Properties of a Pipe tone

By pressing a key the recorded sound in the sample with all its properties will sound exactly as the pipe in the church has done. This takes as long as the button is pressed and because the sound was recorded on average ten to fifteen seconds in the sample, it suffices to play a sound. In a pipe the air column will sound as long as the key is pressed, but it makes it floating, there's always some movement. A short or long press of a button on an organ makes the sound different and this difference can also be heard in a Hauptwerk organ.

When you release the key it immediately switches to the end of the sound. The characteristic way in which the pipe stops a sound and the reverberation in the acoustics of the room is set separately in the memory. This part, added to the sound, is called the reverb tail. When the key is released, it is switched inaudible.

          A sample is an identical sound copy of a pipe tone

The samples determine the quality of the sounds that Hauptwerk represent and there are large differences between the providers of sample sets. But even the best sets do not come to an optimal reproduction of the pipe sound, if the samples with the sounds of a large church organ are not perfectly voiced to the dynamics of the small room of the home environment. The Hauptwerk IV Advanced offers the possibility to voice the samples. Thus, the dynamic conditions between the large room of the church and the living room are bridged.

Content of the new book:  Hauptwerk Manual

As basis for the new book I chose the Coci-Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch. The style of this organ was determined 500 years ago by the pipes of Johannes Coci. Later organ builders have added registers that harmonized well with the old pipes. The style is perfectly stored in the samples and carry the church sounds well into the living room after a voicing. The voicing of all registers are represented with high-resolution color photos, so that even the smallest digits can be seen sharply. The Hauptwerk Manual provides an organist with comprehensive information on all aspects of the virtual organ.

After an introduction how Hauptwerk works, follows the procedure for installing a sample set. It is illustrated with images that are displayed on the screen during installation. Sometimes a Hauptwerk organ has only two keyboards and a sample set is used with an organ with three keyboards. The method of making the keyboards capable of switching is explained step by step with many images. Two keyboards of the sample set can also be merged on a keyboard of the Hauptwerk organ. A chapter is dedicated to recording and playing an organ piece in an audio or MIDI recording.

Samples are recordings of pipe sounds, but to make them sound like pipe sounds adjustments are necessary. The large volume in the room of the church must be reduced to hear the same sounds in the living room. This should be done tone after tone, but a structured method allows you to quickly adjust an entire register. The loudspeakers are one of the most important parts of a Hauptwerk organ. A separate chapter is dedicated to its quality and its location.

The acoustics are more than the use of the recorded hall in the samples, it is discussed in detail.  There is also a complete instruction manual of the Lexicon MX300. The reverberation is more realistic than that of the sample. Concepts such as the shortening of hall tails, the choice of the tremolo, the tuning arts of the organ and the combination of registers in free combinations are explained in this book.

In order to actually hear the sounds from the samples as sounds of pipes, a voicing is necessary. I photographed the voicing of each register on my organ in high resolution so that everything can be seen sharp. The sound-determining corrections are the same for each Hauptwerk organ and can be taken over automatically. Then comes a correction that depends on the speakers and, to a lesser extent, the environment and varies depending on the organ. This leveling can be done easily by any organist. No special listening skills are required.

Hauptwerk Manual

A Manual means that all functions that a Hauptwerk user must know are discussed in a clear manner. For the selection of the sample set, an organist must know what standards it should meet. Detailed and illustrated with photos, the installation of a set is explained. The samples contain the loud sounds of an organ in a large church. An adjustment is needed to reproduce these sounds with a volume that fits the living room. A good sample set whose sounds are well adapted gives the organist the feeling of playing the organ in the church.

Adjusting the sounds is called voicing, but where the voicing of pipes is not written to explain, it can be done with the voicing of samples. Corrections of the samples that do not depend on the Hauptwerk organ can be copied literally. The characters of the sounds are then accentuated and well recognized as pipe sounds. It won't sound evenly out of the speakers because the speaker's features are different. The organist has to judge clarity, timbre and volume in the sense of sound. There are no compelling standards for it, the own taste is the guiding principle. 

Quick method for voicing
Not every organist relies on its own feeling for the correct sound. When moving a line slider, the sounds change, but when is the sound optimal? I have compared all the adjustments I have made and I discovered a fixed pattern of laws. Reversing the process was to set the slider to steady state. With each register, I shifted with the Master slider the entire register to a state that was sufficiently effective. The sound character already corresponds well with the sound in the church. What remains is that the volumes per key differ. But it is not a problem for anyone to compare the volume per key with the adjacent key and correct the difference.
I have described this method in the Hauptwerk Manual.


The sounds are presented with loudspeakers, but here the speaker has a different function than an audio device. The requirement that the loudspeaker should play a wide range of sound evenly is not applicable here.

All sounds can be adjusted separately, so that the organist is able to achieve an even reproduction. With a good sample, there are two microphones at the point where the organist in the church hears them and these sounds are stored.

When the Hauptwerk organ has two loudspeakers on both sides of the organist, he gets the feeling of playing at the console in the church. It makes no sense to use more speakers. However, a second set of speakers can be used to replay the recorded samples with the acoustics at the same time.

Hauptwerk has an extended control panel to insure that each sound can be voiced independently and sounds like the original pipe. This compensates for the deviations in the samples as well as the deviations of the loudspeakers and so it sounds just like the sound of the pipe.

After voicing the speakers and samples form a unit. By replacing the loudspeaker, all sounds have to be voiced again.

Normal loudspeakers with voiced tones produce the same sounds as the pipes.

 Without adjustment, this cannot be achieved
                                  with even the best hi-fi speakers.

Coci - Klapmeyer organ

One of the most beautyful organs is the Coci - Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch. The metal of a pipe that has produced the same sound for centuries is metallurgical altered. The most beautiful sound is achieved when the pipe is precisely tuned to its original pitch, the resonance is then maximum. It is comparable to the sounds of a Stradivarius. With time and use, the sound matures and gets a special resonance.
The specifics are present in the samples, but because the sounds in the living room sound at a much lower volume, the character needs to be emphasized

The Hauptwerk books are provided free of charge if the applicant mentions the name and the full mailing address. Not for economic purposes, but because I want to know which people are interested in Hauptwerk. My data can be seen on the page  Contact                                            
                                                                              Mail naar: John Boersma

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