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New Girl on The Midi Block

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  • New Girl on The Midi Block

    Hi, everyone!

    I'm way overwhelmed trying to figure out Midi.
    I'm expecting a Johannus Studio 370, which should be arriving in the next month or so.

    I have every intention of upgrading my computer, downloading Hauptwerk, etc.

    But, can someone help me out with how to download individual stops and what program might be needed and how to control the stops?
    I do enjoy the intrinsic sounds of the Studio 370, but it would be nice to have a 32', a stronger solo reed, and a Zimblestern/chimes.

    Thanks!
    -Lilibet

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum.

    I haven't gone the MIDI route yet myself, but was preparing to until recently. My intention was to use GrandOrgue (GO) because it is free, does not require a license key and/or connection to the Internet to run. Its major limitation is that there are fewer sample sets, but it sounds pretty good in the installations that I am aware of. Another benefit of GO is that it doesn't require a high spec computer.

    I'm not familiar with the Johannus but the usual situation is that there will be some sockets labelled MIDI IN and MIDI out to which you connect your computer via a special cable -- which needs to be a good spec one. I have the iConnectivity mio MIDI.

    Whichever Virtual Pipe Organ (VPO) application that you choose requires some initial setup to "teach" the application which physical control on the organ (manual, stop, pedal, etc) maps to which channel of the VPO app. In the case of Hauptwerk, there are detailed instructions here: https://www.hauptwerk.com/documentation/

    GO, being a public domain or 'open source' application, is less professionally documented, however there is plenty of help online, if not here on the forum.

    Here's a guy who uses what I believe is a 370 with Hauptwerk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sKGBREISW4





    -------

    Hammond M-102 #21000.
    Leslie 147 #F7453.
    Hammond S-6 #72421

    Comment


    • lilgrey5102
      lilgrey5102 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks so much for your input! I'll absolutely look into GO!

  • #3
    Grand Orgue has a lot of followers, and rightly so. It is a very well done program that sounds very good, and is absolutely free. Thanks to Piotr Grabowski and others, there are a lot of very high quality sample sets available for it. However, I tried Grand Orgue, and I found it too buggy for my tastes. For instance, I tried to load a sample set using the "Load Organ" command in the appropriate menu, and it didn't work. Maybe I didn't install the sample set correctly, but when I right clicked on the menu bar icon, and selected the organ I wanted, it worked. I also somehow mysteriously managed to load a sample set into RAM twice, something that has never happened with Hauptwerk. I only realized I had done this when loading a sample set caused the PC RAM to choke. Setting Grand Orgue up for Midi also feels pretty convoluted in my opinion compared to Hauptwerk. Still, you can't argue with free! If you decide to go the Hauptwerk route, it is recommended you try the free full version for 14 days. If you find you don't need to be able to voice pipes, use convolution reverb, or use multi channel audio, then you probably don't need the advanced version. It's tricky to install Hauptwerk because of the iLok part of it, but there's lots of help on the Hauptwerk forum.

    GTC is right that its a good idea to get a MIDI interface of some kind. What I use and is generally recommended is one that has both MIDI plus at least 2 channels of audio out. The reason is that these interfaces help to decrease latency compared to most built in audio cards. The one I use is the Steinberg UR22, but a similar one from Motu, Focusrite, etc. will also probably do the job quite well.

    The free Friesach, which is available for both Hauptwerk and Grand Orgue, has both a 32' pedal flue, and some strong reeds, such as the Englishorn. The also free Giubasco has a zimbelstern, which is quite nice. There is a free theatre organ, the Paramount 310, which has chimes which are quite nice, but they are quite dry. I'm not familiar with a free organ that has all 4 things you want, but there are surely some paid ones (which would only work with Hauptwerk). You would have to buy one of these sample sets and install them from within Hauptwerk once it is installed.

    We can help you with the process, there are also Hauptwerk consultants available such as here: "http://www.hauptwerkconsultant.com/"

    -Current Instruments: Allen Mos-2 225 RTC,1870's W. Bell Reed organ, 1890's Singer Chicago upright grand piano Former Instruments: Yamaha Electone E3R
    -Website: https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

    Comment


    • lilgrey5102
      lilgrey5102 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!
      With the MIDI interface, would you suggest one different than the one that comes standard on a Johannus? (A brand new Johannus, like, it hasn't even arrived yet)

  • #4
    Yes. The Johannus has sound generation, but you are limited to the sounds it comes with. If you use Hauptwerk or something similar to generate the sounds, then you will need a sound card of some kind to produce the sounds. Standard sound cards would work, but sometimes the latency (lag between pressing a key and hearing the sound) is fairly long. A dedicated interface helps to keep the lag as short as possible. Presumably you would still feed the sound back into the Johannus, and most modern organs have inputs to allow you to do this. You’ll probably just need two 1/4 inch audio patch cables. The Johannus is connected to the computer via a midi cable, which has a round connector with five pins one one side.

    -Current Instruments: Allen Mos-2 225 RTC,1870's W. Bell Reed organ, 1890's Singer Chicago upright grand piano Former Instruments: Yamaha Electone E3R
    -Website: https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

    Comment


    • #5
      Here's a short video showing how one guy uses GO on his organ. Being non-technical, he sometimes uses vague or incorrect terminology in his voice-over but the physical hookup is shown correctly in his diagram. The organ's own amplifier is used for the most part, but he adds a powered subwoofer for better bass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJEsKvuC4XE

      Here's a later video of him playing Vidor. In the intervening years it seems has has added external amplification. I believe he is using the Friesach organ sample set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcu0JhCMg-M
      -------

      Hammond M-102 #21000.
      Leslie 147 #F7453.
      Hammond S-6 #72421

      Comment


      • #6
        The Milan Digital Audio EM Skinner appears to have everything you need. However, it was sampled in the early days of Hauptwerk, and only has single release tails, so playing fast passages don’t sound right. For the stops you need, this may not matter though!

        -Current Instruments: Allen Mos-2 225 RTC,1870's W. Bell Reed organ, 1890's Singer Chicago upright grand piano Former Instruments: Yamaha Electone E3R
        -Website: https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by Larason2 View Post
          ...However, I tried Grand Orgue, and I found it too buggy for my tastes. For instance, I tried to load a sample set using the "Load Organ" command in the appropriate menu, and it didn't work. Maybe I didn't install the sample set correctly, but when I right clicked on the menu bar icon, and selected the organ I wanted, it worked.
          Larason2, you did not encounter a bug. There are two ways to open a sample set int GO. There is a .orgue format which is a compressed single file of all the elements required for the sample set. There are very few sample sets in this format. When you selected the organ you wanted, it opened the sample set using the .organ format, which requires samples and graphics in specified in the ODF.

          Originally posted by Larason2 View Post
          I also somehow mysteriously managed to load a sample set into RAM twice, something that has never happened with Hauptwerk. I only realized I had done this when loading a sample set caused the PC RAM to choke.
          How do you know it was loaded twice? Did you close the first sample set from the File menu? Did you have another instance of GO open?

          Originally posted by Larason2 View Post
          Setting Grand Orgue up for Midi also feels pretty convoluted in my opinion compared to Hauptwerk.
          I don't know how to set up MIDI in HW, but I don't think it is convoluted in GO. You simply right click on the object you want to set up, listen for event, press a key stop tab, or whetever, and that object is now listening on that MIDI channel for that event. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

          Granted GO it is not as comprehensive and polished as HW, but calling it buggy is disingenuous.

          .
          Last edited by tbeck; 09-12-2021, 01:55 PM.

          Comment


          • Larason2
            Larason2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Well Tbeck, with all due respect, I disagree with your assessment of my comment. According to Wikipedia, here is the definition of a computer bug:

            “A software bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways”

            I consider selecting the “load” command, and having it fail for a sample set that was correctly installed to be an incorrect or unexpected result. Similarly, I inadvertently loaded two instances of the program, one which had an organ loaded, and when I tried to load it again without knowing the first instance of the program had an organ loaded already, the software crashed when trying to load the organ with memory already full. For me, this was an unintended result of the program, and one that could easily be remedied by better programming, so I would consider it to be a bug. Similarly, attempting to configure a midi device multiple times and having it fail, then when you use a particular but not very intuitive (in my opinion) way of configuring a midi device it works, I consider this to be an un unexpected and unintended result, therefore also a bug.

            Now, the oxford dictionary online defines disingenuous as
            “not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does”

            Now, I don’t think it is fair to say I wasn’t sincere, as I honestly relayed experiences that I truly had with the software in question. I also think I did it quite candidly. It wouldn’t be fair to say that I know more about the software than I was letting on, because I honestly don’t know that much about it, as you proved by telling us that there are two organ formats that the software should be able to install, but because of a programming omission it can’t unless you use a convoluted way.

            Now, you may have a different definitions of what a computer bug is, and if so, on that matter we can agree to disagree. I think my definition and interpretation of the events described is reasonable, though I understand why you may not agree. Hopefully you also have a different definition of disingenuous, because if your definition matches the one above, I am somewhat offended that you think I’m being insincere.

          • tbeck
            tbeck commented
            Editing a comment
            Larason2, I apologize for the use of the disingenuous.

            As to bugs, I am a retired software developer, so I know a bit about them. I've created a few.

            I'm still trying to understand your problem with memory. If you load more than one instance of GO and load a sample set in each one, what do you think will happen with your memory? How is that a programming problem and not a user problem?

            You say that a bug is an incorrect or unexpected result. It depends. No complex software is 100% intuitive. Some software requires a fairly steep learning curve to use properly. If you attempt to use software without knowing how it functions you are going to get incorrect or unexpected results. That is not a bug, that is a user error. Is HW fully intuitive? Does anyone ever have any problems learning or using the software?

            The open vs. load File menu options are documented in the help file. If you had read that first, or even after encountering the problem, then you would have know what you did wrong. That is not a software bug. If you try to open a spreadsheet in photoshop you will get an unexpected result. Is that an error?

            I don't know why you had problems configuring MIDI devices, but it has never been a problem for me.

          • Larason2
            Larason2 commented
            Editing a comment
            I accept your apology Tbeck, thanks for it. I see your point. I guess I was just frustrated at the software not appearing to work very smoothly, and encountering difficulties where I didn't think there should be any, especially having spent years working with Hauptwerk. I think I'll leave it at that.

        • #8
          Originally posted by Larason2 View Post
          (It) was sampled in the early days of Hauptwerk, and only has single release tails, so playing fast passages don’t sound right.
          Do you mean that if it had multiple release tails, then playing fast passages would now sound right? Why would that be?
          I would like to understand what your problem is with how fast playing passages sound, as there are many sample sets with single release tails only, and fast passages would be played a lot.

          Comment


          • Larason2
            Larason2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Most modern sample sets have multiple release tails, usually after holding the key for a full second, after 500 ms, and after 200 ms, or thereabouts. On most organs, if you hold down a key for only 200 ms, the amount of vibrations in the pipe aren’t allowed to fully develop, and the release tail is significantly shortened and sounds different. In a sample set where only one release tail is recorded, if you hold the key down for 200ms, it still plays the full release tail, as if you had held down the key for a full second. Some people are bothered by the result, and consider the organ unplayable for fast pieces. I don’t actually own any sample sets like this, so I can’t comment personally.
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