For almost ten years now, I've been repairing and transforming mainly liturgical organs. Sometimes the instrument is at the limits of what can be repaired, or its sound rendering is poor in relation to the desired performance. If the original console is in good condition, and if its keyboards and controls are capable of expressing themselves in this new definition, a conversion can be envisaged.

I offer two types of transformations: HAUPTWERK and ORGANTEQ. You'll find the main features of these systems on the Transformation page of this site.

The problem for the future customer is which system to choose. Each system has its technical advantages and limitations, and of course financial disparities. It was often difficult for me to allow a future customer to test these systems before making a decision. Due to the geographical diversity of my previous conversions, it was hardly possible to plan such visits.

More than three years ago, I had in mind to build a kind of monster integrating all these technologies. All that remained was to find a three-keyboard console that would be compact because it had to be transportable, yet capable of accommodating all the necessary electronic cards.

And then the miracle happened... Here's a photo story of the construction of this CHORGANIUM.


The original console

Bought second-hand in Bretagne, this JOHANNUS OPUS 1410 console suffered from several problems, including random performance and a lack of stops memory. With the woodwork in good condition and relatively compact, I fell for this 90s model. Despite its age, the concept is effective, with a motherboard communicating via MIDI with two symmetrical racks, each equipped with slave processors. Each rack handles two keyboards, and the whole package ends up with eight amplifiers and twelve loudspeakers for a total of 480W!!!! Big sound guaranteed! For specialists, it's M114 technology.

Stops displays

The main difficulty to be solved for this project is the display of stops names. Each system (Johannus, Hauptwerk, Organteq) is capable of loading several samplesets. As a result, each stop command is likely to have a different name, or to be absent. Some manufacturers offer magnetic silk-screened strips to place on top of the stops controls. This process requires the magnetic tapes to be stored somewhere, and the engraving to be carried out by specialized companies.

My idea was rather to use a new technology, namely OLED mini-displays. I chose the RGB version for my CHORGANIUM to make stops display more pleasant and more respectful of organizational standards. The small size of these screens enabled me to create a front panel with 43 registers and 18 for the left and right consoles. This gives a maximum of 12 Pedal registers, 10 Positiv, 14 Grand Organ and 16 Recit registers, plus three tremulants and six couplers and drawbars. This choice allows me to view virtually all existing samplesets. The display can be scrolled by keyboard, should a sampleset exceed these limits.

The cut-outs

Once the concept had been validated, the next step was to transform the front panel and the two side consoles. In addition to the displays and controls, the slots had to be cut out:

- the display of the sampleset name and its front/rear controls in the sampleset list

- audio patch deck

- PC screen

- Midi controls

- reverb, transpose, volume and settings controls on the PC screen

- standard sub-keyboard memory command bar

Electronics integration

The first step was to individually check all the JOHANNUS cards supplying MIDI signals and system amplification. Then came the addition of the PC board, power supplies and additional MIDI interfaces (expression pedals, crescendo pedals and under-keyboard memory control bars).

IT integration

This involves integrating midi signals with the three basic systems (Hauptwerk, Organteq and Johannus) and storing them alongside each sample set.

Audio integration

The three systems (JOHANNUS, HAUPTWERK, ORGANTEQ) must use the eight amplifiers of the JOHANNUS and therefore the twelve speakers of the console. To achieve this, a patch zone is created.


My dream has come true. I'll be able to offer comparative demonstrations of different pipe organ sound generation systems. In addition to sound differentiation, this CHORGANIUM will be a fantastic tool for determining a budget and, above all, enabling rigorous definition of future transformation projects.

If you're interested in transforming an electronic console, I can come to your home, hall or church with this CHORGANIUM, and build a solution that's as close as possible to your budget. A fee will be charged for this demonstration, deductible in the event of an order.