A digital organ is a sophisticated product with advanced technology, requiring artistic integration. Deficiency in any area will result in an unsatisfactory installation.
A digital organ includes digital and analog circuitry, electro-mechanical and mechanical assemblies, as well as requiring organ-building artistic skills. These assemblies must work flawlessly together to create an artistic and reliable instrument.
Organs based on PC (personal computer) tone generation are referred to as “virtual organs”. They are typically promoted as practice instruments, offering a low-cost alternative to a real organ. This claim falls short on artistic and quality issues, as well as when assembled, the organs often cost more than initially contemplated.
While organ sound can be created with a PC and virtual organ software, often Hauptwerk, these two items alone will not result in a playable musical instrument. Creating a PC-based organ that can be played in real time requires a console, keyboards, amplifiers, speaker cabinets, various interface circuitry, and more.
As an example of what is required to create a virtual organ, one PC-based micro-organ assembler published the items included in one of their organs, as follows:
- Hammond 25-Note Pedal board
- MIDI Taurus Hammond pedal to MIDI converter
- (6) Novation Launchpad MINI pushbutton controllers
- Novation Launchpad S pushbutton controller
- Classic MIDI Works CMK keyboards (Solo, Orchestral, Great Manuals)
- OSI Wooden Genuine 2nd Touch Keyboard with MIDI by Artisan (Accompaniment Manual)
- MAC MINI Intel i7 Computer with 16 gigs of RAM External VGA monitor
- Cakewalk 3 in/3 out MIDI interface
- MIDISPORT 4 in/4 out MIDI Interface
- Arndt Organ Supply Swell Shoes w/mounted footswitch
- MOTU UltraLite MK3 Audio Interface
- (8) Mackie SRM450 bi-amped powered speakers (400 watts each)
- SVS PC13 Ultra Subwoofer (1000 watts)
- iKEA Galant Desk with adjustable height legs
- Seven port USB powered hub
- Ten port USB powered hub
- Paramount Organ Works 450 Sample Set
- Hauptwerk 0 Virtual Organ Software
- Reaper Software Mixer and Plug-In Host
- Altiverb Convolver Reverb
- GSiVB3 Ultimate Virtual Tonewheel Organ
PC-based organ much more complicated and expensive than promoted by virtual organ software providers.