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Hautwerk


Martin Cooke
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I hope you don't mind a "new topic" for this subject - it seems more specific than my previous one on Electronics. I played a Hauptwerk set-up the other day for the first time. Wow! The sound was quite amazing. It was set up in an old console and was only a start - you had to operate the stops using the mouse and all that but it was sufficient to make me want to know more. The thing is, I can't really work out how you take it further. The Crumhorn website doesn't seem to offer a console that you and I would recognise as such. Hoffrichter offer consoles that look more akin to normal but I can't see how they work with a computer and all of that, and the blog attached to it all suggests that they take an age to appear once they're ordered. Masses of other info is on the www but it's in German and whilt I know the occasional word or two of "Chorale Prelude German" that's my limit! Does anyone have an ABC guide on this - a sort of Dummies guide to how to get yourself a decent Hauptwerk set-up? I want something that can be played as much like a normal instrument as possible but with the Hauptwerk benefits. Where can you go to see and hear more? Happy to enter into private messages if needed but open forum may be of interest to others.

Martin.

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The only way I can see Hauptwerk working satisfactorily is to have a console with a touch-sensitive display screen on each side of the manuals (in place of the stop jambs) that is large enough to display the stops life size. I think Hoffrichter do these now - maybe DHM can confirm?

 

Either that or have a stop-knob console with a LED display above each stop to show you what stop is currently loaded onto that knob. I saw a photograph of just such a console the other day, though unfortunately I can't remember who made it - it wasn't for a Hauptwerk system.

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Does anyone have an ABC guide on this - a sort of Dummies guide to how to get yourself a decent Hauptwerk set-up? I want something that can be played as much like a normal instrument as possible but with the Hauptwerk benefits.

It's worth browsing the forum on the Crumhorn Labs site. There are many accounts of people's building or setting up systems, from random MIDI keyboards (like mine) to adding a few Hauptwerk stops to an existing pipe organ. Some people have Hauptwerk controlling stop knobs with solenoids, others use touch screens, the LCD stop labels have been mentioned a few times. Lots of ideas are available, but not so much pre-packaged yet.

 

Paul

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Either that or have a stop-knob console with a LED display above each stop to show you what stop is currently loaded onto that knob. I saw a photograph of just such a console the other day, though unfortunately I can't remember who made it - it wasn't for a Hauptwerk system.

I think the photo you saw was the Sheldonian Theatre ,Oxford and was in the latest issue of the Organist's Review. There were 4 styles of lettering according to what style of organ sound was selected from the 4 options.

PJW

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I hope you don't mind a "new topic" for this subject - it seems more specific than my previous one on Electronics. I played a Hauptwerk set-up the other day for the first time. Wow! The sound was quite amazing. It was set up in an old console and was only a start - you had to operate the stops using the mouse and all that but it was sufficient to make me want to know more. The thing is, I can't really work out how you take it further. The Crumhorn website doesn't seem to offer a console that you and I would recognise as such. Hoffrichter offer consoles that look more akin to normal but I can't see how they work with a computer and all of that, and the blog attached to it all suggests that they take an age to appear once they're ordered. Masses of other info is on the www but it's in German and whilt I know the occasional word or two of "Chorale Prelude German" that's my limit! Does anyone have an ABC guide on this - a sort of Dummies guide to how to get yourself a decent Hauptwerk set-up? I want something that can be played as much like a normal instrument as possible but with the Hauptwerk benefits. Where can you go to see and hear more? Happy to enter into private messages if needed but open forum may be of interest to others.

Martin.

 

Martin,

 

You might find this helpful: www.hoffrichter-organs.co.uk. The site will be updated later today.

Feel free to call me anytime (numbers on the website) if you need more info.

 

Best wishes,

 

Douglas.

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The only way I can see Hauptwerk working satisfactorily is to have a console with a touch-sensitive display screen on each side of the manuals (in place of the stop jambs) that is large enough to display the stops life size. I think Hoffrichter do these now - maybe DHM can confirm?

 

Either that or have a stop-knob console with a LED display above each stop to show you what stop is currently loaded onto that knob. I saw a photograph of just such a console the other day, though unfortunately I can't remember who made it - it wasn't for a Hauptwerk system.

 

Hi

 

The picture was in "Organists' Review" in the article about voicing digital organs by the Comerfords. The organ is a "prestige" job in Oxford (Sheldonian Theatre).

 

Another source of consoles set up for Hauptwerk is Ron Coates. 01737 844420 or ron.coates@ukf.net.

I know Ron, but I've not seen his recent work.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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For consoles with touch screen units see:

www.thevirtualpipeorgan.com

It is a cooperation of a German organ builder and Prof. Maier of organartmedia. He provides the (probably) best samples for Hauptwerk - I own the Italian Callido organ and considered using it for teaching at the Graz University of music (but I have quit there...) to demonstrate characteristics of Italian organs - of course not regarding the action! :P

But note, that organartmedia samples are strictly forbidden to be used in public performances!

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For consoles with touch screen units see:

www.thevirtualpipeorgan.com

It is a cooperation of a German organ builder and Prof. Maier of organartmedia. He provides the (probably) best samples for Hauptwerk - I own the Italian Callido organ and considered using it for teaching at the Graz University of music (but I have quit there...) to demonstrate characteristics of Italian organs - of course not regarding the action! :P

But note, that organartmedia samples are strictly forbidden to be used in public performances!

 

I agree that Helmut Maier produces some of the very best sample-sets - particularly the Vollenhove Bosch-Schnitger and the Aix Cathedral Ducroquet-Cavaille-Coll, which are two of my favourites. But let us also not forget the very fine work done by Brett Milan (Milan Digital Audio), including the Arp Schnitger organ from Cappel and the 1928 E.M. Skinner from Chicago. Having closely compared the Silbermanns from both producers, I have a slight preference for Milan's. Coming later this summer from Brett: Metz Cathedral Cavaille-Coll.

 

Harald Rapp's custom-built consoles are also very fine, but NOT cheap - the 3-manual starts at around 40,000 Euros.

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Off topic - but but is the Sheldoinian installation any good? Is there anywhere that more info. can be found?

 

AJJ

 

Hi

 

There's a reference in the Organists' Review article to: "The Organ of the Sheldonian Theatre, University of Oxford" pub. Univ. Oxford PRO 2002.

 

There were some rumblings in the journals at the time of installation about replacing pipes with this.

 

The only real way to judge it is to go and listen.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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But note, that organartmedia samples are strictly forbidden to be used in public performances!

That is, I think, a great shame. I understand that he doesn't want to encourage churches to replace pipe organs with electronics, but we'll hopefully be throwing out our old toaster in favour of a significantly better toaster in the next few years - replacing a Morphy Richards with a Dualit, as it were - and it's disappointing that some of the best samples are not available to us.

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That is, I think, a great shame. I understand that he doesn't want to encourage churches to replace pipe organs with electronics, but we'll hopefully be throwing out our old toaster in favour of a significantly better toaster in the next few years - replacing a Morphy Richards with a Dualit, as it were - and it's disappointing that some of the best samples are not available to us.

 

Prof Maier likes to regard his sample-sets as "archive documentations".

He recommends that, ideally, they be used with headphones rather than loudspeakers - though others may beg to differ (I WANT the neighbours to hear how excellent these organs are! :D ). Another problem with using these sets in church would be an acoustic one: they all have their original church acoustic built in to the samples - e.g. 7 seconds at Aix, 4-5 seconds at Vollenhove. This would not work well when played back in a building that is already reverberant (I know - I've made that mistake and learnt from it :P ). The Silbermanns MIGHT work, as Reinhardtsgrimma and Rotha are much drier buildings.

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Another problem with using these sets in church would be an acoustic one: they all have their original church acoustic built in to the samples - e.g. 7 seconds at Aix, 4-5 seconds at Vollenhove. This would not work well when played back in a building that is already reverberant.
To be honest, I'm not sure Aix works anyway. When I tried it, it felt as if I were playing from a detached console halfway down the church. Very mushy. Perhaps I shouldn't judge since I've not played the original pipe organ, but I find it hard to believe that this is what the organist hears at the console.
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To be honest, I'm not sure Aix works anyway. When I tried it, it felt as if I were playing from a detached console halfway down the church. Very mushy. Perhaps I shouldn't judge since I've not played the original pipe organ, but I find it hard to believe that this is what the organist hears at the console.

I would need to check the position from which it was recorded before commenting meaningfully on that. One thing I do know, though (because Helmut Maier often points it out), is that the Recit is about 30+ feet above your head.

 

However, as VH often says, "Your mileage may vary", and people may agree to differ. When we had this at the Frankfurt Fair in March (albeit it an updated version with mutliple release samples), two well-known (in Germany, at least) recitalists - Hans-Dieter Karras and Hector Olivera - couldn't keep their hands off it, and came back several times a day.

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One thing I do know, though (because Helmut Maier often points it out), is that the Recit is about 30+ feet above your head.
Really? Doesn't look that much to me. :P Nearer 20 ft? http://www.organartmedia.com/Aix-Intro.html. Still, it does look as if there's a bit of height between the player and the pipes so I could believe he would hear some reverberation.
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Another problem with using these sets in church would be an acoustic one: they all have their original church acoustic built in to the samples - e.g. 7 seconds at Aix, 4-5 seconds at Vollenhove.

That's a fair point, though our acoustics, sadly, aren't that great.

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Regarding the listener's position at Prof. Maier's samples:

I think he does not want to provide the "console sound" - it is his aim to enable the organist to hear the organ more like the audience does, but not identically. He is doing some surround recording, at least using several mics, and makes a blend. Everybody working in electroacoustics knows, that you cannot have the perfect "neutral" recording... And, who of us would like to hear a single pipe (or combinations of them) recorded in an audio lab without any spatial response?

So, there is sort of "sound design" at EVERY Hauptwerk sample set. As there is at every CD recording - Just move the mic stand one meter back or forth....most of you know what can happen, especially when using omnidirectional mics....

 

Regarding the "unavailability" of Maier's samples for organs in churches: Yes, it is right, and so there are more fine producers -

looking for an instrument to accompany the choir on a loft in a reverberant church, where the congregation is not really able to see what sort of keys I'm pressing and if some speakers are standing there, I could imagine buying the sounds provided by Silver Octopus Studios with Willis organs as sources!

(Maybe I will do it for my next post in Rostock, to have nice sounds AND to be close to the congregation, using a small loft in the nave...???)

 

Pierre, would that be regarded as "saving the British Organ Heritage?" :D

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  • 4 months later...

For anyone in the south west who has never heard Hauptwerk, but is interested in doing so, the Plymouth and District Organists' Association is hosting a demonstration this Saturday afternoon at the Ridgeway Methodist Church in Plympton, Plymouth, starting at 2 p.m. DHM will be bringing along all the organ samples he has mentioned in this thread and more. There won't be any sales pitch - just the chance to hear some of the organs demonstrated and try them for yourselves.

 

The church is located at the eastern end of the shopping centre in Plympton (here) and the event is open to anyone interested. There is no charge, but donations from non-members would be more than welcome!

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For anyone in the south west who has never heard Hauptwerk, but is interested in doing so, the Plymouth and District Organists' Association is hosting a demonstration this Saturday afternoon at the Ridgeway Methodist Church in Plympton, Plymouth, starting at 2 p.m. DHM will be bringing along all the organ samples he has mentioned in this thread and more. There won't be any sales pitch - just the chance to hear some of the organs demonstrated and try them for yourselves.

 

The church is located at the eastern end of the shopping centre in Plympton (here) and the event is open to anyone interested. There is no charge, but donations from non-members would be more than welcome!

 

Are they intending to replace the present pipe organ at Ridgeway? I was asked - probably about 12 or 13 years ago - to "rubber stamp" this "new" instrument after it had been moved from the old Ridgeway Methodist Church to the modern building. It was awful! The Swell had a chiffing - one could say unvoiced (certainly un-nicked) - Fifteenth added to it which wouldn't blend with the other (Victorian) material, and the Great soundboard had been removed and the Open Diapason and the Claribel Flute had been put on extension chests to make an extended Great organ, extended as far as possible - and further! It was a pretty awful example of this sort of thing. Needless to say, I said a few things which upset the "organ builder" who had moved it and carried out this work.

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No. None of the organists on the rota here would know how to handle even the Brindley and Foster sample properly, let alone a Schnitger or Cavaillé-Coll! The asociation (well, alright, I) chose this church for the demonstration because it offers a relatively intimate environment and the dry but sympathetic acoustic should, I hope, be suitable for the different HW samples (the "wetness" of which varies).

 

When the new Ridgeway church was built serious consideration was given to getting a toaster and the organists were very proud that they managed to retain a pipe organ. But you do wonder whether it was the right decision. Basically it consists of selected ranks from the organ at the previous church and, as you say, it is grim. The Great also has an extended Dulciana at 8' and 4', the bottom octave of which is borrowed from the Claribel. The Swell ranks (Violin Diapason, Salicional, Gemshorn, Fifteenth, Mixture II, Oboe) are separate. None of the stops blend and both Fifteenths screech like Sparrowhawks. The Swell Mixture has pipes only up to middle C - above that it repeats the same octave over and over!

 

The man who was the prime mover in this recently researched the history of the church and its organs and wrote it up in the association's magazine. None of the organs (or the church) is on NPOR. I started to fill out the forms with a view to submitting the information, but I found it impossible to make the history clear in that form so I gave up.

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The man who was the prime mover in this recently researched the history of the church and its organs and wrote it up in the association's magazine. None of the organs (or the church) is on NPOR. I started to fill out the forms with a view to submitting the information, but I found it impossible to make the history clear in that form so I gave up.

 

Hi

 

If you can send NPOR stop lists & a copy of the history (preferably by e-mail) we can sort it out from there - the editors are well used to unravelling complex organ histories! PM me if you've got any queries.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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