Meta Organworks has solved the biggest problem of digital organ building: Realism

A Meta Organ is the closest you can get to an acoustic pipe organ.

So, let’s get this out in the open—a Meta Organ has no pipes. This may be problematic for you, and we understand where you’re coming from. In fact, Meta Organworks founder, Dan Lemieux, a traditional pipe organ builder, had ignored digital organs for the vast majority of his career because they never felt or sounded very musical to him.

However, Dan’s view of the digital organ changed in 2015 when he began working with Hauptwerk software-based virtual pipe organs. Dan realized the potential to create a digital organ where one no longer has to settle for that pipe organ-like sound. With its balance of technology and craftsmanship, the Meta Organ produces a level of realism that is unparalleled in the realm of digital organs.

So, how do we achieve our unparalleled sound and realism?

The Right Sound Engine

First of all, the foundation of a Meta Organ is the best pipe organ sampling software sound engine ever invented, Hauptwerk. Over the last 15 years, this program has continually been refined and perfected. Hauptwerk delivers the most convincing pipe organ sound replication possible. The computers we build have been designed solely for the purpose of optimizing the Hauptwerk software sound engine’s potential, utilizing large amounts of memory (RAM) to deliver high definition pipe samples.

We select only the best sample sets available, and favor the newest ones that have benefited from the producers’ own R&D. Realism starts with great pipe samples! Meta Organs contain a collection of sample sets that reflect all the major schools of organ building throughout history and the world. We believe that the works of the great master organ builders should be respected and curated into a new space while maintaining the original vision of the builder.

Curation

Interpretation

Meta Organworks picks up where Hauptwerk and sample set producers leave off. Raw pipe samples have to be made to sound realistic and beautiful in a new room, which is not an easy straightforward task.

​Based on our 20 years of experience in acoustic pipe organ work, we have perfected how to utilize multiple pipe samples by voicing in order to suit a new performance space.

The key is to let the original builder’s vision remain intact, while, at the same time, making the pipework sound naturally beautiful and psycho-acoustically believable.

One mistake that old-school digital organ companies make is a lackluster audio system, with many being similar to home stereo systems in the 1980s. In contrast, Meta Organs use multi channeling and high definition, state of the art, professional audio equipment. No matter how many pipes are played, the computer algorithm distributes the pipe load evenly across all the channels, which makes for a much more realistic sound.

When our founder, Dan Lemieux, began building speaker based organs, he made a pledge:

“What comes out of the speakers, must sound exactly like what I have heard for the last 25+ years in the chambers and cases of real pipe organs.”

The Right Sound System

It’s not just another digital organ, it’s a virtual pipe organ.

Meta Organs contain a collection of sample sets that reflect all the major schools of organ building throughout history and the world:

Aeolian Skinner, Opus 1301

Mid-Century American Classic Organ

This Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, Opus 1301, was manufactured in 1956-1957, when the company’s tonal director was Joseph S. Whiteford who was the successor of the deceased G. Donald Harrison.

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Casavant Bellvue, Washington

Mid-1990s Eclectic with French Nomenclature

Opus 3742 provides the typical resources useful for American service playing, beginning with the core principal chorus on the Great to support congregational singing.

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Chemintz

German Romantic Organ

This 1908 Sauer organ has plenty of foundation stops, including all sorts of flutes ranging from pianissimo to forte.

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Chico Yokota

Modern German Baroque Replica (Silbermann)

This 2 manual tracker organ, owned by Chico State University (California), was built by Munetaka Yokota according to the aesthetic and artisanal principles of Gottfried Silbermann.

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Keidrich

Oldest Playable Organ in Germany

This organ, which resides in St. Valentinus and Dionysius church in Keidrich, has the reputation of being the oldest playable organ in Germany. Although this claim to fame is questionable, it’s certainly one of the oldest, with elements dating from circa 1500.

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St. Martini

Schnitger Organ Located in the Netherlands

Master Hermannus built this organ in 1450, it was extended in 1482 to include a Rugpositief, restored and added to in 1542 to include a Bovenwerk, and Schnitger added large pedal towers with 32’ principal pipes in 1691/1692.

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Hereford Cathedral

Late Victorian Cathedral Organ

This 67 stop 1892 Willis organ is housed in the 11th century cathedral located in the city of Hereford, England. It delivers rich, full reverberant tones that are characteristic of a great English cathedral organ.

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Rosales, Opus 11

Late 20th Century American Eclectic Organ

This American eclectic 85 rank, 54 stop organ resides at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon and was built in 1984-1987 by Manuel Rosales, one of the most inspired organ builders in the United States.

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Ruckers Harpsicord

Baroque Harpsichord

A two manual harpsichord.

Santayni

Spanish Baroque Cathedral Organ

This two manual, 40 divided rank organ is one of the best preserved works of Jordi Bosch. Its “Trompeteria” consists of 9 ranks of horizontal trumpets.

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St. Etienne

French Romantic Cathedral Organ

This Cavaillé-Coll French Romantic organ resides at the St. Etienne abby in Caen, France. Since 1975, the organ is listed as a national cultural heritage. This is the instrument the famous French organist, Marie Claire Alain, chose to record the complete works of César Frank.

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Chaplet

Spanish Chamber Organs

These two small Spanish instruments are part of the collection of Francis Chapelet at Montpon-Ménestérol

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Burton-Berlin Hill

Early Victorian Parish Organ

This organ was built in the 1860s by William Hill (1789-1871; by an apprentice of Thomas Elliot) originally for St. Paul’s Church in Burton, England.

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St. Pons

Authentic French Baroque Instrument

This 1771 Organ was constructed by Jean-Baptiste & Son and is the most well preserved example of the work of this acclaimed French organ building family.

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