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  • Makin organs

    <P mce_keep="true"></P>


    I am curious to know whatanybody thinks of the digital organs by Makin. I play on a 2/34 Westmorland Custom instrument at church. To be fair to the instrument much of what it offers is quite adequate for the kind of music required in services. However, from an organists point of view there are a few aspects which, for me, are found wanting. </P>


    Firstly, I find the construction of the keys themselves rather lightweight - much like I would expect to find on a good synthesiser, but perhaps not on an organ.</P>


    Secondly, certain stops/ combinations are an issue. I find the mixtures generally quite harsh and hard sounding, particularly thegreat mixture which I tend to avoid.Also, the only pedal reed (a 16' Trombone) is a very raucous affair indeed. When I coupled the Gt. 8' Trumpet to the pedal I was shocked by what I heard - the 8' almost sounded out of tune with the 16'. (This reminds me of a very old analogue organ which I have at home where the entire swell manual seems to be out of tune with the Gt. You can imagine what that sounds like!)</P>


    Back to Makin though, I wonder if all Makin organs have these issues. Cananybody relate to any of the above issues intheir experience of Makin organs?</P>


    Kind regards,</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>

  • #2
    Re: Makin organs



    MonsieurOrgue,</p>

    The Makin organ is built by Johannus, and the technology and build quality is the same. I am not familiar with the Makin keyboards, but would assume that they are the standard keyboards by Fatar that Johannus uses.</p>

    As to the noises that it produces that are disagreeable to you, I would say it is a matter of voicing, tuning, and maybe swapping of a sample or 2. From the Makin website, the Makin Custom uses the Monarke technology, which is the best they have. So, you could if you have the software change the stop parameters to suit you, or have the Makin folks do it for you. Just make sure that the church authorities are on board with this.</p>

    AV</p>

    </p>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Makin organs



      I have found with Makin organs and in fact all digital organs is that some are great and are of a great quality, some are OK, and some are just useless. You have to spend lots of time getting everything to sound correct, and that's if you've got the money to do that.</P>


      I've heard some people say that older Makin's are much better than their new ones.</P>


      Jezza</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Makin organs



        Through the letter box dropped Makin's newsletter yesterday proclaiming some new sampling technology.</p>

        Apparently, the claim that they now use "mulitsamples" where by each and every note for every stop has its own recorded sample. They claim that other manufacturers perhaps only sample a dozen or so different notes for each stop and use algorithms to turn these samples into new samples for the remaining notes for that particular stop. I had always assumed each and every note was sampled for each stop, so this is news to me. </p>

        Do the big two like Allen &amp; Rodgers record each note of each stop or do they interpolate from a select few samples?</p>

        Moreover, the mention that some manufacturers use sample loops of around 1 sec. This is entirely believable, and they claim that they have sample loops of around 5 - 10 secs for their custom instruments.</p>

        To me 5 - 10 secs doesn't seem particularly long - sure other companies use samples that are far shorter, but in this day and age when solid state memory is dirt cheap shouldn't we be expecting samples that are maybe 60 secs long for each note and stop? Don't get me wrong, I'm not picking on Makin/Johannus only, surely all digi-organ manufacturers these days should have samples that are approaching perhaps 60 secs in length.
        </p>

        Johannus have just updated their reverb system which I believe is still algorithmic, to include now 12 different building environments from 6 previously (I think).
        </p>

        Comments?</p>
        1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
        Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Makin organs



          Based on my aural observations and interpretation the Rodgers' samples are about one second long and there are two to eight notes per sample without interpolation. According to a dealer Rodgers uses four notes per sample, but maybe that is the average.</P>


          Allen typically was big on interpolation; I have no experience with the current models.</P>


          Even Marshall &amp; Ogletree is running something like fifteen second samples, not sixty seconds. This should be available on their website.</P>


          Memory may be relatively cheap, but if you run the math (a CD of 800 MB holds about eighty minutes of music, two channels, 44 khz, sixteen bit) you'll find that the memory demands become enormous--and then there has to be some kind of operating system capable of processing all the memory.</P>


          Could it be something like 3 GB per stop with two channel, one minutes samples at 96khz, 24 bit? That would put a sixty stop organ at nearly 200 GB! (The "Quantum" model might require a terrabyte of memory.) Imagine running three or four super-size Dells crammed full of memory in parallel without any delays or dropped notes.</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Makin organs



            Thanks for that info Mark, its all rather interesting.</p>

            So it seems like perhaps memory isn't the problem but more like having the computing power to "sift" through it all with low latency. Still, with the pace of technology and multicore processors and the like, it shouldn't be too far into the future before we have ultra long samples in our digi-organs.</p>

            Typically how long are the samples then with Hauptwerk? Do Hauptwerk samples use interpolation too?</p>
            1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
            Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Makin organs



              Nullogik,</p>

              A couple of things,</p>

              1) for marketing purposes, most manufacturers say they record (or sample) every note of every stop (not necessarily every rank). They may even say, that their original samples are 30 seconds long or even 60 seconds long. They may even boast about what kind of bit-rate, sampling rate, etc. they use. In actual fact it is very hard to get all notes of a rank to sample perfectly. Most ranks have notes that are "off" either in volume or tone.
              </p>

              2) what they actually put into their organs is going to be something that is vastly reduced. Most digital organs only have a select bunch of samples chosen per stop, usually anywhere from .5 to 5 seconds long. The bit-rate and sampling rate are also usually much lower in the organs than the original recordings</p>

              3) why you say? Part of the problem is money, specifically R&amp;D money. Most organ tone generator platforms are older technologies, some as old as 10 or even 15 years old. So, processing power (or thru-put) cannot handle data quick enough. High end tone generation, needs processing power of at least the latest high end PCs. It is interesting to me that virtual organ programs such as Hauptwerk with a good sample set, sound better than the vast majority of run of the mill manufactured organs. </p>

              4) my guess is that high quality samples of at least 4 seconds is sufficient to give a reasonable reproduction of organ tone. I do believe that at least 20 to 30 samples are the minimum needed to do justice to single stop.</p>

              5) I also believe that high samples rates are needed - a sampling rate of 96K seems reasonable. Most digi-organs have a lack of presence both in tone and in the treble end. Sounds like the harmonic train of the tone is truncated. There is just too many factors that cause this, starting with filtering of samples, anti-aliasing filters, limited bandwidth audio mixing, amplifiers and speakers that can't reproduce frequencies over about 15Khz.</p>

              6) just a basic sampling system, still doesn't make a digi organ sound like a pipe organ. It is the behaviour of a wind instrument that has to be reproduced. So manufacturers have put things like fluctuations, wind robbing, wind noise, blower noise, action noise, psycho-acoustic expression, etc. Still they end up sounding too straight, too focused. Pipe organs are very interactive instruments when multiple stops are used, big chords are played, so things like overall tuning relationships change, there are subtle tone changes, etc. This is an area where some of the synthesis type organs outperform sampling system organs.</p>

              The biggest problem manufacturers face is, what can be done at what price. Right now, most companies sales are down, there is serious price competition, so electronic organs are seriously compromised instruments. </p>

              The larger manufacturers, have marketing departments, and have various levels of quality and musical abilities. Johannus' most popular organs are the Opus line. These organs have lots of stops, but few, and short samples, small audio systems, etc. Their superior organs are the Sweelink line and the Rembrandt line. These have more samples, samples that are longer, more audio, etc. Their best efforts are the Monarke line, which has long loop samples, said to be one per note, and many more audio channels. These are the organs they are proud of, and they sound the best. I understand that the Makin custom organs use the Monarke platform. </p>

              The marketplace for organs is such that, most purchasers want an instrument with more stops, more keyboards, etc., rather than a high quality musical result. In fact a lot of digital organs I come across, sound like they have not even been voiced.</p>

              So, if you want a true high end digital organ, be prepared to pay a price that is far higher than a typical manufacturered digi organ has.</p>

              AV</p>

              </p>

              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Makin organs



                Arie said it all.</p>

                The online mp3s of the Cantor organ (synthesis, not sampled) are very interesting--almost like a Flentrop at times.</p>

                Hauptwerk uses stereo (2 channel) samples for every pipe so interpolation shouldn't be necessary, unless they experience the sampling problems noted above.</p>

                As for technical details, they are all on the website.  Hauptwerk 2 should be 3-5 second samples at 44 khz, 16 bit, while Hauptwerk 3 is more like 8 second samples at 48 khz, 24 bit.   Some of the dry Hauptwerk 2 organs sound better (e.g. the small Casavant in Illinois sampled by Brett Milan) than the Hauptwerk 3 ones with long reverberation.  It should be possible to do your own sampling at 96 khz, 24 bit.</p>

                Yes, everyone wants three manuals, drawknobs, divided expression, big trumpet, 32' flue and reed, multiple celestes, etc. at a minimal cost.  Good tone and quality construction aren't on the list of those with big eyes and small ears.  </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Makin organs

                  [quote user="nullogik"]


                  Thanks for that info Mark, its all rather interesting.</P>


                  So it seems like perhaps memory isn't the problem but more like having the computing power to "sift" through it all with low latency. Still, with the pace of technology and multicore processors and the like, it shouldn't be too far into the future before we have ultra long samples in our digi-organs.</P>


                  Typically how long are the samples then with Hauptwerk? Do Hauptwerk samples use interpolation too?</P>


                  [/quote]</P>


                  Hauptwerk samples usually do not use interpolation. It is possible, in Hauptwerk, to sample every second or third note and interpolate from them, but none of the suppliers of hHauptwerk sample sets have done that. If is also possible to extend a set of samples either up or down, say, add the 32' octave to a set only going down to 16', or add another octave on top, but, as far asI know, no sample set supplier has done this. Hauptwerk samples can be any length, but typically run between four and ten seconds. With the newer sets, several different loops are specified, and the program randomly goes through different loops, to get away from sterile sound. There can be several different releases. In addition, Hauptwerk can vary the tuning, wind pressure sag, and other characteristics of the sound, to give it the feel of working with actual pipes. Hauptwerk can also, if the customer wants to really spend some money, put out up to 256 channels of sound. </P>


                  The largest Hauptwerk sample sets and running aboutfour gigs of memory, working in24 bit processing, in stero, using all loops, etc. Of course, in mono, the requirements are about half ofwhat stero requires.</P>
                  Mike

                  My home organ is a Theatre III with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Makin organs



                    [quote user="m&amp;m's"]</p>

                    Hauptwerk can vary the tuning, wind pressure sag, and other</p>

                    characteristics of the sound, to give it the feel of working with</p>

                    actual pipes. Hauptwerk can also, if the customer wants to really</p>

                    spend some money, put out up to 256 channels of sound. </p>


                    [/quote]</p>

                    </p>

                    Some of you may know docs from Allen, with critics to its competition.</p>

                    Hauptwerke, namelly. Some points are valid (the problem of not</p>

                    having 1 manufacturer, but several (i.e. keyboards, computer,</p>

                    D/A converter board, software, etc.)). Other points are, well, just</p>

                    propaganda. Generally: that document is a very twisted (and</p>

                    convenient) distorcion of truth, in my opinion - proving tradicional</p>

                    electronic organ manufacturers are starting to be afraid of Hauptwerke...</p>

                    </p>

                    Anyway: one valid critic against Hauptwerke was the wet sampling</p>

                    in "big organs", i.e. the lack of a big simphonic organ "dry", to allow</p>

                    for assembling Hauptwerke-based systems in big and reverberant</p>

                    spaces. Very recently the first one was released (see http://www.milandigitalaudio.com/skinner.htm).</p>

                    This could be a turning point for Hauptwerke, who "lives" now tipically</p>

                    only in small domestic rooms.</p>

                    </p>

                    I my self am in the process of testing Hauptwerke solution for a</p>

                    200 seat auditorium, for the school where I teach organ (which</p>

                    have a dry acoustic, so wet sampling is possible also). [testing=</p>

                    hearing demos from several sample supliers (Milan Digital Audio,</p>

                    Sonus Paradisum and Organ Art are the main ones)... and also</p>

                    playing Hauptwerke in my PC, of course (8 GBytes CL4 DDR2s,</p>

                    quad-core [email protected] GHz, EMU 1212M professional sound</p>

                    card); I'm working on amplification project also - had to study a lot</p>

                    about speakers, etc. [:S]]</p>

                    </p>

                    Regards.</p>

                    </p>

                    -A</p>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Makin organs

                      [quote user="m&amp;m's"]


                      The largest Hauptwerk sample sets and running aboutfour gigs of memory, working in24 bit processing, in stero, using all loops, etc. Of course, in mono, the requirements are about half ofwhat stero requires.</P>


                      [/quote]</P>


                      While it is possible to load virtually all HW sample sets in 4G or less, many wet sets require substantially more if loaded fully at 24 bits, with all loops, variable attack/release segments, etc. For example the Zwolle sample set requires in excess of 16G if loaded fully without compression with all loops and with no compromise, Mutin-CC requires about 14G, etc. Long samples with multipleattack andrelease segments take a LOT of memory. The results are worth every GB.I run a Mac Pro with 16G, and plan to upgrade to 20-24G in the near future.</P>


                      Dry sample setstake considerably less space, of course, andsome users run HWin 2G with satisfactory results in some circumstances. HW contains many features to reduce memory requirements, with some acceptable compromise in results. But you can't beat running at 24 bits.</P>

                      Comment

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