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Update on multichannel home setup

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mnailor

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Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 9:45 am

I just finished adding some new speakers and replacing TRS cable snakes with XLR. Here's where it ended up.

I have four front groups and two rear groups.

The front groups are routed by division:
Great and Solo to six Adam T8V and A8X on shelves
Swell and Choir to six Adam T7V on shelves
Pedal to four KRK RP10 on floor
Noises to two Adam A3X on console

The rear groups are routed by pitch, and these have alternate groups with reverb added:
Midrange and trebles to six Adam A3X on shelves
Basses to two KRK RP10 on floor

There are mixdowns for an SVS PC12 Plus subwoofer, in the back, and headphones. Power strips are separate for speakers so I can use headphones easily by not turning on the amps.

All groups use the dynamic cyclic within group algorithm.

A MOTU 24Ao audio interface forwards some channels on two ADATs to an RME UFX since the 24Ao is full. 96kHz.
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vpo-organist

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 10:53 am

Your configuration is interesting.

There are max. four perspectives and Hauptwerk normally does not support multiple sound cards. My interpretation:

Front
- one group Great-Solo with 3 buses (3 stereo pairs T8V and A8X)
- one group Swell_Choir with 3 buses (3 stereo pairs T7V)
- one group Pedal with 2 buses (2 stereo pairs KRK RP10)
- one group Noises with one bus or Direct Bus Routing in HW8 (one stereo pair A3X)

Rear
- one group Midrange and trebles with 3 buses (3 stereo pairs A3X)
- one group Basses with one bus or Direct Bus Routing in HW8 (1 stereo pair KRK RP10)

How did you realize this with the four perspectives?
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magnaton

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 11:28 am

vpo-organist wrote:Your configuration is interesting.
How did you realize this with the four perspectives?


Not to speak for Mark, but he didn't mention any perspectives. These are just plain audio groups. For the rear they are probably given the "rear" or "reflection" samples from a surround set. This is what was only available for HW4. I have 22 channels of audio personally don't involve any of the perspective routing.

Danny B.
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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 11:30 am

I only use the default rank perspective 1, if you meant perspectives 1 - 4 in Rank voicing, panning, etc. Was that your question?

I only use a second rank perspective if I need a releases-truncated copy of the ranks to add an IR, which I only do if there isn't an almost dry mic position in the sampleset to use as a base for the IR. I'm only using IR for a very small number of organs.

To try to be clearer, for surround samplesets of 2 - 4 mic positions, I route each division's Close/Direct, Front/Diffuse, and Middle/Distant ranks to the division's front group. Then I route all the Rear/Surround ranks to the rear groups by pitch range, usually 8' and up on the A3X and 32 -16' on the RP10. (Using PG and SP terminology for mic positions.)

For stereo samplesets, I just route the ranks by division to the four front groups.

Danny's right -- all but the IR was possible in HW 4. I'm on HW 8 but use fewer of its mixer features than I had realized. I did a HW factory reset of all settings (with some dread...) as part of my hardware rework, and it was much easier to configure from scratch than I expected.
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vpo-organist

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 11:44 am

OK, so all ranks are assigned to one perspective. How can you still distinguish that the ranks of Great or Solo are output to a specific speaker pair if all ranks are in one group?

Edit: I understand. You assign the Ranks in Persp1 to different Groups.
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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 12:01 pm

Due to your approach, panning is not possible.
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mnailor

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 12:05 pm

True, I don't use HW's panning feature at all. Yes, each rank is routed to one of the bus groups via its Perspective 1.
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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 12:11 pm

Thank you for your explanation.
I have no experience with larger installations. I would be really interested to hear how that sounds. Are you still missing something sonically, or is this already the absolute solution? Did you add the stereo pairs little by little and did it make the sound more and more perfect?
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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 12:21 pm

Hey Mark:

Thank you for posting your your audio design. I have something similar of 22 channels using almost all Behringer 2031A and 2031P monitors. I'm curious if your layout is stereo or mono? So your "Great and Solo to six Adam T8V and A8X on shelves" is that 6 mono channels or 3 stereo pairs?

I've also found that 4 speakers to a group (or 4 stereo pairs) is the 'sweet spot' at least for my setup. Here is how I came to that conclusion.

I built up my rig at snail's pace! Just stereo for a year, then 'super stereo' (or double audio) for 6 months. Broke down and purchased HW Advanced, then had true multi-channel with just 2 stereo pairs, then 3, 4, 5, etc. Each additional pair was at a 6 weeks interval minimum. I was getting great deals off of CL and would wait for the next one to show up. During this time my ears got accustomed to the new expanded sound of having notes/ranks divvy between more speaker pairs in a group using the default algorithm. Each new pair to the group array, marked about a 30% improvement, especially with medium to large registrations. Hearing solo chimes ring from multiple speakers for the first time was a real thrill as well 8). It was when I added my 5th pair, the improvement seemed meh. Maybe I hit the diminishing returns mark with 4 pairs? It didn't sound bad obviously, just the sound stage became more broad. My console is centered on a back wall flanked by speakers on wall mounted shelves on each side (L & R stereo). So to try and get some better ROI on studio monitor pair #5, I added a second, lower set of shelves and sent only the reeds to them. This turned out to be a winner as chorus and solo reeds in their own drivers seemed to have more clarity, not having to 'compete' with other sound. I also sent any celeste ranks to this lone pair so the undulation with its unison counterpart mixed in the air and not in the same speaker. Improved sound accomplished!

So at this point in time my audio groups were:
Main - (4 pairs of 2031As)
Pedal (large 3-way tower speakers)
Subwoofer (Paradigm Seismic 12, mix down)
Reeds (reeds and celeste, 1 pair 2031A)

This has all changed, morphed, and expanded over the years to now 22 channels. I'll detail that in separate post if anyone is interested.

Danny B.
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vpo-organist

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 12:50 pm

Danny, at what distance and position in the room are the speakers positioned?
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mnailor

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 1:24 pm

I started out with a couple of digital organs, owned sequentially, a Rodgers and then an Ahlborn-Galanti, and the external audio expanded with those. By the time I added Hauptwerk to the A-G in 2014, I was already up to a large number of drivers spread across two 10' towers built for the purpose. When it became expensive to replace the multi-channel amplifiers and worn out drivers, I replaced that completely with about 16 powered studio monitors.

So I didn't really grow HW audio from a small audio system and don't know how that sounds other than occasionally playing back a HW audio recording I made on one stereo pair. I'm satisfied with the sound at this point, and don't have much wall space or AC power left to expand further.

I like an immersive, fairly diffuse sound coming from all around the room, rather than a focused stereo or surround setup. To my ears, that's how a pipe organ sounds -- like it's spread out over a large physical volume where the pipes sound from, and then the room adds more.

I use stereo pairs in my bus groups (with some mono groups only to test speaker levels). My front speakers are placed left and right with separation ranging from 6' to 12'. I'm definitely not trying for a stereo "sweet spot" in a triangle, but I like the stereo samples better than playing them in mono. I've also tried putting stereo pairs together on the same side of the wall, which gives a nice C/C# separation, but overall I think the widely separated pairs work better for me.

I will say that, for my ears, moving to 96kHz and Higher audio engine processing, plus HW 8's polyphony improvements, has added a great deal of clarity and distinct separation of voices compared to listening to HW 4 at 48k. But the old HW 4's more "CD-like" sound did have a more blended quality that I missed, perhaps because it's what I was used to hearing at home. When I started aiming my speakers past my ears at a distance instead of inward at me, and set high freq -2 dB on the speakers near head height, the much clearer sounds of HW 8 blended in the room better, and it's the best it's ever sounded.
Last edited by mnailor on Thu Oct 19, 2023 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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magnaton

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 6:41 pm

vpo-organist wrote:Danny, at what distance and position in the room are the speakers positioned?

LOL, I had to go measure. The bench sits almost 5ftft from a back wall. There are double shelves mounted on either side on the wall itself. The bottom shelf is 5ft from the floor and the 2nd about 14" higher. Sitting at the bench the closest studio monitor is 4.5ft from center and the farthest is about 7 ft.
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magnaton

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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostWed Oct 18, 2023 7:28 pm

mnailor wrote:I'm definitely not trying for a stereo "sweet spot" in a triangle, but I like the stereo samples better than playing them in mono. I've also tried putting stereo pairs together on the same side of the wall, which gives a nice C/C# separation, but overall I think the widely separated pairs work better for me..

I agree. I've tried mono several times at home and in the institutional installs I've done with my part time business, VoceInstruments.com. I always revert back to stereo. On one project I had 12.1 audio and the room had excellent acoustics. Auditioned an Alt Config in mono and it actually sounded okay but different. With a solo buzzy reed, you could definitely hear the notes jumping from speaker to speaker. It seemed that some of the 'warmth' was missing. Certain registrations reminded me an digital organ, yikes! I get a chance to play the big Hauptwerk organ of 56 channels at Greenwood UMC in Indiana every August. It is all mono. The speakers are very far away and high up from the console. It sounds fantastic as you might have heard on the YouTube recordings which are live without the HW wav file spliced in.

I have 2 shelves (higher and lower) on a back wall left & right. Each shelf has 4 studio monitors so 16 speakers total across the back. For Classical organs, the stereo pairs are on the same side. The L & R mates have a speaker in between. In other words on the lower left, speakers: 1, 2, 3, 4 are paired 1 & 3, 2 & 4. This is the same for rest of the shelves. For a big organ with 4 divisions, each division gets 2 stereo pairs. I almost always match the stop jamb orientation (left or right) with the speaker arrays. Pedals are the 3-way towers L & R, so they are in 'true' stereo. My studio is 16' X 27'. In very back I have 2 shelves, spaced apart hanging from the ceiling down about 2 feet. I have a single pair of 2031As that I route the En Chamade. I recently acquired a pair of Conn speaker pipes. I'm somewhat impressed with the sound. I route a single 8ft and or 4ft flute through them, you know, not much demand harmonically for that :D They further add to the rank separation.

Danny B.
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Re: Update on multichannel home setup

PostThu Oct 19, 2023 3:43 pm

I think the stereo somehow reproduces the high frequency resonance better than just mono. If you look at a frequency distribution of a pipe's sound (frequency vs amplitude), you see the high frequencies are always oscillating, with the amplitude oscillating up and down for a given frequency, but also waves moving up and down the frequencies over time. This is reproduced by the recording sounding somewhat, but I think there is a three dimensional pattern that improves our sense of realism that is better reproduced with a stereo field than a mono field separated in space from other mono fields. That's why stereo sounded so much better to people than mono recordings, but most people don't hear much difference between stereo and surround sound, unless there are spatial effects.

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