The choice fell on this organ because of its unbelievable power and sonority. Its volume is able to fill sovereignly the vast nave. It’s impressive percussive quality in the development of sound is an ideal case for recording samples. The great organ by Pierre Schyven /Salomon van Bever (1874/1912) is a discovery. Being the second greatest instrument of its builder it stands in the tradition of the symphonic organ in Belgium. Cavaille-Coll held Schyven in high regard and even today one can hear why.
The natural reverberation of the cathedral is given upon key-release. When you let the key go, a second sample is played, showing the rich reverberation, which was not manipulated. This release reverberation tail was recorded in the cathedral itself and is still part of the original sample. This idea was used in SOS-1 “La Madeleine” for the first time ever and there are good reasons for applying this original reverberation for SOS-2 once more.
All stops were sampled in Thirds. The true nature and charakter of each pipe was captured. Every single tone is 30 seconds long for the stops of the manuals. The lenght of the pedaltones is 60 seconds.
All tones are not looped in any way. Looping actually represents the adding of information to the original material, and so it is no longer left original.
All instruments have got 18 multisamples recorded in stereo which can be played from C up to c4. Some rare stops with exceptional spectrums of their overtones were captured chromatically. These instruments consist of 55 multisamples.
Each stop was sampled with the smallest headroom using two Neumann KM 130 microphones and a very good SPL Pre-Amp direct to a Digital Audio Tape. No dithering of the Samples was made. Sounddesign was carried out with Samplitude in two steps only: 1.) Cutting the samples, 2.) For the reverb tails in some stops of the manual we used the FFT-Analyzer cutting off the frequencies below the groundtone, because of the trucks driving around the cathedral during the night. In the spectrum of the overtones NO sounddesign whatever was admitted!
Every manual was captured separately, that is without using the couplers. These couplers are easy to combine with the ports and channels in Samplers.
What is more, no kind of noisereduction was applied. Thus the noise of the winding system and the bellows can clearly be heard. Our goal was to give the most clear reproduction of this great organ, only orientated on the musicality.