It's no secret that we at Keyboard tend to focus on instruments you'd put on a keyboard stand and play standing up in a band. But when we ran into classically trained organist and Halloween Carols creator Kristen Lawrence at this year's NAMM Show, we handed her a video camera and asked her to check out what was new up on the third floor, where the purveyors of large-format console organs for home and liturgical use exhibit their wares. She found the latest offerings from Allen, Lowrey, Rodgers, Roland, and Viscount. Where Lowrey focuses on theatre-style consoles for home use, the others all emulate the pipe organ and are meant for installation in churches. Nothing's stopping you, however, from putting one of these profound sounding monsters in your living room. They really have to be heard to be believed.
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