What do I need for Hauptwerk
This English page is not just as extensive as the Dutch page because the information is already available on the
Hauptwerk Prerequisites site.
See the step plan with all steps to build a Hauptwerk configuration.
On this site I restrict myself to a PC with Windows, Hauptwerk works also (or may be better) on an Apple MAC.
You can make it just as expensive as you want. Here are examples; on every part you can choose other components.
1) A 'trial' configuration
2) A 'basic' configuration
3) An 'advanced' configuration
I have (and I'm very satisfied: the biggest samplesets are good loadable and 'start pc + load sampleset' spends about 1 1/2 minute):
- Special Hauptwerk console (first picture of page)
- Computer with 32 GB DDR3 RAM, Intel Core i7 4790, and Crucial MX100 SSD drive with 256 GB
- Windows 8.1 64 bit
- Two touchscreens (for registration at both sides of console)
- EMU 1820M PCI multi-stereo-channel midi-interface/geluidskaart
- Hauptwerk Advanced
- A lot samplesets, most used are for me:
- 1959 Marcussen, Laurenskerk Transeptorgel, Rotterdam, Nederland (to prepare the weekly church service, you hear every detail)
- 1973 Marcussen, Laurenskerk hoofdorgel, Rotterdam, Nederland (suitable for every music)
- 1832 Van Dam, Tholen, Nederland (sounds good, not suitable for all music)
- 1831 Batz/Witte, Utrecht, Nederland (for romantic/soft music)
- 1735 Gottfried Silbermann, St. Petrikirche, Freiberg, Duitsland (to prepare the weekly church service, you hear every detail)
- 1775 Isnard, St. Maximin, Provence, Frankrijk (for baroc/Bach)
- Audio: multi-stereo-channel audio: 2 Adam A7X active speakers + Subwoofer for 'front', 2 Genelec 8040A for 'rear'.
When you want to use Hauptwerk, you can make two choices:
Looking back, I made sometimes wrong choices.
I shall now do a phased purchase in this order:
- Buy a complete Hauptwerk system with all integrated.
Examples of such fully integrated systems are on this page.
In the matter of operation no difference with a normal digital organ, the computer, sound card, speakers and subwoofer are fully integrated. Also there are swell pedals and thumb pistons special configurable for Hauptwerk.
See MIDI and organ hardware for use with Hauptwerk for other suppliers.
- A phased purchase.
It is clever to do your purchase so that:
- You have no regrets about wrong purchases (e.g. wrong sound card, computer audio or sampleset).
- Buy the things the last which are relative expensive and add not a lot.
- Hauptwerk trial (E 0,-)
Download always at first the Free version Hauptwerk.
- Sampleset trial (E 0,-)
Download always at first a good free sampleset e.g. Velesovo MINI (10 registers).
- Sound card/midi interface
Mostly you have already a computer and a digital organ (or keyboard).
The sound card/midi interface lacks as the only main part.
You can do three things now:
More details about the choice of a Midi interface / Sound card.
- Buy a cheap USB-midi cable.
- Buy a single-stereo-channel sound card/midi interface.
- Buy immediately a good multi-stereo-channel (for eventually surround in future) sound card with a lot of things that are important: e.g. headphone connection, easy volume control, etc.
Good Sampleset that works with Hauptwerk Free Edition
The sampleset of Anloo works fine with Hauptwerk Free Edition, also is Anloo relatively inexpensive (E 99,-).
You can also choose Menesterol (E 70,-), but than it is not possible to load all stops with the Free edition.
Another good choise: Gapinge (E 19,-).
Also samplesets with more reverb are eligible, only you can load a small part of the stops at one time.
Caution: Hauptwerk Free Edition works only with unsecured samplesets.
- Hauptwerk Basic
Do you hate the limitations of Hauptwerk Free?
And you want also try sampleset that are only work with a legal version of Hauptwerk?
Buy then Hauptwerk Basic.
Read more about the differences between Hauptwerk Basic and Advanced.
- Good free sampleset
With Hauptwerk Basic you can use the good demo samplesets of Sonus Paradisi, these demo's can be used as compleet organ, the only restriction is the amount of stops.
See: Sonus Paradisi free stuff: Laurenskerk/Rotterdam (24 stops!), Dom/Utrecht, Smecno demo, Velesovo demo, Zwolle demo, Maximin demo, etc.
- Good quality Sampleset for a fair price.
The sampleset determines for the largest part if you are satisfied with Hauptwerk.
A good bargain is a pick purse (cheap is not always a good choice).
When you have only Hauptwerk Basic (with polyphony limit of 1024) you can't use the big samplesets (like Caen, Zwolle, Kampen, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Metz, Aix) in an optimal way.
When you won't spend too much money I can recommend Menesterol (E 70,-).
There are obviously also other good samplesets, but they are more expensive and less suitable for Hauptwerk Basic because of the polyphony limit.
Read more about the choice of Samplesets
- Good computer with 16 GB which is suitable for 32 GB.
When you buy a new computer for Hauptwerk, buy then immediately a one with a motherboard that is suitable for 32 GB.
Read more about the choice of a Computer
- Two active speakers.
A pair good active speaker adds a lot to the sound quality!
Buy at first two good ones, more can later also. It is better to have two good speakers than a lot of moderate quality.
Read more about the choice of speakers
- Windows 64 bit.
A 64 bit version of Windows is needed when you want to use more then 3.5 GB RAM.
Read more about Windows 64 bit
- Good headphone.
Listening via a good headphone gives the most realistic result for Wet samplesets.
Read more about a the choice for a good headphone
- Hauptwerk Advanced Upgrade.
Hauptwerk Advanced is needed when you want an unlimited polyphony, multi-stereo-channel (especially needed for surround) and the wind model.
Read more about the differences between Hauptwerk Basic and Advanced
- Big/expensive top quality Sampleset.
You want always more; with Hauptwerk Advanced and a bigger budget are also the big/expensive samplesets accessible. For example: Trost, Caen Surround, Rieti, Rotterdam, Utrecht or Sauer.
- Touch screen.
A touch screen is, in my opinion, the most flexible and handy method for registration.
Read more about Touch screens
- Two extra speakers for surround.
Surround is in my opinion (after headphone) the nicest. Although that requires two extra speakers.
Read more about Surround
- Surround sampleset.
For example Caen Surround, Freiberg or Utrecht.
Read more about Surround
A subwoofer adds (for me) not a lot (when you see it relative, because of good subwoofers are enormous expensive).
This is dependent on the quality of the other speakers (are they suitable for low tones).
Read more about a Subwoofer
- More RAM memory
With more RAM memory you can load bigger samplesets, and also load the samples with greater precision.
This is good for soundquality.
See also: (14-bit), 16-bit, (20-bit), 24-bit.
- More active speakers
It is possible to reproduce e.g. each manual with different stereo channels.
You can also split different type of stops to different stereo channels, see Surround and multi-stereo-channel front.
- A second Touch screen
To register on both sides it can be handy to have 2 Touch screens available. A lot of samplesets has registration screens for two Touch screens.
- Solid State Drive
A S(olid) S(tate) D(rive) is an alternative for a hard disc with two advantages: A lot faster and silent.
See: S(olid) S(tate) D(rive) en Hauptwerk.
These are the possibilities:
You can run Hauptwerk on an Apple MAC or a Windows PC.
Take care for this things:
This determines the size of the sampleset you can load.
When you have 2 GB internal memory, you cannot load the bigger samplesets.
Be careful also for the maximum internal memory of the computer when you want to extend the memory later.
Better is to buy a computer which has a motherboard/processor that allows more internal memory (e.g. 32GB).
When you buy a new computer, take immediately minimal 16 GB (or better 32 GB in combination with Windows 64 bit).
Fast memory improves the loadtime of a sampleset.
When you want absolute 'free of interference'-memory use then ECC, for 'normal home usage' this is not necessary. See for details: Memory....
The processor determines the amount of stops that can be played simultaneously (polyphony).
When you want to play for example 40 stops simultaneously (a nice tutti can also with a lot less registers!)
on a wet sampleset, and you use big repeated chords, you need an enormous big processor.
So it is better to choose a fast processor (eg Intel i7). A fast processor improves also the load time of a sampleset.
Samplesets use a lot of memory on the hard disk.
But on new computers the hard disk is often about 500 GB or more, this is sufficient.
The speed of the hard disk has influence on the time spend to load a sampleset in the internal memory, also a RAID configuration has a positive impact.
A SDD-drive has a big positive impact on starting the pc and loading samplesets in memory. A good SDD is only E 100,- (for 256 GB / written in 2015).
It's not pleasant when the computer makes a lot of noise (from the cooler).
Usually the amount of noise is not in the specification, but you must take it into account.
On Hauptwerk forum: Tested computer configurations
On Hauptwerk forum: Computer hardware / specs
You can run Hauptwerk on an Apple MAC (with Os X) or a Windows PC (Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10).
Windows Vista 32 bit 2 GB limit
Windows Vista 32 bit (standard version) has a limit that you can use a maximum of 2 GB
per application. This is too less for Hauptwerk when you want to use large samplesets. There is a workaround, see:
4 GB memory with Vista 32 bit?
Windows 32 bit (standard version) / 64 bit
Windows 64 bit versus 32 bit, advantages:
- You can allocate more than 3.5 GB memory.
- The Hauptwerk polyphony can be (a little bit) higher on 64 bit.
- Some (music) software doesn't work on Windows 64 bit.
- Not all sound cards supports Windows 64 bit.
Optimize Windows for Hauptwerk
Hauptwerk uses a lot of resources from the Computer.
To have a polyphony as highest as possible without disturbance you must configure Windows so that the computer does as less as possible in the background.
Also you want that Windows itself uses at less memory as possible, so there remains more memory for Hauptwerk.
Below there is a list of possibilities to optimize Windows for Hauptwerk.
It is not certainly necessary to run Hauptwerk, do it only when you want an optimal Hauptwerk pc.
About two (may be the most important) configurations are different opinions (see: Optimize Vista for Hauptwerk):
- Only Hauptwerk active
Run during Hauptwerk no other software, even not the Windows Task Manager.
- Disable Virus scanner
- Disable Windows Defender
[Start, Control Panel, Systems Management, Services, Windows Defender, Switch off]
- Disable Automatic Indexing hard disc
[Start, Control Panel, Systems Management, Services, Windows Search, Switch off]
- Disable Windows Firewall
[Start, Control Panel, Systems Management, Services, Windows Firewall, Switch off]
- Disable Automatic Updates
[Start, Control Panel, Systems Management, Services, Windows Update, Switch off]
- Disable (wireless) Network / Internet
[Start, Control Panel, Device management, Network adapters, right mouse menu, Switch off]
- Set Power Management on 'High performance'
[Start, Control Panel, Power Management, High performance]
- Reduce the Visual effects
[Start, Control Panel, System, Advanced, Performance settings, Advanced, Visual effects, Best performance]
- Disable Windows system sounds
[Start, Control Panel, Sound, Sounds, No Sounds]
- Disable Screen saver
- Disable as many 'Services' as possible
Do this only when you have a bit knowledge of Windows!
[Start, Control Panel, Systems Management, Services]
- Virtual memory
[Start, Control Panel, System, Advanced, Performance settings, Advanced, Virtual memory]
Here are three possibilities: 1) No page file 2) System managed size 3) Own definition.
I have the best results with No page file, but Martin Dyde recommend System managed size.
- Processor scheduling optimize for 1) Programs 2) Background services
[Start, Control Panel, System, Advanced, Performance settings, Advanced]
Here I follow the preference of Martin Dyde: Programs, there is also a person (with a Focusrite Saffire) who must choose Background services to prevent distortion.
Midi interface / Sound card
Rougly there are three types:
A large latency (delay between pressing a key and hearing the sound) is often caused by the sound card/midi interface.
Buy a sound card that supports ASIO-drivers.
- (USB) Midi cable. This is only a midi-interface without sound card.
- Sound card single-stereo-channel (with integrated midi-interface), one channel stereo output, e.g.: M-Audio Audiophile 2496 (PCI card), EMU 0404, EMU 1212M or RME HDSP9632 (a top quality card but I don't know if Windows 7 / Vista is supported).
In my opinion, for a pure stereo wet sampleset is a single-stereo-channel sound card sufficient.
When you only listen with Headphone a single-stereo-channel sound card is good enough.
But for the Surround (enormous improvement of spacial experience) samplesets is a multi-stereo-channel sound card required.
- Sound card multi-stereo-channel (with integrated midi-interface), has multiple stereo output channels, e.g.: M-Audio Profire 610, M-Audio 1010/1010LT (PCI card), Presonus FP10/FIREPOD or EMU 1616M, see Topic on Hauptwerk forum about choice EMU 1616M or Focusrite Saffire
The choice for a suitable sound card is dependent on:
It is hard to recommend an interface with the best price/quality ratio; I didn't try all of them.
A lot of persons choose for M-Audio.
I have an EMU1820M (with possibility to add reverb, but I never use it because I prefer Wet samplesets), the disadvantage of the EMU1820M is that the volume is not adjustable with a button (except for headphone), changing volume can only via software.
- Support it my operating system (eg Windows 7, Windows 8.1, OsX).
- Sound quality.
- The amount of output channels.
- The availability of a Midi interface.
- The availability of a Headphone connection.
- Possibility to change the volume easily.
- PCI, Firewire or USB connection (for connecting the computer).
- Is it possible to add effects (e.g. reverb) to the sound.
CAUTION: Many (internal) sound cards don't have a headphone connection (+ headphone amplifier), this is the case for e.g. the EMU 0404 and 1212M. The sound card must be connected to an amplifier, the headphone must be connected to the amplifier.
See the recommended midi interfaces/sound cards on:
On Hauptwerk forum: Creative X-Fi sound card and Hauptwerk
On Hauptwerk forum: What Interface do you recommend?
On Hauptwerk forum: M audio 2496 or E-mu soundcart.
On Hauptwerk forum: Sound Card Advice
On Hauptwerk forum: E-MU 1820 comfusion
On Hauptwerk forum: emu 1616 PatchMix routing puzzles
On Hauptwerk forum: E-MU 1616 PCI Soundcard
On Hauptwerk forum: No volume control from emu 1820 with using multi-channels
On Hauptwerk forum: Surroundsound/Home Theatre Amplifiers?
Before I had a EMU 0404. This was a good card with a low latency.
Now I have a EMU 1820M PCI because:
- This card has connections for 3 stereo channels.
I use channel 1 for my Adam A7X and subwoofer(Front),
I use channel 2 for my Genelec active speakers (Rear)
- This card have a headphone pre-amplifier.
- This card have better Digital => Analog convertors (The 'M' in the type number) than the EMU 0404.
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Using these advices is on your own risk.