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Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:00 am
by player1
Hello HW folks,

I am pretty much a novice when it comes to computers and then the accessories are way past me. I have downloaded the User Manual, tried the Tutorials, scanned the Forum for previous posts on "Johannus" and read the "requirements" section.

What I am starting with- I have a 3-manual Johannus Rembrandt 3000 (year 2000 model) in my home with separate speakers including a large subwoofer. My organ was the demonstrator at the 2000 NAMM show in LA so it is a large organ. It is MIDI equipped by Johannus.

I want to install probably the Metz CC and Rosales Portland organs. I know I will need the Advanced HW version. I would like to keep the HW install as low budget as possible. I will need to buy a new to me, computer. From my reading, it would appear that I can avoid many problems by going with Apple. I have looked on eBay and found many options for used or reconditioned Mac minis with 16GB already installed. I don't know it I need to stay with the 2012 or buy the 2014 with the upgrades. Some of the offerings include a Bluetooth keyboard so I would favor buying one of those? I want to get to the point of trying the St Annes free organ

Some questions-
- Am I on the right path thinking Mac Mini? Prices on eBay are considerably less than on Apple for refurbished units. What are the pitfalls to my thinking?
- The units I am looking at are set up with OS X High Sierra. This will work?
- Of the six audio interfaces listed in "requirments", which would be best for me and what would be the source? Are they available on eBay?
- I will need a MIDI interface. Again, of those listed, what would be best for my application? I have no idea how many MIDI input/output ports I will need.

If anyone on this Forum can answer any of these questions, I would be most appreciative. Also I would like to get to know any Johannus owners who have already done this. I get the idea Johannus has issues unique to their products regarding interfacing stops/pistons/ swell pedal etc.

Player1 (located in S. CA.)

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:21 am
by lefranc22
What are the pitfalls to my thinking?

A 16 GB refurbished mac mini is a good choice if you never need more RAM for Hauptwerk. Consider that you will have to buy extra screen(s), keyboard and mouse. Also the Rosales Porland is a very big sample-set and with 16 GB it will be impossible to use the surround version; no more than the 2-channel wet 16-bit Perhaps 20-bit. Have a look at Sonus Paradis web site
The units I am looking at are set up with OS X High Sierra. This will work?

Yes it works, and upgrading to a newer OS is always free for Apple computers.
]which would be best for me and what would be the source? Are they available on eBay?

I'm using a Presonus AudioBox USB as sound cart and I'm happy with. Much better than the internal Macs sound cards and not very expensive. You can often find special offers. Eventually on eBay.
I will need a MIDI interface. Again, of those listed, what would be best for my application? I have no idea how many MIDI input/output ports I will need.

If you are using an USB sound card, you dont need MIDI interface because those sound cards are also MIDI interfaces. Only one USB port will be used with such configuration.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:28 am
by dhm
Just a couple of caveats that you need to be aware of:
You will need a number of USB ports for: the Hauptwerk licence dongle; your USB audio/MIDI interface; one for each touchscreen monitor; a wireless keyboard + mouse if you are using one.
Many modern Macs have few, if any, USB ports, so you might need a (powered) USB hub.
Some of my customers (and several Forum members here) have reported problems getting touchscreens to work satisfactorily with recent versions of Mac OS.

[Others who know better, please correct me if I'm wrong here, since I'm not a Mac expert.]

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:26 am
by lefranc22
I'm a mac user.
Mac Mini has 4 USB 3 ports and if you are using a wired Apple keyboard, you have one more USB port (for example for the HW dongle which is not very demanding). A powered USB hub may be used eventually. They are not very expensive and always useful.
The mac mini main disadvantage is to accept no modification. It is better to assess your needs before you buy.
They are sold (in the Apple refurb) with either a 512 GB hard disk, either a 1000 GB. I strongly advise you that of 1000 GB to be able to use Hauptwerk correctly: the sample sets occupy a lot of place! and using an external hard-disk after-ré-installing Hauptwerk may be annoying.
Not all touch screen drivers are fully compatible mac; that's right and it takes time to be updated. Again, you must inquire before buying. But most touch screens are perfectly accepted.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:34 pm
by jkinkennon
I feel that 16GB of RAM is a huge restriction for a new HW computer. The Rosales samples need 48GB unless the set is restricted to the stereo only version which is ok, but it seems a painful sacrifice to give up the flexibility of the 6-channel version. Even when used with two speakers the ability to vary the balance between front direct and front diverse samples is important. The balance in a wet set is rarely just right in my opinion.

All else being equal I'd go with an Apple Mac every time. I have a Mac mini i7 (2012) that I no longer use for HW and a powerful PC running 96GB of RAM that didn't cost much more than the Mac mini. At the moment the issue with slow memory unloading with the Hauptwerk/Windows 10 combination is the only thing that leaves me hesitant to recommend a PC. Hoping for a resolution of that problem soon.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:38 am
by Antoni Scott
Hi Newbie:
You are sort of on your own when it comes to getting help. Try contacting I Build Macs in California. You can get a used MacPro Dual Quad Core (eight cores) for about $800. Its a super deal. It has plenty of power and you can get 32 GB RAM. Talk to Jon. He might be able to set it up for you to be "Hauptwerk Ready".
I went through the same thing years ago and it was very frustrating but Hauptwerk is the best thing out there so its worth the aggravation.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:02 am
by larason2
Thanks everyone for the good comments. The only thing I would add is to be careful how you will get the audio out of the computer. I’m not aware if the Johannus has any way to allow an external audio source to be played on its speakers, but if the only connection is midi then it probably doesn’t. In this case, you may want to purchase a midi interface that had audio outs, though depending on how the external speakers are connected to your Johannus you may not be able to use them without another accessory. Depending on the situation, you may need to buy some extra speakers. Perhaps someone familiar with Johannus consoles will be in a better position to comment on this? Of course, this doesn’t matter if you plan to listen to Hauptwerk with only headphones, but I think it is worth mentioning.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:32 am
by engrssc
Most Johannes organs (as well as most other digital's) have a pair of RCA connectors for audio in as well as audio out. usually next to the MIDI connectors.


Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:18 pm
by player1

I thank all of you who have responded to my request. From what your have given me, I am getting a much clearer picture. I will be meeting tonight my friend who already has a HW set up and his friend who is familiar with the HW setup process. I have also been in touch with seh52 who has invited me to have a look at how he hooked up his Johannus organ. I will be back here with follow up questions I am sure.

E' - confirmed I have Aux In and Aux Out alongside the MiDi plug-ins.

Again, many thanks for taking the time to post a response.


Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:16 pm
by wailukujohn
I have a Johannus Vivaldi 370 (3 manuals) and use a 5 y/o Mac Mini with 16G Of RAM. I mostly use the American Classic set and never run out of memory. I elected to use the internal speakers, though I added a Definitive Tech sub, since my music room is not huge. Wanting more sound sources I bought two Prosonus units on Craig’s List which decode the audio via FireWire. I bought a 12 channel amplifier from which I use with various matched speakers picked up here and there. I love the ability to have various sections of the organ around me. I use a 12” iPad running Duet as the Mac Mini and Hauptwerk display. While it may seem small, most of my stop changes are with thumb pistons and the Johannus pistons integrate well so that a general piston on the Johannus controls its and Hauptwerk’s stops.
Good luck, it’s fun experimenting.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:30 pm
by player1
Hi John,

Good info you have provided. You indicate the general pistons work with HW. Are the Swell, Great, Pedal and Choir pistons operable as well? Also, from how you phrased it, does the Johannus stops play along with the HW instrument if you wish to play them both? My organ does not have any speakers in the console so there are many separate speakers including a large sub woofer, all of which I want to play with the HW. Since I want to play the big sample sets, Rosales and Metz, I am moving away from my first thought on the Mac mini and thinking Mac Pro or (other Macs that I have not looked at yet.) I see the need for 6 channels and 32GB of RAM or more and storage up to 1TB. I will also want two touchscreens. I am gradually learning the "lingo" for computer discussions or at least I think I am. I am still baffled by the descriptions of the Apple units offered on eBay! I think I need a 2.8 Mhz or so for speed. So much to learn!


Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:37 pm
by magnaton
Hello Player1:

Sometimes a little experimentation will answer many questions and assist with your direction. Congrats on having a large Johannus console, MIDI ready to work with. From my past experience, these consoles are fully MIDI-fied meaning any control, key, button, piston, swell shoe, etc. you press will emit a MIDI signal that can be easily assigned in Hauptwerk.

My suggestion, if you haven't done so already, is to start simple to become acquainted with HW and how it works. Try connecting your current computer or laptop to the Johannus by way of a USB MIDI interface. Install the free version of Hauptwerk and experiment with the MIDI auto-detect feature for keys, stops, and pistons using the St. Anne Mosely organ that is standard with HW. All HW sounds will emit from the computer speakers or headphone jack.

Of course when you auto detect a Johannus rocker tab (or drawknob?) the a virtual organ stop in HW, the native voice will sound too. So you will have to figure out how to mute or adjust the volume or simply unplug the Johannus speakers to eliminate this.

When you've reached this point, then move to audio and see how it works and sounds with the HW VPO playing through the Johannus speakers. As Ed mentioned in the previous post, the Johannus should have a pair of RCA connectors. So you'll run a stereo (2 channel) signal from your computer to the organ. The cable to make this work would be a 3.5mm stereo plug to 2 RCA (L & R) plugs. You should note if the sound is only being sent to 2 of the Joahnnus speakers or all of them. These auto connectors on production digital organs are only for convenience so you can attach an external sound module to access voices (usually orchestral) not available otherwise.

Continue to investigate your computer (Mac) requirements so you have the horsepower necessary to run the big 2 sample sets you've picked.

BTW, your last post mentioned the "need" for six channels. Note all sample sets can be played in stereo. Since you are starting out, I'd recommend getting the basics with HW before diving into the multi-channel realm (recorded channels and reproducing channels) which requires an audio interface and divided speakers.

Danny B.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:46 pm
by wailukujohn
Yes, the Johannus volume pedals map well to HW, though the Crescendo pedal does not. I haven’t investigated since I rarely use it. And, yes, the HW stops are used via their external speakers as well as the internal Joannus’s. My registration choices use either or both organs together.

Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:50 pm
by player1
Magnaton and John,

I am most pleased to know that my organ will most likely work without a lot of messing around to play HW. Somewhere I had heard that J did things a bit strange so HW was not an easy thing to install.

I was looking today at midi interfaces and audio interfaces. From lefranc22's post, using an audio interface means I would not need a midi interface. Can I buy a audio interface and use that to do the experimentation magnaton lined out? Regarding multiple channels, I would like to buy the equipment now so if I chose to go that way in the future, I will not need more equipment. Need I get a more sofisticated audio interface to do that or will a E-MU usb interface be enough? While we are at it, should i go for a unit with FireWire? Several on the "Requirements" list have that in the title. I need some understaning here.

If the swell pedals work and the crescendo does not, so be it. I rarely use Crescendo.

Again, I thank you for your help everyone.


Re: Another Newbie needs help

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:49 am
by engrssc
Many sound cards (not all) have built in (included) MIDI interfaces, but you definitely need to be able to have a MIDI input into the computer. This is the MIDI interface.

For starters, watch this video

After that, why don't you read ?

It may be an older publication, but it will explain basic Hauptwerk concepts.

A device chain looks something like this:

Keyboard > USB MIDI interface > Computer/Software >Audio interface > Amplifier > Speakers

Check out: