Basic Operation Questions
I'm not musical or technical. How easy is the HT-400 to use?
Ease of use is the very foundation of the HT-400. 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 playlists memorable names.
Can I change the number of verses to be played?
Yes. Each time you select a tune it will be recalled with its usual number of verses, but you can easily change this with simple + and - buttons. You can even change it while the tune is playing.
Can I change the speed (tempo) and pitch (key) of a tune?
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.
Can I control the length of pause between verses?
Yes. Each tune you select will be recalled with the pause (Break) setting about right for that tune. You can alter the setting on the play screen using simple + and - buttons.
What about an Introduction?
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).
Is the HT-400 supplied with an SD memory card?
Yes. The SD memory card is required by the HT-400 in order save your personal settings (playlists etc).
Can I set up a service in advance?
Yes. This is done using the Playlist feature. You can store as many tunes as you like in a Playlist, personalising the settings for each tune (number of verses, style etc) as you go. When you have finished, give the Playlist a name (maybe the date of the service). Then create more Playlists for other services - you can store as many Playlists as you want.
We have customers who retain all their Playlists, effectively cataloguing their music use ever since purchase.
Can I accidentally erase or delete anything?
No. Even in situations where there is an on-screen Delete option available, after you press it a message appears asking you to confirm or cancel that action.
Does the Hymnal Plus need external amplification?
The HT-400 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.
Can we connect the HT-400 to our existing church sound system?
The HT-400 is equipped with stereo line level audio outputs, in the form of a pair of standard 1/4" (6.35mm) mono jacks configured as LEFT/MONO and RIGHT. It can be connected to any system with a suitable line level audio input. The HT-400 audio outputs automatically switch between unbalanced and balanced output, depending on whether unbalanced TS jacks or balanced TRS jacks are connected.
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.
Can the HT-400 be connected to our loop system (for the hearing-impaired)?
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.
How long will it last?
The HT-400 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.
What should I do if it ever goes wrong?
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 HT-400 for every worship service, so we aim to turn round all repairs within 2 working days.
How long will the HT-400 play for when using the (optional) battery pack?
A fully charged battery pack (HT-B4000) will typically power the HT-400 for around 2 hours of playing time at half volume. The actual time achieved will depend on volume settings and whether the HT-400's internal speakers are switched on.
What is the range of the standard infra-red remote control handset?
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.
Can I use additional/alternative SD memory cards?
In normal usage (playing its internal tunes and your own midi files) the HT-400's standard SD 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.
What is stored on the SD memory card?
As well as your own midi, mp3 and PDF files, the SD memory card stores any settings you enter into the HT-400: playlists, options settings (volume, EQ etc) and default style.
Can we add more tunes into the HT-400?
Yes. There are three options:
- 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 individual 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 HT-400's SD memory card. These files can be included in your playlists.
How are extra tunes added into the HT-400?
You will need a PC equipped with an internet connection and either a USB connection or an SD 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 HT-400 and plug it into your PC's card reader. Copy the upgrade file onto the SD memory card and then insert the card back into the HT-400. When you power up the HT-400 it will automatically install the upgrade. Alternatively, connect the HT-400 to your PC using a USB cable. The upgrade file can then be copied directly onto the SD card in the HT-400 without even removing it.
- Midi, mp3 and PDF files. These files are stored on the HT-400's SD memory card. Remove the SD card from the HT-400 and plug it into your PC's card reader. You can create as many new folders as you like (using the PC) in order to categorise your files. Copy your files into the relevant folder on the memory card. Re-insert the card into the HT-400. The files are now available for use via the HT-400's SD CARD key. Alternatively, connect the HT-400 to your PC using a USB cable. You can then copy your files directly onto the SD card in the HT-400 without even removing it.
Can I change the order of items in a playlist?
Yes. Using the Edit Playlist facility, there are on-screen buttons for appending (adding to the end), inserting, moving up, moving down and deleting any item.