Tolton “Digital Pipe” Organ

Tolton “Digital Pipe” Organ

Phoenix PD351 Digital Pipe Organ

This instrument was custom designed by Don Anderson at Phoenix Organs North America in consultation with our Music Director, John Shillingberg, to address the church’s requirement for a music ministry comprising both traditional church music and contemporary church music. The console, crafted in Canada, utilizes the finest woods and hardware available with an oak finish to match the church furnishings, and includes lighted music rack, pedal board and organ bench.

The primary organ specifications include:

  • 51 speaking stops of the mechanical drawknob style
    • Taylor drawknobs of England
  • Four tonal specifications (204 stops in total)
    • English, Baroque, French, English with Instrumental
  • Three 61-note keyboards and
  • 12 channels of quality amplifiers and speakers
  • Antiphonal speakers
  • Peterson coupler tabs.

The 32-note illuminated, concave and radiating pedal clavier is built to Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) and American Guild of Organists (AGO) standards.

One key factor in our decision was the quality of music heard during our evaluation visits to other installations, the other key decision factor related to “organist ergonomics”. When our organist sat down at a console she felt totally comfortable with the console; it looked, felt and played like a traditional pipe organ.

Reed stops Instrumental stops Choral voice stop

Sample: WIdor’s 5th Movement of 5th Organ Symphony

Speaker Locations

(See Speaker Locations on right). One of the unique aspects of the sanctuary layout inherited for the new organ installation was the existence not only of a full rank of visible organ pipes at the rear of the choir loft but also chambers at the front of each balcony that held the Keates Organ choir and pedal division pipes. This allowed location of the speakers such as to optimize the sound distribution coming from the various keyboards (manuals, divisions) within the sanctuary. The Great speakers are located at the very front of the sanctuary (behind and above the choir) while the Choir, Swell and the Pedal woofer speakers are located in the existing pipe chambers. The Pedal Subwoofer (generating the ultra low frequencies – down to 16 Hz – of the 32′ Sub Bourdon stop) is located in the north pipe chamber in order to leave sufficient room at the originally contemplated position for our piano and bands.

Other Features

  • Locking roll top cover
  • Digital display
  • Capture system with:
    • 6 thumb pistons to the Swell organ
    • 6 thumb pistons to the Great
    • 6 thumb pistons to the Choir
    • 8 General thumb pistons with 8 memories
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Swell to Great
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Swell to Pedal
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Swell to Choir
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Great to Pedal
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Choir to Great
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Choir to Pedal
    • 1 reversible thumb piston Sforzando
    • 19 Toe Pistons in Toe Sweeps
    • 1 reversible toe piston Great to Pedal
    • 1 reversible toe piston Sforzand
    • General Cancel piston
    • Pitch control
    • Balanced Expression Pedal to the Choir and Pedal organs
    • Balanced Expression Pedal to the Swell organ
    • Crescendo Pedal
    • Antiphonal switch
  • Sound generation
    • General volume control
    • Fine tuner
    • Transposer
  • 12 x 100 watt RMS channels (professional Yamaha XM6150 power amplifiers)
  • Adjustable digital reverberation (Lexicon MPX 110 digital processor)
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) ready so that MIDI instruments such as a sound module or sequencer can be connected
  • Yamaha MDF3 Sequencer for recording and unattended replay of the organ

Tolton Organ Installation Diary

Follow the construction and installation of the Tolton Organ from Phoenix Organs through our diary accessible from the link above. Includes photographs.

What Is a Digital Pipe Organ?

The terminology digital organ, digital ‘pipe organ’ and ‘digital pipe’ organ can cause no end of confusion. Follow the link above for an explanation and why it can deliver authentic pipe organ sound.

Keates Organ Components

Our Keates pipe organ components — a 2-manual console with pedalboard, about seven ranks (mostly reeds) — have been sold. Follow the link above for more details and photographs.