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What Audio Systems Are the Most Pipe Like?

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What Audio Systems Are the Most Pipe Like?

Postby 4AmericanClassics » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:40 pm

Many Hauptwerk users have experience playing actual pipe organs but I'm at a disadvantage as I don't have access to a pipe organ to compare to my Hauptwerk to tweak it. My church has no organ and the only time I hear one is concerts or visiting other churches.
I have been using head phones only. Head phones are fatiguing and the organ seems to be "in my head" for lack of a better way to describe head phones sound. I am planning to purchase an audio interface, amplifiers and speaker system.
If you play an instrument that has one or more ranks of real pipes or hear one regularly and also have Hauptwerk, please let me know the audio system and routing scheme you believe works best to emulate pipes.
How many channels do you use? Are they mono or stereo? Do you use cyclic or tone mode?
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Re: What Audio Systems Are the Most Pipe Like?

Postby organsRgreat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 pm

I've been playing church pipe organs for over fifty years, and also have Hauptwerk. The best discussion I know of regarding speakers, and digital versus pipe organs, is at

http://www.pykett.org.uk/EndOfPipeOrgan.htm

Basically the message there is - the more speakers the better, in order to minimise distortion, especially intermodulation distortion. My Hauptwerk installation uses twenty speakers; if I had the space and could afford more, I would. The main speakers are two groups of eight (four stereo channels), using the algorithm “cyclic with octave, octaves and ranks cycled”.

The late Leo Christopherson used around eighty speakers, and his recordings on contrebombarde are the most natural I've heard. Search on “CHRIS_037”. This example shows how his system sounds with various stop combinations:

http://www.contrebombarde.com/concertha ... music/3335

You don't say where you live, but in the UK there is such a shortage of organists that anyone who shows an interest in the instrument is immediately made very welcome. If you ask around you might well be given access to a pipe organ, especially if you offer to contribute to the cost of electricity!
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Re: What Audio Systems Are the Most Pipe Like?

Postby 4AmericanClassics » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:46 pm

Thank you OrgansRgreat! I have benefited greatly from studying the resources you mentioned. I have started small, with just ten channels (five stereo pairs) using a Focusrite Scarlet. I send a mix down on one of the stereo outputs to my subwoofers. The other eight channels I am experimenting with the routings. I definitely like listening to the First Congregational Church of LA on my new system better than on head phones. The Oakland Shoenstien Aeolian Skinner and St Anne’s also is more enjoyable. Thanks again!
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