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Featured products

Heppenheim Pipe Organ Samples

Key features

  • The real pipe organ
    • the 1997 Wilbrand pipe organ of the St. Peter Church in Heppenheim, Germany
    • 43 stops, 3 manuals (with 56 keys) and pedal (with 30 keys)
    • 2 tremulants (tremolos)
  • The recording
    • All stops were sampled chromatically
    • Advanced Pipe Organ Measurements (APM)
  • The sample set
    • 48 kHz / 32-bit format, 2-channel stereo samples
    • Natural sound image — the samples authentically preserve all spatial information
    • Multiple loops and releases per sample/key stroke
    • Hybrid Tremulants
    • One-click assignable keyboards to divisions supporting your console configuration
    • Optional organ engine sounds and noises
    • Touch sensitive keyboard noises
    • Multiple pages and touchscreen-optimized for 4:3 landscape displays
      • Portrait graphical interface included for 16:9 displays in Hauptwerk 4.x
  • Shipping
    • download
    • retail box with pre-loaded USB flash drive

Licenses for professional use

Heppenheim Pipe Organ Samples, in addition to standard personal single-use, is available for Institutional, Classroom, Worship and Commercial use. If you are interested in such use, please contact us.


Heppenheim (HEP) Pipe Organ Samples is a fully playable, freely configurable, intuitively manageable and MIDI-controllable virtual pipe organ for the Hauptwerk™ virtual pipe organ software, for PC and Macintosh computers, delivering the sound of the 43-stop Wilbrand symphonic pipe organ of the Saint Peter Church, Heppenheim, Germany, to your computer.

The organ and the church

The first reference of the St Peter's Catholic Parish Church situated in Heppenheim is dated back to the year 755, named as Basilica Sancti Petri. The present church was built between 1900 and 1904, designed by Ludwig Becker. The monumental neo-Gothic church is also known as Cathedral of Bergstaße. This name earned by being visible from kilometers around and from the famous Bergstraße Route ("Mountain Road").

The new church maintained and integrated the old tower while is made up of three naves, one transept and the choirs including a main choir and two side choirs. The long nave and the transept reflects the enormous dimensions of the church with the crossing in the heart of the building. After the Second Vatican Council the church has its first renovation period between 1968 and 1969. The interior of the building is changed by removing the pulpit and moving the lithurgical center to the crossing. The centre of the sanctuary is dominated by the altar. During the restoration in 2002, the pulpit was rebuilt in its former shape, a new ambo was put up under the dome and the baptismal font was also moved here.

The first of the four previously known organs is built in 1700, and damaged by lightning in 1703. The repaired instrument was destroyed in a church fire in 1732. The new organ, built in 1742, did its service until the demolition of the church in 1900. The next pipe organ, which was a small intstrument, was designed for the temporary church - later town hall - in 1900 by the organ builder Voigt. In 1904, this organ was built in the new church, the "Cathedral of Bergstraße".

There were plans to build a larger organ from 1909, but the First World War and the economic crisis allowed only in the 30s to think of the construction of a new organ. The church contracted with the organ builder company Klais, Bonn, but the contract was terminated in the Second World War.

In 1955, for the 1200th anniversary of city of Heppenheim, a new organ was built by Kemper from Lübeck. This instrument was kept reasonably playable until 1996. Then this organ was dismantled and replaced by a new organ by the organ builder Wilbrand in 1997, integrating the still usable pipes in it.

The west window of high artistic value had to remain free, so the pipes are arranged in separate cases. The Hauptwerk and Schwellwerk are on the left, the Pedalwerk is on the right, and the Rückpositiv is on the balustrade of the gallery. The organist sits with his back to the case of the Hauptwerk.

The disposition of the new organ is almost the same as the Kemper organ. It has 43 stops on three manuals of 56 notes and a 30-key pedalboard. The pipe scale and the intonation emphasize the dark richness of sounds, so the instrument is suitable to play romantic as well as symphonic music.


Personal Edition
Chromatically sampled
Multiple loops and releases
Single-page & multi-page touchscreen ready
Tremulants (sampled as well as LFO-based)
Touch sensitive tracker noise
Intelligent repetitive tracker noise handling
Engine and Tracker noise optional
All functions MIDI & GUI controllable
Remembering sliders
KeyboardMass™ functionality
Original acoustics
Shipping and availability  
Personal License
Academic Discount for personal use
Institutional, Worship and Commercial License
Installation packages
Size (GB)

Did you know? With the features equivalent to the Personal Edition, a time-limited Trial Edition is also available as a free download, just click on the Try icon above.

The sample set

The real pipe organ has been entirely virtualized, including all sounds of all of its pipes, all functions including the original tracker sounds are provided, allowing realistically sounding repetitive notes. With the KeyboardMass functionality, the inertia of the mechanics of the key action is modeled. By providing the additional feature of adjustability the response speed of the pipe speech when a key is released can be changed to your taste. Thus you can make the keyboards feel very heavy by increasing the slider values, or extremely responsive by decreasing.

Sample format

The final sample set has been made available in 48 kHz / 32-bit 2-channel stereo. Multiple, lengthy loops were carefully selected for each sound sample.


The natural church acoustics representing the recording conditions are embedded in the samples with multiple release sample layers; the acoustics heard in the sample set corresponds to the sound heard in the church. The sample set is recorded in a way that it is also fully compatible with dry acoustic spaces and additional convolution reverberation.

Multiple release samples and multiple loops

Multiple loops and release samples are provided for each sample. Triggered to play back randomly, this elaborate looping results in sustained notes of unmatched realism. The loops were calculated in a well-planned way, yielding both shorter and longer loops for each sample. Multiple release samples provide realistic, note-off-triggered pre-recorded reverberation for different lengths of notes. For example, a short note, with sound not fully developed will produce a different reverberation than a long sustained note. This quality is preserved in the sample library by providing multiple release sample layers.

Hybrid tremulants

Stops with the tremulant engaged were recorded separately on this pipe organ. Some of these stops are included in the sample set as 'sampled tremulants', while others - using a proprietary analysis method - were included using LFO-based tremulants. This hybrid model supports using the minimum amount of additional RAM and polyphony while providing a rich tremulant sound.

Advanced Graphical User Interface (GUI)

The graphical interface of this organ was carefully modeled by employing hundreds of photographs and measurement in full 3D and the interface was implemented in a non-orthographical, perspective console view that is fully photo-realistic and operational at the same time. The keys move while you play, and every button responds appropriately to your actions. Both multiple- and single-screen operation is possible: the large number of stops can be operated conveniently from a wide choice of interface pages displayable on multiple touchscreens. Alternatively, convenient single screen operation is also provided.


The sample set comes in a Hauptwerk-specific encrypted format requiring a Hauptwerk USB key, compatible with Hauptwerk 4.1 and later. Modification or disassembling the organ contents through the CODM interface of Hauptwerk is not supported since the variety of functions, the large number temperament data and the availability of the special built-in perspective adjustment already offers most of the functions or more than what the CODM interface may offer. The complexity of the Organ Definition File shipping with this organ is fairly high and building custom variants requires a certain amount of special expertise. If you are planning a custom or commercial application that requires a different setup what Heppenheim Pipe Organ Samples offers now, please contact us for making a customized version for you.

Availability and shipping

Heppenheim Pipe Organ Samples is available from 1 November 2014 (pre-order) and 7 November 2014 (shipping) in download or retail box (physical) delivery. Retail box editions ship on more conveniently usable USB Flash Drive allowing for smooth and convenient installation as well as backups.