Noordbroek Organ

Noordbroek Schnitger-Hinsz-Freytag Organ (1695-1809)

The Dorpskerk of Noordbroek is a brick building in the Gothic style from the first half of 14th century. Arp Schnitger delivered an organ with two manuals and a pedal in 1695 or 1696. A portion of the pipes from the previous instrument were included in his new instrument. The pedal was placed behind the main organ case.

Albertus Antoni Hinsz made extensive repairs in 1752. Then, in 1768 he provided new windchests for the manual divisions with a chromatic bass octave. He added the Quintadena 16, Vox humana 8 and Dulciaan 8. He also expanded the organ case and changed the keyboards of the instrument to accommodate the added pipes and notes.

In 1809, Heinrich Hermann Freytag expanded the organ case further by adding pedal towers on both sides of the organ case and changing the pedal stop list. He provided new pedal chests and new bellows. At this same time, the organ was given new carvings by Mattheus Walles.

In 1855-1856, Petrus van Oeckelen changed some stops in the Rugpositief and changed the Quintadena into a Burdon 16. He also replaced the shallots and reeds of the Dulciaan 8.

The restorations of 1955 returned the shape of the instrument to the 1809 state (Freytag). Cor Edskes was responsible for the work. The restoration work on the organ case was completed in 1974. The organ was given a Werckmeister temperament. Some minor improvements and maintanance was done by Winold van der Putten in the following years. In 2001, he repaired the bellows. Major maintanance was delivered by Mense Ruiter in 2014-2015. 

The organ is composed of 24 stops of north German flavor, six of them reed stops. The special character of the organ is enhanced by the enchanting acoustics of the church. Numerous CDs have been recorded on this instrument and it is certainly one of the most famous organs of the Groningen "organ garden".


Special thanks to Mr. Peter Westerbrink.

Further reading: C. H. Edskes - H. Vogel: Arp Schnitger and His Work, Falkenberg, 2016.


The samples are offered in 48kHz/24bit resolution. 4 microphone perspectives (8 audio channels). The multiple releases have three levels: short, mid and long. Hauptwerk v4.2 and higher supported. The sample set is offered in plain wave format.

Reverb time

The reverb time is ca. 4 seconds.

Keyboards, pedalboard

The original compass of the keyboards is 49 keys (C, c3), expanded to 54 keys virtualy.  The original compass of the pedal division is 27 keys (C-d1), extended to f1 (30 keys) in the sample set.


All ranks were recorded with the Tremulant for the most convincing tremulant behavior. The ranks are marked "tremmed" in the rank description. Switching between recorded tremulants and artificial Hauptwerk tremulant is possible via mixer tab.

Pipe Coupling

Pipe coupling serves to adjust the amount of "chorus effect". Higher slider position gives more overall mistuning to the organ pipes, possibly giving rich and tasteful organ sound. Lowest position of the slider offers the organ perfectly in tune instead (especially when combined with Hauptwerk Temperament charts).


RAM consumption: 8-channel surround

16-bit, other settings default:  23.7 GB

20-bit, other settings default:  39.2 GB (recommended)

24-bit, other settings default:  45.1 GB

RAM consumption: 2-channel (front-direct solo for a wet experience)

16-bit, other settings default:  6.7 GB

20-bit, other settings default:  10.5 GB

24-bit, other settings default:  12.2 GB

Screen resolution 1280x1024 px or more.

Polyphony of 4500 voices recommended for the full suround (2000 pipes minimum).

Surround format

The sample set is offered in the Surround variant (8 channels). There are front-direct (semi-dry) channels, featuring the sound of the organ immediately in front of the organ case. The diffuse and the distant perspectives captured the sound in the church, further from the organ. The rear perspectives is designed for the rear speakers of the audio setup (where available). The perspectives can be mixed together freely to achieve any virtual listening position, or used separately - depending on the prefererences of the user. A dedicated "mixing desk" is available in Hauptwerk to mix the sound to the desired level.

The Specification


1. Hoofdwerk C–c3 [f3]
Quintadena 16'
Praestant 8'
Holpijp 8'
Octaaf 4'
Speelfluit 4'
Quint 3'
Octaaf 2'
Mixtuur IV-V
Trompet 8'
Vox humana 8'
2. Rugpositief C–c3 [f3]
Fluit douce 8'
Praestant 4'
Spitsfluit 4'
Octaaf 2'
Sesquialter II-III
Scherp III-IV
Dulciaan 8'
3. Pedal C–d1 [f1]
Bourdon 16'
Praestant 8'
Gedekt 8'
Octaaf 4'
Bazuin 16'
Trompet 8'
Cornet 4'


  • RP/HW; HW/Ped


  • Tremulant for the entire instrument, Afsluiters (Ventils) for each division.

The specification of the instrument, including the pipe dating details (PDF).







Console view:

This is the general console view. It serves to define the keyboard MIDI inputs for all the divisions. The active part of this view are the manuals, the pedal. Specifying the MIDI inputs is done by right-clicking on the desired manual or pedal.




Mixer view:

The virtual listening position is adjusted here. The mixer settings can be stored, retrieved, reset. 3 different mixer settings can be stored/recalled any time.
The slider for the pipe coupling makes the effect more prominent (more distuning) when up, or less (when down). If the lowest position, the effect is switched off.
The blower switch should be always on. When off, the wind to the organ will stop and there will be no sound.





Stops view:

All stops of the instrument can be accessed from a single screen. Each stop can be MIDI-learned by right click.





Left+Right Jambs view:

All the stops and other controls of the organ can be found also here. The layout for dual touch screens. The design allows 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.






Simple Jamb:

simplified version of a single jamb to allow for more readable version of the stop names on small LCD touch screens. There are two variants: landscape and portrait. All the stops of the organ can be found here. Physical pistons or draw stops can be assigned to a virtual button on screen by right-clicking on the button.


  1. Noordbroek Virtual Organ, vol. 0 (Core)

    Noordbroek Semi-Dry and Surround Sample Set. Vol. 0 (Core package). This volume of the sample set is also the Demo version. Plain wave format, no encryption. HW4.2 or higher version required.

    Price: Excl. Tax: €0.00 Incl. Tax *: €0.00 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

  2. Noordbroek Virtual Organ, vol. 1 (Surround)

    Noordbroek Semi-Dry and Surround Sample Set. Vol. 1. Surround sample set, 8 channels, 4 microphone perspectives. Plain wave format, works in Hauptwerk 4.2 and higher (incl. HW5 or HW6)

    To use the full sample set, it is necessary that you install also the Vol.0 (free of charge).
    Price: Excl. Tax: €179.00 Incl. Tax *: €216.59 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order