Fluid Soundfont: Drawbar organ one octave too low

• Jan 14, 2017 - 18:00
Reported version
Graphical (UI)
S4 - Minor
needs info

2.0.3 / FluidR3Mono_GM2-312

The Drawbar organ in the Fluid soundfont is pitched one octave too low. Easily fixed in Viena by applying a +12 correction to the global coarse tuning of the instrument.

P.S. Is it possible to add a "Soundfont" category to the "component" field of this forum, to easily identify soundfont-related threads?


I'm not sure what you mean by this. Have you compared to a some particular model of organ to verify that the fundamental frequency is off from what it should be? Different organ sounds will have different overtone profiles so it is quite common for the pitch to seem an octave away from where it really is. Nothing about this particular sound seems unusual to me, but I don't know if there is some sort of standard I'm not aware of to say it should be different.

You might try asking on the SoundFonts forum - Michael Cowgill (ChurchOrganist) will likely want to weigh in on this.

The easiest way to hear the problem is to play a simple C major triad starting at Middle C. Now click on the other organ presets and repeat. Now try the same thing for other instruments. You have to pitch the Drawbar organ up an octave to play the same part.

This means that a part written for the Rock or Percussive organ will have to be transposed up an octave if the user subsequently decides to use the Drawbar organ.

Status (old) active needs info

Like I said, due to the way organs produce sound, it is to some extent competent normal that some presets might appear to be an octave away from their normal pitch. I'm simply asking you consult an expert on this before assuming it is a flaw. It may or may not turn out to be perfectly normal for the particular organ sound being mimicked.

The deciding factor is being able to easily change sounds in the mixer, "on the fly". You cannot do this if one organ is playing back in a lower octave – unless you stop playback, transpose the part and restart.

Status (old) active needs info

But if the real instrument being mimicked sounds like, this is entirely correct. *Please* consult an expert, and leave the status of this as "needs info" until someone who understands organs better than you or I can verify whether or not this is correct. FWIW, though, I have played quite a few organs, and find it perfectly normal to find some sounds appear to be an octave lower or higher than others.

AFAIK the drawbar organ was a Hammond invention. While they often do possess 16" registration, they have an 8" basic registration of normal tuning and should indeed have no playback transposition.

To clarify my background, I graduated in classical church organ about 10 years ago but am a low-activity player. So no real 'authority' on the subject, but not a completely ignorant voice either ;)

That would have been useful information to have mentioned by now :-). Sounded at first like you had idea that different organ stops can have different apparent octaves. Still worth getting clarification from a true expert on though.