<span="prodText">A virtual steam calliope for your home or studio. This small instrument is based on samples from a real steamboat calliope and impresses with its penetrating sound. It is available as a sample set for Hauptwerk as well as a Soundfont. The license fee covers both versions. For more details and sound samples please follow the link below.
This sample set was created from samples from a real steamboat calliope kindly provided by Franz Neumeier, who runs a very informative website about steamboats.
The following definition of a calliope is taken from Wikipedia, please follow the link below to read the full article:
A calliope is a musical instrument that produces sound by sending steam through whistles, originally locomotive whistles. Joshua C. Stoddard of Worcester, Massachusetts invented the calliope, patented October 9, 1855. The calliope is also known as a "steam organ" or "steam piano." It was often played on riverboats and in circuses, where it was sometimes mounted on a carved, painted and gilded horse-drawn wagon in a circus parade (above right).
(Wikipedia contributors, "Calliope (music)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Calliope_%28music%29&oldid=46247720 (accessed April 1, 2006). )
Unfortunately the original samples have been recorded on a very cold day and also with a device using automatic level control. As a result the attack was unnatural, almost explosive, and most samples slowly drifted up to the right pitch, some started a full semitone below. In addition the hissing sound produced by the steam was covering up the notes too much. So some innovative sample processing techniques have been developed and used to cope with these problems. The most challenging part was the pitch drift. An algorithm has been developed in the octave scripting language that first detects the local pitch throughout the sample and then resamples with a time varying resampling-ratio, so that in the end the sample is properly pitched throughout. For each note separately tuned filters were used to enhance the actual tone and reduce the hiss. The final result is musically useful and still retains the charme and unusual character of the instrument. If you want to recreate the original steam calliope feeling however, you should crank up the volume on your amp, calliopes can be heard from miles away!
Pipeloops is offering the steam calliope in two versions, a sample set for Hauptwerk-2 as well as a soundfont. Trial versions can be downloaded from us (please click on the Download-Tab or other servers providing these files for free. The downloads are functional, but some limitations apply.
The HW2 version also contains a nice easter-egg, happy searching!
The Hauptwerk version of this set requires Hauptwerk 3.20 or above. It is fully compatible with the Hauptwerk Free Edition and Hauptwerk running in Evaluation Mode.
The Soundfont version should work on any software capable of using Soundfonts.
The licence conditions for our sample sets conditions can be found here.
All demos of the Virtual Steam Calliope are recorded directly using Hauptwerk’s recording feature and converted to mp3-format using lame, probably the best mp3-encoder available (and even better: its free!). No additional processing has been applied.
The midi files for the following demos are used with kind permmission from Ragtime-West, who have generously allowed those to be used to demo the calliope. These midis are great!
First Demo of the Virtual Steam Calliope
This was the very first demo of the virtual steam calliope sample set for Hauptwerk. The demo is the Rondo from Mozart`s March a’la Turka arranged for barrel organ by Ingmar Krause.