View Full Version : pipe organ playing pilots?

07-24-2009, 08:38 PM
Are there anybody in here playng the king of all instruments? If so, you might be interested in my website about another project I'm workin on:
My organ project (http://www.fagerjord.org/orgel/index.php?id=start)

Geremy Britton
07-25-2009, 09:56 AM
I do have quite a love for organs also thanks for sharing. Project looks great. I myself have a wurlitzer organ. Love them they're great.

07-25-2009, 10:10 AM
Good for you Vidar, my second wife was a pro and I could listen for hours. Wonderful and complete instrument.
Do not let your musical talent get rusted.
BTW: I have a little device which allows Ipod stereo music in the headset (shutting off as soon as ATC comes on the freq.) and listeneing to Bach above the lid is a great joy.
(talking real flight here)

Take care

Matt Olieman
07-25-2009, 12:40 PM
It was to my amazement when I found the Hauptwerk.com site and the marvelous pipe organ sounds that are available.

My father was a pipe organ builder/voicer, so my whole life up to the time I left home was completely submerged in the pipe organ world. Besides my family, my first love is the pipe organ and all the fabulous music that goes along with it. I've never mastered playing the pipe organ, but have a tremendous appreciation and respect for a top notch organist :) and I've had the opportunity to befriend some famous organist. My favorite, Virgil Fox (long time ago).

My father had his own organ factory in Rotterdam, Netherlands and his organs are still working in several churches throughout Holland. Enough of that.... :)

What I found fascinating, when I discovered Hauptwerk. Hauptwerk family (like the Flight Sim Family) has similarities as in fight simulation builder hobby. First of all the Hauptwerk software is actually similar to MSFS software, but rather then using offsets it uses MIDI channels and various settings that can be used to control your virtual organ consoles.

Imagine setting up a 12 channel audio system, some virtual organ builders have done this and including a duplicate workable organ console.

Well enough of this again, this is a flight simulation site, LOL. Just wanted to ad to what Vidar started :) and the Flight Simulation community does not have the ownership of eccentric virtual builders :) :) :)

Matt Olieman

07-25-2009, 01:32 PM
what is it about sim-builders and organs ?
one of our new members, Richard Hutchinson also restores Pipe Organs and takes them to events and displays. maybe i have to get a 'wurly' badge for the cockpit.
have a great weekend fellah's
regards ... ian

Matt Olieman
07-25-2009, 02:35 PM
what is it about sim-builders and organs ?
regards ... ian

They both have a bunch of buttons, wires, controllable items and make beautiful sounds. LOL

Matt Olieman

08-09-2009, 06:04 PM
well, my first hobby is playing organs, and indeed a couple of months ago I started building a 4 manual 'Hauptwerk' organ myself.

I just finished the pedalboard, bought some quality keyboards (from Johannus/Netherlands), midi-controller board, couple of touch screens.
I had already some speakers and amplifier, and I'm very impressed of the Hauptwerk software.

So, now back to my B777 project!

Matt Olieman
08-09-2009, 06:24 PM
Nice going Henk :) :)

I just bought a Pedal and Bench on Ebay. The pedal is MIDI ready, not sure what that means, if I have to interface with a controller board it or not. But the price was more then right.

I too plan on building a 4 manual 'Hauptwerk' organ, with touch screens.

I'm quite impressed with the Hauptwerk Enthusiast have accomplished, truly amazing.

Matt Olieman

08-09-2009, 07:08 PM
We obviously share more than the first name, Vidar. :)

I used to play pipe organ in my teens, and have actually been looking at your site and the Hauptwerk product for a while. Maybe I'll follow up on that one day!

And my 737NG cockpit is coming along too. :o

Vidar Eggen

Matt Olieman
08-09-2009, 07:16 PM
We obviously share more than the first name, Vidar. :)
Vidar Eggen

And you both live in Norway.

Matt Olieman

08-09-2009, 07:17 PM
a few years ago I used to produce dance music in my home studio.....got some song on youtube funny enough, that I made....

Midi is simple, midi is Musical Instrument Digital Interface,

Basically what happens, is (in short)

When you hit a key on the keyboard, it will map a sound to whichever note or key is pressed, you have what's known as velocity on each key, where the harder your tap the key the longer or lounder the note is played, so the lighter you tap the key then the softer or shorter the note is played...

What is good about midi is its versatility, in that logically, you can have upto 70+ keys on a keyboard, which means that you can program a different sound or tone on each key, it doesnt necessarily have to be sound, you make anything happen.....

I used to be a lighting technician for a good few years in a nightclub in london, where I would control lighting (lights, strobes lasers etc), each light or lighting effect (such as colour, gobo, shape, mirror pan, mirror tilt, speed) could be 'played' by a midi keyboard, I would literally play 'lights' on the keyboard, I would map a lighting effect or light to each key on my keyboard through MIDI which was a keyboard having a 'MIDI' output connected to a small box which would connect to a PC through USB or Parallel, The PC would have a sequencer (mapper) where I could design my own light shows and I get to select what light effect or what lights gets mapped or allocated to each 'key' (note) on the midi keyboard, this way I could design lightshows, and automate the midi keyboard so that i can 'record a few key presses on the midi keyboard and 'loop' them so that i can have a continuous light show without actually having to do anything....The pc would then be connected via DMX protocol to 'dimmer packs' which would send signals from the pc to the dimmer pack, the dimmer packs would then have all the 230v lights connected to them....So now every time you hit a key on your keyboard a light will turn on......

In other terms...

If you keyboard says it accepts midi or 'sends' midi, then there is no reason why you cannot buy or build or design a simple midi device that converts these midi signals to control.....whatever you want.....connect it to your cockpits control what you want by tapping a key, infact you can control 70+ things....

A midi controller or keyboard/organ that says it is midi capable is like a giant Leo Bodnar BU0836x with 70 buttons (keys) attatched to it, and you can assign whatever you want to each key and do what the heck you want it to do......

Hope this is a little clearer!



Geremy Britton
08-09-2009, 09:02 PM
LoL .. what Alex is trying to say is you could play Bach's classical collection on a keyboard and have a smoke machine, strobes, spotlights, mirror ball going off to which notes you press. :D

08-09-2009, 09:08 PM
Organs, gregorian chants, are also top of my list. Used to pump air into one, for church when I was a kid. Love them.

08-10-2009, 06:44 AM
I am sad to say, although I do have extensive experience playing with my organ, I don't make a point of doing it on the internet in front of a bunch of guys, even though we may enjoy the same hobby.(re-reads post)
*oops*sorry didn't see the pipe part first time I read it ;) lol ok no pipe organ exp here :)


08-10-2009, 06:49 AM
Tim you make me crack up!


richard hutchinson
08-12-2009, 06:49 AM
I build midi PCB's that accept midi inputs and they convert into on-off switches, or switch power. I used them on my own built pipe organ.

See it at www.colossus.me.uk

Boards designed by J-Omega electronics. (I just build them for him)

Regards all

Matt Olieman
08-12-2009, 08:14 AM
And I just ordered some, LOL. I should of gotten them from you :) :) :)

Richard, very interesting site, well done!!! :)

Matt Olieman

richard hutchinson
08-12-2009, 08:26 AM
Well, if you bought them from J-Omega at least you know that they are hand-built by me. The designer, John has to program them to the customer's needs as they are technically "brain-dead" when they are built until John programs the PIC chip.

Very sold, stable, and reliable boards too. Just make sure that the wiring is perfect with no potential shorts as the ULN chips will fry. At least they are in sockets, so if you do have a mishap, they are easily replaced.

Colossus is operated/played via midi arrangements from a laptop and the conversions to electrical contacts to the pallet magnets in the windchest are all done by these MTP-8 circuit boards.

Easily adaptable to other uses, eg you could create a midi file to perform a series of switches or light changes in a cockpit. Programming is kids stuff using something like cakewalk software.

Be interested to see the organ progress Matt. I am currently working with some friends looking after (and playing) a Wurlitzer Cinema pipe organ here where I work.

You might be interested in looking at the free Miditzer software System (sorry this is a bit off topic) if you want to produce superb cinema organ sounds easily with midi keyboards/pedals. I use it at home and love it. Check it out - you will be hooked!


08-12-2009, 08:42 AM
I just had to "Pipe" in on this one!
My dad was a music teacher in the mid 70s and taught students at home on his Technics E66 organ, including me when I was 15. The music bug bit me and I was hooked. The Doors' Ray Manzarek became my hero along with Rick Wright from Pink Floyd. I practiced theory and copied Ray and Rick, I still love playing The Doors and Floyd to this day, and for the last 13 years have played in a Pink Floyd tribute show. I've been gigging 20 years and still do now and again.

Toys - Roland EP9 Digital piano, Roland D20 Sequencer, Yamaha SY22 Synth, Roland E56 Synth and dad's beloved E66 organ, he died after an encore on stage back in 2002 like a rock star! True! I once had a play on a real pipe organ and did a fair version of Toccata, enough to make the cleaners clap!


Matt Olieman
08-12-2009, 08:45 AM
It just amazes me the similarities in all of our hobbies and talents. Music and Flight Sim builders are definitely a set. LOL

Matt Olieman

08-12-2009, 05:37 PM
I am sad to say, although I do have extensive experience playing with my organ, I don't make a point of doing it on the internet in front of a bunch of guys, even though we may enjoy the same hobby.(re-reads post)
*oops*sorry didn't see the pipe part first time I read it ;) lol ok no pipe organ exp here :)


Too bad for you. I'm currently playing a 32' instrument... :p:cool::lol:

Matt Olieman
10-05-2009, 07:25 AM
The madness continues, if it isn't Flight-Sim Building it's building a Virtual Pipe Organ (VPO) :)

Here is my (VPO) so far, building progress and finaly with Steve Austin the craftsman who build the "KeyBoard Assembly" for me, beautiful workmanship.

I have the Keyboards setting at home at a temporary location and table. Obviously, still need a keyboard for the bottom, so I'll have a total of 5 Keyboard manuals.

BTW, Steve Austin is one of our local Flight Sim Club members, imagine that :)

Matt Olieman


10-05-2009, 05:35 PM
I'm more of guitar guy. Lately got a very nice gibson model morris guitar. My guitar teacher was amazed. It was 32 years ago he saw a morris. I got it from on uncle. Like to post a pic but my pc crashed with all my 727 and guitar pics will make new soon!


10-05-2009, 06:19 PM
Hey Matt,

if this thread continues to discover musically talented virtual pilots, we can make a jig at Lelystad: the "virtual pilots all stars"! LOL
However, there would be a slight preponderance of pipe organists (including myself). Are there members playing brass instruments, drums or other?
Besides, it occurs to me, that piloting skills must be closely mapped on the brain surface to musical talents and mechanical skills (interesting to pursue for neuroscientists)LOL.


Matt Olieman
10-06-2009, 11:13 AM
Quite a while ago, we did a survey on interests fellow builders have. Amazing we found a lot of musicians out there.

Yeah Chris, we do the "Swinging Pilots" jig :) :) :)

Matt Olieman

richard hutchinson
05-08-2011, 05:22 AM
Hi All

This might be of interest to some that are into Pipe organs as I am selling my 7 year project. It is a midi controlled very large pipe organ that is played by a laptop. This laptop contains some of the finest Fairground Organ music made by Dutch arranger Tom Meijer. Complete in a custom built trailer and with an all-day generator!

It has an 8 foot reed rank in it so has a real Gavioli sound (and loud)


see it here - www.colossus.me.uk

If interested - mail me at autocruiser62@gmail.com

PS: Bandmaster is not included

Matt Olieman
05-08-2011, 08:50 AM
WOW Richard, quite interesting. Would love to hear some of it's sound :)

Good luck on your sale, oh by the way, how about posting your sale at http://forum.hauptwerk.com/ I'm sure there could be some interest there.

Matt Olieman

richard hutchinson
05-08-2011, 03:20 PM
WOW Richard, quite interesting. Would love to hear some of it's sound :)

Good luck on your sale, oh by the way, how about posting your sale at http://forum.hauptwerk.com/ I'm sure there could be some interest there.

Matt Olieman

Hi Matt

If you visit the web site ane have your speakers on you will hear the organ playing.