Robert Morton Opus 2401 - 3/17 Billmire Residence

This sample set is a virtual re-creation of the Robert Morton Opus 2401 as it is currently installed in David Billmire's home. The organ was originally a late (1928) Model 23N that was installed in the Empress Theatre, in Columbus, OhioThe original ranks were the Concert Flute, Clarinet, Vox Humana, Violins I, II, III, and French Horn in the Main (Left) chamber. The Tuba, Diapason, Tibia Clausa, Saxophone, and Kinura in the Solo (Right). It also had five ranks of tuned percussion: Harp, Chrysoglott, Xylophone, Chimes, and Orchestral Bells. Opus 2401 is currently owned and played by David Billmire, who kindly recorded the samples for our use as a VTPO. David has added several ranks to the original eleven; a Posthorn, French Trumpet, Orchestral Oboe, Musette and Flute Celeste, plus the Vibraphone. 

This organ has an interesting history. The Empress Theatre, featuring a seating capacity of 500 to 600 seats, primarily served the African American community. When in the ’fifties the building was razed (as was the fate of so many similar theatres) the organ was removed from the structure and moved to the theatre owner’s house. Following this, it was sold to a farmer in southeastern Ohio who didn’t complete its restoration, but eventually sold it to a person in the ’seventies who installed it in his house. Before its completion, however, the new owner was killed in an auto accident, and the organ was adopted by a friend of his, David Billmire, the present owner, who completely rebuilt it over the next 6 years. All the pipe work, professionally restored and finished by Wilson and Duddy , has been returned to its original voicing.

Screen Shots
Console View: (Click on the image to see the full sized image)

Stops View: (Click on the image to see the full sized image)

Switches View: (Click on the image to see the full sized image)

Crescendo View: (Click on the image to see the full sized image)


Nola and Polly have a new sister! Steffie is a newborn tune by Misha Stefanuk, written just a short time ago in the tradition of novelty songs that used to be so popular in the times when music mattered. Misha has some impressive composition credentials, including music on almost every US TV channel, and even a recent onscreen appearance as "the organist" on Constantine, NBC. In his own words, there is not many things to do that are more fun than playing a theatre organ! Reverb has been added.

On October 25, 2014, Misha Stefanuk surprised his date with two songs he’d written for her—"Steffie" and "Rebecca". He played them at his pre-show at the Strand Theater in Marietta, GA. The reception was more than pleasant; it was, indeed, a much better gift than flowers! Misha has kindly provided us with these two new tunes as part of the Demo tracks of this sample set :D

Another girl-inspired original by Misha, surprising influences from Charlie Chaplin (as a composer) and Ennio Morricone. If you ever wonder what would have happened if those two met, wonder no more, here comes Rebecca! And what a wonderful orchestral instrument this is, a dream to play! Reverb has been added.

Les Deutsch playing "Collegiate Sam", by Benny Davis and J. Fred Coots (from 1929). This is another of those college-themed novelty tunes that were so popular at the time. It is about what we would today call a “big man on campus” dressing strangely and getting all the girls. Les' arrangement is based on the recording by Harry Reser’s Syncopators, also from 1929. The theater organ lends itself perfectly to these pseudo-hot-jazz-band studio arrangements. In Les' adaptation he presents a wide variety of registrations, with and without trems, and includes the tuned percussions and even the cymbal. Reverb has been added.

Misha Stefanuk playing "Somebody Stole My Gal". This is a popular song from 1918, written by Leo Wood. In 1923, Ted Weems & his Orchestra had a five-week run at number one with his million-selling version. It is also known in Japan as the theme song used by Yoshimoto Kogyo at its theater in Osaka. The song has been featured in several Hollywood movies including:  Somebody Stole My Gal (1931), Little Jack Little & Orchestra (1936), When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950), My Favorite Year (1982), The Grass Harp (1995), Melinda and Melinda (2004) and The Aviator (2004).

Les Deutsch playing “The Bird in a Gilded Cage”, by Harry Von Tilzer and Arthur J. Lamb. This tune was composed in 1900 and was one of the most popular tunes of that year. It is also recognized as being the very first tear-jerker song, serving as a model for those that followed. Les has arranged it in a serious fashion as it might have been played at the time. This song has very lush registrations, including the distinctive Robert Morton strings. Dynamics range from a Tibia solo to something close to full organ. The vibraphone and chimes are also featured. Reverb has been added.

Donation and Order Forms:
This project, although free for personal and non-commercial use, will be donationware based and released by Melotone Sound Productions. Your donations to the project will help us to continue to develop new sample sets and improve the equipment and techniques used in their creation.

Projects like the Robert Morton Opus 2401 Series are time intensive and are released on the understanding that users will donate towards the time spent on creating them. A donation of US$99.00 or more would be appreciated for a sample set of this size. Please go to the PayPal Donations page if you are able to make a donation. 

Then go to the Sample Set Ordering Page page to fill in your information, and we will send you the link to download the sample set.  

The sample set requires that the Robert Morton Opus 2401 - Original 3/12 Series  has been installed. The download is just over 380Megs in size. With the Robert Morton Opus 2401 - 3/17 Billmire Residence sample set fully loaded, the Hauptwerk executable will be using approximately 2.2 Gigs of RAM. This sample set will load in Hauptwerk Free Edition by loading some of the samples in MONO to save on RAM resources, but Hauptwerk Basic Edition is the minimum recommended HW Edition - as you will then be able to use the samples in Stereo, and with the 1000 notes of polyphony rather than the 256 polyphony limitation that comes with the Free Edition.

Crescendo Configurations

Traditional Crescendo: 
Download: RMOpus2401_3-17_TraditionalCrescendo.OrganCombinationSet_Hauptwerk_xml (right click and select "Save As")
Copy the download file to C:\Hauptwerk\HauptwerkUserData\OrganCombinations\OrganID001179
Load the RM Opus 2401 3/17 Dry organ in Hauptwerk
Load the Combination Set from the HW Menu -> Registration -> Load combination set...

This crescendo definition can be used without any other registrations, and builds from quiet to loud.
This definition was kindly donated by Graham Goode.

AddOn Crescendo: 
Download: RMOpus2401_3-17_AddOnCrescendo.OrganCombinationSet_Hauptwerk_xml(right click and select "Save As")
Copy the download file to C:\Hauptwerk\HauptwerkUserData\OrganCombinations\OrganID001179
Load the RM Opus 2401 3/17 Dry organ in Hauptwerk
Load the Combination Set from the HW Menu -> Registration -> Load combination set...

This crescendo definition must be used with other registrations, as it provides that additional crescendo loudness only to the later part of the crescendo pedal's movement. 
This definition was kindly donated by Misha Stefanuk.

License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

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The samples for this organ were recorded by and are the property of David Billmire.

Orchestral Chimes (Glockenspiel)
Concert Flute 
Diaphonic Diapason 
Flute Celeste
French Horn
French Trumpet
Orchestral Oboe
Tibia Clausa
Violin I
Violin II
Violin III
Vox Humana 

All the noise reduction, tuning, looping, and creation of release portions was performed by Graham Goode.

The default registrations and default MIDI file were defined/recorded by Misha Stefanuk. [Thanks Misha!]

Voicing guidance was provided by the Alpha and Beta testing groups, and special thanks to Les Deutsch and Ted Williamson for their hard work in this area.

The Hauptwerk CODM and ODF were created by Melotone Sound Productions.

The graphics are created from photos taken by David Billmire, edited and made into the Hauptwerk GUI by Graham Goode.