Ever had trouble remembering the meaning of technical terminology or what acronyms stand for? Here's a short guide to terms often used to describe the workings of modern digital organs.
ANALOG: A device or process with continuous output as opposed to the discrete steps in a digital system. Any digitally stored or processed sound must be converted to analog to be heard.
AUDIO MAPPING: A Rodgers feature that allows the organ to remember four separate setups for external audio plus one additional set of audio parameters for headphones. Audio Map settings are stored in the organ's flash EPROM memory for quick recall to meet specific playing needs.
BALL GRID ARRAY TECHNOLOGY: A high-tech method of mounting integrated circuitry on Digital Voice Module circuit boards. This technology uses solder beads contained within circular pads instead of metal legs protruding from the sides of the IC Chip.
BI-AMPLIFIED STEREO AUDIO: Stereo adds dimension and life to sound, while bi-amplification greatly reduces distortion and improves clarity. A bi-amplified stereo system uses separate left and right stereo channels and one or more separately amplified bass channels to handle all bass frequencies.
BIT: The smallest quantity of binary information: a one or a zero. The basic building block for digital data storage.
BYTE: Eight bits. A byte represents any value between zero and 255.
CHIFF: The transient harmonic component that precedes the tone in some pipe organ voices. This type of articulation is useful in playing contrapuntal music.
CONTROLLER BOARD: The organ's CPU (Central Processor Unit), which controls console functions and communicates with the sound sources: DVM circuit boards, pipes or a combination of both.
COSMTM ICON TECHNOLOGY: User-friendly graphics that guide organists through Rodgers' easy-to-use LCD console display menus.
DEFAULT: A pre-set parameter value that exists when a device is turned on or when software applications are loaded. Organists can set their own default voices in a Rodgers organ at any time.
DIGITAL: The electronic technology that stores and manipulates data as numbers. It makes it possible to preserve an infinite number of sound characteristics and regenerate them perfectly at high speed.
DIGITAL AUDIO: An audio system that handles bass, treble, volume and other sound parameters in the digital domain without converting the signals to analog.
DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER (DAC): A device that converts digital signals to analog sounds that we can hear. Rodgers' state-of-the-art 24 bit DACs produce outstanding sound clarity and broad dynamic range, while eliminating unwanted digital noise.
DIGITAL DOMAIN EXPRESSIONTM: Rodgers' patented swell box modeling in the digital domain. It includes realistic expression delays, high frequency dampening and phase shifts of sound as expression shoes are opened or closed, and allows organists to adjust swell shade thickness to create striking swell box realism.
DIGITAL DYNAMIC WINDTM: A complex, realistic and adjustable system of modeling a pipe organ's wind supply used in Rodgers organs.
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSORS: Specialized electronic circuitry on IC chips for extremely fast processing of electronic signals or sound. Rodgers uses custom Roland DSP chips capable of millions of operations per second and optimized for stereophonic music generation.
DIGITAL VOICE MODULE: A multi-level, surface mount plug-in digital circuit board that performs the stereo sound generation functions in the organ.
DIMENSIONAL SOUND MODELINGTM: An umbrella term for a range of patented Rodgers technologies that create realistic pipe organ sound.
DUAL MIDI: A system of two independent MIDI couplers per keyboard, allowing the organist to layer MIDI sounds for realistic orchestral effects and contemporary worship applications.
DYNAMIC POWER ALLOCATION: Rodgers' intelligent amplifier system, which allocates power to audio channels according to need rather than at fixed levels in order to prevent clipping (distortion).
EAR FATIGUE: The term used to describe the effect of listening to digital sounds repeatedly produced without variation. Rodgers avoids ear fatigue via tiny random variations and constantly changing sound qualities, in the same way as live acoustic instruments.
FLASH MEMORY: Non-volatile memory that permits user programming and erasing. It is used for audio settings and voicing adjustments on Rodgers organs.
GM/GS MIDI: General MIDI/General Standard MIDI. General MIDI is a standard for the first 128 voices in a MIDI sound module. GS adds 128 levels or variations for the basic 128 sounds. Organs require both to play and record SMF data properly.
HARMONIC: Any one of the many pitch partials that give a musical tone its primary quality. The relative intensity of the harmonics determines the tone quality of a given sound.
HERZ: The frequency of a waveform in cycles per second. Organ tone ranges from 16 HZ to 22,000Hz. The normal upper range of adult hearing is 12,000-15,000 Hz, with 20,000Hz considered the extreme upper limit.
IMAGED STEREO: A proprietary Rodgers stereo sound generation technology that places each note of each stop at a discrete and unique place in the stereo field to create tonal warmth and clarity.
INTERMODULATION DISTORTION: An undesirable effect that occurs when two input frequencies interact to produce non-harmonically related output frequencies, which the ear perceives as fuzzy, unclear sound. To avoid this effect when full-range speakers simultaneously produce high and low frequency tones, Rodgers developed bi-amplified audio.
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display, the technology used for the Rodgers organ console display because of its easy readability.
LED: Light Emitting Diode. LEDs are used as status lights on DVMs and in many circuits and MIDI devices.
MEGABYTE: Approximately 1 million bytes (actually 1,048,576 bytes). A measure of memory.
MICROPROCESSOR: A computer processor contained on an integrated circuit chip. Rodgers uses multiple parallel microprocessors capable of massive computing power resources to generate nuances of sound and superior ensemble sound.
MIDI: Musical instrument digital interface. The standards for electronic communication protocols between digital instruments.
MULTI-POINT INTERPOLATION: A technique that increases sampling accuracy. Rodgers sampling uses multi-point interpolation to achieve four times oversampling accuracy in its stereophonic sound samples.
ORGAN DESIGNER© SOFTWARE: Windows environment software for laptop PCs that enables onsite finishing and voicing of Rodgers organs on a note-by-note basis to suit acoustics and taste.
OVERSAMPLING: A technique that creates a more accurate digital version of an analog signal by greatly increasing the amount of sampling data, leading to higher stereophonic sample performance accuracy.
PARALLEL DIGITAL IMAGING© (PDI©): Software-based proprietary Rodgers sound technology featuring parallel microprocessors, stereophonic sound samples and stereophonic sound generation, which combine to create live digital pipe sound.
PARALLEL PROCESSING: A technique developed for super computers that involves a master computer assigning tasks to multiple other computers so that all work at the task simultaneously, increasing speed and efficiency.
PIPE INTERFACE: The technology used to connect a digital organ console and winded pipes. Frequently used to replace non-functioning pipe organ consoles and to upgrade pipe organs with modern console features, MIDI capability and additional digital voices.
POLYMER KEY SWITCHES: Sealed switch units used in aerospace applications and adopted by premium organ keyboard makers to increase reliability and versatility. Dual polymer switches per key make possible 128 levels of MIDI velocity sensitivity.
POLYPROPYLENE: The substance used to make capacitors for Rodgers Audiophile Series speakers. Polypropylene speaker cones reduce distortion and have a long lifespan compared to paper cones used in lower-grade speakers.
QUICKMENUTM: A feature of the Rodgers console that offers easy access to any part of the user menu with the touch of a piston.
RAM: Random access memory. The temporary memory used by a computer to run programs.
RANDOM TUNINGTM: An adjustable feature of Rodgers organs that retunes the instruments with slight variations each time the console is turned on to reflect the tuning of pipe organs, which constantly change with environmental conditions and thus are never in exact tune.
REED SWITCHES: Tiny metal contact units sealed in glass that have been used in Rodgers pedal keying since we introduced this to the organ industry in 1962.
RODGERS INTELLIGENT SAMPLING SYSTEMTM: Proprietary sampling software designed for extremely accurate reproduction of the smallest nuances in pipe organ sound.
ROM: Read only memory. The permanent or instructional information memory in a computer system.
RSS AMBIENCE: Roland-Rodgers Sound Space. Sophisticated quadraphonic space modeling based on research into human hearing and sound wave reflection, which lets the musician adjust the sound environment via multiple settings for each of eight room sizes and eight wall reflection types.
SAMPLE: Sound digitally recorded from an acoustic source.
SELF-TEST DIAGNOSTICS: Built-in programs that prompt the organ to test itself and report error codes for any discrepancies.
SEQUENCER: A device that records and plays back information, typically MIDI data.
SMARTCARDTM MEMORY: A removable card used to securely store registration information and expand combination action memory.
SMF: Standard MIDI file. To be able to properly play Internet downloads or MIDI information from music publishers, a sequencer must be able to read SMF files.
SOUND MODULE: A device that contains synthesized or sampled sounds, often used to add orchestral sounds and additional organ voices to an instrument.
STEREO SOUND: Sound recorded on two or more separate audio channels and produced via separate left and right speakers.
SURFACE MOUNT TECHNOLOGY: A technique of placing electronic components close together on solder pads, rather than the older technique of inserting them in holes in a circuit board. At Rodgers, the process is done with advanced computer controlled pick-and-place equipment and lead-free solder.
SYSEX: System exclusive messages. A term for MIDI data pertaining to a specific instrument. Such data allows recording and playback of the exact stops used in registrations.
TRUE CHIMESTM: A popular Rodgers feature in which long audio samples are used to generate the sound of concert chimes from the moment they are struck through the slow volume decay, with no "looping" of sound samples.
TWEETER: The high-frequency reproducing unit of a stereo speaker that produces clarity and brilliance of tone.
VALVE RELEASE: An adjustable pipe modeling technology that allows the organist to set the opening and closing of virtual pipe valves to match pipe sets, or personal preference.
VELOCITY: An important MIDI parameter that controls attack characteristics and volume, both vital parts of authentic orchestral sounds.
VELOCITY SENSITIVE KEYBOARDS: Keyboards that send MIDI velocity information to the organ's control system.
VOICE PALETTETM: Patented Rodgers system of built-in alternate stereophonic sound samples that can be individually accessed via the organ's piston memory. Voice PaletteTM allows the organist to choose one or more alternate sounds instead of the engraved stop, or go back to the original stop at any time.
WOOFER: Large, cone-type low-frequency loudspeaker.