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Hauptwerk and MIDI questions


John Robinson
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A friend of ours is thinking about buying a Yamaha CP88 with a view to him 'relearning the piano'.  He is also interested in possibly looking at learning to play the pipe organ.
I see that the unit he is thinking about includes MIDI in and out, and I am wondering whether I should mention Hauptwerk as a possible add-on.
I know little about Hauptwerk other than the fact that some organists use it in their homes as a practice instrument.
I assume that it is a matter of buying a 'box' of some sort and that this can be connected, via MIDI, to any electric keyboard.  Is this true?  Assuming this is a viable option, can anyone offer any further advice, please?
Of course, there are limitations: a single 88 note keyboard, no pedal board, no swell pedal, etc.

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The piano itself will probably have some organ sounds, but they might not be very convincing. In my experience presets labelled something like “chapel organ” sound better than anything labelled “pipe organ”, as they’re usually based on just a diapason or a flute stop, whereas other sounds try to imitate a full organ and don’t do a very good job. It should be possible to attach an expression pedal to one of the pedal inputs of the piano. The Yamaha FC7 looks to fit the bill, but a third party one should also work. You could also add a midi pedal board to the MIDI in (or midify a discarded pedal board if he’s up for a bit of DIY and basic electronics)

All this could be done without the need for Hauptwerk.
But you could use it for Hauptwerk very easily too. (I don’t have any first hand experience due to not having a computer that would be up to it, though that will change when I upgrade my computer next month and I plan to put my old machine into use for HW) I don’t think the CP88 has a MIDI through port, which would be useful if you wanted to connect a second keyboard or a pedalboard, but not essential, you’d just need to make sure the midi interface used to connect to the computer had enough inputs for everything you wanted to connect. Also, with Hauptwerk a second keyboard wouldn’t be essential, as with 88 notes you could map different regions of the keyboard to different divisions of the organ. 

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Thank you David.  That is very helpful.

Only MIDI in and out, no through I'm afraid, but the encouraging thing is that Hauptwerk appears to be usable.  Pedal board and swell pedal might come later.

I'll pass on the information.  Thanks again.

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6 hours ago, SlowOrg said:

There are also cheaper, similar options which I would consider, especially if I didn't have a proper organ console. First there is Organteq, but of course one shouldn't forget about GrandOrgue which is totally free! I would probably try one of these first.

M

Thank you SlowOrg.
Can I assume that these (once uploaded on to a computer) can be used with any keyboard having a MIDI function?

I'll pass these suggestions on.

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On 31/12/2020 at 15:16, SlowOrg said:

There are also cheaper, similar options which I would consider, especially if I didn't have a proper organ console. First there is Organteq.

I bought Organteq as a sort-of tax-deductible Xmas present for myself. I love the idea of it and even through computer speakers the sounds are hugely better than the organ sounds that come “built-in” with computer software such as Sibelius and LogicPro. I have a MIDI keyboard so can play Organteq with that but I must say I’m finding controlling the stops etc. cumbersome and storing the registrations in a MIDI file or Logic track beyond me so far. I’m not expecting any help from this forum but just wanted to share my frustration!

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On 31/12/2020 at 23:10, John Robinson said:

Thank you SlowOrg.
Can I assume that these (once uploaded on to a computer) can be used with any keyboard having a MIDI function?

I'll pass these suggestions on.

I’ve been using both on my Yamaha Clavinova and on a Viscount at school, so I’m pretty sure that they would work all rigth, as long as one is able to connect their MIDI keyboard to a computer.

M

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The"box" is at its simplest merely a MIDI to USB converter cable such as Roland/Edirol UM1 costing around £20. A cheap laptop should allow you to play Grand Orgue or j-organ freeware or Hauptwerk if you want to pay for better sound. Plug keyboard into laptop via MIDI to USB adaptor, configure the software and away you go. For a multikeyboard professional setup you would want something fancier though.

I once literally had to do it on the fly when our church's electronic organ conked out in the afternoon of the Nine Lessons and Carols, installing HW onto a spare laptop and plugging the church's sound system into the laptop headphone socket.. Everyone comnented on how much better the organ sounded tgan usual!

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I would respectfully disagree with the notion that HW has "better sound" than the (free) GrandOrgue.

I've tried both, with the same sample sets, and to my ears there is no difference. 

They are each, after all, little more than massively parallel audio file players.

The perceived SQ is much more a function of the sample set chosen, and some of the best sounding - and also the associated free demos - work with either player. 

 

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On 09/01/2021 at 22:07, Contrabombarde said:

The"box" is at its simplest merely a MIDI to USB converter cable such as Roland/Edirol UM1 costing around £20. A cheap laptop should allow you to play Grand Orgue or j-organ freeware or Hauptwerk if you want to pay for better sound. Plug keyboard into laptop via MIDI to USB adaptor, configure the software and away you go. For a multikeyboard professional setup you would want something fancier though.

I once literally had to do it on the fly when our church's electronic organ conked out in the afternoon of the Nine Lessons and Carols, installing HW onto a spare laptop and plugging the church's sound system into the laptop headphone socket.. Everyone commented on how much better the organ sounded tgan usual!

That reminds me of the lady sitting next to me at the first recital on the new Manchester Cathedral organ, who asked me where the speakers were.

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On 09/01/2021 at 22:07, Contrabombarde said:

I once literally had to do it on the fly when our church's electronic organ conked out in the afternoon of the Nine Lessons and Carols, installing HW onto a spare laptop and plugging the church's sound system into the laptop headphone socket.. Everyone comnented on how much better the organ sounded tgan usual!

 

8 hours ago, John Robinson said:

That reminds me of the lady sitting next to me at the first recital on the new Manchester Cathedral organ, who asked me where the speakers were.

It reminds me of the time one of our local Methodist churches was having a make-over. The builders advised ditching the speakers of the antiquated II/P Allen boopbox, assuring one of the stewards that the church's sound system could cope with the organ perfectly well.  Needless to say the steward didn't seek the organist's advice, but agreed on the spot. The church has been regretting it ever since. (I appreciate that Contrebombarde's situation was an emergency.)

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15 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

 

It reminds me of the time one of our local Methodist churches was having a make-over. The builders advised ditching the speakers of the antiquated II/P Allen boopbox, assuring one of the stewards that the church's sound system could cope with the organ perfectly well.  Needless to say the steward didn't seek the organist's advice, but agreed on the spot. The church has been regretting it ever since. (I appreciate that Contrebombarde's situation was an emergency.)

Yes.  Two completely different types of speaker system of course.

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