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  • Software-driven organs

    I’ve seen Wersi (and Bohm?) described as software-driven organs. So what does that make Yamaha, Technics, Roland, Orla and the rest and what is the difference? Just to satisfy my curiosity.
    Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
    Current: Yamaha AR-100

  • #2
    All modern organs use software, however each manufacture has its own bespoke system and unless the manufacture provides updates you are stuck with it forever. (It is known as a closed system)
    Bohm is the same, however it has been designed in such a way that the hardware can be upgraded, and they also provide regular updates for the software, thus you do not have to buy a new organ to get new features and sounds etc. (The latest models can also have a PC inbuilt to allow the use of VSTs) and is thus is a semi open system.
    Wersi OAX is a software program that runs on a standard PC built in to the instrument with separate bespoke boards that connect all the keyboards, pedals etc. together, it also gets regular updates for features and sounds etc. and as it is a standard PC the hardware can also easily be upgraded if required, it also has a VST Host built in which means it can run studio quality software (VSTs) to expand even further. (This is an open system (Or at least as open as it can be) so like the Bohm it does not easily become obsolete, and because it is open updates are either free or of low cost)
    Bemore also appears to be a semi open system.

    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Bill. I’m not sure I really understand. If software upgrades are straightforward, why do I recall a YouTube video of a Wersi upgrade taking the form of a virtual rebuild which could only be undertaken in Germany? Or is my memory failing me?

      What’s a VST?
      Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
      Current: Yamaha AR-100

      Comment


      • #4
        Here you go, Roger.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology
        -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic -- 1899 Kimball, Rodgers W5000C, Conn 643, Hammond M3, L-102 - "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." (Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest​ -) ​Paracelsus

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Roger

          The back to Germany upgrade occurs if you want to upgrade the old OAS organs (Which were discontinued in around 2015/6 and are no longer receiving upgrades as they have been replaced with the OAX organ range) to the latest OAX organs. (Think of it as a Roland AT90 that goes away to the factory and comes back with all the hardware and software of the AT900 (The AT90 becomes a AT900) and cost considerably cheaper than trading in an AT90 for a AT900)
          Since the launch of the OAX organ range there have been many updates released adding new features, sounds etc. (Details here https://app.box.com/s/35ezpouicwyobncr2wfkqehafx05owpj including release dates) and they could be downloaded from the main Wersi website and copied to a USB stick, the USB stick would then be inserted into the OAX instrument and the update button pressed in the settings page to update the instrument. See video below: (NOTE: the time it takes to install the update will vary depending on its size, but is not normally more than 10 mins tops)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpeDLVneJJY

          NOTE: A new update is coming in July 2018

          Below are some links to various VST instruments that can be loaded into OAX.

          Entry level Orchestra and Jazz/Big Band
          https://www.garritan.com/products/personal-orchestra-5/
          https://www.garritan.com/products/jazz-big-band-3/

          Classic/Theatre Organ
          https://www.hauptwerk.com/learn-more/overview/

          General Purpose
          https://www.native-instruments.com/e...ers/kontakt-5/

          There are also may combined packages available as well as dedicated instruments such as:
          https://www.musiclab.com/products/realguitar/info.html

          Enjoy

          Bill

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, guys. All very impressive and I now have a better understanding of what it’s all about. It looks too complicated for my aged brain. I enjoy listening to the likes of Jelle van Marrum on Wersi (YouTube) (know him?) and DirkJan Ranzijn on Bohm but I’ll stick with my Yamaha. Do you have anything on YouTube or elsewhere, Bill? I don’t know your background but you are plainly a Wersi guru.

            Roger
            Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
            Current: Yamaha AR-100

            Comment


            • #7
              So taking this a stage further, what’s the difference, with examples, between an analogue organ and a digital organ?
              Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
              Current: Yamaha AR-100

              Comment


              • #8
                We'll see if I understand this as well as I think I do. The main difference is that analog instruments produce a continuously varying electrical signal directly and digital instruments produce and use numerical data to represent the sound that has to be converted to an electrical signal.

                Analog instruments use electro-mechanical (Hammond tone wheel generators) or electrical (vacuum tube or transistor oscillators with filters) devices or components to produce the varying voltages to drive amplifiers and speakers.
                A digital instrument keeps the relevant audio information (pitch, timbre, attack, decay, sustain, etc.) stored as numerical data which the instrument's computer can quickly access, combine, and send to a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) which converts the numerical data into the varying voltages that the amp and speakers can use.
                Last edited by samibe; 07-03-2018, 03:43 PM.
                Sam
                Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
                Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for that. Would I be right in assuming that analogue instruments are no longer made?
                  Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
                  Current: Yamaha AR-100

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Roger,

                    Over the years I have had both Yamaha organs (B75N and FE70) and Wersi (Beta, Verona and now Sonic 800). At the time each was great sounding by comparison to what else was around, but as time and technology has progressed, the sound quality has also. My experience with the early Yamaha’s (which I am assuming were analogue) were that as you add more stops you just made a bigger, fuller sound, but very hard to work out what stops you and actually used. The Beta was called “Digital”, and had lots of IC’s inside, with sounds loaded in off of cassette tape into memory, which was persistent, and you could load 4 or 5 different tapes at the same time to have lots of different sounds. It was a big step up from the Yamaha, but looking back nowhere near as flexible as todays technology. I had the Beta for over 20 years, and then replaced with a Verona, which was my first experience of a software organ, and when you selected multiple sounds, you could actually hear individual sounds, rather than a mixed mash. Sounds were of a much higher quality, so they actually sound like the instrument you expect, and with the latest Sonic, even more flexibility and even greater sound quality. I am enjoying the Sonic more than any other organ I have owned or played.

                    A good analogy of the two is back to TV’s, old analogue sets were just a TV with the old bit of ghosting and interference, Digital TV gave much improved quality, and EPG etc, whereas the latest software driven TV’s have all this + iPlayer and alike, various apps installed by default, get software updates over the air and have a variety of apps being written for them.

                    hope that helps
                    Thanks
                    Mark.
                    Current Organ: Wersi Sonic OAX800
                    Previous Organs: Wersi Verona, Wersi Beta DX401, Yamaha FE-70, Yamaha B-75N
                    Previous Other: Wersi MAX-1, Wersi OX7, Korg N5, Yamaha DX27

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you, Mark. That has helped to put it all in perspective. So I am right, am I, in believing analogue organs are old hat, even if loved by many, and no longer in production?

                      It had never occurred to me that my TV was software-driven. Live and learn.
                      Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
                      Current: Yamaha AR-100

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Analog organs probably aren't made any more because digital can do an amazing job of duplicating the sound for a fraction of the cost and weight (Hammond clonewheel for example). However, electric string instruments (guitars, violins, etc.) will likely always be analog because the circuitry is so simple.

                        Analog is nice because it is often simple and straight forward to work on and is fairly clean sound. The downside is that in many cases a tone generator or oscillator is required for every note of each rank and all of those components can make an organ very heavy and expensive.
                        Digital is nice because it can be implemented with tiny inexpensive chips and microprocessors. It can reproduce anything it needs to exactly because it does all of the computing and combining numerically before the final conversion to analog at the DAC. The difficult part with digital is that the sample rate needs to be high enough that digital defects (aliasing) aren't added to the audio signals but if the processor gets stretched too thin latency can become an issue.
                        Sam
                        Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
                        Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RogerM View Post
                          Thank you, Mark. That has helped to put it all in perspective. So I am right, am I, in believing analogue organs are old hat, even if loved by many, and no longer in production?

                          It had never occurred to me that my TV was software-driven. Live and learn.
                          Hi Roger, old yes, but old hat - very subjective. It all depends what sort of sounds you want to play with. If you want a Hammond drawbar sound, then there is no substitute for a Hammond analogue drawbar organ with Leslie. Software organs attempt this with emulation software, and in my own experience, I cannot ever get a totally satisfactory Hammond sound from the emulation software as I remember hearing as a kid at concerts in the 70’s and 80’s. However, the Wersi organ sound on the Sonic is pretty good as you would expect, and in my view the orchestral sounds are just great. My favourite sounds are Wersi drawbar, oboe, flute, guitar and strings, so for me the advent of software organs and the samples that can be played on them is just wonderful.

                          I don’t recall seeing a new analogue organ, as Sam has said, it would be cost prohibitive and the demand is just not there.

                          Thanks
                          Mark.
                          Current Organ: Wersi Sonic OAX800
                          Previous Organs: Wersi Verona, Wersi Beta DX401, Yamaha FE-70, Yamaha B-75N
                          Previous Other: Wersi MAX-1, Wersi OX7, Korg N5, Yamaha DX27

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Sam & Mark,

                            Thank you for your interesting explanations. I now have an understanding which should allow me to appreciate what everyone is talking about when these terms crop up.

                            Roger
                            Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
                            Current: Yamaha AR-100

                            Comment

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