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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby sonar11 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:19 pm

dcaton wrote:
mstng67 wrote:That is the only drawback to the unit, but my 12 channel amp is right next to it so the run is not far.

I was planning on using one or two pairs of monitors for the antiphonal division. From the console up the wall into the attic, across to the back of the room and back down will probably require ~50' cables. Wonder if that's too far for non-balanced connections. Otherwise, the LP-16 looks like a good deal. The (very few) other options I've found so far are at least 2x the cost.

Too bad someone doesn't make something geared for VPOs, but I suppose the market is too small.


There are always exceptions... but as long as you are running the unbalanced cable away from power cables and other cables to prevent interference, then you should be fine with unbalanced.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:23 pm

That's a long way to go unbalanced. Also I'm sure you would be on a different AC circuit. If the monitors use an ungrounded AC feed, then it may work ok. My Mackie HR824's are mostly this way. The early ones used a ground connection, but after several years they redesigned them without, as I understand because of ground loop issues after adding an unbalanced RCA connector as an option. Ground loop hum can be influenced by interference. But is more often the cause of the two devices being grounded at different points, this causes current to flow in the cable shield. Balanced cables can cancel this effect out using two conductors inside of the shield. However the electronics at each end are also designed appropriately.

You are right, for that many channels there don't seem to be many audio interface options at a low price. I really want to switch to RME, but would need to go with their DAC's and a MADI card, very expensive.

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby murph » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:55 pm

If it's only one or two channels that need extending, use a transformer at the source end of the cable to balance things. They start out at about $/€5 for stereo. (Ground loop isolator is a good search start....)
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:50 pm

Eric Sagmuller wrote:That's a long way to go unbalanced. Also I'm sure you would be on a different AC circuit. If the monitors use an ungrounded AC feed, then it may work ok. My Mackie HR824's are mostly this way. The early ones used a ground connection, but after several years they redesigned them without, as I understand because of ground loop issues after adding an unbalanced RCA connector as an option. Ground loop hum can be influenced by interference. But is more often the cause of the two devices being grounded at different points, this causes current to flow in the cable shield. Balanced cables can cancel this effect out using two conductors inside of the shield. However the electronics at each end are also designed appropriately.

You are right, for that many channels there don't seem to be many audio interface options at a low price. I really want to switch to RME, but would need to go with their DAC's and a MADI card, very expensive.

Eric

Actually no, one circuit. I'm wrapping up a kitchen remodel and I left a spare 20 amp circuit up in the attic that I will use exclusively for the VPO. Between the console's power requirements (~150 drawknobs) plus a dozen or so monitors, computer, etc. putting all that on a general lighting circuit wouldn't be wise. Balanced outputs would still be preferable though.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby ppytprs » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:01 am

I always recommend putting your main speakers at the other side of the room from your console. You don't find many sizeable pipe organs where the sound fires more or less directly into your face. If you put the speakers at the other side of the room, then the sound gets to develop in the room before it gets to your ears, which I find is much more natural. Especially when you've got multiple channels.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:51 am

ppytprs wrote:I always recommend putting your main speakers at the other side of the room from your console. You don't find many sizeable pipe organs where the sound fires more or less directly into your face. If you put the speakers at the other side of the room, then the sound gets to develop in the room before it gets to your ears, which I find is much more natural. Especially when you've got multiple channels.


True, but don't you want to hear the organ from the perspective of the congregation, rather than the perspective of the organist? If the sound fired from the rear, then the building would be turned around. I suppose that dosen't really matter if you're playing an organ that' you're not familiar with, but in general aren't the majority of an organ's divisions at the front of the building?

I suppose it also matters to some extent whether you're using a dry or wet sampleset and whether there's any surround channels. Wouldn't it sound odd for the surround channels to be in front? Also, I eventually want to sample the organ the console is coming from, which has an antiphonal division.

I suppose given a more or less equivalent set of monitors at both ends, it would be easy to have multiple configurations and use whatever sounds best for any given sampleset. I don't imagine the position of the sub would matter too much, right?
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby magnaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:45 am

Using studio monitors (also known as near field monitors) which you wisely purchased gives you some flexibility. If you see pictures of a mixing console in a recording studio, you'd see the speakers triangulate to the listener in the center. This is the 'sweet spot' for stereo recording playback. They should be at ear level angled in a bit at a distance around 5 feet or so between you and each speaker. Adding multiple stereo sets you can just build on that premise.

When adding additional speakers, its better to mount them higher than ear level verses lower if given a choice. Sound travels down. I've been fortunate to have hard and played many resident pipe organ installs. The 2 I recall where the sound spoke up through grates in the floor just wasn't as exciting as those where the chambers were on the same level as the console or spoke down from tone chutes in the ceiling.

dcaton wrote:but in general aren't the majority of an organ's divisions at the front of the building?


Most HW sets are from European organs which generally reside in back, high up in the choir loft. Especially organs sampled from Germany and France. Of course this can vary by location, denomination, and the year of the church's construction. Regardless, your HW project is in your home. Consider the the traditional setup of raised speakers (at ear level or higher) flanked left and right of the console with a set of speakers behind you at some distance for surround sound. You are in for a thrilling ride. :-)

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby ppytprs » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:23 pm

dcaton wrote:
ppytprs wrote:I always recommend putting your main speakers at the other side of the room from your console. You don't find many sizeable pipe organs where the sound fires more or less directly into your face. If you put the speakers at the other side of the room, then the sound gets to develop in the room before it gets to your ears, which I find is much more natural. Especially when you've got multiple channels.


True, but don't you want to hear the organ from the perspective of the congregation, rather than the perspective of the organist? If the sound fired from the rear, then the building would be turned around. I suppose that dosen't really matter if you're playing an organ that' you're not familiar with, but in general aren't the majority of an organ's divisions at the front of the building?


I certainly don't! For us in the UK, most church organs are in the chancel of the church, firing across the space, so the best place to hear it is from the choir stalls (this is due to Victorian ideas about music not being for the congregation!) If you're lucky, you might find your console in this area. More often as not though, it's stashed out of the way somewhere, so you don't get a good perspective of the organ from the console or from the congregation!
As for which end of the room your speakers are, and which way round you imagine you're facing, doesn't matter. The point is that you need distance between your ears and the speakers. If you have the speakers right in front of you, or just to the sides of you, then it's not going to sound like an organ from the bench or the congregation or whatever you're imagining.
I'm imagining that most people put their console with its back against a wall, for practical purposes. If you could have /your/ back to the wall, and the speakers on the other wall, facing you, and hence have the distance between you and they that way then, that would perhaps be better. You'd get some distance and have it in front of you. But this is usually not practical. Hence my suggestion to put the speakers behind you.
As for would surround work in reverse. I don't see why not. The surround is trying to create a sense of immersion in the sound. Which way round it is doesn't matter.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby mnailor » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:19 pm

I put my new console on the same wall as most of the speakers a short time ago. The previous console had 12 monitors + sub behind me about 10' away, with just 4 "rear" speakers to my front left.

Now I'm sitting between 8 speakers on two levels of shelves, plus 2 on floor to my left, sub to my right spread out about 12', with 4 on shelves and 2 on floor to my rear.

I hear it as being much more immersed in the space, but with more detail to the sounds this way. A lot more apparent directionality to the sound sources. The stereo pairs are together on one side or the other, only about 2' apart, not split across both sides of the console.

Previously at 10' away despite the 12' wide spread, the mass of sound behind me was too mashed together. Probably also has to do with 4 of those speakers being near field instead of mid field monitors, so they were just too far away.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:48 pm

mnailor wrote:12 monitors + sub

What are you using for an interface?

There hasn't been much discussion on interfaces with a lot of outputs (greater than 8 ). Are VPO's with a large number of channels in the minority? So far the choices I've found are:

-- MOTU 24io, 16a, etc. - plenty of room for expansion but $1000 and up
-- Cymatic LP-16 - good value at $500, but outputs are unbalanced
-- Chaining multiple smaller interfaces together (assuming they support it)
-- Using a smaller interface that supports a lot of out channels via ADAT, along with something like the Behringer ADA8200 to get another 8 line outs.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby mnailor » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:31 pm

I'm using Windows USB to an RME Fireface UFX with 2 ADATs out to a MOTU 24Ao used as a DAC only. The subwoofer is on the RME, using its internal mixer. The 16 monitors are on the 24Ao. An additional 8 monitors would go on the RME if I expand.

All balanced cables.

If I needed more than 24 monitors, I might consider an RME RayDAT PCIe card with 4 ADATs to get 32 channels, but 16 - 24 is enough for me.

I used the 24Ao alone as a USB interface for several months until a computer death recently made me load the current drivers from MOTU and it stopped working reliably, so I put my 3 year old RME back in charge and it's back to normal.

By the way, my shelf speakers are 4 Adam A8X and 8 Adam A3X, which are all very easy on the ear fatigue but dreadfully expensive. My floor speakers are 4 KRK RP10-3, which you want at a distance from your ears because of lower sound quality, and an SVS sub.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby magnaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:34 pm

dcaton wrote:There hasn't been much discussion on interfaces with a lot of outputs (greater than 8 ). Are VPO's with a large number of channels in the minority?


No I don't think so. Here is short list of other audio interfaces < 1K$ being used for Hauptwerk:

MOTU 24Ao (technically under 1K)
MOTU UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Behringer FCA 1616

Search the HW forum for these models to assist with your research. Be careful with checking out the specs on these units with regards to outputs. They will be too technical and count the S/PDIF port (2 channels), Digital Toslink port (for ADAT = 8 channels), headphone jack (2 channels), and sometimes the MIDI port (1 output). So the specs may look great with something like "21 outputs", but in reality you only get 8 or 10 TRS 1/4" ports that are ready for use :shock:

MOTU recently came out with a new UltraLite MK4 similar to the MK3 but with a digital output and input allowing a connection to an ADAT for an extra 8 outputs (or inputs). Also MOTU units come with their CueMix software that has some basic reverb choices. You may want to add some reverb if you decide to get a dry classical sample set. It's almost a given that you need to add reverb to a theatre organ sample set which is 'ulta dry' by its design.

On a side note regarding surround sound, you may not need or want the 'full horsepower' of an active monitor dedicated just for surround samples. You might could get by with a nice pair of bookshelf speakers. The only issue are the pedals notes can easily overdrive some of these speakers, but that is easily tweaked. For my setup I used the S/PDIF output port on my audio interface. It was available and I couldn't stand it being dormant :-) I connected it to an S/PDIF input on a Yamaha stereo receiver deck. This deck powers 2 older passive studio monitors. Works really well for my setup as I just had to run speaker wire from the stereo deck (close to the console) to my surround sound speakers mounted in back about 10 feet high. This kept 2 TRS ports on my interface free for my next set of active monitors that I would eventually purchase. Both the passive monitors and Yamaha deck were purchased used giving me an economical and rewarding upgrade.

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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:32 pm

magnaton wrote:No I don't think so. Here is short list of other audio interfaces < 1K$ being used for Hauptwerk:

MOTU 24Ao (technically under 1K)
MOTU UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Behringer FCA 1616

Thanks. I've seen all of those so far except the Behringer. The Ultralite-mk3 and 18i20 only have 10 line outs, so those won't do; I need at least 13.

The Behringer FCA-1616 only has 8 outs but paired with a ADA8200, would give me 16 for ~$450. That would only allow for one more pair.

The 24ao would allow four additional pairs in the future, but at about twice the cost of the Behringers. Slight drawback with the 24ao is that you also have to buy DB25 or phoenix TRS or XLR adapters, which pushes the cost past $1100.

I really have no idea if I'll want more speakers in the future or not. All else being equal I'd rather spend $450 vs $1100, but price isn't the only deciding factor. Behringer doesn't seem to have the best reputation, but I don't know if that's deserved or not. Then again I've come across a few negative reviews about MOTO too. Hard really to know what to trust.

Guess if I had ordered fewer speakers it would be an easier choice, but the consensus here seems to be the more the better.
Last edited by dcaton on Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:37 pm

magnaton wrote:On a side note regarding surround sound, you may not need or want the 'full horsepower' of an active monitor dedicated just for surround samples. You might could get by with a nice pair of bookshelf speakers. The only issue are the pedals notes can easily overdrive some of these speakers, but that is easily tweaked.

The organ I eventually want to sample has antiphonal and antiphonal pedal divisions, so they won't go to waste. Besides, if the Monoprice speakers are any good, the price I paid for them is a steal.
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Re: Speaker recommendations

Postby dcaton » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:49 pm

The plot thickens...

The Behringer UMC1820 has 12 outs, paired with a ADA8200, would give me 20 for ~$500. Anyone have any experience with either of these, or Behringer interfaces in general?
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