Properties of the pipe tone

The moment the organist presses a key, the tone begins with an accent of chiff tones and builds up in the pipe until the full tone is reached.

It is characteristic of any register and the organist must hear that accent immediately, even before the tone changes due to the reverberations of the acoustics.

The tones of the pipes are echoed by the immediate surroundings, followed by reverberations at ever-increasing distances until it fades away in the distance.

The organist hears how the sound becomes broader and fuller due to the reverberation effects of the acoustics. At the organ you can hear the reverb moving away from the source. That is the organist's sound experience.

Samples recorded at a short distance from the pipes (DRY samples) transfer that sound experience to the living room, provided that the sounds are also adapted to the living room. Voicing is a necessity.

WET samples are recorded too far from the pipes to contain any sound information. They cannot be voiced.

Sounds in the Living room

Samples contain sounds of the church with the volume that suits the large space. It is too loud for the living room, but lowering the total volume with the swell pedal is not the right way. Then the high tones are attenuated more than the low ones. The powerful sounds of reeds are also less attenuated than the lovely notes of strings and flutes. The proportions that the sounds had in the church are flattened, so that only a gray middle area is heard. Hauptwerk has an extensive list of possibilities to compensate for this. It's called voicing and a right-click on the register makes that option visible. The original proportions can be restored by voicing.

With absolute hearing and experience as a pipe voicer, it is for me a simple operation. I would like to make my knowledge available to organists with a Hauptwerk organ. I taught many student organ builders how to voice pipes and that is only possible in practice. The voicing of samples is much easier because they are sounds of pipes that are already well voiced. These corrections can I describe and supported by clearly explaining photos.

Sounds in the Living Room extensively discusses the method of voicing the registers. As an example I have chosen the DRY sample set of the historic Coci-Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch. The style of this organ was determined 500 years ago by the pipes made by Johannes Coci. Age-old pipes let you hear sounds with a special resonance that can never be matched with new pipes. The pipes that Johann Hinrich Klapmeyer added in 1727 he voiced harmoniously with the old pipes. The sounds are recorded a short distance from the pipes, so every detail is captured and stored perfectly in DRY samples. By voicing they sound in the living room in the original proportions of the church. Sonus Paradisi offers the sample set for only 242 Euro.

The organ of the Martini Church in Groningen is the most beautiful organ of which a sample set has been made. The quality of the sample set is of the highest level, but the price will be an objection for many. That is why the sample set of the organ by Altenbruch is a good set to learn how to voice samples.

The voicing of the samples should not be compared to the voicing of pipes. When a pipe is made, a long sequence of actions has yet to set the tone. Samples are recorded from pipes that are perfectly voiced. When reproduced at the original volume there will be no difference from the tone from the pipe, but a lower volume will require corrections to reproduce the sounds in the correct proportions.

The book shows the voicings that I have made. All registers are shown with high-resolution photos, so that even the smallest details are clearly visible. By literally copying that to your own organ, the dull sound caused by lowering the volume disappears. The beautiful sounds of old pipes will sound clear and transparent again and the registers show their different characters and timbres.

I played the organ in the church of Altenbruch and enjoyed the sounds. It was not difficult for me to remember the sounds and voice the samples after that example. My speakers are part of the sounds and therefore the sounds will sound different when produced by other speakers. In previous books I gave directions on how to correct those differences. That was not easy for every organist to follow, so I looked for a different method. This method has now been tried and tested for some time and appears to work without problems. The new version of the book has a clear description.

Hauptwerk VII  in de praktijk
                                    Evert-Jan van der Leij

The voicing of the pipes is the most beautiful phase of organ construction. Then the sounds will be heard and the goal is achieved. A long way preceded it, with countless parts having to be carefully made. It is a craft on which many books have been written. The Hauptwerk organ is a new way to make pipe sounds audibly and for a living room this organ has great advantages. The organ is based on a completely different technique, but unfortunately there has been not much written about applying that technique.

The program comes with the User Guide that someone with knowledge of the English language can easily read, but it is not always understandable. The people who are so smart that they can invent Hauptwerk are not so smart that they can explain this wonderful system in an understandable way.

Reading the User Guide and then experiment with computers, the Hauptwerk program and audio systems is the only way to find out. Several people manage to achieve their dream organ. However, it is not given to everyone to describe the method followed, so that it becomes clear to others.

Evert-Jan van der Leij has a thorough experience with Hauptwerk. For years he has adequately answered every question at the PCorgan Forum. Not only he does understand all aspects of the system to the finest points, he is like no other able to explain it clearly.
Three years ago, his book Hauptwerk in de praktijk was published in which he meticulously described how installing and configuring had to be carried out in order to make the most of its possibilities.

Just a few months after the release of Hauptwerk 5, he published his second book, an adaptation and extension of his first book: Hauptwerk V in de praktijk. The many new possibilities offered by the system are also described in detail.

To prevent the illegal use of sample sets, the Pace/iLok license system is used. With the clear explanation, anyone can add their new sample sets without any problems.

A difficult subject is the bus system with an almost infinite number of audio channels. Its use requires a lot of insight from the organist, but with the description of Evert-Jan it is excellent to understand, even though because of the many pictures of the screens that emerge. The book gives an all-encompassing description, with which each organist can compose the organ of his preference:
Stereo 2 channels, Surround 4/6 channels or any configuration that will be desired.

How the acoustics can be added to the sounds with Impulse Response will be clear after reading this chapter. As a copy of the acoustics of the church where the sample set is included, it forms a beautiful unit with the sounds. The acoustics can be arranged in length and effectiveness.

Whatever the organist will prefer, the organ only can make it if the technique is applied correctly and for that purpose Evert-Jan van der Leij wrote this book.

In conclusion, I note that a user of Hauptwerk can look forward to a unique book by an expert who not only fully understands his profession, but is also able to explain it crystal clear. No such book has been written in any language. All organs differ because each organist has his or her personal preferences. With this book, everyone can make their own choice. It is an excellent help for the self-builder, but also for the organist who wants to get to know his organ better.


Order book from the author:
Evert-Jan van der Leij

The book has 238 pages in color on A4 format. To be able to use it conveniently, it has a ring band, so it always stays open. The pages are printed on sturdy paper. A very comprehensive index makes searching easy. The language of the book is Dutch. The many images are as you see them on your organ screen.

The book can be ordered by sending an email with the address details to:

hauptwerkboek (at) telfort (point) nl (words replaced by punctuation marks and the e-mail address without spaces).

The book costs € 32.50 and the packaging and shipping costs are € 5.60 for an address in the Netherlands.
For Belgium, shipping costs are € 13.55
For other countries on demand.

Coci - Klapmeyer organ

One of the most beautyful organs is the Coci - Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch. The metal of a pipe that has produced the same sound for centuries is metallurgical altered. The most beautiful sound is achieved when the pipe is precisely tuned to its original pitch, the resonance is then maximum. It is comparable to the sounds of a Stradivarius. With time and use, the sound matures and gets a special resonance.
The specifics are present in the samples, but because the sounds in the living room sound at a much lower volume, the character needs to be voiced.

The Hauptwerk books are provided free of charge if the applicant mentions two things:
e-mail and the full mailing address. That is not for economic purposes, but because I want to know which people are interested in Hauptwerk. My data can be seen on the page  Contact     

                                                                          mail to: John Boersma