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Simple or photorealistic stops screen

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Jan Loosman

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Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 7:18 am

In the 1925 Steinmeyer topic a discussion started about simple or photorealistic stops screens.
To broaden this discussion for other sample sets / producers i started this topic.
For me personal i like the simple jambs a lot.
Sometimes you leave a sampleset unplayed for several months and then starting a sample set again and then you have to figure out again how the stops are distributed over the keyboards is annoying!
Also the eye sight comes in play . Becoming older (i am 61) everyone’s vision will worsen and the photorealistic jambs can become more challenging to read.
I my case, i am not a purist organist but a recreational player.
In my profession being a dentist, i have to strain my eyes everyday, so at home, playing my organ for leisure, i don’t want to continu straining my eyes on difficult screens to read, but i prefer to have easy to use and read, uncluttered screens.

What is your opinion?

Jan Loosman
Last edited by Jan Loosman on Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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voet

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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 10:27 am

Background: my Hauptwerk setup is consists of a 3 manual console and a single 22 inch monitor. I currently have 9 sample sets.

From a purely aesthetic perspective, I usually prefer photorealistic (PR) screens. For smaller sample sets this can be completely satisfactory. Piotr Grabowski's Giubiasco sample set has a beautiful PR screen that captures the essence of the original organ and is easy to read and use.

https://piotrgrabowski.pl/giubiasco/

When a sample set does not provide a single screen photorealistic option (i. e. Billerbeck), I am disappointed. I realize that this is difficult to do with a terraced console. I am also aware that Billerbeck provides a PR option for two monitor configurations.

http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/germany/billerbeck-dom-fleiter-organ.html

However, when an instrument is larger, it is helpful to have a simple screen. While I like seeing the PR display of Rotterdam-Main, it is very confusing to use. The stops for the six divisions are divided which makes selecting them a challenge. Also some controls are in unexpected places. Tremulants are not with the division they control, but under the right side under Hoofdwerk stops. Ironically, the Hoofdwerek does not have a tremulant! Also the white type on a light background, which is on the original organ, is extremely difficult to read. The simple screen remedies these difficulties.

http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/netherlands/rotterdam-laurenskerk-main-organ.html

But, while simple stop layouts are easier to use, they are also ugly. Having a different pastel background for each division is helpful, but a good graphic designer could accomplish the same thing in a more aesthetically pleasing way. And I don't think it would take a genius to create a simple screen that demonstrated a connection to the original organ.
Last edited by voet on Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 10:38 am

https://www.voxusorgans.com/sites/defau ... erm1_0.jpg

If you look at the simple stop screen of the Bavo.
Very nice and simple, a joy to use.


https://www.voxusorgans.com/sites/defau ... 0off_0.jpg

Or Nijkerk not a big organ but the simple stop screen is also easy to use
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 1:24 pm

In my next sampleset I will satisfy both demands - a single screen with simple stops and dual screens based on photos of the real organ, both in landscape and portrait size. I am not a graphical artist, but organists, who know the real instrument, will navigate through the stops at once.
Best regards
Thomas

www.forestpipes.de
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 4:18 pm

Hello Jan,

There are usually several reasons for a single screen. But the most important reason is that I only have one monitor. I don't have room for a second monitor. So I needed a single screen design. More is not necessary at first.

If the single screen also looks nice, then everything is fine.

Some sample sets are poorly designed. But manufacturers and fans of manufacturers don't like to hear that.

Therefore I only mention two points of criticism:

- If the stops lettering is very difficult to read, this is very annoying, especially with expensive sample sets. If the original design only offers stops that are difficult to read, then that is "too much original" for me. I don't like playing these sample sets.

- If the stops are distributed over two tabs, then this is a clear no-go for a single-monitor configuration.

With a large number of stops, it is very helpful if the screen design offers good contrast. With a good contrast, you can see where an active stop is in the corner of your eye. You can handle this better during organ playing than with a bad contrast.

With a new sample set it is helpful if the arrangement of the divisions corresponds to the arrangement of the organ console (bottom-up):
Below the pedal, above the first manual, then the second manual, etc.

With my midi panels, I have the advantage that I can name the couplers myself. I can learn to use it more quickly if, for example, a pedal coupler is not called "RP - P", but the stop in the pedal division is simply called "+ I". But that's just a nice little thing for me. The foot pistons on French organs are difficult for me to learn. If you don't play the sample set regularly, I keep thinking about what the pistons mean. At "de Metz" (MDA), I designed the layout so that it is much easier to use and can be learned more quickly (I'm extremely happy with my layout!).

The Haarlem / Bavo was mentioned above. Just for fun, I made a design earlier. My panel background is not nice - this is a working design and has yet to be swapped for a nice wooden panel:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vpo-organist/50521380936/

There is great interest in a usable single-screen design for my hardware configuration.

Sorry for my bad Google translator English ;-)

Edit: I wrote "register" (de) and mean "stop" (en)
Last edited by vpo-organist on Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 4:26 pm

I see a more or less standardized simple stop screen as a simple extension of the general standardisation of an organ. To me being able to not having to think about where stops are is more or less the same than not having to think about what the stop labeled "Prinzipal 8'" will do. While there might be some flavours depending on time of building and the location of the organ the "Prinzipal 8'" will almost always be the base of the sound.

A long time ago, people found an agreement as to what to call the stops. They did not invent new names for every new organ but just used those that are common. So why not do the same with virtual organs and their stop screens?
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 4:33 pm

Purator wrote:A long time ago, people found an agreement as to what to call the stops. They did not invent new names for every new organ but just used those that are common. So why not do the same with virtual organs and their stop screens?

This is a great idea! If you could agree on one or two standard layouts for a single screen, then you can learn and use a sample set very quickly because of the uniform structure.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostFri Oct 23, 2020 4:38 pm

vpo-organist wrote:
Purator wrote:A long time ago, people found an agreement as to what to call the stops. They did not invent new names for every new organ but just used those that are common. So why not do the same with virtual organs and their stop screens?

This is a great idea! If you could agree on one or two standard layouts for a single screen, then you can learn and use a sample set very quickly because of the uniform structure.

To add on this - this is the very idea of AGO (or BDO) norms. And when you look at older consoles you can see that this has been done way before this kind of standardisation happened. Stops nicely ordered from labial 32' to 1', then the mixtures, then the lingual stops, then the couplers (unless they are seperate). Maybe the colours a bit different, maybe the divisions ordered a bit different, but in general you can more or less visit the organ for the first time and find the stops you need simply because the console is easily readable and does not differ from the ones you already know.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 3:39 am

Exaclly. Take a look at my Midi panel again - I applied exactly these rules. And I can enjoy the experience that layouts of large organs can be learned at least three times faster than with non-uniform layouts.

Such a standardized layout would be a nice addition to the photorealistic layouts. If a single screen layout is not easy to read, it is a very frustrating experience - every time you play the organ with such a set. In spite of wonderful sounds you can't really enjoy the sample set.
That's why I developed a Midi-Stops Editor myself, which allows me to create the shown layout in a few minutes. Most of the work is copying the stop names from a website ;-) With Drap&Drop I can move the stops to any position. With a click I can determine whether a stop should be a tremulant, reed stop or a small button etc. I am not advertising a commercial product here! This is my private pleasure :-)
Here is a current screenshot of my editor - it's simple, but does what it should. Mainly define the order of stops per D&D and define the button type so that the button is colored automatically.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 7:34 am

I like the feel of the reproduced stop layout, and the space that is between stops. Having the stops so close together doesn't seem better to me for either changing stops on the fly or just reading or finding them. My personal opinion is that the simple layout is ugly, but that obviously doesn't change the sound.

I should also say that I'm used to playing with dual touch screens that are fairly large, and use mainly Salisbury. It's easy to reproduce the stop controls for that organ.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSat Oct 24, 2020 1:38 pm

I do not like the horizontal offset of the stops. From an ergonomic point of view this is unnecessary stress for the eyes. The organ builder may have technical reasons for this, but in a software application I put more emphasis on ergonomics.

The Saliybury Single Screen on a 1680x1080 layout is probably pure stress for the eyes.
The distance between the stops on my panel is irrelevant, because the touch surfaces of the stops is crucial. I can change this if I want (but I find that good as it is).

And if you like the original - what is original about the virtual Salisbury? All pistons are in a different place on the original console.
At this point you suddenly accept deviations from the original. Strange. I also use deviations to improve the ergonomics.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSun Oct 25, 2020 2:36 am

Unfortunately I do not understand the sense of simple screens. The almost original looking screens are excellent. They are easy to read. You almost think you are sitting at the original instrument. You should also be busy with the instrument. Then there are no problems in the long run. I wonder how some people manage to play on a real organ. How do they manage that? Is the console rebuilt before? Excuse me. But I can only shake my head at such nonsensical wishes. I also know older organists (80+) who are able to play any organ (even unknown ones).
Thomas
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSun Oct 25, 2020 2:46 am

Intriguing topic. Of course we prefer that which we have had over a lifetime of familiarity, that is human nature. Particularly perhaps for older organists as well as they have a longer period of familiarity. Then there are people like me, took up organ playing in my mid 70's and have progressed now into my mid 80's.
Different story. I am not familiar with organs, their layouts and their controls. My body has not had a lifetime with the physical and mental activity involved. For this subset of Hauptwerkians I suggest ease and clarity become of prime importance over and above whether the organ is depicted in its original state. Apart of trying to read strange fonts coping with many foreign languages becomes also a large task. Failing sight doesn't help any of this!
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSun Oct 25, 2020 5:51 am

Thomas344 wrote:Unfortunately I do not understand the sense of simple screens. The almost original looking screens are excellent. They are easy to read. You almost think you are sitting at the original instrument. You should also be busy with the instrument. Then there are no problems in the long run. I wonder how some people manage to play on a real organ. How do they manage that? Is the console rebuilt before? Excuse me. But I can only shake my head at such nonsensical wishes. I also know older organists (80+) who are able to play any organ (even unknown ones).
Thomas


There is a fine line between being able to do something and completely enjoying to do the same thing.

I really enjoy playing organ, and when I am sitting at the console I am able to play it, no matter how interesting (awful?) the stops are. But I hate draw knobs with all my guts. I can tolerate the smaller ones, but those big ones where you can only pull one or two at the same time because your hands are not large enough to grab more than two? Screw those. And even the smaller ones, who thinks that those are practical? Again, I can only fit three or four in one hand so I have to rely on the setter. With stop tabs I can very easily pull or push ten or more stops.

So, just because I can use something does not mean I wouldn't wish to be able to use something else.
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Re: Simple or photorealistic stops screen

PostSun Oct 25, 2020 6:34 am

Thomas344 wrote:Unfortunately I do not understand the sense of simple screens. The almost original looking screens are excellent. They are easy to read. You almost think you are sitting at the original instrument. Excuse me. But I can only shake my head at such nonsensical wishes. (even unknown ones).
Thomas


Thomas

Before i started this topic there were already sampleset producers Voxus and Sonus paradisi who sensed there was a demand for simple (nonsensical!) screens.

Look at this video off Aarnoud de Groen a conservatory organist using also (nonsensical!) simple Jambs.
https://youtu.be/C80oC_9iWcs

Look at my church the Nebo kerk in den Haag.
https://www.mixtuur.com/portfolio-item/ ... -den-haag/
Al our organists prefer to use these (nonsensical!) simple screens.

These modern times with our digitally copied organs, we have the opportunity to use simple screen layouts to greatly enhance the usability of our organs.
Why not use it.
Don’t be a purist just to be a purist.
Embrace these modern times.

Regards Jan
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