Proportional decreasing

A move of the organ to another church has big consequences. If the space is much smaller, the voicing must be adjusted drastically. The sounds recorded in the sample represent the sounds in the church. For the application in the living room, the volume must be reduced, but a reduction of the total volume will make the gentle register inaudible and the reeds remains still too loud. The sounds must be reduced proportionally so that the Viola can be heard and the Trumpet shall not sound ear deafening.

Many players of a Hauptwerk organ have too much faith in the sample maker and expect he has brought the sounds in balance already. It is a too difficult task since he does not know the new environment. Each room has its own influence on the sound; parquet floor or carpet, curtains or blinds are large areas. They affect both reflection as absorption of sounds. The organist must voice the samples themselves until a tone from the speaker corresponds to the sound of the pipe.

The original is reproduced by the voicing

Each key has 15 ways to intone the sound to your own insight. Not any sample in my organ, has still its original value, and the sound is now entirely consistent with the original organ, which is just to owe only by the voicing. It is necessary to take advantage of all opportunities to the intonation. Of some sample sets I have visited the church, where the original organ is located, to determine that the organ has been reproduced in my room as much as possible.


Although the listening of a Hauptwerk organ with headphones the sounds good represent, offers that a great opportunity of hearing loss. This is represented by investigations of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Catholic University of Leuven. A large volume observed close to the ear, caused a permanent hearing damage; a lower volume but heard at a long time, have the same negative effect.  That's why hearing with two speakers at ear level is the best option. The hearing damage can occur in the form of worse observation certain tone areas, but more often Tinnitus (ear noise) occurs. In all cases, there is no cure for hearing loss.


The quality requirements that apply to the playback of CDs, are not applicable here. For a CD recording, all instruments are playing at the same time and all the sounds are stored in the correct conditions. HiFi should be able to play all the sounds of a wide frequency range evenly.

The sounds of a pipe organ are recorded pipe by pipe and set piece by piece in samples. The loud sounds in a church have to be reduced to a much lower level in the home. At this lower level, the relationships between the sounds are different. It is not possible for a sample editor to make an assessment, what makes the same sound impression in any living room. Hauptwerk offers the possibility to adjust each tone separately. By voicing the sounds, they are adapted to the speaker and to the environment.

The voicing is a mandatory requirement because the speakers are a part of the voicing.
So it creates the opportunity to correct any deviations in the speakers.
Then samples and speakers form a unit. However it made sense to choose speakers of good quality.
If the samples are well adapted, the achieved sound quality is accordingly to the sounds of the pipes.




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What is needed for a Hauptwerk Organ ?

1. Computer - powerful computer with the Hauptwerk program
2. Digital-Analog converter – DAC, is sound card
3. Touch screen - one or two screens to chose the stops
4. Console - two or more keyboards plus a pedal keyboard.
5. Audio system - the amplifier and the speakers      

Functioning of a Hauptwerk organ

The samples are stored in a computer and connected via the audio amplifier with the speakers.

By pressing a key is the tone is sounding, in the same way as the pipe has done in the church. This lasts as long as the key is pressed and because of any sound is recorded for eight to fifteen seconds, it is more than sufficient to play a sound. If a tone should sound any longer, the sample is played repeatedly.

When you release the key is switched immediately to the end of the sound. The characteristic manner a pipe ends a tone, is defined in the store and it will be heard at the release of the key. Short or long pressing of the key let the pipe sounds different, this difference of sound can be heard on a Hauptwerk organ.

Hauptwerk sounds like
                         a pipe organ

Each sound of a pipe organ is recorded separately and set as a sample in the store. It is important for the organist that when he is playing the Hauptwerk organ, not only hears the sounds but mainly the articulation. Short tones played in rapid succession on the same key, let the pipe sounds different as long held notes. This difference is stored in the sample.

By the acoustics of the room, the sounds bring the ambient air in resonance, where they resonate still some time after releasing the key. This ending must be stored in the sample, or right recorded in a second sample. All samples together are laid down in a digital memory store. The keyboards of the organ are connected to the main computer that sends the tones through a digital-analog converter to the audio portion of the organ.

A sample is a pipe sound in a store

Due to the specific way of exciting the sounds they make a unique character. The additional effects at the beginning of the tone, the fluctuations of the tone and the typical way it ends, forms the characteristic properties of the sound of a pipe organ. The organist, who would like to play with these sounds, expects to hear this in the samples. The sound coming from a speaker must be similar with the sound of a pipe organ.