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Optimal VPO SW/sound option for my next step

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    Optimal VPO SW/sound option for my next step

    Hi, all!
    I am happily progressing with my homemade VPO, and while I can already practice on my basic machine (call it "Phase One": pedal and the Great wired, Swell supplied by an old pro MIDI keyboard, 41 physical tabs, all funneled to HW's St.Anne running on the free version), my third manual (will be positioned as the second) is almost ready, as well. I perused the Hauptwerk's (and related companies') choices for the next, three-manual organ, and since they are not cheap, I would like some advice on the (near)optimal upgrade combo (HW level and sound). In my youth, I was mainly into the baroque and French romantic music, so I will need both types of sound disposition, albeit not overly rich. Any ideas for this next step?
    Thanks much, Zdenek.

    #2
    This is an interesting year for virtual organ development. Hauptwerk doesn't leak information about upgrades, but I expect to see HW v5 before the end of the year. Meanwhile, Modartt is promising their first version of Organteq, a physically modelled virtual pipe organ. Pricing is likely to be extremely competitive based on their Pianoteq product. So while I would ordinarily suggest going straight to Hauptwerk's advanced version, this might be a time to hold off a few months. I plan to run both sampled and physically modelled sound as they will be equally compatible with any MIDI console I build.

    I am wondering if the new Casavant sample set from Sonus Paradisi might interest you. I don't have it so I can only judge by the response of other users on the Hauptwerk forum and by the reputation of Sonus Paradisi for producing incredible sound. Their six channel sample sets allow producing anything from semi-dry audio to surround sound that is as wet (reverb) as you like.
    http://www.kinkennon.com

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by John Kinkennon View Post
      I am wondering if the new Casavant sample set from Sonus Paradisi might interest you. I don't have it so I can only judge by the response of other users on the Hauptwerk forum and by the reputation of Sonus Paradisi for producing incredible sound. Their six channel sample sets allow producing anything from semi-dry audio to surround sound that is as wet (reverb) as you like.
      John, your post intrigues me. You mention a six channel sample set. Do all virtual organs support a designated number of channels? Is there any flexibility that the user can specify? For example, if someone wanted to use 12 channels instead of 6, is that an option? I have heard some great sounding recordings of virtual organs, however, if there are not many channels, it might be like listening to an organ performance on the radio.
      Bill

      My home organ: Content M5800

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by voet View Post
        John, your post intrigues me. You mention a six channel sample set. Do all virtual organs support a designated number of channels? Is there any flexibility that the user can specify? For example, if someone wanted to use 12 channels instead of 6, is that an option? I have heard some great sounding recordings of virtual organs, however, if there are not many channels, it might be like listening to an organ performance on the radio.
        Don't confuse recording channels with reproducing channels. In a mono sample set, each sample is a mono recording. In a stereo sample set, each sample is a stereo recording and so forth. With a stereo sample set, Hauptwerk can route these recordings to multiple stereo pairs on a stop-by-stop basis. For example, I have a six channel setup with stops being distributed between three stereo pairs. (I'm simplifying things when I say the stops are distributed amongst the pairs. How Hauptwerk distributes the samples is actually more granular and complex.)


        Six channel sample sets are recorded with front mics in close to organ and another pair in the reverberant field. The remaining pair are the surround mics. In Hauptwerk, the organist can mix the wet and dry front channels to obtain the desired amount of reverberation. As in the stereo example, the resulting mix can be distributed to any number of stereo channels.
        -Admin

        Allen 965
        Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
        Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
        Hauptwerk 4.2

        Comment


          #5
          The newer six channel sample sets provide a front (direct) pair which is the relatively dry close-up sound. The second pair is front (diffuse) which is a more distant reverberant sound. The third pair is the surround sound which is almost entirely reverberation. These channels can feed any number of speakers in a multichannel setup. I run both the direct and diffuse front channels to a set of six front speakers and run the surround pair to rear speakers. At a nearby church we run twelve speakers. Rear speakers aren't always necessary as it seems to help in some rooms but not in others -- experiment!

          There are a variety of approaches to multichannel, but I always run stereo pairs and I avoid separating the audio based on divisions as that leaves speakers unused when one is playing on a single manual. It's my opinion that multichannel using monophonic channels often sounds more sterile that running just a single stereo pair. So I favor multichannel without giving up the open sound that the stereo pipe samples provide.

          While direct and diffuse sound usually goes to the same group of front speakers, a particular pipe sample and its diffuse sample will get routed to different speakers. It would also be possible to route the diffuse sound to a separate group of speakers if cost is no object.

          EDIT: Two similar responses I see but it seems we are saying the same thing.
          http://www.kinkennon.com

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks, John, for your response, but if I do decide to go with Hauptwerk and one of the 3rd party suppliers, is there an optimal organ right now that I can try, in terms of the price/benefit ratio? And while we are on the subject of channels, to get more than one stereo channel (a basic PC computer), what would I need to get with the HW Advanced level SW to get 2 or more stereo channels? Any recommendations for an entry-level secondary sound board?
            Zdenek

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              #7
              For an audio interface I like the Focusrite Scarlett models. The 18i20 that I use has 10 readily usable audio outputs. Presonus makes a similar range of interfaces. Look at back panel views online to see how many actual physical outputs a model has as the model numbers, like my 18in20out (18i20), include outputs that require expander devices. People report mixed results using the Behringer interfaces. They are a little less expensive and can be a bargain if they hold up.

              I'm the wrong person to ask about virtual organ sample sets. I have a handful that I really like but I'm more into the technical and audio end of things but am just an intermediate level organist. I have the huge Goerlitz sample set (pricey) and a Savaria set that I really enjoy. For your purposes hopefully someone will chime in with a suggestion.
              http://www.kinkennon.com

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ziggi55 View Post
                Thanks, John, for your response, but if I do decide to go with Hauptwerk and one of the 3rd party suppliers, is there an optimal organ right now that I can try, in terms of the price/benefit ratio?
                What kind of music do you want to play? There are numerous free sample sets out there to get you started. The Paramount 310 is a free theatre organ sample set, which if you like, can be upgraded to the 20 rank Paramount 320 for under $100. For classical repertoire, I'm fond of the free Pitea School Extended set, which despite owning more expensive sample sets, is still my primary choice for practicing.
                -Admin

                Allen 965
                Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                Hauptwerk 4.2

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Admin View Post
                  There are numerous free sample sets out there to get you started.
                  https://www.piotrgrabowski.pl/instruments.htmlhttps://youtu.be/XE029vW_Sd0
                  Viscount C400 3-manual
                  8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                  Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you for all your responses. I will check out the links that you quoted. To answer the Admin: I am slowly dusting off the repertoire I played in my 20s, Some Bach's preludiums, fantasies, toccatas and fugues, Franck's chorales, and some simpler stuff (e.g. Purcell). I never played any music suitable for theatre organ. If I have more time, I'd like to also start practicing baroque-style improvisation, but don't really have any good source of guidance. Suggestions?
                    Always good to come here to hear from fellow organ enthusiasts!
                    Z

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
                      I second this. There are some very high quality free sample sets (that work with the free GrandOrgue as well).

                      They are high quality although too much room/reverb for my own personal taste. Among those is this one which I think is the prettiest sample set I’ve heard:
                      You should try the Giubiasco organ from Piotr Grabowski if you don't like the reverb of the Dluga sample set. There is still some reverb, though not as much as the Dluga, but the sound is very present and the polyphony is very clear and unmuddied. It isn't a large organ, 22 2/P, but it is very beautiful and the sample set is very well done. It includes tremmed samples. It has become one of my favorite sample sets. I believe it rivals many of the commercial sample sets in quality.

                      You should also listen to the Raszczyce sample set. It is even drier. It is also a nice instrument. For me, it is a tad bright. It was built in 1969 and is very much a product of the orgelbewegung. There is also a smaller baroque organ, the Strasburg, built by Cyriach Werner in 1743, which I'm looking forward to trying.

                      There is a smaller instrument, 11 2/P, from the same builder as the Giubiasco (Mascioni) which is very pretty.

                      I use GrandOrgue for these sample sets and it works very well.

                      Here's the website: https://www.piotrgrabowski.pl/instruments.html

                      Comment


                        #12
                        As a quick update and an additional question: I finished the third manual and moved onto finding new samples for this configuration. First, I downloaded Mr. Grabowski's Friesach organ for HW. I managed to trim it, so it fit into the HW Free edition. As expected, the sound was less then acceptable, what with 14bit resolution in MONO, but it served well to test my MIDI configuration. After that, I decided to try Grandorgue. Going thru the first sample set I could find, I decided on the Pitea School organ, which plays well and it is not too wet. However, after some playing, I realized there was a noise/artefact that sounds like a loose audio jack. First I suspected it's my headphones going on the fritz, but soon I discovered that the noise is there ONLY as the background of the organ sound. IOW, when I stop playing, the noise almost immediately goes away. Anybody else has a similar experience with GO or Pitea?
                        Thanks, Zdenek.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As I said in a previous post, I've used the Pitea extended sample set on a regular basis for a number of years. I've not heard anything like you're describing, although, I'm not really sure what a loose audio jack sounds like. Perhaps you could post a recording?

                          I'm using the Advanced Version of Hauptwerk configured for six channel playback (3 stereo pairs). I suppose it's possible that different samples were used for the Pitea GO version, but I doubt it. I would attempt to confirm whether the noise is on every note of every stop, or whether the problem is limited to certain stops, notes or combinations.

                          The only other thing I can add at this time is that I had a friend who was unable to use Pitea because his audio system wasn't up to the challenge causing the sound to break up.
                          -Admin

                          Allen 965
                          Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                          Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                          Hauptwerk 4.2

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I haven't used the Pitea sample set for some time, but I didn't have any audio problems with it. You could post the issue directly on the GO forum: https://sourceforge.net/p/ourorgan/discussion/962124/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I used the Pitea on GrandOrgue (macOS) and had no unusual audio issues.
                              Viscount C400 3-manual
                              8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                              Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                              Comment

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