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OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby telemanr » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:46 pm

You are right Marc. I was completely forgetting that Sample sets aren’t recording the whole organ at once like an orchestral recording. Slaps head severely.
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby 1961TC4ME » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:07 pm

telemanr wrote:You are right Marc. I was completely forgetting that Sample sets aren’t recording the whole organ at once like an orchestral recording. Slaps head severely.


Ha! Go easy in yourself, I've done plenty of head slapping in this Hauptwerk adventure.

Just a question here that might have some relevance in all of this. How many families of pipes are there? At this late hour I can only think of three, or maybe better worded, how they sound. Flute based, reed based and mixture based?

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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby adri » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:52 am

1961TC4ME wrote:
telemanr wrote:You are right Marc. I was completely forgetting that Sample sets aren’t recording the whole organ at once like an orchestral recording. Slaps head severely.


Ha! Go easy in yourself, I've done plenty of head slapping in this Hauptwerk adventure.

Just a question here that might have some relevance in all of this. How many families of pipes are there? At this late hour I can only think of three, or maybe better worded, how they sound. Flute based, reed based and mixture based?

Marc


I would say: families based on scaling;

-narrow scalings (celestes, gambas, etc.)
-regular normal scaling (principals, including quints, mixures, sesquialtera, etc.)
-wide scaling (flutes, nazard, tierces, cornets, etc.)
-long or full length reeds (trumpets, fagots, dulciaan, cromorne, schalmey, etc.)
-short reeds (regals, vox humanas, ranketts, etc.)

Then you could further subdivide according to:
-wooden vs. metal pipes, and metal pipes according to alloys as high lead content sounds different (more vocal) than high tin content (more instrumental)
-And reeds could be subdivided according to sound effect, whether they have more "oh" or more "eh" sound.
-And even whether they are placed vertically or horizontally.
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby josq » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:00 am

1961TC4ME wrote:this Hauptwerk thing from what I've found when it comes to playback is an entirely different animal in comparison to just playing a cd or listening to a program over a pair of speakers. I suspect the difference is instead of listening to all from just a single recording like a cd where all is captured in a single recording and played back all at once, Hauptwerk is different in that we have multiple recordings all being played at once. Just a theory, but I think I'm on to something here and it has a dramatic effect on things.


Theoretically, it is perfectly valid to reconstruct a sound by summing its individual components. If it appears that the theory doesn't work perfectly in practice, we should look for the causes of the imperfections.

If Hauptwerk recordings and CD recordings sound different, there can be many causes. Let me make an (incomplete) list again
* Different recording positions
* Mixing of multiple recording positions
* Application of different digital editing procedures
* Differences in the acoustics. Sometimes, temporary modifications to a church interior are even made to optimize the conditions for recording
* Differences in the voicing of the original pipes (for example, it may be impossible to keep all reeds in tune in reality)
* To return to the topic of this thread: wind supply! Pipes may interact with each other via the wind chests. The Hauptwerk wind model can capture many of these effects if sample set producers program it correctly, but some improvements are still possible as indicated by Martin
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:11 am

I still maintain that there is a tremendous difference in electronic mixing vs air mixing. The example Colin Pykett gives of a celeste is probably a worst case example. But it clearly demonstrates how much better the celeste sounds playing the two pipes out of separate speakers, vs mixing them together electronically first. And this effect is heard regardless of the room it's played in.

I know Hauptwerk mitigates much of this when recording the samples in a live environment, but I believe it's still happening (phase cancellation, etc.).

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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby mdyde » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:33 am

Hello Eric,

There is of course a massive difference in 'air-mixing' vs. mixing electronically, due to the acoustics of the listening room (nobody would deny that), but, as has previously been discussed very extensively on this forum, which is more 'correct'/accurate/desirable depends entirely on one's goals, listening environment, and how the organ was recorded -- josq's 'case 1' or 'case 2'.

Effectively your goals fall into 'case 2', so use as many speakers as feasible for the most effective result.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:12 pm

Hi Martin,

Yes I would say you are right. And thanks to your great invention, having many audio channels is not an obstacle, at least in the program. Where to put all the speakers and cost of course becomes an issue.

Thanks,
Eric
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:27 pm

There's a method to my madness here. When it comes to achieving maximum realism be it the wind modeling, the sound that results through audio routing methods or what have you, they all have to be spot on as best as possible and in sync with one another, or one ends up having a negative effect on the other and the overall sound / realism outcome.

Case in point, I have had issues with the sound of one set, St. Max, that I've struggled with. The task of getting it to sound good (and convincing) through my audio system in comparison to the other sets I have has been daunting to say the least, but I love this set. It's a set with a great variety of sounds which probably adds to its difficulty in taming it.
After giving things some thought, this morning I tried a completely new routing arrangement. All bourdon, montre, flute, prestant, regardless of 16' or higher pitch to channels 1-2. All reeds, clarion, trompet, bombard, etc., to channels 3-4, and all mixture, tierce, nazard etc., to channels 5-6. Results? What a difference! It is now a smooth playable organ with much greater detail, realism, AND I even reset the voicing, so this is with zero voicing!

Add in some good wind and now you've got something!

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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:53 pm

I have particularly found the reeds to muddy the sound more than anything else. I rarely use them except for in the pedal, for which I have its own speaker group. Having a separate group for manual reeds is in the planning. I am out of audio channels however. Another decision is what audio interface I want to get.

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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby organtechnology » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:27 am

Eric Sagmuller wrote:I have particularly found the reeds to muddy the sound more than anything else. I rarely use them except for in the pedal, for which I have its own speaker group. Having a separate group for manual reeds is in the planning. I am out of audio channels however. Another decision is what audio interface I want to get.

Eric


Eric,

If you are looking for more channels with less hardware, take a look at the Dante Audio over Ethernet system. A $30.00 software program gets you a virtual 64 channels of ASIO audio signal which is transmitted over an ethernet network using level 2 switches connected to 4 or 32 channel breakout boxes. All of this on one (1) Cat5e or Cat6 cable. The analog feeds the studio monitors directly.

Fat sound - Skinny wire.

Thomas

BTW Dante is also the foundation of the Focusrite RedNet system.

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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:43 pm

Hi Thomas,

I checked into this system previously and was not impressed by the specifications of the converters. I'm very sensitive to audio quality and have pretty much decided to go with either RME or MOTU. I don't get the impression that Dante is for the high quality audio end. But for many people I'm sure it would be fine, or for a church installation.

Thanks,
Eric
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby organtechnology » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:47 pm

Hi Eric,

I was not really impressed with the printed specs but after trying out the Atterotech units I am impressed with the performance. You might want to reserve judgement until you try them. I can tell no difference between the Dante boxes and the MOTU AVB audio through the same speakers yet.

Thomas

Eric Sagmuller wrote:Hi Thomas,

I checked into this system previously and was not impressed by the specifications of the converters. I'm very sensitive to audio quality and have pretty much decided to go with either RME or MOTU. I don't get the impression that Dante is for the high quality audio end. But for many people I'm sure it would be fine, or for a church installation.

Thanks,
Eric
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby adri » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:52 am

Oh, well....although the discussions on audio, etc. are important and interesting, as well as complementing to my concerns, we have nevertheless veered off topic a bit here.

There is still a subtle but marked difference to my ears between what I hear recorded from real organs, no matter when they were built, and our Hauptwerk organs, no matter how realistically close they come to real instruments.

It would be a marvelous feat of advanced technology to bridge this gap. I believe this is worth pursuing, just as piano samplers have diligently pursued the natural string responses of strings.

That's all folks.
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby organtechnology » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:12 am

Hi Adri,

I quite disagree with your statement that we have veered off topic.

My main point is that the virtual pipe organ must be considered as an integrated audio playback system for a specific organ purpose, such as practice, performance, worship, choral support and others. The sample set is just one component in that system.

If the sample set was recorded to re-create the virtual organ through headphones, this creates one set of unique challenges to get an exact replication of the pipe organ's sound field from the microphones to the ears of the organist. It is different for a residence organ and even more so for an instrument for a large venue. I think that sample sets need to be constructed to account for the specific purpose of their use.

There is an adage in the organ world in the form of a question. "What is the most important stop of an organ?" The answer is of course "The Room!". In the case of the VPO this statement would be modified slightly to "The venue (room), the sample set and the sound reproduction system." So you must take all of these into account when discussing a sample set because what works very well for a sample set in a headphone environment may not be at all suitable for a residence organ with studio monitors, and certainly not for medieval stone cathedral environment. It is very satisfying to me when someone comes to me asking; "Where are the pipes?" and the nice thing is this has happened not once but multiple times.

So my humble opinion is that the sample set, the room and the sound reproduction system replicates the sonic soul of the pipe organ in the venue and the three may not be separated but must be considered as a whole.

The pipe organ is still the king of instruments. Long live the king!

Respectfully,

Thomas

adri wrote:Oh, well....although the discussions on audio, etc. are important and interesting, as well as complementing to my concerns, we have nevertheless veered off topic a bit here.

There is still a subtle but marked difference to my ears between what I hear recorded from real organs, no matter when they were built, and our Hauptwerk organs, no matter how realistically close they come to real instruments.

It would be a marvelous feat of advanced technology to bridge this gap. I believe this is worth pursuing, just as piano samplers have diligently pursued the natural string responses of strings.

That's all folks.
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Re: OPEN LETTER TO SAMPLE SET PRODUCERS

Postby adri » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:08 pm

In all due respect to your otherwise excellent comments, I must disagree in turn.

I am simply talking in my original post, and my consequent posts, about wind interaction with pipes; about wind behavior, wind supply systems, etc. and its effect on pipe speech, in its most subtle details. My discussion has been ONLY about "the wind".

That's why I feel the topic has veered off to side discussions, no matter how great. One last time, to repeat myself:

I believe that the next frontier in organ sampling lies in mimicking the subtlest differentiation in pipe speech, in response to subtle variations in pressure and bellows and wind reservoir behavior; as I feel this level has not yet been reached. While this is most important in older organs, I also believe it affects organs with more modern stable wind supplies.

And yes, when you sample an old organ, you should indeed try to totally emulate the experience as if you are truly playing the real thing yourself!

That's why I said that CD and YouTube recordings of real organs still have a quality about pipe speech that we don't quite have yet in HW sampling. Hopefully just a question of time.

End of my discussion.
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