Segovia Cathedral: Echevarria organ (1772)

The Segovia Cathedral organ was built by Joseph Echevarria in 1769-1772 on the north side of the quire (the Gospel side). It is his largest preserved instrument, and one of the largest organs from the baroque period preserved in Spain. The organ represents the climax of the Iberian organ building style. It was originally contracted with Pedro Echevarría, but was built by Joseph de Echevarría, because his father died soon after the work on the organ had begun. The gilded organ case was built by Juan Maurat. The importance of this particular instrument is attested by the sad fact that other major organs of the period (Sevilla, El Escorial, Palencia etc.) were drastically altered over the course of the centuries.

As is true for all old Spanish organs, Segovia is an organ with quite a narrow use. But for that particular use - the vast musical repertoire of the Spanish baroque - it is extraordinary for its rich stop list, range of sound colors and effects, and especially for its enormous echo possibilities. The organ has two facades, creating a pronounced echo effect when the Organo Mayor plays towards the listeners in the quire (the front facade of the instrument), while the Organo Respaldo sounds in the opposite direction from the quire into the side isle (so the listeners in the quire hear only reflections off the side vaults and walls). Several stops, namely the Flautat, Trompeta batalla and Duzaina, are mounted directly on the rear facade, providing the most distant tone to the audience and creating a dramatic contrast to the facade reeds of the Organo Mayor. The effect could hardly be greater. It is also worth noting that it was the Echevarria organ building family who used horizontal facade reeds for the first time in the world.

In addition to the Organo Mayor and Organo Respaldo, the organ has a Cadereta division located deep inside the base of the organ case and capable of creating another kind of an echo. The original contract gives a detailed description of what the Cadereta's design should be in order to respond properly to echo each register of the Organo Mayor. The Cadereta is enclosed in a box that can be opened via an unbalanced pedal to the left of the pedalboard. The Favot-Obue and the Violon of the Cadereta are not enclosed on the original instrument for practical reasons - the pipes are too high to be enclosed in the limited space available for the box. We have chosen to enclose them in the Hauptwerk model.

The pedal division has one flue stop with 9 diatonic pipes of 16-foot pitch. The Organo Mayor is permanently coupled to the pedal, but for greater versatility we have chosen to make the pedal 16' stop mutable via a dedicated switch on the Simple tab so that the pedalboard can be used to play the Organo Mayor alone. This may be useful when performing music written for short octave, where some left hand intervals are too great to play on a diatonic bass octave and the pedal must be used to "help" reach the bottom note. (Of course, Hauptwerk's native short-octave function can also be used with the model.)

During the course of history, some stops were changed after the fashions of the times. The most significant changes were made in 1893 by Juan Otorel during an overhaul of the organ, but thankfully many of the removed original stops were preserved at the cathedral. These were used in the restoration performed by Joaquin Lois organbuilders in 2021. They restored the instrument to Echevarria's original state; almost all of the original Echevarria parts and materials were preserved, and most of them were found in excellent condition.

The organ speaks on 74 mm of water column pressure. The temperament is 1/5 Pythagorean comma "with some proprietary modifications" according to Joaquin Lois. After analyzing the pitch of the recorded samples, the nearest temperament seemed to be a Schlick (Vogel) temperament, which is indeed close to a modified 1/5 comma meantone.

Further reading:

The samples are offered in 48kHz/24bit resolution. The multiple releases have three levels: short, mid and long. Hauptwerk v4.2 and higher supported. The sample set is offered in a plain wave format, no encryption.

Reverb time

Huge, cavernous cathedral reverb. The reverb time is ca. 8 seconds.

Keyboards, pedalboard

The original compass of the keyboards is 51 keys, extendable to 54 keys via a mixer switch. The original compass of the pedal division is 13 diatonic keys.


Almost every rank was recorded with and without tremulant 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 (all perspectives loaded)

  • 16-bit, other settings default: 26 GB
  • 20-bit, other settings default: 40 GB
  • 24-bit, other settings default: 49 GB

* loading in 16-bit depth is not recommended due to high amount of digital hiss emerging, since the noise floor of the 16-bit depth is too high and very audible with the many samples sounding simultaneously.

Screen resolution 1280x1024 px or more.

Polyphony of 8.000 voices recommended for the full suround.

Surround format

The sample set is offered in a Surround variant (6 channels). There are two direct channels, two diffuse channels, two rear channels.

To reproduce the surround format, an audio card with at least 4 output channels is required, dedicating the direct and diffuse channels for the front speakers, and other two channels for the rear speakers.

Órgano Mayor

Mano Izquierda   Mano derecha
Flautado de 26   Flautado de 26
Flautado de 13   Flautado de 13
Violón   Violón
Octava   Octava
Repiano IV 22ª   Repiano IV 22ª
Nasardos V   Nasardos V
    Corneta VI
    Flauta II
Trompeta real   Trompeta real
Clarín de campaña   Clarín de campaña
 Clarín   Clarín
Chirimía   Trompeta Magna
Orlo   Orlo

Órgano de Respaldo

Mano Izquierda   Mano derecha
Flautado de 13   Flautado de 13
Octava   Octava
Docena   Docena
Quincena   Quincena
Lleno III 22ª   Lleno III
Zímbala   Zímbala
Trompeta real   Trompeta real
Trompeta de batalla   Trompeta de batalla
Chirimía   Trompeta Magna
Dulzaina   Dulzaina

Cadereta (Eco)

Mano Izquierda   Mano derecha
Violón   Violón
Favot   Obue
Tapadillo   Tapadillo
Dozena   Dozena
Quincena   Quincena
Lleno III   Lleno III
Zímbala III   Zímbala III
    Corneta V
Tiorba    Clarín

Teclado de contras

Contras de 26 (plays diatonic tones C, D, E, F, G, A, B, H)


  • Tambores en Re y La
  • Paxaros
  • Temblante dulce
  • Reunión de teclados III/II






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 pedals. Specifying the MIDI inputs is done by right-clicking on the desired manual or pedal. All the other screen components are image-only.




Mixer view:

The output levels of the direct, diffuse, and rear ranks can be adjusted here. Also the blower and tracker noises can be adjusted.

The pipe coupling and pipe detuning features can be adjusted. The sound gets somewhat mistuned with higher settings, giving the "chorus" effect to the overall sound, often found pleasingly "floating".

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

The switches:

Select the sampled (real) tremulant or the artificial (Hauptwerk model) tremulant.

Select the mixtures sounding as recorded (casually mistuned) or purely tuned.

The compass extension switch allows the top most extended keys to be heard.

Blower switch must be always on (to give virtual air into the organ, allowing it to speak).


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.






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.


Single Jamb:

All the stops are available on a single screen.




  1. Segovia - Echevarria Sample Set, vol. 1

    Surround Sample Set, vol. 1. Direct, diffuse, rear channels. Free sample set. Stand-alone (demo) sample set featuring selection of stops. Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.) No encryption.
    Price: Excl. Tax: €0.00 Incl. Tax *: €0.00 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

  2. Segovia - Echevarria Sample Set, vol. 2

    Surround Sample Set, vol. 2. Direct, diffuse, rear channels. Works together with vol.1. Both volumes together form the complete sample set. Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.) No encryption.
    Price: Excl. Tax: €289.00 Incl. Tax *: €349.69 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order