Hauptwerk results in a better organ sound in the living room

The overwhelming impression of an organ owes to the acoustics of the church; acoustics and the sound of an organ are inseparable. The sound cannot develop in a church with bad acoustics. A good example is the open-air organ of Kufstein, the sound of which can be heard kilometers around, but even close to the organ the sounds make a windblown impression already.

With a pipe organ in a living room the acoustics are missing also and the sounds cannot develop, because the air around doesn't resonate. Pipe sounds that were recorded along with the acoustics in a church can transfer the splendor of the sounds to the living room. For this you need a good sample set and not all sample sets are recorded well. The sounds must be recorded on a short distance of the pipes, so that every detail of the sound is set in the memory of the Hauptwerk organ, this is called a dry sample. A second recording on a larger distance from the pipes saves the sound in the acoustics, it is called a wet sample. With these samples in the living room, you  will hear the realistic sounds of pipes in acoustics. The choice here is real sounds of a church organ or real pipes with a poor sound. Getting the sound out of the speakers is not audible, if the speakers are of good quality and above all are placed in the right way. A Hauptwerk organ is not electronic organ, provided that three clear conditions are met:

1. The tones must be recorded at a short distance from the pipes so that all the essential details are stored. 

2. The sample must be voiced well in the Hauptwerk organ to make all the details completely audible.

3. Well targeted speakers must transfer the tones from a short distance to the organist.

For point 3 headphones are ideal, but because they cause damage to your hearing, it would be better to accomplish this task to speakers on a short distance.

If all conditions are met, the sound experience is for the organist equal as playing a pipe organ in the beautiful acoustics of a church. Due to the aging of the metal body of organ pipes they will resonate better. The sound of the old pipes is more beautiful than it can be reached with new metal. In well recorded samples of these old pipes this particular sound is so good reproduced, that the new pipes of my chamber organ cannot match it.

Sets with only dry samples and the reverberation, selected from one of the church rooms that are stored in the Lexicon MX300 it sounds even better, the hall can be adapted to the music.

In addition to a Hauptwerk organ also a small pipe organ

Although I prefer playing on a Hauptwerk organ by the missing acoustics in a living room, have I experienced, that while playing on a small organ the acoustic is not missed. It's a musical pleasure to play intimate organ works with one or two registers.
The Swiss organist Annerös Hulliger takes always her little house organ with her, when they give a concert in a church. The small works sound better on it than on the church organ. It is mood music which she plays with little volume.

A few years ago I designed a Table Positive which construction is easy and the material costs are low. It turned out not only to be attractive for the beginning organ builder, but the small organ is also easy to transport to choir rehearsals or to use as a continuo organ.

The design of this organ complies with two conditions:

a. The design is so simple, that even an organ builder without experience      succeeds in building. All construction phases are drawn detailed.

b. The register stopped pipe 8' has a full sound and gives the organist the      same musical expression as the stopped pipe of a large organ.

How it could be built, is drawn in a large amount of perspective drawings. They show every detail of the design with 3D drawings that have a clarity, as if they are photographed in close up. The parts are drawn from several angles.

                                                                  to page Table positiv

Nederlands
Voicing of the Hauptwerk organ is needed

On the page Voicing, I declare why it is necessary, to voice the samples in the own Hauptwerk organ. Each Hauptwerk organ has other audio components and has a different acoustic environment. The sample manufacturer has recorded the sounds of the organ in the church. Because the dynamics of a living room substantially differs from the church, the sound conditions do not match. If the samples match the requirements, what just at a small part of the sample sets is realised, the samples must be adapted to the living room.

Starting point for this new book is describing the operation that each organist enables to represent these sounds best on its Hauptwerk organ. Because I have a absolute pitch, also  trained by the voicing of pipes, I can quickly customize the church sounds to the dynamics of the living room.

In this Hauptwerk Practical Guide I give a logical and easy-to-understand way of working to help people without absolute pitch making an effective voicing. Voicing is not an form of art, but a trade; by doing it often more experience is gained. The goal is to get sounds with better articulation, which inspire the organist while playing.

At the moment the book is sent 500 times and I received many responses on my desire to write me their experiences. This is an interaction with the editing of the book, more extensive descriptions and new chapters are added to the book. The methodof Voicing the sounds proved to be understood, even by people who do not have an absolute pitch. After the first voicing’s, the routine is built up step by step.

Perfect sample sets

All Hauptwerk organs are used in different circumstances. The examples of the method of voicing illustrate my voicing’s, those who got it can optimize the sounds on their own organ. Even if they are taken literally, the sounds are much better, but a large number has written with that they got soon routine and has yielded wonderful results. The page Perfect sample sets mentioned the sample sets that reproduce the sounds well. The choice of the sample set is the most important prerequisite to achieve good results.

The improvements that I have reached with the voicing’s are spectacular, as if a thick curtain was removed. The sounds of the original organ become sparkling and glowing, while the bass in the left hand has a pleasant character. The gloss and brilliance, which belong to the reeds is striking. The Principal voices received the expressive power that basic voices should have. The start sounds (articulation) are musically very important but must sound evenly. This can be reached with the voicing. As an owner of a Hauptwerk organ plays on my organ, they hear a completely different organ in comparison with the unmodified sample set they play at home.

The book is available free of charge if it is requested with the full postal address:

                                                                             E-mail  nach:    John Boersma

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