Fraser Gartshore

Organist | Pianist | Conductor | YouTuber

Posted by: Fraser

Fraser Gartshore is a Scottish/German organist, conductor and YouTuber. But you already knew that.
The Hauptwerk Journey

Here we go! Finally, after many months of trying desperately to save up a Euro or two, I think it’s time to start my Hauptwerk organ console project.

At the beginning of 2020, I had saved up a small sum of money to put aside to start buying components to build my very own organ console for home and public use based on the Hauptwerk organ sampling software.

We all know what happened in March of this year – as a freelance musician, translator and YouTuber, this meant an end to my sources of income for a number of months and my hard-saved cash was eaten up, along with my dreams of building my own console.

I spent the last few months trying to source organ components online and, thanks to an anonymous donor, I have been quite successful so far!

One of the most expensive (and important) parts of any console build is the pedalboard. Even a used 30 or 32-note pedalboard will cost around €1,200, making it (for me!) impossible to save up for the manuals/swell pedals/pistons/electronics required to finish the project. Back to our anonymous donor: in a recent telephone call to a good friend and colleague, I mentioned my search for bits and pieces, including the dilemma of finding a suitable pedalboard. Imagine my surprise when he said “I’ve got an old pedalboard here I can give you – I don’t want anything for it – it’s yours!”

Not only that, this pedalboard is of the highest quality, it’s been restored and all the necessary contacts and connectors have been installed and – it looks good too!

It’s a 30-note board (let’s face it – how often do you use those extra 2 notes?), straight but not flat. It’s not AGO, but then again, you hardly ever come across AGO over here in Germany, so that’s not a problem…

So that’s part one of my organic puzzle – now I can start looking for all the other bits and pieces required and hopefully, before too long, I can share my Hauptwerk journey with you!

It looks like 2020 might end on a more positive note than I thought!

Maybe there are some more anonymous (or otherwise!) donors out there willing to help!

Hauptwerk Pedal


  1. Stuart Mair

    i built my own 3 manual one. 32not rad con pb too. I used Maudio usb keyboards and fitted them in the key cheeks. fitted hall effect transistors on each pedal note with small neodym magnets on end of pedal to trigger. Happy to send some pics if you want. good luck.

    • Fraser

      Definitely send some pics! I’m gathering as much inspiration as possible to see what I will need…

    • Fraser

      That’s a good setup you’ve got there – how have you “mounted” the keyboard stack? Is it just a table or have you constructed something specifically?

      • Aaron

        Right now it is a plywood table I build and the stack is just sitting on top.

  2. Dave De La Haye
    • Fraser

      That’s not a bad looking console for the money Dave! I have quite a few ideas how I want my console to look and feel, and I think I can just about get it done at less than that starting price! There will be a lot of work required though… We shall see.

  3. Markus Böl

    Dear Fraser, I was delighted to see your hauptwerk project working. Could you tell me what the cost is. I would like to set up such a system myself (perhaps 3 manuals). Best regards, Markus


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