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St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

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St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby MikeOfBonsall » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:31 pm

Just started playing with Hauptwerk and I'm modifying an old Allen TC1 and I have been using the free St Annes and the demo basic version of the St. Annes with the chimes, and apart from the chimes I don't find any practical difference. Maybe i'm not driving it hard enough but to me just the free version is fantastic. Still want Notre Dame de Mez though one day!

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby csw900 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:44 am

As you say the free St. Annes is fantastic. I use it with eplayWin32 and this
can drive it about as hard as you can get. I have never noticed any limitations.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mumblecake » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:00 am

You can notice some difference when playing the demo midi file. If you set the polyphony to max on the free edition you will still get some notes cut off in particular to the virtuoso end of the piece. If you set the polyphony to max under the basic edition you should hear all notes.

For comparison, this is how it is supposed to sound like:

http://downloads.milandigitalaudio.com/ ... improv.mp3

Best Regards

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mdyde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:24 am

Hello Mike,

We tried to make the Free Edition sufficient for people to use (in terms of polyphony and memory) for normal practice with St. Anne's (and similar-sized organs), so that students, and other people who might otherwise not be able to afford to buy a licence, would have a good platform to get started and practice with at home, and so that people who hadn't previously been exposed to pipe organs would be able to experience them (and hopefully come to appreciate, respect, and support them).

As Mathis mentioned though, if you play St. Anne's fast with large registrations you will still hear the effects of pipe releases being dropped by Hauptwerk's polyphony management system, in order to fit within the 256 polyphony limit of the Free Edition.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby johnstump_organist » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:46 am

Maybe I'm wrong and missed it somehow, but when I tried loading it in free version without my dongle, I thought I could only load it in 16 bit, but with the dongle I can load it in 24 bit resolution. Maybe it is psychological, but I always think I can hear a difference between 16 and 24 bit versions of samples.
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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mdyde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:55 am

Hello John,

Yes -- that's correct too. (I forgot to mention that one.) The Free Edition is limited to loading in 16-bit, whereas the St. Anne's sample set is capable of loading in 24/32-bit in other editions.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby csw900 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:18 pm

Where can I get cook-improv,mid ? I would like to do what Mathis (above) suggested
but cannot find this file anywhere on my system or on the HW web site.

As far as I remember when I downloaded HW there were no sample files.

I have listened to the cook-improve.mp3 and am very doubtful that it is taxing the
free St. Annes organ in any way. Particularly I do not think it is playing enough notes
simultaneously to come anywhere near the polyphony limit. I have played pieces
with many more simultaneous notes and much faster tempo without hitting any
noticeable limit.

Regarding the 16/24 bit limitation -- I do not believe that anyone could tell the difference
in a blind test. It is just a case of "Mine is bigger than yours".

The only benefit of 24 bits (and higher) is greater headroom which is useful for making
high quality recordings without bothering too much about the recording level.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mdyde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:47 pm

Hello csw900,

csw900 wrote:Where can I get cook-improv,mid ? I would like to do what Mathis (above) suggested
but cannot find this file anywhere on my system or on the HW web site.


The file Mathis is referring to is the default St. SAnne's MIDI demo (which was recorded for us by Daniel Cook). It loads automatically in Hauptwerk's built-in MIDI player whenever you load St. Anne's.

csw900 wrote:I have listened to the cook-improve.mp3 and am very doubtful that it is taxing the
free St. Annes organ in any way. Particularly I do not think it is playing enough notes
simultaneously to come anywhere near the polyphony limit.


You can watch Hauptwerk's polyphony meter (on the 'Audio, MIDI and Performance' large control panel; 'View | Large control panels ...') to see (approximately) for yourself. If the meter goes out of the green, then release samples are being dropped. I just checked, and in the Free Edition (polyphony limit=256) it goes nearly into the red.

Hauptwerk's polyphony management system is very, very carefully designed to minimise the audible impact of release samples being dropped, so if you haven't noticed its effects in your Free Edition then it's doing it's doing its job well. However, if you listen carefully you should hear them (the sound will appear slightly drier than it should be when releases are dropped).

csw900 wrote:Regarding the 16/24 bit limitation -- I do not believe that anyone could tell the difference
in a blind test. It is just a case of "Mine is bigger than yours".

The only benefit of 24 bits (and higher) is greater headroom which is useful for making
high quality recordings without bothering too much about the recording level.


The extent to which any (slight) differences might or might not be audible depend especially on how wet the sample set is, noise floor of the microphones/pre-amps/etc. used to create it, how much polyphony your system has (i.e. how many long releases will potentially be playing at once), how good your audio equipment is, how good your hearing is, how trained your hearing is, and especially on the signal level in the sample set (most wet sample sets don't have their individual pipes/ranks normalised to maximum amplitude). If you search the forum there are lots of previous in-depth discussions on it.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby csw900 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:37 am

Martin

I have now found this piece, for the first time ever, and playing it, of course what you are
saying is true. It is rather an extreme piece with nearly all of the stops pulled and three
couplers active. It's the couplers which do most of the polyphony damage as each one
will double the polyphony requirement. (If coupled notes are then coupled again e.g. coupling
swell to great and then great to pedals, their effect on polyphony could be much more than
doubling.)

My ears, which are not as young as they used to be, cannot detect any degradation in the
sound quality at the limit so, as you say, St. Annes achieves a graceful limit which
would never be noticed by anyone unaware it was being reached.

Incidentally I have noticed hard limiting in some St. Annes wav recordings and this would produce
very noticeable distortion. The cook piece above may produce this limiting, I will test
it later.

Another limiting factor limiting polyphony is lack of computer processing power as this will
produce severe distortion as the limit is approached.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mdyde » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:39 am

Thanks, csw900.

csw900 wrote: (If coupled notes are then coupled again e.g. coupling
swell to great and then great to pedals, their effect on polyphony could be much more than
doubling.)


The couplers on St. Anne's (as with most organs with electrical or pneumatic actions) don't 'couple through', so there isn't a multiplicative effect in this case.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby csw900 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:11 am

St Annes wav recordings of the demo cook piece.

As I suspected above the wav file made by free St Annes has hard clipping almost
throughout.

I have done the same test on the basic and advanced editions of this organ and both
wav files have hard clipping throughout.

This invalidates all comparisons of wav recordings made by this organ using the cook
piece. Probably also the Mathis post above as well though I do not know how this
was recorded.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mdyde » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:27 am

Hello csw900,

Do you mean that:

- You used Hauptwerk's recorder/player to play the St. Anne's MIDI demo file whilst also simultaneously using Hauptwerk's built-in recorder to record the audio output.

- You then opened that resulting WAV file in an audio editor.

- The audio editor reported that the level was clipped (>= 0dB)?

If so, then please just turn the 'Trim dB' setting down (i.e. turn Hauptwerk's output level down) on Hauptwerk's 'Audio, MIDI and Performance' large control panel.

Hauptwerk intentionally doesn't use any compressor/limiter effects on its audio output or recordings, because that would be representative of how a real pipe organ would sound, so it's important that you are careful not to have its level set so high that clipping occurs.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby csw900 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:17 pm

Yes I do mean that!!

I have turned the Trim db down to -24 (it will not go any lower) and made another
recording and it is still hard clipped almost throughout.

Also the "recording level"? if that is what it is supposed to be was only into the first
green bar while I was making the recording.

csw900

PS edit: I was so surprised at this result myself that I have checked again.
I am using adobe audition audio editor and it was accidentally reading the wav
files as "PCM Raw data (.wav etc). I have now tried it with "Windows PCM (.wav etc)
and it does not show any clipping at all, in fact the recording level is rather too low.

I am not a all sure what the difference between these formats is supposed to be
as I always thought that PCM was PCM -- apparently not.

I hope this has not caused too much alarm. I repeat the free St Annes is a fantastic
organ and suits me perfectly.

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Re: St Annes Free vs Basic. What's the difference?

Postby mdyde » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:56 pm

Hello csw900,

Thanks for the update and glad to hear you have it working properly now.

Edit. P.S. For good measure, I've just tried making two test recordings from Hauptwerk (one with the default 16-bit recording resolution option, and the other with 32-bit), and both open and play correctly for me in the current version of Adobe Audio (Adobe CC 2017.0) on the Mac.
Best regards,
Martin.

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