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How detailed is the wind model?

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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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How detailed is the wind model?

PostWed Dec 18, 2019 8:52 am

I have just been reading about Werkmeister's views on registration. I already knew that for 17th century organs the simultaneous use of different stops at the same pitch was considered bad practice, and that the reason was that in some way the wind supply couldn't cope, but Werkmeister was much more specific. It seems that when two ranks of pipes are close together on the same wind chest, the larger scaled pipe will steal wind from the smaller, causing that one to go out of tune, so it is a local effect rather than a loss of wind pressure in the organ as a whole. The pipes in stops at other pitches are located elsewhere, so drawing 8', 4' and 2' stops is less problematic than two 8' stops together from the same division (if they are in different divisions they will be on separate wind chests so the problem doesn't arise).

Indeed, when Bach tested or specified organs, the one thing that he always stressed above anything else was that the wind supply should be adequate. Of course by his time it was generally much better in new organs, which meant that they could be constructed with many more unison ranks than before, with the intention that they could be used together.

This makes sense to me. I am a doctor and it is analogous to the effects of peripheral vascular disease, where a narrowed artery might not provide an adequate blood supply to particular region of the body, leading to a situation where a muscle, for instance, can steal blood from an organ (an example is spinal claudication, where the muscles in the legs can divert blood away from the spinal cord leading to neurological symptoms while walking). This is in contrast to an inadequate wind supply as a whole, which is analogous to what we call cardiac failure, where a damaged heart isn't up to the demands placed on it resulting in breathlessness and fluid retention.

This has made me wonder whether the wind model in Hauptwerk goes into this level of detail, with greater interaction between pipes at the same pitch on the same division.
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mdyde

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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostWed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 am

Hello Julian,

[Topic moved here.]

Hauptwerk's wind supply model is a fluid-dynamics physical model, with air flows and pressures modelled at key points around/through the system (reservoirs, wind-chests, pipe flows, etc.). Hence it does model effects such as two pipes on a given wind-chest interacting with each other indirectly by the pressure in the chest (and also thus interacting indirectly with regulators/reservoirs, which may lead to brief oscillatory behaviour, for example). However, it doesn't model acoustic resonances between pipes and 'pitch-pulling' due to acoustic coupling.

Hope that helps.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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JulianMoney-Kyrle

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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostWed Dec 18, 2019 11:23 am

Thank-you, Martin. Very helpful as always.

I bought Hauptwerk so that I could play the organ at home. I had no idea that I would learn so much as a result of having such a wide variety of instruments available to play and compare.
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mdyde

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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostWed Dec 18, 2019 12:16 pm

Thanks, Julian.

You're very welcome!
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostWed Dec 18, 2019 12:34 pm

JulianMoney-Kyrle wrote:I bought Hauptwerk so that I could play the organ at home. I had no idea that I would learn so much as a result of having such a wide variety of instruments available to play and compare.


One of our organists recently commented similarly. But he also added, when he subs in other churches that have "lesser" instruments, his thoughts are if he only had his home instrument(s) in this church, as he has become "spoiled" by Hauptwerk. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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tocata

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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostThu Dec 19, 2019 12:35 pm

Yep, I couldn't care less for all the interferences and disadvantages that come from pipe organs by design. I really do not need a simulation of blower noise, ciphers, detuning, inoperable stops, cold church buildings, clunky tracker keyboards, etc.

Heresy, I know.
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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 11:23 am

Contrary to what you say, Hauptwerk, does not simulate cold church buildings, but the Australian users would probably welcome that at the moment, and Martin should consider it.

All organ-playing software, present and future, can and will simulate ciphers and inoperable stops under the right conditions (by "right," I mean "everything going wrong").

If you don't like HW's blower noise, you can shut it. The constant drone of traffic noise might be a modern substitute, in any event.

What you call "clunky tracker keyboards," I would call "responsive," but this is a matter of training - I trained on harpsichord and clavichord. To me, the modern piano is sluggish and slow to respond, and the articulation is mushy and indistinct. Same thing for tracker vs some kind of electrical action.
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tocata

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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 1:43 pm

Oh, my comment was in regard to the advantages a software like HW offers in comparison to the real thing. I did not quote the other member's comment talking about "lesser organs" in church locations, so probably I did not embed my answer within the right context.

I am happy I can emulate with HW an organ without all the other things I do not find inherently awesome in real world pipe organs. :)
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Re: How detailed is the wind model?

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 4:57 pm

Ah, I understand. One of the advantages of unheated churches would be to keep the Baroque smells down.

The Dutch had little portable heaters that they brought to church, as noted in Marvel's "The Character of Holland" (ca. 1653):

See but their Mairmaids with their Tails of Fish,
Reeking at Church over the Chafing-Dish,
A vestal Turf enshrin'd in Earthen Ware
Fumes through the loop-holes of a wooden Square.
Each to the Temple with these Altars tend,
But still does place it at her Western End:
While the fat steam of Female Sacrifice
Fills the Priests Nostrils and puts out his Eyes.
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