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Recording level for stops

Sampling pipe organs and turning them into something you can play in Hauptwerk.

Recording level for stops

Postby tf11972 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:02 am

Hello everyone,
I have a question about the recording level for stops to sample an organ:

Martin Dyde recommends to put the recording level for every stop as high as possible to avoid distortion. I have also read Lars Palo's website where he writes, you set the recording level for the loudest stop and sample the other stops in their original loudness.

When I follow Martin's recommendation I have to adapt the stop levels later in postproduction which could be a long process. The second alternative provides more work in denoising.

Which is the best method?
Best regards
Thomas

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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby mdyde » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:37 am

Hello Thomas,

Recording at the highest level for each stop should potentially give you slightly higher audio quality, and so should potentially make for a slightly higher quality sample set. However, if you do that then it would be important also to make a brief reference recording to compare the levels of each of the ranks (e.g. also record the middle Cs for each rank all at the same level), or at least to note down the recording level settings in decibels when each rank was recorded, so that you have the necessary information to reconstruct the original ranks' amplitude relationships within the organ definition settings.

If recording in 24- or 32-bit (which would be highly recommended anyway, since it gives plenty of 'headroom') then the difference in quality may not actually be that significant compared to recording everything at the same level, especially since turning up the recording level will also usually amplify the blower/microphone/electrical/pre-amp etc. (often approximately equally). The dynamic range and noise characteristics of the microphone and mic. pre-amps are likely to be much more significant.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby tf11972 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:40 am

Hello Martin,
thanks a lot for your quick help :D
Best regards
Thomas

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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby mdyde » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:50 am

Thanks. You're welcome.

P.S. A caveat: I'm not a recording engineer, so others may be better qualified to comment more authoritatively than me.
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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby csw900 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:52 pm

I have just had a look at Lars Palo's website with reference to recording samples.

[Edit by admin: link removed.]

There is a lot of good advice and tricks of the trade here -- he has clearly done it
before and knows what he is talking about.

However he is talking about samples for [edit by admin: other software]. If Hauptwerk allows this
too then I do not think you could do better than follow Lars advice. At least until
you have had a bit of practise yourself.

I personally do not think the recording level is all that critical for a digital recording
with lots of bits e.g. 24. It is certainly better to record at too low a level than too
high and get clipping. I would set the recording level at a compromise level and just
leave it set the same for all the samples -- at least until I knew better from my own
experience.

Positioning the microphone to achieve the type of sound
you want (e.g. do you want to record the room echoes as well as the pipes or
just the pipes) is much more important.

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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby James » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:44 pm

I did follow your link, and it would seem that it is mostly devoted to doing things in [edit by admin: other software]. As I understand it, our forum here is devoted to Hauptwerk and its software and samplesets. There must be other forums more appropriate for exploring [edit by admin: other software] and its derivatives.
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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby mdyde » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:02 am

Hello csw900,

Hauptwerk does indeed allow very extensive per-pipe adjustment.

Please note that discussion of the (plagiarised) software you mentioned is not allowed on this forum.
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Re: Recording level for stops

Postby csw900 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:03 pm

I apologise, I did not realise there was a problem.

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