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Hauptwerk Organ at Greenwood UMC

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  • Hauptwerk Organ at Greenwood UMC

    Hello everyone,

    I thought I would share some information about the Hauptwerk organ I completed for Greenwood United Methodist Church (Greenwood, Indiana) in the hopes that it's helpful to someone. I am alway happy to talk Hauptwerk, and organs in general, though my knowledge of Allen and Rogers is minimal, honestly. Hauptwerk, however, I am fairly fluent in.

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    More about this instrument can be found over on the Hauptwerk Forum at this address: http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15009

    As you can see from that thread, I started it in the "Amplification" section, because for me, that was the most challenging part. If you want to read the entire thing, you can, but I will save you some time and give you the short-hand version.

    After designing and/or building several speaker designs, I settled on Behringer 2031 studio monitors for our 56 channel setup. These have long-since been the "darling child" for Hauptwerk applications in live spaces because they are inexpensive, perform VERY well, and have built-in amplification. When all of these things were considered, these were a clear winner. However, several important lessons were learned in the process of my 1-2 year experiments. Consequently, anyone interested in building their own Hauptwerk speakers, might find some of that information valuable. I did build a couple of designs that would work VERY well in home setups.

    The most successful experiments were definitely the two subs. The TubaHT (pictured in its cradle, with me standing next to it) by Bill Fitmaurice handles everything in the 32' range (down to 16Hz),
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    and the eight-foot tall horn (pictured, laying on its side under the brown speaker enclosures),
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    handles all 16' stuff (down to 32Hz). I also built the 18" UltiMax from Parts Express, which is pretty awesome, if you want max bang for the buck and aren't up for the challenge of building a TubaHT. It comes as a flat pack, and can be built with nothing more than some glue, a drill, and some screws.

    The console is a repurposed Allen. Originally a 3 manual, I added the forth, removed all the SAMS, and built the new face (pictured).
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    I am about to replace all four manuals in the next few months. The old contacts and manuals are fine for church use, but when we have serious performances, they are the weakest link in the whole instrument and are not ideal. I skipped this during the initial build as to save on our budget, to be prepared for any last minute surprises that came up. (Luckily there weren't any!)

    The computer is a custom built Windows 10, 2 separate 1TB SSD's, an 8-Core Intel i7, 64GB of RAM. The PC has no internet connectivity (all disabled), and has had all unnecessary Window's processes disabled.

    The organ uses dual MOTU 24ao interfaces - USB from the PC to the first, then AVB to the second. These interfaces will do 56 channels over USB! The internal routing and DSP allows me to set the crossovers there between the main channels and subs.

    The pipe and rank routing is complex. I have done countless configurations, and each time I realize that no matter what, you always improve one thing at the cost of something else. That being said, this could be a thesis in and of itself, so I'm going to gloss over this except to say - for most sets I use this vague rule of thumb - 6 groups, sorted by division, by voice type, by pitch, as best as possible. There is no simple, perfect rule on this. Some things to note - I typically put mixtures and celestes (per division) in a group together. It would be quite rare to have a mixture AND a celeste playing simultaneously in the same division. So such grouping should be considered. Celestes should also be in a different group from their counterpart. In other words, a Flute should be in one group, and it's Flute Celeste should be in a different. Don't put them in the same channels. Let them interact in the AIR, not in the speaker.

    All of the MIDI gear came from Midi Gadgets Boutique. The hwce2x runs the entire console. It then feeds MIDI over rs485 to a rack in a mechanical room, where the PC, audio interfaces, and subwoofer amps live. From here, balanced audio lines run out of the interfaces to the Behringer's, and12/2 cable runs to the subs.

    The console uses 24" Planar touch screens as stop jambs.

    We currently have the following sample sets available:
    Caen Cavaille-Coll
    Armley Schulze
    Bellevue Casavant
    Protland Reuter
    University of Redlands Casavant
    Freiberg Silbermann
    Paramount 341

    Tim Duckworth was instrumental in voicing and guiding me through the theater stuff. Tim and I met and worked together for only a few weeks before his untimely death. The Paramount 341, and his personal copy of the Jensen theater set, remain voiced as he wanted them. He also recommended that I put a sostenuto kick switch on there for him, which I did. You can find Tim's final recordings on the music page of the church website. Tim is also pictured here, during our initial testing.

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    I would encourage you to visit our YouTube channel for videos of the organ. Feel free to subscribe. The entire dedication concert (a full 2hr long video) is there, which showcases many sample sets.

    You can also find more information about Greenwood UMC, its ministries, and upcoming concerts and programs by visiting the church website. I am also the website admin, so I would encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list if you'd like to be notified of upcoming concerts.

    And lastly, I am always happy to talk Hauptwerk, and I am always happy to have folks come take the instrument for a spin. If you have any questions, or would like to come play it in person, you're always welcome. I'm always happy to pay it forward and I hope more people come to appreciate organs and their music.

    Last edited by drewworthen; 01-08-2020, 07:26 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for filling in some of the details. One thing that does still puzzle me is the vertical elevation of the speakers on the wall relative to those structures on either side of the window that would seem to block any direct sound getting to the console and the congregation.

    I know you went through multiple variations of how to orient the speakers to get the ambience and air mixing you desired. Perhaps you could summarize your experiments and solutions to the speaker placement.
    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.


    • #3
      The bottom of the lowest shelf is slightly below the wall. The rest are high enough. In hindsight, I would have liked these to be a little higher, but they are where they are for 2 reasons:

      Aesthetics - People don't want to look at big brown boxes

      Accessibility - Getting any higher would have been impossible/very difficult. We would have had to build and do all sorts of reframing up there to erect scaffolding of some sort to get any higher. Using a lift isn't possible - the raised stage area isn't capable of supporting the weight of a lift - to say nothing of the multi-boom lift it would have required to reach that far up and over.

      This final location was a bit of a compromise.


      • #4
        I would like to mention, that the organ will be an option tour during the ATOS National Convention this year - July 9th and 10th.


        Official times aren't listed, yet, but if you happen to be attending, or in the area, I hope you'll come hear Justin Nimmo play, and help yourself to some open console time. If you are planning to attend, I would appreciate it if you RSVP (though it certainly isn't required) at this link: https://www.greenwoodumc.org/hauptwerk-organ

        RSVP-ing just gives me some idea as to how many people to expect - I want everyone to get time on the console if they want - but also gives me/us a way to contact everyone when an official time is set, as well as reach out to you in case of an emergency/cancellation etc. (God forbid!)

        Hope to see you there.