The Hymnal Plus is equipped with an internal stereo speaker system with an output of around 10 watts per channel. This is typically similar to that of a small portable CD player or radio, so there is normally sufficient volume for use with a small group of people in a small room. For all other situations external amplification will be required.
The Hymnal Plus is equipped with stereo line level audio outputs, by means of a pair of standard 1/4" mono jacks. It can be connected to any system with a suitable audio input (the stereo outputs of the Hymnal Plus can be combined together for use with mono sound systems).
The quality of the results you get will depend on whether your sound system was designed to reproduce music as well as speech. Many church sound systems utilise multiple small speakers, primarily designed for speech reinforcement, and are not suitable for high quality music reproduction.
There is nothing to stop you, but this would be a bad idea for those wearing hearing aids. A pipe or electronic organ, piano or worship band is not commonly connected to the loop system because the output level would usually be uncomfortably high. However, it is often possible to leave a microphone switched on in order to allow a small amount of sound into the loop amplifier.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, we presume that the user has no musical knowledge, so metronome beats per minute (bpm) settings probably mean nothing (although the Hymnal Plus' play screen does show the current bpm). Changing the speed by 10 or 20% is likely to mean more to most people.
Secondly, the Hymnal Plus also plays standard midi files via its compact flash memory card. A midi file may contain speed changes at various points, and these changes are stored as absolute rather than relative values (rather daft, but there it is). Consequently a speed change to 90bpm will always be just that when the midi file is played on an ordinary midi file player, regardless of the initial speed selected for the tune. In reality, if the tune is played (for instance) 15% faster, then any speed changes should be affected similarly. The Hymnal Plus treats all speed changes as relative, thereby producing a more musical result.
A fully charged battery pack (HT-B3000) will typically power the Hymnal Plus for around 3 hours of playing time at half volume. The actual time achieved will depend on volume settings and whether the internal speakers are turned on (the battery pack will last longer if they are turned off).
The standard infra-red remote control handset works in exactly the same way as those typically supplied with a television. With fresh batteries and no interference from fluorescent light or very bright daylight range will be up to a maximum of about 30 feet.
As well as any of your own MIDI and MP3 files (and text files if the Video Output option is installed), the memory card stores any settings you enter into the Hymnal Plus - play lists, user styles, options settings (volume, EQ etc) and default style.
In normal usage (playing its internal tunes and your own MIDI files) the Hymnal Plus' standard memory card will prove more than sufficient. However, if you want to store a large number of MP3 files you may need a bigger capacity card. Compatible cards are available from Hymn Technology Ltd (or your regional distributor), correctly pre-formatted for use with the Hymnal Plus.
Some generic compact flash cards are NOT compatible with the Hymnal Plus and could possibly cause a malfunction.
Firstly, contact us. The vast majority of reported faults are actually an operational misunderstanding and can be resolved immediately.
If there is a fault, then the unit has to be returned to either our service centre or the service centre of the regional distributor, as applicable. We understand that many of our customers rely exclusively on their Hymnal Plus for every service, so we aim to turn round all repairs in 24 hours or less.
The Hymnal Plus uses the latest solid-state digital technology. Unlike a computer, midi file player or CD player there are very few mechanical components to wear out. The Hymnal Plus has been tested without failure over many thousands of hours.
Ease of use is the very foundation of the Hymnal Plus. The LCD touch screen interface guides you through each task (selecting and playing a tune, changing the musical style, creating a play list etc), so you only see buttons directly related to the task in hand.
As human beings, we remember names far more easily than numbers. Hence the screen displays the first line and tune name/title of each tune as you select it (so you can easily check that you entered the correct hymn number), all the preset musical styles have names, and you can even give your play lists memorable names
Yes. When you select a tune it will be recalled at its usual pitch and at about the right speed (congregations vary, so there is no definitive speed for a tune!). Both of these settings can be changed easily using simple +and - buttons. Unlike ordinary analog/digital audio recordings, the speed and pitch settings are quite independent of each other.
There are three main perfromance additions you can select, all right there on the play screen:
Introduction. Add an introduction before the start of the tune. With a short tune, many of our customers prefer to play through an entire extra verse as the introduction instead. It's so easy to change the number of verses, why not?
Rit (ritardando). Sounds technical, but just makes the music slow down during the last line of the final verse.
Amen. Adds a simple plagal amen after the end of the final verse.
Each of these features is simple to control. Press the relevant button to turn it on (the button shows a tick). Press it again to turn it off (the button shows a cross).
Yes. This is done using the Play List feature. You can store as many tunes as you like in a Play List, personalising the settings for each tune (number of verses, style etc) as you go. When you have finished, give the Play List a name (maybe the date of the service). Then create more Play Lists for other services - you can store as many Play Lists as you want.
We have customers who retain all their Play Lists, effectively cataloguing their music use ever since purchase.
Purchase repertoire upgrades from Hymn Technology. We offer an ever-expanding range of upgrades and are constantly reviewing demand as new hymn books come onto the market. You can even purchase indvidual tunes. Our current database weighs in at over 9000 tunes ... and growing.
We offer a bespoke recording service (subject to copyright permissions being obtained as applicable). This comes in useful for everything from music that has been out of print for years to unpublished tunes written by local musicians (full written music required).
You can use your own midi and mp3 files, via the Hymnal Plus' compact flash memory card. These files can be included in your play lists.
You will need a PC equipped with an internet connection and a compact flash card reader. If your PC does not have a card reader, they can be purchased quite cheaply from most PC hardware stores. They usually plug into the PC via a USB connection.
Repertoire Upgrades. All extra repertoire purchases from Hymn Technology Ltd are sent to you by email as a set of upgrade files, all contained in one compressed zip file. Remove the memory card from the Hymnal Plus and plug it into your PC's card reader. Unzip the upgrade files onto the memory card and then insert the card back into the Hymnal Plus. When you power up the Hymnal Plus a message will appear on-screen asking whether you wish to install the upgrade. Press the OK key. The Hymnal Plus will install the upgrade and then start up normally. Finally, power down, put the memory card back into the PC card reader, delete the UPDATE folder from the card and then re-insert the card back into the Hymnal Plus.
MIDI and MP3 files. (This information also applies to text files if the Video Output option is installed.) These files are stored on the Hymnal Plus' memory card. Remove the card from the Hymnal Plus and plug it into your PC's card reader. Empty folders labelled MIDI and MP3 are added to the memory card during production, but you can create as many new folders as you like (using the PC) in order to categorise your MIDI and MP3 files. Copy your files into the relevant folder on the memory card. Re-insert the card into the HT-300. The MIDI and MP3 files are now available to play, using the Hymnal Plus' USER FILE key.
No. We did look into this but, although technically possible, it would make the setting up of a Play List far too complex. However, style changes from verse to verse (perhaps changing from one pipe organ preset to another) can be easily accomplished during live performance, either on-screen or using the remote control handset.
The easiest way is to find a preset style with one or more elements that you will want in your new style (e.g. if you will want a piano, start with the Acoustic Piano preset style). Then press the NEW key and change the style to your liking. Don't worry - you cannot mess up any of the preset styles! Once you are happy with your new style, save it and give it a recognisable name.
“We have been very impressed with the sound of the Hymnal Plus.” St John's Anglican Catholic Church, Somersworth, NH
“It is wonderful.” St Mary’s Church, Hamilton, TX
“Hymnal Plus has been a magnificent addition to our worship service when a musician is not available. The quality of the sound, multiple voicing and editing features are a joy! Hymnal Plus is an exceptional solution for our lack of musicians. We would highly recommend this product.” Frontier UMC, Frontier, Michigan
"I have been using the Hymnal Plus with great success." Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, Los Angeles, CA
"We had our first Worship Service with the HT-300 Hymnal Plus and the congregation couldn't get over the quality of sound. They said it sounded like someone was playing our piano and they are excited and pleased that we purchased it." Harless Memorial UMC, Denison, TX
"... everyone is hugely impressed with its seamless operation during services and the quality of the sound we get." St Michael's Church, Tintern
"After 5 years, we continue to be very happy with the Hymnal Plus and heartily recommend it." Gamlingay Baptist Church, Sandy, Beds
"We have had our Hymnal Plus for 4 years and it is, without a doubt, the best piece of equipment we have ever bought." Peterhead Congregational Church, Scotland
"Our minister heard it for the first time today, and was blown away by the sound quality." St Andrew's United Reformed Church, Balham, London
"Thank you very much for your product, which we enjoy very much." St Fremund's Church, Dunstable, Beds
"Just had our first service with our new [HT-300] Hymnal. Made the church sound like Canterbury cathedral!" St Martin's Church, Wootton, Kent
"... yesterday went very well indeed. People were most impressed (and in many cases, thought the Hymnal sounded better than the real thing!)" St Edward The Confessor, Burgess Hill, West Sussex
"The reproduction is certainly impressive." Thaxted United Reformed Church, Essex
"This evening I have been teaching several members to use the HT-300 and they were all impressed at how easy it was, plus the quality of the sound." Brentwood Methodist Church, Essex
"What an improvement over the [Gulbransen] DH100! Very impressive." Our Lady & St Kenelm, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham
"We are very pleased with our Hymnal Plus. Many times visitors have looked to see who is playing the organ and wondered why they cannot see them!" All Hallows Church, Ringmore
"Used it this morning. Fantastic! Everybody very happy." St Andrew's United Reformed Church, Balham, London
"It's as easy as it is powerful. It only took me 20 minutes to learn how to use it." St Michael's Church, Partridge Green, West Sussex, UK
"[Since introducing the HT-300] The services have become more lively as I am able to introduce at least one new song every Sunday." St Stephen's Cathedral, Nairobi, Kenya
"We have used it already for a small meeting with the inbuilt speakers and love it. Well done!" Flackwell Heath Methodist Church, Bucks
"We went live with the HT-300 on Sunday and it was a stupendous success. It's a brilliant piece of kit. Several people complimented me on my organ playing!" Middleton St Mary's Church, Leeds
"We used the HT-300 on Sunday for the first time and everyone was thrilled with it. I received lots of comments about how good the sound was; and we certainly found it easy to programme and use." St Mary's Church, Fittleworth, West Sussex
"We made good use of the HT-300 for the first time on Sunday. Everyone was very impressed." The United Reformed Church in Jersey
"The HT-300 is great - couldn't live without it!" Mottingham Methodist Church, London
"We are having lots of fun. It's working wonderfully well." United Church, Egham, Surrey
"The HT-300 is excellent. We are really pleased with it." Streatham Baptist Church, London
"Very good. A big improvement on our old unit [Gulbransen DH100]." Anerley Methodist Church, London
"Very pleased with the HT-300 - the psalm player is brilliant!" St Nicholas Church, Bishop's Sutton, Alresford, Hants, UK
"... to say how pleased I am with the HT-300 that I have purchased. It is so much better than the old one [Gulbransen DH100]. It really is a considerable aid to my small congregation." Credo Care, Lydd, Kent
"The new machine seems to be all that we had anticipated and more, and all those present were very much impressed." South Petherton Methodist Church, Somerset
"We have used our Hymnal very successfully at our first service and received very positive comment." Oakley Methodist Church, Basingstoke, Hants
"The HT-300 is a brilliant machine!" Stockwell Green United Reformed Church, London