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Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby B. Milan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:37 am

Hello David,

If I may interject here:

Please note that we certainly try to keep an open mind and have a very lenient attitude towards postings on our forum. Very rarely do we have to intervene.

That said, I would kindly request that you please not constantly reply to every single thread that has to do with speaker questions. We all know your position and have heard your stories about your own speakers and personal preferences. The fact that Martin is taking up his time to reply to your posts raises concern for us since we are now even further behind in our own work. I cannot force Martin to not reply to you and I understand why Martin felt the need to reply since your views may confuse potential newcomers.

Here's what we do know:

You very much like St. Maximin, you like to build your own speakers, you do not own Hauptwerk and use an Ahlborn module (or more than one).

What we don't have is any proof from your posts to back up your claims. If you could please provide some concrete evidence to back up your claims then please do so. Martin does not have the time to visit you to see your results I'm afraid, we have much more important things to do.

Martin is on a salary and we are not fond of paying him to spend his time replying to your threads on a daily basis. Perhaps if you owned a license for Hauptwerk and helped support us and the other producers finacially we might have a different view.

Thus, I would ask that you please not interject in every speaker related topic unless you have something helpful to offer with some credentials. If we find that you continuously will do so then we may have to consider blocking you from replying to certain sections of this forum. We have not had to do this yet so I hope that we will not need to for your case.

I have used both stereo and multi-channel audio systems in a small home room and both have their benefits depending on the samples being used. Perhaps if you owned Hauptwerk and some of the instruments you would be able to do your own tests with what the rest of us are using and not your own digital solutions.

Thank you for understanding and letting us get back to working on Hauptwerk.
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby engrssc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:50 pm

Amen and I like the idea of "getting back to work" on what so many of us are waiting for and willing to "support". Thanks Brett and Martin, too.

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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby ajt » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:45 pm

Perhaps I can offer a suggestion?

Martin's dedication to making sure Hauptwerk users have good advice at all times is laudable. David's willingness to offer advice is also laudable, whatever the quality of that advice (and I make no judgement about the quality, as I know *nothing* at all about loudspeakers and acoustical physics).

Why not have a discussion topic/section that is a free for all, that Martin doesn't feel the need to reply to and update? I must admit, that's how I've viewed all the sections of this forum with the exception of the Technical Support chunk in the middle; that's the bit where I assume the advice I'm being given is accurate, everywhere else I use my own judgement.
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby jwillans » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:04 pm

Hi Martin,

I fully understand.

Making the right decisions with an audio system is clearly one of the (if not the) key component for getting the very best from HW; it certainly can be one of the most expensive. Can I suggest that at some point you/Brett consider writing a reference white paper that outlines some of the key concepts to consider when making decisions around these and which perhaps makes suggestions about systems at various price points. I think this information is scattered around the forum with references to Pykett's papers and audio fundamentals etc; but putting all of this together (and knowing what is and isn't valid) I think can be tough for novice HW users. This is attested to by the frequency with which questions around the number of channels, which speakers, positioning of speakers etc. arise. I suspect that this would reduce the number of questions (or at least provide a base line starting point) and I think would allow potential users to more readily understand how they can put together a HW audio system and the cost/benefits involved.

Just a suggestion - I fully understand that there are other priorities right now.

James
Last edited by jwillans on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby engrssc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:07 pm

ajt wrote:Why not have a discussion topic/section that is a free for all, that Martin doesn't feel the need to reply to and update? I must admit, that's how I've viewed all the sections of this forum with the exception of the Technical Support chunk in the middle; that's the bit where I assume the advice I'm being given is accurate, everywhere else I use my own judgement.


Strictly my opinion, and that is that under the broader heading of Hauptwerk Forum, most, if not all, topics reflect directly back to Hauptwerk as a product. Inaccurate, incomplete or even sometimes words taken out of context can lead to "mis-conclusions". I've had some private messages that attest to that where a person, new to virtual organs, software and the like really had been "mis-directed" by something they read here. Not everyone (novices/newbies) has the background to sort matters out accurately. To me, everything here is a method for learning. Some folks here are well within the category of being experts in one or more topics. What they say and the way they say it along with proofs given, attests to that.

There is a math "equation", that if you don't know details or are inclined to accept "mostly" true statements, I can prove (in the bottom line) that 1 unequivocally equals 0. The way this is done is to introduce a very slight error early in the problem solving sequence. The result is that everything after that is false. For myself, and I think others too, Martin and Brett (and others, too) have made many facts known to all of us that we can "take to the bank". A free for all, even is so labeled, IMHO, would lessen the credibility of this Forum. Since this is an opinion, I stand (or sit) :shock: to be corrected.

Next . . . . :wink:

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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby B. Milan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:24 pm

ajt wrote:Perhaps I can offer a suggestion?

Why not have a discussion topic/section that is a free for all, that Martin doesn't feel the need to reply to and update?


There actually is already such a place, and it's called Wikipedia. :roll:

The Hauptwerk forum needs as much accurate information as possible to help users searching for a correct answer rather than having to try and figure out if something has legitimacy or not. We simply cannot have incomplete or incorrect information floating around without offering the proper answers or advice, the forum exists to help Hauptwerk users and matters only get worse if all threads are not monitored properly. We consider it part of our job to monitor and reply on the forum, so that is not an issue, we feel it helps everyone having a thorough searchable database of Hauptwerk related (correct) information.

When topics are discussed that directly affect current or potential Hauptwerk customers and may adversely affect software sales then we need to intervene and set the record straight.

As far as I am concerned we're finished with the discussion pertaining to David, if someone wishes to continue on replying to the original post please feel free, let's just keep it on topic please.
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby B. Milan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:32 pm

jwillans wrote:Hi Martin,

I fully understand.

Making the right decisions with an audio system is clearly one of the (if not the) key component for getting the very best from HW; it certainly can be one of the most expensive. Can I suggest that at some point you/Brett consider writing a reference white paper that outlines some of the key concepts to consider when making decisions around these and which perhaps makes suggestions about systems at various price points. I think this information is scattered around the forum with references to Pykett's papers and audio fundamentals etc; but putting all of this together (and knowing what is and isn't valid) I think can be tough for novice HW users. This is attested to by the frequency with which questions around the number of channels, which speakers, positioning of speakers etc. arise. I suspect that this would reduce the number of questions (or at least provide a base line starting point) and I think would allow potential users to more readily understand how they can put together a HW audio system and the cost/benefits involved.

Just a suggestion - I fully understand that there are other priorities right now.James


Perhaps somewhere down the road, we wouldn't have the time and resources for this presently. There are so many variables that I think it would take more than Martin or I writing anything by ourselves, it would require research and testing over various systems in various rooms. This isn't the scope of our current work, so as much as we'd love to have an all in one source I'm afraid it would probably need to be a future endeavor.
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby kwbmusic » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:00 pm

Wow! I'm crawling back into my quiet hole in the ground. What did I start here. If you've lost the plot. as I have, I started this thread with a naive question, and thanks for all the replies but I don't think I understand much of it. However very clearly my expectation is that none of this should detract Brett and Martin getting along with V4 (and Salisbury Vol II as well?). As I am a paying customer I believe I have a stronger voice on the latter comment!

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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby bcollins » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:58 pm

kwbmusic wrote:I currently have an audio setup consisting of two Behringer Truth B2031's and a Behringer B2092A sub-woofer.
I wish to explore increasing the number of speakers, which however would also require me to change my sound card. This raises an issue for me as the Behringer sub-woofer receives the main computer output and internally seperates the signal, low to itself, high back to the monitors. No problems for normal stereo.
Does this mean I can not use Hauptwerk to seperately direct the signals to my Behringer sub-woofer, because if I did I couldn't get the appropriate signal to the monitors? Which leads to my larger question, if I wish to have multiple speakers, controlled as directed within Hauptwerk, are the Behringers I have, not suitable?

Or am I being too complex and the simple solution is to disengage the monitors from the sub-woofer and drive them individually from the sound card?

Keith


Speaking from my humble experience (I have ten Behringer Truth B2031's (just got two more!) and two Behringer B2092A sub-woofers) ...

A pair of B2031 coupled with the B2092A sub - is still just a pair of channels. You may think in terms of stereo, I tend to think in terms of mono - i.e. channel 1, channel 2, and so on.

I think of it this way: The sub just makes the two monitors 16-foot capable.

Now, suppose you get a 6-channel sound card and four more Behringer B2031's... these become channels 3, 4, 5, and 6.
These channels are NOT 16-foot capable. So, you need to set up at least two different "speaker-groups" in Hauptwerk. for example, a 2-channel group, and a 4-channel group.

Again the 2-channel group is 16-foot capable, so you can route any rank (other than a 32-foot) to it.
But the 4-channel group is not, so you can only route 8-foot ranks (and up) to it.

However, you can split ranks during routing – and send the bottom octave of a 16-foot rank to the 2-channel group, and the rest of the rank to the 4-speaker group.

Does that actually answer your question?

BTW-I'm upgrading to 719 channels next summer
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby David Pinnegar » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:43 pm

kwbmusic wrote:Wow! I'm crawling back into my quiet hole in the ground.


:-) Likewise

Beyond that I'm beginning to understand how Galileo and Copernicus felt in simply expressing a musing that there might be another perspective on fashionable opinions.

In this thread we all have in common interest the signal path from microphone to recording device to note-by-note programmable playback to amplifiers to electromechanical acoustic transducers.

Just because my note-by-note programmable playback devices might be branded grey, silver and red rather than golden orange does not alter the physics of acoustic reproduction and its perception within the brain. I take the fact that that's the best stick anyone could find to beat me with as a compliment to the validity of the technical issues raised and discussed in this thread.

Indeed, reproduction by Hauptwerk should be no different to relaying an organ live, from place to place. With Hauptwerk we are simply time-shifting the relay.

There's no magic in speakers, just some which are good enough and some which are better, and others which are better suited to some purposes than others. However with organs in particular one must take a specific precaution: to separate out the pedal frequencies so as to avoid all frequencies being shaken above if coming from the same acoustic radiator. Various solutions to this and related problems exist and are valid and should not need to be the subject of any suppression of suggestions nor distractions from doing anything else more important.

Toplayer 2 made a particularly valid comment both with regard to stereo and to multiple speaker reproduction with specific reference to the operation of the Hauptwerk reproduction:
One pair of very accurate speakers may well out-perform a half dozen moderately accurate speakers.

When using Hauptwerk's routing algorithms it helps to use identical speaker models to avoid noticeable timbre shifts as notes move among the members of a group.


I could not imagine that the contribution that I have made in this thread arising from experience over decades and made in good faith in order to help others along the way, should have raised controversies in any manner whatsoever.

I apologised earlier for not having come across IMD in my experience.

I apologise for any misdemeanors or upsetting anyone in any way in the conduct of this line of discussion, and will retreat to private communication with anyone who values advice and help.

:) Bob - I also apologise for wrongly crediting Clinton with the most complex installation - clearly that credit must go to you! From what I remember of your project you're also setting up a pseudo live reverberent acoustic aren't you? A very valid and worthwhile experiment.

Best wishes

David P

Keith: I hope that the private email I sent reached you and that reasoning and conclusions made some sense. If you have any questions I'll happily and quietly explain.
Last edited by David Pinnegar on Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby toplayer2 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:44 pm

kwbmusic wrote:Wow! I'm crawling back into my quiet hole in the ground. What did I start here. If you've lost the plot. as I have, I started this thread with a naive question, and thanks for all the replies but I don't think I understand much of it. However very clearly my expectation is that none of this should detract Brett and Martin getting along with V4 (and Salisbury Vol II as well?). As I am a paying customer I believe I have a stronger voice on the latter comment!

Keith,

You deserve an honest answer to your honest question. As Brett has asked, let us pull this thread back into the focus you had intended: "Are more than two speakers beneficial?". With the caveat that the following is IMHO....

Q: DO I NEED MORE THAN TWO SPEAKERS?

A: Maybe yes, maybe no. If you plan to use only wet sampled (non-surround) sample sets, you may be perfectly happy with two good quality speakers and probably a good subwoofer.

Q: I PLAN TO USE SURROUND SAMPLED ORGANS, WHAT THEN?

A: A second pair of speakers for the rear channels can be added when needed. Ideally they would be the same models as the front pair, but a slightly less exacting pair for the rear can also work.

Q: WILL I BENEFIT BY USING MORE SPEAKERS WITH WET SAMPLED ORGANS?

A: Yes, primarily through the reduction of IM distortion.

Q: I PLAN TO USE DRY SAMPLED ORGANS, WHAT THEN?

A: Dry sampled organs will benefit considerably by employing multiple audio channels. Benefits include reducing "signal mixing" effects, reducing IM distortion, providing more directional queues, and greater power handling. Keep in mind that quality comes first. Two good speakers will be more musical than many poor speakers.

Q: WHAT SPEAKERS DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A: Although not what I personally use, the Definitive Technology SM450 (passive) loudspeaker is very highly regarded by many virtual organ users. They look good, they are relatively small, they are moderately priced, and most importantly they sound really good. I think a really smart strategy would be to start with one pair of these and if appropriate for your needs add more of the same model.

Q: WHAT ABOUT A SUBWOOFER?

A: A good subwoofer is a sound investment. Solid bass gives weight and authority which is an essential trait for organ music.

Q: WHAT SUBWOOFER DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A: Again, I turn to Definitive Technology. Their Supercube subs are compact and perform marvelously. They progress from the Supercube III, SuperCube II, Supercube I, and Supercube Reference, to the Supercube Trinity Signature. The last so-named because they were expressly designed for the mammouth M&O virtual organ installed (permanently as it turns out) at the Wall Street Trinity church. I do have the good fortune of owning a Trinity and am awestruck by its ability to deliver 32' stops like no other sub short of the Thigpen Rotary (which costs $30,000 USD).

Q: HOW DO I GET THE BEST SOUND FROM MY SPEAKERS?

A: The room where the speakers speak is as much a part of the system as any other component. If possible, set up in a room that has non-parallel walls. For a rectangular room. one with dimensions close to the "golden mean" (1.61803 to 1) will tend to produce the least number of room "modes", or points where peaks or valleys are caused by constructive and destructive interference from reflections. For example, if the room has an 8 foot ceiling, then the length and width would be approximately 13 feet by 21 feet. The worst room shape would be a cube. Diffusers, foam panels (eg., Auralex) and bass traps can be used to tame room modes also. Placing speakers away from walls can help "de-couple" them from the room. A very good model for this is a well designed recording studio control room.

I hope that this is the kind of advice that you were seeking.

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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby kwbmusic » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:12 pm

Thanks Joe & Bob for something I can get my teeth into. Economical commonsense (the wife) is saying that enough is enough! Practical commonsense will take the advice of exploring what I have first, by shifting and adjusting the 3 speaker setup to what I hope is the optimum for my room, my samples are all wet, Hinsz, Metz, Salisbury. The room by the way is 3.0m height, 3.5m depth and 10.9m width, the organ placed near the middle of the long wall (9' 10' x 11' 6" x 35' 9"). Maybe I was jumping too early with my examination of multiple channels.
Thanks all,
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby bcollins » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:39 pm

Bob - I also apologise for wrongly crediting Clinton with the most complex installation - clearly that credit must go to you!


No, clearly not. My comment about upgrading to 719 channels was a bit of a joke, since 703 of those "channels" are in the windchests being designed now. :D
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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby NickNelson » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:45 am

David Pinnegar wrote:I could not imagine that the contribution that I have made in this thread arising from experience over decades and made in good faith in order to help others along the way, should have raised controversies in any manner whatsoever.


Nor I, but since some people are evidently a little stressed just at the moment I guess it would be polite to leave it for the time being.

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Re: Beyond Stereo to multiple Speakers

Postby mdyde » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:05 am

Hello Keith,

Thanks Joe & Bob for something I can get my teeth into. Economical commonsense (the wife) is saying that enough is enough! Practical commonsense will take the advice of exploring what I have first, by shifting and adjusting the 3 speaker setup to what I hope is the optimum for my room, my samples are all wet, Hinsz, Metz, Salisbury. The room by the way is 3.0m height, 3.5m depth and 10.9m width, the organ placed near the middle of the long wall (9' 10' x 11' 6" x 35' 9"). Maybe I was jumping too early with my examination of multiple channels.


For wet stereo (as opposed to surround) sample sets, specifically from an acoustics point of view, either headphones or a single pair of high-quality near-field speakers (optionally with sub-woofer) in as dry (anechoic) listening environment as possible should give the most accurate reproduction in terms of preserving the room reflections present in the wet samples, yielding a result that should be identical (from an acoustics and speaker point of view) to listening to a CD recording of the real organ made with the microphones in the same positions used during sampling.

Some people still prefer to use multi-channel audio for wet (stereo) sample sets for other reasons (e.g. if their listening environment can't be made sufficiently dry, to give a more 'surround' effect, or to try to reduce speaker IMD), but a single stereo pair of speakers (+sub) is theoretically the most correct for reproduction of wet sample sets' acoustics.

Hence most people opt for headphones or a single near-field stereo speaker pair (+sub) for wet stereo sample sets. (4-channel, front/rear, surround sample sets will need an additional rear stereo speaker pair of course.)

It's for dry sample sets that multi-channel audio becomes particularly desirable.
Best regards,
Martin.

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