(Bear with me, I'm not much of an organ expert.)

So, I've always loved hearing organs in chruch, but never was interested in actually learning how to play one. So, I was wondering if there would be anyway to understand which instruments sound closest to the organ diapason sounds. For example, what instruments combined on a keyboard would sound closest to an 8' Open Diapason (except also for every diapason on a standard english organ)? You know, maybe this isn't even possible because these sounds are generally considered unique to the organ itself. And, if I can't do this, than what is your opinion on which keyboard has the best organ sounds? My keyboard has one that I like, except I have to combine it with a higher pitched version of itself. But, it just does not sound the same as an organ diapason (not that I expected it to).

Please excuse me if my question is completely non-sensical. I'm pretty much just a piano guy :). But, Thanks in advance for any advice contributed!

Sincerely, Connor Bosler

  • 4
    This sounds a bit like a gear recommendation question, which is not something we do here. But there are great organ synthesizers out there. Simply google something like "vitual pipe organ" and decide which option suits you best. You will only need a keyboard capable of being used as MIDI controller.
    – Lazy
    Jul 23, 2023 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


I don't think you will be able to get very close with non-organ presets on a typical electronic keyboard. You would do much better to look into connecting your keyboard up to a computer (desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone) via MIDI and installing a virtual pipe organ software synthesizer. There are some good ones available at no charge.

Two things to bear in mind though:

  1. An organist would rarely select a single 8' Open Diapason. Much more likely he or she would use that as the foundation and add at least one or two additional stops.
  2. If you want to play anything vaguely serious you will need a pedalboard and probably a second manual, because it's relatively unusual that all notes sounding at any one time will employ the exact same registration. Normally there will be one or more 16' stop on the pedals, and it's not unusual for the left hand to use an accompanying registration while the right hand plays a solo stop (or two). I can tell you that trying to play organ music on a single manual (unless it was written for that) is an exercise in frustration. Even hymns sound better with the pedals.

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