Search:
Submit Search


Building a dream in Oklahoma

Share photos of your Hauptwerk consoles, installations, audio systems, ...

Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:50 pm

Hello All--

I've finally achieved what I think will by my setup for quite some time. (Much thanks to my very patient and loving wife!)

I've had a long journey to where I am now (haven't we all.) It all started with the generous offer from my parent's-in-law when they offered to help me purchase the 3 manual johannus I found online. It was quite a steal, especially considering it's (relatively new) vintage, built in MIDI, and very light use (older retired gentleman). At the time, I was still working on my master's degree in pipe organ performance. I've always lamented the fact that organists are always stilted when it comes to getting their own instruments. Thankfully, my in-laws are extremely generous.

As soon as I got the Johannus I knew I wanted to do hauptwerk. This of course started with my laptop and the free version of hauptwerk and some small free samplesets. It was a great start. Eventually I purchased two equator audio d5's and about 6 months later I got the smallest SVS sub, the sb-1000. I also found a dealer on ebay who sold factory sealed saffire pro 40's for much cheaper than retail (score!). This resulted in what you see below:

Image
Image
Image
Image

I always felt assaulted a bit by monitors (speakers) being right in front of my face so I put them up on monitor stands. This helped at the expense of a little bit of clarity. Unfortunately, my music room is a bedroom in our house with the organ, a dresser, a desk, 4 doors (hallway, closet, bathroom, back door), and my grand piano in it so I don't have any room to change a thing until we move....

Always on the prowl to see how I could expand, about 4 months ago I stopped into a local pawn shop and found two Rokit 8's (g2) for $200 for the pair (each normally sells for $250) which I thought was a steal. I find them a bit boomy so I didn't want to use them as mains, so I ended up relegating them to be my rear channels. To have them as rears I needed stands so I did some searching and found some quicklok stands that are very heavy duty. They are also quite tall at 43" which puts the speakers at perfect head height while seated on the bench. (As an added bonus, I paid 30% of retail for these. I ordered them from a seller on amazon. Turns out, a system glitch gave them to me at the (very) wrong price but they decided to honor the sale! Score!)

Image
Image
Image


(In the middle you can see my partially restored 1903 Chickering Parlor grand which weighs in quite substantially at 6'4" and way too many pounds... Another ebay find!)

Finally, as christmas approached I was interested in getting at least a second set of monitors for my front channels. Originally I ordered a pair of Focal Alpha 65's from sweetwater but ended up sending them back. They are phenomenal speakers, but I didn't get as much of a bass gain as I was hoping and I didn't think that their substantial price hike warranted the smallish gain I felt I got over the equator d5's. So, I sent them back and discovered a sweet deal on sweetwater's website: at the time of my order, the presonus Eris E5's were going for buy one get one half off. My Sweetwater rep offered me the deal on all 3 pair so I took the plunge. I figured that while they aren't top of the line speakers, having more of a pretty decent speaker would be better (for what I was wanting anyway) than one pair of super speakers. This way I could get not only a broader sound, but make use of the 10 outs on the saffire pro as well as lower each speaker's load. (As an aside, I'm sure there will be some purists who might disagree with me on this.... however, I was always bothered by how directional the sound was and how "narrow" the sound field is when you only have one pair right in front of you. I must say that I am much happier having a broader (literally) wall of sound since, to my ears, this strikes me as more realistic in my room... not to mention being able to hear various pitches move back and forth is awesome!)

Image

Voila! As you can see, I had a problem: where do I put 6 new speakers?! I decided to get a nice piece of lumber, paint it black, cover it with a layer of 1/4" neoprene foam to isolate the speakers, and mounted it up on the two stands I already had. While it seems a little perilous, they are fairly sturdy, especially since the heads of the monitor stands clamp the board and the whole thing is pretty well balanced.
Image

I mounted the speakers upside down to put the tweeter closer to my head for an (assumed) increase in clarity. The whole arrangement is the exact width of my console and leaves 1.5" in between each speaker. (For those of you not wanting to shell out and arm and a leg for monitor pads (especially if you need to treat multiple speakers like I did), consider getting a larger roll of neoprene foam online at amazon. It's fairly cheap and can treat a lot of area and still provide some benefit. (I found this idea somewhere else on some forum.) I was able to use the leftover foam to also pad my rear monitors and still have a nice chunk for underneath my sub, all for about $22.)

Also note my lighting solution: I found a hanging fixture at home depot. I think it's meant for dorm rooms but it works perfectly. All it is is a socket with a very long chord and some wall anchors. You simply pop in an anchor into the ceiling, twist in the provided hook, and hang a lamp shade on it. Then you can plug it into a wall socket. Works like a charm and is minimally invasive and can be positioned anywhere without having to do recessed lighting or actually wire for a new fixture.

I was able to find an awesome LED lightbulb that is a 100w equivalent so it is very bright, but it only uses about 13w. It runs cool (so much better than piano lamps!) and the peculiar thing about it is it is aim-able. It was designed for recessed fixtures but in this case, it is perfect. I've tilted it slightly forward (as you can see below) so the brightest portion of the beam is toward the music rack. Since it is directly over head, it lights up my whole console area. A little over-the-counter dimmer also makes it a nice evening light when the room isn't being used but I don't want it dark.

Image

Speaking of lights, while my console has built in pedal lights on each side which are, in truth, quite acceptable, I wanted something brighter. Home depot to the rescue again! I found an awesome LED lightstrip that is almost as wide as the manuals. I mounted this squarely over the pedalboard and it makes for the brightest pedalboard you've ever seen. It has two settings for when I don't need it too much and because of it's width, it lights the whole area very evenly. I think it will help when I make some videos in the future. (Again-- it runs cool too. I had had a halogen lamp under there but kept burning my knees!)

Image
Image
Image

Finally, I decided that I wanted to do two upgrades:
1.) I found that the MIDI functionality of the saffire pro 40, while adequate, felt to me a bit sluggish so I knew I needed a new (dedicated) MIDI interface.
2.) I wanted a bigger sub!

For MIDI, I settled in on the new iConnectMIDI2.
Image
This unit is simply awesome. For mac's it requires no driver. It is simply plug-and-play. I have found that it is nice and quick (it is noticeably faster than the saffire IMHO). It also has dual in's and out's. This was important to me for future expandability. Eventually I want to replace my johannus's keyboards with 3rd party's while leaving as much of the original midi capability of the console in tact (if this is possible. this project is quite far down the road...) I wanted to be able to plug in the console as well as a new keyboard stack if necessary.


As for subs, SVS is awesome. They have a policy where if you order a sub and want to upgrade within a year, you may do so and get a full credit of the first sub towards the new one. Voila! I went from the little SB-1000 to the 65 pound behemoth PB-2000! Merry Christmas to me!

Image
Image

It was quite worth the upgrade and I eventually hope to acquire a second. (I also want to save for a down payment on a home so don't hold your breath.) I have it up on a table next to the console to place it a little closer to me to make it a bit more visceral. This puppy digs deeeeep (17hz -3db). It also peaks at 1100 watts so you can rest assured that it has some punch to it. Just got it in the mail the other day and listened to the Saint-Saens on it and WOW. WOW. You don't know what you're truly missing until you have a sub that truly digs super deep with gusto.


A few other tidbits and I'll wrap up.

I am very fortunate in that my console is fully MIDI capable. While the pistons are proprietary and I haven't been able to get HW to recognize them, all my manuals, pedals, and all my stop tabs are fully programable. Since this model has one of the larger stoplists, I find I'm rarely wanting for a tab to use (save it's european omission of super and sub couplers). Each manual has principals, flutes, strings, celests, all the usual mutations and reeds, etc. When I'm programming a new organ, I simply use whatever stop tab corresponds mosts closely. IE- a 8' Montre on the GO gets the 8' Principal tab on the great. It's simple enough and works quite well. The St. Eucaire sample set translates very nicely to my organ's physical stoplist. Since I can't reassign the pistons, I simply use my 8 levels of internal memory to control the physical stops which activate the virtual stops. Not quite as flexible as using only HW's built in controls, but still 100% functional. (As a quick aside for 3m organ users out there: use your 3rd manual as a permanent coupling manual for smaller 2m virtual instruments!)
_________
I was having quite the ground hum issue so I decided to invest in some power conditioners. (We have really dirty power here and it flickers a lot too. I have a battery backup on my computer and in under a year it has registered 372 different times it has needed to kick on....)

I ended up purchasing two Furman M-8x2's for safety reasons. I'll add that I live in Oklahoma and we get crazy thunderstorms. I didn't want to risk a surge wiping out thousands of dollars worth of organ and speakers. If you've never watched a video of how power conditioners work, google it. There's one that compares a furman to a regular power strip. Each has a lightbulp powered up from it. The demo deliberately surges the furman and the powerstrip. The powerstrip's lightbulb burns up at the surge and the strip catches on fire and literally burns up. The furman simply shuts off, waits for regular power conditions, and then powers back on. Simple as that. So, I have one guarding the console, monitor, audio interface, and lighting, and the second acting as protection feeding my 3rd unit the PylePDBC70 which feeds my speakers (excluding the sub).

Image
Image

The Pyle is a lifesaver for me. Since I have my monitors mounted up above me, their power switches are inaccessible. So, I use this strip to turn my 8 front monitors on and off 1 by 1 so I don't overload the outlet by powering them all on at once. It works like a charm! I couldn't recommend it more highly. It also has some 50/60hz filtering which is common noise introduced by AC units. I've noticed that the hiss my speakers give is more "white" and quieted now.
______________________________________________

So, that's my story. I hope you enjoyed the journey as I have. It's taken me well over 2 years but I'm finally to a point where I can smile in a big way. I simply love learning about other people's setups so I wanted to share mine in full detail for anyone else out there like me.


Image

To summarize:
I'm running Hauptwerk Advanced (current) on a 27" imac (3.5 GHz Intel Core i7) with 32gb of ram
3m Johannus Sweelinck 30 w/ full MIDI. I've wired a 30' firewire cable to the Saffire Pro 40 interface which controls 8 channels of front audio. (I also ran a very long HDMI cable over to the hauptwerk screen as well.) I have the 6 Eris E5's as 3 stereo pair in my 'main' group and the two Equator d5's as a stereo mix down. I have a stereo Nuforce uDAC feeding my rear channels with a splitter for the sub. (This makes a very easy and great stereo setup for anyone with small setups who want to feed monitors or headphones at a great price! This was my first audio interface with my laptop but it works so well I still use it.) I direct all rear and pedal ranks to this group and use the sub's built in crossover controls. My primary samplesets are the St. Eucaire CC and the Claviorganum (new from sonus paradisi) which serves as a phenomenal little practice instrument. Nice and dry like a practice room with cute 8+4' flutes. I also thoroughly enjoy the Mietke harpsichord.

Cheers to all and thanks for reading! :D
James
Last edited by Romanos on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:00 am

Here's a slightly larger version of the "finished" organ. Now I just need more samplesets! (Haarlem anyone???) :lol:

Image


OH! And the music rack-- It'a a plexiglass replacement. I have the original wood one which is perfectly lovely. (And it hides the power conditioners.) However, one of my absolute biggest pet peeves on God's green earth is small music racks! CAN'T STAND THEM. So, I had this larger one fashioned to fit in the slot of the original. It is slightly wider and taller to better accommodate somewhat larger scores so common to organ music. It's also perfectly flat which makes marking in scores easier.
Last edited by Romanos on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:24 am

And meet Gilbert: my practice "helper"
Image
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby kwbmusic » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:58 am

The only short comment I can make is WOW!!!!
It certainly is great to be alive and live one's dream.
Though one man's dream starts another man's challenge?
Keith
User avatar
kwbmusic
Member
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:06 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby engrssc » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:17 am

Sounds as if you are drooling, Keith. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
User avatar
engrssc
Member
 
Posts: 5092
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, USA

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:38 am

kwbmusic wrote:The only short comment I can make is WOW!!!!
It certainly is great to be alive and live one's dream.
Though one man's dream starts another man's challenge?
Keith



Keith-- for your sake I hope you can outdo me! Godspeed! :P
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby engrssc » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:10 am

Hi James,

Great job and thanks for sharing the details. One thought regarding the proprietary pistons. I helped a friend who had a similar situation. He didn't want to canablize the instrument by hacking it up but rather leave the organ in a condition that it could be "restored" and possibly resold in the future.

The simple solution was to unplug the connector(s) from the piston rail (which was connected) to a driver board. We then found suitable mating connectors and connected them to a new MIDI encoder. So the piston contacts now operated the encoder, etc. If in the future he wants to restore the organ to the as shipped from the factory condition, it is a matter of plugging the connector(s) from the piston rail(s) back into the driver board.

Found it a good idea to take lots of pictures of the before "conversion" setup vs relying to one's memory.

Curious, have you been able to "see" what the pistons are actually sending? Martin has done a great job in making otherwise impossible revisions possible by converting many proprietary systems that could then be used with Hauptwerk.

Rgds,
Ed
User avatar
engrssc
Member
 
Posts: 5092
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, USA

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:28 am

Ed-- thanks for that idea. It hadn't even occurred to me. Frankly, I haven't opened up the back of the organ to futz with it. I only graduated this past May and now I work a full time job in addition to my church job on Saturdays and Sundays. I didn't want to get knee deep in any major project before I was truly prepared, which, at this point, I am not. I need access to a fully functioning organ since my church job is an hour from home and I have nowhere in town to practice. I'm glad to know, however, that simply disconnecting the rails is an option. As far as I can tell, the pistons don't send any signal. If I go to a memory level that has nothing set to any of the pistons and press them, my MIDI unit doesn't light up with any press (ie- no signal is even being sent from the console.) By contrast, when I press a stop tab, the MIDI box will blink indicating it received a signal from the console, regardless of whether or not it is assigned to anything in HW.
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby pat17 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:25 am

Wonderful setup, Romanos!

Congratulations for the nice work and the even nicer result! 8)
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:27 pm

Many thanks All!

Also- just in case any of you are curious in my piano too: :)

Image

Image

It was restored about 30 years ago. It still needs plenty of work due to its age (112 years old!) but at least the action was refreshed (including hammer heads) and the cracks in the soundboard were shimmed up and the soundboard was re-crowned at that time. It has a positively massive sound due in part to its length (6'4") and its extra girth. These pianos were known for their extra wide soundboards which give them the ability to fill larger spaces. The key cheeks are 3 1/4" at the treble end and a whopping 6" wide at the bass end! Gives me quite a bit to work with as I have the funds to have it worked on further. Still has her ivories too :P

(she also has a few new scratches thanks to my new pup Gilbert :oops: )
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby blueband95 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:30 pm

Wow, you do have a terrific setup! Now I see why you recommended stacking up monitors on my tower beam- you know from experience how that sounds! Just curious, i've got a lot of questioms for you...how do you route your divisions? Does your software allow you to parse out pipes to speakers rank by rank? What crossover threshholds do you use with your subs? Do you use your console speakers at all at this point? What are you using for reverb? And what sample sets are you using?
blueband95
Member
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:32 am
Location: Katzweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby blueband95 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:44 pm

engrssc wrote:Hi James,

Great job and thanks for sharing the details. One thought regarding the proprietary pistons. I helped a friend who had a similar situation. He didn't want to canablize the instrument by hacking it up but rather leave the organ in a condition that it could be "restored" and possibly resold in the future.

The simple solution was to unplug the connector(s) from the piston rail (which was connected) to a driver board. We then found suitable mating connectors and connected them to a new MIDI encoder. So the piston contacts now operated the encoder, etc. If in the future he wants to restore the organ to the as shipped from the factory condition, it is a matter of plugging the connector(s) from the piston rail(s) back into the driver board.

Found it a good idea to take lots of pictures of the before "conversion" setup vs relying to one's memory.

Curious, have you been able to "see" what the pistons are actually sending? Martin has done a great job in making otherwise impossible revisions possible by converting many proprietary systems that could then be used with Hauptwerk.

Rgds,
Ed


Thanks, Ed for bringing this up; i've got the same issue with my setup. I've seen some folks taking care of this by installing a small narrow strip of MIDI controller switches (there is a company that makes such an animal), but that seems like such an inelegant solution. Bypassing the console board seems like such a better option, but I'd be interested to know more about how that would work; what boards were used and how.

Regarding taking pictures before making changes, that is very smart. My console was custom made and very complex, so we took shots of each step during disassembly/reassembly, and compiled a binder. Without this reference, it would have been an extremely frustrating experience, and I would likely have made mistakes that could have damaged the instrument.
blueband95
Member
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:32 am
Location: Katzweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:30 pm

blueband95 wrote:Wow, you do have a terrific setup! Now I see why you recommended stacking up monitors on my tower beam- you know from experience how that sounds! Just curious, i've got a lot of questioms for you...how do you route your divisions? Does your software allow you to parse out pipes to speakers rank by rank? What crossover threshholds do you use with your subs? Do you use your console speakers at all at this point? What are you using for reverb? And what sample sets are you using?



I currently have my organ set up two ways (using two of the four desktop shortcuts to distinguish the setup). The first and primary way is that I have the 6 speakers mounted high as 3 stereo pair all in the main group receiving and divvying up all the signals, with the two speakers resting on the console as a stereo mix-down pair (meaning they play all the signals) -3dB. This way, I have the 6 speakers up top doing their thing but I still get a coherent stereo image from the lower speakers, albeit at a lower volume so I still hear the upper 6 as primary sound source. The second setup (which I don't use all that often, at least not yet) is each of the 6 speakers is it's own channel (in one 'main' group) and I load the organ (a small, dry instrument for practice) in mono with all ranks cycling between the six speakers. (ie- notes only come out of one speaker, and with 6, you can hear the notes move back and forth like real pipes) using the two speakers on the console as a stereo mix-down again. This option is very interesting because each speaker only has to play two pitches and you can really create a certain realistic spread. The only downside then is proportionate to its strength: since sound only comes out of one speaker but there are many speakers, the sounds can mix in the air in a lifelike manner, however, there is a certain directionality to speakers so your brain thinks its a little weird not hearing a more omni-directional sound like from a real pipe. When you hear a single note coming from more than one speaker (stereo pair) it has a 'broader' sound.
In both setups, I have two rear speakers and my subwoofer sharing a signal from my 3rd output group 'rear/ped'. I route all rear & pedal ranks to this group (and any manual 16's). The speakers and the sub get the same signal (splitter) and the sub's crossover is set to about 80hz.

I had used my console speakers for a little while, but now that I have a total of 10 speakers, I no longer do. The console speakers have a pretty loud 'hum' to them. Fortunately, my model has a switch that controls the speakers (on, on+external, off). If I move it to 'off' the speakers shut off completely and don't even receive any electricity so they are totally silent. If I ever get around to modifying the internal components, then I might start to use them again (with a quieter amp) as a stereo mix-down so that the sound is more broad all around me. Until that time, they will sit silently.

I have yet to experiment with routing specific divisions to specific pair since my primary M.O. with setting up the speakers that way (and not simply stacking two towers of speakers on each side of the console) was to get a wider sound which strikes me as more natural. Until I can get the speakers away from my console, this is the best I can do.

I will also add that when I do use them as three stereo pairs, I have them set up like this:
1 2 3 4 5 6

1+4, 2+5, 3+6

This way I get some level of each note coming from the right and the left. If I were to do it by division, I would arrange them symmetrically (1+6, 2+5, 3+4)
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Romanos » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:47 pm

(I will add that I imagine that things would be a lot better in terms of the second setup if I could get the speakers head height a few feet away from the console so they could project a wider field on their own. Right now, I believe the speakers partly seem so directional because of just how close I am to them....)
Romanos
Member
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Building a dream in Oklahoma

Postby Rolland » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:34 pm

Hi Romanos,
Nice set up indeed. How your speakers behave when you remove the French flag located behind????
Friendly rgds
Tikal
Rolland
Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:24 pm

Next

Return to Post photos of your Hauptwerk systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest