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New Hauptwerk Demo


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Check out this latest Hauptwerk demo, just posted by Brett Milan.

The organ is the 1928 EM Skinner in Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chicago.

 

http://milanaudio.com/HW2/widor-romane-mvt...eencapture.html

 

[if that link doesn't work, try this one

http://www.crumhorn-labs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1080

and go to the post at 0537 on 5 July.]

 

Brett says:

 

"This is not the typical MP3 demo, rather a complete demo of the Skinner console in action playing the Widor Symphonie Romane 1st movement. A video screen capture was taken during playback so you may see how the console looks in motion.

 

In order to keep the high video resolution and high bit rate MP3, the file is rather large at 34 MB, so I would recommend only those with a fast internet connection attempt to download the file. You will need Flash Player installed as well as Active X controls to view the demo.

 

You may need to let it run into the buffer for a little while before starting playback. You may also need to click the Pause button then click Play to get the audio to play properly. Also for best results you can use Full Screen mode in your browser to view the entire console at once. Optimum screen resolution for this video is 1024x768.

 

Please enjoy watching the virtual console in action!"

 

I look forward to your reactions! :D

 

Best wishes,

 

Douglas.

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Guest delvin146
Check out this latest Hauptwerk demo, just posted by Brett Milan.

The organ is the 1928 EM Skinner in Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chicago.

 

http://milanaudio.com/HW2/widor-romane-mvt...eencapture.html

 

[if that link doesn't work, try this one

http://www.crumhorn-labs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1080

and go to the post at 0537 on 5 July.]

 

Brett says:

 

"This is not the typical MP3 demo, rather a complete demo of the Skinner console in action playing the Widor Symphonie Romane 1st movement. A video screen capture was taken during playback so you may see how the console looks in motion.

 

In order to keep the high video resolution and high bit rate MP3, the file is rather large at 34 MB, so I would recommend only those with a fast internet connection attempt to download the file. You will need Flash Player installed as well as Active X controls to view the demo. You may download the file here:

 

You may need to let it run into the buffer for a little while before starting playback. You may also need to click the Pause button then click Play to get the audio to play properly. Also for best results you can use Full Screen mode in your browser to view the entire console at once. Optimum screen resolution for this video is 1024x768.

 

Please enjoy watching the virtual console in action!"

 

I look forward to your reactions!  :D

 

Best wishes,

 

Douglas.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is the Hauptwerk thing all about? What's the point of it? What's it meant to do?

 

Thanks

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Douglas will be able to explain this far better than I can, but for the time being here goes.

 

It's all here: http://www.crumhorn-labs.com.

 

Basically, it's an electronic organ, but with a difference. For a start, instead of having an on-board computer, Hauptwerk uses a high spec PC that is connected to the keyboards via MIDI. Using a PC means that you can download the spec and sampled sounds of a variety of different organs and swap between them at your leisure. Every pipe of every organ is recorded in CD quality sound or better and irregularities of speech are not ironed out. So you can play the Cavaillé-Coll at Aix-en-Provence Cathedral in your living room - and then swap it for the Silbermann at Reihardtsgrimma, or an historic Italian or Spanish instrument, or whatever. MM could have a field day playing Czech and Polish organs. And the results are indistinguishable from listening to a CD of the organ.

 

You could adapt a toaster to use Hauptwerk if it has MIDI ports, but it's not ideal since the specs of the various organs you can download are all different, so you'd be forever relabelling your stop knobs/keys (unless you've a prodigious memory). Hauptwerk operates best through touch screens which display the stop knobs of whatever spec you have loaded. If I were going to go down the Hauptwerk route I'd get a console specially made with large touch screens built in on either side, as in the pics here:

http://www.crumhorn-labs.com/forum/viewtop...5fe0723ff43cc1d

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Guest delvin146
Douglas will be able to explain this far better than I can, but for the time being here goes.

 

It's all here: http://www.crumhorn-labs.com.

 

Basically, it's an electronic organ, but with a difference. For a start, instead of having an on-board computer, Hauptwerk uses a high spec PC that is connected to the keyboards via MIDI. Using a PC means that you can download the spec and sampled sounds of a variety of different organs and swap between them at your leisure. Every pipe of every organ is recorded in CD quality sound or better and irregularities of speech are not ironed out. So you can play the Cavaillé-Coll at Aix-en-Provence Cathedral in your living room - and then swap it for the Silbermann at Reihardtsgrimma, or an historic Italian or Spanish instrument, or whatever. MM could have a field day playing Czech and Polish organs. And the results are indistinguishable from listening to a CD of the organ.

 

You could adapt a toaster to use Hauptwerk if it has MIDI ports, but it's not ideal since the specs of the various organs you can download are all different, so you'd be forever relabelling your stop knobs/keys (unless you've a prodigious memory). Hauptwerk operates best through touch screens which display the stop knobs of whatever spec you have loaded. If I were going to go down the Hauptwerk route I'd get a console specially made with large touch screens built in on either side, as in the pics here:

http://www.crumhorn-labs.com/forum/viewtop...5fe0723ff43cc1d

 

Thanks for that. It does sound like fun for home use I suppose. Perhaps I should rush and buy one and download Worcester before it's too late. Just a bit worried that the diaphones might frighten the cat.

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One thing I've just noticed in the pics of Helmut Maier's console: he definitely needs to rethink his positioning of the swell pedals!

 

Actually the console issue is my one big reservation about Hauptwerk. As anyone with any experience of toasters will know, it's essential to get the ergonomics right. If it doesn't feel and behave like a proper pipe organ console you're certainly going to regret it. The positioning of swell pedals, thumb and toe pistons, quality of keyboards: these are all things that it is vital to get right - and they are so often wrong.

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Guest delvin146
One thing I've just noticed in the pics of Helmut Maier's console: he definitely needs to rethink his positioning of the swell pedals!

 

Actually the console issue is my one big reservation about Hauptwerk. As anyone with any experience of toasters will know, it's essential to get the ergonomics right. If it doesn't feel and behave like a proper pipe organ console you're certainly going to regret it. The positioning of swell pedals, thumb and toe pistons, quality of keyboards: these are all things that it is vital to get right - and they are so often wrong.

 

I couldn't see any prices on their site. So how much for the "kit", console, and pc plus speakers and internet access?

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Firstly, thanks to Vox Humana for his thorough and virtually accurate description of Hauptwerk. My only quibble would be his describing it as "an electronic organ, but with a difference": it isn't - you are playing (albeit via a computer and MIDI keyboard) a pipe organ.

 

I couldn't see any prices on their site. So how much for the "kit", console, and pc plus speakers and internet access?

 

1. For the Hauptwerk software: £295 for the "full" version and £125 for the "lite" version with fewer bells and whistles. See the "Shop" page of the Crumhorn Labs website:

http://www.crumhorn-labs.com/cgi-bin/shop/ccp51/cp-app.cgi

 

2. For the sample sets: depends how many and which organs you want to play. You get a 1907 IIP 30-stop Brindley & Foster free with Hauptwerk (very realistic console graphics and sounds: you hear the blower motor start up when you load the organ, and hear the thud of the stopknobs when pistons are pressed). Other than that, there are a couple of free sets for download, but the best will cost you: e.g. €695 for the Aix Cathedral Ducroquet-Cavaille-Coll; US$469 for the Chicago EM Skinner (new version release imminent); $210 for the Virginia Theatre Wurlitzer; a choice of Silbermanns from $220/€395; etc, etc.

 

3. For a suitable computer: how long is a piece of string? Are you content to play only small organs, or do you want the biggest and best? Look at the pages "Computer Specs" and "Prerequisites". HW is optimised for dual-core (preferably AMD) processors and is very RAM-hungry. One of the UK's best and most experienced digital organ builders is offering to supply computers to Hauptwerk's recommended specifications. Contact Hugh Banton: hb@soundproof.co.uk.

 

4. Internet connection not essential, though support on the Hauptwerk Forum by its inventor, Martin Dyde, is second to none (response time usually measured in minutes!).

 

5. For the "kit": you can either:

a. As Vox Humana suggested, use any MIDI-compatible organ console; at the very least, the manual & pedal keyboards will work. Depending on age of console and type of MIDI messages sent, the stops, pistons and swell pedals may or may not work. (If they ARE compatible, HW is designed to drive them, and vice versa.)

b. Buy a specially-designed console or "Hauptwerk-Block". Prices vary enormously. Those of Helmut Maier start from about €40,000, but are custom-built by a pipe-organ builder to client's specification.

http://www.thevirtualpipeorgan.com/

Classic Organ Works in Ontario, Canada, are considerably cheaper, but shipping costs and import duties may be a problem.

http://www.organworks.com/Web/home/index.asp

Hoffrichter in Germany is working on a range of new products (mobile as well as static solutions - put a cathedral organ in the boot of your car!) specially designed for use with Hauptwerk at very reasonable prices (starting around £4,000), though there has been concern about delivery times. I must declare an interest here.

http://www.hoffrichter-organs.co.uk/

 

6. Amplifier + speakers: as much as you want to spend. Good quality studio-monitor headphones are also recommended as an alternative.

 

7. If you're playing dry (as opposed to "wet") samples, you'll also need some sort of reverb unit.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Regards,

 

Douglas.

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Firstly, thanks to Vox Humana for his thorough and virtually accurate description of Hauptwerk. My only quibble would be his describing it as "an electronic organ, but with a difference": it isn't - you are playing (albeit via a computer and MIDI keyboard) a pipe organ.

 

6. Amplifier + speakers: as much as you want to spend. Good quality studio-monitor headphones are also recommended as an alternative

No, you're not playing a pipe organ because the item has no pipes. It just has electronically recorded samples of pipes, reproduced through an amplifier and speakers. You say as much in your note. Therefore "electronic" is closer to the truth than "pipes". It is a simulation or electronic reproduction of a pipe organ.

 

However, it's all clever stuff and I think the efforts and aims of Professor Maier & Co. laudable. I would certainly enjoy having an electronic organ that can simulate certain specific organs in my home through headphones.

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No, you're not playing a pipe organ because the item has no pipes. It just has electronically recorded samples of pipes, reproduced through an amplifier and speakers. You say as much in your note. Therefore "electronic" is closer to the truth than "pipes". It is a simulation or electronic reproduction of a pipe organ.

 

Good morning.

 

Colin has a fair point and I stand corrected.

 

What I meant to imply was that this is not what we would normally call an "electronic organ".

 

Hauptwerk is (as they say in Texas) "a whole 'nuther ball game".

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Good morning.

 

Colin has a fair point and I stand corrected.

 

What I meant to imply was that this is not what we would normally call an "electronic organ".

 

Hauptwerk is (as they say in Texas) "a whole 'nuther ball game".

 

I'm sorry, Hauptwerk is an electronic organ like any other digitally sampled organ that combines the sounds and amplifies them to a loudspeaker system. That is where the shortcomings appear, not in the recorded samples, some of which are very attractive and authentic.

 

Now if every sample had its own amplifier and loudspeaker, then we might be talking about another ball game, but it is exaggeration to claim that Hauptwerk is capable of reproducing organ sounds significantly better than other professional electronic instruments.

 

As I have written before, let's not forget that it is the music that matters most.

 

JC

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I'm sorry, Hauptwerk is an electronic organ like any other digitally sampled organ that combines the sounds and amplifies them to a loudspeaker system.  That is where the shortcomings appear, not in the recorded samples, some of which are very attractive and authentic.        

 

Now if every sample had its own amplifier and loudspeaker, then we might be talking about another ball game, but it is exaggeration to claim that Hauptwerk is capable of reproducing organ sounds significantly better than other professional electronic instruments.

 

As I have written before, let's not forget that it is the music that matters most.

 

JC

 

Hallo, John,

 

If you were listening to a CD recording of an organ, you wouldn't expect every pipe to have its own amplifier and speaker. HW simply reproduces a CD-quality recording of every pipe (with the acoustic of the building). The acid test would be to compare recordings of the actual organs with recordings of their HW samples (same player, same piece, same registration). In theory there should be no audible difference.

 

Have you seen/heard the demo clip refered to in yesterday's post?

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Hallo, John,

 

If you were listening to a CD recording of an organ, you wouldn't expect every pipe to have its own amplifier and speaker. HW simply reproduces a CD-quality recording of every pipe (with the acoustic of the building). The acid test would be to compare recordings of the actual organs with recordings of their HW samples (same player, same piece, same registration). In theory there should be no audible difference.

 

Have you seen/heard the demo clip refered to in yesterday's post?

 

Yes DHM,

 

I listened to the demo and it is excellent - CD quality. I think that says it all. If I have a string quartet playing in my living room and they stop and put on a CD instead, I can hear the difference from anywhere in the house.

 

I'm not questioning the quality of Hauptwerk or the fine engineering and artistry behind the demo, but I suspect that the total cost of Brett Milan's demo system is not far short of a top of the range purpose built electronic organ and that both are capable of making fine music. However, both remain electronic organs.

 

JC

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it is exaggeration to claim that Hauptwerk is capable of reproducing organ sounds significantly better than other professional electronic instruments.
Have you heard Hauptwerk live, John? Personally I thought the St Anne's, Moseley, samples far better than any digital organ I have yet heard. I wasn't so impressed with the Skinner, but I've only heard the Hauptwerk 1 version of that (and still haven't got around yet to listening to the link Douglas posted).
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Have you heard Hauptwerk live, John? Personally I thought the St Anne's, Moseley, samples far better than any digital organ I have yet heard. I wasn't so impressed with the Skinner, but I've only heard the Hauptwerk 1 version of that (and still haven't got around yet to listening to the link Douglas posted).

 

I admit I have only heard recordings produced using Hauptwerk and some, not all of them, are very good. However I am always wary of a sales pitch that claims this is the next best thing to a pipe organ - it isn't. Nor am I sure that I want all the blower noise, action noise and wind fluctuation just to make it sound more "authentic". The technology is in danger of becoming more important than the music.

 

JC

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From what I've heard I have to say that I think Hauptwerk is the next best thing to a pipe organ - though that doesn't at all mean that it's anywhere near as good as one. Yes, the sound of St Anne's bellows clunking and the wind filling it did make me laugh out loud. Also, I thought the thud of the stop kobs every time I touched the touch-screen was a bit naff. Not enough to get upset about though.

 

I've not heard it, but one of the specs available is the Trost organ at Altenburg Castle (on the related programme called Oberwerk, I think - Douglas, correct me if I'm wrong), faithfully recorded in its somewhat uneven present state. Personally, I'd much rather have it as Krebs would have preferred to hear it.

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From what I've heard I have to say that I think Hauptwerk is the next best thing to a pipe organ - though that doesn't at all mean that it's anywhere near as good as one. Yes, the sound of St Anne's bellows clunking and the wind filling it did make me laugh out loud. Also, I thought the thud of the stop kobs every time I touched the touch-screen was a bit naff. Not enough to get upset about though.

 

I've not heard it, but one of the specs available is the Trost organ at Altenburg Castle (on the related programme called Oberwerk, I think - Douglas, correct me if I'm wrong), faithfully recorded in its somewhat uneven present state. Personally, I'd much rather have it as Krebs would have preferred to hear it.

 

Sorry, Vox Humana, you're getting a little confused with Oberwerk and Altenburg.

 

Oberwerk is another programme which works alongside HW and allows you to make up your own organ(s) from the library of 155 stops that comes with it (simply drag 'n' drop stops into whichever manual (or pedal) department you want).

 

The Trost organ at Altenburg Castle is one of the organs that Manfred Hoffrichter has sampled for his new "Markus-Series" organs, using his own system which is similar to HW but not identical (MH would swear it was better!).

 

Hope this helps.

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