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Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

Discuss and share submissions to the Contrebombarde website.

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B777Captain

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Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostWed Oct 23, 2019 10:46 pm

For a number of years, I've had constant issues trying to simply upload some of my music "directly" from my console to the Contrebombarde sight. I've had to just use my phone's video/audio recording to submit pieces... and as you can imagine, the quality is absolutely nothing as it is when you upload in a more normal and direct way.

So... I contacted my consultant and he said, something to the effect that I would have to record from the Subwoofer channel. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about nor would I even know how to do this.

I'm guessing it's not that complicated but like I said, I've been in HW for a decade and have not had any luck making a recording directly from organ sample to Contrebombarde where it sounds as if you're sitting in the church live listening to a concert or ceremony.

Can some kind soul here offer directions in lay terms as to how I can simply add a sample set recording to Contrebombarde.

Thanks for any guidance!

Pat
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csw900

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostThu Oct 24, 2019 3:11 am

Uploading is very simple - Use Windows with Chrome as your browser and uploads will work like a dream. I have had no trouble at all with this. I have however had difficulties with some other browsers (because they do not communicate as CB requires).

Making a decent audio recording for CB is a different story, it cannot be done without editing, normalising and converting the audio file that HW produces. Even then an .mp3 file is never going to sound all that good - because sound quality is lost in the compression.

The only way to ensure that others can play your music with the highest quality their audio system can produce is to record a midi file and submit that (using Chrome).

Test it out for yourself - you will find that I am correct.

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IainStinson

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostThu Oct 24, 2019 10:57 am

You can use the built-in HW recorder to record audio (and midi); the audio is recorded as a .wav file .

.wav files can be large and Contra Bombarde uses .mp3 files rather than .wav files.

If you use multi-channel audio in HW, you can select which channel(s) to record. Ideally you want to record a stereo channel which contains all of the sound outputs for the organ – often the audio output configured for headphones will contain all the sounds being played – is might be the best one to use. You configure the recording options in the HW audio output options. (Manual pg 140 onward)

You need to convert the recorded .wav file to .mp3 format to upload them to Contra Bombarde. You can do this using the free program called Audacity; there are a number of other programs which can transcribe .wav files into .mp3. Audacity may be downloaded from https://www.audacityteam.org/download/; it works on both Windows and MAC systems. Programs like Audacity also allow you to adjust the level of the recording (which can be helpful if you have recorded at a low volume level. Alternatively you can use conversion facilities offered for free by some web sites (such as https://online-audio-converter.com/); use the higher quality options (192kps).

Once you have converted the .wav file to mp3 format you can then log on to Contra Bombarde and upload the file using the upload tab.

If you also record the midi file you can upload that too – it does not need conversion but will only be playable as intended if the listener downloads it and plays it using the same sample set as you used when making the “recording”. Most listeners will probably want to hear the music as simply as possible so it is probably best to provide the mp3 file!

The HW manual gives details of configuring the audio output and information about the location of the recorded .wav files. (Select the .wav file to be 16 bit rather than 32 bit) See the HW manual pg 132 and following.

Iain
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larason2

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostThu Oct 24, 2019 12:06 pm

I agree with all that has been said previously. I just thought I would provide more direct instructions.

When in Hauptwerk, go to the “recording” menu, and select “start recording Audio/midi as armed” this will unselect all the stops that were previously selected. Select the stops you want, and play the piece. Once you are finished, in the recording menu, select “stop audio/midi recording/playback.” Hauptwerk will automatically produce a .wav and .midi file in the default location. For me on a Mac, that’s the desktop.

I don’t currently have audacity installed, so I don’t have the exact menu commands, but you have to open the .wav file with Audacity, something like “file” “open” then when it is opened, select “file” “save as.” Select “.mp3” from the appropriate dialog box and click “save as,” and that will be the file you upload to contrebombarde.
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csw900

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostFri Oct 25, 2019 4:17 am

Audio files produced by Hauptwerk are always at too low a level for uploading to CB. If you want your listeners to have a "good" listening experience then they MUST be normalised before converting and uploading. I suspect that neither of the two above respondents have ever uploaded anything to CB.

Midi files do not necessarily have to be played with the same sample set as original. Excellent results can be had by translating midi files to play on other organs. Use eplayOrgan to do this (see my website).

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IainStinson

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostFri Oct 25, 2019 6:17 am

The level of the recording in HW is controlled by the audio trim and volume controls. You can get good output levels directly from HW but this is often too loud if you leave the audio amps driving the speakers running so using Audacity or similar to increase the level of the recorded sound is more convenient.

Csw900 is correct in stating that I’ve not uploaded anything to Contra Bombarde. I have however made many recordings in mp3 format, and indeed in as audio CDs, for use in several local churches.

Replaying HW midi files on HW instruments other than the one for which the item was recorded is indeed possible and supported - however you need to choose the registration manually (at least initially). In my view, replaying the midi file without the original registration and sound would not be the same performance as the player recorded. I believe the fine OrganAssist tool https://www.organassist.com/wp/ provides facilities for mapping these midi files between instruments.

Iain
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csw900

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostFri Oct 25, 2019 9:03 am

Hi Iain

Clearly you have never converted midi files from one organ to another either. The process eplayOrgan uses is entirely automatic (the user can intervene if he wants to but this is necessary only in rare cases). Registration does not have to be selected manually at any time.

The best results are always obtained when translating from/to similar organs, but this is not essential either.

I use eplayOrgan all the time for playing midi files made by organs I do not have and the results are excellent - much better than poorly made (or even well made) .mp3 files.

Organ assist and eplayOrgan do translations by a similar method but only eplayOrgan can do the entire job completely automatically and in real time. eplayOrgan also uses the latest and best technology - organ assist is much older and has not been kept up to date.

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organassist

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostFri Oct 25, 2019 9:39 am

I think it is very important to get facts straight when discussing things online. The current Beta Test version of OrganAssist was uploaded less than 2 weeks ago (15th October). A minor update to this (before going live) is due in the next few days.

As for automatic conversion - this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17697&p=132411&hilit=organassist#p132411 includes details of a video demonstrating OrganAssist. I would be interested to see a video of ePlayOrgan demonstrating its ability to do exactly the same 7 tasks automatically as seems to be suggested.
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csw900

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostFri Oct 25, 2019 10:23 am

Hi organassist

I never intended my response at the top of this page to turn into a competition. I have the latest Beta of organassist and have tried it out. It seems to me to be pretty much the same as older versions but with a few more organs included. The main benefit I can see is that you "appear" to have cleared the GO bug. I know what organassist can do and how it does it and that it does not do translations in real time. It also relies on external organs to produce any sound. There are not seven stages in doing a conversion the whole job can be done in real time in one stage (or two - depending on how you define a stage).

A first instance of eplayOrgan is used to play the midi and convert it to the universal organ's format. This instance is connected by midi cable to a second instance of eplayOrgan. The second instance converts the universal organ's format to the target organ's format and records it while the first instance is playing - job done. (Alternatively or additionally the second instance can be connected to the target organ by another midi cable and be simultaneously played).

It would appear that you have never used eplayOrgan to convert midi files from one organ to another. Before criticising I suggest you test it yourself. I have no plans to spend a lot of time producing videos just to keep you or anybody else happy.

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostFri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 am

I never criticised - I just said that a video demonstrating your claims would be useful so people can choose the best program for their own needs.

[Edit] I should note that OrganAssist has been able to do translation in real time for many years. It is interesting that you have taken a very similar approach.
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IainStinson

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostSun Oct 27, 2019 1:45 pm

Just to confirm the steps to record, convert to .mp3 and upload to the concert hall are just as I stated in the third entry for this thread.

I suspect the key issues when using the HW recorder is to ensure that there is an output stream set up which records the full sound of the instrument and locating the file which has been recorded. You will probably also need to set the audio trim and volume levels so that there is a good signal to record particularly if you are using soft registrations. Take great care if you change you volume and trim levels to make a recording to return them to the normal listening level. You may need to increase the amplitude of the recorded signal using an audio tool (such as Audacity) to further increase the level of the signal to provide a reasonable level for listening to the recording. The very wide range of dynamics found particularly with large organs can make this quite important to making the listening easier.

The uploading of the .mp3 file and completing the concert hall "form" is straight forward. (I used the Chrome browser.)

Iain
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csw900

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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostMon Oct 28, 2019 4:27 am

It makes no difference to me whether you mess about and disturb the gain settings of your organ and still get a poor and unknown recording level or whether you make your recording by the proper professional method I stated at the top of this discussion.

Doing the job properly and getting consistent results can be done using the free Audacity editor (although I always use Adobe Audition for these tasks). Repeat - to give your listeners the best audio experience you MUST always normalise your recordings. There is no need to tinker with the gain settings of your organ.

csw900
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Re: Uploading a recording to Contrebombarde

PostTue Dec 03, 2019 12:58 pm

[Topic moved here.]
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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