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iCathedral Organ app review – The latest app from Crudebyte

Crudebyte has released another new app, hot on the heels of the recent Oriental Strings app. The new app, called iCathedral Organ, is obviously an app focusing on cathedral organ sounds. If you've got a desire to play some Bach organ pieces, or you'd like to brings some big church organ sounds to your services, or maybe you're just a fan of some "Phantom of the Opera" tunes, keep reading.

If you're familiar with the Oriental Strings or iSymphonic Orchestra apps, much of iCathedral Organ will look familiar, but with one new feature that will please many. The main interface is very similar to others, with presets and effects in drop-down boxes on top, with the virtual keyboard along the bottom of the main screen. This virtual keyboard can be adjusted in size by dragging the arrow and pinching, but with the other apps, an external keyboard is definitely preferable here. The option to use both Core MIDI keyboards or a MIDI sequencer makes life a bit easier here. Honestly, I didn't use the onscreen keyboard at all.


The app ships with twenty presets, and these cover a wide range of organ sounds. Big "churchy" sounding organs, alongside some more reserved sounds are instantly available. Some of these sound exactly like the preset name would imply - Choir, Flute Choir, and Woodwinds are exactly what you'd expect. Some of the more mysteriously named presets were actually my favorites. I particularly liked "Sunrise" and "Morning Call". These sounds do range from a bigger, "in your face" pipe organ sound to some more mellow, softer tones.

Similar again to the other Crudebyte apps is the MIDI player and recorder found within iCathedral Organ. You can import .midi files directly into the app through Safari, by using the "Open In" function from the website housing the .midi file, or by e-mail or iTunes. Very easy operation.

As with iSymphonic Orchestra, iCathedral Organ also offers Hermode Tuning (HMT) from within the app. Essentially what Hermode Tuning does is that it makes sounds sound richer by fine-tuning the  thirds, fifths, and sevenths to specific intervals in cents, and has something to do with microtuning of chords. I'm not about to blow smoke here and pretend that I completely understand the details of HMT, so check out this page for more in-depth information. There are presets (Hermode Classic and Hermode Pop/Jazz) available within the app to get you started.


So, I mentioned earlier that there was something new and different in iCathedral Organ. That is the ability to control each of the 28 individual organ registers, and save your own presets. The previous offerings from Crudebyte have not offered any custom sound management or saving of presets, so this is a real nice step forward. Tapping on the 3X3 grid icon in the main interface will quickly zoom you in to a close-up view of the virtual organ. Here you will find 28 dials for each register, which can be adjusted. Eagle eyes may have noticed the "plus" icon next to the presets drop-down, and this is where you will save your preset.


The app, like all of the other Crudebyte offerings, is Inter-App Audio and JACK compatible. Again, no Audiobus here.

If you're familiar with the Crudebyte apps, you know that they don't come cheap. The recent apps all sell for $54.99 USD, which is a considerable investment for an app. Apps like Galileo Organ from Yonac also offer some cathedral organ sounds, along with other organ sounds. But, if you are looking for a dedicated organ app with top-shelf samples, iCathedral Organ brings a wide array of cathedral-style sounds to your iPad.

If you're thinking about buying iCathedral, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

[app 925910220]

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