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Db Input from Hauptwerk

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Sandy Hackney

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Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostFri Jun 25, 2010 11:28 am

I noticed that the Audio Input from my Hauptwerk Sample Sets was different from Set to Set. I would have to adjust the Audio Input when I loaded each Set to achieve a perceived similar volume level with my Behringer B2031As and subwoofer. I bypass the internal speakers on my Rodgers C440.

So, I installed a Behringer X1002 Mixer that allows me to adjust the volume with a slide and/or a dial. Fine. But then I thought to set the Audio Input in Hauptwerk fairly high (20Db) so the mixer setting would be low and permit me to crank it up if I wished.

Again, fine, for a while. All at once I started getting terrible sounds from the speakers: pops, roars, blurring and cutting in and out. ????!!!!

After much experimentation I brought the main Audio Input setting in HW back down to 0 Db and it seems to be OK.

Did I miss something here? Are there problems I may be causing to, for example, the Rodgers circuitry, by the incorrect Db setting? It worked fine again this morning, but does doom loom? Thank you.

Sandy Hackney
Easton, NY
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mdyde

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostFri Jun 25, 2010 11:54 am

Hello Sandy,

If you have the level set too high in Hauptwerk you will get clipping (extreme distortion due to the signal exceeding the -1 to +1 signal value range that the ASIO or CoreAudio drivers allow), regardless of whether you've subsequently turned the output down again in the driver's control panel.

I.e. the distortion would already have happened before the signal had reached the driver control panel's level adjustment.

For best possible fidelity you should aim to set the output level in Hauptwerk as high as possible without clipping occurring, then turn it down again if necessary in the driver's control panel. However, with ASIO and CoreAudio drivers it will usually make a negligible difference to quality if you have the level set a bit conservatively (i.e. lower) in Hauptwerk. The level for each sample set is set to -10 dB by default for this reason on the 'Organ settings | General options' screen, so you can just adjust it there to balance the levels for your sample sets according to how you use them, but avoid turning the level up too high there (to avoid clipping). Turning it up above 0 dB is likely to cause clipping for many sample sets.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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Sandy Hackney

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostFri Jun 25, 2010 2:08 pm

Thank you Martin. I'll set it down at once to -10 Db and see how it goes.
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bcollins

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostFri Jun 25, 2010 2:57 pm

I might add that you have the ability to adjust the volume level for each sample set under the Organ settings.

A sampleset by MDA, for example, might sound good at -6dB, but a sampleset from Sonus Paradisi (who's samples I have found generally run at least 6dB louder) might need to be set at -12dB.

These are just random, hypothetical examples. You will need to find the best setting for each sampleset.
This way you can leave the setting under General settings the same at -0dB.
Bob Collins
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Sandy Hackney

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostFri Jun 25, 2010 5:12 pm

Thank you Bob and again Martin. I tried it with a lower Db output (I used input for output incorrectly in my first posting) and it was better.

But THEN, I got tired of the whole mixer arrangement, took it out and just ran the HW through the Rodgers electronics into the Behringer speakers and subwoofer. It sounds a lot better! 'Course I don't have my nifty slide for volume control, but that matters little as Bob has pointed out to address that.

Thank you!

Sandy Hackney
Easton, NY
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solotibia

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostSat Aug 28, 2010 5:23 am

Martin wrote:

For best possible fidelity you should aim to set the output level in Hauptwerk as high as possible without clipping occurring, then turn it down again if necessary in the driver's control panel. However, with ASIO and CoreAudio drivers it will usually make a negligible difference to quality if you have the level set a bit conservatively (i.e. lower) in Hauptwerk.

Hi Martin,

Just came across this thread in a search on something else.

Why is this so? I thought that the only risk of quality loss would be if the volume on a sound card was too low (losing bits to achieve the lower volume). Could you explain what happens between volume settings in HW and the soundcard driver? And, are you saying that it is much better, if one is forced to have, say, a -10db setting on an audio output, to have HW @ 0db, and the soundcard driver at -10db?

Cheers,

Ian
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mdyde

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:11 pm

Hello Ian,

It depends on the driver. OS X Core Audio and Windows ASIO use 32-bit floating point, so if the driver doesn't convert to 24-bit/16-bit integer until after its control panel processing then it should make no difference. However, conceivably a driver might convert to integer before applying its control panel processing. Windows DirectSound only supports integer so it will definitely matter in that case.

Hence for good drivers for good audio interfaces it will probably make no difference (if the driver is Core Audio/ASIO and uses floating point throughout), but it certainly can't do any harm to have the level as high as possible in Hauptwerk because that then allows for drivers that don't work in that way.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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solotibia

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostMon Aug 30, 2010 11:34 pm

Many thanks Martin,

This is really interesting.

I would have thought, on the face of it, that it would have been better to do all of the audio adjustments in 32 bit floating point regardless of where that 32bitFP environment was (i.e. HW or soundcard driver). I therefore don't understand why, if there is not 32 FP processing in the control panel/mixer of a driver (and only say, 24bit Integer) that it would be superior to have zero audio adjustments in the 32 point FP environment (HW), instead of the significantly poorer resolution capacity of a 24 bit integer driver environment. What am I missing?

BTW, do the complex HW functions, like wind supply model, tremulant model, swells, etc., function better, if there is less audio output manipulation in HW?

Cheers,

Ian
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mdyde

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Re: Db Input from Hauptwerk

PostTue Aug 31, 2010 6:45 am

Hello Ian,

I think you perhaps misunderstood me: I wasn't saying that you should minimise the amounts of any level adjustments in Hauptwerk, or that you should favour one level adjustment within Hauptwerk over another for audio quality - neither would make any detectable difference because all signal processing within Hauptwerk is entirely in the 32-bit floating point domain.

The only thing that *might* make a difference to audio quality is the overall resulting level of the output signal from Hauptwerk (regardless of the controls you used to adjust it, and regardless of the actual values of any of those adjustments).

You just want that overall resulting output signal level to be as high as possible without clipping occurring, so that if/when the driver subsequently converts to an integer format then the minimum possible headroom is lost, i.e. so that the quantisation noise floor is kept as low as possible.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

[Please use email or the Contact page if you need to contact us privately, rather than private forum messages.]

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