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Caen v Metz (v Aix un Provence)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:42 pm
by Adrian07
Advice please.... thinking of getting my first sample set (since acquiring Hauptwerk before Christmas).... to those owners particularly of the new Caen and the Metz.... how do these two instruments and their sets compare? re tonal variety, colour, faithfulness, musical usefulness... any advice would be gratefully received.. Recommendations please!! Thanks Adrian

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm
by imcg110
Metz is gorgeous, wet and manageable on a normal system. Works perfectly out the box. The Metz vox +trem is the best available anywhere! Maybe a little too wet to be an ideal practice instrument, but certainly usable to learn new works

Caen is magnificent, bigger, more adaptable but is VERY resource hungry. I would advise the surround version as I find the wet version alone too "in your face". You will have to do a lot of fiddling to find your optimal sound. It makes for a more direct instrument more suited to practicing new works. The reeds are heavier and darker than Metz.

Both are first rate authentic sample sets.

If you have a 4 or 8 core system with 16GB+ memory, go for Caen surround.

If you have duocore with 4GB - Metz will make you very happy - it did it for me (and still does)

I have both and still use both.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:30 pm
by Adrian07
Hi Iain,
Thanks for your quick reply! I have a QuadCore with 8GB RAM. It will obviously eat the Metz, but how might it cope with the Caen wet/ (surround needs twice the memory)...?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:03 pm
by imcg110
You might struggle to get Caen working well on 8GB, in theory perhaps - in practice with OS requirements I doubt it. Equally you need to be familiar with HW audio setup and voicing to get the best from it. If this is your first set, you might be better with Metz. It is much easier to set up - most of the default settings will suffice. It really is a wonderful experience to play.

I always advise that "newbies" should keep it as simple as possible - the joy of Hauptwerk is playing the instruments, not fiddling with config screens!! When you become more au fait with all the many possibilities the software has to offer then you can become more adventurous.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:16 pm
by Adrian07
Dear Iain,

Thats good advice. Thanks. I am a musician, a professional one at that, and am more concerned with style, interpretation, authenticity, and learning the right notes!! than having to spend hours fiddling. I know there are some Hauptwerkians who delight in the inner mysteries of H and multichannels etc... and collecting the latest.....thats not me... I am a simple soul! Thanks so much for your kind and perceptive help. Much appreciated, Iain.

all good wishes,

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:51 am
by IanPounder
Hello Adrian

The Caen wet will work well in 8GB (loaded in 16 bit), but the surround version needs more. I'm using it in 12GB, with the surround samples loaded in mono. Although the effect of the surround version is wonderful, I prefer to practise with just the wet, and I actually like the more direct effect it gives.

Whilst you can, of course, alter the voicing for your setup, I don't find the out-of-the-box instrument at all unusable.

I don't have the Metz, but I have played it. It's wonderful, but just a bit too indirect for me. In fact, for serious practice, I often use the St George's Casavant with some reverb - very precise and analytical!

In the end, they're great sample sets, and it's probably more a matter of taste than anything else.


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:49 am
by micdev

As the others said, they are both great sample sets. The surround option for the Caen adds another "layer" of realism, but you can easily recreate this effect on the Metz using an aux mixdown channel and 2 rear speakers, without the need for twice the memory and processor/polyphony.

I would like to emphasize that even an amateur like me can overload a QuadCore computer and have the sound break up when playing Tutti. Of course if you only use the wet version, both versions are then comparable in memory and polyphony requirements.

For practice purpose, the Caen is more "direct", giving you the "sitting at the console" feeling. The Metz put you in the naive and let you enjoy a wonderful concert :-)

It is quite hard to say which one is the best since they are both excellent and different in many ways.... sure I'm glad that I have both! but based on your actual hardware I would go with this Metz which will allow you to use the full Tutti, the Caen (even the wet one) will feel a bit tight.

One final thought, don't forget to listen to the demos (available on the set producers website and on Contrebombarde).


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:50 am
by Adrian07
Dear Francois and Ian, Iain...and others!

Thank you for your advice. I am very grateful.

Question: is there much difference between the musical effect of loading in 16 bit (CD quality) and 24 bit? or is it just something for the connoiseur.... ie: is it really preferable to have an instrument in 24 bit rather than the 16 bit?

I would be most grateful for any Hauptwerkian feedback, Ian Francois and Iain included! Many thanks



I use the St Anne's set with two rear speakers as well (floorstanders) plus a BK XLS200 Subwoofer... (in addition to two Tannoy Reveal Monitors L & R of the console).....and it makes a real difference to the sound.

Whilst the Caen is tempting, I have to say prefer the more brilliant reeds of the Metz! With 8GB and a Quad Core it seems it will run extremely well, rather than take the risk of trying to cram the equally impressive (but different) Caen instrument into my resources.

It seems inevitable that six months down the line, what seems more than ample (8GB) is now tight! but such is the progress of technology and appetite!

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:34 am
by Stefanussen
Hi Adrian. Yes, there is a difference between 16-bit and 24-bit. 16-bit is fine, and you'd probably never feel that anything was lacking unless you hear them side by side. The difference is subtle, but even my wife, whom I would not really call an organ connoisseur, heard the difference without me even mentioning it.

I don't own the Caen organ, but I've been impressed with the demos I've heard. From what I understand, for the hardcore Hauptwerkian with a surround audio system and little aversion to tweaking and tinkering, it may be the sample set of choice.

I do, however, own the Metz, and I can tell you that it would just about be impossible to go wrong there. It's a fantastic organ, and the only one I owned for nearly a year. It's probably not the best sample set for nuts-and-bolts practice since the sound is somewhat indirect when compared to some other sample sets. That indirectness is what makes the Metz sound so good when you make recordings with it.

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:03 pm
by Adrian07
Dear Rob,

Thanks very much for your feedback on this.

Is the Metz THAT responsive, or is there a delayed action/response??? with difficulty hearing?

having practiced for quite a few years on both chamber instruments and cathedral instruments (real ones!) nearly every time I do most of my practice on the chamber instrument, and then transfer later on to the larger ones.... this gives incredible clarity, control..... not just of notes but of nuance in articulation etc ...... just practicing on the large beasts can make one very lazy!
I would continue with the St Anne's set for general practice, and then transfer to the larger instruments later on......

Thanks Rob,


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:31 pm
by Anton Heger
Hello all,

I wonder...
While Caen has front and rear samples; is it true that loading only the front samples, you have the direct sound you want for practising and loading only the rear samples, you have a sound like Metz???


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:33 pm
by IanPounder
Hello again Adrian

There's definitely a difference between 16 bit and 24, especially on the Metz: there is a sort of hiss sometimes in 16 bit which goes with 24. 20 bit is a useful half-way house - less memory needed, but an improvement in sound. Of course, you can load some in 16 (Ped perhaps, and possibly in mono), and some in 20 or 24 (reeds first, probably). On your 8GB you won't get much in 24 bit, though.

Anton, I think the answer is "to some extent". The Caen rear samples aren't really recorded with the idea of using them as the only samples, but I've tried it and it's OK. Also, the front samples are still wet - there's a good deal of reverb. I'll stick to the Casavant for practising detail.


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 3:16 pm
by Adrian07
Dear Ian,


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:06 pm
by Stefanussen
Adrian, no, there is no delay between pressing a key and hearing the corresponding sound. Imagine that a mobile console were made for the Metz, and it was placed near the front of the listening area of the church (rather than at the organist's position). That is what the Metz sounds like (only without the playing-hearing delay).

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:51 pm
by Adrian07
Thanks Rob.
Whilst there can be advatages to be "seated" close to the sound source, often one does not hear the instrument in balance...therefore.... the Metz seems to be OK. Thanks very much Rob.
good wishes,