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  • Cost effective midi hardware.



    I'm just beginning my research. I intend to builda midi set up ascost effectivelyas possible. I'm starting with the computer hardware. I was wondering if the frequency response of a sound card for midi organ has requirementsthat gobeyond that of a mid priced sound card. Do you have to use multiples of a high end cardto getclean undistorted sound? </P>


    I currently usea Turtle Bay Santa Cruz card that has impressive clean sound even at high volume when I pipe it through my Class A amps. Butwill such a card handle the polyphonic voices of Hauptwork or the like?Using only 2 channels the Miditzer sounds terriffic with this card. I'm wondering if I can get away with using this sound card in multiples.</P>


    I would be interested in your thoughts. </P>


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

  • #2
    Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



    My approach to Hauptwerk has been to go for two channels with the kind of speakers which can pour out loads of clean sound. If you don't have latency or drop out issues with your current sound card then why not keep it until it fails to perform? You may find you need ASIO drivers? But again, what you have may work fine. Try playing the sample audio from the Hauptwerk web site. I think you'll find that a great sound there will translate to the same when you run HW on your setup. Did you see the FREE Hauptwerk version? Great place to start and do some evaluation. What's tempting me at the moment is convolution reverb. Or, if I wait a bit the rumor is that it will show up on HW. Good luck!</P>
    http://www.kinkennon.com

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    • #3
      Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



      Thanks John,</P>


      I'm actually surprised to hear that 2 channels can be sufficient. That's good news. My card is 5 channel capable although I'm using 2.The card that I am thinking of getting is the next generation of my present card capable of up to 8 channels. </P>


      I did download the free Hauptwork trial about a month ago.It sounded quite clean with the present sound card. I don't believe there were dropout or latency issues but I didn't give the program a full workout. I did couple the pedals to the keyboardswhen I playedso that should have exposed any problems with the card and didn't. I didn't delve into Hauptwork enough to find out what their recommendation for channel separation is. But this is a start and thanks for the info. </P>


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

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      • #4
        Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



        Well, I'm looking forward to trying multiple channels, but that's not available with the Hauptwerk basic edition, and I'm on a budget. I have used surround sound with a reverb generated by my audio receiver feeding the rear channels. That worked OK.I will eventually run enough channels to but a stereo image of a pipe chamber on each side. I've heard people say things like "some pipe ranks don't mix well electronically" as a justification for lots and lots of channels. Maybe... I'm just not yet convinced, but I'm open to hearing a setup like this when I get the chance. I'm fortunate to have some WharfedalePA speakerswhich go down to 30 hz so at this point even the big sub is sitting idle as I need a graphic equalizer if I'm going to add it without exciting WAY too many room resonances. We have 8' ceilings which of course just beg to resonate on a low C.</P>


        Anyway, I'm going on and on. My point is that you will amaze yourselfwithout spending a fortune. My three keyboard Rodgers console including conversion to MIDI ran less than $1000. I added an EMU 1212m sound card to an existing computer and used existing speakers. So figure in the costs of Hauptwerk (starting at $0) and organ samples (starting at $0). Quite a bargain and second only to hauling home some real pipes!</P>
        http://www.kinkennon.com

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        • #5
          Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



          The problem with mixing too many channels digitally is numerical overflow... kind of like when your math digit string runs off the edge of the paper.</P>


          The technical problem is to keep everything added together at the maximum wave point to not exceed the numerical width of the conversion hardware. If you add too many random phased signals together, sooner or later ALL the peak values line up and add to too big a number. We call this "overflow" in the digital world.</P>


          Coupled with handling the worst case summation is trying to handle the tiniest levels correctely so they sound OK. Various methods are used, but there are limitations</P>


          The same thing in the digital world can happen in the analog worldif we try to mix/add too many signals and exceed the max voltage at any point... the rock and rollers like this "overdrive" as it makes square waves out of pretty guitar sine waves and the square waves sound... well you know...</P>

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          • #6
            Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



            John,</P>


            Just wondering about latency and what kind of computer you are using. It's been a few years since I toyed with an organ emulator. But I was annoyed by the noticeable delay between playing the key and hearing the sound. Has that problem been overcome or greatly decreased by modern hardware?</P>


            John</P>
            John
            ----------
            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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            • #7
              Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



              John,</p>

              Processor speed has increased a bit over the last few years, and also memory is now abundant and cheap. But what has improved things, at least with Hauptwerk is multi-core computers and also the latest releases of Hauptwerk. The software of Hauptwerk 3 is very much optimized compared to early versions. Latency and freeze ups are not major issues at this point. I think the program works best on an Apple Mac. </p>

              If you haven't tried Hauptwerk in the last 2 or 3 years, you will be in for a surprise. It is really good now. I don't think many manufacturers of digital organs would want to do side by side comparisons with their stuff and Hauptwerk. Hauptwerk is that good.</p>

              And to try it out, you can get a free version, along with free sample sets. Amazing how cheap that is! I don't know how one is supposed to make money doing this, but it is a great time if you are an enthusiast of organs and can't afford anything that is ready made.</p>

              AV
              </p>

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              • #8
                Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



                Arie,</P>


                What's the deal about the "free" version? Is this actually the latest version, and does it work just like the one you pay for? Is it a download from their website? (I know I could just go and look, but I'll ask you anyway!)</P>


                I have a copy of version 2 along with the required dongle that I bought from a guy who needed some cash. But I haven't even tried it out, haven't had the time. And my computers around here are all getting long in the tooth. Would it be any fun at all, or just disappointing?</P>


                What would be considered an "ideal" computer system for running HW?</P>


                John</P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                John
                ----------
                *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



                  Hi Arie and John and everyone,</P>


                  The free Hauptwerk version is 3.23 and is the current release with a restriction on the polyphony. The bottom line is that the user is limited to the smaller-scale organs (or smaller registrations on larger instruments). Thereare additional restrictions -- check out www.hauptwerk.comfor the latest info.</P>


                  As mentioned above, latency is not an issue if one sticks to recommended hardware and drivers. I run a dual-core Intel/Vista computer because that's what I already own.It's older (32 bits) so can only handle 3G of RAM which is fine forall but the largest instruments with wet (reverb)or surround samples. Forconfigurations needing 8-16G RAM folks are going with the Macs, but that's a choice rather than a requirement. "Ideal" at this point probably looks like an Apple product with 16G of RAM, a pro audio quality sound card supporting perhaps 12 audio channels to cover the surround sound option plus a little room to experiment.</P>


                  The point I was hoping to make much earlier in this thread was that one could get discouraged about trying HW if they only listened to the users who are running 24 channels of audio, custom consoles, and azillion sets of sampled instruments. Fantastic results are available on a budget. Not to mention thefun of swapping outyour favoritegenre of classicalorgan for a Wurlitzer (yikes!) with a click of the mouse.</P>


                  How does it sound? Take a listen at www.contrebombarde.com</P>


                  Really, the only downside is that you can't buy a ready-made HW package off the shelf. So far it's DIY.</P>


                  John</P>
                  http://www.kinkennon.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cost effective midi hardware.

                    I would tend to agree that it's entirely possible to get a good sound from a good stereo setup. I would definitely recommend a subwoofer (so I guess that would make it a 2.1 setup) A high quality stereo setup would be preferable to a standard 5.1 home entertainment setup. As for sound cards, if you've already got a sound card that you're pleased with, I'd say give it a try before you go out and buy anything new. A good ASIO sound card will go a long way to getting the most mileage out of the computer's resources though, and that is why the creators of Hauptwerk recommend that the audio interface be the last place users try to economize.

                    Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cost effective midi hardware.

                      Thanks for jumping in on this thread! I agree about needing the sub. My 15" Mirage sub rolls off around 30 Hz just like the 15" woofers in the similar size Wharfedale enclosures so it's redundant in my particular situation.The Mirage is rated to go down to 18 Hz(-3db), but my ears and my spectrum analyzer say it ain't so. Guess I need a 32' stop with a little more color so the overtones will make me believe I'm hearing something that's not really there. I do remember sitting in the balconey back in college as it shook along with the organ pedal stops.That effect has proven ellusive so far! I'll need to move a little more air, huh? Any sub suggestions that won't break the bank?
                      http://www.kinkennon.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cost effective midi hardware.

                        Hi John, if I recall correctly, 15" is pretty much bleeding edge in terms of size when it comes to subwoofers (or is it 18")? I had a Klipsch KSW10 which I got for $150 from Costco. I was pleased with it, but it was hardly up to audiophile standards. I'm using the Klipsch + a Definitive Technology SuperCube III. The SuperCube has a smaller driver, but is much higher quality. That one runs $699. Like I said, I was happy with the sound of the KSW10, and I'd have no reservations against recommending it to someone. It's funny though, when it comes to reproducing organ sound, everyone has a different opinion, and everyone has a different criteria for judging various speaker configurations. You can spend a lot of money in a possibly futile pursuit of audio system perfection, and there's a lot to be said for knowing when to stop short of perfection and be satisfied with it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cost effective midi hardware.



                          [quote user="Stefanussen"]Hi John, if I recall correctly, 15" is pretty much bleeding edge in terms of size when it comes to subwoofers (or is it 18")? I had a Klipsch KSW10 which I got for $150 from Costco. I was pleased with it, but it was hardly up to audiophile standards. I'm using the Klipsch + a Definitive Technology SuperCube III. The SuperCube has a smaller driver, but is much higher quality. That one runs $699. Like I said, I was happy with the sound of the KSW10, and I'd have no reservations against recommending it to someone. It's funny though, when it comes to reproducing organ sound, everyone has a different opinion, and everyone has a different criteria for judging various speaker configurations. You can spend a lot of money in a possibly futile pursuit of audio system perfection, and there's a lot to be said for knowing when to stop short of perfection and be satisfied with it.[/quote]

                          </p>

                          18" is common for pro sound drivers, but not so much for home use. They typically require large enclosures as most designs are for folded horns, and they will want a generous amount of power to drive them.</p>

                          Fostex made a 36" woofer for audiophile use, not sure if they still do and I've never seen it as it was something like $2K!
                          </p>

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