Voicing of samples in Hauptwerk 5

Hauptwerk was conceived as a program for the computer by people who think technically and have virtually no understanding of organs. This is shown by the above text about the making and voicing of sample sets. The sets produced by Milan Digital Audio itself are recorded in this inferior way. The microphones were so far from the pipes, that more reverberation than pipe sounds are stored in the samples. The Hinsz organ of the Bovenkerk in Kampen is a clear example of this. I know the sounds very well because I have often played the organ in Kampen, but these sounds can't be heard in the sample set. In hundreds of churches I have played the organ and I also have extensive experience in the voicing of pipes. I know what I may expect and that's not in these samples. I strongly reject sets as of the Bovenkerk in Kampen. If a Hauptwerk organ has to sound equivalent to a pipe organ, it can only be done with DRY samples. The microphones must be close to the pipes to capture the characteristic properties. Now Hauptwerk 5 offers the possibility of convolution reverb, the sounds can be played with the real church acoustics.
Fortunately, there are people who take the sounds of the organ in the church well and then I mention Sonus Paradisi in the first place. The samples contain the well-recorded sounds of the church organ and they only need to be adapted to the small room. Then it is an equivalent reproduction of the church organ. From organs which are stored in a museum samples sets are made to capture the historical sounds. These have been sent to me for inspection and I find that these samples are identical to the sounds. I expect that from sample sets too.

The sounds stored in the samples are recordings of a pipe organ as they have sounded in a church. They are loud sounds that fit the large space and give a magisterial effect due to its acoustics. The organist can also choose a register with soft sounds, but they can also be heard audible anywhere in the church. A large space with good acoustics has the main feature, that it is able to bridge these differences. It is called the dynamics of space.

Hearing curves
The sample set is made for a Hauptwerk organ that an organist can play at home in a small space, with limited dynamics. The loud sounds should be reduced to an acceptable strength, but simply turning back the volume controller is not the right way. Due to the properties of human hearing, lowering works more strongly on highs than on the middle area and for the low bass tones the course follows another curve. See the Fletcher - Munson hearing curves.

The voicing of the samples ensures that the sound ratios at a lower volume correspond to the proportions of the loud sounds in the church. The speakers are an important factor in this. Speakers should be of good quality, but very precious speakers do no better than speakers of a good middle class. When speakers are replaced, the samples must be re-voiced.

The voicing of the samples is described and illustrated in detail in the Hauptwerk Manual with a variety of photographs. It should not be compared with the intonation of pipes. This is about sounds that have already sounded perfect in the church and only need an adaptation so that they sound exactly like this in the home environment. When the organ in the church is recorded for a CD, the sound director ensures the correct proportions in the same way.

Voicing as explained in the User Guide of Hauptwerk 5

Voicing of pipe organs
When a pipe organ is installed, it is necessary to make detailed adjustments to the tone of each pipe, a process called voicing. This is mainly because the acoustics of the space in which the organ is placed will react differently to various frequencies, depending on the place of the pipe and the position of the listener. For example, if a pipe with a pitch of 440 Hertz stands in a place where that pitch is reflected extra strongly by the environment, that pipe sounds louder than the pipes next to it. The same applies to one of the overtones of that pipe (harmonics), so that the character of the tone sounds noticeably different. The voicer must adjust the sound to reduce these deviations, so that the pipe no longer deviates from the pipes next to it. The voicer also has an important artistic role to adapt the sounds of the pipes to the intended sound beauty of the register.

Voicing of samples in Hauptwerk
Most living rooms have dead acoustics, which only minimally color the sound (headphones have the deadest acoustics). When listening to a sample on the organ in the living room that is recorded at a large distance from the pipes (WET) and therefore with the original acoustics of the church, it is often not necessary to adapt to the sounds of the sample set to hear the instrument as much as it is in its original surroundings. However, if Hauptwerk is used in a acoustic space, or if DRY samples are used, then the sounds can be greatly improved by voicing them, just like the real pipe organ.
Hauptwerk 5 has comprehensive voicing facilities per pipe and to adapt the sound's properties to the intended sound. The properties of modeled tremulants may also be adjusted.

Sample Sets

The most reliable sample sets come from Jiri Zurek of Sonus Paradisi. In baroque organs, my preference is primarily for the new sample set of the organ of the Martini Church in Groningen as the most perfect set ever made.
Then of the Schnitger organ in Zwolle, the Bader organ in Zutphen and the Coci-Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch. The Serassi organ by Piacenza has registers with sounds in a special style. Also carillon and small bells! It is a valuable organ to play alternately with the baroque organs. The Cavaillé Coll organs, St. Omer and the organ in Caen are highly successful sample sets.

In the church an organist plays at a short distance from the pipes and the articulation, so the beginning of the tone, and then the buildup to the full sound is heard well. From a sample set I expect the same: sounds that can be heard at a short distance and no sounds that sound far away and come echoing in the acoustics to me. When the sample maker has placed his microphones too far from the pipes, there is no direct contact with the organ. The organ sounds remotely and making music is not possible. The beginning of the tone is the articulation and it must be audible immediately. Playing from sheets can still succeed, but composing and improvising requires direct contact with the organ.

In the church the organist hears the sounds at a short distance and the reverb sounds in the rear acoustics. This gives space to the sound provided there is not too much reverb. The melody lines must not intersect. The organist has something to tell with the music, and as with the spoken word it must remain intelligible.
The sample sets of Helmut Maier (Organ Art Media) are recorded with microphones in an artificial head, a technique from 60 years ago. I never played anymore the sample sets I bought a long time ago. That's why I didn't install them in Hauptwerk 5.

This are the only useful voicings for DRY samples

Nr 2 All perspectives: overall: amplitude (dB).
Nr 4 All perspectives: overall: overall: brightness (dB).

Nr 6 All perspectives: overall: tremulant mod: amplitude (pct).
Nr 7 All perspectives: overall: tremulant mod: brightness (pct).

Nr 40 Output persp 1 (front 1/main): lo/hi EQ: transition freq (kHz; retrigger).
Nr 42 Output persp 1 (front 1/main): lo/hi EQ: high freq boost (dB; retrigger).

Nr 44 Output persp 1 (front 1/main): release tail truncation length (msec, 0=no truncation; retrigger).
Voicing in the living room

The character of a sound depends mainly on the way a pipe starts. It is the articulation with which an organist uses the sounds for his musical expression. The beginning of a tone is characterized by a typical accent. The accents differ according to the nature of the stop, a Principal begins differently than a Stopped Diapason or a Viola. A reed has another way to create the tone. If the microphones have not been at a short distance from the pipes, the articulation will be weakly captured in the samples. By voicing the samples this can be accentuated more.

Dynamics differ
When the volume for loud sounds is greatly lowered, a register of soft sounds will no longer be audible. Therefore, the differences between loud and soft registers should be reduced. The dynamics of the church are adapted to the dynamics of the living room.

For voicing the samples a structured method is followed with logically connecting actions. They are described and illustrated in the Hauptwerk Handbook with a large number of photographs. The actions that accentuate the character of the sounds do not depend on the speakers and can be taken over unchanged.

Volume differences
However, the volume gradient I leveled on my organ depends on the speakers and to a lesser extent of the environment. There, an organist will have to rely on his ears to adjust the volume on his own organ. In practice, these adjustments are found to be without much difficulty in performing.
In Hauptwerk 5, the method of voicing does not differ much from Hauptwerk 4. Because there are more channels, each with its own voicing, the list is longer. In practice, it appears unnecessary and these options are not used. However, registers can be coupled to voicing them together, which saves many actions.                      Hauptwerk Boeken