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Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

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Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby B777Captain » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:50 pm

All...

Not sure which forum this belongs so I'll leave it to the moderators.

For as long as I've been a HW user/fan, I've never really quite understood the difference between wet and surround.... or in simple terms...

Can someone explain in simple terms what the difference is between these three terms?

Thank you!

Pat
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby josq » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:07 pm

Stereo sound results from 2 speakers in front of you, positioned a bit to the left and to the right.

Surround sound results from 4 or more speakers in front of you and at the back of you. You are "surrounded" by speakers.

A surround set up might be an extension of (and thus include) a stereo set up. If done well, the advantage of surround is that you will feel immersed in the room where the recordings were made.

"Wet" refers to the amount of acoustics included in the recording. However, in Hauptwerkland "wet" is sometimes used as a label for a stereo recording or for the front channels of a surround recording.
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby B777Captain » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:19 pm

Josq

Thanks for that. I take it then that it's possible/normal/recommended that front or rear speakers can be wet while the other two (lets say a 4 speaker stereo setup example) would be "dry"? I would think this would lead to a sound that would be "off".

Thank you for the explanation

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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby telemanr » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:07 pm

Wet means recorded with the natural ambience and reverb of the building housing that organ. Recorded with mikes somewhere in that space.
Surround simply means extra recordings were made from different locations such as at at the back of the area for example. These would be separate in Hauptwerk and could be played back with other sets of your speakers put in similar positions in your room so as to better emulate the original setting.
Dry means the organ was recorded with the microphones placed very close to the pipes or even in the pipe chambers so there is no added reverb or ambiance from the building they are in. That type of recording is really best used if you are using Hauptwerk in another church so that the acoustic of this church will be the only thing added to the sound coming from the speakers being used.

Hope that makes sense.
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby jkinkennon » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:17 pm

You would want any group of speakers to be equally wet or dry or the same wet/dry combination for the usual multichannel setup. It is possible to use a dry group and another wet group in front as it might (?) sound better. You would never want to play a scale and have the notes jump between wet and dry speakers of course.

The norm, if there is one, is probably to do a front group with just one stereo pair up to dozens of stereo pairs if desired. That group receives the desired ratio of wet to dry sound for the front audio. With older wet sample sets this ratio is preset by the developer. Most of us would use fewer speakers in the rear. I run a single rear pair and three pairs (6 speakers) in front as I don't hear major and minor thirds beating in the rear speakers which would typically be 100% wet signal.
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby johnstump_organist » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:27 pm

Hi here is my understanding of the three words you inquired about.
The question probably would be more accurately stated as" wet vs dry" and "surround vs stereo vs mono".
Wet, as opposed to dry refers to a sample set that has been recorded with the reverberation of the room included in the recording of the samples. Dry recordings either come from rooms with no reverb or from recordings made very near the pipes where the reverb can't be heard/recorded over the main sound (it may involve some editing of the recordings to remove any traces of the reverb that were recorded).
Stereo means two microphones were used to record the sound in an effort to reproduce the spatial effects of the original environment. Stereo when first introduced was a huge improvement in music recordings over one channel "monophonic" recrordings. Both wet and dry samples can be recorded in stereo.
Surround means at least 4 microphones were used to record the sound, 2 close to the sound source, referred to as the direct sound (it will usually be somewhat drier depending on how close the mics are to the source and more what you might hear when playing at a console near the pipes) and 2 sonewhere in the hall/church that will pick up more of the reverb and might be more what an audience member might hear. This is sometimes referred to as the rear sound as these mics will usually be toward the back of the room, assuming the organ is at the front.
Some recent sets(the Oakland AS, for example) used 6 mics - 2 direct, 2 in the middle, and 2 rear. Setting up a surround set in a small room is an effort to reproduce the spatial effect of a larger room. In theory, someone walking from your main speakers toward your rear speakers would hear what it would be like to walk down the nave of church away from the organ toward the other end.
The sets with sliders that let you adjust the sound in relation between near and the rear are nice in that they let you stay in one place (where you are playing) but also hear what it would sound like from the listeners point of hearing. This is great as it lets you practice near the pipes where you can hear the detail of what you are trying to do, but then you can also "move" yourself into the room to hear if your articulation and phrasing are still audible/noticeable when the reverb is more dominant.
To sum up, surround is sort of like a more elaborate type of stereo, attempting to reproduce the audio effect of a space. Both wet (reverberant) and dry recordings can be monophonic, stereo or surround, although it might seem silly to go to the trouble of making surround recordings of a truly dry environment as there is no acoustical image to reproduce, or more accurately stated, the acoustic image is pretty much the same any where in the totally dry room.
Hope this helps,
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby organtechnology » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:23 am

Hi,

The DRY signal is the one without additional reverb added to it. 100% original.
The WET signal is the signal with applied reverb no original remains. 100% reverbed.

In a recording environment the length and nature of the reverb or natural acoustic does not actually affect the WET vs DRY as a natural acoustic containing signal can actually be the DRY channel to which additional reverb is added. It then becomes the sound heard. In most reverb 'apps' there is a pair of sliders one labeled DRY and the other WET to allow the amount of WET applied to be varied.

In a sample set created by recording the pipes using differing microphone positions the Reverberation length and amount will be determined by where the microphones are located.

In convolution reverberation the WET/DRY will be determined by the WET/DRY slider settings in the app and the reverberation parameters determined by the Impulse Reverb sample of the space.

Stereo is two channels of sound used to recreate and identical Stereo Soundfield used in recording. Bi-naural stereo sound is bes reproduced by headphones alone while wider Stereo microphone spacing can be replicated with speakers spaced apart to match the microphones used in recording.

Surround is 4-channels recorded such that the back two channels are recorded behind and spaced on either side of the intended listener. The Surround speakers should be placed where the Surround microphones were placed during recording.

Six speakers is usually part of a Dolby surround sound 7.1 system or a 6-microphone setup to attempt to produce a Dolby 7.1 like sound.

Multi-channel audio is the use of Hauptwerks unique feature (AFAIK) to use multiple stereo pairs of speakers to reproduce a sample set in the maximum clarity.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby B777Captain » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:00 am

Wow....

Those are all fantastic explanations... and easily understood!

Thanks to all of you... Thomas, John, Jkinkennon and Josq! Very nicely explained!

Pat

Always enjoy more info from others as well....
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby mdyde » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:08 am

Hello Pat,

I've merged your two identical original topics together into this one. (Telemanr's reply was in the other duplicate topic.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby GrahamH » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:34 am

Hi Pat

With due respect to the other contributors - I believe telemanr's post has the most straight-forward, accurate and generally-accepted answer to the question "Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people...."

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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby johnstump_organist » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:03 pm

telemanr wrote:That type of recording is really best used if you are using Hauptwerk in another church so that the acoustic of this church will be the only thing added to the sound coming from the speakers being used.

That was why Allen, when they first started sampling, did their recording in an anechoic chamber, the only way to get truly "dry" samples. No reverb in the recorded sound so the sounds would create their own reverb in the space they were to be played in. Also, no need for noise reduction and therefore no loss of quality from that process. Allen also did not use stereo for much the same reason, a single organ pipe is, in theory, a monophonic sound source (although on large pipes there might be some stereo separation of the sound coming from the pipe mouth and the top of the pipe). I sort of agree with that theory in one way, but on the other hand, a one rank pipe organ will 61 sound sources and I now think stereo imaging from a pair of speakers helps recreate that sound-space better.
Even recording the pipes with the mics in the chamber in a dry building, will leave some hint of acoustic influence from the space they were recorded in.
Basically that is the choice you have to make about whether you are trying to virtually re-create the sound of a particular instrument and its acoustic environment or if you are trying to create sounds that will give you a high quality pipe-like sound in some other environment other than the original location of the organ. I think the later is harder to achieve.
That raises a question to which I don't entirely know the answer. For me, until HW came along in its later forms, Allen had the best sound for me (I know for others it will be other brands) of the sampled instruments, although I could acknowledge its weaknesses (especially their reed sounds for some reason) Late generation Allens have very high quality samples and the playback of individual sounds and ranks and small combinations are quite convincing to me. However, I wonder why HW sounds better to me overall, Two possible reasons would be the note by note recordings, as opposed to making one sample serve for several notes (an economic necessity at one point I know) and the use of stereo over mono. Of course larger Allens with multiple channels sound better than the smaller two and four channel instruments. Also, Allen has always separated their audio by organ division, so even a 6 channel, three manual organ, only had two channels per division. I often wished they had allowed all channels to be used for the whole organ, much the HW allows you to. Does someone know of any other reasons HW is so successful in acheiving realistic sounding samples? I don't think it is the wind model entirely, because HW with the wind model turned off, still sounds better to my ears, and Allen has its own version of wind modelling.
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby mdyde » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:11 am

johnstump_organist wrote:Does someone know of any other reasons HW is so successful in acheiving realistic sounding samples? I don't think it is the wind model entirely, because HW with the wind model turned off, still sounds better to my ears, and Allen has its own version of wind modelling.


Hello John,

Compared to traditional digital organs, and for home use, I think that that some of the key factors contributing to the realism of Hauptwerk sample sets are:

- Wet samples (especially due to the real original acoustic, which differs for every pipe), recorded in stereo or surround.
- At least one sample per pipe.
- Much longer samples.
- Real key-release samples (as opposed to just fading out the sustain portions).
- Multiple release samples.
- Multiple loops.
- Flow randomisation model (which is on by default, even if the wind supply model is turned off).
- The wind supply model.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby organplayer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:35 am

Hi,

I would like to add a question to the discussion about wet, surround etc.

What happens to the sound when I use a surround-sampleset (most times very expensive) with a stereo-only amplifier and stereo speakers? Are the additional channels ignored? Or are they added to stereo left and right. What does that mean for the sound?

regards
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby dhm » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:24 am

organplayer wrote:Hi,
What happens to the sound when I use a surround-sampleset (most times very expensive) with a stereo-only amplifier and stereo speakers? Are the additional channels ignored? Or are they added to stereo left and right. What does that mean for the sound?

regards
organplayer

If you only have one pair of speakers, you cannot load a "surround" sample-set in surround, because there is no point having the Front and Rear samples coming out of the same pair of speakers.
In that case it is better to load only the Front samples, and disable the Rear samples (Rank loaded into memory? = No). This obviously has the advantage that it reduces your RAM requirements by c.50%.
To make use of the full surround you would need at least two (and possibly more) pairs of speakers (in different parts of the room).
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Re: Wet vs Surround vs Stereo for lay people....

Postby telemanr » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:33 am

When you first load a surround set you will see at least two choices for each rank. One will be labeled front and those would be the only ones you would set to load if you only had front speakers. The others you would set to not load.
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