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Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...

Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:02 am

I'm working with a church to see if we can use Hauptwerk to enhance or work with an Allen that is installed with a multitude of speakers concealed in the walls front, side and back of the sanctuary. Yesterday I took my laptop with the free version and connected it to the Midi Out of the organ, and the sound to the two RCA inputs on the organ. We did manage to get it working sort-of, once we learned the the Midi had to be turned on by stops marked MIDI on the four divisions. The midi volume is controlled by the Choir expression pedal.

Two questions: 1. Is there a way of changing the inputs so that we could have a separate one for each division of the organ? Is this a good idea? What sort of equipment would do that?
2. What sort of audio interface do we need to get a good sound from the Hauptwerk organ through the Allen system?

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby engrssc » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:29 pm

Great idea, good questions. First, you will need at least the Basic Edition of Hauptwerk, better the Advanced Edition. Then a larger computer with either an internal of an external sound card with multiple outputs. There are numerous posts on the Forum describing various setups. You can do a search to find what would work for you.\

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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby organtechnology » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:22 pm

caper1 wrote:I'm working with a church to see if we can use Hauptwerk to enhance or work with an Allen that is installed with a multitude of speakers concealed in the walls front, side and back of the sanctuary. Yesterday I took my laptop with the free version and connected it to the Midi Out of the organ, and the sound to the two RCA inputs on the organ. We did manage to get it working sort-of, once we learned the the Midi had to be turned on by stops marked MIDI on the four divisions. The midi volume is controlled by the Choir expression pedal.

Two questions: 1. Is there a way of changing the inputs so that we could have a separate one for each division of the organ? Is this a good idea? What sort of equipment would do that?
2. What sort of audio interface do we need to get a good sound from the Hauptwerk organ through the Allen system?

Thanks for any help.


Hello Caper1,

I believe the main difficulty you will have is in the differing Hauptwerk vs. Allen audio arrangement.
Many times Allen treats the tone generation-amplifier-speaker as the tone generator for that genre of pipes they wish to create. This is why their speakers were called 'tone cabinets' as they were used to shape and color the sound. Hauptwerk on the other hand, has recorded the sound of real pipes and stored the sounds in wave files which Hauptwerk plays back in real time as the keys are pressed. In a Hauptwerk sound system the idea is to recreate as accurately as possible the original recorded sound. To do this multiple stereo speaker pairs are used. The Hauptwerk software has speaker management algorithms to do this and does not naturally used the tone cabinet thought process. However Hauptwerk being the wonderful program that it is will allow you to create chambers of pipes and even get pretty close to the tone cabinet technique but it will require many amplifier/speaker units and many channels of audio to do well.

Then the right sample set for the room must be chosen and voiced to the natural acoustics for best results. There is a question asked of all organ students at one time or another; "What is the most important stop on the organ?" The answer is The Room!

So for your experiment you should determine how many full range speakers and amplifiers are available to you and redo the experiment with a multi-channel ASIO sound module. If there are only two audio input channels on the console then these are probably your best (maybe only) place to start as they are most likely to be full range stereo sound for an external MIDI module. Depending on the acoustics, you may want a dry set of samples. For a really dead room you may want to use a convolution reverb program like Reaper to add appropriate acoustic to the space. It will not be perfect but better than a dead room.

Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:21 pm

Thank you for your input in helping me understand the challenge we have to do this. It needs someone with more expertise than I have, so we will reach out to those who might be able to help with this. I had a feeling it was not going to be a simple operation and you have confirmed that. Again, thanks.
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:39 pm

organtechnology wrote:
caper1 wrote:Thanks for any help.


Hello Caper1,

I believe the main difficulty you will have is in the differing Hauptwerk vs. Allen audio arrangement.
Many times Allen treats the tone generation-amplifier-speaker as the tone generator for that genre of pipes they wish to create. This is why their speakers were called 'tone cabinets' as they were used to shape and color the sound. Hauptwerk on the other hand, has recorded the sound of real pipes and stored the sounds in wave files which Hauptwerk plays back in real time as the keys are pressed. In a Hauptwerk sound system the idea is to recreate as accurately as possible the original recorded sound. To do this multiple stereo speaker pairs are used. The Hauptwerk software has speaker management algorithms to do this and does not naturally used the tone cabinet thought process. However Hauptwerk being the wonderful program that it is will allow you to create chambers of pipes and even get pretty close to the tone cabinet technique but it will require many amplifier/speaker units and many channels of audio to do well.

Then the right sample set for the room must be chosen and voiced to the natural acoustics for best results. There is a question asked of all organ students at one time or another; "What is the most important stop on the organ?" The answer is The Room!

So for your experiment you should determine how many full range speakers and amplifiers are available to you and redo the experiment with a multi-channel ASIO sound module. If there are only two audio input channels on the console then these are probably your best (maybe only) place to start as they are most likely to be full range stereo sound for an external MIDI module. Depending on the acoustics, you may want a dry set of samples. For a really dead room you may want to use a convolution reverb program like Reaper to add appropriate acoustic to the space. It will not be perfect but better than a dead room.

Best regards,

Thomas


Thanks again Thomas. One further question from the Music Director: "Does or can the Hauptwerk audio come out of the computer and sound card separated by organ division (i.e. Choir/swell/great) so that each organ division is going to separate amp/speakers to allow for individual volume control for each division."
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby mdyde » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:55 pm

Hello caper1,

caper1 wrote:One further question from the Music Director: "Does or can the Hauptwerk audio come out of the computer and sound card separated by organ division (i.e. Choir/swell/great) so that each organ division is going to separate amp/speakers to allow for individual volume control for each division."


Yes -- the Advanced Edition of Hauptwerk certainly allows you to route any ranks to any speakers (and/or groups of speakers). (Installation in a church would require the Advanced Edition, with Public Installation Licence option, anyway.)

Although I see that you currently have the Basic Edition, you could experiment by exiting Hauptwerk, temporarily detaching your Hauptwerk USB key, then launching Hauptwerk via one of the 'spare' 'Hauptwerk (alt config N)' configurations (desktop short-cuts), and selecting to evaluate the Advanced Edition. (The four configurations have completely independent settings, so you wouldn't interfere with your main configuration's audio settings that way.)

The 'Audio routing and multi-channel audio' section in the main Hauptwerk user guide (pages 164-168 in the current v4.2.1 version) covers multi-channel audio.

caper1 wrote:2. What sort of audio interface do we need to get a good sound from the Hauptwerk organ through the Allen system?


We have some general guidance on audio interfaces and computer hardware in these documents (linked to from the 'Support | Prerequisites' section of the website:

https://www.hauptwerk.com/clientuploads/documentation/PDF/HauptwerkBackgroundTechnicalInfoOnComputerHardware.pdf
https://www.hauptwerk.com/clientuploads/documentation/PDF/HauptwerkPrerequisites.pdf

You'll find lots of recommendations for, and experiences with, audio interfaces from Hauptwerk users in this section of the forum in general.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:11 pm

Thanks Martin. You are always so helpful.
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby organtechnology » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:22 pm

caper1 wrote:
organtechnology wrote:
caper1 wrote:Thanks for any help.


Hello Caper1,

I believe the main difficulty you will have is in the differing Hauptwerk vs. Allen audio arrangement.
Many times Allen treats the tone generation-amplifier-speaker as the tone generator for that genre of pipes they wish to create. This is why their speakers were called 'tone cabinets' as they were used to shape and color the sound. Hauptwerk on the other hand, has recorded the sound of real pipes and stored the sounds in wave files which Hauptwerk plays back in real time as the keys are pressed. In a Hauptwerk sound system the idea is to recreate as accurately as possible the original recorded sound. To do this multiple stereo speaker pairs are used. The Hauptwerk software has speaker management algorithms to do this and does not naturally used the tone cabinet thought process. However Hauptwerk being the wonderful program that it is will allow you to create chambers of pipes and even get pretty close to the tone cabinet technique but it will require many amplifier/speaker units and many channels of audio to do well.

Then the right sample set for the room must be chosen and voiced to the natural acoustics for best results. There is a question asked of all organ students at one time or another; "What is the most important stop on the organ?" The answer is The Room!

So for your experiment you should determine how many full range speakers and amplifiers are available to you and redo the experiment with a multi-channel ASIO sound module. If there are only two audio input channels on the console then these are probably your best (maybe only) place to start as they are most likely to be full range stereo sound for an external MIDI module. Depending on the acoustics, you may want a dry set of samples. For a really dead room you may want to use a convolution reverb program like Reaper to add appropriate acoustic to the space. It will not be perfect but better than a dead room.

Best regards,

Thomas


Thanks again Thomas. One further question from the Music Director: "Does or can the Hauptwerk audio come out of the computer and sound card separated by organ division (i.e. Choir/swell/great) so that each organ division is going to separate amp/speakers to allow for individual volume control for each division."


Hi Caper1,

Yes you can do that with the Advanced Edition as Martin mentioned. We usually recommend each division have enough speakers so that the Hauptwerk algorithm can work its magic and of course their frequency response would need to match the division. For divisions with 16 foot pipes, I think the minimum would be 6 speakers and a subwoofer for each division with more attention given to the bass response of the pedal division perhaps by using multiple subwoofers capable of reproducing the longest pipe. For a four division organ that would be 28-32 channels of audio and speakers.

You might want to look at MOTU AVB or Dante with a Break-out-box for each division which would allow a single Cat5e or Cat6 from the console to carry all the channels. AVB tends to like Apple computers while Dante is OK with PCs or Macs.

You would create all the Audio Outputs first and assign each output to an Audio Output Group in the Routing tab and then when loading the organ tell Hauptwerk which ranks go to which audio output groups. You are looking at a pretty sophisticated audio system but the learning curve with Hauptwerk is not that steep. I think AVB or Dante will provide a bigger challenge,

But boy are you going to have a nice organ :)

Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:13 pm

Our plans are moving along. Here is what we are looking to do: The organ will have current external/midi audio inputs updated so that they are available for all swell pedals (currently all midi goes to a single swell pedal)

Computer: w/ i7 7700k processor, 16GB ram, 500GB solid state drive, Windows 10, DVD/RW drive

Monitor: Planar PCT2265 Touch Screen

Audio: MOTU Ultralite MK-4 audio interface

Midi: MOTU Micro lite USB Midi

We will be using the existing amps/speaker setup. We'll see how it works with the St. Anne's sample set and then look to getting a larger three manual, preferably a fairly dry one.

Any comments will be welcome. Thanks for all the input earlier.
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby mdyde » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:46 am

I think my only comments would be:

- The CPU looks good, and I'd expect it to perform well: https://ark.intel.com/products/97129/Intel-Core-i7-7700K-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-4_50-GHz .

- The MOTU Ultralite-mk4 has 8 analogue outputs ( http://motu.com/products/proaudio/ultralite-mk4/specs.html ), so it could drive at most 8 speakers. (If you might ever want more than that then MOTU's 24Ao might be worth looking at instead, with 24 analogue outputs: http://motu.com/products/avb/24ai-24ao .)

- The Ultralite mk4 also has 1 MIDI IN port and 1 MIDI OUT port, so if you did buy that interface, and if your Allen only needed one MIDI cable in each direction (which would normally be the case), then there probably wouldn't be a need also to get the Microlite MIDI interface (although if you got a 24Ao, instead of an Ultralite-mk4, then you would also need a dedicated MIDI interface, such as a a Microlite).

- Although 16 GB of RAM should be ample for any current dry sample sets (as far as I know), I would recommend getting 32 GB, since it probably wouldn't cost much extra and it gives you considerably more options and future-proofing. (Or at least, make sure that you keep an appropriate number of RAM slots free so that you could add another 16 GB later if needed.)

(I don't have experience with PC touch-screens, so I can't comment meaningfully on makes/models of those.)
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Martin.

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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:49 pm

Here is another question from the music department at the church. "We are planning on interfacing the Hauptwerk with an Allen Digital organ. We have tested and all is fine regarding the basic connections and functions. The question relates to the Allen MIDI box that is on the organ. Is it possible to use the sounds from the Allen MIDI and also the Hauptwerk MIDI by use of separate MIDI in/out unit such as the MOTU Micro Lite? Or can the Allen MIDI daisy chain through a single MIDI box such as the MOTU Ultralite-MK4 along with the Hauptwerk?"
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby jkinkennon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:11 pm

I would suggest using the MOTU micro lite which is a 5X5 MIDI merger/splitter. Check the manual first but it should support feeding MIDI to two or more devices. It is affordable and has capabilities for MIDI that the simple interface built into an audio interface will not. It is also affordable at about $140.
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby mdyde » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:46 am

As far as I know, MOTU's multi-port MIDI interfaces (Microlite, Express 128, etc.) and M-Audio's (MIDISPORT 2x2, 4x4, etc.) don't actually have native (built-in) functionality for MIDI merging or splitting. The user guide for the MOTU interfaces is here: http://motu.com/techsupport/manuals

Hence I believe you would either need additional MIDI translation/routing software (Bome's MIDI Translator, MIDI-OX, or similar), or dedicated MIDI merging/splitting hardware, to achieve that. Specialist companies like Kenton make various products along those lines: http://www.kentonuk.com/
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby caper1 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:47 am

Thanks, Martin. It's reassuring to know that expert advice is so readily available.
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Re: Connecting to an Allen ADC-80

Postby johnh » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:10 pm

If the "Allen MIDI box" has a MIDI Thru connection you would be able patch it in-line with the MIDI connection between the console and Hauptwerk. This would allow controlling the "Allen MIDI box" (VIsta?) as Allen intended. If it doesn't have a Thru connector you will need a MIDI splitter if you want to connect it to the console output along with Hauptwerk.

Something like this:

http://www.midisolutions.com/prodthr.htm

If you want to controll the "Allen MIDI box" from the PC (Hauptwerk) then MIDI out from the PC would go to the "Allen MIDI box".

---john.
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