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HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

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Dallastaylor

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HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 8:24 am

I have an Allen Protege C-14C organ which I am using to play one of the HW organs. The Allen organ is working perfectly with HW on my laptop and sounds great through headphones or when recorded. I didnt want additional equipment in our lounge so decided to install the EAC in the Allen organ. The EAC is specifically designed to enable churches to plug different musical sources into the existing sound system of the Allen organ without needing separate amplifiers and speakers etc. I plug in 2 RCA connectors which come out of the headphone socket of my laptop. I have external speakers connected to the Allen which work extremely well with a great sound.

The problem is that when I play the HW organ through the EAC the sound that comes out is muffled and sounds like it's playing through water. The reverb appears to be amplified. So it is completely "unlistenable" to with notes running into one another. I ma not trying to mix the Allen organ sounds with the HW sounds. Just wanting a realistic sound out of my existing speakers.

Any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated from this HW newbie.
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micdev

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 10:34 am

Hi,

Your organ probably has the "Virtual Acoustic" system. Try to disable it.

From an Allen user manual that I found:

The switch labeled VIRTUAL ACOUSTICS on the face of the Console Controller must be ON to hear the default reverberation setting or one of the 20...


Try to switch it off and see how it sounds.
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François

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profeluisegarcia

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 12:59 pm

I had exactly the same experience with a Protege model and EAC in a distant cathedral. ...as if Allen organ system were designed to exclude HW capabilities.
Please let us know if Francois suggestion gives results.
Luis
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 2:05 pm

Hi Francois and Luis
Thanks for that tip, Francois. There is an Acoustics option on the controls with settings from 0 to -30dB for any number of various environments. For my room, the Allen organ guy suggested Large Room 1 eg for each of Small Room, Medium Room, Large Room, Small, Medium, Large Hall etc there are 3 settings. There is also a default setting. No matter what I use, there is still an overpowering reverb (which seems to be more than I hear in the headphone) but there is also this muffled effect as if the sound is travelling through a long tunnel with mufflers all the way. The sharpness goes and you are left with a muddy sound, exacerbated by the reverb. The EAC device is sold as being a one stop shop for churches that have multiple Musical instruments playing and they don’t want to invest in additional music systems so I am surprised that it doesn’t work. I have also asked the Allen guy who installed it if he has any thoughts. But he is Allen, although has more than a passing interest in HW having just been given an organ from a deceased estate which has HW attached. He told me he has experimented.

Earlier today, I tried changing the setting on one stop - the Stopped Diapason in the Swell. I changed it to Simulated dry with short decay. It sounded awful - in the headphones but even played through the EAC into the speakers it had the same muddy, muffled sound and a tremulant effect. So that didn’t work.

Many thanks
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 2:39 pm

Hi,

Have you tried to turn it of (I circled the the ON/OFF switch)

AllenVA.JPG


I have a few clients with Allen and Virtual Acoustics and don't recall having that problem.

Also, have you set the micro switches to select the right type of connector (RCA) that you are using?
AllenEAC.JPG
Best regards
François

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 3:31 pm

Thanks so much Francois.

I had missed the on/off switch and that has certainly helped enormously. Most of the echo has gone. I have also adjusted the switches under the device. I am not sure that helped as much but it makes sense to disengage the inputs that I am not using.

I have also been experimenting with using the console speakers or just external. Interesting acoustical changes. I have also experimented with turning the volume of the organ up using the control in the Engine menu. it is getting better. Not surprisingly, the higher the HW volume ie 0 dB the more the echo/reverb is evident.

I don’t suppose that there is an overall control that moderates the reverb a little - to make it more suited to a smaller room.

I will experiment more tomorrow.

Many thanks again - big improvement.
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 3:47 pm

Great,

About the reverb, if your VA (Virtual acoustics) is OFF, then it is the natural acoustic of the sample set. Which sample set are you using? If it is St-Anne... and you find that there is too must reverb, then this means that your VA is still active, before St-Anne is almost dry.

If you use a wet sample set with a lot of reverb, like Salisbury, Caen, Metz etc then you can "truncate" the reverb length either by changing the "Release sample truncation" in the loading organ parameters (see Hauptwerk Installation and User Manual (page 77). If you are using Hauptwerk Advanced edition you can also (and preferably) use the Voicing facilities (page 174+, 191+) located in Organ settings | Rank voicing...

On last thing, if you can use XLR connectors between your audio interface and the EAC you will probably get even better sound .

Hope this helps
Best regards
François

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 5:20 pm

Thanks again so much Francois. I will check everything tomorrow. But I was interested in your comment about the XLR cables. I will get some. What am I looking for? 3.5mm stereo jack to Stereo XLR Male. I had a quick look on the internet an most of the cables seem to be a stereo jack to a single XLR.

Many thanks
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micdev

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSat Jun 20, 2020 7:56 pm

Oh... you're using the internal audio interface... in that case, forget that I don't think it will change something, I thought that you were using a semi-pro/professional audio interface using 1/4 balanced or XLR.

No need to got that way in that case...
Best regards
François

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 pm

Hi again Francois. I have modified the Loan as you suggested and chosen a different decay rate and it is much better. I think that I will experiment with that. At the moment I have set it to 2 secs - maybe 2.5 or 3 secs will be better. My remaining problem is the sound coming from the speakers - it sounds as there are layers of cloth over the front of the speaker. and maybe that is not something that HW is going to be able to deal with. But I wanted to ask you - would it be better to abandon the Allen EAC and rather use a separate sound device - one of the eg Focusrite models?

The recorded .wav file is good - as I would expect it to sound ie as I hear it in the headphones. So this is why I think that something happens between my laptop and the speakers - and the only thing that is in that pathway is the EAC device. I know the EAC has its only volume control - maybe that needs adjustment. I will reach out to the Allen guy tomorrow.

I also discovered today that the computer's sound control also impacts the volume. So the overall sound you hear is controlled both by the Engine in HW and the computer volume. I will reach out to the Allen guy tomorrow. I live and learn - rapidly!

Many thanks
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSun Jun 21, 2020 4:06 pm

Hi Francois. Been doing some research. My existing speakers are passive, powered ny the amp in the Allen organ. So to operate independently of that amp I guess I will need an amplifier between the Midi interface and the speakers. A couple of questions come to mind.... is there a single amplifier/MIDI interface device or will I need to buy an amplifier. Are there any recommendations. Looked through the Forum and didn’t see much. As always, my sincere thanks and appreciation for your help.
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostSun Jun 21, 2020 7:38 pm

Good evening,

I don't understand... to use your external speakers you should go thru your organ/EAC. I guess it is quite possible to connect your external Allen speakers to an external amplifiers but I don't know the specification (impedance, type of connectors used, power handling).

You may want to to contact your Allen representative to learn more about using your speakers separately with an external audio source.

Ideally what you will want in the end is a semi/professional ASIO audio interface (not the one built-in the computer) and amplifier(s) (depending on the number of channels you want to use. Correctly planning your audio will save you money, make sure to properly understand your choices, the equipment that you already have and what is missing.
Best regards
François

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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostTue Jun 23, 2020 3:13 am

Hi Francois. Thanks again for your interest. I am not getting too far on this but have some questions, please. XLR vs RCA - the Allen organs guy suggested I might try that but from your earlier note, you didn't seem to think that would make any difference. So my questions now relate to HW. I have looked at many places and the internet but cant get a clear picture in my mind about the flow of data and voice in the system.

You suggested that maybe a "semi/professional ASIO audio interface (not the one built-in the computer) and amplifier" is what I need. I am beginning to think that the ASIO4ALL driver in my laptop is not fully up to the task I have in mind. I am looking at something like one of the Focusrite products eg 2i2. https://focusrite.com/en/usb-audio-inte ... arlett-2i2. Can you please help me understand how this would work. I appreciate that this is very basic stuff, but not being an audio boffin I am in the dark and haven't been able to find a clear explanation of what role the audio interface actually plays.

This is what I think:
MIDI to and from organ:
- MIDI OUT from organ to MIDI IN on audio interface
- MIDI OUT from audio interface to organ MIDI IN
USB from Laptop to USB on Interface device
- Question: What does the USB between laptop and Audio interface carry? MIDI? Audio?
- Question: If the audio is not carried in the USB to USB cable between laptop and audio interface, how do I get the audio from laptop to Audio Interface?

Question: what role does the audio interface play? A superior sound card that takes digital or analogue sound sources and convert them to analogue to send to speakers or amplifiers? Mixer of various input devices? MIDI recorder?
Question: Last night I tried using the USB-C connection in my laptop for both headphones and the connection to the EAC device - using a USB-C to 3.5mm connector. When I connected this the Driver (in HW) automatically changed from ASIO4ALL to "Direct Sound USB-C to 3.5mm jack". When I forced it back to the ASIO4ALL driver - there was no sound in the headphones - the sound came out of the laptop speakers. Any reason why?

Because I will be using the Allen amplifier and speakers, I presume that I will take a pair of cables from the Audio interface device to the Allen amplifier - is that correct?

Thanks again
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostTue Jun 23, 2020 3:37 am

Hi Francois....the audio interface device I referred to doesn't seem to have the MIDI. The 4i4 does have the midi.
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Re: HW through Allen Organ EAC (Expanded Audio Capability)

PostTue Jun 23, 2020 3:37 am

Hi Francois....the audio interface device I referred to doesn't seem to have the MIDI. The 4i4 does have the midi.
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