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Thread: The world's largest digital organ

  1. #1
    mp Mezzo-Piano diaphone32's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    The world's largest digital organ


    Does anyone know where abouts the largest electronic organ in the world is? Or what the largest digital organis on the market?</P>


  2. #2
    fff Fortississimo Menschenstimme's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Re: The world's largest digital organ

    I have heard that there is a large Walker Digital instrument in a church in Dana Point, California (or somewhere in that vicinity) that qualifies for that title.

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo arie v's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Toronto, Canada

    Re: The world's largest digital organ

    Hi Jezza,</p>

    It may be difficult to figure out what the largest "digital" organ is. What spec. you use is important. Any digital organ can qualify based on the largest of any of the following parameters, 1) # of audio channels, 2) # of digital oscillators, 3) # of straight ranks, 4) # of stops, 5) # of stop controls, 6) # of keyboards, 7) # of samples, 8) amount of sample memory, 9) total number of watts...........the list can probably go on and on.</p>


  4. #4
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Arkansas, USA

    Re: The world's largest digital organ

    My guess would have been the M&amp;O at Trinity Wall Street, but only because it has been hyped so much lately. I'd enjoy knowing more about the aforementioned Walker in Dana Point CA.</P>

    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches

  5. #5
    mf Mezzo-Forte m&m's's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Central New York

    Re: The world's largest digital organ

    I believe that Allen's largest instrument is now at First Baptist of Jacksonville, Florida. For sometime they have claimed to have put in the largest digital organ in the world at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, Tennessee, but I have heard that the one in Jacksonville is even larger.

    My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

  6. #6
    ppp Pianississmo Alex S-f's Avatar
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    Sep 2012

    As far as I know, when I was at the American Treasure tour I saw a Rodgers theatre organ with added keyboards saying "LARGEST ELECTRIC ORGAN".

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo KDirk's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Missouri, US

    I don't know the answer to the posted question, but would say this. To be fair in judging the largest digital, I think it makes the most sense to base it on the number of ranks, so a 1:1 comparison could be made to a [hypothetical] pipe organ of the same specification. Really, perhaps it should go beyond the number of ranks and account for the full note compass of each stop to represent the total number of "pipes". So, one would have to count the actual total number of discrete tones that could be generated, account out unified and coupled ranks (for example a 8' swell Trompette with a lower extension for a 16' Posaune in the pedal division would be one rank, but have a larger number of individual pipes for that rank) to arrive at a total.

    Obviously in a pipe organ, some ranks cover multiple pitches from 16' to 1', and some are reused in mixtures or shared across multiple divisions especially in smaller instruments of limited resources. In the interest of making a proper direct correlation of an organs size (whether pipe or electronic) these things should be taken into account.
    I don't think the number of manuals or drawknobs or even speakers should necessarily be given any consideration. I've played 3 manual organs that had fewer tonal resources than many two manual instruments, because the 3rd manual (sometimes Choir, sometimes Antiphonal depending on the build and purpose) shares ranks from the swell and/or great divisions. I've also played organs with a LOT of couplers; swell to swell 4 and 16, swell to great 4,8, and 16 and swell and great to pedal at all three pitches. That's 8 knobs/tabs right there, yet doesn't make the instrument any larger by what I consider proper definition for purposes of size comparison.

    As well, a poorly designed digital installation could have a huge number of tonal resources, and a lousy audio setup of 3 or 4 channels and speaker cabinets. This could be due to a misguided organ committee in the church not understanding what they are doing, and a dealer who goes along to get along. Could also be a lack of funds to properly outfit the amp and speaker complement after dropping so much on the console (often ego driven, because people SEE the console, not the speakers). Finally, could be a space limitation coming up against the desire to have an organ that is suitable for a wide range of material of different eras and styles. So, you get an instrument with that can be baroque, classical, romantic, or American Classic in tone/voicing, but have a limited number of channels for the sound to get into the room. Not good planning or design, but it does happen. If such an organ had the largest number of discrete tonal resources (i.e. digital "pipes") it would still qualify as the largest in my way of thinking, though it would be crippled by inadequate output resources.

    Just my thoughts on how digitals should be ranked for their size.


  8. #8
    ppp Pianississmo poehthusiest's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    This large digital must be right up there. It was built by Johannus Orgelbouw, a Dutch company.
    Here's young Gert van Hoef with an improvisation on "Conquest of Paradise":

    Here are two more videos from three years earlier - Gert is playing the same organ.
    Gert had just turned 16, and had begun playing and learned to read music just two years before this contest.He won.
    "Lamentation", by Guilmant:

    "Toccata, Psalm 146", by Jan Zwart:
    Last edited by poehthusiest; 01-17-2014 at 03:15 PM.

  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo TubaMirabilis123's Avatar
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    Jun 2013

    The Allen at Bellevue Baptist in Cordova, TN is the largest digital organ in the world I believe. Followed by FBC Jacksonville, and Prestonwood Baptist in Plano. At one point, the 1989 Allen at Johnson Ferry Baptist in Marietta, GA held this distinction, and was the first 5 manual Allen digital organ. Only FBC Jacksonville and Johnson Ferry use the organ regularly though from what I have heard. Unless someone else knows something I don't, Prestonwood does not use theirs at all anymore.

  10. #10
    Administrator Admin's Avatar
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    Jun 2003

    1 members found this post helpful.
    I think the traditional concept of size goes out the window when talking about digital instruments. Judging by ranks alone does not tell the whole story.

    Is a 100 rank digital with a single 16 bit sample that is used for the entire compass per rank a larger instrument than say a 20 rank digital with individual 24 bit samples/per note per rank?

    Perhaps in gauging the size of digital instruments we should be looking at the total memory size of all the samples rather than a rank count.

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