SonicCouture ALL SAINTS Organ
Following on from the release of All Saints Choir, the chaps at SonicCouture have further expanded upon the musical richness of the venue, with the release of a library that spotlights the resident All Saints Organ, a splendid pipe organ which was originally built by Harrison and Harrison in 1906, and remains tonally unaltered to this day over 100 years later.
Following a first speculative recording session in 2018, the guys returned last year to sample the instrument in greater detail, and the resulting product will make a perfect accompaniment to their last release, the All Saints Choir library.
All Saints Organ was recorded using two microphone arrays resulting in 2500 stereo samples captured in 24 bit, 48 kHz quality.
The library takes up 3.5Gb of disk space compressed from 6Gb using NCW compression.
It requires Kontakt 6.2and above, either the full version or the free Kontakt player equivalent, thus being NKS ready and is of course fully compatible for use within Komplete Kontrol.
There is one master Kontakt NKI file, and a further 87 NKSN snapshot files, which serve as the source for the Komplete Kontrol presets.
Download & Installation…
As is always the case with a SonicCouture library, getting up and running is thankfully an accessible and painless task, the archive of your library is downloadable directly from ‘my products’ when logged into their website, avoiding the need for a dedicated software management application, although they do have one available if you really want to take that route.
After unzipping, and placing the unpacked library folder onto your sample drive, it’s a simple case of authorising and installing it via Native Access using the provided serial code, and finally rescanning Komplete Kontrol in the standalone application to finish the process.
Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plug-in Edit NKS Controls…
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor, Product
Knob 3 – Bank: Basic registrations, Howard Goodall Registration, Sound Design
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type: Organ
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Pipe
Knob 7 – Character: Sample Based
Knob 8 – Presets x 87
Plug-in Edit NKS Controls
There are a hefty 21 pages of NKS controls within the library, rather than list every page it is worth noting that the pages and parameters deal specifically with the four sections of the organ, these being Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal, so where we list a page and parameter type there will be a further three pages that essentially replicate the available controls for each section.
Page One – Level, Inserts & Reverb
Knob 1 – Close Mic Level
Knob 2 – Far Mic Level
Knob 3 – Bellows Mic Level
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Inserts Choral
Knob 6 – Inserts filter
Knob 7 – Inserts Replica
Knob 8 – Reverb Mix
Page Two – Stops Great
Knob 1 – Tromba 8
Knob 2 – Large Dia 8
Knob 3 – Hohl Flute 8
Knob 4 – Rohr Flute 8
Knob 5 – Principle 4
Knob 6 – All Stops
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
Page Three – Stops Swell
Knob 1 – Dbltpt 16
Knob 2 – Horn 8
Knob 3 – Lieblich 8
Knob 4 – Gems Horn 4
Knob 5 – Clarion 4
Knob 6 – Mixture
Knob 7 – All Stops
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Four – Stops Choir
Knob 1 – Clarinet 8
Knob 2 – Claribel 8
Knob 3 – Hautboy 8
Knob 4 – Principle 4
Knob 5 – Saube Flute 4
Knob 6 – Picoolo 2
Knob 7 – All Stops
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Five – Stops Pedal
Knob 1 – Harmonic 32
Knob 2 – Great 16
Knob 3 – Ophicleide 16
Knob 4 – Posaune 8
Knob 5 – All Stops
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Six – Great Tone
Knob 1 – Level
Knob 2 – Pitch
Knob 3 – Fine
Knob 4 – Sample Start
Knob 5 – Pan
Knob 6 – Unallocated
Knob 7 – Velocity
Knob 8 – Velocity Attack
Page Seven to Nine – As above for Swells, Choir & Pedal
Page ten – Great Envelopes
Knob 1 – Attack
Knob 2 – Decay
Knob 3 – Sustain
Knob 4 – Release
Knob 5 – Filter Attack
Knob 6 – Filter Decay
Knob 7 – Filter Sustain
Knob 8 – Filter Release
Page Eleven to Thirteen – As above for Swell, Choir & Pedal
Page Fourteen – Great Filter
Knob 1 – Cut-off
Knob 2 – Resonance
Knob 3 – Low Pass Filter
Knob 4 – High Pass Filter
Knob 5 – Velocity
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Fifteen to Seventeen – As above for Swell, Choir & Pedal
Page Eighteen – Great LFO
Knob 1 – LFO Rate
Knob 2 – LFO Pitch
Knob 3 – LFO Amp
Knob 4 – LFO Filter
Knob 5 – LFO Pan
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Nineteen to Twenty One – As above for Swell, Choir & Pedal
As we have come to expect, but I’m sure not take for granted from SonicCouture, accessibility has been taken into consideration with the mapping and keyswitching within the All Saints Organ library.
Upon cross referencing the parameters with those available within Kontakt, it revealed that very little has been omitted aside from some more detailed controls associated with the FX section.
It looks like SC have here incorporated some of the wider range of built in FX that are now available for developers to use within their Kontakt 6 libraries.
This is really useful as not all customers will have Komplete software suites or indeed Komplete Kontrol. for us though, if we want to make use of FX like Choral and Replica, which are included as part of the Komplete 12 software suite, it would possibly be just as easy and quite feasible to remove them from the KK preset mix using their respective level controls, and then simply insert them onto a subsequent FX slot where we would gain the more detailed control missing from the NKS mapping.
All Saints Go Marching In…
I must confess that I am certainly no expert when it comes to possessing a working knowledge of the pipe organ. I can still however fully appreciate the reverence and respect that they hold with their many talented players around the world. Given the craftsmanship in their build, and significant historical value they take with them through the ages, regular players of these beasts effectively often become their curators as well as working organists, and the sheer physicality involved in making these birds truly sing is indeed something to behold.
All Saints Organ In Use…
For this review, I was keen to garner the opinion of someone far more qualified than myself to offer their experienced thoughts on the qualities of this library.
To this end, I spoke to new age pianist, composer and renowned Steinway Artist, Kevin Kern, who has just begun to use the library in his Komplete Kontrol set-up.
Kevin told me the following,
“although I am primarily a pianist and composer, in my formative years, I spent time as an assistant parish organist and had the opportunity to study organ with two of my parish music directors.
While I was never an expert, I did get an appreciation for the organ that has remained with me to this day. As a result, I’ve been looking for an accessible emulation that would bring back the memories of my misspent youth”.
SonicCouture All Saints Organ is a fantastic organ, The combinations of stops on offer give the user a wonderfully varied pallet of timbres and textures from which to choose from.
Whether you’re interest is in classic pipe organ sounds or more modern sound design oriented approaches.
The user should not be put off by the fact that Soniccouture elected to sample 25 out of a possible 49 stops on this magnificent instrument, according to the background info on their website. While I am curious to know what stops they elected to omit and why, the collection presented here is simply remarkable and worth every penny.
A Word on Key switches and Velocity…
One thing to remember is that, unlike most key switches, these are velocity sensitive as well as being additive. That is to say, you do not choose an either or scenario. You can truly mix and match. Pressing a key with a velocity below 64 turns the switch off. Above 64 turns it on. A sighted user would see the red key switch dimmer or brighter emblematic of status. In some cases, you might not hear the difference if the stop attached to the key switch is fairly soft and you’re playing a patch with a lot of loud stops in it. You could always save the result as your own user preset, or as a track template in your DAW if that’s a preferred option.
Further, because an organ is, by its nature velocity insensitive, the user might not always think in terms of hitting a key switch with variable velocity to achieve a toggle response. I missed this until I had read the manual, even though it was mentioned in the excellent walkthrough video.
Also in the walkthrough, I had heard a micro tuning feature described. It took me a minute to discover that this feature is actually fully accessible through SC’s superb NKS implementation.
Simply select a combination of sounds by turning on the key switches you want and then finding the stop you wish to detune and using the appropriate fine control in the relevant “department.” For those of us who learned organ in the US, the word, “Department,” equals “Manual in our nomenclature. The result can best be described as something akin to a Vox Celesta type stop which isn’t directly available here but which I was able to suitably emulate with this useful fine detune feature.
Finally, another useful technique, is to load and arm instances of All Saints Organ on up to four tracks in your respective DAW, and then have a Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal preset loaded separately on each track, this will then allow you to mix and match the departments to your liking further still .
Thanks to Kevin for his comprehensive views.
I am really grateful to Kevin for his thoughts on this library, which I think is a valid testimony coming from someone of his musical experience.
As always I would recommend watching the associated walkthrough video to gain a better insight into how things work and importantly sound. To my ears though All Saints Organ seems to deliver the rich harmonics and deep thunderous tones you would hope to come from such an instrument.
The choice of NKS parameter mappings make for a library that is very accessible, which is something that Kevin remarked upon in his comments, and these allow users to extensively tailor the sounds to suit their own needs.
sonicCouture have done their usual fine job of sampling the intricacies of this magnificent instrument, digitally capturing it’s sound for the posterity of future generations. At the same time however, they have also managed to merge their penchant for sound design into the fabric of the library, making it far more than the sum of what at first glance may appear to be the whole.
SonicCouture All Saints Organ can be purchased directly from the SC website, the usual price will be UK £119.00,
at the time of publication there is an introductory price that offers 30% discount making it £83.00 (Until June 28th 2020)
All Saints Organ Product page:
All Saints Organ – Preview:
All Saints Organ – Walkthrough:
All Saints Organ – Historical Website:
(c) Chris Ankin
June 18th, 2020
The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based solely on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product or gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.