The organ of the monastery church of Riddagshausen near Braunschweig was built in 1979 by the renowned organ workshop of Alfred Führer in the neo-baroque style. It is designed very similar to the first organ of the church, built around 1619 by Heinrich Compenius the younger. Like the Compenius organ the new instrument comprises 31 stops on three manuals and pedal and fills the large church room with its beautiful sound. The disposition and the pipe scaling are closely following the original instrument. With its warm fundamentals and expressive reeds it is perfectly suited for a wide repertoire, even romantic and contemporary music. The disposition of the organ is printed on the last page of this booklet.
Lively concert activities with international guest organists attest to the wonderful sound of the instrument and make it known widely even outside of Germany.
Disposition with virtual extensions (in blue):
Rückpositiv (I) C-g'''
Sesquialtera 2 2/3'+1 3/5'
Terz 1 3/5'
Scharff 4fach 1'
Hauptwerk (II) C-g'''
Nasard 2 2/3'
Mixtur 5fach 1 1/3'
Koppel HW 16'
Koppel HW 4'
HW Unison Off
Brustwerk (III) C-g'''
Quinte 1 1/3‘
Zimbel 3fach 1/2'
Vox humana 8'
Koppel BW 16'
Koppel BW 4'
BW Unison off
Hintersatz 4fach 4'
Note: A booklet with more information about the sample set can be downloaded here.
The organ has been recorded in 2010 using state of the art recording techniques and equipment. At least three releases (staccato, portato, long note) have been recorded for each pipe to fully capture the reverberation of the large room, and additional layers for all pipes of the Rückpositiv and Brustwerk with the tremulant on. This results in an unsurpassed realism of the tremulants of the virtual organ.
Tracker action, stop action, wind, and tremulant noises have also been recorded and can be switched on or off from the virtual console.
The suitability of the sample set especially for romantic and contemporary music has been improved by providing the following extensions of the original disposition:
Terz 1 3/5' in the Rückpositiv.
Coupler III-I as well as sub- and superoctave couplers for Hauptwerk and Brustwerk.
Manual compass up to c'''' (original up to g''').
The Brustwerk of the real organ can be muted by manually closing wooden doors in front of the pipes. This has been modelled as an enclosure that can be controlled via an expression pedal.
Ten programmable general combinations facilitate quick registration.
The user interface of the virtual pipe organ consists of four screens which are optimized for touchscreen use.
The console screen shows all stops and couplers as well as the keyboards and pedalboard plus some optical elements (music rest, company plate) from the original organ. The Brustwerk doors may be opened or closed by clicking on them.
This screen displays somewhat larger images of the drawstops as well as the general combinations and control switches for action and wind noises.
Left and right screen:
These additional screens are intended to be used with two touchscreens. They show the same elements as the main screen split into a left and right hand page. These screens provide the best usability due to the large size of the control elements.
The recordings were made using Microtech Gefell Mk221 capsules with MV201 preamplifiers mounted on a Jecklin disc. These microfones mounted on the Jecklin disc result in a recording that is rich in detail and captures the room ambience perfectly. The signal was digitized in 24bit/96kHz using a Focusrite SaffireLE without any analog filtering. All sample processing steps were done with the 24/96 sample quality before finally converting them to 48kHz for distribution.
This sample set requires a powerful Windows-PC or Apple Mac-OS computer with 64-bit operating system and the Hauptwerk™ software (*) Advanced Edition (version 3.3 or higher). For best results a powerful CPU (e.g. a modern quadcore CPU) and sufficient main memory (RAM) are essential. The memory requirements for the Hauptwerk process with the sample set loaded are specified in the table below for the most important sample loading options.
||appr. 19 GB
A Windows-PC will need about 1 GB additional memory for the operating system and other necessary processes, a Mac-OS computer should have about 30% additional memory available due to its different memory management system.
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.
Additional options are e.g. loading with 20-bit resolution (about 10% less memory required than 24-bit) or to only load the first loop of each sample (also about 10% reduced memory requirement).
Approximately 15 GB of free space is needed on the harddisc to install the sample set.
The licence conditions for our sample sets conditions can be found here.
On this page you can find a growing collection of demo pieces played for us by accomplished organists. All demo pieces have been played live using this sample set and recorded directly to disk with Hauptwerk. No effects or filtering have been applied to the recordings.
Many thanks to the contributing organists!
New pieces will be added here frequently, so please visit this page again for more demo recordings!
Here is a new set of improvisations performed by Korbinian Maier in various styles:
Pieces recorded by Hans-Dieter Karras, cantor in Riddagshausen, on a very early version of the sample set with just seven stops:
Pieter Leebeek (Norway):
Anton Doornhein (Netherlands):
Wolfram Syré: J.S. Bach: Great eighteen chorale preludes (BWV 651-668)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Partite diverse sopra: Christ, der du bist der helle Tag. BWV 766