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Messages - kaspencer

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I have produced five videos to help to show how to install Automatic Electronic Stop Labelling for your Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ.

1. The Components

2. Setting up the PCBs

3. Assembling the Stop Plates

4. Connecting the PCBs to the Controller

5. Connecting the Stop Switches & their LEDs

A sixth video is in preparation which illustrates how to setup up Hauptwerk to use the Stop labelling System.

I hope its all useful!

Good afternoon all.

If you would like electronic labels on your Hauptwerk Organs I am glad to say that the process has now been made much easier.
I can now supply a Core Kit of Components and a detailed Constuction Manual which will enable the majority of users to add these
labels to their Hauptwerk Console.

The Core Kit comprises:

- professional quality laser cut Left & Right Stop Plates in Black Acrylic or Quality Beech Ply;

- especially designed Printed Circuit Boards.
  Three PCBs in Left & Right Stop Jambs permit 120 stops to be labelled.
  Smaller jambs can be built using only one (for 20 labels) or two for 40 labels) PCBs per Jamb;

- a Micro-controller + Propietary Software in each Jamb drive the labels on completion of an organ loading;

- the Construction Manual may be purchased with the Kit, or separately, to allow a full assessment of what
  is involved in the project.

I am able to supply almost all of the other components if required, but the lead times and availability of some of them is
 outside my control. All of the other components can be purchased online from many sources, and full specifications are
Click on the link for much more detail:

Feel free to ask any questions!

Best wsihes,

Kenneth Spencer

Electronic Organs / Electronic Stop Labelling for Hauptwerk
« on: February 28, 2021, 04:27:43 PM »
Good afternoon all!

I hope that the Moderators will not mind me posting this notice, but I am confident that it will be of interest to many Hauptwerk users.

There has been a lot of interest in the OLED Stop Labels which were shown on the photographs of my OPUS II organ on various sites (and on I agreed to release details of how this was done. I am pleased to say that there now exists a "Project Book" entitled "Electronic Stop Labelling for Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organs" and the booklet is available from me now.

Here is the front cover:

The booklet, in printed form only, describes how to mount up to 60 OLEDs (up to 120 on two Stop Jambs), and connect them to an Arduino Due, such that they can be incorporated into Stop Jambs with round or rectangular illuminated buttons of standard size.

To accompany this booklet, I have also made available one version of my Stop Labelling Software (known as "kasLABSv1.4x" either installed on your own Arduino Dues or on Dues which I can supply. This version uses OLED type SSD1306 - a Booklet and Software version for a different OLED (as used in the final version of my new console) may be released later.

Those who might be interested should contact me via the email address which is visible on the Cover Page (not by the messaging system please!).

Many thanks indeed ...

Kenneth Spencer

Local Organist Associations / Hauptwerk Presentation coming up ...
« on: August 22, 2018, 11:18:36 AM »
Good morning all!

I would like to invite any group members (or non-members for that matter) to a talk which I am giving about Hauptwerk, in St, Joihn the Baptist Church, Devizes, Wiltshire, on Saturday 15th September 2018, starting at 2:00pm.

This meeting is held under the auspices of the Bath & Wiltshire Organists Association, but any interested persons, be they clergy, congregation, choir, or organist, or listener are welcome to attend.

There are some more details here:

We have prepared the Makin console, which is present in the church, for the talk by performing a temporary conversion of the console to Hauptwerk, and we shall use the Hereford 67XL sample set created by David Butcher of Lavender Audio.

I shall look forward to perhaps seeing few members of this forum there on the day!

Best wishes,

Kenneth Spencer


I have been asked to post details of a Viscount classical style electronic organ which is available to any interested parties.

The organ is located in a church in West Wiltshire.

The organ is a two manual + pedals electronic instrument, manufactured by Viscount. It's age is indeterminate but it is at least 20 years old, probably more.
The pedalboard is 30-note, planar but radiating (but appears parallel in the image).

The instrument has 22 speaking stops, three divisions, tremulant on both manual divisions, and three couplers.
The stop controls are lighted rocker-style switches. They are not electro-magnetically controlled.

Manual I (Great):  Bourdon 16'   Prinzipal 8'   Flote 8'   Oktave 4'   Flote 4'   Oktave 2'   Mixtur III    Trompette 8'

Manual II (Swell): Bourdon 8'     Salzional 8'   Oktave 4'   Flote 4'  Nasard 2 2/3'   Tertz 1 3/5'   Zimbel III
Oboe 8'     Vox Celeste 8'

Subbass 16'   Prinzipal 8'   Bourdon 8'    Oktave 4'     Trompette 8'

Coupling:   I > P    II > P    II > I
Controls:   Manual II volume (rotary)    Reverberation (Delay & Volume)    Transpose    Overall Volume (pedal)
Connections: 'Phones (1/4") MIDI IN (Din-5) MIDI OUT (Din-5)

The organ is in good physical condition, but has a significant number of faults in its electronics. Most of the faults are due to worn parts and controls.

Pedalboard: There are a small number of pedal keys which do not speak, or which speak intermittently.
Controls: All controls are worn. Thus, the pedal operated volume control, as well and the Manual II Volume (Rotary) and Reverberation/Delay control, have dirty or worn potentiometer tracks which make the volume intermittently variable or occasionally silent.
MIDI: MIDI IN and MIDI OUT are present but untested. Furthermore, the MIDI Implementation details are not available, so it is not known whether the stop switches accept MIDI control, nor whether the stop control lights are MIDI controllable.
It is possible that the console could be used as a Hauptwerk two-manual MIDI console, but this is untested.


In the first instance you may contact me, Kenneth Spencer, via kas at kaspencer dot com if you wish to express an interest. Please indicate whether or not you may make a payment for the organ, and if so indicate a possible range of the payment. I will then pass your details on.

Kenneth A Spencer

The Bristol and District Organists' Association is very pleased to announce its Organ Music Composition Competition 2017.

This competition is open to all, regardless of geographical location.
Details are on the poster (shown below), and entry forms and other information can be seen on the Association's website at:
To see full details, visit the BDOA website and click on the poster image on the website opening page. There is a further link for the other information and the entry form.

Good luck and Happy Composing!

I have been asked to assist with the "disposal" of another pipe organ that I would hate to see bulldozed into destruction.

So could everyone kindly ask around for a small church or chapel (or even a large residence, club or community centre) that might be willing to help re-locate an organ with outline details as follows:

Builder: Sweetland of Bath
Date:    Originally built mid-late 1800s, rebuilt by Sweetland in 1872 and 1932, relocated to current chapel.
Location: In or near Bath, Somerset, England, UK.
Condition: I have played this instrument: apart from tuning and a few minor issues, it is in very good condition.
Pedal   Low C  - f1       Keys 30
               Bourdon 16'   
Great   Low C  - f3       Keys 54
               Open Diapason   8'
               Dulciana 8'
               Clarabella 8'
               Principal 4'
               Flute 4'
               Fifteenth 2'   (added 1953 by Sweetland)
Swell   Low C  - f3  Keys 54, Enclosed
               Open Diapason 8'
               Lieblich Gedact    8'
               Salicional 8'
               Voix Celestes 8'
               Principal 4'
               Oboe 8'
The console and case is about 2.5metre wide, 4.6metre high, and 2.1metre deep.

There is a YouTube video which illustrates the organ very well at The video incorporates several static images of the organ at the beginning before moving on to what the organ sounds like.
The chapel will accept a donation for the instrument.

Contact In the first contact me: kenneth at kaspencer dot com. I may provide direct contact details for the chapel later.

Thanks for reading!

Kenneth Spencer

I recently wrote a book entitled "All about Hauptwerk". It is aimed at those people who are contemplating, or actually developing, a Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ.
The book has been very well received, and so I would like to bring it to the attention of those who use this forum.
The book is here:, and the video about the book, designed to let you know what you get when you buy the book, is here:

Many thanks,

Kenneth Spencer

Electronic Organs / New book on Hauptwerk released ...
« on: July 01, 2015, 09:59:59 AM »
Greetings all.

I am sorry if this seems like a blatant advertisement, but I am really delighted to report that my new book, entitled "All about Hauptwerk - the virtual pipe organ" is now available. It can be obtained now from Although it is also available via retail booksellers and Amazon, purchasing through Lulu is very quick (3-5 days) AND I will give Lulu purchasers a free-of-charge personal-use-only PDF copy of the book, with (nearly all of the 115) illustrations in colour.The details are:

Perfect bound, soft cover; pages: 244; chapters: 14;
Illustrations/images/diagrams: 115; Print only.
Price 17.50.
A British Library cataloguing in publication (CIP) record will be available shortly.

In about three weeks or so, it will be available for online order on Amazon, and retail order at Barnes & Noble (US), Waterstones & Smiths (UK). Educational institutions will be able to order from Ingram, but you can order now from my publishing link above and have it in 3-5 days.

After the front cover seen below, there is a list of chapter headings and main sections, so you know what you are getting:

Chapter One Life before Hauptwerk
- 1.1 Reed Organs
- 1.2 Tone Wheel Organs
- 1.3 Electronic Organs
- 1.4 The Mellotron
- 1.5 Synthesised Organs
- 1.6 Digital Organs
- 1.7 Where does Hauptwerk Fit in?
Chapter Two An Introduction to the Pipe Organ
- 2.1 The main parts of the Organ
- 2.2 The Theatre/Cinema Organ
- 2.3 Playing the Pipe Organ
Chapter Three An Introduction to Hauptwerk
- 3.1 Obtaining Hauptwerk
- 3.2 Hauptwerk and Sample Set Licences
- 3.3 How Does Hauptwerk Work?
- 3.4 How is a Sample Set Made?
Chapter Four What do you need to get started?
- 4.1 The Hauptwerk Computer
- 4.2 Preferred Accessories
- 4.3 Optional Accessories
- 4.4 Can you start with your existing PC?
Chapter Five Installing Hauptwerk and Loading the St. Anne's Organ
- 5.1 The Installation
- 5.2 Starting Hauptwerk
- 5.3 Loading the St Anne's Moseley Organ
- 5.4 Creating the Sample Set Cache
Chapter Six Configuring an Organ
- 6.1 MIDI: A Brief Explanation
- 6.2 Testing the Audio and Checking MIDI Devices
- 6.3 Configuring the Keyboards and Pedalboard
- 6.4 Other Controller Devices
- 6.5 Play the Organ!
Chapter Seven Improving your computer
- 7.1 The Dimensions of Computer Power
- 7.2 Hardware Choices
- 7.3 Operating System (OS) choices
- 7.4 A Good Start
Chapter Eight A keyboard stack
- 8.1 Keyboard Options
- 8.2 Preparing the Keyboards
- 8.3 The Keyboard Stack
- 8.4 Quality Keybeds
- 8.5 Interfacing
Chapter Nine A pedalboard
- 9.1 Pedalboard Compass and Designs
- 9.2 Sourcing your Pedalboard
- 9.3 Swell and Crescendo Controllers
Chapter Ten Improving your audio
- 10.1 Adding Audio Channels
- 10.2 Choosing your Main Speakers
- 10.3 Choosing your Sub-woofer Speakers
- 10.4 Configuring Multiple Audio Channels
- 10.5 Configuring an Organ for Multi-channel Operation
- 10.6 Adding Reverberation
Chapter Eleven Building or Converting a Console
- 11.1 Building your Console
- 11.2 A Music Desk
- 11.3 Installing the Components
- 11.4 Using an Existing Console
Chapter Twelve Recording Hauptwerk Audio and MIDI
- 12.1 Audio Recording
- 12.2 MIDI Recording
Chapter thirteen Voicing the Organ
- 13.1 Real Pipe Voicing
- 13.2 Voicing a Virtual Pipe Organ
- 13.3 Adjusting the Tremulant Rate
Chapter fourteen Tuning and Temperament
- 14.1 Tuning
- 14.2 Temperament
Appendix A General Schematic of a typical Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ
Appendix B A Glossary of Terms for the Pipe Organ & Virtual Pipe Organ
Appendix C Specimen LaunchPad Layout for the St. Anne's organ
Appendix D Some interesting virtual pipe organs & instruments
References and Bibliography

I really hope that the book will fill a gap in printed help available to those contemplating getting involved with Hauptwerk, for those who know about organs but not Hauptwerk, and those who know little or nothing about either. For those that are brave enough, drawings are provided for a 30-note concave radiating pedalboard, and for a console with and without stop jambs. Full details of configuring an organ for multiple audio channels are also included.

Best wishes,


Please please please do not get rid of the organ by selling its pipes either to your congregation or to a scrap metal merchant.

I recently helped a small chapel save a single manual + pedal instrument, so I know it can be done. And we had a very tight timetable for disposal.

Now: we could have sold our instrument several times over. You need to do the following:

1. Take a video of the organ being played and put it on Youtube under some kind of title referring to a functioning complete pipe organ available for a small sum;
2. Take some photographs and put them on this forum;
3. Email or message me and I will send you the email addresses of some people who would have purchased the organ I was involved with, execpt that it had already been found a good home.

Your parochial church council need their heads examining!

No pipe organ should ever need to be scrapped - I consider it to be a major crime when that happens.

Regards to all,

Kenneth Spencer (You can see the organ we saved on Youtube, and on this forum.)

Organs in danger / Organ saved and successfully relocated ...
« on: January 24, 2012, 03:14:06 PM »
I am glad to say that the organ which was the subject of this post:;msg=4587;topic=1033.0
has now been safely and successfully relocated.

It is therefore no longer available. May I thank all those who indicated support and interest.

Many thanks

Kenneth Spencer

I have placed a full description, disposition, NPOR details, images and a short video into a new post here:,1033.msg4587.html#msg4587

Please contact me if you are interested. I just wish I could accommodate this instrument myself, but I would have to create a very large hole in the ceiling/floor between my music room and my sitting room to do so!



Please note: the organ described on this page has now been safely relocated and is therefore no longer available.

Further to my posting under the "Organs For Sale/eBay etc" banner, I now have full details of the organ in question.
I have posted it under the "Organs in Danger banner, because it is not strictly for sale, although a donation would be gratefully accepted. Here are the details, with images and a YouTube video link at the end of the description:

We are trying to find a good home for a pipe organ which is currently installed in a very small Methodist Chapel in East Anglia. The building is being reconfigured to incorporate more social space, and the organ is superfluous to requirements. The organ must be removed before 1st January 2012 as builders will start conversion work immediately after that date.

Builder:    SE Gilks, Organ Builder of Peterborough.
Date:   Circa 1956.
NPOR:    G01127

The organ is in excellent condition, having been examined, tuned and maintained in half-yearly visits until 2009. The organ has not been played regularly since 2009, and so there are one or two silent pedal pipes, but no issues that would not be readily overcome by maintenance.

The organ is very compact, and could be installed in a space about 10'x10'. It would be suitable for installation as a home organ or in a small chapel.


Pedal:       Compass C-F   30 keys.
      Bourdon 16'
      Coupler:   Manual - Pedal.
Single manual:   Compass C-F3   54 keys.
      Diapason 8', Dulciana 8', Lieblich Gedakt 8', Principal 4', Fifteenth 2'
      Coupler:   Super octave.

Most of the manual division is enclosed, and there is a single swell pedal controlling the swell shutters.
The front fascia pipes are part of the diapason 8' rank, whilst the fascia pipes on each side are non-speaking.

Terms & Conditions

The organ is available for collection from the building, with the receiver of the organ bearing all costs and responsibility for safe removal. The receiver must make good any damage to the building caused during removal.
Whilst there is to be no charge for the organ, the church would be grateful to receive a donation from the receiver.


There is a very short video available in the link below, which shows the organ being played.
YouTube video:

Contact:   In the first instance, email

Please note: The organ described in this thread has now been safely relocated, and therefore is no longer available.

I shall shortly be making a visit to a church in East Anglia, where there is a pipe organ which will very soon be available for removal and purchase. I am providing advance information of its availabile via this forum, as I want to generate maximum interest for when it does become available.

I will provide details of its complete disposition and condition as well as photographs of the console and chamber(s), and of course its builder and date.
In the spirit of this forum, I would be so pleased if a new home could be made available for this organ, rather than it be sent off for scrap.

Details will appear as soon as possible after my visit.


Kenneth Spencer

Hello all ...

I am delighted to report that more than 60 members of the Bristol & District Organists' Association and others were given an excellent opportunity to see, hear, and discover Hauptwerk last evening at the St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol. Several members of the Hauptwerk forum attended.

David Butcher (Lavender Audio) was responsible for the main events of the evening. A summary of the evening may be of interest to those who were unable to attend:

1. Paul Walton (Bristol Cathedral, and President B&DOA for 2010/11) played two pieces - Cesar Frank on the Trost, and David Briggs on the Metz organs. (For this part of the proceedings, Paul played Douglas Henn-MacRae's console, see (3) below, not the Makin);

2. David Butcher gave a presentation on Hauptwerk, what it does, how it works etc

3. Douglas Henn-Macrae explained aspects of the Hoffrichter console (3M 32P) which he had set up in the Undercroft, to the audience;

4. Kenneth Spencer gave a very brief account of his experiences of Hauptwerk leading up to the building of his Hauptwerk console;

5. There was then a period set aside for the audience to play Douglas' console, to view Kenneth Spencer's slide show of his console and of some of the Hautpwerk principles, to talk to all of us, and to use a single keyboard and headphones to experiment with the most simple of methods of using Hauptwerk;

6. The audience then went up into the church, where Charles Braund of Silver Octopus Studios, had connected a PC containing his Silver Octopus sample sets to the Makin console, which was in use during refurbishment of the H&H organ. Charles explained aspects of his sample sets to the audience, following which Paul Walton played a piece twice, first on the Makin, and second using Hauptwerk and Silver Octopus sets through the Makin console and speakers. The audience was easily able to distinguish the difference in clarity and organ quality between the two, not withstanding the severely limited preparation time available for anything more than loading the sample sets. (Clarity and organ quality clearly in favour of Hauptwerk and Charles' sample sets of course!)

Personally, I was delighted that Hauptwerk had such a successful evening, with many thanks due to David Butcher, Charles Braund and Douglas Henn-Macrae. Considerable preparation had been carried out for the evening but it was definitely worth it.

Maybe some members of this forum would like to suggest to their own local Organists' Associations that such an evening would be a suitable item for their programme diaries.


As there are likely to be Hauptwerk users who are members of this forum, I thought it might be worth mentioning my proposal to create an infomal grouping to be possibly known as "The South West England Hauptwerk Users Club".

The post is on the Hauptwerk forum at:

Anyone interested can contact me via the email address given on my music website at:



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