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Technic SX-EA1 and Hauptwerk Virtual Organ Software

By kaspencer on 06/13/2008 - (Anyone)
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Technics SX-EA1
Technics SX-EA1

Organ from Technics

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Using Hauptwerk with the Technics SX-EA1
By kaspencer on 06/12 | Source : Kenneth Spencer

I recently purchased the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ software, and soon had it working with my standalone MIDI keyboard. However, having had a Technics SX-EA1 electronic organ for more than 10 years now, I decided to attempt to connect it to my PC so that I could use its MIDI controller to play the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ. And I wasn't disappointed.

In short, connnecting a USB-MIDI adapter with the USB plug connected into the PC and the MIDI into the Technics organ, I have been astounded and delighted at what can be achieved:

1. The upper manual drives the Great Organ on MIDI channel 1
2. The lower manual drives the Swell Organ on MIDI channel 2
3. The pedalboard drives the Pedal Organ on MIDI channel 3.
4. Great Organ combinations 1-5 are controlled by upper manual Sounds switches from "Harpsi/Vibes" - "Others".
5. Swell Organ combinations 1-5 are controlled by lower manual Sounds switches from "Harpsi/Vibes" - "Others".
6. Pedal Organ combinations 1-5 are controlled by Bass Pedals switches from "Organ" - "Orchestral".
7. The Crescendo General pedal is controlled by the expression pedal on MIDI channels 11 and 15.

Note that the keyboards and pedals ONLY are used to play the virtual organ, as the sounds are generated by samples played through the computer sound card. Therefore a really good sound card/amplifier with a good sub-woofer is required.

There are an amazing range of classical and theatre organ sample sets available for the Hauptwerk software. Classical organs range from small scale single manuals to massive Cavaille-Colle instruments. On a reasonably powered PC, the polyphony is so brilliant that more than 1000 pipes can be sounded simultaneously. The Cavaille Colle organ in L'Eglise St Madeleine in Paris sounds absolutely thunderous as it is a large organ in a church with a reverberation time of what seems like 8 seconds!

The organ sample sets are created by recording each pipe individually, at close range (dry) to give the clear speaking sound of the pipe, and out in the body of the church or cathedral (wet) to provide the acoustic environment. In additional, the attack of each pipe and its decay are recorded so as to give a proper chiff when the virtual pipe speaks. A full organ sample set therefore comprises many thousands of samples!

So, if you have a PC with a good sound system, and a Technics SX-EA1, get Hauptwerk from Crumhorn Labs (www.curmhorn-labs.com) and connect up your Technics and listen to yourself play amazing organs. You will NEVER look at your Technics organ in the same light again, I assure you.

Kenneth Spencer (kenneth@kaspencer.com)

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