The Jaeckel organ at St. Paul’s in Fort Atkinson is probably the first mechanical action organ I had ever seen or played. I remember singing there with the Northwestern College choir for a Lenten service in 1985 or 1986 and I had to go to the loft to try it out. I played Bach’s “Now Thank We All Our God” (BWV 79-3) with the melody in chords on the horizontal trumpets. I remember the touch was delightful and the trumpets were awakening, both in their volume (just above my head) and in the stereo arrangement! Quite a difference from the Hammond C3 in my home church—even exceeding the brilliance of the Schlicker in my college’s chapel.
The organ seems to be a replica of a north German organ. The Swell Scharf III is reminiscent of a Schnitger cymbel. It also reminds me of the high and bright mixtures on the organ played by Anthony Newman in some of his early Bach recordings. According to the Organ Historical Society’s website, the organ is tuned to the Kirnberger III temperament.
The Virtual Model
All of the organ's console functions are replicated in the virtual model in jOrgan.
- The sounds in the soundfont were recorded from the Jaeckel Opus 5.
- The organ did not have a transposer, but it is provided on the virtual console.
- Many other standard virtual organ features are included, along with a dynamic wind model.
- Consoles for a single monitor and dual monitors are provided with some of the additional effects and controls on their own console.
- Kirnberger III, Equal, and other temperaments are accessible with the disposition.
- The sounds were precision tuned electronically. A chorused tuning switch is provided.
- Trumpet volume adjustment slider is provided.