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Combining sample sets - what is possible?

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Combining sample sets - what is possible?

Postby organsRgreat » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:49 am

I am very interested to know that it is technically possible to “mix and match” Hauptwerk sample sets, as discussed in in “Custom Organ (Very Large)”:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=16582

As explained in my contribution there, I find that combining theatre organs with church/cathedral organs works well for me, and to some extent I can achieve this by running two complete complete Hauptwerk systems – one on a desktop computer, one on a laptop. Although this is an expensive way of doing things, it has advantages – when one computer breaks down, I can still play the organ using one sample set on the other computer; and the processing load is shared between two computers.

However, it seems from the design of the Custom Organ that it would be possible to go further, with professional help, and I would be interested to know what are the possibilities and limitations of this approach. Presumably the easiest sample sets to modify are those in which both the samples and the ODF are unencrypted, whereas it's more difficult if everything's encrypted.

Assuming that I have a theatre organ on my desktop computer, what are the possibilities of combining into one instrument, for the laptop computer, samples from the following sets:

1966 Schantz (Evensong)

Hereford Cathedral

E M Skinner (Mount Carmel – MDA) (dry version)

As explained elsewhere, we do have in England some “dual purpose” organs, built during the 1930s, which aim to combine church and theatre organ ranks; though in my opinion they work better as theatre organs. Do such organs exist in other parts of the world?
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Re: Combining sample sets - what is possible?

Postby mdyde » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:46 am

Hello organsRgreat,

You can theoretically use and/or combine any ranks from any sample sets in a Custom Organ Design Module (CODM) organ definition of your own, provided that the sample set producer has used the correct sample file naming format for compatibility with it, which most do (and provided that the relevant sample set producers' licences allow it, which most do, with the notable exception of OrganArt Media).

The CODM is designed to be sufficiently flexible to handle most of the features commonly found on classical and theatre organs, whilst being reasonably easy and quick to use for somebody with a moderate amount of technical experience (XML editing, etc.). It doesn't support every single historical/technical functional feature that can be modelled in 'full format' organ definitions (used by some of the major sample set producers), but in most cases that probably wouldn't be relevant anyway when combining organs. (We don't provide support for creating/editing the 'full' organ definition format, since it's extremely complex.)

If you haven't done so already I'd suggest having a read through the CODM's user guide (on the Help menu in Hauptwerk), and loading some of the example CODM organs (using 'Design tools | Load custom organ') to get a feel for it, and to see what it can do.

organsRgreat wrote:Presumably the easiest sample sets to modify are those in which both the samples and the ODF are unencrypted, whereas it's more difficult if everything's encrypted.


Actually, it shouldn't make any difference whether the samples or original organ definition are encrypted since the CODM is fully compatible with encrypted samples (assuming that the sample set producer's licence allows it, which most do, notably except for OrganArt Media, as above), and since you wouldn't be using the original 'full-format' organ definition anyway.

Hope that helps.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Combining sample sets - what is possible?

Postby organsRgreat » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:57 am

Thank you Martin, that's extremely helpful - evidently the CODM is more flexible than I realised; I had somehow assumed that the "XML section" was as unique to a particular organ as the samples are. I shall certainly study the CODM further, but I think I can see the principle – that there are two “levels” to programming the way Hauptwerk controls samples, and that the CODM makes the basic features accessible to a third party. Which is why it's called a “Custom” module of course.

As my training is musical rather than technical, it probably makes sense for me to pay a professional programmer (such as Jake) once I have formulated my ideal combined organ, but the more I understand, the more realistic my suggestions are likely to be. An obvious factor I need to be aware of is memory usage – my 16 GB works well with the Paramount 450 and the Hereford organ, so I'll get an idea of the memory used by those organs and keep within that. Thanks again – and Happy Christmas!
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Re: Combining sample sets - what is possible?

Postby mdyde » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:41 pm

Thanks. You're very welcome. A very good Christmas and New Year to you too.
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