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New setup questions

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...

New setup questions

Postby wlsartore » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:58 pm

I am currently running an old 2 manual Allen with Artisan midi and Artisan sound engine in my home. The console is a 505B and the capture is still intact and working. Best of all, the console was free and well cared for.

The Artisan samples are proprietary and modification of the organ isn't very user friendly. A few months back I purchased Hauptwerk along with two C-C sample sets. I'm happy with Macs or PC's but for the organ I wanted to go the Mac route. I was checking into a couple of configurations at ibuildmacs.com and it looks like the brand new MacMini (properly configured) has about the same "ooomph" as the older ibuildmacs configurations that were recommended to me. I was thinking of using a small basic touchscreen to interface with the Mac OS. I can have this slide out from under the left side of the console. I don't need the touchscreen for pressing stops; I'll just route the Hauptwerk stop to a similarly named tab on the console.

Most of the time I'll be listening with headphones. I recently bought a pair of JBL 5" powered speakers to set on top of the console but still need a subwoofer. I have a fairly new Allen 2-channel amp and a single channel amp in the garage should I decide to go a different route for the speakers.

That said, anyone have any suggestions regarding an interface? T-bolt ones seem pricey. The most outputs I ever see using would be five: stereo speakers, stereo headphones and a subwoofer. I suppose the stereo outputs could be combined for a total of three outputs.

I'm open to any ideas.

Bill S.
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Re: New setup questions

Postby magnaton » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:24 pm

Hello Bill:

Macs are known to have outstanding, 'pro--sumer' grade D/A converters so you can drive speakers or attach studio monitors to that output (headphone) jack. You may want to double check if the new MacMini keeps this same attribute as past models.

If you'd like to use an external audio interface unit then you could choose either a Mac or PC based HW setup. Most audio interfaces already include a separate jack for headphones usually in the front of the unit with ports for speakers in the back. A quick list of recommended interfaces are:
RME
MOTU
Presonus
Focusrite
Apollo
Cymantic
Search the forum here for "Audio Interface" to get more details. These manufactures offer several models that vary in price and number of inputs & outputs. With Hauptwerk we are only concerned with outputs as the HW engine is the source of the sound. Some models taught the quality of their inputs and how wonderful they provide your studio (recording) experience. This doesn't apply here.

For a subwoofer, check out the PreSonus Temblor. It offers both TRS & XLR inputs and outputs ports. This would make it very easy to integrate your JBL active monitors (I'm guessing the LSR-305 models?) since you would just need TRS cables to connect everything together.

Finally, I wouldn't bother with the Allen amplification with Hauptwerk. The quality of organ samples are at a much higher resolution than what the default digital organ speakers can produce. In short, audio interfaces are designed to get the best quality and highest resolution in their D/A conversions and studio monitors continue that level of detail on to the listener.

Danny B.
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Re: New setup questions

Postby wlsartore » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:11 pm

Thanks Danny - You've given me something to chew on.

Since I don't plan on setting up multiple speakers for every division, and since we're talking a small home setup I think I might go with only the audio out from the MacMini and just get a simple midi interface for it.

Bill S.
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Re: New setup questions

Postby magnaton » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:35 pm

wlsartore wrote:Since I don't plan on setting up multiple speakers for every division, and since we're talking a small home setup I think I might go with only the audio out from the MacMini and just get a simple midi interface for it.

Here is an example of a simple, inexpensive, 2-channel audio interface that is USB powered! I has 2 separate volume knobs: monitor out & headphone volume.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Scarlet2i2G2--focusrite-scarlett-2i2

I suggest this unit as it eases the headache or confusion of connecting headphones and active studio monitors. As I mentioned before, with dedicated AD/DA converters, it might be a step up from the MacMini audio.

Danny B.
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Re: New setup questions

Postby IainStinson » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:23 am

For a small increase in cost, the next model up https://focusrite.com/usb-audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-2i4 includes a midi in and and out interface (to 5 pin din ) and provides four channels of output. You might want to consider using the second pair of outputs for a sub.
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Re: New setup questions

Postby fermata » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:24 pm

If I understand correctly, one could use a Y-splitter plugged into the 3.5mm Mac jack going out to two powered speakers; but if one wanted a 4-speaker setup, an audio interface with two paired outs would be recommended, right? (The Focusrite looks good, thanks for the link, Iain.)
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