External Speaker systems are recommended for most church installations to give the best distribution of sound. This also allows for the console to be placed in the most convenient position – an organist should be able to see the choir, the altar and the main door.
Generally, the more speakers the better, although cost and available space is a consideration. Wherever possible speaker systems are concealed, for example behind the front pipes of an existing organ case. Where this is not possible, speaker fronts are available, individually designed and hand crafted to suit each building. These can incorporate polished pipe work, timber louvres or a mixture of both.
For home use, internal speakers the usual choice and are often adequate for the smaller church or chapel. This is normally a sophisticated 6-way audio combination. Small high frequency “tweeters” speak through discreet grilles at either end of the stop-panel fascia. There is also an option of additional rear and upward facing speakers for Swell and Great departments respectively.
A “split-semitone” system is used for internal and most external audio systems. For example, if the 8ft Diapason is drawn, then “C” sounds from the left-hand speakers and “C#” from the right. The 4ft Octave may then be arranged so that the “C” comes from the right-hand side and the “C#” from the left. This creates movement in the sound and emulates the effect of a typical rank of organ pipes, where generally the largest pipes are on the outside, reducing in size towards the centre – just one of many factors adding to the pipe-organ realism.
As with our custom built instruments, these organs have flexible voicing control for each individual stop. Even if the standard specification is adhered to there is still enormous scope to vary individual sounds to suit the building acoustic. As well as the steady state, transient tone, attack, decay, sustain and release are easily altered. Wind noise and harmonic chiff – which add so much to the tonal character – can be accurately provided. All these changes are made interactively via a PC. This flexibility is particularly relevant in larger buildings, where the acoustics can greatly influence the sound.
High-end reverberation units, adjustable for volume and length of “echo” are available for all custom-built organs and can greatly affect the sound in buildings with “dry” acoustics. However, there is a danger; reverberation units can ‘colour’ the sound so with our custom range we add the natural amount of ‘release’ to the exact registers of individual stops, therefore additional reverberation is seldom necessary for church installations. Different criteria apply to home installations where additional reverberation is useful. Sound can also be further enhanced in by the addition of the optional Wyvern Mini Loudspeaker System. The control unit is mounted within the console with an extra amplifier that powers two small wall/shelf speaker cabinets that can be situated away from the console providing a dramatically spacious and convincing “cathedral” effect, even within the confines of a small room.
The success or otherwise of a church organ can rest on the quality of the installation. Every Wyvern organ is carefully installed by our own staff in the UK, or by our accredited agents abroad, carefully selected for their specialist skills and proven quality of work in this area.