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What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

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What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby Deckie » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:00 pm

I loaded the Lavender Audio Hereford Cathedral organ (67 stops) some time ago but I rarely use it because I've never been able to get it to sound right. Comments on here are generally favourable for this organ so it must be something to do with my room acoustics and / or set up. It just doesn't sound as good as the other organs I loaded such as the Caen Cavaillé-Coll and the Zwolle Schnitger which sound amazing and which I tend to play by default. All samples are loaded as 20 bit and above, only the sound effects are loaded as 16 bit to save RAM space (I can only have the 16GB to play with). The audio interface is a Saffire Pro 40.

The 2 main problems are that the stops become muffled sounding in the bottom 2 octaves and become more muffled the lower the note. This goes for all stops such that when you couple a full organ to the pedal, playing a low pedal note just produces a strange moaning sound as though all the top end of the frequency spectrum is missing. Also, the organ has a hollow sound which from previously experimenting with various graphic equaliser response curves and what they sound like, the hollow sound is similar to when there's top and bottom of the frequency spectrum but the mid-range is attenuated. It's like listening to it through a long drain pipe. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

In my attempts to improve this I've adjusted the Overall Brightness in the organ voicing to ramp up sharply all the notes from middle C downwards so that bottom C has a high brightness level. This had the effect of also increasing the Overall Amplitude so I had to adjust this to ramp down over the same range of notes. After doing this on all stops (it took some time) it sounds a great deal better and I now get a reasonable full organ sound when coupled on the pedals. I also tried upgrading the amplifier for a Cloud CX-A850 which produces a 'bigger' sound but it still has the hollowness to it compared to the other organs. I tried messing with the Lo/Hi EQ settings in voicing but it didn't seem to do anything (I may not have done it correctly, the guide book is a bit difficult to follow what is going on with the 3 different settings).

Can anyone suggest what the problem might be please? I feel like I need to adjust the frequency response with a graphic equaliser, has anybody any experience of using one with HW? Is there such a suitable software application that will adjust all 8 channels without mixing them (as opposed to connecting a separate unit on the audio side which is another possibility)?

Thanks, sorry about the long explanation.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby murph » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:29 pm

It might be the wind model, which is a bit iffy on Hereford. Try setting it to 30% (or off, which is where I set it).
See if that fixes things.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby telemanr » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:16 pm

You might try Murph's suggestion but do it in one of the HW alternates without all of your voicing modifications. In other words with the organ as it comes. Otherwise you'll never know if that was the culprit.
I have the Hereford essentially as it comes out of the box so to speak and haven't found what you are describing.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby David Baldwin » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:18 am

I too use Hereford with its "out of the box settings" and here non of what you describe. Hereford is one of my main use sets.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby ajt » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:02 am

I'm afraid I don't know what your problem could be, but I can say with a fair degree of certainty that it's not the sampleset.

I've used it on at least 5 different setups from church installs to home use, and never had to voice whole chunks of the organ. In fact the only voicing I've had to do was taste (to overcome the real instrument's weaknesses) rather than necessity, e.g. making most of the swell division 3-5db louder and boosting the solo LP reeds a bit too.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby mnailor » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:14 am

Ditto, no problems with Hereford sounding good without any voicing adjustments. It sounds like your audio system might have a problem.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby tf11972 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:33 am

I always recommend to check sound issues with well-known headphones. In my speaker-setup some pedal-stops of the Hereford sounded too loud due to room-modes, but I had no problems to hear them over my AKG. So I looped-in a DSP between my audio-interface and my speakers and everything sounds well.
Best regards
Thomas

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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby jwillans » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:48 am

tf11972 wrote:I always recommend to check sound issues with well-known headphones. In my speaker-setup some pedal-stops of the Hereford sounded too loud due to room-modes, but I had no problems to hear them over my AKG. So I looped-in a DSP between my audio-interface and my speakers and everything sounds well.


This is precisely what I was going to suggest. Headphones will give you a great reference for what your audio system can produce.
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby Deckie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:25 am

Many thanks for all the replies. I was at a loss as to why it should sound like that when the other organs I've installed are fine out of the box.

However, I tried turning off the blower effect in the settings view Murph but I couldn't tell any difference. It wasn't in an alternative HW Telemanr, it meant setting up all the multi-channel routings, etc. from scratch and I can't remember how I did it. Instead I backed up the HW settings so I could reset the voicing to the default and then restore them. I then tried disabling the blower by adjusting the options in 'Organ - Load organ, adjusting rank audio...' I waited while it reprocessed the sample, reset the voicing to the default and it sounded perfectly fine. I then enabled the blower again (exactly as it was originally), checked the the voicing was still as the default (so now as it was out of the box) and it still sounded perfectly fine. I therefore have to conclude that the problem was something to with how HW did the sample processing in the original setup. I can't imagine what it was but I would never have found it without Murph's suggestion so thanks for that.

I've not had a lot of success with headphones and I've always preferred the speakers. I tried my Sennheiser HD598 and Sennheiser PX100 but they don't sound as good as through the speakers (especially with the new amp).

Thanks again all, problem solved!
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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby mdyde » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:38 am

Hello Deckie,

Glad to hear you have it sounding good now.

Deckie wrote:However, I tried turning off the blower effect in the settings view Murph but I couldn't tell any difference. It wasn't in an alternative HW Telemanr, it meant setting up all the multi-channel routings, etc. from scratch and I can't remember how I did it. Instead I backed up the HW settings so I could reset the voicing to the default and then restore them. I then tried disabling the blower by adjusting the options in 'Organ - Load organ, adjusting rank audio...' I waited while it reprocessed the sample, reset the voicing to the default and it sounded perfectly fine. I then enabled the blower again (exactly as it was originally), checked the the voicing was still as the default (so now as it was out of the box) and it still sounded perfectly fine. I therefore have to conclude that the problem was something to with how HW did the sample processing in the original setup.


From your description, I think the relevant thing must be that you now have your voicing reset to its defaults, rather than anything to do with disabling the blower or re-loading the organ. (Hauptwerk definitely won't process samples differently unless your settings or voicing are accordingly different, i.e. unless you tell it to.)

Also just to clarify, I think that Murph's suggestion was to disable the wind supply model (via the 'Organ settings | Organ preferences | Wind supply model' screen tab), as opposed to just disabling the blower sound effect. However, if it's sounding good now then all's well anyway.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: What's wrong with my Hereford Willis?

Postby Deckie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:11 am

So nothing to do with the sample processing but tbh, I wasn't sure where the wind supply model settings were :oops: I've disabled it now and it does sound better still and has completely lost the remaining hollow sound. I think upgrading the amp has had an effect as well so all in all, well chuffed. :D

Many thanks.
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