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It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?



I know I'm going to act as the devil's lawyer, but this is my reflection. After many years playing on sampled organs and with sound modules as Viscount, Content, Yamaha sampler and the latest synthesis by physical modeling, I decided to install Hauptwerk, expand the RAM and buy an 8-channel MOTU sound module, as you can see in my account picture. I've been downloading organ samples for about three months and I've already tried about 30 from different suppliers; some wet, others SR with 4 or 6 channels with all possible options. I have a system based on a Viscount console with 3 keyboards, 2 good front speakers, 2 rear speakers and the Viscount woofer. I have reduced the latency to about 11 ms. I can select from three different reverb options; Viscount, MOTU or Hauptwerk.
Some sampled organs have great quality and versatility; Rotterdam, Goertliz, Salisbury, Armley, St. Omer and others. But none of them has just convinced to me, as well as the price or resources needed in the PC.
Today I have played my Viscount again and I have realized what the reason is. I do not have to turn on the PC and wait to play, the latency is 0, all the notes of a stop are perfectly balanced in timbre and attack, there are no noises, you can adjust the reverb as you want, you can control it directly without touch screens.
Certainly, I am used to the perfect sound of a sampled organ, and the artisanal sound of a real organ is no perfect to my ears now. The same thing happened to me when I was studing Organ in the conservatory; hard and irregular keyboards and pedal, irregular registers in timbre and level, unequal attacks, compressor, bellows and transmission noises, detuning and inadequate reverberation.
I´m sorry but, I think I will not buy any organ for Hauptwerk, to study at home I prefer my Viscount.
by biogon
Dec 31, 2017 01:45 PM

Replies (12)

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

It took a great deal of courage to post your feelings in this forum. I admire you for that.

Follow your ears, even if it is not in synchrony with other people who have opinions different from yours.

Bravo to you, Sir!

Cheers,

Joe

by jcfelice88keys
Dec 31, 2017 06:50 PM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

I will second that opinion.
In the end, it is all about your ears and whatever may suit them best.
I wish all of Contrebombarde and the whole organ community a happy 2018.

Best wishes and regards

Thimae

by Thimae
Dec 31, 2017 10:30 PM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

If you have latency issues, you may wish to try other midi input devices. I had a similar problem with latency that went away when I switched to a motu firewire interface.

by marc
Jan 2, 2018 11:05 AM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

In the beginning I had latency problems becasue I was un-aware that I needed the Asio driver. Later I got my Roland OctaCapture, which has its own Asio driver and my latency is now 10 ms, which is good enough for me.

by FredM
Jan 3, 2018 05:33 PM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

This just goes to show that whether you like a Hauptwerk sample set, or prefer an electronic organ, or insist only on playing real pipe organs, or even detest organ music altogether is simply a matter of personal choice. When you spend long hours every day practising on an instrument, it is vitally important that you have an instrument and a sound that you are comfortable with.

For my part I cannot imagine returning to using a traditional electronic organ. The greatest problem for me was always with the reed stops which sound nothing like the real thing. Playing 17th and 18th century French organ music (e.g. Daquin, Balbastre, Dandrieu) on OAM’s Ebersmünster organ is for me utterly thrilling, as is Widor’s Toccata on MDA’s Notre Dame de Metz.

I use an Apple iMac with Hauptwerk and have not experienced problems with latency. I am always happy to have a short break from practising in the time it takes to load a different sample set.

by Schalmey
Jan 5, 2018 02:52 AM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

Schalmey wrote:

This just goes to show that whether you like a Hauptwerk sample set, or prefer an electronic organ, or insist only on playing real pipe organs, or even detest organ music altogether is simply a matter of personal choice. When you spend long hours every day practising on an instrument, it is vitally important that you have an instrument and a sound that you are comfortable with.

For my part I cannot imagine returning to using a traditional electronic organ. The greatest problem for me was always with the reed stops which sound nothing like the real thing. Playing 17th and 18th century French organ music (e.g. Daquin, Balbastre, Dandrieu) on OAM’s Ebersmünster organ is for me utterly thrilling, as is Widor’s Toccata on MDA’s Notre Dame de Metz.

I use an Apple iMac with Hauptwerk and have not experienced problems with latency. I am always happy to have a short break from practising in the time it takes to load a different sample set.

I think it is important to use your own experience in different types of instruments. The current digital electronic organs with sampled sounds or synthesis by physical modeling are far from those of the 60s-90s. The improved processors speed and the reduction in the cost of memory, as well as the convolution reverberation, have greatly improved its quality. I also use good front and rear external speakers. If one of these current organs has not been played, the comparison with HW is not valid.
Those who already had one of these organs, as me, has been very simple the Midi adaptation to the PC Hauptwerk. And obviously the comparison is easy. With Hawptwerk you depend on the PC limitations; start and load time, latency (never zero), virtual control and noise mainly, but you have the possibility to play a lot of virtual organs with longer loops to collect the real reverb, and the timbre of some stops can win in realism, all for a few hundred euros per set.
 
I have currently achieved with my Viscount and sound modules like the CM-100 enough quality to not have to connect the PC every time I want to study at the Organ, but I had to spend more than 2000€ expanding the PC memory, MOTU sound module, Android tablet and HW program to try all the possibilities. But yes, sometimes I will use HW to amortize the expense.

However, if you do not have a digital organ, using your PC and adding a pair of MIDI keyboards and a pedal you can use HW and play Organ at home for not much money.

This is my experience.

by biogon
Jan 6, 2018 07:41 PM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

Looking at the picture of your console, I'd suggest you could try to optimize your speaker setup quite a bit, although I don't see the full picture of your listening room.

* Use identical speakers (at least per pair)
* Symmetrical placement of each speaker pair. Both speakers at an equal-sided triangle with your listening position.
* Tweeters pointed at your ears
* 1m distance between speakers and you
* at ear height
* No objects between you and the speaker
* Equal distance from sidewalls, if possible.

This should give huge improvements which may increase your pleasure of playing Hauptwerk significantly.

Next step would be to apply some room correction software to make the frequency response more balanced (eliminating boomy bass notes etc).

by Josq
Jan 13, 2018 09:13 AM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

Josq wrote:

Looking at the picture of your console, I'd suggest you could try to optimize your speaker setup quite a bit, although I don't see the full picture of your listening room.

* Use identical speakers (at least per pair)
* Symmetrical placement of each speaker pair. Both speakers at an equal-sided triangle with your listening position.
* Tweeters pointed at your ears
* 1m distance between speakers and you
* at ear height
* No objects between you and the speaker
* Equal distance from sidewalls, if possible.

This should give huge improvements which may increase your pleasure of playing Hauptwerk significantly.

Next step would be to apply some room correction software to make the frequency response more balanced (eliminating boomy bass notes etc).

Hello Josq, do not be fooled by the image. I have two Kef front speakers 1,5 meter from my head, and two Bose rear at 4 meters, plus the Viscount console subwoofer. The speaker that appears on the right in the photo is the left speaker of the PC, which I do not use for the Organ. Let's see if I upload any more pictures.
Thanks for your suggestions.

by biogon
Jan 14, 2018 05:40 AM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

biogon wrote:


I know I'm going to act as the devil's lawyer, but this is my reflection. After many years playing on sampled organs and with sound modules as Viscount, Content, Yamaha sampler and the latest synthesis by physical modeling, I decided to install Hauptwerk, expand the RAM and buy an 8-channel MOTU sound module, as you can see in my account picture. I've been downloading organ samples for about three months and I've already tried about 30 from different suppliers; some wet, others SR with 4 or 6 channels with all possible options. I have a system based on a Viscount console with 3 keyboards, 2 good front speakers, 2 rear speakers and the Viscount woofer. I have reduced the latency to about 11 ms. I can select from three different reverb options; Viscount, MOTU or Hauptwerk.
Some sampled organs have great quality and versatility; Rotterdam, Goertliz, Salisbury, Armley, St. Omer and others. But none of them has just convinced to me, as well as the price or resources needed in the PC.
Today I have played my Viscount again and I have realized what the reason is. I do not have to turn on the PC and wait to play, the latency is 0, all the notes of a stop are perfectly balanced in timbre and attack, there are no noises, you can adjust the reverb as you want, you can control it directly without touch screens.
Certainly, I am used to the perfect sound of a sampled organ, and the artisanal sound of a real organ is no perfect to my ears now. The same thing happened to me when I was studing Organ in the conservatory; hard and irregular keyboards and pedal, irregular registers in timbre and level, unequal attacks, compressor, bellows and transmission noises, detuning and inadequate reverberation.
I´m sorry but, I think I will not buy any organ for Hauptwerk, to study at home I prefer my Viscount.

Yes, to each his own, but I couldn't disagree more about the irregularities you speak about. Some irregularity in pipe speech is what makes an instrument more human and less robotic, less artificial sounding. An instrument can be too perfect and therefore sound sterile, non-human-like. Some irregularities in the wind is also more human as nobody speaks in a robotic monotone voice.
This kind of monotony you will find in digital organs.

Also, digital organs do not offer you baroque organs of France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, or differently styled C-Coll organs, etc., etc. And they do not provide the same educational benefits either. Last December I was in Spain and played a C-Coll organ and I was immediately familiar with the organ, thanks to having played C-Coll Hauptwerk sample sets. That familiarity would never have come from a standardized digital organ. And what about live recorded Tremulants in HW samples?

I don't think you will ever get the sounds from organs Frechilla, St. Thierache, Santanyi, Izola, Lipiny, and too man hy to name here, on a digital organ.

But I'm afraid you are not a member of the choir I'm preaching to.


by adri
Mar 11, 2018 01:59 AM

RE: It may disappoint the sound of a real organ?

I do not know all these virtual organs that we talk about .... Just Hauptwerk which is a very good tool to discover organs that we would not have the chance to play otherwise .... Hauptwerk is like a flight simulator (as contrebombarde is the facebook of the organ ... meetings and virtuality) .... it's good, but it has its limits ... nothing beats the reality: organ even imperfect but real (with its smells of wood and old leather, the staircase of the platform that is mounted, the cold in the church ... feeling surrounded by the instrument ....), real relationships with people in the church or the outcome of the concerts ... Hauptwerk and contrebombarde are for me just a very precious preamble. There are many talents, it's still good!

by Phoenix
Mar 21, 2018 02:15 AM

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