The Allen Organ Company builds church organs, home organs and theatre organs. Its factory is located in Macungie, Pennsylvania. The Allen International Sales Headquarters also includes the Jerome Markowitz Memorial Center. The museum displays many instruments which represent technological milestones in the development of the pipeless organ.
Allen Organ Company was founded in 1937 and named after its birthplace, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The company was incorporated in 1945, after interruption by World War II. Since its beginning, Allen has been managed by the same family. Steve Markowitz, the current President, is the son of the founder, Jerome Markowitz.
The company had its first patent in 1938. Allen continued to advance analog tone generation through the 1960s with further patents. In 1971, as the culmination of a collaborative effort with North American Rockwell, Allen introduced the world's first commercially-available digital musical instrument. Allen was responsible for the first three-manual electronic organ and the first electronic drawknob console. The first Allen Digital Organ is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
The Quantum organ line uses a digital processing technique called the convolution reverb, a technique widely used in both software and hardware musical instruments. In Allen's implementation of the technique, the acoustics of the sampled room become an integral part of the organ's sound. An 8-second stereo convolution reverb requires about 35 billion calculations per second; Allen patented a technique to reduce the computation amount to about 400 million calculations per second. A digital organ that produces Compact Disc quality sound without convolution reverb would require only about 100,000 calculations per second for each sound. Quantum organs include about 4,000 times that capacity to create convolution reverb.
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