Trying out Hauptwerk 5

in #secretsoforganplaying25 days ago (edited)


Yesterday after the recommendation of my friend James Flores, @contrabourdon on Steem, I downloaded Hauptwerk 5 which is a leading virtual organ software. Got curious about it because it allows to play with a lot of almost real-sounding organ sample sets from the comfort of my practice room.

A month or so ago I talked with @laputis about getting Hauptwerk for our practice purposes. The problem is that we don't have much space for a separate organ console. But then idea of midifying our 2-stop mechanical practice organ came up and it would seem it would fit our needs - we could still practice on a mechanical organ whenever we wanted but would also enjoy virtual organ capabilities too.

I consulted with the organ builder from Marijampole Algis Stepanauskas, who built our practice organ and he said they are busy with some restoration work but after a year they might be able to do it.

I wasn't planning on using Hauptwerk before it as I don't have full MIDI organ console with multiple keyboards and pedalboard but James pointed out that it would work with any MIDI keyboard too.

I have this [Nektar Impact 61-note MIDI keyboard]( impact&index=aps&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=xm2&linkId=fe92eb009f496b499d5d87c1fae8aef3) which I use for composing and arranging with Sibelius software. So I decided to give it a try yesterday. Hauptwerk 5 has various pricing options and all of them include 14 day free trial. I guess this will be enough for me to evaluate the program and to see if it would augment my creativity at this point in my life.

The installation wasn't very intuitive to a non-technical person like me plus I had to figure out iLock licence that is required to activate the software.


However with some help from James, I was able to configure Hauptwerk just in time I had to leave for Unda Maris organ studio rehearsal. I downloaded the free sample set of St Anne's Moseley which is a nice English style 30 stop 2 manual and pedal instrument.

I was almost out of the house when I thought maybe taking a laptop and this MIDI keyboard with me to Unda Maris would be a good idea to trying it out together with my students. So I went back to the house and grabbed them and went to church.

St Anne's console.JPG

Sure enough, everyone who came had a chance to play using Hauptwerk. The most curious seemed to be @drugelis and @storm66. She even brought her headphones from her office and everyone could play without disturbing the rest of the studio.

I also wanted to try out recorder/playback option so I improvised a few times and later listened to the result. At the end of the session I showed @drugelis what I can do with the last improvisation which was played on a FF registration. I was quite happy with the result as it sounded powerful, colorful and exciting. After some thinking I named it "St Anne's Vision" and opened the MIDI file on my Sibelius software. After cleaning up the score a little, I realized I could make it into a proper piece at home.

So this morning I edited a score, made it more legible and playable and exported the video from Sibelius.

St Anne's Vision Op 72 snippet.JPG

Then I synced the video with the mp3 file so that the sound would be coming from my Hauptwerk improvisation. Here's the result - St Anne's Vision for organ, Op. 72:

Let me know what you think!

Oh and by the way, the score is available here, if you want to play it:

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I think that I hardly need tell how enthousiastic I am about Hauptwerk. The ability to play at home some of the most famous organs in the world (Müller, from the Bavo kerk Haarlem amd Schnittger from the St Martini in Groningen) is intoxicating.
And if you midify your practise organ you can have the best of both world. Real live tracker action, some real pipes augmented with Hauptwerk. You can go the realistic route, augmenting your practice organ and make sound as if it really has three or four stops extra. Or do what James and I do: play one of the numerous available sample sets. And of course, you don't really have to choose, you can do both things.
I think it is a step you and Ausra are going to enjoy immensely!

Thanks for your kind comment! Looking forward to exploring more possibilities with Hauptwerk since I'm a newbie here.

And I noticed the recording is mono. Did that happen in postprocessing? After all, Hauptwerk is known for it's fenomenal audio quality with as many stereo channels as you'd like. Though for a video simple sterao is of course more than enough.

I will have to check the audio settings...

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