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Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

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Rimokatolik

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostThu Oct 03, 2019 9:18 pm

I was reading through 2 exceptional threads:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7379#p52000
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6498#p45476

Again, reminder, I am interested in reproducing original sound in private environment.

Based on information, especially from Martin, HW works the best (or should I say perfectly :-) ) using well done wet sample set and listening on headphones. He was explaining that it is exactly the same result if sound mixes in the air or digitally by HW. So if you listen on headphones there will be no difference if you listen to recording of playing on the real organ, or playing the same stuff in HW using well done wet sample set of the same organ.

Martin also explained there are no IMD (that dr Pykett was describing) using wet sample set, stereo recording on 2 speakers/headphones. But if more speakers are introduced, it seems to me that it must happen, so actually degrading faithful reproduction. Now, I have impression that many discussions about multichannel options for wet sample sets are about taste, not quality or need. Also, Martin was always talking about multichannel for dry sets. HW supports 512 channels, so there must be a reason :-)
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magnaton

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Oct 07, 2019 7:28 pm

Rimokatolik wrote:I was reading through 2 exceptional threads:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7379#p52000
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6498#p45476

Now, I have impression that many discussions about multichannel options for wet sample sets are about taste, not quality or need.

Yes those are excellent articles. Thanks for posting them to refresh my memory. Yes, "taste" is a factor but so is physics and live examples. In the mid 1990s, I got a chance to speak to a Rodgers rep who was in town to assist the local dealer with a large 4 manual install. They spec'd a set of "Regal"(?) speakers dedicated to the En Chamade. According to the rep, having this design allows for a more convincing State Trumpet sound since the speaker is not blending with any other voices.

Rimokatolik wrote:Again, reminder, I am interested in reproducing original sound in private environment.

And that is the beauty of Hauptwerk's modular design. Try different sound configuration, audition various speakers, try a set of 4 (or more) studio monitors and return them if you prefer just headphones or a pair of tower speakers. I am believer that the ear can become sophisticated pretty fast. After playing various music or organs for just a few days, you'll know if this is the long term direction.

I'm fortunate where I live to have a local company that rents PA, pro audio instruments, recording and studio gear at a VERY reasonable prices. I was able to audition a PreSonus Temblor T10 for a month for just $20! After about a week I decided I wanted something with more 'authority' :lol:

Danny B.
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Romanos

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostFri Oct 11, 2019 9:01 am

I will say this, I've had a simple stereo setup and a modest multi-channel setup. There are pros and cons. Stereo is simple and takes no room at all (beyond the console). But you are also aware (or at least I was with nice coaxial monitors that were definitely mid-grade, not cheapos) that you are listening to an organ coming out of small speakers close to you. By contrast, my 8 channel (3 stereo pairs +mix down for headphones and sub) can fill my whole house with sound and put a part in my hair. To be clear, I do not mean to imply that it's just about volume (in terms of decibels) but volume (in terms of sheer energy in the air). The multichannel is a much fuller sound, and it's little wonder: there are at least 6 cones moving (plus sub) rather than just 2. Mathematically, the total moving "surface" of the combined speakers is much greater and so it is a much fuller sound even at low volume levels.

I do wonder, if the effect would be reproduced by large hybrid electrostats (like martin logans) due to their bipolar nature and huge surface area (if I ever win the lotto I'll try it and let everyone know lol).

More practically speaking, I think we can take a cue from professional digital organ companies. Even the most modest home/chapel consoles have multi-channel audio for Rodgers/Allen/Viscount etc. built right into the console. My console is at least a 4.1 with speakers firing out the front and others mounted face up shooting up through the keyboards. Before I upgraded to HW, I can assure you I noticed once some of the speakers started to die. The multi-directional sound made all the difference in the world. If these builders, after all their R&D have unanimously come to the conclusion that there is something to multi-channel, I cannot help but find that a compelling argument. They've sunk millions into it. Even small organs in small churches usually have 4-6 channels.
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Romanos

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostFri Oct 11, 2019 9:05 am

One other thing worth noting; if I could do over from scratch, I would have gone bipolar from deftech (Marshall & Ogletree's are the prime examples of this tech) and built up a pair at a time. To this day I'm tempted to ditch my current setup for bipolars to get an even broader sound. You do have to have the space for them though.
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magnaton

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostFri Oct 11, 2019 1:29 pm

Romanos wrote:One other thing worth noting; if I could do over from scratch, I would have gone bipolar from deftech (Marshall & Ogletree's are the prime examples of this tech) and built up a pair at a time. To this day I'm tempted to ditch my current setup for bipolars to get an even broader sound. You do have to have the space for them though.

I've heard and played a Hauptwerk install that uses 8 Golden Ear Tritons powered by an 8 channel Crown amp. The setup has the speakers directly behind a partial wall that the console is backed up to. Large openings on either side allow you to walk behind it and for sound egress. A built in wall unit with shelves that sits further back (that the speakers are basically aimed at) has large doors that were crafted so when they are open, then can reflect (think ricochet) the sound out to the large living area. Of course you can play the organ with these closet doors shut and still hear the organ just fine, just less direct. Aesthetically this works great as the large room is professionally decorated and all you see is a console. :)

With someone else playing I was able to walk back and hear these GE Tritons up close and they sound clear and work well for Hauptwerk. The owner is very much a fan of pipe organ design by having the sound emanate from a chamber, attic, swell box, etc. indirectly as its an "organ" not a stereo or surround sound system that plays organ music.

Since these are designed for home stereo or home theatre, they didn't sound as flat as studio monitors. I'm still convinced that bi-amped studio monitors (as their designed is intended) provide the most accurate sound reproduction for Hauptwerk. I do read the threads and reviews from the home studio recording world. It seems this accuracy from various brands and designs of studio monitors has the caveat of ear fatigue. Some more than others. They mention mixing tracks on brand X monitors is fine but for musical (listening) enjoyment one might use brand Y. I have 18 channels of active studio monitors and hosted music parties where the organ was played almost non-stop for hours and no one complained about fatigue. And believe me they would!

Here is a brief discussion on Def Tech and the Golden Ear tower speakers.
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=14914

Danny B.
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magnaton

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostFri Oct 11, 2019 1:35 pm

Rimokatolik wrote:I was reading through 2 exceptional threads:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7379#p52000
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6498#p45476

Again, reminder, I am interested in reproducing original sound in private environment.

Check out this wonderful home audio design using in wall speakers!
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10333&p=76037

Only Hauptwerk allows you to think outside-the-box such as this!

Danny B.
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sonar11

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostFri Oct 11, 2019 11:16 pm

magnaton wrote: I'm still convinced that bi-amped studio monitors (as their designed is intended) provide the most accurate sound reproduction for Hauptwerk. I do read the threads and reviews from the home studio recording world. It seems this accuracy from various brands and designs of studio monitors has the caveat of ear fatigue. Some more than others.


I think this is a very interesting topic; because "accurate" is not always equivalent to "most pleasing". Most people buying home theatre systems tend to prefer listening to concave voiced speakers; heavy(ier) on the bass, a dip in the middle, then heavy(ier) again in the treble. Think polk audio, paradigm, all the big brand box store speakers etc seem to be voiced that way, whereas studio monitors are voiced completely flat.

For myself, I put more emphasis on how it handles the treble/bass, and less emphasis on the voicing. So no metal tweeters, my ears are sore after 30 mins on most speakers, I find the easiest to listen to are the AMT/ribbon tweeters due to the airy nature of them. My ears no longer "vibrate" on those high frequencies (2's, mixtures). I know they're not the most accurate (voicing), they are only $300-$400 speakers so they're not going to be perfect, but they still sound best to me and I prefer them (for organ music) far above the (more accurate and detailed) $2000 KEF's in my home system.
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Eric Sagmuller

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostSat Oct 12, 2019 8:53 pm

Rimokatolik wrote:Martin also explained there are no IMD (that dr Pykett was describing) using wet sample set, stereo recording on 2 speakers/headphones. But if more speakers are introduced, it seems to me that it must happen, so actually degrading faithful reproduction.


Inter-modulation distortion actually is produced by the speakers themselves when two different frequency tones are produced. I don't remember Colin's article off hand, but I think he was talking about a slightly different situation. Using more speaker helps to mitigate IM distortion.

Eric
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1961TC4ME

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostSat Oct 12, 2019 10:38 pm

Eric Sagmuller wrote:
Using more speaker helps to mitigate IM distortion.

Eric


In addition to just more speakers, careful rank routing selection and speaker positioning also helps to mitigate IM distortion.

Marc
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scottherbert

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostSun Oct 13, 2019 9:59 am

Sonar11 I like your thinking. The system has to be pleasing to YOUR ears!

As many different opinions as there are people when it comes to speakers. What really matters is that you like what you hear. I knew a person that was obsessed by "accuracy", and never actually achieved what he wanted. At the time of his death he had over 50 pairs of speakers, and it still wasn't enough. :wink:

~S
"Life is just a dream, it is in death that we truly awaken!"
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Re: Large speaker arrays

PostSun Jan 26, 2020 6:21 pm

While I am in awe of those who have a large array of speakers with their HW setup, my "music room" is not large enough for me to emulate them. However, I would still like to ask this question out of interest. My understanding is that only one USB audio interface can be used with HW. So what interface do those who have multiple speaker setups use to for their multi-channel audio? Not just 4 or 8 speaker setups, but those of 30 - 40 - 50 etc?
Thanks,
Peter
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mnailor

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostSun Jan 26, 2020 6:39 pm

I only have 16 studio monitors and a sub, but my interface's capacity is 28 output channels. I have an RME UFX with 12 analog and 16 ADAT outputs.

I also use a MOTU 24Ao as an ADAT to analog converter, but it can work as the HW-visible interface with 24 analog outputs in case the more expensive RME croaks. I tested the 24Ao standalone without the RME, but I like the RME software better. I think you can use multiple 24Ao units on an AVB hub, but I haven't needed that many channels.

I control both interfaces with USB (only one used by HW of course).
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engrssc

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Re: Large speaker arrays

PostSun Jan 26, 2020 7:30 pm

peterorg wrote:While I am in awe of those who have a large array of speakers with their HW setup, my "music room" is not large enough for me to emulate them. However, I would still like to ask this question out of interest. My understanding is that only one USB audio interface can be used with HW. So what interface do those who have multiple speaker setups use to for their multi-channel audio? Not just 4 or 8 speaker setups, but those of 30 - 40 - 50 etc?


The spec for HW is up to 512 audio channels. We are presently using 3 - MOTU 24Ao audio interfaces (each with 24 output channels) using their AVB network setup and feeding each interface from the MOTU AVB 5-Port AVB Ethernet Switch. At the console is a MOTU Ultralite AVB which is the ethernet source.

The Hauptwerk computer connects to the MOTU Ultralite AVB via a USB 2.0 connection. The power amps driven by the 24Ao's are Crown CT 8150's.

Rgds,
Ed
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TheOrganDoc

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Jan 27, 2020 3:04 pm

Eric Sagmuller wrote:
Rimokatolik wrote:Martin also explained there are no IMD (that dr Pykett was describing) using wet sample set, stereo recording on 2 speakers/headphones. But if more speakers are introduced, it seems to me that it must happen, so actually degrading faithful reproduction.


Inter-modulation distortion actually is produced by the speakers themselves when two different frequency tones are produced. I don't remember Colin's article off hand, but I think he was talking about a slightly different situation. Using more speaker helps to mitigate IM distortion.

Eric


Reply from, TheOrganDoc, (My past experiences, go way beyond that of most electronic audio experts)

There is Inter-Modulation, in between all sources of multiple sounds, Including Organs, Pianos, and Orchestra's !
(Tuners utilize inter-modulation, in the tuning of "all musical instruments" !)
Listening to out of tune instruments, "Clearly Demonstrates abnormal Inter Modulation, Blatantly ! ! ! "

I personally" believe that, "Sample Processing, is responsible for most of the lack of reality" in Sample Sets ! ( I have Tuned, and Repaired Many Organs during my career, "Always utilizing the beats between Forth's and Fifth's, and all the octaves", to Tune Properly ! "My Best wishes to all" Mel, "TOD" ! (Apology's to Eric, and Colin) ! :lol:
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
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