I have noticed something when I hear 2 flutes in octaves or a flute and piccolo playing the same notated notes, sounding an octave apart. It starts to not sound like a flute. In particular it sounds like a pipe organ. This "organ effect" gets amplified by having more flutes in octaves. So just 2 flutes in octaves will have a slight "organ effect" but mostly sound like the combination of 2 flutes. Same for flute and piccolo. However, if I have a piccolo, 2 flutes, and a bass flute all in octaves, there is significantly more of that "organ effect".
Why though? Why is it that when I keep doubling flutes at the octave with more flutes, it sounds like an organ rather than just a bunch of flutes in different octaves? I mean, if each flute in each register has that flute timbre but extended to different octaves, shouldn't a bunch of flutes in octaves sound just like that, a bunch of flutes, and not like an organ?
And yet I do get this "organ effect" and the intensity of the "organ effect" seems to increase exponentially with the number of octaves the flutes are playing in. 2 flutes will mostly sound like 2 flutes with just a slight hint of an "organ effect". 4 flutes will sound much more like an organ. And there seems to be an upper limit as to where the organ effect happens. Past C6 or so, the highest flute becomes so breathy and piercing that it doesn't contribute to the "organ effect" and just sounds like a solo flute. The same thing happens if I have the piccolo at C5 or higher. But at Bb5 and below, this "organ effect" definitely happens.
But why? Even the hyperbass flute, sounding if I am correct, 3 octaves down from the notation, only barely reaches the size of your average organ pipe. And even if you are talking about a chamber organ, where the pipes are enclosed within the organ and the organ itself is about the size of an upright piano, the bass flute still doesn't come close to the size of the smallest organ pipe in terms of diameter and only barely comes close in terms of length.
I suspect that both the "organ effect" and the upper limit of around C6 are related to the overtone spectra of the different flutes and the way those overtones resonate amongst the flutes. However, I don't know for sure.
So why is it that the more flutes I add in lower and lower octaves, the more the combination sounds like an organ and less like a bunch of flutes?