Search:
Submit Search


Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salisbury

Speakers, amplifiers, headphones, multi-channel audio, reverb units, mixers, wiring, ...

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby murph » Thu May 10, 2018 8:13 pm

As a slight aside, just for Hereford.
The main recordings come from a stereo pair in the one position for Ch, Gt, Sw and ped. The mics were moved "around the corner" to record the solo. This gives a great stereo image for the 4 divisions, but makes the solo stick out a bit, within the acoustic space.
Sending the solo stops to a pair or speakers offset to the main pair works really well with this set.
(Sending the mains to a 3x stereo set aswell is even better!)

Just my 2c.
murph
Member
 
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby josq » Fri May 11, 2018 3:52 am

EricMcK wrote:
josq wrote:Is there clipping in Hauptwerk (audio level meter going into red) or in your speakers?

The clipping is all in the speakers - HW never moves near the red. And the clipping only occurs when "tutti" is activated.

Not sure if it helps, but perhaps you have some headroom to increase the audio level in Hauptwerk such that the audio level meter just goes into orange when playing a tutti while reducing the audio level of your speaker.

EricMcK wrote:
josq wrote:1)
* Recreate the sound of the original sampled organ, including the original acoustics as recorded at the recording position
* Use wet sample sets (containing the original reverb)
* Use a stereo pair of high-quality speakers (or possibly surround) or headphones
* Minimize the influence of the acoustics of your listening environment
* Optimize for a single listening position


Your option #1 is absolutely what we're going for. There's a lot of sound absorption in the room, and the wet sample set sounds really lovely.

That's a good starting point. Maybe you still have a couple of reflective surfaces (glass, concrete) that could be improved. And room correction software (ARC2.5, Sonarworks, Dirac) still can give a big improvement
EricMcK wrote:
josq wrote: And once choosing for paradigm 1, there is (theoretically) nothing to gain in going for multichannel audio, provided that you have a stereo pair of excellent quality.


Just to make sure I understand - you're saying that a pair of good speakers and a subwoofer is all that's really necessary?

Yes - I always find it a bit hard to say this on this forum because several excellent forum members have invested in multichannel audio. On the other hand, I think it is good to communicate to new users that huge audio setups are not strictly required. For some previous discussions, see forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16597&p=124744
josq
Member
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby mnailor » Fri May 11, 2018 10:50 am

I'm not pushing multichannel on anybody. It's expensive, a lot more work, and plenty of HW users are happy with headphones or the minimal required 2 or 4 speakers plus sub. But --

A pair of really good speakers plus a sub sounds like a nice organ CD on a stereo system to me, and not at all like an organ filling the room from several directions with many sound sources. Mixing all the sound into two or four (surround) speakers driven fairly hard just doesn't seem to have the same effect for me as mixing the sounds in the air from many speakers driven far below their capacity so that big registrations sound effortless.

This is how it sounds to me whether the samples are wet, surround, or dry. I just need to hear more sound sources than stereo or quad offers. I'm not in any way a recording audiophile, and I'm not worried about reproducing the organ's layout and acoustics exactly. I don't mind some room reflections or bother correcting for them.
That's just me.
mnailor
Member
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:57 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri May 11, 2018 12:05 pm

mnailor wrote:I'm not pushing multichannel on anybody. It's expensive, a lot more work, and plenty of HW users are happy with headphones or the minimal required 2 or 4 speakers plus sub. But --

A pair of really good speakers plus a sub sounds like a nice organ CD on a stereo system to me, and not at all like an organ filling the room from several directions with many sound sources. Mixing all the sound into two or four (surround) speakers driven fairly hard just doesn't seem to have the same effect for me as mixing the sounds in the air from many speakers driven far below their capacity so that big registrations sound effortless.

This is how it sounds to me whether the samples are wet, surround, or dry. I just need to hear more sound sources than stereo or quad offers. I'm not in any way a recording audiophile, and I'm not worried about reproducing the organ's layout and acoustics exactly. I don't mind some room reflections or bother correcting for them.
That's just me.


I'll agree with all said here and am not pushing multi-channel either as yes, it involves a lot of work, experimentation and expense. But I will say this as I've had a chance to compare: Because of the various timbres of a pipe organ, no single pair of speakers regardless of their quality will match or is up to the task of the results you will get from properly laid out multiple channels and speakers.

Just me as well. :wink:

Marc
1961TC4ME
Member
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:45 pm
Location: Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby jkinkennon » Fri May 11, 2018 12:24 pm

Avoiding multichannel in favor of better imaging seems pointless to me. It's not as if it is possible to pinpoint the location of a particular pipe in a real organ installation, at least not if the acoustics are behaving as part of the instrument so that the room becomes an integral part of the instrument. Imaging is the ability to hear the location of instruments and voices as distinct entities at distinct locations and is not the goal when pipes are placed in a reverberant space that serves to disguise their location. Imaging should not be a goal in organ reproduction either.

The point of multichannel installations is to avoid a static-phase modulation between two tones, particularly between tones which produce undesirable beats such as major and minor thirds. Other tones, any two tones, will modulate one another, but with our two ears we hear them in a minimum of two phase relationships and with the slightest turn of the head we hear a smooth variation in the phase relationship. This is why stereo sounds better than mono with or without excellent imaging. Our brains know how to fix ordinary audio intermodulation.

Multichannel sound is compromised when speakers are placed too close together. Listen to stereo through a pair of small speakers held in your hands. Move them as close together as possible and the sound will come close to being mono. It's not mixing in air vs. mixing electronically as some have suggested but rather the degree to which we allow our ears to pick up more than one phase relationship between the two sound sources.

Ultimately the test is to listen. Interestingly, if one's hearing is severely impaired in one ear then the benefits of multichannel audio are lost. If one is attempting to hear beats between notes (severe intermodulation) then it actually helps to cover one ear. So kudos to those brave enough to invest in multichannel. While the best setups can be discussed at length, what you are hearing is not just your imagination but cleaner more realistic sound.
jkinkennon
Member
 
Posts: 946
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby EricMcK » Fri May 11, 2018 12:56 pm

It's fascinating (and good!) that there are so many right answers, and it really speaks to how subjective this all is. It really comes down to a person's prior listening environments and experiences. There's lots of room for experimentation!
EricMcK
Member
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 1:12 pm
Location: Salem, OR

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri May 11, 2018 1:55 pm

EricMcK wrote: There's lots of room for experimentation!


When it comes to Hauptwerk, that is the understatement of the century! :lol:

If I can throw in my 2-1/2 cents worth: If you're looking for very good results with great realism, at a minimum I'd look at having at a very minimum 6 channels, but preferably 8 to 10 is very good and will be very adequate for most any home installation. You can go with more if you like, but you then also have to consider where all these speakers involved are going to be placed, some have the room, some don't. I have 10 channels total with lots of experimentation under my belt over the years in tweaking everything, and am thrilled with the results.

Marc
1961TC4ME
Member
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:45 pm
Location: Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby josq » Fri May 11, 2018 1:56 pm

jkinkennon wrote:Avoiding multichannel in favor of better imaging seems pointless to me. It's not as if it is possible to pinpoint the location of a particular pipe in a real organ installation, at least not if the acoustics are behaving as part of the instrument so that the room becomes an integral part of the instrument. Imaging is the ability to hear the location of instruments and voices as distinct entities at distinct locations and is not the goal when pipes are placed in a reverberant space that serves to disguise their location. Imaging should not be a goal in organ reproduction either.


Some acoustic masking of the position of a pipe does not make stereo imaging entirely pointless.

The point of multichannel installations is to avoid a static-phase modulation between two tones, particularly between tones which produce undesirable beats such as major and minor thirds. Other tones, any two tones, will modulate one another, but with our two ears we hear them in a minimum of two phase relationships and with the slightest turn of the head we hear a smooth variation in the phase relationship. This is why stereo sounds better than mono with or without excellent imaging. Our brains know how to fix ordinary audio intermodulation.


This seems to me a perfect reason to use multichannel audio with dry sample sets indeed. In a single speaker, you would create undesired phase-modulated side signals which are then mixed into the acoustics of your listening room. However, with wet sample sets, phase modulation has already taken place extensively before the sound has reached the recording microphones, due to all the different paths the soundwaves can take in the church building. For that reason, I think phase modulation effects have been naturally "smoothed" in a wet sample set, and are not of concern. Any "undesirable" beats between notes would also be present in reality. This is however a complicated topic so feel free to disagree if you have a better explanation.

Ultimately the test is to listen. Interestingly, if one's hearing is severely impaired in one ear then the benefits of multichannel audio are lost. If one is attempting to hear beats between notes (severe intermodulation) then it actually helps to cover one ear. So kudos to those brave enough to invest in multichannel. While the best setups can be discussed at length, what you are hearing is not just your imagination but cleaner more realistic sound.


You'll need to know what to listen for. To take a simple example, it is well known that increasing the volume of your music typically gives a subjective experience of improved sound. So if you experience an improvement when you turn on an extra pair of speakers, maybe you would have experienced the same improvement if you had just turned up the volume... Of course many more factors are in play so these kind of experiments are not that easy. With this example I intend to illustrate that it is valid to ask which perceived advantages of multichannel audio could have been achieved by other means.

So if you experience more clarity in the sound, could that be because of "averaging" your room response (a boomy note on one speaker might sound normal on another speaker in another location of the room)? Then, maybe you can achieve the same or better clarity by implementing room correction?

Or if someone notices intermodulation distortion, could this be due to poor quality drivers, and wouldn't it be better to buy a single high quality stereo pair instead of getting more of the same poor quality?

Etcetera.
josq
Member
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri May 11, 2018 10:59 pm

Really? We're gettin overly complicated and way out in the weeds here, enough to confuse and scare off most anyone with all this gobilty gook and talk of 'acoustic masking' and 'static phase' stuff, sounds like something from Star Trek. "Scotty beam me up." :lol: I'd just say "forget it" and go with headphones if it was that complex (it's not). Most of us aren't building, own or desire to have recording studios here, much less have the time or resources to even try understand and investigate what these fancy analysis mean or how it all might impact our home setups. It's fair to say we're all looking for good realism within our resources without having to take a PHD in quantum physics. Use common sense, known quality components, and the guide of other's proven trials and errors for what works and what doesn't as reported in many threads here. You'll be way ahead of the curve and very happy with the results without over analyzing and turning things into a science project. Honestly, a person could drive themselves nuts worrying about all the 'what ifs' and there are many in the average home set up you largely have little to zero control over. Remember, there is always a reaction to an action. :wink:

Marc
1961TC4ME
Member
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:45 pm
Location: Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby josq » Sat May 12, 2018 1:38 am

Good point! I think my advice regarding multi-channel audio has been very simple: you might not need it.

But understanding why it is not necessary, or why multi-channel audio could be beneficial after all, is quite involved indeed, sadly - or perhaps not so sad if you find a bit of science fascinating.
josq
Member
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby magnaton » Sat May 12, 2018 1:46 am

josq wrote:You'll need to know what to listen for. To take a simple example, it is well known that increasing the volume of your music typically gives a subjective experience of improved sound. So if you experience an improvement when you turn on an extra pair of speakers, maybe you would have experienced the same improvement if you had just turned up the volume...


This may be the case when auditioning speakers or studio monitors in a store. At a few big music stores that I have visited recently (Sam Ash, Guitar Center) they provide a 1/8" stereo plug so you can play music from your phone along with a simplified patch panel that selects the different speakers. With all the other racket happening in the store it's kind of hard focus on the sound quality. I could see where the "louder" monitors would appear more efficient and sound better than a softer pair.

From my personal experience when setting up my HW system and working with few other similar installs, adding additional speakers of exact same make and model with volume and other settings perfectly matched will broaden the sound stage which is not necessarily louder. Case in point, I grew my system slowly adding a new pair of active monitors every 2 months until I had 8 (4 stereo pairs). This gave me time to become familiar with the sound of that current incarnation as I practice everyday. When adding the next pair of monitors I immediately noticed an increase in clarity and more convincing organ sound. For sample sets that I use in an array design (multiple speakers in one group), the notes and pipe ranks had more channels to disperse to. For sample sets in a separate division design, it became really obvious as you'd imagine. It was here where I made the exception to separate a celeste and it's unison rank to a neighboring channel. For example for one organ the complete Choir division is routed to channels 3 & 4 (stereo L & R) but the Erzhaler Celeste is placed in the Swell channels of 5 & 6. This is a good tip as the undulation of these 2 ranks happens in the air (like a real pipe organ) verses being in the same speakers.

1961TC4ME wrote:Really? We're gettin overly complicated and way out in the weeds here, enough to confuse and scare off most anyone . . . .


LOL, I agree. There are 3 basic HW audio camps:
- Headphones (or headphones w/sub)
- Stereo only (usually high end tower speakers like Def Tech BiPolars or Golden Ear Triton series)
- Multichannel, usually active studio monitors or a mix of speakers capable of delivering good sustained organ tone.
The really neat thing about this is that with a little ingenuity you can experiment with all 3! Purchase some AKG 701 headphones from a store with a reasonable return policy. Do you know someone with a high end or audiophile grade stereo set up? Load HW on a laptop, grab the correct audio patch cables, and a MIDI controller and show up for a test drive of their system. We have a store here that rents PA and studio equipment at *very* reasonable prices. That would be a start to experiment with a multi channel setup.

Regardless you should enjoy experimenting how to best incorporate a multichannel design for your environment.

Danny
User avatar
magnaton
Member
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby jkinkennon » Sat May 12, 2018 12:35 pm

I generally avoid these discussions as most people don't care why stereo sounds better than mono and what makes multichannel work. Still, it is important to understand that good audio is not just about hype and deep bank accounts. There are real physical acoustics at play and sound interactions that can be hard to conceptualize (if that's the right word?).

When I first began using Hauptwerk I commented on another forum that the sound was equivalent to an excellent CD recording. Using just stereo that was, and remains the case. The sound was excellent but suffered from the same compromises present in any stereo recording. At one point I became so frustrated with the inherent problem of beats that I could scarcely enjoy the experience when playing simple organ registrations. Blame it on too much piano tuning perhaps, but it can be quite annoying when you know what to listen for. Yes, this occurs naturally with pipes, but the effect is not the same -- that's something that can be heard and can be conceptually understood if one is into the physics.

There are problems implementing multichannel sound. The usual case of a organ against a wall and speakers arrayed on either side has never worked for me, so I am sympathetic to the idea that multichannel isn't for the home environment. At my house the speakers are now ten feet away from the console and twenty to thirty feet from the prime listening positions. Any closer and it is all but impossible to have all the speakers "on-axis" with matching high frequency response. I am currently running three front stereo pairs, a sub with two additional speakers for the higher pedal tones. Add two surround speakers and I'm at 10 speakers plus sub.

The three pairs for the front sound do help a lot with cleaning up the beats and do produce a cleaner sound than two equivalent speakers. My favorite church install uses twice the number of speakers and sits alongside a small but well maintained pipe organ. Realism doesn't get a pass when the two can be played one after the other.

I wish I could understand what others "hear". We are all different and I have yet to find the headphones that sound remotely realistic. I take it on faith that this is different for other listeners. Two-channels via speakers can still sound good but I now have a better idea of why the best speakers still produce a "recording" type sound.

I have not heard dry sample sets that sounded right to me in either a church or home setting. In a smaller sanctuary I find the releases on dry sample sets to be unnaturally abrupt -- chopped off. Granted, we need much less reverb in the larger space. I don't see a theoretical or real world reason why multichannel is not better for wet sets as well as dry. The newer six channel approach is great as any predetermined mix of wet versus dry sound is likely to be wrong for any given room. I am currently between consoles, having sold another out of the living room, but I always keep independent pots on the console to control overall volume, front sound, front diffused sound, and rear surround.
jkinkennon
Member
 
Posts: 946
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby RichardW » Sat May 12, 2018 1:28 pm

jkinkennon wrote:... the slightest turn of the head ...

Thank you for that. I thought it was just me!

That sums up for me what most people seem to miss about audio. That is why I don't get on with headphones. It also explains why theories about interference patterns and beating are just that: theories.

Sorry. OT, but I feel better now ;)

Regards,
Richard
User avatar
RichardW
Member
 
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:16 am
Location: UK

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby josq » Sat May 12, 2018 1:51 pm

RichardW wrote:
jkinkennon wrote:... the slightest turn of the head ...

Thank you for that. I thought it was just me!

That sums up for me what most people seem to miss about audio. That is why I don't get on with headphones. It also explains why theories about interference patterns and beating are just that: theories.

Sorry. OT, but I feel better now ;)

Regards,


Sorry, I can't resist to respond ;) The slightest turn of the head - let's say that's a couple of centimeters. Only tones with wavelengths on that scale will be significantly affected. For example, a note at 3430 Hz has a 10cm wavelength (from the speed of sound: 343 m/s).

So only for high frequencies what you hear will be significantly impacted by a slight turn of the head.

Interferences etc certainly do have a large impact at lower frequencies (if someone is interested, google on SBIR - speaker boundary interference response to find some not-too-hard theory with clear practical implications).
josq
Member
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Advice request: multi-channel audio for Hereford & Salis

Postby josq » Sat May 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Perhaps more on-topic: for people who like experimentation, I highly recommend the free REW (room equalization wizard) software in combination with a good non-USB measurement microphone. Curves like frequency response, phase response and impulse response will give you a lot of insight in the quality of your sound. Once you understand the measurements, you can start to experiment with speaker placement, room treatment etc to see if you can achieve significant improvements by simple interventions.
josq
Member
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:11 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Amplification

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests