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Amp & Speakers

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...
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scodavis

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Amp & Speakers

PostTue May 11, 2021 5:03 pm

I've been searching, but not having much luck with, finding what users are using as far as audio systems.

Now that I have a complete Hauptwerk organ system (Johannus Rembrandt 3000, Windows 10 computer, a few sample sets, Hauptwerk VI, and two Novation Launchpad MK2, I really want to look at getting better audio. Compact is best (makes the wife happy). I prefer a warmer sound if that makes any difference.

I need a USB amplifier, either four or six (or maybe even 8 depending on price) main speakers, and a subwoofer. Any suggestions on (a) products to look for and (b) a vendor I should talk to would be very welcome. Obviously, budget friendly would be appreciated.
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engrssc

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostTue May 11, 2021 5:11 pm

Welcome,

If you do a (Forum) search you should find something. I just did that and got this response:

Search found 9151 matches: +Speakers

Search found 1416 matches: +Amps

You would need to enter a search topic using the Search button just below the Forum header and the 3rd button from the left.

When you mention to a USB amp, assume you are referring to an external audio card such as a Motu UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid Interface? This box gives you 8 outputs.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/284230659614?epid=97029566&hash=item422d77ae1e:g:vGwAAOSwIe1gS-h5

Hope that helps.

Rgds,
Ed
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josq

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 12:25 am

Regarding speakers, see my recent advice here: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=19749

If you talk to a vendor (I doubt if you should), ask for neutral sound.

What you need is a speaker with an accurate frequency response in all directions. If you have that, it will sound "warm" and pleasant and realistic.
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IainStinson

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 3:56 am

You need a USB audio device / interface which provides multi channel audio output, which then sends audio signals to either amplifiers and speakers or to “powered” speakers (which include a built-in amplifier).

You will also need (or already have) a usb midi interface.

When looking at the USB audio device / interface you will find many of them include multiple audio inputs, which are not needed for HW. Some also include audio effects which again are not required for Hauptwerk. Often you can just ignore the input sections of the interface, many of the interfaces with good output provision come with input facilities.

It is worth looking at the detailed user manuals for the interfaces and understanding what they provide. Does the number of outputs reduce when the sample rate increases? How many independent audio outputs are provided? Do, for example the headphone outputs duplicate some of the other outputs or are they independent? Do you want midi in and out facilities to be provided by the interface or are you content to have a separate midi interface unit? Does the audio interface come with ASIO drivers for Windows,for the correct version of Windows? Does the supplier have a history of supporting their driver on new versions of Windows? How do you physically attach the amplifier/powered speakers to the audio interface(balanced jacks, Phoenix connectors etc.) ?

Look for reviews on the interfaces, see what the forum users’ think.

You might start by looking at Focusrite’s Scarlett 18i20 or MOTU’s Ultralite Mk 5 to get some idea of the market - these cost around £500.

You should also check on the number of audio outputs you need, one pair for each stereo output. Headphones + subwoofer + 3 stereo pairs of powered speakers = 10 independent audio outputs from the interface (9 if the sub is fed with a mono signal).

I hope this helps.

Iain
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engrssc

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 9:17 am

The Motu UltraLite-mk3 I mentioned simply provides 10 audio outputs as well as a MIDI interface using a single USB connection to the computer. Plus a separate stereo headphone jack on the front panel along with many contained additional features.

Rgds,
Ed
Last edited by engrssc on Wed May 12, 2021 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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smfrank

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 9:23 am

engrssc wrote:The Motu UltraLite-mk3 I mentioned provides 10 audio outputs as well as a MIDI interface using a single USB connection to the computer.

This is what I have.
Just FYI, the earlier models (mine) do not start up when power is turned on.
There was a firmware update a few years ago that was supposed to address that. It did not.
I don't know if late models respond appropriately.
It really only matters in a headless system (although it IS annoying!)
Steve
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engrssc

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 9:42 am

smfrank wrote:Just FYI, the earlier models (mine) do not start up when power is turned on.
There was a firmware update a few years ago that was supposed to address that.


You can get a RA from MOTU support to send it back to the factory for this firmware update. On the very early models, there is a charge due the installed system not being compatible. In that case, MOTU provides a new unit, hense the charge. But this charge is far less than the cost of a new unit.

In my case, I had a newer version. There was no (extra) charge for the update, likewise no charge for shipping. As you said this turn on when power is applied is necessary for a headless setup.

Rgds,
Ed
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smfrank

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 9:56 am

engrssc wrote:You can get a RA from MOTU support to send it back to the factory for this firmware update.

I'm aware of that, but did not want to be without for several weeks. I've even considered buying a new one, but for the occasional times I actually turn the system off, it seems a bit frivolous!
Steve
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IainStinson

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 12:47 pm

I mentioned MOTU’s Ultralite Mk 5 not the Mk3 model. The Mk5 is a relatively new addition to their offerings.
Iain
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engrssc

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 12:56 pm

IainStinson wrote:I mentioned MOTU’s Ultralite Mk 5 not the Mk3 model. The Mk5 is a relatively new addition to their offerings.


Saw that. I have a Mk 5 as well but haven't noticed appreciably any great difference (with the exception of more I/O channels) with Mk 5 compared to using the Mk 3 with HW provided you can live with 10 - I/O channels (with the Mk3). Mk 5 could be a big improvement for those using it for more involved applications and thus can appreciate it more. Personally, the upgraded audio in V6 made a bigger improvement to my ears.

Think it safe to say both work very well with HW tho there are certainly other interfaces that do so as well. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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magnaton

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 9:37 pm

smfrank wrote:
engrssc wrote:You can get a RA from MOTU support to send it back to the factory for this firmware update.

I'm aware of that, but did not want to be without for several weeks. I've even considered buying a new one, but for the occasional times I actually turn the system off, it seems a bit frivolous!
Steve


I did just that recently for my MK3 Ultralite. I'm in Texas and MOTU is in Mass. and the turn around time was about a week.

Danny B.
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magnaton

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 9:59 pm

IainStinson wrote:I mentioned MOTU’s Ultralite Mk 5 not the Mk3 model. The Mk5 is a relatively new addition to their offerings.
Iain

Wow! I just saw this thread and read up on this new unit. The Ultralite series was really overdue for an upgrade. Glad they dropped the Main L & R nomenclature found on the MK3 and some other units as when dealing with MOTU ASIO driver, especially with HW5, the MOTUs analog 1 & 2 channel are the ASIO's 3 & 4 since Main L&R are ASIO 1 & 2 :? . The MK3 actually has 14 channels if you include the headphone jack and S/PDIF connector.

With 22 channels of output along with MIDI in and out, this is is probably the best audio interface match for Hauptwerk users.

Danny B.
Last edited by magnaton on Wed May 12, 2021 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mnailor

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Re: Amp & Speakers

PostWed May 12, 2021 10:45 pm

Not so sure about it being the "best" match. The mk5 has only 10 analog outputs, so for up to 24 powered monitors the ADAT and other outputs will need more gear than just cables, and the mic and other inputs are mostly wasted for Hauptwerk. Still, not bad at the price.

The 24Ao and a MIDI interface might be a good alternative if you want to scale up later.

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