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Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...
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1961TC4ME

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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostMon Feb 15, 2021 12:56 pm

Hello Jan,

Glad to hear you liked the results by adding the 2 side channel speakers. Although maybe not perfect, using either the diffuse or rear surround to these additional side speakers is likely to be the best options we have for now. Speaking of diffuse, I do have the Billerbeck demo set any perhaps will try routing the diffuse to the side speakers I've incorporated and see what I get.

Since many churches have the organ situated in front of you from where you're either seated or standing, I've always tried to produce a stereo image in front of me (and off to the sides as well) as if I'm standing in the center isle of the church about 2/3rds of the way forward, maybe a bit more depending on the set, pipes situated above and behind the altar.

Marc
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostTue Feb 16, 2021 1:18 am

Jan, I think you are onto something very important here with your speaker and channel set-up. I can confirm what you noted about routing the "diffuse" channels to separate speakers from the "front" or direct channels: "adding these channels separately not mixing them as intended with the front channel improves the fidelity of these front channels. Like adding rear channel to front channel which enhances the front channels but now with a even further increased realism."
I have said it before and I will say it again: additional speakers can be added in a variety of ways to increase the realism and depth of any division, collection of ranks, or even individual ranks in an organ. In general, my experience proves what you said is true. For a sample set with surround channels, the effect is much more realistic if the different microphone positions--e.g., "front" and "rear" are not mixed through the same speakers but fed exclusively to different speaker banks. This is not possible to do with every sample set, of course. Even some so-called "surround sound" sample sets do not permit this. Augustine, for instance, designs his surround sample sets in such a way that a mixing desk appears on the console page of Hauptwerk allowing the user to mix a variety of microphone perspectives through only one stereo output. I have not seen a sample set of his that offers "front ranks," "diffuse ranks," and "rear ranks" the way that Sonus Paridisi implements these. You have to have those virtual ranks available on the audio and rank routing screen in Hauptwerk to be able to route them to separate speakers. Otherwise, you are stuck with just one stereo output. (In defense of Augustine, his recording techniques are so superior that I have not missed the absence of the virtual ranks in his sets.)
As I have expanded my sound system over the years--ongoing even now--what I consistently find is that I increase the realism every time I add additional speaker banks to a division. The basic premise of my system is to build up each division with preamps, amplifiers, outboard reverbs, and speakers just as one would do with wind chests, reservoirs, and pipe ranks in a real organ. When I have played and heard other Hauptwerk installations than my own, the biggest mistake I have repeatedly encountered is the premise that every organ should be recreated "as a whole." In other words, assuming that most organs are installed in one location in a church, the idea is to have all of the divisions--Great, Swell, Choir, Solo, and so on--play through a bunch of speakers placed at the front of the room. Then if there are surround channels, send the diffuse or distant channels to the speakers along the sides of the room, and send the rear channels to speakers in the rear of the room. I suppose if your music room is perfectly rectangular, this seems like the logical choice. However, my experience tells me that it is actually not the best choice, especially if you are lucky enough to have alcoves or whole other rooms coming off of the main space. Let me explain.
In my house, the entire main floor is given over to Hauptwerk. The main floor has a circular floor plan, which is ideal. The console sits on an inside corner of the living room. Three large speakers tower above the console. These typically channel the Great Division of an organ using the "front ranks" of a surround sample set. On the outside wall of the living room about 15 feet behind the organist are mounted 2 Canton bookshelf sized speakers. These reproduce the same front ranks as the 3 large speakers at the console except that those ranks are passed through an outboard reverb unit. This adds a vertical dimension to the sound and allows parameters such as reverberation and delay to be easily adjusted at will. The rear ranks of the Great Division are not sent to these speakers. Instead, they are routed to a different amplifier which feeds another pair of very large speakers mounted on the wall in an adjacent family room. The sound from that room emerges from one doorway into the entry hall of the house and thence into the living room, and from another doorway into the kitchen, then into the dining room, an finally into the living room from the other side. This approach creates a stunningly real surround ambiance. In fact, I typically route ALL the rear ranks--Great, Swell, Choir, etc.--through those large family room speakers. Then I build up each of the other divisions the same was as I did the Great.
For example, along the back or outside wall of the dining room are two discrete banks of speakers for the Swell Division. The first rank carries the "front ranks" of the Swell. The second bank carries the same front ranks but passed through another outboard reverb unit. Why do this rather than send the "rear ranks" or the "diffuse ranks" of the Swell to this second speaker bank? The short answer is because it sounds better in my system to do it the other way. And it gives me the flexibility to tailor the reverberation, color, and delay to my liking. (Since I am using HW4, I do not have the added features of the HW5 mixer to use for this.) There is already a good deal of ambiance and depth coming from all the rear ranks routed to the family room speakers. This allows me to focus on each division individually to further tailor its acoustic. On the far side of the living room are two more banks of speakers used in a similar fashion to set up the Choir or Positiv Division. Of course, a Solo Division could be routed there just as easily, depending on the particular instrument at hand.
The end result of this layout is that listeners hear each division of an organ as spatially discrete, while still blending very well with the others. To me it does not matter if the real instrument is not laid out this way in the church. Hauptwerk actually gives us the ability to reconfigure and revoice almost any organ--so why not make it sound better at home than it does in the church? This is not just a possibility. I have actually done it with one instrument after another. Or at least I can say this: to make an organ sound as good as possible in your home does not necessarily mean trying to duplicate how it sounds in church. Hauptwerk permits an incredible amount of experimentation and creativity in developing your soundscape. One thing I have discovered is that it is far more satisfying to a listener in my house to enjoy sound coming from spatially discrete divisions all over the house than it is to hear everything emerge from one location as at church.
Building a soundscape out division by division, using multiple speaker banks, and taking full advantage of an asymmetrical, multi-room environment are some of the key principles I have discovered in over 10 years of experimentation and system enhancement. I hope this information might prove helpful to some of you. But it does come with a caveat. Once you start down the yellow brick road of experimenting with sound layouts there really is no end to it! Have fun.
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostTue Mar 02, 2021 8:36 am

I was at Jan’s place yesterday and I am very impressed by his setup. The side speakers certainly add to the realism and the result is astonishing!
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostMon Mar 15, 2021 4:48 am

I reported my findings of alternative routing of his 8 channel sets to Jiri.
He added this in his blog with some pics. of my side channel configuration.

https://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/blog/al ... mple-sets/

Jan
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostMon Mar 15, 2021 10:16 am

Hi Jan,

I looked over your pictures and other than my front speakers being larger and spread out a bit further, you literally came up with the exact same arrangement as I did for the side speakers. 8) As you also report, to me it has been well worth the effort to employ the side speakers as it added that extra dimension and height I was after that I felt was missing. Some months of head scratching and then looking at how they arrange speakers in a movie theater is what ultimately gave me the idea to try this side speaker idea.

Glad to hear you like the results!

Marc
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostTue Mar 16, 2021 4:54 am

Sir Kasterling - wow, my imagination is running rampant! I'm afraid in my home, such an organ could stay, but I'd be booted if I attempted to play it. And if I unleashed Piotr's Alessandria Tuba at 100%, the homeowner's association would likely join in the hunt.

A question regarding Augustine's latest sets - I've been using several of his most recent sets, such as Tihany, recorded in 3 stereo pairs: rear (diffuse), middle, and near (direct). Presently I'm just mixing them down to a single stereo pair of monitors (plus sub), and they operate as you described, with each of the three "perspectives" having an in-organ volume slider that sets the corresponding level into the default stereo mix-down. However, each individual speaking rank (stop) has three separate versions, one for each perspective - when building the cache, one can choose to configure for any one of the six possible perspective permutations.

As I'm about to add my first additional pair of speakers, assigning them to present the back/rear surround channels, why wouldn't I just change the mixing in HW to route those explicit rear ranks (Stop1-Rear, Stop2-Rear...) to the back, leaving Near and Mid mixing to my front speakers? And if I later add a third speaker pair for "side-channels", then route Stop1-Mid, Stop2-Mid there, leaving only Stop1-Near, Stop2-Near et al routed to my mains.

Am I missing something? (I often do, I've only just begun to explore HW features beyond the simplest, most basic.)
Cheers, Bob
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostThu Mar 18, 2021 10:07 pm

I'm going to propose a slight change to the 'side speaker' idea / arrangement I've been using now the past couple years and Jan is just now trying. After listening to it for as long as I have now and experimenting with various sets regardless of their number of channels, diffuse available or not, surround, tinkering with volume levels to these speakers, etc., etc., I'm beginning to feel that placing the side speakers directly off to your right and left, even though they are up at ceiling height, they're too close or more so too direct, so I'm going to move them back a ways. I think removing them from their direct line of fire to me as I've found with the rest of my speakers has improved the overall sound in the long run. If you think about it, you usually don't have organ pipes in a church mounted directly in your face or right off your shoulders.

Marc
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostFri Mar 19, 2021 9:15 am

1961TC4ME wrote:I'm going to propose a slight change to the 'side speaker' idea / arrangement I've been using now the past couple years and Jan is just now trying. After listening to it for as long as I have now and experimenting with various sets regardless of their number of channels, diffuse available or not, surround, tinkering with volume levels to these speakers, etc., etc., I'm beginning to feel that placing the side speakers directly off to your right and left, even though they are up at ceiling height, they're too close or more so too direct, so I'm going to move them back a ways. I think removing them from their direct line of fire to me as I've found with the rest of my speakers has improved the overall sound in the long run. If you think about it, you usually don't have organ pipes in a church mounted directly in your face or right off your shoulders.

Marc


Hello Marc.

Besides altering the location of the side channels you might also consider to reverse polarity of these channels.
Al my channels are routed through Reaper so i can use roomcorrection (Dirac multichannel) and digital crossovers for my subwoofers. But in Reaper you can also change polarity of channels with one push of a button. Easy to experiment this way.
For me the best results give when i reverse polarity of the side channels compared to the front/rear channels.
It ads some additional transparency to the overal sound.

Jan
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostFri Mar 19, 2021 1:00 pm

Jan Loosman wrote:Hello Marc.

Besides altering the location of the side channels you might also consider to reverse polarity of these channels.
Al my channels are routed through Reaper so i can use roomcorrection (Dirac multichannel) and digital crossovers for my subwoofers. But in Reaper you can also change polarity of channels with one push of a button. Easy to experiment this way.
For me the best results give when i reverse polarity of the side channels compared to the front/rear channels.
It ads some additional transparency to the overal sound.

Jan


Hello Jan,

Another idea I had was to perhaps even add a second pair of side speakers so then you would have 4 of them and position one pair slightly forward of you and the second pair rearward of you so neither is pointing directly at you and you end up in the middle of them. I do have the facilities to try this so we'll see how much ambition I can muster up this weekend. :lol:

On another note, I recently picked up the Paramount 320 and experimented with it last night and again this morning leaving it dry, no reverb added as I actually like the sound that way for this one. I used the same HW instance I have set up with the speaker / group configuration I use for my wet / surround sets where the side channels are mix down of all. Although this is just a 2 channel set you can get some very pleasing results using this configuration. For this set I like to set it up where I send all the regular pipe ranks to my front 3 channels, any glocks, bells, chimes, piano and percussion, etc., all go to the rear channels which is really neat hearing them come from another location in the room, kind of like you see real theater organs set up, :D and the side channels again pick up all and add that extra space to the overall sound, very nice!

I have another instance where I can route the same but I can also route specific sounds or ranks of the Paramount 320 to the side channels, and with this arrangement it's OK but not near as pleasing overall as using the side speakers as I outline above. I can also turn the side speakers on and off as I play so I can directly hear the difference they make, bottom line it is well worth the effort to add side speakers.

Marc
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostMon Mar 22, 2021 10:21 pm

A question regarding Augustine's latest sets - I've been using several of his most recent sets, such as Tihany, recorded in 3 stereo pairs: rear (diffuse), middle, and near (direct). Presently I'm just mixing them down to a single stereo pair of monitors (plus sub), and they operate as you described, with each of the three "perspectives" having an in-organ volume slider that sets the corresponding level into the default stereo mix-down. However, each individual speaking rank (stop) has three separate versions, one for each perspective - when building the cache, one can choose to configure for any one of the six possible perspective permutations.


Bob, you are quite right and I stand corrected. Many of Augustine's sets do contain three separate versions for each speaking rank. So it is possible in those cases to route the rear, middle, and near versions to different speaker banks. I am not sure how I missed that except that I haven't had time to explore his sets as much as I would like.

I guess I am fortunate that I do not have a homeowner's association to come after me when I draw a big tuba! :wink: My house stands just far enough from the neighbors that I can get away with it. I am glad that my post got your imagination "running rampant." While I am following with interest the ongoing discussion of the use of side speakers in a sound system, to me that is just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, what you can do is limited to some extent by the shape of the room(s) at your disposal for a sound system. Rectangular spaces are extremely limiting. However, even in an almost rectangular basement music room I successfully installed a sound system for a friend where Hauptwerk sends 4 organ divisions to 4 separate speaker banks. This had once been an installation where all 4 divisions were routed through the same speaker banks and that was abominably dull by comparison. The organs came to life when their divisions were spatially separated around the room. The sound will become still more lifelike and dimensional once I finish installing additional banks of smaller speakers effectively doubling all the divisions through adjustable reverberation channels. These extra channels will be able to synthesize reverb in any division or to be fed from surround channels where they are present in the sample set. Why stop at side channels? Why not experiment with creating sound reflections coming from multiple directions in the room just as one would experience in a large reverberant church or cathedral? To this end, the speakers should NOT all be the same in a system. It adds realism to utilize speakers with different response characteristics, provided you know how to choose them. Within a large space such as a cathedral, it is well known that different structural materials will absorb and reflect sound waves differently depending on what they are made of and where the listener is with respect to them. To some extent, utilizing speakers with different response patterns can imitate this effect. I use speakers made by Sansui, Electro-Voice, Rectilinear, Canton, Johannus, Walker Technical, Bose, NEC, Dr. Hsu, Dahlquist, Conn, and Polk Audio in my system.
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostMon Mar 29, 2021 10:16 am

In the event anyone is interested I did some experimenting with my 'side speakers' this weekend. I moved the side speakers which are up near the ceiling and were positioned directly off of my right and left shoulders a bit more rearward, but not by much, maybe about a foot or so but I can report that I already can tell the difference, the outcome is a negative. Now they stick out like a sore thumb and there's no level of volume adjustment that makes things blend and sound good.

So....... it seems placing the side speakers more forward of you and closer to the front speakers seems to be the better bet for maximum realism where they would then blend more with the front speakers, add the height and overall realism.

I'll try that tonight.

UPDATE:

I moved the side speakers forward from where I had them as I outlined above (results not good), and moved them forward about 1 foot from their original position which was directly off my right and left shoulders. So as a reference to where they are now, they now line up with the top manual of my 3 manual console, so they're now forward of me just a bit. Difference? HUGE! Instead of them sticking out like a sore thumb and me being able to clearly hear them more so independently of the front and rear speakers no matter the volume level I used for them, they now blend in and add much realism to the space with the height as well. I even listened to them by themselves and they create somewhat of an illusion where they are now located. By themselves they still almost sound as if they are directly off of my right and left shoulders but no longer have that direct in my ear sound to them now, the sound is not as concentrated to one spot and it's like the fore and aft field on each side opened up. Forward from the seated bench position for side speakers in my case is much better.

Marc
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Re: Why no vertical channels in samplesets?

PostWed Sep 08, 2021 7:21 am

After adding two side/height channels and using this for the most distant front perspectives of the 8 channel sets and playing so for some time now, greatly enjoying this configuration , i began to realize that the real gem of the 8 channel sets is not the variable playing position but it is the additional spatial information hidden in each perspective, recorded at different positions in the church.

The traditional way we use these sets mixing three perspectives through the front channels will hinder this spatial information to express itself correctly in our listening room. Mixing 3 spatial cues through one front channel and expecting that this will give good spatial result.? Mwah I don’t think so.
Also mixing perspectives to mimic a listening position does not sound good for my ears introducing phase problems, deteriorating the sound, not my cup of tea.
Adding a side/height channel for the distant perspectives in my setup was already a great improvement adding height and space to the sound and also improved the articulation of individual pipes in sample sets.
The next logical step was to give all the three front perspectives their own speaker pair. So i added another pair.

My setup.!
My front speakers for the direct /dry perspective are situated at ear height on 11 and 1 o'clock, the diffuse perspective speakers(side front) are located at 10 and 2 o'clock at the side near the ceiling and the distant perspective (side rear) speakers are at 9 and 3 o'clock also near the ceiling and also rear speakers at 7 and 5 o'clock. So the forward backward placement of the speakers resembles the position of the recording mics in the church.

Al the channels are correctly timed and measured using Dirac correction software.

Well!! now playing my organ gives a smile on my face :D By far the best setup for me in all those years i used Hauptwerk.
Freeing the perspectives and let them naturally add to the soundfield of the organ you play adds so much to the articulation of the pipes and the soundfield of the church.
I was never a fan of 8 channel sets but using them this way has made me a fan!!
So free the perspectives and you will be sonically rewarded!

Regards Jan
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