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BBC uses Hauptwerk

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pkuzan

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BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 7:31 am

In February, we installed a mobile studio organ into BBC Media City, Salford UK.
Today it was used for the first time in a broadcast of the Daily Service.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jlvs0#play

The design phase for this instrument was lengthy as it had to be built to the BBC's strict health and safety rules.
The instrument is moved in 2 units, pedalboard and bench and the console itself, each uint had to weigh less than 80Kg and had to have handles at specific height above the ground.

The design brief negated the use of touchscreens, so illuminated tabs were used to keep the weight down.

Image

The bench is height-adjustable and is located in channels allowing fore and aft movement. The channels are attached to the pedalboard allowing the pedalboard and bench to be moved as a single unit. A traditional plinth would have been too large and too heavy.

Image

A Mac Mini runs Hauptwerk. It is connected via Thunderbolt to a Focusrite Clarette 2Pre. Two of the outputs feed a pair of Genelec monitors and the other two are directly injected into the mixing desk.

The sample sets used were Haverhill from Lavender Audio
http://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/oic/
and Goerlitz from Sonus Paradisi.
http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/top-selection/goerlitz-sonnenorgel.html

We could build a similar instrument for any location requiring a highly mobile and compact instrument.
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dhm

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 8:34 am

Congratulations and best wishes, Paul, to you and your colleagues, on winning a very prestigious job and producing a fine-looking console.
I know how very demanding that design brief was, together with all the associated Health & Safety requirements.
Definitely a large feather in your cap, and Hauptwerk's. Well done!
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu
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organtechnology

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 11:21 am

Nice Job! I see quite a few novel console innovations.
What can you tell us about the audio and computer? That looks like a Focusrite module is it also Rednet (Dante) capable?

Best regards,

Thomas

pkuzan wrote:In February, we installed a mobile studio organ into BBC Media City, Salford UK.
Today it was used for the first time in a broadcast of the Daily Service.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jlvs0#play

The design phase for this instrument was lengthy as it had to be built to the BBC's strict health and safety rules.
The instrument is moved in 2 units, pedalboard and bench and the console itself, each uint had to weigh less than 80Kg and had to have handles at specific height above the ground.

The design brief negated the use of touchscreens, so illuminated tabs were used to keep the weight down.

Image

The bench is height-adjustable and is located in channels allowing fore and aft movement. The channels are attached to the pedalboard allowing the pedalboard and bench to be moved as a single unit. A traditional plinth would have been too large and too heavy.

Image

A Mac Mini runs Hauptwerk. It is connected via Thunderbolt to a Focusrite Clarette 2Pre. Two of the outputs feed a pair of Genelec monitors and the other two are directly injected into the mixing desk.

The sample sets used were Haverhill from Lavender Audio
http://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/oic/
and Goerlitz from Sonus Paradisi.
http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/top-selection/goerlitz-sonnenorgel.html

We could build a similar instrument for any location requiring a highly mobile and compact instrument.
Complete Hauptwerk™ systems using real wood consoles, PC Sound Engines, Dante Audio for Home or Church. info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com
Authorized Hauptwerk; Milan Digital Audio and Lavender Audio reseller.
USA and Canada shipments only.
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jwillans

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 4:07 pm

What an elegant design and great accolade for Hauptwerk - well done pkuzan, Martin and Brett.

I am curious what led to the choice of the two sample sets?
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dhm

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 4:19 pm

They are what the BBC wanted.
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu
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jwillans

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 4:34 pm

dhm wrote:They are what the BBC wanted.


Understood that much. I was looking for some insight into their decision making process, i.e. type of music, type of acoustics ..? I am guessing licensing played a role in choosing a sample set for a broadcast instrument.
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adrianw

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 5:04 pm

I have listened to the broadcast and it sounds very disappointing and toastery to me. The studio voice quality, aided by what seems like artificial reverb, sounds excellent and the unaccompanied singers sound good. The organ, sadly, not so much. HW can and should sound a lot better than this!

The choice of sample sets seems frankly bizarre. Goerlitz in particular, set in an almost excessively generous acoustic and demanding huge amounts of memory to sound its best, seems a spectacularly poor match to the studio acoustic and to the memory and processor limitations of a Mac mini. Still, the sort of minds that can order an organ console by the kilogram and with "health and safety" concerns to the fore will no doubt have some bureaucratic reason in mind.
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engrssc

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 7:14 pm

adrianw wrote:I have listened to the broadcast and it sounds very disappointing and toastery to me. The organ, sadly, not so much. HW can and should sound a lot better than this!.


At the risk of being unpopular, the above quote mirrored my thoughts as well. The announcer said a new digital organ To me, a 'digital' organ is quite a bit less (some would call it a toaster) than a Hauptwerk organ. I'm glad Hauptwerk wasn't mentioned as this was not a good representation. Did the audio engineer just take a line feed from the sound card into his mixer? At any rate, it wasn't good. BBC does have some very fine broadcasts of organ music, this just wasn't one of them. :cry: :oops:

And, yes, I commend the innovative design of the console. 8) I'm big on creativeness, but still, the bottom line is - How does it sound?

Rgds,
Ed
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organtechnology

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 8:26 pm

I don't think it was the organ at all. I think the sound engineer was using in room microphones to pick up the organ but the mics were primarily stationed to pick up the vocals. I also do not hear a stereo image but a mixture of monophonic vocal sources panned to the center of the field. After all it is shaped for an AM radio transmitter is it not?

Thomas
Last edited by organtechnology on Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Complete Hauptwerk™ systems using real wood consoles, PC Sound Engines, Dante Audio for Home or Church. info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com
Authorized Hauptwerk; Milan Digital Audio and Lavender Audio reseller.
USA and Canada shipments only.
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engrssc

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostWed Mar 22, 2017 8:38 pm

I only listened once, but I think I remember hearing the phrase new state of the art studio, or did I? Still think "they" did not accurately represent Hauptwerk. Possibly the organist didn't have much time to learn the organ, esp registrations.

Rgds,
Ed
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John_Abson

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostThu Mar 23, 2017 4:54 am

Nice woodwork and I'm sure it plays well, but the logic behind the design specification escapes me. How do they manage when they need a grand piano in the studio?
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dhm

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostThu Mar 23, 2017 5:11 am

I don't know about grand pianos, but I do know the design brief was very specific about mobility and weight, since it has to be moved in and out of that studio every day via narrow corridors (the BBC don't own the studio, and the organ can't stay there permanently). Hence also the requirements for it to be in two separate parts, and for the grab-handles to be at specific heights for the crew that need to move it.
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu
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pkuzan

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostThu Mar 23, 2017 8:35 am

80Kg is the maximum weight that can be moved by studio personnel provided certain Health & Safety criteria are met such as handles a minimum distance from the ground etc .
Moving a grand piano between studios - even though it is on castors - requires expensive specialist contractors.

Our brief was to build a console so it could be freely moved by studio staff. A traditional console sitting on a castored plinth would totally blow the weight limit, so we came up with this ingenious design.
The console also had to fit in a specific storage location and be able to be maneuvered along narrow corridors constraining its dimensions.

The BBC specified the sample sets and stop lists, they also supplied the computer and audio equipment. We built the console and installed and setup the system.

As mentioned in my original post, the audio interface is a Focusrite Clarette 2Pre connected to pair of Genelec monitors (which are amazing) it is also directly injected into the mixing desk. I don't what combination was used for the recording.

Yesterday was the first broadcast, I'm sure lots of lessons were learned.
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John_Abson

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostThu Mar 23, 2017 8:50 am

Thanks for the clarification on transportability, Paul. Is there some means to ensure that the fronts of the Great keys don't get swiped when passing through doorways?
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ajt

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Re: BBC uses Hauptwerk

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 5:11 am

Well, to me it sounded like Haverhill, though possibly brighter than I remember. The diapasons sounded far more convincing than most toasters that I've come across.

I'm sure Paul's done a fine job (as always) and any tonal stuff is in the hands of the recording engineers, which is well out of his control - it's very hard/unfair for any of us to judge the tonal qualities of this installation from a broadcast. Having spent many years listening to Choral Evensong on Radio 3, I can attest that some of the country's finest instruments (and choirs) have sounded rather poor at times, presumably depending on the microphone placement, recording engineer, etc.
Adrian
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