Product FAQ

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:

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:

Which operating systems are supported with Hauptwerk?

A:

For a list of supported operating systems please visit the Requirements page.

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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:

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:

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:

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:

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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