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Using a compressor with Hauptwerk?

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

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Using a compressor with Hauptwerk?

PostFri Mar 15, 2024 1:50 pm

Does anyone use compressor settings on their Hauptwerk audio channels that work well for you? Specifically, what attack and release msec values work for a large organ?

The goal is to reduce very loud registrations a bit to save my ears. There is no risk of audio clipping at my level settings. I'm just sensitive to loud sounds. Reducing the overall volume makes soft registrations too quiet for me, so that's not a good option.

I'm thinking about running all 26 main + sub channels through the audio interfaces' mixers to try out the compressor. MOTU 24Ao and RME UFX.

Thank you for any relevant experiences. This is a home installation.
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abaymajr

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Re: Using a compressor with Hauptwerk?

PostWed Mar 20, 2024 3:37 pm

mnailor wrote:Does anyone use compressor settings on their Hauptwerk audio channels that work well for you? Specifically, what attack and release msec values work for a large organ?

The goal is to reduce very loud registrations a bit to save my ears. There is no risk of audio clipping at my level settings. I'm just sensitive to loud sounds. Reducing the overall volume makes soft registrations too quiet for me, so that's not a good option.

I'm thinking about running all 26 main + sub channels through the audio interfaces' mixers to try out the compressor. MOTU 24Ao and RME UFX.

Thank you for any relevant experiences. This is a home installation.


I am not an expert in compressors, nor do I use such a filter often. However, I would avoid dynamic compressor actuation (attack, release, etc.) by setting the threshould to a sufficiently low value that covers the background noise of the ventil. Thus, all instrument emission will be equally compressed, with no side effect on attack and release changes. Chose a compression ratio just enough to achieve the desired mitigation of the voluminous emission of large stop combinations (would say between 1.2:1 and 1.5:1). Then adjust filter output so that the background noise level will not higher than the original pre-filter one. I use ReaComp free compressor filter from Reaplugs.

Another approach is to use a limiter. The VST host I use (Cantabile Lite) has a built-in limiter available in the audio engine settings. Turning it on and configuring the output limiter for a convenient threshold achieves interesting results as well, although due to the dynamic nature of this filter, and second to my personal preference, I still prefer static compression ratio through all the dynamic range of a given instrument.
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mnailor

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Re: Using a compressor with Hauptwerk?

PostWed Mar 20, 2024 5:36 pm

Thank you! I'll see if the MOTU and RME input channel compressors can be set to operate statically. Their docs don't give me any hints, but maybe attack set to 0 ms and release set to its max value might turn it into a static function that squeezes the dynamic range.

A static (in time, but convex) compression curve makes a lot of sense for me, since I'd have over a dozen stereo compressors dynamically deciding when to attenuate, throwing everything out of balance.

The leveler is only available on some of the outputs, so I can't use that -- too many outputs in use.

(Setting the threshold down to just above background noise seems like it would attenuate even the soft stops that I need to pass through at full volume. Maybe I don't understand that part of the suggestion.)
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abaymajr

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Re: Using a compressor with Hauptwerk?

PostWed Mar 20, 2024 6:00 pm

mnailor wrote:Thank you! I'll see if the MOTU and RME input channel compressors can be set to operate statically. Their docs don't give me any hints, but maybe attack set to 0 ms and release set to its max value might turn it into a static function that squeezes the dynamic range.

A static (in time, but convex) compression curve makes a lot of sense for me, since I'd have over a dozen stereo compressors dynamically deciding when to attenuate, throwing everything out of balance.

The leveler is only available on some of the outputs, so I can't use that -- too many outputs in use.

(Setting the threshold down to just above background noise seems like it would attenuate even the soft stops that I need to pass through at full volume. Maybe I don't understand that part of the suggestion.)


Sorry. I didn’t express myself well. I would put the Threshold just BELOW organ blowing level, to include this signal in the compression and thus avoid dynamic and sudden action in whatever the organ emission. Test it with a 1.2:1 ratio first and go up. At each new compression value, adjust the output volume of the plugin (or your amplifier) to make background noise (or a single reference stop) a static reference between compression settings. You will notice that the sound pressure difference will decrease between this reference and any combination of stops, especially the most numerous and intense ones.

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