Johannus, New installations

Hybrid Monarke organ for the Roman Catholic Church in Gelterkinden, Switzerland

Een moderne lichte kerk van buiten met sneeuw voor de deur

Johannus recently installed a wonderful Monarke organ in the Römisch-katholische Kirche Maria Mittlerin in Gelterkinden, Switzerland. The church already had an electro-pneumatic Graf organ with 26 stops, but the console and controls of this pipe organs were in need of an overhaul. There was also the feeling that the organ wasn’t quite filling the space properly, and that it limited the organists in terms of their registration options. It was a rather Romantic organ, and they wanted to be able to play works from other style periods as well.

Bearing these issues in mind, Thomas Brand (Organist & Project Manager for the organ restoration) set out to see what was possible. Expanding the existing pipe organ was not an option, as there was not enough room in the organ cabinet for additional pipes. This led Thomas to consider the possibilities for a hybrid organ, and the more he thought about it, the more enthusiastic he became.

He eventually got in touch with local Johannus dealer Dani Schärz (Klassik Orgelhaus, Uster in Switzerland) and our sales manager Martin van Heerde, with whom he discussed the options on site. Together with our project manager Vincent van Os and the organ builders Jens Krug and Evelyn Kaufmann of Orgelbau Graf AG, they then got to work to determine the perfect solution for the church. And they succeeded!


The church now has a wonderful hybrid Monarke organ consisting of the 26 stops from the original pipe organ, and 24 digital stops. Because the stops converge so beautifully, the digital and original stops are indistinguishable from each other, creating a truly unified instrument.

The organ comes with a high-quality 14.2 audio system consisting of 14 loudspeakers, each made up of three speakers that transmit the middle and highest ranges. There are also two large subwoofers that perfectly broadcast every sound down to the lowest frequencies.


When churches want to combine the qualities and benefits of a digital organ and a pipe organ, the Johannus Hybrid Organ Solutions are the answer. This hybrid organ solution merges the romance and artisanship of the pipe organ with the technological capabilities of the digital organ.

This blend can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, a digital console and digital stops can be added to a pipe organ. Alternatively, Johannus can collaborate with a renowned pipe organ builder to build a new hybrid organ. In Gelterkinden, the existing console was replaced with a digital version that was integrated with the pipe organ, and extra stops were added.

More and more churches and concert halls are opting for a hybrid organ, and for good reason. Hybrid organs offer numerous possibilities. For example, churches with limited space for an organ can still enjoy the benefits of an extensive stoplist, along with convenient functions such as programmable setzers, sequencers, and all kinds of couplers. A hybrid organ is routinely fitted with a temperature sensor, because changes in the room temperature cause changes to the tuning of the pipes. This is naturally not a problem for a digital organ, but because the digital stops in a hybrid organ work together with the pipes, the digital part must be aligned with the tuning of the pipes. The Auto-tune function in the hybrid organ continually ensures this, even as the organ is being played. For example, when fresh air at a different temperature enters the organ and thus slightly changes the tuning of the pipes, the system automatically adjusts the tuning of the digital stops.

A digital console eliminates the need for expensive maintenance and tune-ups in the long run. Digital components in the pipe organ are also easy to update and can be replaced at relatively reasonable rates. A hybrid organ is also much cheaper to purchase: installing a digital console and digital stops costs much less than the traditional restoration of a console or the expansion of a pipe organ. Of course, the pipes and windchests must be in good condition or restored, but the organ may then last for many more years afterward.

If you are interested in our hybrid solution options and would like some sound advice, please feel free to request a brochure from, or contact our specialists by telephone on +31 318 637403 or e-mail at