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Why I'm Fence Sitting the Hauptwerk 5 Upgrade

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  • #31
    I have the free Nancy demo download and it sounds horrible. It's all reverb an lack of clarity with no ability to adjust anything (wind noise, stop and key action, detune reeds, etc) I can do that myself with the Caen. In fact the Youtube video's sound way different. It makes me wonder why the demo was released in this way if it can actually sound good. What the heck. Anyway, there is NO way I am going to risk over $800 on the hope it can be made to sound better with no option to get a refund. Most people don't buy big ticket items without trying them first. I'm not trying to badmouth Grabowski's samples but he has to know his demo sounds bad.

    Comment


    • Larason2
      Larason2 commented
      Editing a comment
      That has been the opinion of many other people, but it appears this is because the perspectives have to be adjusted to achieve the best balance between clarity and reverberation. Try the Front at 100% and the other perspectives at 25%

  • #32
    To Larason2:
    I thought I had mentioned previously (or maybe it was on the Hauptwerk Organ Forum) that Grabowski's Free Nancy Demo was not adjustable in any way.(i.e. the perspectives have to be adjusted to achieve the best balance between clarity and reverberation. Try the Front at 100% and the other perspectives at 25%) I was unable to adjust anything. I just had loud wind noise, tracker action and stop action. I noticed that the Nancy is available for Version IV but at $800 or so, it's hardly worth the risk of being dissapointed in a sample set that is dominated by too much reverberation and adjustments that may or may not suit my preferances.
    I almost think that this Version V and now VI is one-step beyond. It makes me very nervous. After a dozen or so back and forth questions to Martin Dyde and other helpful Hauptwerk enthusiasts, my situation just got out of hand with considering upgrading to Version V or VI. No-one was actually sure about much of anything, or if my "vinatge" 2011 Macpro 12 core (each core a t 3.33GHz) with 96 GM RAM would work. Everytime I thought that I understood what to do, someone else would chime in and remind me not to forget to do this or that. It was only during these exchanges that I learned it was a one way, no way to go back, switch, plus the ILock debacle, plus the "migrating fee" plus the all new Version V sample sets required fro the producers.

    I did try to figure out a way of retaining my Version 4.2.2 on my backup computer, just in case my 12-core dies sooner than expected, but that damn dongle issue being rendered useless in the switch really bothered me. Six years ago I experience a simple fix issue ( a bad RAM Module) that my nice Apple store geniuses refused to look at due to the age of my 2008 MacPro dual quad-core that made me re-evaluate my entire Hauptwerk vulnerability issue. No-one cared, I couldn't find anyone willing to diagnose a Mac and Mac experts are like hen's teeth, I was on my own. My solution was to buy another back-up MacPro eight core computer from IBuildMacs in California. It was cheap at less than $800, cheaper than parts like motherboards and power-supply parts that commonly fail. Apple said these parts are not available any more ( they lied). A very helpful sales person at OWC (Other World Computing) who had integrity told me over the phone what to do to dignose my computer problem. After a three month downtime with my Hauptwerk and zero help from Mac, I was up and running in less than an hour. If my present computer eventually dies, or one of the four hard drives that are backed up with Hauptwerk sample sets and operating systems dies, I can switch over to one of the other hard drives or even switch out computers in a few hours. With this Version V update this is not possible. Too, too risky.


    The only thing my local Mac expert was willing to do was to upgrade my Apple OS software to Version 10.13 (for $98) but was unwilling to tackle a Hauptwerk upgrade to Version VI plus ILock change. He said it was too involved. That's not reassuring for computer unsavy people like myself. Add to that fact that "once you go forward you can't go back", I could, based on other peoples lack of assurance about my ability to switch over, lose everything and end up with nothing. And I'm certainly not going to fork out $thousands of dollars for another computer.
    I'm glad that the administrator of this site had the intestinal fortitude to outline the plusses and minuses of the latest Hauptwerk version vs the previous Version 4.2.2. A subtle difference in audio quality doesn't justify the risk of possibly losing everything.
    Antoni

    Comment


    • gtc
      gtc commented
      Editing a comment
      Hauptwerk versions aside, your post above reminds me why I have never ventured into "The Valley of the iSatan" -- as one of my bosses termed Apple -- and why I never will.

  • #33
    Has anyone personally compared the "improved" audio claimed by Hauptwerk Version V or VI compared to Version 4.2 ? I have been considering the Nancy Cavaille-Coll based on two Youtube recordings ( Fraser Gartshore playing the Franck Piece Heroique and McVeigh playing Guilmant). I'm assuming both have the Version V or VI. I have also heard two other performances submitted by other Youtubers that did not impress me ( the audio, not the performance). One of the forum members on this site stated that the improved audio was marginal and required critical listening to hear any differences. Any help or oppinions would be appreciated. It would be productive if someone submitted the same piece played using Version IV followed by Version V or VI.
    This, sort of, reminds me of the megapixel war camera producers engaged in to outdo their competition. As the megapixels increased, uninformed consumers automatically assumed that more was better ( i.e a better picture) but professional photographers know that this is not always the case. The true test to the consumer was to compare two images side by side. In most cases they would be shocked.

    Comment


    • jbird604
      jbird604 commented
      Editing a comment
      I can't say from personal experience, but it's hard to believe that there is a meaningful difference that most of us could hear. The quality of a digital audio signal is dependent purely upon certain set parameters, such as bit depth, sample rate, etc. Those parameters have been far above CD quality, far better than almost any digital sound that any of us ever hear anywhere, since the early days of Hauptwerk. Perhaps the newest versions allow users with extraordinarily powerful computers to set their bit depth or sample rates even higher, but I cannot imagine anyone being able to detect the difference in real world use, unless there are audible differences that become noticeable when enormous organs are loaded and playing hugely impractical registrations and unimaginable numbers of simultaneous notes.

      Any other improvement in audio quality could only relate to the type of hardware used to render the digital signal into analog, and that wouldn't have anything to do with the version of Hauptwerk. The method of rendering the samples into a stream of data is a mature technology that hasn't changed appreciably in a very long time. AFAIK, different versions of Hauptwerk basically differ in their feature sets and flexibility, not in sound.

      I may be wrong, and if so, I trust that someone will chime in with some hard data.

    • Larason2
      Larason2 commented
      Editing a comment
      My understanding is that the audio improvement is primarily a function of the sample processing algorithms, both at the time of producing the Cache file, and when playing it back. Hauptwerk has a sophisticated pipe modelling algorithm that has been experiencing constant improvements, which also contributes. Version VI also allows greater sample rates than in the past, which should also result in higher quality sound. Also remember that a recording made using Hauptwerk doesn’t give the full experience, because it is a recording of a recording, and reprocessed to some extent. The best experience is listening to Hauptwerk directly.

    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      While there may well be improvements in Hauptwerk's sample processing and a resulting improvement of in perceived quality, I agree with jbird604 that this improvement is not likely to be obvious for the reasons stated. In my mind at least, if it takes a careful side-by-side comparison to discern a difference, the "improvement" is not terribly relevant.

      The "recording of recording" observation only comes into play if the file is saved in a compressed audio format such as MP3 or WMA. Even then, considering that highly compressed audio streams have all but replaced non-compressed formats found on CDs, speaks to how non-critical human perception is.

  • #34
    Thank you for your constructive comments. I'm hoping that someone will submit some hard data comparing the alleged audio improvements of Version V/VI compared to Version IV. I agree that listening to audio on Youtube is a poor way to determine overall audio quality. I was refering to the overall perception of the sound rather than the dynamic range. I can't put it in words, but most people can determine if an organ sound has that "electronic" impression to it. Sometimes I hear annoying ringing sounds, or weird after effects so familiar to cheap sample set quality. That turns me off completely since Sonus Paradisi and OrganArt Media sample sets are totally devoid of these after effects.
    In a month I will have an opportunity to listen in person to a friend of mine's Version V upgrade but unfortunately not with the Nancy sample set, so a true comparison will still not be possible. Still, I'm leaving my mind open. Regrettably, and unlike most market place purchases over the Internet, refunds are not possible. On principal I don't pay large amounts of money sight (or sound) unseen without experiencing it beforehand.

    Comment


    • lizny
      lizny commented
      Editing a comment
      You can rent HW VI for a month and cancel if you dont think the upgrade is worth it. Just be sure you have a good backup of your current serup.

  • #35
    To Lizny:

    You said
    Originally posted by lizny
    you can rent HW VI for a month and cancel if you dont think the upgrade is worth it. Just be sure you have a good backup of your current setup.
    Thank you for your suggestion. I had considered this but to best of my knowledge, installing HW VI requires permanently disabling my present dongle (one way only, no going back) and also getting involved with that ILock devise. If I discovered that version VI isn't what it's cracked up to be, I'm stuck with it. I could be wrong but renting HW IV is only for first time buyers that have nothing to lose.

    At this point I would like to hear from someone that got the Nancy sample set with Version IV and find out what they actually think.
    Last edited by myorgan; 07-10-2021, 08:51 AM. Reason: Fix quote.

    Comment


    • Larason2
      Larason2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Installing HW VI does not disable your IV dongle, this only happens if you select the migrate option from VI menu. However, you will not be able to test your dongle protected sample sets. However, you can test the Nancy demo of 11 stops.

  • #36
    I decided to NOT upgrade to Version V or VI for the many reasons I have posted on this site in previous exchanges. But a few concerns still remain with my present working system. Although I feel confident that if I have a computer problem I could swap out the problem computer with a back-up working computer and be up and running in less than an hour, that damn dongle remains in a very vulnerable position to damage and breakage. Also, even if it is not physically damaged, it looks like it could stop working like all electronic items are known for.
    Is it possible to make a copy of this dongle or get a backup ? I remember Brett Milan responding to a similar question posed to him years ago. I am not sure of the exact language used but Milan said that Hauptwerk owners should take out insurance to cover the possibility of damage. Also, dongles could be replaced under certain circumstances, the circumstances were not specified. The other option was to purchase an entirely new license for $400 or $500 ( at that time). Now that dongle has been hacked and are a thing of the past and should be of no concern to Milan, I wonder if backups or replacements can be created ?

    I have no intent to steal anything that Milan has created I just want to ensure continued playing.

    Comment


    • #37
      Not having Hauptwerk myself, I would be interested in the verbiage of the licensing agreement for the dongle in the case of damage or destruction. If it has been suggested that you take out insurance that would imply that the licensing for the dongle only lasts for the life of the part.

      Comment


      • #38
        The loss, failure, theft, or destruction of a dongle or now an iLok device can be covered by insurance. I'm not sure how that is different from other valuable items that we may lose. Every time I buy an electronic product it seems I am asked if I want a replacement plan. For myself I reject these various forms of insurance because I take care of these items and may be able to repair them myself. Additionally it's cheaper in the long run to replace the rare lost or failed item rather than pay for multiple insurance policies. What I do not do is expect someone else to bail me out. After all, I could choose to insure everything. That's a valid option.

        If a dongle is subject to theft it's possible to buy an adapter that allows the dongle or iLok to be installed inside the PC case. If I loan my iLok for a demo I sometimes attach a large red tag so no one will claim they lost it.
        http://www.kinkennon.com

        Comment


        • #39
          So that makes it illegal to make a backup dongle to use if the original is lost or destroyed, correct?

          Comment


          • John Kinkennon
            John Kinkennon commented
            Editing a comment
            I would think that copying a dongle is the equivalent of making a second duplicate license since the license is stored securely on the device. The fact that it was hacked doesn't in any way make it legal to use the hack, if it were possible, to create another dongle or to unlock the Hauptwerk program. Just my opinion. So far as I know the iLok has the same issue when used with HW 5 or 6. Just guessing, but I imagine homeowners or renters insurance would not cover the loss without a special rider. Maybe if it were found attached to a charred PC after a fire??

          • Antoni Scott
            Antoni Scott commented
            Editing a comment
            Now that the original dongle is not secure as it used to be it would be of no interest to MDA. I am not  interested in making and selling copies of an out-dated Version IV software. I  just want  to protect my ability to continue to use my original Hauptwerk Version IV.  
            Back in 2005, I had a software program ( photoediting) that used a dongle. I damaged it through carelessness on my part and the vendor had no problem replacing it. Not so with MDA. I guess it boils down to integrity and good customer service.

          • Antoni Scott
            Antoni Scott commented
            Editing a comment
            "So that makes it illegal to make a backup dongle to use if the original is lost or destroyed, correct?"
            Your tongue in cheeck cynical response is 100% correct.

            I would seriously question the integrity of a business that produces a device that is by design "an accident ready to happen" and then take advantage of a good customer by not standing by them in the event of an unplanned event. But there you have it. The above is what prompted me to not get involved in the cumbersome, event laden, switch from Version IV to V or VI, never mind the fact that the new Version V or VI have owners freely admit the audio improvements are negligable (the only reason I considered switching). I could forsee a nightmare of issues that could arise with a switch from IV to V that would get zero support. The icing on the cake is the fact that "you can't go back to the original vesion". On it's surface it seems like madness.

        • #40
          Since Hauptwerk has gravitated away from the unsecure conventional dongle to the ILock system, the original dongle was rendered useless to protect Hauptwerk. I heard the reason Hauptwerk switched to the ILock dongle was because someone hacked the original dongle. Since I'm not planning to upgrade to Hauptwerk V or VI, I will continue to use my original dongle from 2007.


          However I am becoming concerned that eventually my dongle will stop working. I read comments from Forum members about MDA's poor unhelpful responses about the problems replacing broken dongles, etc. The dongle is in a very vulnerable position in the computer and could easily be broken or damaged.

          Now that the original dongle is not secure as it used to be it would be of no interest to MDA. Can a copy or a back up be made ? I am not interested in making and selling copies of an out-dated Version IV software. I just want to protect my ability to continue to use my original Hauptwerk Version IV.

          Antoni

          Comment


          • #41
            Originally posted by Antoni Scott View Post
            The dongle is in a very vulnerable position in the computer and could easily be broken or damaged.
            In a post above, JK mentioned an adapter to enable relocation of the dongles to a physically safer spot.

            I think that software creators everywhere are pushing their customers onto the cloud model so that they can collect perpetual rent via subscriptions and force users to into a perpetual upgrade cycle (they can invalidate older versions by the flick of a switch).

            And I think you will find that HW's dongles are copy protected.
            -------

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

            Comment


            • Antoni Scott
              Antoni Scott commented
              Editing a comment
              Hello Antoni,

              No -- MDA doesn't offer replacement/spare/backup Hauptwerk v4 (HASP) dongles, I'm afraid -- sorry. If you do ever break your v4 dongle then you would still have the option to upgrade to the current version of Hauptwerk (v6). I do appreciate that you decided that don't want to do that at the moment, as discussed at great length in your previous thread -- viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19814 (in which we established that your 2011 Mac Pro would be capable of running v5/v6, but not your 2008 Mac Pro) -- so we'd recommend being careful not to break it!

            • gtc
              gtc commented
              Editing a comment
              If you do ever break your v4 dongle then you would still have the option to upgrade to the current version of Hauptwerk (v6)
              ... as opposed to the alternative option of not having Hauptwerk at all -- aka Hobson's Choice.

          • #42
            I appreciate the response from Hauptwerk about being careful not to break the dongle. I feel a lot better knowing that.

            Comment


            • sandstone42
              sandstone42 commented
              Editing a comment
              Also, be careful not to drive your auto into a brick wall.

            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Why??? (Michael scratches head).
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