I would like to present my new hauptwerk console. It has been built by the organ builder Johannes Zimnol, Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has designed and made the woodwork; I realized the electronic part.
The concept of the console is primarily aiming towards Central European organ building traditions, but it is flexible enough to use the console for organs of other cultural regions as well.
The instrument is located in my study, which has a size of 3.60x3.60m2 with a sloped ceiling, ranging from 3.80m at the side, where the console is placed, to 2.10m at the opposite site. This makes the room acoustically very well suited due to reduced standing waves. Several book shelves further contribute to reduce acoustic reflections and to achieve a semi-dry room response.
The console has been built using massive maple and beech wood with oil finish. It can be dismounted for transport. For cleaning purposes the pedal can be easily taken away after removing two metal pins, what can be done by hand without the need for a tool.
The four velocity-sensitive manual keyboards are from UHT with hornbeam for the naturals and granadilla for the sharps. The colors fit very well to maple and beech of the housing. The pedal is from Laukhuff. I used RS-168A reed relays and magnets from Conrad Electronic SE with the magnets mounted on the key ends to generate MIDI signals via a Doepfer CTM64 unit. The magnet positions can be adjusted for fine tuning the switching point of each pedal key. The music desk from Laukhuff can be changed in position. It can be moved towards the organ player and lowered in position to create convenience for two- and three-manual sample sets, where the fourth manual is not needed. The console light is from Weiblen.
Thumb pistons below the manuals are from Klann bought via Kimber-Allen in Great Britain, foot pistons from Laukhuff, and the small black thumb pistons from Conrad Electronic SE. I used Doepfer CTM64 units to read out the thumb pistons, and a Doepfer Wheel Electronic unit for the two swell pedals (Doepfer) and the roller (organparts). The thumb pistons below the bottom manual are, from left to right, set, four couplers manuals to pedal, four inter-manual couplers, setter decrement/reload/increment, 10 generals, and clear. Thumb pistons for setter decrement and increment are also below each other manual. Below the top manual two additional thumb pistons on the left side allow to switch the routing of this keyboard for sample sets which require more than four manuals.
The two touch screen monitors (ProLite T1731SR) are from Liyama. The two 2x16 LCD screens above the manual keyboards are from MIDI Gadgets Boutique.
On the right side of the console I use an Eicon fingerprint reader to bypass the password enquiry by Windows 7. Thus I have password protection without the need to use a keyboard.
The entire instrument can be easily moved away from the wall due to felt pads mounted under the table gliding on a parquet floor. For service, the electronic components of the manual stack (UHT keyboard electronics, Doepfer CTM64 for thumb pistons, MIDI interface, USB hub, as well as electric outlets and power supply adapters) are mounted on a drawer under the keyboard stack, which can be moved out to the rear.
The audio system is from Genelec. I use four 8030APM for the front channels and two 8020APM for the rear channels plus a 7050BPM subwoofer. Two of the 8030APM are mounted close to the organ player, who sits in their direct sound field with minimum reception of indirect sound from these speakers. The other two 8030APM are mounted higher on the wall and with larger separation. Originally I wanted to simulate different sound sources for the “Brustwerk” and the “Hauptwerk” etc., but it turned out that I obtain best sound quality if I use both pairs in parallel. The two rear speakers are for surround sample sets. For stereo sets I feed the signals of the front speakers attenuated by -5dB to the rear speakers which enhances the sound quality by giving it a more spacious feeling. The audio interface is a E-MU 1616 plus a Behringer ATA8000 for 8 channels analog output. As the MIDI interface I use a M-Audio MIDI Audiosport 4x4.
The organ plays very well and is very handy to use. The UHT keyboards are excellent and a big step forward regarding feeling und simulation of real tracker organ keyboards, compared to the Fatar TP/6L keyboards I was using before, although the Fatar keyboards had already tracker touch.
I wanted to have a four-manual organ console with minimum footprint and a rather light appearance in order of not too much dominating the rather small room. I am extremely happy with the result. My very special thanks goes to Sebastian Luck from UHT for his excellent product and support, and, very emphatically, to Johannes Zimnol. His creativity, his talent for design, his outstanding craftsmanship and his addiction to quality without compromise has made this result possible.
Here a few more photos:
Main view showing all four front speakers:
Wooden box to the right of the manual block:
The box opened. Note the piano hinge on the right side of the box connecting the top plate with the box, and the textile band to limit the opening angle:
The drawer on the back side of the manual block containing the electronic components:
Foot pistons, roller and swell pedals:
The manual block:
The same manual block with lowered music desk for 2-3 manual sample sets:
Side view, showing the stand of the left monitor: