument is easily among the oldest instruments still relevant in modern music. In this article, we will take a quick look at this instrument and how practically anyone can use it in their music projects.
A Look at this Instrument
Like we mentioned above, this is one of the oldest instruments available today. It also has a number of variations with marked differences mainly in their sound. This difference in sound can be readily linked to the principle behind their functions.
Let’s quickly look at a few examples.
Types of Organs
We can broadly group the many different types of organs into two – Pipe and non-pipe organs.
Pipe organ describes the types that make their sound using the passage of air through precisely measured pipes. This is probably the earliest form of this instrument. You will also find that the largest of organs fall under this category.
Some examples that fall under this category include: church, concert, theater and chamber organs.
For the non-pipe category, we have other variations that make use of methods other than air passing through pipes. Examples include those that use reed, electricity, water, steam and digital synthesis.
All you need to do is look at the names to know how they generate their sound. The reed type uses reeds like the accordion while the others use electricity, water, steam and digital synthesis respectively.
The digital or electronic variant tries to simulate the tones of these various types so it does not necessarily have a tone of its own.
You can find an extensive list of the different types here: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-different-types-of-Organ-instruments.
The VST Plugin Solution
With over 10 types of this instrument to choose from based on their unique tones, it is practically impossible for anyone to own each one of them. This setback has thankfully been overcome with the help of technology.
Thanks to VST plugins, it is now possible to enjoy the different tones and feel of these different types of organs all from one point. You can now easily feature the different tones in a musical production without having to physically have any of these instruments anywhere near you.
This is the power and benefit of VST plugins.
What are VST Plugins?
If you know enough about computers, then you will likely have come across the word plugins. These are third party software of programs that can be installed within an existing program to perform a specific function.
VST on the other hand is a special platform that makes it possible for software that simulate the functions of hardware equipment and sounds of instruments to be used within a digital audio workstation or as a standalone instrument player on your computer.
This means that an organ VST plugin can be used to play organ sounds within a DAW or alone without having any physical organ instrument. This most certainly makes it very easy for small studio owners to be able to explore their creativity, using sounds that would usually have been beyond their means and physical capacity to use.
You can read more about the VST platform in this post.
Factors to Consider when Choosing
When choosing an organ VST plugin, there are some important things that have to be considered. We will quickly look at some of the more important factors.
When we use virtual instruments, more often than not, we do so because the alternative is way more expensive and demanding. It therefore means that we want the instrument to sound as real as possible.
To ensure this, you should find out if the product is synthesized or sampled. A synthesized plugin will have tones generated through computer programming, though this process is getting highly sophisticated, it is usually pretty difficult to get really realistic tones this way.
The alternative which is also a lot more expensive is the sampled variants. In this type, the tones are sampled (recorded) from actual live performances of the instrument. The process is usually very tedious and highly demanding as the aim is to capture every nuance and feel that the instrument produces.
In more cases than not, this should be your choice if you want the best of realism.
How much you are willing to spend will determine which you should go for. Thankfully, you can get plugins from less than hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. So, decide on your budget and choose one that fits it.
You should also note that some virtual instruments require a lot of space for their sample libraries. This is especially true for sampled ones. You should therefore ensure you have enough space for the choice you make.
There are different platforms in which different plugins can operate. Our focus here is VST so you should ensure that the DAW and OS you are using supports VST.
If you do not know where to find these plugins, you may want to check out any top VST plugin hub online for some great recommendations.
As a musician or music producer today, there are so many tools that you can use to enhance your performance and music as a whole. We’ve just looked at one of such tools and we hope that you’ve gotten some information that will help you going forward.