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Collon organ Erloeserkirche Muenster (Germany) 300.00EUR

2 manuals plus pedal, 38 stops, built in 1999

The Patrick Collon organ in the Erlöserkirche in Münster from 1999 is highly unique in its musical conception. It is a European organ in the true sense of the word. With this organ Patrick Collon has succeeded in combining formative stylistic elements from different regions of Europe to create a very own, individual style. The organ combines elements of the baroque style from France, Spain, Italy and southern Germany.

When a new organ was planned for the Erlöserkirche in Münster in the 1990s, it was to be built in a handcrafted Baroque style to match the church music tradition of the congregation. Because of the difficult acoustics of the church room, which suppresses low frequencies strongly, but reproduces high frequencies very clearly, revealing any errors in the sound mercilessly, the organ should be designed with a strong fundamental tone and the plenum should not be too sharp. This requirement was seen to be fulfilled in 18th century organ building tradition in southern Germany, with a plenum resting on a strong foundation, 8' voices in a variety of timbres, radiant french reeds and silvery shining mixtures. Moreover, these organs were already multicultural, combining German, Italian and French stylistic elements into a new synthesis.

Thus, on the threshold of the new millennium, the idea was born to carry the multicultural aspect even further and to create a truly European organ. In Patrick Collon from Brussels an organ builder was found who is deeply rooted in the baroque organ building tradition and who had already created important instruments in almost all important European organ building styles. With his support, the concept for a truly European organ, a hitherto unknown synthesis of the various regional building styles of the Baroque era, has been developed. The driving force behind the conceptual development and disposition was the then organist of the Erlöserkirche, Winfried Berger, who unfortunately has since passed away.

The tonal backbone of the organ is formed by a solemn plenum on a 16' base with a mixture that repeats into the 8', analogous to a South German plenum or the French Plein Jeu. In addition there is a small plenum on 8' basis with principal voices in the registers 8', 4', 2 2/3', 2', 1_3/5', 1 1/3', an italien ripieno can be registered as well. The Voce umana, an undulating principal stop, is also of Italian origin. The classic French style is represented by the characteristic reeds and the Cornet. Here we find the Trompette and Cornet in the Hauptwerk, plus Cornet decomposé, Cromorne, Hautbois and Voix humain in the Nebenwerk and the Trompetenbass in the pedal. The horizontal trumpets Bajoncillo 4' and Clarin 8' in the Hauptwerk are of Spanish origin, as is the manual division in the Hauptwerk at c'/cis', which was also common in Flemish and English organ building. The Southern German style is also represented by the numerous 8' color stops Offenflöte, Traversflöte, Copel, Salicional and Quintade in 8', plus Fugara 4' and the undulating Unda maris, resulting in an abundance of tonal nuances that can be perceived in the particularly detailling  acoustics down to the smallest detail. A Principal 16' starting at f# supports the plenum like its archetypes e.g. in Ottobeuren. Also in the pedal, the Flötenbaß 8' and Violonbaß 8' are of Southern German influence, while a 32' Bourdonbaß (acoustic bass of 16' and 10 2/3' in the contra octave) provides a solid foundation.

The southern German stops Quintade, Salicional, Unda maris and Fugara as well as the Hautbois and Voix humain are placed in the lower part of the case as a quasi separate division. This construction method also has models in Spanish organ building. The volume of these stops can be changed by opening a flap in the organ case. The organ is built in three cases placed behind each other. The Hauptwerk and the Nebenwerk are located in the large main case in front of the gallery, behind which the two pedal cases are located on the gallery. A wedge bellows system with 5 bellows located on the gallery, which can be operated both electrically and mechanically, provides the organ with the necessary wind and is another unique feature of this organ.

Another special feature of the organ is the short octave coupler in the Hauptwerk, where a mechanical construction reproduces a short octave, as was common in Spanish organs, for example. This makes it possible to play literature that would not be playable on a modern keyboard.

This wonderful organ meets the highest demands for accompaniment in church services as well as for concerts and training. In 2019/2020 the organ was restored by the company Fleiter (Münster) and the tuning was set to a slightly uneven tuning according to Wiegleb. The organ now shines in new splendour and will be the musical center of the congregation and with its unique concept attract organ lovers from nearby and far away for many years to come.


Pedal I: C-f'
Subbass 16'
Flötenbass 8'
Oktavbass 4'
Posaunenbass 16'
Trompetenbass 8'
Clarinbass 4'
Bordunbass 32' (C-H 16'+10 2/3', from c 32')
Contrabass 16'
Violonbass 8'
I: Nebenwerk: C-g'''
Offenflöte 8' (C-f closed oak, from f# open metal)
Traversflöte 8' (C-f Offenflöte)
Prinzipal 4'
Nasat 2 2/3'
Flageolet 2'
Terz 1 3/5'
Mixtur 3-fach
Cromorne 8'
I: Echo: C-g'''
Salicional 8' (C-H closed oak, from c open metal)
Unda maris 8' (from fis, undulating)
Quintade 8' (C-H Salicional)
Fugara 4'
Hautbois8' (from c#')
Voix Humaine 8'

II: Hauptwerk: C-g'''
Principal 16' (C-f Bordun)
Bordun 16'
Principal 8'
Voce umana 8' (from c#', undulating, original from d')
Copel 8'
Oktave 4'
Flöte 4'
Quinte 2 2/3'
Oktave 2'
Terz 1 3/5'
Quinte 1 1/3'
Mixtur 4-5 fach
Cornet 5-fach (from cis')
Trompette 8'
Bajoncillo/Clarin 4'/8' (Chamade)
I-II, kurze Oktavkoppel

Tremulant for manual divisions, Kuckuck, Nachtigall, Ventil for Echo division


The organ was recorded in 2020 with high-quality microphones in four-channel technology. One pair of microphones was positioned at the height of the organ facade and at a short distance from the organ. These microphones provide a high proportion of direct sound, making the organ sound very clear. In the sample set these channels are marked "Close". The second pair was placed at a typical listener position and delivers a much stronger reverb. In the sample set these channels are marked "Distant".

To achieve an optimal result, three release layers (staccato, portato and long sustained notes) have been recorded for each pipe. The blower noise and key action noises have been recorded as well.

The recordings were made in 24bit/48kHz without any filtering. The samples have been processed with our self-developed processing tools, with special mention of our unique noise removal software. The algorithm is optimized for the characteristics of pipe tones and enables a previously unknown quality of noise removal without affecting the sound characteristics.

The sample set faithfully reproduces the organ with its playing aids in Hauptwerk.  It contains some special features, which are explained below:

The sample set uses special tremulant samples for most stops (all manual stops except for 16'-, trumpet-, undulating and mixture stops), i.e. the pipes have also been sampled with tremulant. This method provides the best possible natural tremulant sound. However, there are some disadvantages as well: For one thing, the oscillations of the individual pipes are not synchronous, each pipe oscillates independently. The speed or depth of the tremulant cannot be controlled afterwards. In addition it is not possible to switch while a note is sounding. Here there are two options that can be switched using the Tremulant Retrigger switch on the Controls page: If the Tremulant Retrigger switch is off, switching the tremulant on or off will only affect notes that are played afterwards. If it is on, however, notes that are already sounding are briefly interrupted and then played again, so that the tremulant takes effect immediately. Depending on the response of the respective stop, this is of course more or less audible. The sampled tremulant sounds best with solo voices.
In addition a modeled tremulant is also available for all manual stops. For this purpose, the recorded tremulant samples were analyzed and corresponding envelopes for the tremulant function present in Hauptwerk were calculated for each individual note. The modeled tremulant does not sound as natural as the sampled one, but the oscillations of simultaneously sounding tones are synchronous, and switching on and off while holding a note works correctly.

In the real organ the tremulant effects both manuals at the same time. The sample set contains an option controlled by an additional switch on the Controls-page that makes the tremulant only effect manual I (Nebenwerk). Hence it is possible to use the Hauptwerk without tremulant while playing a solo voice with tremulant on the Nebenwerk, which is not possible with the real organ.

This set contains "Close" and "Distant" samples. Ideally, these should be reproduced through separate pairs of speakers to get the best effect. With the sliders on the controls page you can adjust the parts separately.

The blower, action and tremulant sounds can be switched on and off with the corresponding switches on the Controls-page. These switches are on when the sample set is first loaded, but the last setting is saved when unloading the organ. The volume of these noises corresponds to the original conditions and can be adjusted via the voicing options in the Hauptwerk software.

In the Hauptwerk setting "Original Tuning", the organ sounds approximately in its own tuning, which is designed to be minimally unevenly spaced (Wiegleb, 1790). It was a conscious decision to tune the virtual instrument during the creation of the sample set, but leaving a certain inaccuracy (+/- 5ct). A "Temperament File" for the Wiegleb tuning is included in the sample set and will be installed automatically. This allows you to select this temperament in Hauptwerk as a tempered tuning. When using one of the tempered tunings available in Hauptwerk (e.g. equal tempered) the organ is tuned very precisely to this tuning. This exact tuning can sound a little sterile, which is why Hauptwerk includes a function for random detuning when loading.

This Hauptwerk built in random detuning cannot be used for this set, because it is not possible to ensure that front and rear samples are detuned synchronously. (This is a limitation of Hauptwerk and affects all sample sets recorded in multi-channel technology). The result is usually not very pleasing. Therefore the corresponding parameters in the sample set are set to 0, so that Hauptwerk's "random detuning" setting has no effect. Instead, the sample set contains its own pseudo-random detuning. The degree of detuning can be set with the slider on the Controls page, the values are randomly determined for each pipe, but are unchangeably defined in the definition file.

Keyboard division Bass/Treble
The Hauptwerk (Manual II) is divided into a bass and a treble section, with the division being between c' and c#' in accordance with Spanish and Flemish tradition. To simplify the registration if you don't want to use the keyboard division, a switch has been integrated on the Controls-page to connect the stops.

Echo division
The pipes of the echo division are located in the lower part of the organ case. By opening a flap the volume of this section can be slightly increased. In the sample set, the expression effect can be increased, whereby the volume is then further reduced when the box is closed. As in the original, the stops of the echo mechanism only sound when the "Ventil" stop is pulled.

Virtual Console

The virtual console consists of different screen pages that have been optimized for touch screen operation. All screen pages are created in a very high native resolution, so that the maximum resolution of the monitor can be fully used even with very high resolution monitors. The following screen pages are available:     

This page is not intended to operate the sample set, but to give the organist an impression of the real console. Here a photo of the console has been used with moving stops added to it. Due to the small size the lettering is however hardly readable. This screen page is also ideal for MIDI-assignment of the manuals.

This screen contains all controls except the manuals and the pedal. Care has been taken to ensure that the page is easy to read. This screen page is ideal for operating the sample set with a single touch screen. The arrangement of the stops corresponds to the original. On this page the assignment of the stops to the manuals is clearly marked and the pitch information of the stops is given as well.

Left/right stop jambs
For even better readability in setups with two monitors, separate tab pages (left and right) were also created. These are mainly designed for portrait format and correspond to the left and right half of the stops-page. For technical reasons, it is necessary in Hauptwerk to create these pages in landscape format as well. For this purpose, however, it was necessary to choose a stop arrangement that differs significantly from the original.

This page is used to make various settings. These are the balance between the recording channels and the control of the different sounds and tremulant settings.


Licence Inform.

This sample set requires a powerful Windows-PC or Apple Mac-OS computer with 64-bit operating system and the Hauptwerk™ software (Advanced version, 4.2 or higher). For best results a powerful CPU (e.g. a modern quadcore CPU) and sufficient main memory (RAM) are essential. The memory requirements in MB for the sample set are specified in the table below for the most important sample loading options (loading with compression):    

  compressed uncompressed
16 bit 4.8 GB 7.6 GB
24 bit 8.7 GB 14.8 GB

The compression used by Hauptwerk when loading samples is lossfree, i.e. loading samples compressed does not result in any loss of quality. It results however in an increase in CPU load of about 15% during playing. The best quality is obtained when loading the samples in 24-bit resolution, loading in 16-bit will cause a small but noticeable loss of quality. Since these options can be selected for each stop separately it is possible to individually adjust the options to match the available RAM.

Approximately 10 GB of free space is needed on the harddisc to install the sample set.

Licence Agreement

The licence conditions for our sample sets conditions can be found here.


This sample set is available both for Hauptwerk version 4.x as well as versions 5 and above. The HW 4.x version of the set is protected using Hauptwerks basic protection scheme. You can download a fully functional trial version from our server and use it for testing as long as you wish. Following a purchase you will receive a link to download a small file (organ definition) that removes the restriction of the trial version (periodic muting). For HW version 5 and beyond the sample set is protected using the iLok system and hence an activated licence is required for installation and using the sample set. After your purchase you will get an activation code from us to enable the licence in the iLok licence manager software. You can also obtain a key for a 14-day trial period free of charge from us, that allows you to test the sample set for a period of 14 days without any restrictions.

Download and Installation Instructions:

The sampleset is delivered as download only (approx. 8 GB). There are separate versions available for Hauptwerk version 4.2 and Hauptwerk version 5 and higher. This is necessary because the encryption method was changed when switching to Hauptwerk 5. You can find detailed installation instructions for your Hauptwerk version in the Hauptwerk Main User Guide. You can access it in Hauptwerk via the Help menu. To install and use the sample set in Hauptwerk version 5 or higher, you need an iLok license for this set. You will receive an activation code from us after your purchase, which you can use to unlock your license in the iLok License Manager.

Please note that you may need to update the Hauptwerk Licencing Packages in order to be able to install the sampleset in Hauptwerk 5, otherwise the installation will terminate with an error message. The Hauptwerk Licencing Packages can only be obtained directly from the Hauptwerk website.

The download file of the full version for HW4 contains only the organ definition file (ODF) and must be installed in ADDITION to the free trial version, as this contains all samples and graphics.

During the installation the license agreement is displayed, which you can also find following the link given above. You can only continue with the installation if you accept the license agreement.



You can find a number of pieces recorded with this sampleset on the Contrebombarde website.

Here is a link to a playlist featuring this organ.

You can find an excellent "tour of stops" video performed by Paul Fey here.

Trial Version

For Hauptwerk version up to 4.x you can download a fully functional trial version. In this version the sound is muted periodically when more than three stops are drawn at the same time. Starting from version V of Hauptwerk there is no separate trial version available any more for this set, the set can only be used with an activated licence and the download contains the full version. You can get a free activation code for a 14-day trial period from us on request via our trial request form.

Please refer to our downloads page to download the trial version or the full version for Hauptwerk version V.

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