This is my first foray into the organ forum. In addition to being a pianist, I am also an classical organist. Like many organists, the only opportunity I had to practice was in in a cold Church some way from where I lived. Buying a home classical organ such as an Allen was out of my budget. About five years ago I discovered the Hauptwerk software
. I don't want this to sound like an advert so I'll place the disclaimer that I have no commercial interest in Hauptwerk and will not benefit in anyway from mentioning it here. I am simply a keen organist who has found this software to be rather marvellous, and I wanted to share it with fellow organists.
Hauptwerk runs on a (fairly high specification) PC/Mac and enables the playing of organs through midi. It can be used with any keyboard device that will output midi, although the full benefit can be achieved with a minimum of a couple of keyboard and a pedal board. The most impressive part of Hauptwerk is that the available organs, which are purchased independently from third part vendors, are sampled from real Church organs. This involves recording every note, of every stop, of every division across the instruments - sometimes multiple times. Have a listen to recording using Hauptwerk organs on the Contrebombarde website
and I'm sure you'll agree the realism second to none.
Hauptwerk has really gathered pace in the five years I have followed it. There are many many quality instrument available
including the much anticipated and soon to be released Salisbury Catherdral instrument. Individuals and Churchs are in increasing numbers building large installations around consoles running Hauptwerk. I converted an old analogue two manual console to provide midi output which I then used as a practice instrument with Hauptwerk. I am now in the process of building a four manual midi console using bits I have bought recycled from redundant Church organs.
I sinceley hope that Hauptwerk is of interest to other organists.