Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What is Hauptwerk and who uses it?

A:

Hauptwerk is an advanced computer organ system - a virtual pipe organ that takes full advantage of the enormous processing power of the latest computers to provide very complex pipe organ modeling and per-pipe sound shaping, while maintaining the enormous polyphony necessary to model a pipe organ successfully. At its core, Hauptwerk is a powerful and high-performance specialist software sampler, specifically designed and optimized for modeling pipe organs through the use of MIDI.

Hauptwerk may be used:

  • For study and practice at home by organists, organ enthusiasts and music students.
  • As a church organ, theatre organ, or concert hall organ where a real pipe organ may not be possible.
  • As a high quality sound module to power digital organs and voice expanders.
  • To upgrade old digital/electronic organs to the latest audio technology and realism.
  • In commercial and home recording studios to provide unparalleled pipe organ sound.
  • For music composition and arrangement.
  • For historical organ and music study and research.
  • For making a playable documentary of endangered or valuable pipe organs.
  • As an instrument on which to learn the organ in music schools, colleges, etc.
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Q:

What do I need to use Hauptwerk?

A:

In the very broadest of terms, you need a computer to run it that meets the minimum requirements. You also need a MIDI keyboard or MIDI organ console and an audio/MIDI interface for the computer. You will also need amplifiers and speakers (or headphones), and leads to connect everything together. You might also want one or more third-party instruments to use in Hauptwerk, although a basic 30-stop English organ sample set is included to get you started.

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Q:

Why does free memory differ between Hauptwerk and my operating system?

A:

The Windows Task Manager and the Mac OS X Activity Monitor may report free memory differently from the Hauptwerk "Free GB" meter. On modern operating systems the definition of which memory is 'free' varies, since modern operating systems (e.g. Windows XP/Vista/7) use page files on the hard-drive to extend and mirror the virtual memory. Modern operating systems aim to keep the physical memory completely full, but prioritize portions with regard to paging out when other tasks require memory.

Paging is highly likely to cause audio glitches in Hauptwerk, so the 'Free GB' memory figure that Hauptwerk queries and displays is the amount of memory allocation that your operating system will allow without paging. That isn't necessarily the same as the 'free' memory figure that Task Manager/Activity Monitor shows, but the one that Hauptwerk shows is the one that's more relevant and important for Hauptwerk's purposes (i.e. for glitch-free audio).

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Q:

What is MIDI?

A:

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

This is a standard protocol for digital communication between two MIDI devices, such as an organ console and a computer. Any organ or other hardware that sends MIDI output will most certainly be compatible with Hauptwerk. A simple and inexpensive MIDI cable is all that is needed to connect your MIDI organ to a MIDI interface on your computer to run Hauptwerk. Most digital organs built after the 1980's will have MIDI output. Please consult the owner's manual of your digital organ if you are not sure of its MIDI capabilities.

Please see our Documentation pages for more information about Hauptwerk's advanced MIDI capabilities.

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Q:

Can I use Hauptwerk with an iPad?

A:

Hauptwerk must be installed on either a Windows PC or a Mac OS X based computer per the requirements page. You may use an iPad to connect remotely to your Hauptwerk computer and control the stops and other virtual controls on an organ with a 3rd party iPad App available from the Apple App Store™.  Installing Hauptwerk itself directly on an iPad is not possible. The following forum posts show how some of our users are using an iPad with Hauptwerk:

iPad information - 1

iPad information - 2

iPad information - 3

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Q:

Which operating systems are supported with Hauptwerk?

A:

Hauptwerk is supported on the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32 and 64 bit)
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion (32 and 64 bit)
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Q:

How do I configure MIDI keyboards, pedalboards, stops, couplers, pistons, expression pedals etc. ?

A:

Nearly all of the controls in Hauptwerk 4 and above, including the virtual instrument controls as well as Hauptwerk's control panels and pistons toolbars and several menu items, may be configured by MIDI learn.

Simply right-click on the control to be configured and choose "Auto-detect" then follow the steps on screen to configure your hardware to control Hauptwerk. No MIDI experience is required to configure an organ console to interface with Hauptwerk, all settings are automatically assigned by Hauptwerk when using MIDI learn.

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Q:

Why is my Hauptwerk USB key not recognized by Hauptwerk?

A:

The Hauptwerk installer automatically installs the USB key drivers for your system. In the rare event that the drivers were not installed properly and your Hauptwerk USB key LED does not light up you can run the Hauptwerk installer again making sure that it completes successfully, or you can download and install the latest drivers from Safenet. To install the drivers first remove the Hauptwerk USB key, then install the drivers for your operating system. Reboot your computer then plug in the Hauptwerk USB key. Now the LED should come on and Hauptwerk should launch in licensed mode.

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Q:

Does Hauptwerk have built-in convolution reverb?

A:

Most instruments available for Hauptwerk include their own original sampled acoustics offering a more realistic spatial impression than any current convolution can offer. Therefore convolution reverb is not required for these instruments and is not available in the current version of Hauptwerk. However convolution reverb is planned as an important enhancement for a future update.

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Q:

Do you offer student or academic discounts?

A:

Hauptwerk is available in three editions, Free, Basic and Advanced. Due to the variety of editions which cater to all budgets we do not currently offer student or academic discounts.

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Q:

Will my license work if I change my computer or move from a PC to a Mac?

A:

Yes. You can move a Hauptwerk license between as many computers as you wish (Mac or PC), but you can only have one computer per license actually running Hauptwerk at any given moment, with the Hauptwerk USB key attached to that computer. In particular, the Hauptwerk USB key is not hardware-specific, so you can change your computer hardware as many times as you wish and your Hauptwerk license, and any instruments licensed on the Hauptwerk USB key, will still be valid and continue to work.

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Q:

Can I use Hauptwerk as a VST or Audio Unit plug-in on a Mac?

A:

Yes, Hauptwerk 4 includes both VST and Audio Unit plug-ins for Mac OS X (and VST for Windows) allowing you to connect Hauptwerk to your audio/MIDI sequencer host program. Step-by-step tutorials are available to guide you through setting up Hauptwerk with several leading programs including Logic Pro, Sonar, Cubase and Reaper.

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Q:

Is Hauptwerk compatible with my model of digital/electronic organ?

A:

Since there are so many models of electronic/digital organs, and we concentrate on the software itself, we're sorry we're not in a position to be able to advise on compatibility with any particular make or model of electronic/digital organ. If your organ has MIDI then it will almost certainly be possible to play Hauptwerk's virtual keyboards from your MIDI organ's keyboards. However, the MIDI implementation used for stops, combination pistons/buttons and expression pedals varies widely between makes and models. We try to make Hauptwerk's MIDI implementation as flexible as possible to cater for most of them, but there are some cases in which it is not yet compatible. In particular, if your MIDI organ's stops and pistons are 'hard-wired' together, which is relatively common, then it is unlikely that you would be able to control Hauptwerk's stops and combination system independently.

In order to determine compatibility, please look carefully at Hauptwerk's supported MIDI implementations, described in the MIDI implementation section of the user guide, and compare it to the technical documentation for your MIDI organ. You can also use the Hauptwerk MIDI logging utility to determine what MIDI messages your MIDI organ is sending. If you have a computer that meets our prerequisites, please try the trial version of Hauptwerk so that you can determine compatibility for yourself before purchasing a license for Hauptwerk. Trial DVDs may be ordered from our online store or you may download Hauptwerk for free from our downloads area. Many Hauptwerk users play Hauptwerk from their existing digital/electronic organs, so you might also be able to obtain specific advice about your make/model from other users via our forum.

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Q:

Why does Hauptwerk sound so realistic compared to other digital organs?

A:

Hauptwerk's system is built around the philosophy of using at least one large sample per pipe, (typically 3-10 seconds of a recorded pipe), all including natural attack and release samples of each individual pipe, and recorded with a resolution of up to 24 bit 96kHz. Since all samples are recorded chromatically from a real pipe organ there is no pitch strecthing to "fill in" sections of the keyboard compass. Every note is an individual and unique pipe recording!

All samples are held in the computer memory (RAM) to achieve a much higher polyphony than is possible with disk-streaming, commonly used in most samplers. Unlike generic software or hardware samplers, Hauptwerk has complex physical and acoustic models specifically designed to reproduce the features and sound of a pipe organ, and is thus able to achieve much more realistic results. It is also designed for a much higher polyphony than generic samplers and supports up to 32,768 simultaneous notes!

Many digital organs compromise the quality of the pipe samples to allow them to fit  in a smaller amount of memory. This results in artificial (synthesized) attacks and releases and very short sustaining portions. These factors alone reduce the realism of the overall sound and randomness of a real pipe.

Hauptwerk combines long samples with complex organ modeling to achieve the most realistic sounding virtual organs in the world.

Because of the attention to detail and high quality modeling Hauptwerk has become the popular choice among professional organists and music students around the world!

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Q:

Will Hauptwerk work on my computer?

A:

As long as your compuer meets the minimum requirements Hauptwerk should run on your computer. Hauptwerk is available from the downloads page to try before you buy a license. Hauptwerk will run on both PC and Mac computers. Most computers should be able to run Hauptwerk fully, even older Pentium III computers. Hauptwerk is not available for the Linux platform.

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Q:

Can I try Hauptwerk before purchasing it?

A:

We do offer a trial edition for testing the software before you buy it.  The trial edition has some limitations compared to the fully licensed versions however will  allow you to completely test the software to make sure that it performs as you need it to.  The trial edition is available via download or you may order the DVD from our Online store.

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Q:

Why are odd percussion/piano noises heard when draw-knobs are changed?

A:

Use the General settings | MIDI ports | MIDI OUT ports screen to make sure that no MIDI output is being sent by Hauptwerk to an external software or hardware synthesizer, such as a sound card's on-board synthesizer.

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Q:

Which Hauptwerk edition do I need?

A:

Hauptwerk is available in Free, Basic, and Advanced Editions. You may read about these differences here to see which edition of Hauptwerk may be right for you.

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Q:

Why will Hauptwerk not work after using Windows System Restore?

A:

We recommend not using Windows System Restore after you have installed Hauptwek. System Restore habitually deletes or reverts some of Hauptwerk's essential files and not others, and can render Hauptwerk inoperable or prevent its installer being able to upgrade or repair it. This is not a bug in Hauptwerk because Hauptwerk has no control over System Restore's internal working.

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Q:

Can I save my existing Hauptwerk settings to transfer to a new computer?

A:

Yes, Hauptwerk has a native backup/restore/import/export functionality to do it automatically for you. Please see the Backups section in the Hauptwerk user guide.

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Q:

Is a Hauptwerk organ affordable?

A:

Yes! We like to think that Hauptwerk provides the best sounding organs at one of the most competitive prices on the market today. The versitility of the software approach allows customers to either build up their virtual organ over time as their budget allows, or to get a full console from the beginning. Either way, we feel the sound will far exceed anything you've ever heard and will be a fraction of the cost of most digital and electronic organs.

Due to the large library of instruments available for Hauptwerk, customers may choose instruments based on both their budget as well as their preference of instrument styles including Baroque, Classical, Modern and Theatre organs. This also allows customers to gradually add-on to their organ with new instruments without having to buy a new digital organ or an expensive and inferior sounding pipe voice expander.

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Q:

Why am I getting audio glitches when using Hauptwerk with Windows?

A:

Hauptwerk can perform very well on Windows providing that you take some steps to optimize your computer and operating system for audio playback. We have assembled some of the most common reasons for experiencing audio glitches when running Windows. Please see the tutorials page for a list of steps to take.

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