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Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advice

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.
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Dazzafox

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Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advice

PostMon Apr 27, 2020 2:01 am

Hello:

I have been using an early version of Hauptwerk (V 4.0.0.724 - Free edition) with 2 x M-Audio Keystation 61ES manuals mounted into an old gutted Schober Consolette II organ console. The manuals contained within their original plastic casing - not ideal, but satisfactory and does not risk damaging the keyboards by extracting the keyboards from the case and building just the keyboard into the old organ console. The two keyboards connect into a 4:1 USB splitter and then into a USB port of a 2011 MacBook Pro laptop. The 3.5mm audio output of the MacBook Pro is routed to a separate Harman Kardon Sounstick amplifier system (perhaps not ideal, but ‘functional’). The system works satisfactorily but is unsuitable for Hauptwerk V5 because of the low specification of the 2011 MacBook Pro. It is time to upgrade and I am considering using either an upgraded laptop or a separate dedicated computer.

Two possible options under consideration for using Hauptwerk V are:
(a) Obtain a new MacBook Pro specified with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM using either option below:
(i) 1.4GHz (3.9GHz boost) quad-core i5 13” Macbook Pro with 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports and upgraded to 512GB SDD and 16GB RAM;
(ii) 2.4GHz (4,1GHz boost) quad-core i5 13” MacBook Pro with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports and upgraded ti 512GB SDD and 16GB RAM
I am wondering whether a separate external MIDI interface might be necessary in order to get audio output (no 3.5mm audio output on current MacBooks). I am not really familiar with ’Thunderbolt’ ports - can I get audio directly out of a Thunderbolt port (perhaps via an adapter) or is a MIDI interface required? I assume USB connection from the key station 61ES manuals can plug directly into thunderbolt port(s).

If not beyond my capabilities use:

(b) a separate dedicated MacMini computer in conjunction with a separate (touch) screen
(i) 3.6 GHz quad-core i3 processor with 512GB SSD and upgraded to 16GB RAM incl. 3 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2 USB 3 ports and HDMI 2.0.
(ii) ideally, the computer should be configured to be self-booting to bring up Hauptwerk when power is connected via an external power switch on the organ console. (Can this be easily done).

Can anyone advise what would be the best option. By way of explanation I am not a good musician (got to grade 5 many years ago) but enjoy organ music and have constructed electronic organs before (Built Schober organs in the 1970s) and have enjoyed tinkering around with Hauptwerk. I have used Hauptwerk following degradation and poor performance of the old Schober Consollete II. I have an electronics background (broadcast engineering) but since retirement have found it a bit more difficult to keep across IT issues.

I will be happy to get two manuals working with Hauptwerk V, although ultimately I would like to see if I can integrate a small / limited pedalboard. (I have an old 1-1/2 octave pedalboard from the former Schober organ which could perhaps be MIDI-ized).

A further query - I note that while macOS 10.15 'Mojave’ is specified, I note the release notes mention that there are some compatibility issues. Does anyone know if it is compatible with the current version (Catalina), as new Apple computers will undoubtably come equipped with Catalina. Does Hauptwerk V currently work with Catalina - or will Hauptwerk release a maintenance upgrade for Catalina.

Thanks for any advice comments before I proceed further.

Darryl
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josq

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Re: Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advic

PostMon Apr 27, 2020 2:40 am

I'll leave your questions to others, but a small comment: 16GB of RAM is a bit limited, because nowadays even medium-sized samplesets require more RAM to load them in full quality. 32GB is better, and for the largest instruments 64 or even 128 GB is recommended.
Also, you'll notice that 500GB of storage will fill up quickly, especially if you download all the free and demo sets that are available.
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Dazzafox

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Re: Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advic

PostMon Apr 27, 2020 2:42 am

Thanks for the advice re memory and disc size. Noted.
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mdyde

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Re: Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advic

PostMon Apr 27, 2020 9:33 am

Hello Darryl,

[Topic moved here.]

Thanks very much for the interest in upgrading to v5.

Dazzafox wrote:(a) Obtain a new MacBook Pro specified with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM using either option below:
(i) 1.4GHz (3.9GHz boost) quad-core i5 13” Macbook Pro with 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports and upgraded to 512GB SDD and 16GB RAM;
(ii) 2.4GHz (4,1GHz boost) quad-core i5 13” MacBook Pro with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports and upgraded ti 512GB SDD and 16GB RAM


The 2.4 GHz CPU should potentially be a significant benefit in terms of performance (especially polyphony), compared to the 1.4 GHz. The base clock speed (not the 'boost' speed) is really what matters for real-time audio/MIDI use, such as with Hauptwerk (since 'boost' speeds can only be sustained briefly, potentially causing an audio glitch when the CPU drops back down to its normal/base clock speed if you were to be relying on the performance of the boosted speed).

Dazzafox wrote:I am wondering whether a separate external MIDI interface might be necessary in order to get audio output (no 3.5mm audio output on current MacBooks). I am not really familiar with ’Thunderbolt’ ports - can I get audio directly out of a Thunderbolt port (perhaps via an adapter) or is a MIDI interface required? I assume USB connection from the key station 61ES manuals can plug directly into thunderbolt port(s).


Based on a quick look at the 'tech specs' page on Apple's website for their current 13-inch MacBook Pros, they do show them as having a headphones output socket. Hence you could potentially just use that for audio output, rather than needing a separate audio/MIDI interface or adapter.

Dazzafox wrote: assume USB connection from the key station 61ES manuals can plug directly into thunderbolt port(s).


Since the current MacBook Pros don't have USB ports, you'd need a Thunderbolt3-to-USB adapter to connect your existing USB hub to the laptop. Apple sell those separately (not included with the laptop, according to their website).

Dazzafox wrote:(b) a separate dedicated MacMini computer in conjunction with a separate (touch) screen
(i) 3.6 GHz quad-core i3 processor with 512GB SSD and upgraded to 16GB RAM incl. 3 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2 USB 3 ports and HDMI 2.0.


Like josq, personally I'd recommend more than 16 Gb of RAM. E.g 32 would be a big improvement. Probably most people use 32 GB these days, and that would allow you to use a good range of current sample sets.

The 3.2 GHz 6-core i7 CPU should also be a significant benefit for using larger organs (giving you more polyphony), especially if you get 32+ GB of RAM (since organs that need that much memory are likely to be bigger than those that need less memory).

Since Apple's recent computers have very limited ability to be upgraded later, it's worth making sure that whatever spec. you do buy is going to be sufficient for your needs until you expect next to replace it.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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mdyde

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Re: Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advic

PostMon Apr 27, 2020 9:41 am

Dazzafox wrote:(ii) ideally, the computer should be configured to be self-booting to bring up Hauptwerk when power is connected via an external power switch on the organ console. (Can this be easily done).


As far as I know, Macs don't have native ability to do that (other than starting them by pressing their built-in power button, of course), but there might be unofficial work-arounds. Here's a previous topic on that:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15837
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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engrssc

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Re: Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advic

PostMon Apr 27, 2020 10:03 am

mdyde wrote:Since Apple's recent computers have very limited ability to be upgraded later, it's worth making sure that whatever spec. you do buy is going to be sufficient for your needs until you expect next to replace it.

I originally started using Apple computers, however since Apple has gone the way of not permitting (useful, needed) upgrades, Apple makes all these decisions), I've gone to use PC's with no regrets. Plus Apple sets the price which is notably higher than PC's.

You can get used (possibly 2 - 3 year old) Win 10 PC computers that have come from commercial installations quite reasonable. I just bought one for a relative's HW build with an i7 CPU, 3.7ghz, 32 gb RAM, 500gb HDD for $109. Easy to upgrade the HDD to a SSD for not much $$$. There are sales quite often. This machine runs HW5 very well and is fast as well as up gradable.

Rgds,
Ed
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russ_major

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Re: Getting Started - Hauptwerk V / Computer Options - Advic

PostSat Sep 26, 2020 12:07 am

engrssc wrote:
mdyde wrote:Since Apple's recent computers have very limited ability to be upgraded later, it's worth making sure that whatever spec. you do buy is going to be sufficient for your needs until you expect next to replace it.

I originally started using Apple computers, however since Apple has gone the way of not permitting (useful, needed) upgrades, Apple makes all these decisions), I've gone to use PC's with no regrets. Plus Apple sets the price which is notably higher than PC's.

You can get used (possibly 2 - 3 year old) Win 10 PC computers that have come from commercial installations quite reasonable. I just bought one for a relative's HW build with an i7 CPU, 3.7ghz, 32 gb RAM, 500gb HDD for $109. Easy to upgrade the HDD to a SSD for not much $$$. There are sales quite often. This machine runs HW5 very well and is fast as well as up gradable.

Rgds,
Ed


Hey Ed, is there a link/source as to where I can find these sales/commercial computers?

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