The magnificent Walcker organ of St. Antonius, Papenburg (Germany).
In 2020 the St. Antonius Church in Papenburg, a beautiful neo-Gothic brick hall church built in 1877, has become home to one of the most significant new organ installations in northern Germany in recent years. It is a Walcker organ from 1927 with 99 stops, one of the largest organs in Northern Germany.
The organ today
The organ was completely restored in 2003-2008 by the Seifert company in Kevelaer, based on the original plans from 1927, and then initially put into storage, because during the restoration plans had changed and the organ was no longer to be reinstalled in its original location. In 2018, it was decided to give it to Papenburg for the symbolic price of €1. The costs for the reconstruction of more than €1 million were borne by the church community in Papenburg.
In 2020, the organ was finally consecrated and given its new purpose. The organ has 99 stops, 9 of which are transmissions, distributed over 4 manuals and pedal. 16 stops are found in the former Fernwerk, which was built as a choir organ in the southern side aisle. The main organ is installed on the western gallery and in four large towers suspended from the ceiling to the left and right of it. The completely new modern console, which is based on historical consoles of the Walcker company, can be moved freely in the church, the choir organ is played from the main console. The extensive stoplist corresponds almost completely to the original stoplist of the concert hall organ.
Please check out out comprehensive brochure providing much more information about this instrument and its history as well as specific features of the sample set.
Hauptwerk I C-c''''
Quinte 2 2/3'
Kornett I-V 8' (from f#0)
Groß-Mixtur IV trans. from IV (2020)
Mixtur II-V 1 1/3'
Klein-Mixtur IV transm. from IV (2020)
Cymbel III 1'
Schwellwerk II C-c''''
Gedackt 16' (-c''''')
Flötenprincipal 8' (-c''''')
Konzertflöte 8' (below c0 Flötenprincipal 8', -c''''')
Salicional 8' (-c''''')
Unda maris 8' (from c0, -c''''')
Quintflöte 2 2/3'
Terzflöte 1 3/5'
Quinte 1 1/3'
Septime 1 1/7'
Rankett 16' (-c''''')
Klarinette 8' (-c''''')
Schwellwerk III C-c''''
Gambe 16' (-c''''')
Celloprincipal 8' (-c''''')
Gedackt 8' (-c''''')
Gemshorn 8' (below c0 Gedackt 8', -c''''')
Viola 8' (-c''''')
Voix céleste 8' (from c0, -c''''')
Gemshornquinte 2 2/3'
Progressio-Harm. III-V 2'
Dulcian 16' (-c''''')
Oboe 8' (-c''''')
Schwellwerk IV C-c''''
Viola di Gamba 8'
Gedacktquinte 5 1/3'
Gemshornterz 3 1/5'
Großkornett I-VIII 16'
Untersatz 32' (from c0 Subbass 16')
Obertöne 10 2/3' + 6 2/5'
Salicetbass 16' (transm. III Gambe 16')
Sanftbass 16' (transm. IV Nachthorn 16')
Obertöne 5 1/3' + 3 1/5' (transm. IV Gedacktquinte 5 1/3' + Gemshornterz 3 1/5')
Violoncello 8' (transm. III Celloprincipal 8')
Bassflöte 8' (transm. IV Doppelflöte 8')
Kontrabaßtuba 32' (ext. Basstuba 16')
Dulcianbaß 16' (transm. III Dulcianbass 16')
Baßtrompete 4' (transm. IV Trompete 4')
Singend Kornett 2'
Fernwerk II C-c''''
Quintatön 16' (-c''''')
Hellprincipal 8' (-c''''')
Echo-Bordun 8' (-c''''')
Vox angelica 8' (from c0)
Horn 8' (-c''''')
Vox humana 8' (-c''''')
Fernwerk III C-c''''
Seraphongedackt 8' (2020)
Querflöte 4' (2020)
Horn 16' (ext. from FW-II Horn 8')
Choralbass 8' (transm. FW-II Hellprincipal 8'
Subbass 16' (2020)
Gedecktbass 8' (2020, ext. from Subbass 16')
The organ was recorded in 2021 using high-quality microphones in six-channel technique. Two pairs of microphones were positioned at the height of the organ prospect and a short distance away from the organ. From this position, recordings were made using microphones with cardioid characteristics on the one hand and omnidirectional characteristics on the other. The former provide a very high proportion of direct sound and, due to their characteristics, partially suppress the room reverberation, so that a relatively low-reverberation signal is obtained. This pair of channels is labeled "SemiDry" in the sample set. The second pair of microphones produces a sound that is still very direct, but nevertheless also has a significant amount of reverb; as a result, the organ sounds very clear and yet spatial. In the sample set, these channels are labeled "Direct". The third pair was placed in a typical listener position about in the middle of the nave and delivers a significantly stronger reverb component, the organ's response sounds somewhat less precise. In the sample set, these channels are labeled "Ambient."
For optimal results, at least three release layers (staccato, portato and long held notes) were recorded for each pipe. The blower noise was also recorded. The recordings were made in 24bit/96kHz without any filtering. The processing of the samples was done with our self-developed processing tools, with special mention of our special noise removal process. This is optimized for the characteristics of organ pipe tones and allows for an unprecedented quality of noise removal without affecting the sound characteristics.
The sample set faithfully reproduces the organ with its playing aids in Hauptwerk.
The virtual console consists of different screen pages optimized for touch screen operation. All screen pages are created in very high resolution, so that the maximum resolution of the monitor can be fully utilized even with high-resolution screens. The following screen pages are available:
This page is not intended to be used to operate the sample set, but to give the organist an impression of the real console. Here a photo of the console with movable stops has been provided. However, due to the small size, the labels are only readable on very large monitors. This screen is also ideal for MIDI assignment of the manuals. Please note that because of the adjustable assignment of the swell pedals, MIDI assignment of the swell pedals and the crescendo roller is only possible from the Controls page!
On this screen page, the stop switches and other controls are displayed with very simple graphics to ensure good readability even on smaller touchscreens despite the large number of controls. This page is optimized for the operation of the sample set with only one touchscreen.
For users who have two touchscreens to operate the organ, these screen pages are ideal. They display a left and a right panel corresponding to the arrangement of the elements on the real console. Here, too, the display has been greatly simplified to achieve good readability, but the design of the stop tabs is based on the original. These pages have been created in two layouts, one for horizontal and one for vertical monitor orientation. Hauptwerk automatically selects the appropriate layout.
This page is used to make various settings. These include the balance between the audio channels and the random tuning setting. Another central element on this page is an assignment matrix that can be used to assign the swell pedals and the crescendo roller of the sample set to the pedals present on the user's console. To do this, the first step is to assign the pedals present on the console to the "Input" pedals arranged in the top row, using the Hauptwerk MIDI Learn function. Then you can click in the matrix which pedal of the console should control which pedal of the organ. All settings on the Controls page can be saved, 5 memory locations are available for this purpose. To save a setting, first click on the "Store" button, which lights up to indicate the store function. Then click on one of the 5 numbered buttons and the configuration will be saved.
The crescendo programming screens allow to freely program the 60-stage crescendo of the sample set. As the crescendo has not yet been programmed on the real organ, we are not providing a preconfigured crescendo program with it. The Auto-Piano-Pedal function is also programmed from this screen.
The sample set requires a very powerful Windows or Apple Mac-OS computer with a current 64-bit operating system and the Hauptwerk software (Advanced Edition version 5 or higher). This sample set is NOT available for HW version 4.x! For optimal results, a sufficiently powerful CPU (at least modern hexacore CPU) and sufficient main memory (RAM) are crucial. Unfortunately, an exact specification of suitable CPUs cannot be given, since this depends very much on the individual way of playing.
The memory requirements can be influenced with the corresponding settings in the loading options of Hauptwerk. With the default setting (16bit resolution, compressed) the set needs about 32GB for the loaded samples. If you load the samples with 24Bit resolution (recommended), the memory requirement for the samples is about 54GB. The option to load the samples with a 20Bit resolution offered by Hauptwerk is hardly providing any benefit, the reduction in memory consumption compared to loading in 24Bit is less then one half percent for this sample set.
In addition, there is the memory requirement for the Hauptwerk process itself as well as the operating system. On the Windows PC of the developer, which is equipped with 64GB, the sample set cannot be loaded completely in full resolution, some stops have to be loaded in 16 bit resolution.
Users who primarily want a good surround sound through speakers or even headphones are recommended to load the SemiDry channels with the reduced resolution or to do without them altogether. The Direct and Ambient channels are perfectly adequate for this application and optimized for it. Users who whish to experiment with convolution reverb, on the other hand, will concentrate on the SemiDry and, if necessary, Direct channels, since the Ambient channels are not really suitable for additional reverberation.
Here you can view the licence conditions for our sample sets.
The sample set is delivered exclusively as a download (approx. 60 GB). The download consists of several files, which together form a splitted archive. For installation in Hauptwerk, these files must all be located together in one directory. Then select the file "...part01.rar" for the installation. Hauptwerk will automatically install the complete set in one go. Detailed installation instructions for your Hauptwerk version can be found in the Hauptwerk Main User Guide. You can access it from the Help menu in Hauptwerk.
During the installation you will be shown the license agreement, which you can also find in this booklet. You can only proceed with the installation if you accept the license agreement.
This sample set is protected by the iLok system. A valid license for the sample set is required to install and play the organ. For this purpose you will receive an activation code by mail after purchasing the set. The mail also contains the instructions for activating the license. Only after activating the license in the iLok License Manager the sampleset can be installed.
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.
Paul Fey has produced a fantastic "tour of stops" video with this sample set, please click here.
The Walcker organ sample set provides three pairs of audio channels with distinct reverb characteristics, so that users can adjust the sound to their preferences. To demonstrate the possibilities we are providing a surround demo for this sample set. Please click here to access this demo.