One recent development from Allen Organs is called Multi Point Audio™. Multi Point Audio assigns different organ voices to separate channels to create a small voice to channel ratio. Even the individual notes of each voice are split over multiple channels. Multi Point Audio creates spatial imaging and sound placement results that exceed those of mono or stereo systems. This unique channelization provides greater tuning and equalization control. The clean robust power of Multi Point Audio produces ensembles with clarity and dimension that rival the sound of actual wind-blown pipes.
Think of it this way. If you pour a liquid through a funnel, the flow from the bottom spout is dependent on the size of the spout. The larger the spout the faster and easier the liquid flows. The smaller the spout, the slower and more restricted the flow will be. The “flow” of sound can be illustrated in a similar way.
Less digital mixing of voices (freer flowing sound) produces the ability for more spatial mixing in the air, therefore the more natural and cleaner the sound will be. For example, each pipe in a pipe organ speaks individually and separate from its neighboring pipe, therefore the sound is mixed naturally in the air – not mixed synthetically through digital imaging tricks. The ultimate goal would be to have every note of a digital organ speak through its own speaker, much like individual notes in a pipe organ speak separately. However, this is not economically feasible with today’s technology. Multi Point Audio technology represents the closest any digital builder has come in creating natural sounding spatial mixing. With Multi Point Audio, Allen is basically giving the funnel a bigger spout to allow a freer flowing sound.
Several of nearest competitors still uses stereo imaging in their instruments, an idea Allen invented and used back in the late 1970’s. Stereo imaging pushes the same sound through multiple audio channels at the same time, therefore doubling the number of voices per channel with more digital mixing and less spatial mixing of the separate organ voices. This system is just the opposite of what Multi Point Audio accomplishes and how real pipe organ sound is created.
Further, stereo playback creates a “sweet spot” in the room and the listener needs to be in that sweet spot for the proper effect. Even builders of home theater and sound systems are now using many channels to allow sound to mix more naturally in the room. As a matter of fact everyone that would compare Dolby 7.1 to plain stereo would most likely find the Dolby 7.1 sound far superior to that of plain stereo.
Pipe organ sound fills the room naturally. Spatial mixing in the air of the different organ voices is and always has been the ultimate goal of Allen Organ Company. Allen has finally achieved that goal through the invention of Multi Point Audio. There have also been recent upgrades to the organ’s software that allow the instruments to be voiced and finished in a way beyond what has been previously achievable with digital instruments. The result is a stunningly clear, clean and breathy, effortless sound.