Soniccouture has sampled a turn of the 19th-century Grand Salon Organ made by the Estey Organ Company and turned it into a Kontakt Player compatible sound library called Estey Reed Organ. The library is currently available as a free download from Soniccouture’s website (offer ends on December 31st).
This human-powered organ has two foot pedals that the player uses to move air through the internal reeds. The samples included in the “Estey Reed Organ” instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt are raw and organic, containing the imperfections of old wood and metal. They even sampled the sound of the air movement and pedal noise which can be adjusted to your taste. The eight switchable stops are Sub, Melodia, Dulce, Viola, Dulciana, Diapason, Jubilante and Forte. I’d have to dust off my old music history textbooks to know what some of those words mean, but they appear to be modeled after the original physical instrument. What is new however are the reverb, velocity, and envelope controls that the user can easily adjust on the main control screen.
Listening to the audio samples on the SonicCouture website, the upper register calls to mind the sound of a filtered retro synthesizer, whereas the low end has a rougher, brassier tone. Although typically used for classical performances, the sounds of this organ could be utilized effectively as an ambient padding instrument on indie tracks, or even on darker pop songs where a rattly old organ sound is appropriate.
Estey Reed Organ is available for free until the end of December 2016, marked down from $69. If you check it out, make sure you have Kontakt installed on your system. Even the free version will work with this instrument (there will be no time limit if you load the library in the freeware Kontakt Player).
Estey Reed Organ is available for free download via Soniccouture, offer ends on December 31st (1.8 GB size on disk, sound library for Native Instruments Kontakt & Kontakt Player).