ScoMo News

Hauptwerk Consulting

Having had many years of experience playing, installing, and voicing Hauptwerk instruments, as well as being a concert organist playing many grand instruments around the world, I am proud to offer any services in assisting others in their Hauptwerk project.  Please use the contact link on this website for needs on consultation or voicing your Hauptwerk instrument.

Why do you need a Hauptwerk consultant?

Hauptwerk is a fascinating technology recording entire pipe organs, note by note, stop by stop, of some of the finest instruments from around the world. They are sampled with unprecedented accuracy, from the type of note you play (short or long), realistic swell box and tremulant modeling, stop and key action sounds, to the rumble of the organ's blower. These sounds are then played back at a moment’s notice according the performer's actions. In my experience, these instruments sound fantastic ‘out of the box’ through headphones, almost as being right in the middle of the building listening to the actual instrument in an organ concert or worship service.

When a new sample set is installed on your computer system with great excitement, the sound can be somewhat disappointing when first playing the instrument through a speaker setup. You might find that there is too much reverb from the original sample, deafening bass in the low octaves of ranks, or stale sounding trebles. Sometimes the reeds can sound too aggressive or almost distort in sound. What sounded wonderful in audio examples on vendor’s website will most likely not be pleasing during the first “audition” on your audio system.

If you are new to Hauptwerk, this might quickly end in frustration. What to do now?

The complexity of Hauptwerk’s audio set up can be a daunting task. Depending on the computer and the audio interfaces, there are virtually endless possibilities. Maybe you want the Willis Tuba from Salisbury Cathedral soaring over your head while practicing, the Swell division to speak from the right side imitating a Swell chamber, and the Great to be front and center as the most powerful division. This can all be done with Hauptwerk.

Question to consider first:

How many speakers and amplifiers will you need to faithfully reproduce a virtual instrument?

What are the best speakers and amplifiers for your room; whether the size is a studio, concert hall, or church?

Where should speakers be placed for a pleasing performance experience without having aural fatigue?

Questions later:

How should I distribute the ranks of pipes among audio channels for best clarity?

What reverb (full length or none) would be best for my room and it’s acoustics?

How do I voice the individual ranks (and individual notes of those ranks) to sound their absolute best in my specific environment?