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Human Factors Engineering

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...
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voet

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Human Factors Engineering

PostThu Oct 22, 2020 1:05 pm

There has been a recent discussion in another thread about stop screen layouts in Hauptwerk sample sets. One side expressed a preference for screen shots from the original organ. Others expressed a preference for simple layouts that they find easier to use. This is the purview of human factors engineers.

"[H]uman factors engineering focuses on how systems work in actual practice, with real—and fallible—human beings at the controls, and attempts to design systems that optimize safety and minimize the risk of error in complex environments. -PSNet

There are differences among the various national schools of organ building which determine stop layout, pedalboard configuration and standard manual layout. Part of the experience of playing on an historic instrument is engaging with these differences.

In the age of Hauptwerk, it is possible to play instruments in the far flung reaches of our planet in a single afternoon. It seems in the Hauptwerk community, we find ourselves collecting instruments. If we want to play a French Romantic piece, we can select a French Romantic instrument. One can play an entire concert of pieces from around the world on instruments from around the world.

As exciting as this is, it also presents challenges. One sample set may have the main manual division on keyboard 1, another set on keyboard 2. Hauptwerk allows the user to assign each manual division of a sample set to one of their keyboards. While I have been tempted to make all of my sample sets follow the same layout, I have resisted. Certainly I could not usually do this if I were playing an organ live, so I feel I need to adjust to the layout of the original instrument.

I thought it would be interesting to hear how some of you deal with these challenges.
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OrganoPleno

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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 2:53 pm

voet wrote:I thought it would be interesting to hear how some of you deal with these challenges.


Here's how I handle things on my three-manual console. For a one-manual instrument, that one always plays on my second manual. For a two-manual instrument, I assign the "Great" to my second manual, and the other division either to the upper or the lower keyboard, whichever way it was done in that original Organ.

For a three-manual instrument, my default assignments follow the original Organ, but I always make the two lower manuals exchangeable by the use of Floating Divisions. So I can always play "Great" on either the lower or the second keyboard, as preferred.

For a four-manual instrument, the two lower keyboards work as for a three-manual instrument. My upper manual is assigned by default to the third manual of the original Organ, but can be switched to the fourth manual of the original Organ by the use of Floating Divisions.

Anything beyond this,,, just use Couplers.
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RichardW

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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 10:16 am

Caveat: I am not an organist!

From readiong the messages here over the years I have come to realise that Hauptwerk users come in at least two flavours. There are those who want a digital copy of the organ, warts and all and then there are the players who want a full range of notes and sounds that are easy to play. I am generally in the former category.

Being a non-organisst, part of Hauptwerk's attraction is that I can find out more about particular instruments. If they are all homogenised to iron out the differences than that will be lost. As such, I generally play my samplesets using one of the "authentic" layouts.

There is, however, one exception. My SP Laurenskerk Transept organ has a stop arrangement that I can't quite get my head round so I usually play that with the artificial but more logical, to me, layout.

One possibility going forward might be (and this is a talking point not a request!) to enable the possibility to "skin" a Hauptwerk stop screen so third-party suppliers could invent any layout they wanted which could then be applied by anyone who wanted it. That would save every sampleset provider having to do anything extra but still keep everyone happy - apart from Martin, of course, who would need to spend a couple of hours making it happen!
Richard
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mdyde

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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 10:30 am

RichardW wrote:One possibility going forward might be (and this is a talking point not a request!) to enable the possibility to "skin" a Hauptwerk stop screen so third-party suppliers could invent any layout they wanted which could then be applied by anyone who wanted it. That would save every sampleset provider having to do anything extra but still keep everyone happy - apart from Martin, of course, who would need to spend a couple of hours making it happen!


Hello Richard,

We do have that logged as an enhancement request.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Jan Loosman

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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 10:53 am

RichardW wrote:One possibility going forward might be (and this is a talking point not a request!) to enable the possibility to "skin" a Hauptwerk stop screen so third-party suppliers could invent any layout they wanted which could then be applied by anyone who wanted it. That would save every sampleset provider having to do anything extra but still keep everyone happy - apart from Martin, of course, who would need to spend a couple of hours making it happen!

That could be a option but on the other hand we as end users can have our wishes and we pay a good amount off money for our sample sets.
So why can’t sample set producers accommodate these wishes of some users.
Sonus paradisi, Voxus already do that delivering multiple screens.
It would be nice to have some concensus among sample set producers to deliver authentic screens for purists but also simple screens for those who want that.

Jan
Last edited by Jan Loosman on Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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gecko

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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 1:11 pm

Agree that the obvious answer is to provide multiple screens, like Sonus Paradisi does.

Not all users can see very well, and it would be a shame to lock these users out in the name of authenticity. Even people with good eyesight may not continue their good fortune indefinitely. Do the sample makers really want their sample sets to become unusable as their customers age?
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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 4:45 pm

Jan Loosman wrote:So why can’t sample set producers accommodate these whishes of some users.


I've highlighted the important words. A business has to provide a product that is economical and practical to produce given the demand. I'd really like it if my local Waitrose sold wet fish - but realistically the demand will never be there.

Likewise the demand for any specific layout will be small - so it's not surprising that each sample set producer comes up with their own solution to the problem of putting a large amount of information on a small amount of screen.

Speaking personally, I find the "simple" layouts that have been proferred in several threads recently anything but. It's confusing to me to have stops laid out horizontally, especially when the stops themselves are horizontal boxes. That's just not how I think of organ stops being laid out. I also think they're not all that attractive.

My personal bugbear with sample set producers (who, by and large, do a fantastic job) is that the free samples are so different - some are limited stops, some limited time, some limited compass. Where the stops are limited the stops that aren't available aren't always greyed out. But I recognise that's a personal thing, and I'm not arrogant enough to expect that every sample set producer should make its free samples available in exactly the way I'd prefer. (Since you're asking, full compass for a small selection of stops, the rest greyed out and in limited compass).

I think there is a case to be made for Martin and MDA to introduce some standardisation of these design elements - sample set producers should be free to do whatever they want, but if they comply with a certain set of design principles they could be permitted to display some kind of HW kite mark.
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Jan Loosman

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Re: Human Factors Engineering

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 5:17 pm

srw647 wrote:
Jan Loosman wrote:So why can’t sample set producers accommodate these whishes of some users.


I've highlighted the important words. A business has to provide a product that is economical and practical to produce given the demand. I'd really like it if my local Waitrose sold wet fish - but realistically the demand will never be there.

Likewise the demand for any specific layout will be small - so it's not surprising that each sample set producer comes up with their own solution to the problem of putting a large amount of information on a small amount of screen.
.


You highlighted “some users” and used this to give the impression that it is only a minor group of users. But we don’t really know yet if that is a correct assumption.. May be if i wrote “many users” it would be more In accordance of what most of us want, but that we won’t know for now.
Aren’t these topics meant to sense what we end users want and evaluate our wishes and steer sample set producers to that direction.

Jan

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