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Where to route what with smaller organs....

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sclg

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Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostTue Jan 19, 2021 2:23 pm

With a multi-channel or surround sampleset, it's often obvious how to do your routing.
I'm interested in people's views on how best to utilise multiple channels on smaller sets.

Let's take Friesach as an example. This just outputs two channel stereo. Given I have 3 stereo pairs (two in front and one behind) plus the sub, how would you divide up the organ?
I know some people like to route by division and others by families of stops. Please share your favoured approaches.
Steve
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mdyde

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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostTue Jan 19, 2021 3:01 pm

[Topic moved here.]
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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magnaton

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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostTue Jan 19, 2021 3:25 pm

Hi Steve:

You seem to have do some research on rank routing. With more channels you can become quite creative and achieve some stunning results. For non surround sound sets divvying up ranks to different channels enhances the realism. Regarding Friesach, send the Solowerk to the rear channels. Also experiment by changing your stereo pair making the 2 left speakers a (L & R) pair and doing the same for the right. Then send the Hauptwerk ranks to the Left stereo pair and the Schwellwerk to the Right as this matches the console division placements. With this arrangement, the sound moves depending on which manual you are playing. 8)
Another tidbit is to route Celeste ranks to a different pair of speakers than its unison counterpart. This allows the undulation to happen more naturally, in the air (like a pipe organ) vs in the same driver. Your experience may vary pending on the sample set and environment, but I've heard pipe ranks really blossom with this method!

Mark C. has done some extensive testing and reporting on Hauptwerk rank routing. Start with this thread then search the others. In a later thread, he describes how he tried to create the sound of his local cathedral from a center pew perspective; sound originates form the choir loft in back and the reflections happen in the front :-)
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=13679

After reading all this you might end of with a case of SAS (speaker acquisition syndrome).

Good Luck,


Danny B.
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sclg

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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostTue Jan 19, 2021 5:04 pm

magnaton wrote:Hi Steve:
Also experiment by changing your stereo pair making the 2 left speakers a (L & R) pair and doing the same for the right. Then send the Hauptwerk ranks to the Left stereo pair and the Schwellwerk to the Right as this matches the console division placements. With this arrangement, the sound moves depending on which manual you are playing. 8)

Interesting idea. Unfortunately my two front pairs aren't similar speakers - one pair are towers, the other Behringer Truth.
I'm sure I read that it was not a good idea to use non-identical speakers in a stereo pair for HW?? I could of course physically rearrange them with the 2 towers on one side and the others on the other side but that is likely to meet with wifely disapproval :P

magnaton wrote:Hi Steve:
After reading all this you might end of with a case of SAS (speaker acquisition syndrome).

Been there, done that!
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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostTue Jan 19, 2021 5:39 pm

Hauptwerk’s routing algorithms provide a good way of spreading the sound across the available stereo channels to reduce intermodulation distortion. I use the “cycle within octaves, octaves cycled, ranks cycled” algorithm for stereo instruments on my front main speakers. This maximises the use of the speakers, spreading the notes of a single stop across each of the audio channels in the audio group a semitone at a time (within each octave).

[Details of the algorithms can be found at http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16088&p=122716&hilit=Intermodulation&sid=9cd674d3b4c92c838f2f06d4ca7e0163&sid=9cd674d3b4c92c838f2f06d4ca7e0163#p120807 ]

Some other users assign parts of their instruments to different groups of speakers and this can enhance the spatial impression of the organ. Within each of these groups, the cyclic algorithms can distribute the sound across the speakers in the group. However, in my opinion, unless you have a large number of stereo speakers, it is better to use all of the speakers in one group with the cyclic algorithm. I have tried dividing my 5 stereo channels into two groups (of 3 and 2) and assigned ranks and divisions in various ways between the groups. I found the results were not as satisfactory as using all 5 stereo pairs in one group: the sound was not so clear and less convincing.

Iain
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magnaton

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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostTue Jan 19, 2021 7:32 pm

IainStinson wrote:I have tried dividing my 5 stereo channels into two groups (of 3 and 2) and assigned ranks and divisions in various ways between the groups. I found the results were not as satisfactory as using all 5 stereo pairs in one group: the sound was not so clear and less convincing.

My opinion is this is subjective to your environment, speaker placement, the sample set being used, and what you have been accustomed to hearing. Especially that last part.

Before I upgraded to HW advanced several years ago I was using the 'poor man's multi-channel' setup with the same stereo signal routed to 2 large tower speakers and 2 active studio monitors. I had the volume adjusted just right and it sounded pretty good. That setup was for about 6 months, being played everyday. When I upgraded to HW Advanced, I experimented with which ranks would go where. I was immediately let down as it seemed that I lost the depth (power?) that I had prior! I made further rank routing adjustments and finally found the right balance and could then hear the clarity of having ranks dedicated to their own set of speakers. I have since added 7 more pairs of studio monitors over the following years.

For the Paramount TO sets, their PDF routing recommendation is spot on. I've tried several variations (i.e. all 8 stereo pairs to one group, 8 separate stereo pairs, etc.) and confirmed their recommendation of 4 pairs per group work best in my environment. So I made 2 groups of 4 pairs each. Since my speakers are double stacked (upper and lower array) I get motion via the HW algorithm (x2) as well as enhanced clarity since not all ranks and percussions are sharing the same speakers. For example the Post Horn (the loudest stop) is in a different group than the Xylophone. When played together, there isn't any sonic competition of producing both sounds from the same drivers. The result in my opinion and others who have heard it is stunning realism!

For the Armley-Shulze set I used the same design as the Paramount TO. Then created a separate Alt Config with 2 pairs (4 speakers) per division (Great, Choir, Swell, & Echo). The Pedal division just routes to the tower speakers. I played back some MIDI files I recorded then invited some organ friends over for an A/B comparison (and some libations) of the 2 audio designs using the same MIDI files as a standard. In a blind comparison, the 4 speakers per division won hands down. Softer and spartan registrations were kind of a toss up but from a Diapason chorus on up the difference was noticeable.

One final thing I like to remind folks is that being able to do any of this multichannel design and even discuss it would be impossible if our only options was the current paradigm of today's digital organs currently on the market. Thank you, THANK YOU Martin!

Danny B.
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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostWed Jan 20, 2021 12:31 am

A gentlemen named Leo Chris ('CHRIS 037' on the forum) did a tremendous amount of work describing and enumerating the various allocation algorithms offered by Hauptwerk for groups of multiple stereo pairs back in the mid to late 2000's. You can still find his posts by searching on his user name. This was a busy topic of conversation here for quite some time.

The primary point of multiple pairs in groups is to reduce IMD caused by 1sts, 3rds, 5ths, etc. (equal temperament mostly) as well as other benefits.The point being that air mixing of these inharmonic intervals creates a less strident effect than electronic/speaker mixing. He produced a substantial number of spreadsheets that layed out the good/bad intervals for various speaker configurations and routing algorithms. Unfortunately, those spreadsheets aren't archived on the forum anywhere that I'm aware of. I no longer have them, but surely someone else who's also been around here for a while may have been smarter than I was and saved them.

There are configurations that work better in this regard than others. My recollection (and the way I still configure my own system) is that an ODD number of pairs per group is generally better than an even number of pairs per group (unless you have 12 pairs in a group, which is the best you can do) in regards to minimization of IMD with the most commonly used cyclic algorithm.

In any case, his posts have some of the information in them in regards to how he configured his own system for optimum performance.

I think he had 3 HW computers running simultaneously with something on the order of 7 or 8 groups of 12 speakers (pairs?) per group — a bit larger than most home systems in a relatively small room :mrgreen:
Grant
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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostWed Jan 20, 2021 5:00 am

IainStinson wrote:Hauptwerk’s routing algorithms provide a good way of spreading the sound across the available stereo channels to reduce intermodulation distortion. I use the “cycle within octaves, octaves cycled, ranks cycled” algorithm for stereo instruments on my front main speakers. This maximises the use of the speakers, spreading the notes of a single stop across each of the audio channels in the audio group a semitone at a time (within each octave).
Iain

Am I right that if you are using this approach, the speakers should all be the same?
S
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mdyde

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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostWed Jan 20, 2021 5:04 am

magnaton wrote:For the Paramount TO sets, their PDF routing recommendation is spot on. I've tried several variations (i.e. all 8 stereo pairs to one group, 8 separate stereo pairs, etc.) and confirmed their recommendation of 4 pairs per group work best in my environment. So I made 2 groups of 4 pairs each. Since my speakers are double stacked (upper and lower array) I get motion via the HW algorithm (x2) as well as enhanced clarity since not all ranks and percussions are sharing the same speakers. For example the Post Horn (the loudest stop) is in a different group than the Xylophone. When played together, there isn't any sonic competition of producing both sounds from the same drivers. The result in my opinion and others who have heard it is stunning realism!

For the Armley-Shulze set I used the same design as the Paramount TO. Then created a separate Alt Config with 2 pairs (4 speakers) per division (Great, Choir, Swell, & Echo). The Pedal division just routes to the tower speakers. I played back some MIDI files I recorded then invited some organ friends over for an A/B comparison (and some libations) of the 2 audio designs using the same MIDI files as a standard. In a blind comparison, the 4 speakers per division won hands down. Softer and spartan registrations were kind of a toss up but from a Diapason chorus on up the difference was noticeable.


One point that might be worth bearing in mind: many recommendations and tests that you might find on the forum and elsewhere (including the Paramount's recommendations) were made prior to Hauptwerk v5. In v4 and earlier the cyclic algorithm determined the 'starting' speaker for each rank based purely on the RankID set by the sample set producer within the organ definition file. Hence the Paramount team specifically set those RankIDs to give a good distribution with common registrations when used with four speakers pairs, on the basis (I believe) that four was the most common number of speaker pairs that people happened to use.

However, with v5+ you can change the 'starting' speaker for each rank via the 'Organ settings | Rank routing ...' screen's 'Allocation algorithm note offset' for the cyclic algorithm (and others), thus allowing you to ensure that (for example) middle C of the main 8' diapason won't be routed to the same speaker pair in the group as middle C of the main 4' principal, however many pairs you have in the group.

Hence you might well find that you can get noticeably better results with the cyclic algorithm in v5+ (by tweaking the note offset for each rank) than you could with it in v2-v4, especially for organs that weren't specifically optimised for groups with the specific number of speaker pairs that you happen to be using. Also, there are now (v5+) a couple more variations of the cyclic algorithm available to choose from.

magnaton wrote:One final thing I like to remind folks is that being able to do any of this multichannel design and even discuss it would be impossible if our only options was the current paradigm of today's digital organs currently on the market. Thank you, THANK YOU Martin!


Thanks!
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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mdyde

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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostWed Jan 20, 2021 5:05 am

sclg wrote:
IainStinson wrote:Hauptwerk’s routing algorithms provide a good way of spreading the sound across the available stereo channels to reduce intermodulation distortion. I use the “cycle within octaves, octaves cycled, ranks cycled” algorithm for stereo instruments on my front main speakers. This maximises the use of the speakers, spreading the notes of a single stop across each of the audio channels in the audio group a semitone at a time (within each octave).
Iain

Am I right that if you are using this approach, the speakers should all be the same?
S


You would definitely want all speakers speakers that you use within any given group to be identical makes/models (otherwise the ranks would sound uneven across their compasses). However, you could use different makes/models for different groups.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Where to route what with smaller organs....

PostThu Jan 21, 2021 11:49 am

magnaton wrote:
Mark C. has done some extensive testing and reporting on Hauptwerk rank routing. Start with this thread then search the others. In a later thread, he describes how he tried to create the sound of his local cathedral from a center pew perspective; sound originates form the choir loft in back and the reflections happen in the front :-)
http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=13679

After reading all this you might end of with a case of SAS (speaker acquisition syndrome).

Good Luck,


Danny B.


Hi Danny,

Ha! You dug up an old thread from the archives for sure! :) After my 'divisions routed' scheme as outlined in the the thread above you probably recall after that it morphed into the 'rank routing' scheme which involves sending 'like sounding' or ranks of the same family to the same speaker pairs and after extensive testing which I did report on here I found this to be by far the best arrangement. It gave the best realism and clarity, and although I have yet to move to v6 because of limited computer power, I'd love to hear this arrangement with the newly added features of v6, I'm going to have to wait awhile on that though.

I believe at some point in the past I did report on a few additional modifications to my set-up, namely adding a pair of side channel speakers set up off to my left and right side while seated at the bench. So, I still have my 10 total channels, 3 stereo pairs to the front I divide ranks either based on 'similar sound or by family' or in some cases by 2' or 4' or whatever, it's a process of experimentation and elimination but it's amazing the results you can achieve just by sending one or two ranks to a different pair of speakers and with the newly added feature of being able to more quickly change rank routing without having to wait for the entire organ to re-cache and re-load, you can hear the results much more quickly while the last arrangement's sound is still in your head for quicker comparisons, this part I greatly appreciate. As for my side channels, in my testing I've found instead of a direct mix-down of all, for surround sets it's been best to include them with the rear signal and I can then adjust the volume of the side channels to add just that little bit of extra space to the sound and expand the stereo field. The rear speakers receive the same as the side channels and again I can adjust the sound so I can just hear the rear speakers coming into play as I do with the side speakers. Now that I've done this, muting the side speakers from the mix makes quite a difference and I much prefer they are in the mix vs. not and will stick with this arrangement.

I too have a mix and match of speakers, two pairs of towers up front along with a pair of smaller bookshelf speakers I've place on top of the one pair of towers and I've positioned them in the layout depending on how I intend to use them and what ranks I'm sending to them. I've found reeds are best to the inner pair of towers, the more foundation stops, flutes, bourdon, montre, etc., to the outer pair of speakers, and the more high pitched ranks, 2' (and maybe even 4' in some cases) to the smaller upper bookshelf speakers, but again experiment. As for really any size instrument following the same general routing should work out best.

I have the Paramount 310 and on that one I use a similar arrangement for ranks, but have set it up so certain things like the tambourine, harps, glock, drums, etc. either go to the side speakers or the rear and it's crazy! I have sounds coming from all over the place, from the front, sides, rear, etc., and it's great, I love it! But if you look at many theater organ layouts, they have things all over the place, so I used the same idea and it really sounds cool.

Anyways, to most directly answer the original question here, it is a process of experimentation but if you follow the basic idea I've laid out I think you will find it to be quite good right out the gate and you can experiment from there, that's half of the fun! :D

Marc

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