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The Hereford Feast

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

The Hereford Feast

Postby organassist » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:15 am

After all the flurry of speculation and interest before the release of the Hereford, it seems that the forum has been relatively quiet on this subject.

I find myself thinking of the celebrations for Christmas Day. All the anticipation and excitement is over - the noisy family sits down at the table and the carefully prepared meal is finally on the plate. The room falls silent! The only sound is the click of cutlery and the noises of appreciation.

Whilst it is rude to speak with my mouth full, I would like to say "Mmmmmmm - my compliments to the chef".

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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby micdev » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:46 am

I noted that the forum has been a lot more quieter, with a lot less posts than a year or 2 ago. At first, when I realized this trend, that worried me a bit, but I now realise that it is a proof of a maturing product and change of clientele.

Of course HW4 is easier to use, so less support request posts and questions; long time Hauptwerk users, after the enthousiasm of the first years, exchanging comments with others, sharing experiences and tricks are less active, and this is normal; the new clientele is quite different I think.

Since Hauptwerk uses a computer, the first adopters of any new technology are more tech-savvy, have some "hacker roots"... like to experiment and share with others. As the product mature and technology evolves, less tech-savvy users join the group.

If I look at the systems I installed in the last year, most of these users rarely goes to the forum, most never posting a single post. I have professional organists that know next to nothing about computers and never went to a forum.

When a new set is release, I take the time to email all my clients and persons who contacted me thru time about Hauptwerk to inform them. While regular users will know about new releases and upgrades on the forum, those that don't use it may never know about it.

Also, in my case at least, I have new clients that speaks only French, so they never go on the forum. Believe me, there is more and more users, but new one are less active on the forum.

This is not a sign of lack of interest, it is just a normal evolution. Yesterday I installed 2 Hereford 46; both users emailed me back saying how happy they were with this set, one of them a professional organist who played the REAL one many times... great comments, but known only by me since they weren't post on the forum.

I agree with you thou... "Compliments to Chef David"

Best regards
François
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby MikeDC » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:01 am

Lots of people are probably busy tapping on the other keyboards--the ones with 61 keys. :D
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby Jonathan Taylor » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:12 pm

I am having a "feast" playing the free version of Hereford! It is a fantastic sample-set and my compliments go to the "chef" BRAVO

Jonathan Taylor
"The organ is in my eyes and ears the king of all instruments," Mozart in 1777
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby Kronenberg II » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:53 pm

I have searched the Hauptwerk site and can't find any reference to a 'free' version of the Hereford organ.
Where is it??

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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby Jonathan Taylor » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:07 pm

Hi the (evaluation) version of Hereford can be found here: (at the bottom of the page)

http://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/h ... /hwss.html

Enjoy

Jonathan Taylor
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby erikds » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:10 pm

Kronenberg II wrote:I have searched the Hauptwerk site and can't find any reference to a 'free' version of the Hereford organ.
Where is it??

Richard


Have a look here : http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7469#p66153

David Butcher shows a link in his message of aug 29,2011

All the best.

Erik.
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby B. Milan » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:12 pm

Kronenberg II wrote:I have searched the Hauptwerk site and can't find any reference to a 'free' version of the Hereford organ.
Where is it??

Richard


We will be hosting the evaluation version of the Hereford once David uploads it to our ftp site. As Jonathan wrote, you can download it from the Lavender Audio site for now.
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby kaspencer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:06 pm

I would like to add my comments on the Hereford 23/46 (Volumes 1/2).

Let me say first of all that I consider that this organ is quite competitively priced for its 46 stops, and that fact should be encouraging to people looking for a cathedral organ sample set that does not break the bank.

A speedy response from David Butcher for the FTP/Download details, and MDA for the dongle update, meant that I was able to start downloading within about 24 hours of my order. What did slow me down was the fact that I am a victim of poor rural broadband speed here, as in many English villages - I can manage little more than 143kbyte/s. Unfortunately, my connection with the server seemed to falter overnight everytime, so I had to do my downloads during the day, and each file of approximately 3GByte took nearly 7 hours! And then remember that there are four of them. At least I was able to install the evaluation edition, and then volume 1 (23 stops) within a day or two, to be going on with, and then volume 2 (46 stops) yesterday.

Somehow, I expected this organ to be very similar to the Salisbury Volume 1, but it is quite a different beast. Yes, as others have mentioned, it has been recorded rather more closely (and I rather like that) than the Salisbury which gives it a different atmosphere. The acoustic is not quiite as overpowering as the Salisbury - due to the combination of somewhat closer microphne positions, but also owing to a difference in the size of the two buildings. And then, there are discernible differences in the tone colours of some of the ranks - given the fifteen years separation between the building of these two organs it may not be surprising. Hereford probably sounds more like Lincoln than Salisbury.

I think that this organ is recorded at a somewhat lower level than some of my other organs - it has already been noted that the Swell division may be quieter than the others but I also found that quite a few of my other organs are generally louder for the same audio settings.

This organ fits very comfortably into 16 GByte of RAM, with all ranks at 24bit (+ lossless compression) , and I think that there is a good possiblility I will be able to fit the full organ into the same amount of RAM (possibly with a few ranks sacrificed at 16 bit) when it is released.

I am using this organ with three physical manuals only, and I have not yet decided on my final choice of method for managing this. Currently I am directing Choir and Solo divisions to my lower manual. I really do like the strings, which are very sweet indeed. Some of the pedal pipes in the bottom octave are quite "chiffy" - especially, (I believe) the Bourdon 16'. I was a bit disconcerted at the "Stop Action Delay" of which I have had no experience in real life organs and so I applied the option of removing it!

I am still exploring the organ, and if I manage to make a recording without my usual serious mistakes, I may put something onto Contrebombarde or YouTube.

Finally, I was intrigued not to see an announcement of the availability of this organ on the front page of the HW website under the News banner, but maybe that is because the DVDs are not quite available yet.

Many thanks to David, and regards to all,

Ken
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby B. Milan » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:13 pm

Finally, I was intrigued not to see an announcement of the availability of this organ on the front page of the HW website under the News banner, but maybe that is because the DVDs are not quite available yet.


Hello Ken,

We're waiting for files and information from Lavender Audio before we can add the set to the website.
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby sipirc » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:10 pm

Kaspencer, I feel for you as my speed is rural, too - my average download speed was 136 kB/sec, but sometimes it went under 10kB! (Then I disconnected the wireless USB dongle and back again, mother PC upstairs, connection to my "diapason dungeon" downstairs via wireless router). Having said that, it went reasonably fast - and seamless via Filezilla that is perfect to manage and pick up interrupted files.

Now I am having a feast, too. It is a bit darker and heavier, like French Bordeaux (pardon for this irreverent comparison!), also there is no problem increasing the main volume into pluses here. But it is a beauty and serves my "Willis deficiency syndrome" temporarily well, for someone who live in a city where the City Hall Willis is laying waiting to be restored, together with the building itself. Judging by the presentation of the contracted organ builder, Simon Pierce, it is very promising.

In the meantime, it is great to play Hereford over four manuals and pedals - two speakers only yet, but more planned. Chapeau to David and team, again! (The Haverhill is also best suited for everyday practice as I have a similar, dry acoustic 3-manual English organ in my church).
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby Grant_Youngman » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:16 pm

kaspencer wrote: I really do like the strings, which are very sweet indeed.


They really are. Just gorgeous.

I'm looking forward to both Vol 3 of Hereford, and the rest of Salisbury. Like having more than one CC, I think having two somewhat different Willis instruments will be a good thing. With the CC's I often find that one of the Metz or the Caen seem to "suit" a particular piece of music more than the other, at least to my taste.

I don't know where I'm going to fit that 4th manual though. The garage maybe :mrgreen:

Variety is the spice! :-)
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby marcus.reeves » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:05 am

Grant_Youngman wrote:
kaspencer wrote: I really do like the strings, which are very sweet indeed.

They really are. Just gorgeous.


I agree. I also like the contrast with the keen, edgy Solo strings. All the flutes have wonderful characters as well, making it a joy to improvise upon. I was slightly concerned, when I saw the specification of the set, by the lack of a Clarinet. The Cor Anglais is voiced very much like a Clarinet so my fears were quickly alleviated.

The short compass of the manuals and pedals is actually very useful. I only have two manual console, and the only pistons I have are seven generals. I have been able to configure the top F sharp and G of the pedal board to control the stepper (- and + respectively). The top three notes of each manual have been set to toggle Solo stops (Tromba, 8' and 4' Flutes, Cor Anglais, Orchestral Oboe, Strings) and the Solo is always set to play through the Swell. I then have one of the spare tab stops set to draw Sw Unison Off so I can play the Solo on the Swell manual, whilst accompanying it on the Great using only Swell stops. I hope that explanation is clear! Anyhow, it works well and provides plenty of colour for a bit of Anglican Noodling (or pre-service improvising at any rate).

David has done a great job on this set.
Best wishes,
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby David Butcher » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:57 pm

Dear all,

Sorry it has taken the best part of a week to reply to the comments made on the various Hereford related threads, but I wanted to thank you all very sincerely for the kind words written. I was fortunate enough to play the Hereford organ for the first time for a Choral Evensong back in the late 90's and the organ has stood in my mind ever since as a real favourite. So, being able to present it to the HW community is a real privelege for me and I wear the chef's hat with pride !

One other thank you from me ... I know that the support from Martin and Brett is hugely appreciated by everyone here, but I think it's important to say that they also do a fabulous job supporting the third party sample set producers as well.

Just to pick up on Ken's point regarding the audio level. The sample recordings were all carried out in a way that aimed to maximise the available 24 bit resolution (ie softer stops recorded at a higher mic sensitivity etc). These level differences are then balanced out in the organ definition file so that everything sounds at the volume it should and the overall effect should be to keep any noise to an absolute minimum. However, I decided to reduce the overall level of the sample set a little because I found that, with all the stops and couplers out, there was otherwise a danger of the audio levels overloading. That's why it may appear a bit quiet compared to other sets.
Also, the third volume of Hereford will contain some of the biggest stops (Great Principal 1 chorus, Great 16 + 4 reeds, Solo Tuba, big pedal reeds etc), so - in terms of overall volume - there is still quite a bit to come.
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Re: The Hereford Feast

Postby kaspencer » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:43 pm

Thanks David, for the comments and responses, but above all, thanks for the Hereford sets.

I understand completely your reasoning for the apparent slight reduction in the volume of the recordings, and, as one who will take up the full organ edition when it is ready, I appreciate the planning that you have obviously done to ensure the accommodation of the full edition.

I have only played two cathedral organs in my time, and then only for an exceedingly short time whereby I hardly had time to experiment with all the capabilities of the organ. But I, like most organists (or aspiring organists!) like to open up the machine and play a full tutti from time to time. The Hereford 46-stop has a wonderful tutti when one couples the manuals to the great and to the pedals, pulls the octaves and sub-octaves, and just wakes the neighbours! In fact, in my case, as we have a small cemetery almost adjoining the house, waking all our neighboiurs could give me more than I bargained for!

Anyway, thanks again, David!

Ken
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