What is Hauptwerk? How does it work?

On this page we answer the following questions about Hauptwerk™:

  1. What exactly is Hauptwerk™?
  2. What do you need to play Hauptwerk™?
  3. What is the difference between a digital organ and a Hauptwerk™ organ?
  4. Can I also install Hauptwerk™ on my existing digital organ?

Hauptwerk™ brings pipe organs to life!

Hauptwerk, also known as Hauptwerk™, is a software solution that makes it possible to bring the sound of world famous pipe organs into your home. These organ sounds are recorded pipe by pipe, register and combination. In addition, there is variation in shooting position, from very close (Dry), via a middle position (Difusse) to far away in the church space (Surround or Wet). In this way a pipe organ can be reproduced digitally as accurately and true-to-life as possible.

After the recordings have been made, they are combined into a sampleset. A sampleset is therefore a collection of recordings (samples) of a specific organ. This sampleset has an extension with which these sounds can be played via the Hauptwerk software package. The recording process takes a lot of time and effort, but thanks to this (time) investment it will be possible for organists worldwide to play famous and lesser-known pipe organs in the living room!

With the Content Cambiare series, Content makes it possible to play Hauptwerk™. These organs offer an optimal sound experience, easy operation and reliable quality. Learn more about Content and Hauptwerk! »

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You need a few things to play Hauptwerk™ 

A number of elements are essential for playing and experiencing the Hauptwerk samplesets:

1. First of all, a powerful computer is required.

A Hauptwerk sampleset consists of a combination of many recordings. Per pipe, per register (combination) and at various places in the room. As soon as you activate a register and press a key, many actions are sent simultaneously. This naturally increases as soon as you start playing with multiple registers or multiple tunings. Only a powerful computer is able to make this 'communication' run smoothly and without hitches. At Content Orgels we only work with the most powerful (Octa-Core) computers, and our colleagues are constantly informed of the most recent developments in the computer field.

2. A reliable, durable and solid organ furniture is important for years of playing pleasure

In addition to the software, a sampleset and a powerful computer, an organ cabinet is of course also required. This can vary from a simple 'console' setup to a beautifully designed organ. The desired set-up and composition is of course entirely dependent on your personal wishes. It is important that the parts used in the composition of your organ are of high quality. The selection of keyboards and their 'touche', the adjustment of the pedal, the woodwork used for the organ cabinet and other important elements. After all, a Hauptwerk organ furniture can - even after renewal of samplesets or computer - form the basis for your playing pleasure for more than 25 years! Content Orgels works together with reliable partners in the composition of its organ furniture. All organ furniture is assembled and built by one Dutch furniture maker. In addition, we build our organs entirely according to the current BDO or AGO standards. So reliable!

3. Operation of your Hauptwerk organ via touchscreen or stops

In addition to the selection of software, computer and the right organ furniture, it is also important to think about the most appropriate way of operation. After all, the Hauptwerk software on the computer must be operated. This can be done by means of large touchscreens, physical registers or a combination of both. When selecting touchscreens, it is important that they have a very high sensitivity, because you also want to be able to register or unregister quickly in the heat of your organ playing. Content Orgels uses high-quality touchscreens, which are also used in the car industry. There, road safety comes first, which requires a very high sensitivity rate. In addition to using these touchscreens, Content Orgels also makes it easier to operate the Hauptwerk software by applying its own 'Content User Interface'. In this way you do not directly operate the complex software, but you can easily find your way in a well-arranged layout. Very handy!

4. Last but not least: for the right sound experience, a good audio system is invaluable.

When experiencing a pipe organ (sample set), the quality of reproduction is of course essential. It's a shame to spend money on a sampleset that can't be displayed properly. A good audio system includes the correct adjustment of amplification, a high-quality sound card and high-quality (passive) speakers. Content Orgels also works with its own audio protocol, whereby the translation of digital recordings (software) into analog audible sounds takes place without loss of quality. This means that we apply strict selection to the choice of audio materials, and that we develop as much as possible in-house. For example, Content uses its own amplifiers in its Hauptwerk Cambiare organs, combined with an innovative passive HQ audio system. Only the best is good enough.

Content Orgels offers you high-quality Hauptwerk organs for every budget class!

With its Cambiare series, Content Orgels offers complete solutions in which all of the above elements are realized with the highest attainable quality with an attractive price-quality ratio. In this way you are guaranteed that a Hauptwerk organ from Content will provide you with years of reliability and playing pleasure! Watch our Hauptwerk Organs here! »

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Digital organs vs Hauptwerk organs

Provided: you can come to Content Orgels for any solution!

Thanks to our many years of experience (since 1980), we have in-depth knowledge of church organs, audio systems, amplification and the optimal reproduction of sounds. Both solutions are therefore of high quality.


An important difference concerns the way in which the sound is generated. With a Hauptwerk organ, you play pre-recorded samples, which were made in the relevant church. These recordings have been recorded in more recent sample sets at various locations in the church, where it is also possible to determine the position of playback yourself. In this way you will hear the organ exactly as it can be heard in the chosen church room. In this way you bring a famous church to life in your living room. Listen to our samples for an impression!

With a digital organ, pre-recorded samples from various churches are combined into four different organ styles (North German Baroque, Dutch Romanticism, French Romanticism and the English Symphonic sound world). Every organ style has its own sample library with so-called 'clean source samples', from which a selection is made when compiling the dispositions of a digital organ. These 'clean samples' are recordings that reproduce the pipe organ sound as pure as possible (i.e. without spatial effect).


Together an ensemble of samples is heard, representative of the organ style concerned. As an organist, you are in control of how these samples are sounded in the church space. For example, you can position it in the church, add or remove reverberation, apply tunings, beats and many other options digitally to the existing source sample. In this way you can play an organ composed and adjusted entirely according to your own wishes in your living room!

It goes without saying that personal preference and taste play a strong role in the choice between a Hauptwerk or digital organ. You are always at the right place at Content Orgels for both solutions. We are happy to advise you,  please visit Holland to listen our organs in the Hauptwerk Experience Center in Ermelo! »

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 You can play Hauptwerk on a digital organ!

Yes, that's possible! With one of our solutions, a common digital organ can be linked to a Content Hauptwerk-Box specially developed for this purpose. This makes it possible to (also) turn a digital organ into a Hauptwerk organ, with all the necessary parts and in the right composition. Hauptwerk is thus available for every budget class! Of course, this is an 'add-on' to an existing instrument, where the question of the correct tuning and sound reproduction is essential. Play our organs in the Hauptwerk Experience Center! »

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Why Content Hauptwerk?

Why Content Hauptwerk?
1. With over 40 years of experience in designing and building digital organs, we have a team of specialists with knowledge of church organs, audio systems, amplification and the optimal reproduction of sounds.
2. A reliable organization, with an eye for finish and quality, in, among other things, the composition of organ furniture.
3. Easy to operate and display and with fast support from a dealer or directly from the organ factory. Click here for our Hauptwerk Organs! »

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