My Hauptwerk setup

I play Hauptwerk using the midi output (and input) of my Phoenix three manual and pedal  console.  It is located in my study which is  155” x 130” x 97” (high) (3937mm x 3302mm x 2463mm (high)).

Although the Phoenix stops full operate with Hauptwerk, I use two 24” Iiyama ProLite T2452MTS-B1 touch screens (http://www.iiyama-monitors.co.uk/products/T2452MTS-B1.aspx) to control the stops on the virtual organs I play.  The touch screens are mounted using ErgoMount Ultraview 401 brackets (http://www.ergomounts.co.uk/ultraview-401-desk-mount-lcd-monitor-arms.htm).  For some of the instruments (sample sets) I have also configured the Phoenix stops (using HW’s secondary input).

The Phoenix expression pedals both provide midi signals which Hauptwerk uses, but the  Phoenix console does not send piston presses as midi signals – it sends only the resulting stop changes.  To enable me to make full use of the Hauptwerk combination system, I converted the Phoenix pistons to send midi signals via a Midi Boutique midi encoder board (http://www.midiboutique.com/).  I built a simple (passive) board into which I plugged the Phoenix pistons and this in turn is connected to the midi encoder; this allows me to return the pistons to Phoenix control by re-plugging them (inside the console).

I make use of two LCD displays (Midi Boutique) to display combination system information for the active virtual organ.  I added a VMeter USB/midi controller which is configured as a master volume control for each virtual organ. (http://www.vmeter.net/  – the VMeter is out of production at present but see the web site for details about its future.)

The system has two Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 units to provide the sound output for the instrument and the midi interfaces to control the midi components in the system  (http://us.focusrite.com/firewire-audio-interfaces/saffire-pro-40).  They operate as if they are a single unit and Windows sees them as if they were one fire wire device.  These together, with two six channel Rotel RMB 1506 amplifiers (50 watts per channel) (http://www.rotel.com/en-gb/product/rmb-1506) and a Lexicon MPX 100-X reverberation unit (all obtained second-hand) are mounted in a 18u Orion data centre rack.  This enables the interconnect wiring to be tidily installed and work reliably.

The sound is delivered using 10 Mission M72 speakers mounted at high level on bookshelves opposite the organ console (eight of these were originally bought for the Phoenix organ and the other  2 obtained second-hand).   The sound is distributed using the Hauptwerk notes cyclic within octave, octaves and ranks cycled algorithm which spreads the sound across the five stereo channels very successfully minimising interference between notes.

I use a Paradigm PS 1000 v3 (135 watt) subwoofer (again from the Phoenix installation) which is fed with a full mix-down from Hauptwerk to provide a convincing bass range for the organ.  This is placed in front of the equipment rack.  I also have a pair of Eridol MA-10D powered speakers which are mounted to the left of the console in-front of the player which are fed either with the rear channel from surround sample sets or from a Hauptwerk mix-down which is passed through the Lexicon reverberation unit for dry sample sets. Some manual switching is needed to select the source for the Eridol speakers. Some sample wet sample sets aren’t configure to use these speakers.

I have configured the Pro 40s to deliver a headphone output (from another Hauptwerk mix-down output) and can select between headphones (AKG 701) or speakers using switches on the front panel of the Pro 40s.

The computer is a Dell Precision T3600 with a Xeon E5-1650 processor (12 logical cores) running at 3.2GHz, 64GB of main memory, 447GB SSD and 2 900GB hard disk drives; it presently runs under Windows 10 Professional (64 bit).

Power is managed using a USB attached Energenie power controller (https://energenie4u.co.uk/catalogue/product/ENER011 ) and a Belkin remote controlled 8 outlet power block.  This hardware plus some simple script files (.bat files), the Energenie control software and the free edition of the Kiwi Windows Monitor provide a very simple power on and off interface for the player.

I use a Novation Launchpad to provide a simple interface to various Hauptwerk control functions (such as powering the system down, selecting the instrument to play (sample set), control recording, load combination sets and so on).  There is also a wireless computer keyboard and touch pad which is useful for performing system maintenance.

Sound channel assignment

Unit 0

001/002 Rear Rear powered speakers
003/004 Main Main Amp 0: A (L&R)
005/006 Main Main Amp 0: B (L&R)
007/008 Main Main Amp 0: C (L&R)
009/010 Reverb Lexicon MP100X Reverberation unit
Midi in Organ Console OUT
Midi out Organ Console IN

Unit 1

023/024 Main Main Amp 1: A (L&R)
025/026 Main Main Amp 1:B (L&R)
027/028 Sub Sub Woofer (L&R)
029/030 Phones Phones output : Unit 1, Phones B
Midi in
Midi out LCD


Hauptwerk sound outputs

Main – cyclic within octave, octaves and ranks cycled (5 stereo outputs)

Rear –  cyclic within octave, octaves and ranks cycled   – effectively a simple stereo output for rear channels of surround sets (1 stereo output)

Sub, Phones and Reverb are stereo mix-downs of Main.

The Reverb output is fed to the Lexicon MX100 which sends its output (“wet” output) to the digital input channels of the Eridol powered speakers.  The analogue input to the Eridol speakers is provided from the Rear Hauptwerk output.  The player must switch the input selector on the Edirol unit to enjoy either a generated reverberation or hear the rear channels of surround sets.


The system is very rewarding to play and handles the great variety of virtual organs available for Hauptwerk very well.  The touch screens work well and are much more convenient than having to remember how each virtual oragn is mapped to the console stops.  The sound quality is excellent.

The whole system is very stable, I connect it to the Internet for Windows updates every couple of weeks, otherwise it is not connected to the network.  I usually import new sample sets, updates to Hauptwerk via a USB memory stick (and use my “office computer” to download files to transfer to “the organ”).