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Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby TheOrganDoc » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:45 pm

1/ If wet sampling is the only way to produce realistic samples sets,
than why are all the Dry Sample sets sold to us ?

2/ Why do most of the "Demo's" for the dry sample sets,
utilize multiple IR reverb's, to make them listenable ?

When we buy them, and install them,expecting the organ to sound like the Demo's,
the result is disappointing at best,
at least from my experience .

3/ As far as I am concerned, any Hauptwerk included IR system,
that allows for 2 to 4 IR's,
would help prevent the above disappointing dilemma,
and make for happier dry sample set purchasers, myself included .

4/ Trying to provide an IR for every pipe sample, sounds wonderful but I believe
that would be memory and operating speed prohibitive, at least with today's computers .

5/ Thanks for reading this post, this situation has been bothering me for at least two years,
and especially so after reading the preceding post's !

Does anyone else agree ?

Mel
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby jwillans » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:40 pm

mdyde wrote:Dr. Pykett's signal mixing effect is really just a by-product of the microphones being moved for dry sampling, which causes the frequency and phase relationships to change between the pipes, making it no longer mathematically valid to sum them. I.e. if you sum pipe samples made from different microphone positions and mix them together then you no longer get the same result as recording those pipes from a fixed microphone position (whether sampled or recorded as an ensemble) - that's the 'signal mixing effect'.


For me the above quote sums up a fascinating discussion that I've enjoyed immensely.

Thanks Martin.

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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby telemanr » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:09 pm

TheOrganDoc wrote:1/ If wet sampling is the only way to produce realistic samples sets,
than why are all the Dry Sample sets sold to us ?

2/ Why do most of the "Demo's" for the dry sample sets,
utilize multiple IR reverb's, to make them listenable ?

When we buy them, and install them,expecting the organ to sound like the Demo's,
the result is disappointing at best,
at least from my experience .

3/ As far as I am concerned, any Hauptwerk included IR system,
that allows for 2 to 4 IR's,
would help prevent the above disappointing dilemma,
and make for happier dry sample set purchasers, myself included .

4/ Trying to provide an IR for every pipe sample, sounds wonderful but I believe
that would be memory and operating speed prohibitive, at least with today's computers .

5/ Thanks for reading this post, this situation has been bothering me for at least two years,
and especially so after reading the preceding post's !

Does anyone else agree ?

Mel


1. Perhaps so that people can add their desired acoustic rather than the one the organ is situated in.
2. The demos for dry sets use reverb (however achieved) because no one would expect to play a completely dry recorded organ without some added acoustic. It gives you an idea of what can be achieved. Of course, if you don't have exactly the same setup the results would be different. But still, it does show what the organ is capable of sounding like given some "help."
3. You can already add reverb now with an outboard reverb unit or with IR (there are ways to do this now but not very user friendly) and with IR in the future when HW allows an easier implementation.
4. Martin has already said that IR for each pipe was an impossibility for the foreseable future.
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby toplayer2 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:31 pm

I hope Martin will not fill obliged to devote any more time to debating this topic. Like everyone else who reads this forum, I do not wish see Hauptwerk 4.0 delayed by one minute :)

The commentary Martin has already provided is extremely interesting and thought provoking and he clearly knows what he's talking about. I also feel that he demonstrated great personal integrity by posting Dr. Pykett's unedited comments.

While certainly not wishing to whip a dead horse, good science should be subject to peer review (although I do not count myself as Martin's equal) and produce results which are verifiable and repeatable.

Using an audio editor, I then mixed the whole of:

- Test1Output-L.wav with Test1Output-R.wav to give: Test1Output-MixedDigitally.wav.
- Test2Output-L.wav with Test2Output-R.wav to give: Test2Output-MixedDigitally.wav.
- Test3Output-L.wav with Test3Output-R.wav to give: Test3Output-MixedDigitally.wav.

If wet sampling works properly, i.e. if it indeed is mathematically valid to sum two individual wet samples together with the 'signal mixing effect' producing a distorted result, then:

- Test1Output-MixedDigitally.wav should be identical to Test1Output-MixedInAir.wav and
- Test2Output-MixedDigitally.wav should be identical to Test2Output-MixedInAir.wav and
- Test3Output-MixedDigitally.wav should be identical to Test3Output-MixedInAir.wav.

Open them in an audio editor and compare them for yourself! They are indeed identical.

If you still doubt that it works, try the whole experiment yourself - you will get the same results.


There is a simple way to test if two waveforms are in fact idenitcal. The nullification technique is performed as follows: Invert one waveform180 degrees in phase, then add the two waveforms together. If they are identical, then as the first waveform swings positive, the other swings negative with the result that the two add to total silence. If two non-identical waveforms are null summed, then there will be audible "difference" signals.

I first took Test3Output-MixedInAir.wav and nulled it with itself. The result as expected is total silence:

http://sites.google.com/site/vtheatreorgan/Home/files/Test3Air-Null-Test3Air.wav?attredirects=0&d=1

Then I nulled Test3Output-MixedInAir.wav with Test3Output-MixedDigitally.wav. If they are identical, the result should also be silence. But it isn't. You can hear a certain amount of hiss and a kind of squirrelly chirping effect. There is also a brief low frequency "bump" which was probably traffic noise in the MixedInAir version and which should be ignored for our purposes here.

http://sites.google.com/site/vtheatreorgan/Home/files/Test3Air-Null-Test3Dig.wav?attredirects=0&d=1

These results are easily repeatable and verifiable and prove that the two example files are not completely identical.

I honestly feel that for all practical intents and purposes Martin has proved his point about wet sampling. It just makes me mad that producing a good wet sampled theatre organ seems to be beyond reach.

Signing off,
Joe

Post Script: When re-listening to the difference signal, it occurs to me that what we may in fact be hearing is ambient background noises such as air conditioning actually present in Martin's listening environment. This would indeed serve to reinforce Martin's thesis that the acoustically and digitally summed waveforms are identical and that by subtracting one from the other what is left are the subtle room noises picked up by the microphone!
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby B. Milan » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:00 pm

TheOrganDoc wrote:1/ If wet sampling is the only way to produce realistic samples sets,
than why are all the Dry Sample sets sold to us ?

2/ Why do most of the "Demo's" for the dry sample sets,
utilize multiple IR reverb's, to make them listenable ?

When we buy them, and install them,expecting the organ to sound like the Demo's,
the result is disappointing at best,
at least from my experience .]


Hell Mel,

Please see the statements on the MDA website for our dry sets, for example the dry Skinner:

http://www.milandigitalaudio.com/skinner-demos-dry.htm

How the recordings were made:


The following demonstrations were all recorded live through a multiple channel audio system with microphones in a large room. Hauptwerk 3 Advanced Edition was set to run 26 channels to 26 speakers (including 2 sub-woofers) routing various ranks (and parts of ranks, percussions and sound effects) to different speaker arrays. Samples were loaded in mono using the C/C# split algorithm and the organ was voiced and balanced for the room in which it was recorded by Brett Milan. Please note that every users room will be different, therefore we highly recommend the Advanced Edition of Hauptwerk 3 in order to gain the best results from this virtual organ which uses dry samples. Without the voicing capabilities included with the Advanced Edition users will not be able to properly balance and voice the organ for their own listening environment. We have provided an "out of the box" stereo balancing and voicing, however it is nearly impossible to cater to all various types of playing situations and listening environments. Again, we stress that the Advanced Edition of Hauptwerk 3 is an important factor in obtaining the best possible sound when using multiple audio channels. Where indicated, the demonstrations have additional IR (Impulse Response = sampled acoustics) reverb applied after the recordings were done. For this we used Audio Ease's Altiverb which is a high end IR convolver.


Thus it should be expected after reading this statement (and a similar statement is there for the MW 3-31) that you would not achieve the same sonic results since the room itself is the reason for the sound and signal mixing that you are hearing with a slight amount of additional help using Altiverb on the Skinner. You would need the same room with the same acoustical proerpties and the same speaker arrangement and channel routing in order to have an identical sound to our dry sample demos, and this was certainly stated from the beginning so that customers such as yourself were aware of this.

Note that we provided dry versions since many customers had requested these from us, originally we did not have an interest in offering dry sets since we prefer to create the acoustical mappings of original instruments included in their original space (including all of the reverb from the actual pipes). However since we also like to cater to customer demands we decided to offer the dry sets as well, and for the most part our customers have thanked us for this and are getting along well in using these dry version instruments.

Also note that with regards to dry theatre organs, the tremulants have a much greater chance of coming across as sounding real whereas applying the LFO type tremulants to wet samples just doesn't work as well and gives artificial results. That is why we've been recording some of the newer wet sets of our with tremulants from the real organ so that they give a much more realistic effect.

So please realize that we've never stated that you will achieve an exact duplicate of the sound you hear in our demos since this is not really possible unless you have an identical room to where the demos were recorded. While using IR convolution does indeed help to create a more realistic room, in the end the best results with dry samples will always be achieved using more audio channels and in a room big enough to add its own acoustics to the mix so that everything can blend in the air and not from the source through IR mixing.

I hope that helps explain why.

Thank you.
Regards,
Brett Milan
http://www.hauptwerk.com
http://www.milandigitalaudio.com
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby bcollins » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:41 am

I for one feel that this discussion has been the liveliest (in a positive way) and most informative thread this forum has seen in many months. Bravo to all involved. And bravo especially to Martin.

I eat this stuff up! But then again I have a rather "dry" personality... :P
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby engrssc » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:08 am

I eat this stuff up! But then again I have a rather "dry" personality... :P


Then, too, my wife doesn't understand why I prefer a bottle of "dry" wine. :roll:

Regarding the E M Skinner sample sets, I would be hard pressed to say which, of the two, I absolutely prefer. I like the natural acoustic of the wet version which tends to make me feel I am in the environment of the church, but OTOH, the dry version lets me readily "create" my own space.

This gets me back to the "conversation" regarding properly "treating" our small (home) listening space. The sound system(s) and the room play a most vital role in our ultimate perception.
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6498#p45491
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6498#p45503

That's why several folks have "reverted" to using a headset, which to some degree, minimizes the "room/sound system effect".

In the TV video clip http://www.vnsouth.tv/videos/sounds_different
made by Daniel Cook, regarding playing H/W in the (real) Salisbury Cathedral, he clearly mentions he modified the sample set(s) to, purposely, remove the "wet"/(original acoustic) sample characteristics in effect using a "virtual" dry version.

Rgds,
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby Calcant » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:48 am

It' s a pity the very instructive Salisbury video clip is not available on YouTube. It certainly deserves it. 23 pounds for a such a short DVD reflects a free rider's attitude which isn't beneficial to the HW philosophy.
It´s a virtue to be well-tempered.
German speaking readers are invited to visit http://www.orgelbits.de for info about HW subjects.
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby mdyde » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:58 am

Hello Joe,

Very briefly (since I promised Brett I wouldn't spend any more time on this discussion!):

Post Script: When re-listening to the difference signal, it occurs to me that what we may in fact be hearing is ambient background noises such as air conditioning actually present in Martin's listening environment. This would indeed serve to reinforce Martin's thesis that the acoustically and digitally summed waveforms are identical and that by subtracting one from the other what is left are the subtle room noises picked up by the microphone!


Correct - any differences you hear should just be due to differences in the background noise (electrical hiss, passing cars, equipment fans, my breathing, slight movements of my body, etc.). The digitally mixed version is of course also the sum of two recordings, so will have effectively twice as much background noise (no noise reduction was performed for any of the recordings). No two real recordings can ever be perfectly byte-for-byte identical because of the background noise. What matters is that the pipe/signal sound (pipe/signal frequencies and phases) is identical in the air-mixed and digitally-mixed versions.

Edit:

P.S. Although I knew the results would be *almost* identical (because the maths/physics says that they will be), even I was surprised by the amazing degree to which they do in fact corresponded (as you saw the pipe/signal sound cancels almost perfectly if you invert and add the two versions), leaving only the background noise differences.

That's a truly amazing testament to the quality, almost perfect linearity, and almost perfect timing of even the modestly-priced recording equipment and software I used to perform the experiment (an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile for the DAC and ADC, two Alesis M1 Active near-field monitors for the speakers, a Rode NT2 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, a Behringer mixing desk as a mic. pre-amp, Sonar as the recording/playback software).

In particular, to me that demonstrates that any non-linearities in even modestly-priced modern recording equipment are so small that they're almost irrelevant in practice. (Specifically this experiment tests the linearity of the mic, mic. pre-amp and ADC. You could easily design a similar experiment to test the linearity of your monitor speakers.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby Johannes Sørensen » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:15 am

First thanks a lot for a very enlightening thread, in particular to Martin for spending the time.
If just all discussions were as constructive as in this thread.
TheOrganDoc wrote:
1/ If wet sampling is the only way to produce realistic samples sets,
than why are all the Dry Sample sets sold to us ?

A good and logical question.
All roads lead to Rome.
The phrase has the kernel of truth, that mostly there are more than one way to a goal each with its advantages and disadvantages. Otherwise people who did not use the only right way were ignorants and in this connection inclusive the engineers of digital organs from the cheapest one to the most expensive and advanced custom made organ, and that is certainly not the case.

This thread focus in particular on one problem, but although an important aspect there are many other especially if you want to listen in other ways than by headphones or near field speakers. Some of the aspects in the dry versus wet problem are discussed in the threads Martin has links to in his first post, and therefore they shall not be repeated here.

A way to find out what you prefer is to try the possibilities.
The fine little Rabstejn sample set from Sonus Paradisi is sold for just 134 EUR as a package of a wet direct, a wet diffuse, a dry and a surround version. Thus for a reasonable price we have the possibility to try out and compare four different approaches to virtual organs and room acoustic.

The decision to use wet or dry sample sets is as most other decisions a choice and a compromise, and hopefully the discussion and information about the subject in this and in other threads can contribute to, that we make an informed choice open-minded to pro et contra.

Best regards
Johannes
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby TheOrganDoc » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:28 pm

Thank you Brett, and all interested party's,

I plan to approach this situation quite differently in the very near future........ :D

My very best wishes to all !
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby schantzplayer » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:45 am

I find this whole discussion facinating. I was wondering how to use Hauptwerk to sample many ranks of simillar stops to obtain a realistic result. An example would be to sample 88 ranks of strings in order to simulate the Wanamaker string division.
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby David Pinnegar » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:50 pm

schantzplayer wrote:I find this whole discussion facinating. I was wondering how to use Hauptwerk to sample many ranks of simillar stops to obtain a realistic result. An example would be to sample 88 ranks of strings in order to simulate the Wanamaker string division.

Hi!

In short, one might be able to synthesise it by making 88 copies of the file. String pipes are often overblown pipes with beards to keep the airstream stable, but they really have to be voiced "on the edge". This means that there may well be a 10 second or so cycle of additions within the sound of a slight change of pitch, edginess of white noise and or upper harmonics and change of phase of upper harmonics to fundamental. So one might apply all the permutations of these variations through the series of files, varying the repeat cycle, and also making some copies harmonically richer than others. Then copy the whole lot translated by 1/2 cent up and down . . .

This thread is very interesting as it highlights the divergent purposes of Hauptwerk and the necessity of two different treatments to sound reproduction - the first is the home practice simulation where one wants to feel transported to inside another place, and good stereo or 4 channel speakers can do this, or actually "being" an organ in a different place, where one needs the speaker to reproduce the pipe as the pipe in the new environment. Of course it's here that on the thread about a church installation I suspect that contributors to other posts have been at cross purposes as I suspect that different criteria apply.

An analogue of the discussion here is the modern fashion of CD recording, which I loathe, in which each instrument has its individual microphone and then all the signals are summed, mixed and panned through a mixing desk. Live performances are always more convincing just with the simpler techniques, relying more on stereo pairs picking up the whole soundfield.

But were we to transport the orchestra to a new environment, it would be valid to record each instrument and represent it by a seperate speaker at the other end . . . Bringing the new environment into the midst of the orchestra, however, is well done by a stereo or quadraphonic setup. It is the same process in Hauptwerk but merely for the time delay and programmability of being able to call up each pipe to order and at will . . .

Best wishes

David P
http://www.organmatters.co.uk
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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby mdyde » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:56 pm

Hello David,

Of course it's here that on the thread about a church installation I suspect that contributors to other posts have been at cross purposes as I suspect that different criteria apply.


If you're referring to me, and suggesting I was confused in my disagreement with your views on the desirability of speakers made/chosen specifically to colour/shape the sound for individual ranks (for dry-sampled ranks played in a reverberant listening environment, as part of a church installation), then that isn't actually the case:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6927

I do fully appreciate your points, views and goals but respectfully don't personally agree with you in the ways, and for the reasons, I gave in that thread, particularly with regard to the theoretical desirability of speaker 'imperfections'. (But I'm afraid I don't have time to be involved further in that, or this, discussion for now.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Opinion: Wet vs. Dry Organ Reproduction

Postby toplayer2 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:40 pm

Colin Pykett's latest article is on this very topic:

http://www.pykett.org.uk/wetdry.htm

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