2 manuals plus pedal, 22 stops, built in 1737
The Baumeister organ in the monastery church of Maihingen is a unique testimony to baroque organ building. The organ was built from 1734 to 1737 and with its 22 stops is a stately instrument for the time. After the secularization of the monastery in 1803 the organ was sealed, the traces of the seals can still be found on the console. The organ remained sealed and unplayable until the late 20th century. Thanks to this circumstance, the instrument was able to survive all fashions in organ building completely unchanged, and in 1990, when it was finally restored, it was 100% in its original condition, except for a few missing pipes. The company Steinmeyer Orgelbau was commissioned with the restoration, which was supervised by a commission of experts under strict monument protection rules. The only concession to modern times was the installation of an electric blower. Due to these circumstances, we find the instrument today exactly as it was originally built.
The organ is a typical southern German baroque organ with a relatively large number of characteristic color stops in the 8' register, such as Quintatön, various Flutes, Gamba and Salecinal as string stops. In addition, there is also an undulating stop, the Cythara, which together with the Flauten produces a beautiful flute undulation. The mixtures in the Hauptwerk contain third ranks, the Cymbal is a pure third mixture (it contains only thirds and octaves), while in the Mixtur a thirds rank is added from c1. The Mixtur in the Rückpositiv, on the other hand, contains only fifths and octaves. In the pedal only the low fundamental voices (16' and 8') are present, with a fifth 6' supporting the 16' foundation.
The organ is tuned in a modified meantone temperament. This temperament has the characteristic that the sound depends very much on the chosen key, since the essential intervals (fifths and major thirds) vary significantly. The tuning pitch is at a1=428 Hz at 18 C, which is much lower than usual nowadays.
Both the pedal and the two manuals were built with a short octave with broken upper keys. This was common until the early 18th century, in southern Germany and Austria also until the late 18th century. The short octave allows the playing of much larger intervals in the lower range of the keyboard and therefore much of the literature of that time cannot be reproduced adequately on modern instruments. While the four semitones C-sharp, D-sharp, F-sharp and G-sharp are omitted from the normal short octave, the Baumeister organ has broken semitone keys, so that the tone of the short octave, e.g. the D, lies on the front part of the key and the normal semitone, in this case the F-sharp, lies on the rear part. As a result, only C-sharp and D-sharp of the major octave are omitted here.
Please download our detailled info brochure for more information about the organ and the sample set.
Pedal I: C, D, E-a
Abzug (HW an P)
Hauptwerk: C, D, E-c'''
Bordon Copel 16'
Schiebekoppel RP an HW
Rückpositiv: C, D, E-c'''
Cythara (mit der Flauten allein) 8'
The organ was recorded in 2022 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 "Direct". The second pair was placed at a typical listener position and delivers a much stronger reverb. In the sample set these channels are marked "Ambient".
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 and stop action noises have been recorded as well.
The recordings were made in 24bit/96kHz 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:
This set contains "Direct" and "Ambient" 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 can be adjusted with the sliders provided, the maximum setting corresponds to the original level.
In the Hauptwerk setting "Original Tuning", the organ sounds approximately in its own tuning, a modified meantone tuning, which is quite unusual today. Hauptwerk allows to change the organ temperament to any of the temperaments provided with Hauptwerk, such es equal temperament. When using one of the tempered tunings available in Hauptwerk 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.
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 poor condition of the stop labels on the organ these are hardly readable though. 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.
This page is used to make various settings. These are the balance between the recording channels and the control of the different sounds.
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):
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 6 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.
This sample set is available both for Hauptwerk version 4.x as well as versions 5 and above. 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. The only limitation of the trial version is that the sound will be periodically muted when more than 6 stops are drawn. 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).
Download and Installation Instructions:
The sampleset is delivered as download only (approx. 6 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.
The download file for the trial version is available from our main download page.
The download file of the full version 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.