Company HistoryOur GoalsThe Works

A chance encounter one day happened to place two engineers in the same room. They got talking and very soon it emerged that both were also church organists. For years both had been searching for an electronic organ which sounded like a pipe organ. Neither had met such an animal before, despite long treks to check out exaggerated claims by many manufacturers about their latest offerings which, although sporting a fancy trade name or a suitable acronym, did not show much improvement.

At this point in time sampling technology was in its embryonic stage, and early indications were that at last good diapason tone was available – on a ROM card for a KORG M1 keyboard of all things, hiding under the really imaginative name of "106pipe". Nevertheless it proved that it could be done. The keyboard industry and its giants (Korg, Yamaha, Roland etc.) had long since forsaken real time synthesis, and opted for sample replay, which is commonly (and confusingly) referred to as Wavetable Synthesis. The computer soundcard industry was also coming to the same decisions, and the two engineers felt that this technology was their way forward - both for purely technical reasons, as well as financial and supply considerations. They were also convinced that the growing list of current users were only scratching the surface of the technology that was available.

Thus Phoenix Organs was born. The system was designed from the “ground up” with a clean sheet of paper, and is now the most flexible in the marketplace today. Gone are the “standard” specifications, the “standard” models. Everything is Custom built and easily alterable even after the organ has been built. Mixture ranks can be added and compositions changed, pistons can be given different functions, and the control over each note of each stop uses ten times the parameters that the competitors have at their disposal. The system uses computer soundcard chips which are easily obtained and will be with us for many years to come.

Phoenix has now grown into many parts, using common system electronics allied to localised manufacturing centres. This site belongs to the Phoenix Organs facility based in Northern Ireland. It is run autonomously by Stephen Hamill, who was one of the engineers referred to above. You can visit his own website and see something of the man and his background by following this link.

Further afield is Phoenix Organs America, which, as it's name implies, is the manufacturing centre for the North American continent, based in Ontario. This is run by brothers Don and Jim Anderson both of whom have many years' experience in the organ business. They have the distinction of installing the first three complete Phoenix Organs. Find out more about this company and the people behind it by visiting their excellent site.

At the centre of it all is Phoenix Organs UK, building organs as well as supplying system boards to both the NI and USA operations. This is run by Dave Bostock who is the brains behind the whole system. His programming skills, together with his tonal and musical expertise, are directly responsible for the success and flexibility of the Phoenix system. Visit the UK site and peruse the prestigious installations in Liverpool and Bangor Cathedrals and elsewhere.

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