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Optimising wet stereo sample sets in a surround system

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Optimising wet stereo sample sets in a surround system

PostSat Aug 26, 2023 7:38 pm

I have recently upgraded to HW8 and I have just discovered how to truncate releases in the voicing screen, as well as how to have up to four differently voiced versions sent through four different routes (I gather this was added in HW5 but I have only just worked it out). I can see the potential for reducing the reverberation for very wet sample sets, and for optimising a wet stereo organ for a surround system. However, I don't know what settings work well, and so far I haven't liked the results very much.

My system has 6 stereo channels arranged in 3 groups, with three pairs of speakers at the front, two at the sides (mid) and one pair at the rear. I also have a sub-woofer that gets a mix-down of everything but has its own crossover. For organs recorded in 6-channel surround (or more) I send the direct channels to the front, the diffuse to the mid and the rear/surround to the rear speakers (different producers use different terminology but I hope you get the gist). This can sound very realistic and really gives the sense of being in a large space.

Many of the sample sets that I have are 2-channel stereo, however, and I haven't worked out the optimum way to route them. Generally I have been doing it by division, with the Great / Swell to the front, Choir / Positif to the mid and pedal (and any fierce solo stops) to the rear. However, that doesn't provide the same sense of space.

The ability to truncate the release tails by different amounts in different channels does look as though it has potential here. My first thought was to send truncated samples to the front group, the original wet samples to the mid and the wet samples to the rear with a slight delay (somebody created a few impulse response files that simply delay the sound without adding any reverb). I have been truncating the front samples to somewhere between 1/2 and 1 second, as I am aiming for an increase in clarity, not a completely dry channel.

I suppose another way of doing it would be to truncate the samples more severely and then add IR to the mid and rear channels. However, this would give a different acoustic space from the one the actual organ has, and which it was voiced for.

Really I suppose I am after a way of adding more sense of space to most stereo samples, and more clarity to the really wet ones (such as Salisbury, Berlin Steinmeyer and Poblet) that sound a bit muddy in my system.
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Re: Optimising wet stereo sample sets in a surround system

PostSat Aug 26, 2023 9:34 pm

Hi Julian,

The mixer is most certainly a mystery - but as you start to wrap your head around it you can do great things.

What you have suggested is what I do for stereo sets:

I also run three stereo pairs
- close (at the console)
- front (some distance - my main speakers)
- rear (a matched pair for surround)

I also have a discrete subwoofer.

My preference for surround sets is to just route them to the speakers as listed

For stereo sets, a bit of tweaking is often justified but here is a recipe that works for me:

Salisbury - I use the rank routing to send three 'perspectives' into the mixer (each of these starts as the same thing as you have learned)
- I send perspetive 1, with the releases truncated to 150ms, to my front speakers
- I send perspective 2, unadjusted to my front speakers
- I send perspective 3, to my rear speakers: releases truncated to 150ms, and the groningen rear IR (from Sonus P) applied.

This creates a lovely pseudo-surround effect which works well.

I agree with your idea to alternatively consider simply applying delay to the rear channel (and it turns out I was the madman who made those special IRs for that :lol: - you can grab them here:

Jeremiah Martin,
Portsmouth, Ohio



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Re: Optimising wet stereo sample sets in a surround system

PostSun Aug 27, 2023 2:20 am

For stereo samplesets, you could also make one large group of all speakers and route all ranks to those, basically surrounding yourself with the rank sources. Or split into groups by speaker model (but not location) and route by division if your speakers are too different. Either way, you'd ignore speaker positions other than preserving left/right orientation. That's what I do on stereo samplesets, in my case using 4 groups to keep the speaker types together.

I haven't had as much success adding a second perspective to produce a rear/surround signal on wet samples, mostly because I think release truncation isn't enough to make me think I'm hearing two different mic positions when the sustain samples are simply duplicates. But maybe there are other voicing parameters that could help make the distinction audible.

Using a second perspective with some release truncation to clarify a very wet sampleset does help, but only if the second perspective is in the same speaker group, at least in my setup.

(Not trying to start an argument. Everyone hears things differently.)
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Re: Optimising wet stereo sample sets in a surround system

PostSun Aug 27, 2023 4:06 am

[Topic moved here.]
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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