Billerbeck Dom - Fleiter organ

Domorgel Billerbeck - Orgelbau Fleiter


The neo-gothic cathedral of Billerbeck (Germany), dedicated to the honor of St. Ludger, was built in 1892–98. At that time, only a small organ was supplied because of the lack of funds. The organ had 32 stops and was built by Friedrich Fleiter from Münster. The historic organ case is still preserved today. In 1948, the organ was enlarged to 42 stops. The original two-manual organ console was re-used in the church of Aulendorf, where it remains today.

In 2001, an association of friends and supporters of the St. Ludger organ was founded and funds were raised for the construction of a new, large instrument. In 2008, Orgelbau Fleiter began to construct the organ, which was built in several stages and completed in 2014. Orgelbau Friedrich Fleiter was established in 1872 in Münster, and it has supplied numerous organs to churches of the Münster area for the past 150 years. Since 2007 the company is directed by Eberhard Hilse, who was the designer of the present Billerbeck organ. The instrument had 72 speaking stops distributed across four manuals and pedal.

In 2021, a new mighty Tuba was added to the organ. The Tuba has three pitch ranges 16', 8', and 4', and it can be coupled to any manual or pedal. In pedal, it also has a 2' pitch in addition to the three mentioned. The Tuba has a darker tone and it is very loud, so that it sounds well through the tutti of the rest of the instrument. Its purpose is soloistic.

The organ has been designed predominantly in the French symphonic style, although it incorporates elements from other traditions so that the result is an eclectic universal organ. It has five divisions: four manuals and pedal. The Hauptwerk and Chamadenwerk are located in the organ case on the right side (north side). The Schwellwerk is in the case on the left (south side). The Pedal sits at the back, behind both the historical cases and offers, among other stops, three 32' voices. The Rückpositiv on the balustrade of the organ gallery is enclosed in a swell box and contains 12 voices of mixed (French and German) traditions. The Hauptwerk and Schwellwerk voices were inspired by the French style of voicing developed by A. Cavaillé-Coll. The flutes of the Schwellwerk, including the mutations (aliquotes), are made of overblowing pipes. The Chamadenwerk offers solo stops in addition to the en chamade trumpets, namely the Vox Ludgeri, a clarinet-like reed, and the Flûte harmonique.

Special thanks to: Kantor Lukas Maschke, Martin Kondziella, and Eberhard Hilse.

Photo of the organ prospekt: Orgelbau Fleiter.



The samples are offered in 48kHz/24bit resolution. The multiple releases have three levels: short, mid and long. Hauptwerk v. 4.2 and higher supported. The sample set is offered in a plain wave format, no encryption.

Reverb time

The reverb time up to 6.5 seconds.

Keyboards, pedalboard

The original compass of the keyboards is 58 keys (C–a3). It was extended in Hauptwerk to 5 full octaves C-c4 . The original compass of the pedal division is 32 keys (C-g1).


All ranks were recorded with and without tremulants where available for the most convincing tremulant behavior. However, loading the authentic tremmed ranks consumes large amount of RAM. It is possible to select to use the artificial tremulant instead to save RAM (the switch is located on the mixer tab).


RAM consumption: 6-channel surround (Vol1 + Vol2)

  •     16-bit, other settings default:  46 GB
  •     20-bit, other settings default:  82 GB
  •     24-bit, other settings default:  89 GB

RAM consumption: 6-channel surround - with the tremmed-ranks disabled

  •     16-bit, other settings default:  29.9 GB
  •     20-bit, other settings default:  52.7 GB

RAM consumption: 8-channel surround (Vol1 + Vol2 + Vol 3)

  •     16-bit, other settings default:  63.5 GB
  •     20-bit, other settings default:  114 GB
  •     24-bit, other settings default:  124 GB

RAM consumption: 2-channel semi-dry (Vol3)

  •     16-bit, other settings default:  17 GB
  •     20-bit, other settings default:  29 GB
  •     24-bit, other settings default:  31 GB

Screen resolution 1280x1024 px or more.

Polyphony of 6000 voices recommended for the full suround (4000 pipes minimum).

Surround format

The sample set is offered in a Surround variant (6 channels). There are four front channels and two rear channels. The front and rear audio channels can be mixed or used separately - depending on the preferences of the user. A dedicated "mixing desk" is available in Hauptwerk to mix the sound to the desired level. In addition to that, there are 2 semi-dry channels. These may be used stand-alone, or may be added to the 6 surround channels as additional (very) direct channels, forming an 8 channel sample set. Any mix of channels is possible depending on the personal user preferences. However, it probably makes little sense to combine the semi-dry and the direct channels. Rather, the semi-dry channels could be used instead of the direct channels for even higher portion of the direct sound in the mix.

To reproduce the surround format, an audio card with at least 4 output channels is required, dedicating the front channels to the front speakers, and the rear channels to the rear speakers.


1. Rückpositiv (expr.) C–c4  
Principal 8'
Rohrflöte 8'
Salizional 8'
Unda maris 8'
Praestant 4'
Holzflöte 4'
Waldflöte 2'
Quinte 1 1/3'
Mixtur 4 f.
Sesquialtera 2 f.
Trompete 8'
Cromorne 8'
2. Hauptwerk C–c4
Grande Bourdon 32'
Violone 16'
Principal 16'
Principal major 8'
Praestant 8'
Viola da Gamba 8'
Flute harmonique  8'
Gedackt 8'
Oktave major 4'
Octave minor 4'
Flute conique 4'
Quinte 2 2/3'  
Octave 2'
Cornet 5 f.
Mixture major 2'
Mixture minor 1'
Bombarde 16'
Trompete 8'
3. Schwellwerk (expr.) C–c4  
Rohrbordun 16'
Doppelflöte 8'
Geigenprincipal 8'
Bourdon 8'
Viola 8'
Vox coelestis 8'
Principal 4'
Flute octaviante 4'
Fugara 4'
Nazard harm. 2 2/3'
Octavin 2'
Tierce (harm.) 1 3/5'
Fourniture 5 f.
Basson 16'
Trompete harm. 8'
Hautbois 8'
Voix humaine 8'
Clairon 4'
4. Chamaden  C–c4
Trompeta magna 16'  
Trompeta real 8'
Trompeta clarin 4'
Cornet 5f
Flute harmonique  8'
Vox Ludgeri 8'
5. Tuba division  
Tuba 16'
Tuba 8'
Tuba 4'
Pedal C–g1
Grand Flute 32'
Bourdon 32'
Principalbass 16'
Flute 16'
Contrabass 16'
Soubasse 16'
Octavbass 8'
Flute 8'
Cello 8'
Bourdon 8'
Choralbass 4'
Viola tenore 4'
Contrebombarde  32'
Posaune 16'
Fagott 16'
Trompettenbass 8'
Clairon 4'

Note: Vox Ludgeri is affected by the tremulant of Schwellwerk.


III/I, IV/I, Sub III/I, Super III/I
IV/III, Sub III/III, Super III/III, Aequallage ab (all supercouplers are sounding to the highest tone, i.e. "ausgebaut")
I/Ped, II/Ped, III/Ped, IV/Ped, Super I/Ped, Super II/Ped. Cantus II/Ped 2
', Super III/Ped

Tuba couplers (to all manuals and pedal): I, II, III, IV, Ped., Ped 2'. In Hauptwerk, Tuba forms a division on its own (a hidden 5th manual). Therefore Hauptwerk master couplers can also be used with Tuba. Eventually, a MIDI keyboard can also be attached to the Tuba division using a small trick. By clicking into the space above the manuals on the console screen, a pop-up menu will appear allowing to attach a MIDI keyboard to a hidden 5th manual.


Carillon accessible from all manuals and the pedal. The original instrument has one carillon shared on all manuals. For the sample set, the carillon of the Schwellwerk is virtually separate, enclosed in the swell box and milder in voicing than the virtual carillon shared by the other divisions.


The real organ has many extensions and transmissions. For the sample set, I decided to record stops several times, so that almost all extensions and transmissions are gone, almost each stop is independent, with its own character. However, several extensions remained in the Pedal.

  • Burdon 8 of the Pedal is the transmission of the HW Bourdon 32, from the middle c up. Voicing Bourdon 8 of Pedal is therefore done together with voicing of the descant of the HW Bourdon 32.
  • Subbass 16 of the Pedal is the extension of the Pedal Bourdon 32. Voicing Subbass is done together with voicing of the PED Bourdon 32, only an octave higher.
  • Flute 32 and Flute 8 of Pedal are independent stops. But Flute 16 is formed as follows: First octave and half (CC-g0) is the Flute 32 an octave higher, the rest is from the Flute 8. Voicing Flute 16 is done by voicing the Flute 32 and Flute 8 of the pedal.


Rückpositiv and Schwellwerk are both enclosed. Vox Ludgeri on the original instrument shares the Schwellwerk enclosure. For the sample set, a new swellbox for the Chamadenwerk was constructed, driven by an independent virtual swell pedal. Since the horizontal trumpets are inside the organ case in Billerbeck (not displayed), it may be a unique opportunity to enclose them into a swell box, at least virtually. All the sudden, the division is not simply a loud Chamadenwerk, but also an Echo, if desired.






Console view:

this is the general console view. It serves to define the keyboard MIDI inputs for all the divisions. The only active part of this view are the manuals and the pedalboard. Specifying the MIDI inputs is done by right-clicking on the desired manual or the pedalboard. Eventually, a MIDI keyboard can also be attached to the Tuba division using a small trick. By clicking into the space above the manuals on the console screen, a pop-up menu will appear allowing to attach a MIDI keyboard to a hidden 5th manual.

The balanced swell pedals are inactive. The MIDI for these is specified on the Pedal-Matrix tab instead.

All the other screen components are image-only. 




Mixer view:

The virtual listening position is adjusted here by adjusting the direct/diffuse/rear balance. Different balance can be set for each division separately if desired.

The mixer settings can be stored, retrieved, reset. 3 different mixer settings can be stored/recalled any time.

The switch in the right makes the selection for the tremulant between the sampled tremulant and artificial (Hauptwerk model) tremulant. The Blower switch must be always on.





Left+Right Jambs view:

for dual touch screens, split jambs were created. They allow for portrait or landscape orientation, according to the orientation of the touch screens.




Left + Right Jambs Vertical view:

the dual stop jambs offer vertical (portrait) orientation as an alternative.






Single Jamb:

All the stops and other original controls of the organ can be found here. The jamb has alternative horizontal and vertical (portrait) orientation. 

Physical pistons or draw stops can be assigned to a virtual button on screen by right-clicking on the button.

In addition to that, three more buttons were added, i.e. pistons triggering the continuous controller (swell pedals and crescendo) combinations prepared by the user on the Pedal Matrix screen. Please see the Pedal Matrix screen for details. 


Pedal Matrix:

MIDI continuous controllers (hardware swell pedals) are freely assignable on this tab to any of the existing swell pedal or crescendo pedal of the virtual organ. One hardware swell pedal can control any number of virtual swell pedals which is useful when the physical console has less controllers than needed. The setting can be memorized via 3 dedicated memory pistons and recalled anytime, thus enabling changing the MIDI assignment during performance. For more details, click here.





the crescendo sequence can be adjusted here. By clicking the gray/white box, the stop is enabled/disabled in the given screscendo stage. The crescendo settings is remembered by Hauptwerk via Hauptwerk dedicated combination system (each stage of the crescendo is a memory for the combination system).

If the crescendo sequence gets corrupted by an accident, the Reset button will help you to restore the original crescendo sequence instantly.








Version 1.5 was published in December, 2023. It can be downloaded from the "My products" in the user area, using the existing Billerbeck sample set links.

The new version is not compatible with the older Billerbeck versions! Therefore, I recommend uninstalling the old Billerbeck version completely, including all the saved combinations and settings, and then installing the new version. If you choose not to uninstall, be prepared to wait for a very long time (perhaps also 10 minutes) when loading the new instrument for the first time, because Hauptwerk needs to sort out all the changes in the settings. Hauptwerk will appear hanged (frozen) for many minutes before loading the sample set. Unfortunately, the combinations saved with an earlier version of Billerbeck will not work with the new version 1.5 ! See the blog entry for details.

Version 1.51: 6-channel ODF only. Small correction to the 6-channel variant (vol. 2) to be installed on top of the version 1.5. What is new: Pedal Stops Flute 16, Soubasse 16, Bourdon 8 now speak in the Direct Ranks (were missing in 1.5). The error affected only the 6-channel variant.


  1. Billerbeck-Dom Sample Set, Vol.1+Vol.2, 6-channel surround

    Orgelbau Fleiter, surround variant , 6 channels, plain wave format (no encryption). Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.).
    €279.00 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

  2. Billerbeck-Dom Sample Set, Vol.3, Semi-dry variant

    Orgelbau Fleiter, semi-dry variant , 2 channels, plain wave format (no encryption). Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.). May also be used together with the surround sample set to form an 8-channel surround sample set.
    €279.00 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

  3. Billerbeck-Dom Sample Set, Vol 1 + Vol. 2 + Vol.3, 8-chan. Surround

    Orgelbau Fleiter, Complete Sample Set, 8 channels, plain wave format (no encryption). Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.)

    €389.48 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

    Original price: (excl. tax)€558.00
    Bundle sale (30%):
    - €168.52
  4. Billerbeck-Dom Sample Set, Vol. 1 (Demo)

    Orgelbau Fleiter, surround variant , 8 channels, plain wave format (no encryption). Hauptwerk v.4.2 or higher required (incl. HW5). Free Demo set. Add to cart for no price and download.
    Price: Excl. Tax: €0.00 Incl. Tax *: €0.00 Excl. Tax

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