en français

The "Association de l'Orgue virtuel des Eaux-vives" was founded in October 2016 in order to promote and disseminate the sample set, produced in Hungary by Takáts Augustine (Augustine's Virtual Organ), of the organ in the Temple des Eaux-Vives in Geneva (Switzerland). The Association also hopes to raise funds and to contribute to the organ's maintenance thanks to user donations. Its registered office is in Geneva (Switzerland).

About the organ and the sample-set

Some instruments, because they're too loud or because they're located in a noisy environment, are impossible to sample. Such was apparently the case of the organ housed in the small Temple des Eaux-Vives, a Protestant church in Geneva, and built by Gerhard GrenzingI. It is one of the most interesting contemporary instruments in French-speaking Switzerland.

One of the organ's users, eager to play at home, nevertheless decided to produce a sample himself, following specific and detailed instructions and employing advanced equipment. After several apparently successful tests, he managed to just do that. The sample set he produced, while technically impeccable, could not be used owing to the loud background traffic noise surrounding the church at all times, even in the middle of the night – the Temple des Eaux-Vives is located on one of Geneva's busiest roads, just where cars shift down as they approach the descent leading to the bridge over the Rhone.

The recordings would probably have remained on our user's hard drive had not Takáts Augustine (Augustine's Virtual Organ), to whom he had turned for help and advice, offered to take up the challenge. The result is brilliant. Augustine de-noised the softest stops discreetly and efficiently – albeit rather drastically – concentrating on an almost dry stereo version composed of the samples recorded near the organ case – an effort worthy of a micro-surgeon that paid off. The result is a remarkable sample set that is very close to the sound of the original instrument: precise, clear, as agreeable to play as it is to hear. Using that dry version, Augustine then applied his skills to produce a natural-sounding 4-channel version that is slightly more reverberant and that balances the dry and wet channels.

The organ is a 26-stop German neo-Baroque instrument (13 stops on the main manual, 8 stops on the Positif with a wonderful tremblant, and 5 stops on the pedalboard). It beguiles listeners with its lilting Flutes, singing Principal stops, strong mixtures and Reeds, and a gorgeous Cornet. All the tremblant stops of the Positif were recorded and are perfectly restituted. The instrument features a Spanish-style split Positif keyboard, with the choice of the split between two notes. This feature was scrupulously respected by Augustine.

The mechanical tracker action is precise, with clear attacks. The church's very small size and the materials used to build it limit the amount of natural reverberation, so the relatively dry sample set perfectly replicates the sound produced by the real instrument and is particularly suitable for study or use in a naturally more reverberant location. It is the church's very clear acoustics that prompted the Geneva Conservatoire to select it for certain exams. The Conservatoire also gives many concerts there.

Stop list
GO: Bourdon 16' - Principal 8' - Bourdon 8' - Gambe 8' - Flûte cônique 4' - Octave 4' - Nasard 2 ⅓ - Octave 2' - Tierce - Mixture IV - Cornet III - Trompette 8'
Positif: Flûte à cheminée 8' - Quintaton 8' - Principal 4' - Flûte 4' - Sesquialtera - Scharf II - Vox Humana 8' - Rossignol
Pédale: Soubass 16' - Octave 8' - Octave 4' - Posaune 16' - Trompette 8'
Accessing the sample-set

The sampleset can be request by filling a form on the Augustine's Virtual Organ owebsite or by email request from the AOEV (see the address at the top this page). The complete trial version can be downloaded free of charge. These two files can be handled b Hauptwerk version 4.0 and further. The first file installs a stereo version arranged like the original instrument, with little reverberation but reproducing fairly accurately the sound heard from the organ bench. The second file is optional and adds two rear stereo channels supplemented with a moderate and adjustable reverberation; it also extends the range from 56 to 58 notes for the keyboards and from 30 to 32 notes for the pedalboard, and adds a calculated tremblant for the Main. A superimposed text reminds users that these are trial versions that will, in principle, expire after 15 days; users are encouraged to contact the AOEV, by email, and to make a donation in the suggested amount of €65. Donations can also be sended to our PayPal account at our email address of the AOEV or via ce site. For our users this small file, once it has been installed in Hauptwerk, will delete that appeal to their generosity for good. We are however counting on your understanding and your support to continue our work. Other, similar projects are on the drawing board, if we can fund them. The files are large and the MEGA server is prone to micro power cuts; it is therefore recommended to use downloading software such a iGetter Google Chrome or Firefox are recommended; Safari and IE excluded).

Sample-set features

It is neither encrypted, nor protected by a licence. The samples are in wave format 48kHz/24bit, stereo, multiple loops (1-12) and multiple releases (3 levels). Reuse of the samples nevertheless requires the authorization of the AOEV. The original organ was tuned a = 435 Hz but Hauptwerk allows the set to be tuned to a = 440 Hz according to one's preference. A file of the organ's original temperament is installed automatically along with the sample set; you are free to use it. The RAM requirements are:

- Original version (dry):
  • 16 bit, multiple loop, multiple releases:   5.0 GB
  •  24 bit, multiple loop, multiple releases:   8.0 GB
- 4-channel extended version (wet):
  • 16 bit, multiple loop, multiple releases:  10.0 GB
  •  24 bit, multiple loop, multiple releases:  17.0 GB
The extended version can be used, for example, on a regular 16 GB computer using 24 bits for every dry stop and 16 bits for every wet stop (or 20 bits for those most frequently used).

ome fine demos by István Nagy (Slovaquia), Dominique Dantand (France) and Norberto Broggini (Geneva), who provided invaluable advice for the development of the Eaux-Vives sample set, can be heard on the Augustine's Virtual Organ website, or on Contrebombarde, They provide convincing examples of this instrument's character.

Or click on the buttons for demos on Contrebombarde (use the back arrow of your browser to return to this page)