The Audio System
However good a digital organ might be, its ultimate success is largely dependent on the quality and configuration of the audio system – amplifiers and speakers. Naturally, the organ should be sufficient in total power to lead substantial singing, but an adequate number of loudspeaker channels have been provided to divide the organ between its various sections and ranks. Although smaller numbers (and sizes) of speakers might provide enough overall volume, this well-planned bespoke audio system with dedicated speaker cabinets, allows greater scope to utilise the organ’s potential: providing a totally believable ‘depth’ and gravitas of true organ sound, without a ‘forced’ and overly ‘loud’ result. This also allows for a high degree of separation between organ ranks, the various departments of the instrument, and the stops and tonal families that the organ has.
As with the previous instrument, the speakers are fitted inside the two concealed chambers that were designed with the organ in mind. The main speaker departments have been laid out to recreate the sound distribution expected by the ranks of pipes in a pipe organ of similar size. The Great speakers will be directed straight out into the temple to provide a dynamic sound typified by the front facing pipe ranks of that department. By contrast, much of the Swell will be angled upwards and sideways to provide a less ‘direct’ sound, as associated with pipe work residing within the confines of a Swell box further back in the instrument. The Pedal section is at the rear of the chambers with a variety of large bespoke cabinets for the lower pedal ranks. There are also additional cabinets and horn arrays for the “Ceremonial Organ”, providing the powerful reed stops with real presence independent of other organ speakers. It can therefore be seen that, although there will be many different sound sources, they will all originate from the organ chambers, which will provide a natural location, as has been acceptable in the past. The location chosen for the speakers will also be aesthetically pleasing, in that none of the speaker cabinets will be visible in the temple.
The organ console has its own ‘monitor’ speaker system so as to give support to the sound at the east end and to assist the organist in balancing sound in all parts of the Temple. The internal speaker system are quite big as the omission of a roll top allows room for larger top speaker driver units and tweeters. These speakers will be balanced to suit the building and selectable from the console. The top speakers have been mounted centrally behind the music desk. It will, in future, be important to avoid putting paperwork or anything else on top of the organ during a ceremony.
Finally, each of the multiple audio channels provided will have its own robust 100-watt amplifier and, for additional reliability, each of the banks of amplifiers for the external system will have their own independent power supply unit, which is not dependant on the rest of the organ.
Main audio, in large enclosures each side of the west door:
4 x integrated speaker cabinets for Great
4 x integrated speaker cabinets for Swell
2 x low frequency speaker cabinets for the Pedal
2 x Horn arrays for solo reeds
12 x independent 100-watt amplifier channels
Internal audio, within the console:
2 x 12” speakers in base
2 x 8” speakers in top panel (central behind music desk no roll top to facilitate larger drive units.)
4 x 100 watt channel amplifier