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Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

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jkinkennon

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Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostSun Aug 28, 2022 11:49 am

I am building a 5-manual, 309 drawknob Allen console and have considered a CODM using two large sample sets. It is my opinion that the size would preclude successful glitch-free use with even the strongest of PCs. Since I am building an ethernet (UDP) into the console for merging, splitting, routing, and broadcast/subscription MIDI traffic, it occurs to me that it might be wise to set up two PCs with two Hauptwerk programs and individual sample sets. Of course I would need two HW licenses, no argument there.

The technical issues being mine alone, is this a "legal" configuration. One console, one user, one audio system at one venue so there's nothing "tricky" going on here.

Ideas about sample set combinations that might prove compatible in terms of pitch and acoustics as well as complementary, rather than a mere duplication, would be welcome.
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mnailor

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostSun Aug 28, 2022 11:53 am

Yes, it's legal. Each HW license is for use on one computer at any one time, not per console or audio system.

The assumption that your composite sampleset might tax any PC available is worth questioning before you put in a lot of time and money. Is it surround? How many ranks and how many surround perspectives? How long are the reverb tails?

For comparison, the Nancy sampleset with 65 ranks times 4 perspectives and 6 second reverb (and some two-layer tremmed ranks) runs well on an i9-12900K processor and 128 GB memory with Windows 11, at 96k sample rate and 512 sample buffer and 8192 polyphony limit. Higher polyphony at 48k and 256 buffer. Edited: Buffer sizes were backwards.

Will you use much more than about 250 ranks (including your surround ranks) at full organ? Are the long releases more than 6 seconds? If no to either question, one PC could do the job.

There are bigger CPUs in terms of number of cores and multithread capacity. Ryzen 5950X, for example. But make sure the single thread performance is also high because HW does demand good single core speed as well as taking advantage of lots of cores. The biggest Xeon and AMD CPUs tend to compromise with lower single core speed compared to Intel Core gen 12.
Last edited by mnailor on Tue Aug 30, 2022 5:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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mdyde

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostSun Aug 28, 2022 1:13 pm

To confirm (thanks, Mark) -- yes, that's all fine from a licensing point of view.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostSun Aug 28, 2022 3:27 pm

mnailor wrote:There are bigger CPUs in terms of number of cores and multithread capacity. Ryzen 5950X, for example. But make sure the single thread performance is also high because HW does demand good single core speed as well as taking advantage of lots of cores. The biggest Xeon and AMD CPUs tend to compromise with lower single core speed compared to Intel Core gen 12.


New AMD processors (Ryzen 7xxx with Zen4 platform, PCIE5 etc.) will be introduced at the end of August: https://twitter.com/AMDRyzen/status/1559534273350230017
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larason2

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostSun Aug 28, 2022 6:23 pm

The new Mac Studio Ultra could pull this off, It has 128 GB of Ram, and 20 CPU cores. Mine is working quite nicely with the Motu 24ao now that I updated the firmware. Otherwise you could wait until the new Mac pros ship. The problem with using two computers at a time is that coordinating them becomes a headache. Then there’s the risk of duplicated or feedback of midi signals. Many people run the Melbourne town hall on current computers, and it has pretty close to the same number of ranks.
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mnailor

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostSun Aug 28, 2022 7:52 pm

The Apple M1 Ultra 20 core is similar in performance to the i9-12900K. The decision between them would be Mac vs Windows preference and cost, probably not speed.

M1 Ultra vs i9-12900K

CPU Mark: 41182 vs 41403 (multicore overall benchmark results)

Thread Mark: 3891 vs 4210 (single core)

Source:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/CPU_mega_page.html
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larason2

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostMon Aug 29, 2022 8:03 am

I agree with mnailor. Even the M1 max, which I have, is pretty overpowered for the purpose. The processor has never struggled, no matter how much I throw at it. The main limitation for macs is that 128 GB of RAM is only available for the Ultra. If you prefer PC’s, a system based on the i9 processor mnailor mentions would do more than nicely.
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jkinkennon

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostMon Aug 29, 2022 11:50 am

I am currently running an i9 with 128 GB ram. It is an i9-9940X (14 cores) which is a couple of generations old at this point. I run the Goerlitz samples using four perspectives at this time at 96 kHz and with the optimal audio settings (HW VII). The biggest limitation is the slow single core speed of 3.30 GHz. They typically run much closer to 4 GHz but that is fine.

The bottom line is that I'm aware that the newest CPUs are more capable and the question of using a CODM versus two PCs is not determined at this point. One of my desires is to implement a huge string division like the original Allen had. That could require a large CODM on one PC and a third sample set combined with synth resources on the 2nd PC -- so many possibilities and no final user identified at this time.

Regarding synchronization there is no sync between the PCs and any audio mixing would be following independent audio interfaces. Mixing would be entirely in the analog domain, simply feeding analog outputs from one interface to the analog interfaces of another. Any latency difference between the MIDI inputs to the two PCs would be sub millisecond. I've confirmed that many packets arrive within a single millisecond as recorded by Midiox, and that is with single 4-byte MIDI packets where I intend to move to 64-byte packets (16 MIDI messages) before I am finished.

All thoughts are most welcome. I'm excited about the ease of adding chimes, piano, harpsichord and synthesizer resources with a manageable routing scheme. Runs of a couple hundred feet to hybrid pipe ranks and swell shades is another easy add. If anyone is wondering, the ethernet backbone is entirely dedicated to the organ and would not connect to the Internet, at least not without a gateway!

EDIT: Currently the five manuals and their pistons are working great with a single HW PC. I'm moving to controlling stops next as soon as I can get a couple more Teensy 4.1s with ethernet adapters.
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murph

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Re: Two HW systems/licenses in one console?

PostMon Aug 29, 2022 3:57 pm

An Ethernet Midi set of modules sounds VERY enticing!!

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