Let's Get Technical!

What Kind of Audio File Method is Right for You? 

Consistent alignment between you, as the player, and the orchestral file is achieved with a "click track".  A click track is a background counter and is proven to be the best, most consistent method for keeping the player in-sync with the virtual orchestra.

Almost all Organ Symphony Assistant downloads come with three files.  The "...with click track" file is intended to be used by itself (one-track method). It is the easiest and quickest way to get started. When the one-track method is engaged, the player will hear both the click track and orchestral part through your speaker array or headphones. 

With the two-track method, the player will engage the other two files ("...without click track" and "...click track only") via a digital audio workstation (DAW) and audio interface.  This method will allow the player to direct the orchestra part to a speaker system and the click track to an earpiece. Only the player can hear the click track making this is very important when creating your own audio performance or live event.

Most people will begin with the one-track method with many later graduating to the two-track method.   

To hear examples of what has already been created using the two-track method, visit the sample recording page to hear some spectacular excerpts by Netherlands organist, Aarnoud de Groen.

More Information about Reaper Digital Audio Workstation 
More Information about Behringer Audio Interface  

Technical specifics of the two-track method using REAPER with an audio interface

I am sure there are many ways to make this happen but this is how I have done it. Please see the accompanying video as you read through this.

If you have downloaded your files to a computer that you plan to use to run Organ Symphony Assistant, I suggest acquiring some type of audio interface.  I use a Behringer interface.  An audio interface will allow you to separate the click track to an earpiece or headphones and the orchestral part to an audio system.  With my interface, I connect to my computer via usb. You may have to download an app that you can check to make sure your interface is recognized by the computer.  Once you have communication between your audio interface and your computer, you will need to engage a digital audio workstation (DAW). I like Reaper.  It is inexpensive and does everything I need. Once Reaper has been set up, load the two files, "without click" and "click only". I drag and drop them.  Be sure both tracks are aligned together at the beginning.  In order to get separation between the tracks (one track to headphones, the other to an audio system), you must go to the "route" button for each track.  Of particular importance is having one of the tracks not checked for the "master send" (see video).  And then to choose different channels (usually the channels for your headphones or earpiece).  Although the click track is in stereo, you only need to utilize one side for one ear in order to leave your other ear open for hearing the orchestral part. When it is all working, you can save the Reaper files in the location of your choice. 

As I said, there may be easier ways to do this but I have found this method to work consistently well for me.  Please be sure to watch the videos below (to improve the quality or change the speed of the videos, be sure to go to the settings gear and choose whatever settings work best for you).

 

Video Example of the two-track method of Organ Symphony Assistant

The organ part is being performed on a small two-manual organ and the Organ Symphony Assistant audio file is playing through a home audio setup. The wire running from the audio interface goes to a click track earpiece.  On top of the organ, there is a computer, which is running the"Reaper"  digital audio workstation.  

Why do I need to use a Click Track? 

For any of you who have benefited from the diligent use of a metronome, you will soon realize the benefit of the click track, not only for keeping you in sync with the orchestra, but also for helping you to internalize a steady tempo.  There are some who feel that the use of a metronome or click track hampers the musicality of a composition.  As true as that may be, a click track is the only way that OSA can be successful as a study tool.  Once you have moved beyond OSA to the possibility of performance with a live orchestra, you can then feel confident with exploring genuine musical and rhythmic freedom.   

Organ Symphony Assistant Instruction Notes 

Many of the files have corresponding instruction notes to help guide you when you are ready to play your organ part together with the orchestra.  These notes indicate tempo changes and lead-in measures. There are also specific notes about the click tracks.  Always remember to listen first to your audio file while following along, not playing, using your organ score.  After listening at least once, you can then better enjoy the exciting challenges of playing together with the OSA score.  This should lead to a more rewarding experience.