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Hauptwerk IV Virtual Organ Software

HAUPTWERK ( is a computer program designed and developed by Martin Dyde specifically for church and theatre organs. Unlike conventional sampler programs, it is designed to represent and work like a real pipe organ so that "pulling" out a stop or stops does precisely that. This also allows the easy use of couplers and pistons which are not a feature of other conventional sampler programs. In addition, a suitable midi equipped organ console will affect the various devices in the program so that a conventional performance can be achieved.

Whilst initially, certain parties tried to restrict Hauptwerk to little more than an historical archiving facility limited to the dusty corridors of academia and exclusive to student research fortunately, there were others who saw Hauptwerk as a very viable musical instrument both for home and for church use. The main driving force behind Hauptwerk has been instruments for the home either for practice or entertainment and many sound libraries have been been developed specifically with this in mind but this is beginning to change. Silver Octopus has always been at the forefront of developing sample sets and instruments for church use and we believe that in the next few years, this is where Hauptwerk will finally come into its own.

Hauptwerk offers the most effective means of creating the sound of a real pipe organ and is seen by many professional organists and pipe organ builders as the future for pipeless instruments or hybrid instruments where it can be used to supplement an existing pipe organ. Other sampling systems are limited by both their hardware and their software and alternative methods of sound generation do not currently offer any advantage over the sampled sound recordings of real pipes. However, where Hauptwerk really beats all of the others is in its low cost and the huge variety of instruments available which range from accurate, historical archive representations of existing instruments to advanced composite instruments created from the best selected source material.

Unlike the vast majority of commercial manufacturers who rely on their own hardware and software development, Hauptwerk uses a standard computer platform either based on Windows or the Apple Macintosh which means that it can be installed on any standard PC or Mac. This presents a considerable saving over dedicated hardware together with its shortcomings such as unavoidable obsolescence. The development of new organs / sample libraries can be undertaken by anyone who wishes to do so thus freeing up the development of libraries to a huge skill base of ideas, styles and techniques. Many instruments are free whilst others are available for trial before a final purchase decision is made. Most sample sets are available for a very reasonable price.

Of course this does mean that unfortunately there are some poor quality sample libraries available. However, many of the libraries have been developed by world class recording and sound engineers.

Since its inception, Hauptwerk has been under continuing development with new or improved features being added on a regular basis. Rather than list all of the features here, please visit the Hauptwerk site (linked above) for full details of this amazing piece of software.

Of course, Hauptwerk is not merely limited to organs; Other instruments such as harmoniums, pianos, harpsichords or carillons etc. can be accommodated.

Work on sample sets for Hauptwerk is ongoing and details of progress can be found under our News page and elsewhere on this site.

To get some idea of the sort of results that are available from Hauptwerk, go to our own demos under the relevant product or follow the links on the Hauptwerk website. Alternatively the Contra Bombarde site has many examples of what can be achieved using Hauptwerk with many different sample sets showcased.

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Copyright 2013 Silver Octopus Studios
Last modified: 25-06-2019