Westminster Organ Works
Westminster Organ Works      Hauptwerk based solutions for Digital, Hybrid & Modular Organs

About the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ

Old Independent Church, Haverhill, Suffolk, Binns organWhat is Hauptwerk?
How does Hauptwerk differ from other virtual organ systems?
Playing a Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ
How can I hear what Hauptwerk can do?
How does Westminster Organ Works fit into the picture?

What is Hauptwerk?

Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe OrganHauptwerk is highly advanced software designed to provide a platform for the virtual realization of the wide selection of sample sets available of many of the world's greatest pipe organs. It takes advantage of the enormous strides that have been made in improving both the processor speeds and the capacity of random access memory (RAM) of the personal computer. Recent 64 bit versions of Mac and Windows operating systems allow virtually unlimited RAM. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) protocols are utilized to provide the communication between the console and the computer.

How does Hauptwerk differ from other virtual organ systems?

The Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ software is designed to take full advantage of current computer capabilities. In typical sample sets each individual pipe is sampled from 7 to 15 seconds at 24 bit 48kHz. These long samples are multiple looped and provided with multiple release samples to provide a more faithful rendering according to the duration of the note being played. Additional realism is provided by accurate sampling of the acoustical response of swell enclosures and the actual effect on the pipes of the tremulants. Some ranks  have separate samples with tremulant. Hauptwerk is also capable of meeting the audio needs of any conceivable situation, supporting over 500 audio channels!

Playing a Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ

Hearing a Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ is very much like listening to a very good recording of the sampled organ. The difference? You get to play it! You are performing utilizing actual recordings of that organ's pipes. Unless configured otherwise, the organ is at the original pitch and temperament, with random tuning errors present at the time of recording the samples, and includes the acoustical ambiance of the building. The real thing? No - the quaint village pub across the way and the charming medieval architecture aren't included. What it does provide, though, is the closest possible representation of the organ that present day technology allows.

How can I hear what Hauptwerk can do ?

MMany of the sample sets available have been produced by Milan Digital Audio, present developers of the Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ system. Other sample sets have been produced by third party providers. Most of these sample sets have MP3 and/or .wav demos available through their providers. In addition, many very fine performances (and some less so) utilizing Hauptwerk sample sets may be found at http://www.contrebombarde.com. We encourage you to listen to these to discover the amazing breadth of material available. You'll be astonished at the possibilities!

Some of the producers of available sample sets:
Should you be interested in a particular sample set be sure to inform yourself as to the terms of the license. Many sample sets, including all of those by Organ Art Media, may not be used for public performance.

How does Westminster Organ Works fit into the picture?

The software for the Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ is readily available directly to the end user. Many very successful installations have been achieved by individual owners. There are certainly many, however, who find the prospect of dealing with anything computer related a very daunting proposition. For those who find this to be the case it's undoubtedly the best course of action to acquire a preconfigured system.
The process of assembling an Hauptwerk installation can be outlined as follows:
  • purchase Hauptwerk license
  • evaluate and purchase sample sets
  • determine computer needs for your usage. specify and purchase the computer, or specify, purchase and assemble the components for a build your own solution
  • evaluate and purchase audio interface
  • evaluate and purchase MIDI interface
  • evaluate and purchase amplifier(s)
  • evaluate and purchase speaker systems
  • evaluate and purchase MIDI console or evaluate and purchase components to build your own and assemble same. These components will include:
    • console casework
    • manual keyboards
    • pedalboard
    • piston assemblies
    • toestud assemblies
    • touch screen(s) or other control media such as stop knobs
    • MIDI interfacing components
  • patch all of the system together
  • install and configure Hauptwerk software
  • install and configure sample sets
For most institutional customers a build your own approach will not be deemed to be an appropriate way to proceed. For some individuals contemplating a private project, who possess the necessary talents and range of skills required, this will be a challenging and rewarding DIY project. Others will be hopelessly overwhelmed.

Enter Westminster Organ Works.

The Westminster team will work with you to assess your goals and requirements, assemble, configure and test your instrument and deliver and install it for you. In short, a ready to play solution utilizing the most advanced technology available, heretofore available primarily in a DIY format.
Hauptwerk is a trademark of Milan Digital Audio LLC. Westminster Organ Works, an independent entity, is not affiliated with Milan Digital Audio.
Westminster Organ Works     9 Deyo Hill Road     Johnson City, New York 13790     607 237-0125