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Different sound carts

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...
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münsterorganist

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Different sound carts

PostWed Jul 15, 2020 4:06 am

Is there a difference in sound with the sound cards such as RME or focusrite. I use RME AIO but always find out, that the samples on You Tube sound more realistic than at home, of course both via headphones. Sometimes I have the impression,that the recordings are cinsiderably reworked and are not direct taken from the audio output of the soundcard. Please ask for you opinion.
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IainStinson

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Re: Different sound carts

PostWed Jul 15, 2020 5:19 am

Many of the recordings are taken from the Hauptwerk audio recorder and the .wav file which Hauptwerk produces and converted to .mp3 files. The .mp3 files have less audio detail than the .wav files. I think very few recordings are processed more than this. I always assumed that for the better videos that the sound used was the HW audio recording. If they are made using a microphone the sound will include the properties of the audio system of the HW instrument and the building in which it is recorded. I don't know how the sound is handled by YouTube.

When HW plays through the "sound card" the sound sent to the sound card is essentially the same as the .wav file recorded by the audio recorder.

I find (and would expect) that the .mp3 files from the Concert Hall are less detailed than .wav files when played on the same equipment.

Are you using the same equipment to replay the sound from the Concert Hall / YouTube?
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münsterorganist

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Re: Different sound carts

PostWed Jul 15, 2020 5:38 am

Thank you for answer, Ian. I by myself doesn't give my songs to You Tube. Please hear the recordings from Richard Mc Veigh. Its a great sound. On my HW I can not hear this
fantastic sound with the same samples. Therefore my question, if another sound card can do this sound.
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münsterorganist

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Re: Different sound cards

PostThu Jul 16, 2020 1:24 am

I spezify: do the expensive sound cards differ in sound?
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NickNelson

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Re: Different sound cards

PostThu Jul 16, 2020 2:06 am

münsterorganist wrote:I spezify: do the expensive sound cards differ in sound?


The only way this could be answered would be to buy several high-end cards and subject them to a very detailed
analysis. I rather doubt that many (any) here would have the resources or inclination to do it. You might find audiophile reviews online which have looked into this.

Personally, I doubt that there would be any notable differences.

Nick
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josq

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Re: Different sound cards

PostThu Jul 16, 2020 5:19 am

münsterorganist wrote:I spezify: do the expensive sound cards differ in sound?


An interesting read with an indicative answer: http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm

A couple of possible reasons for the perceived difference between recordings on Youtube and playing your own system, with the same headphones:

* Psychoacoustics. Expectation bias. Or maybe a difference between more critical listinging when you are playing and more relaxed listening when someone else is playing
* Virtuosity. A good organist can make even a bad organ sound exciting.
* Registration. Usually not specified with recordings, then the registration used is hard to reconstruct on your own system
* Mixing. The person on YouTube maybe has applied some reverb, or is mixing the front and rear ranks to achieve a more spacious sound.
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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: Different sound carts

PostThu Jul 16, 2020 5:53 pm

Munsterorganist,

You might be interested to read this article from Sound on Sound, a magazine aimed at musicians of all types using electronic equipment. I'm afraid I don't know when it was written - it may be old as there is a photo of a Focusrite Saffire, which is a piece of equipment that I bought many years ago and used until it died, and which is no longer available. I replaced it with an audio interface by RME, and then another one my MOTU, supplemented by a DA converter by Behringer to increase the number of channels (I currently have seven stereo channels plus a subwoofer, feeding Behringer Truth active monitors in quite a large room in my home). I can't say that I noticed a huge difference between any of them, although I was quite surprised to hear a worthwhile improvement in sound quality when I upgraded from HW4 to HW5, much more than between the different audio interfaces that I had tried.

I think the bottom line is that past a certain price point they all do the same job fairly well, and all the ones suggested in the HW manual are capable of functioning in a fairly realistic-sounding system. Of course a professional recording studio would use quite different and much more expensive equipment, but they have different requirements.

When I was younger I was quite interested in the difference between different HiFi systems, though I couldn't afford the silly prices of "audiophile" equipment, and I never understood some of the fashions, such as drawing a ring round the edge of CD's with a green marker pen which was somehow supposed to help them to be read more accurately, or how a digital recording could be improved by pressing it onto vinyl, which as far as I could see simply introduced an additional stage for errors and distortions. These days even low-end systems are consistent and much better than they used to be, though alas at the age of 59 my hearing isn't what it was.

Of course as Iain Stinson points out, recordings made with the in-built Hauptwerk recorder don't involve the sound card or audio interface at all.

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