That 'classic' Hammond sound - who does it best???


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My love affair with keyboards in Rock Music started when I heard
Jon Lord's Hammond organ screaming away on Deep Purple's masterpiece
live album 'Made In Japan'...

Wow - what it must have been to have witnessed such a monumental peak of the art!

These Classic Instruments are now pretty much unobtainable to you & I, so who makes the most realistic sounding & useable copy?

Good things have been said about all sorts of modern-day copies... but who does it best???

.
 
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I've been really happy with my Nord Stage (also, the Nord Electro or C1 would be just as good too).

One catch though with anyone trying to copy the Jon Lord organ sound is that a big part of some artist's sounds was a large number of amps and multiple leslies; I remember reading somewhere that Keith Emerson had 16 Marshal Stacks and 16 Leslies to record an ELP album, Trilogy maybe? I know Jon Lord used a fairly substantial setup too. No keyboard, except perhaps the OASYS, is going to be able to model that kind of thing. Then again, for most other Hammond players who didn't have all that gear, various keyboards today can do a great job.
 
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These days I mostly use a dedicated computer running Native Instruments B4II VSTI for the majority of my Hammond sounds. It is at it's best if you can run it through a real leslie.
 
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pretty darn well... the vb3 is a great sounding organ with very credible leslie sound.
I actually purchased it before buying my nord keyboard and still use it when convenience dictates editing is more important. There is a free version too on the gsi website under the heading "legacy donationware".
Their rhodes and wurlitzer are also very nice. The trumpet plugin called "Milestone" is by far the best solo trumpet sound I've found.

I know I sound like an advert for them but they really are credible plugins.

Not everyone can afford nord keyboards and their counterparts, so it's always handy to know of alternatives.
I did some gigs using a midi controller keyboard connected to a bare boned aspire 1, with cantable running vb3. Sounded great to all concerned.
 
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Thanks for the reply RDM. I have the GSi "Key PErformer" software on my laptop, and it has a simulated tone wheel organ with it. It is a pretty good soundsing organ, and I suppose may be similar in some fashion to their their VB3.
Having owned a number of Hammonds for gigging, I have had an on going search for
a light-weight replacement for many years. UP to recently, I used my Korg CX3 and
have been very pleased with the sound and feel. But, side-by-side the B4ll is most realistic sound I've had since selling my last Hammond. Happily, the laptop only weights 8 pounds and I don't need a large truck to get it to a gig.:D
B3
 
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Yup another great hammond sound in the b4II.
There are several that do the job well and like underwear it's a personal choice as to what's most comfortable.

Another thing I like about the nord electro is the ability to plug in a second keyboard to give you both decks. Of course if I were a total B3 freak then I would have bought the C2. I like my rhodes and whurly options so went with the more versatile of the models. Electro 3 has the same sound engine as the C1 including the leslie simulation so it was a no brainer.
 
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I like the B3 simulation on the Nord keyboards, but the fact that they don't have real ratchet drawbars was a huge turn off to me.
 
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Not being able to easily manipulate the drawbars in real time has been one of the
things that I don't like about using B$ll on the laptop. Although my old CX3
doesn't sound as good as B4 (and the leslie sim isn't nearly as good) I actually
prefer playing the CX3 because I can control the drawbars and percussion in real time.
B3
 
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I downloaded the demo of B4II a while ago from the native instruments website, and I wasn't very impressed. The program wouldn't recognize either one of my midi controllers. It might have been because I was using the demo version, but still. I recently switched to Mac from PC so I went back to the website to get the demo again and see if it worked any better with a Mac....it turns out that B4II has been discontinued. I haven't invested in any kind of organ synthesizer or clonewheel organ because I have yet to find one that is any good in comparison to an actual B3. I guess I'll just have to save my pennies and wait until I can get the real thing. Though, one problem with getting the real thing is that it's so big it would be quite hard to gig around with....that and my rig is already huge. What is your opinion of the Cx3?
 
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I've owned and gigged with a number of Hammonds, including a couple of different b3's. I've also had a number of other keyboards & clones that I've tried as replacements. (My ex wife once said that I had a mania about finding a keyboard that was a replacement for my B3, ergo my screen name "B3 maniac").
There are two key things I should note:
1- I can say that no other keyboard or clone I've found replicates the experience
of playing a real Hammond
2- All of the keys/clones will sound their best if played through a real leslie.
Those two points noted, I like the feel and the sound of the CX3. There are
two versions of the CX3, "early" (the old analog version) and "late" (digital.
Of the two, I think the "late" one (current version in the stores) is the
closest sound to a real B3. I have the old analog model, but it still sounds very good , especially through a leslie.
B3
 
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Wow. How did you get your hands on "a couple of different B3s"? Thanks for your input on the CX3. From the sounds and reviews I've seen on the CX3 I'll definitely keep it on the list of possibilities for an organ. Is there a particular model of the leslie that is better than others? I've heard that the 147 model is the best, or at least i think it was the 147. What's your opinion.
 
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Yes, I've owned a number of Hammonds over the years, including two B3's which
I gigged with. I used the B3's from 1973 into the early 80's, when I switched to the Korg CX3. Back then I was playing a B3 + 910 series leslie, and a Fender Rhodes.

The l47 Leslie was the general purpose leslie that could pretty much be used with all models of Hammonds, and I think they were about 40 watts output. Good sound, but not enough power if you play with a loud band. The old 910 series was
about 100 watts and had plenty of volumn for any place I ever played. (Maybe you could check into the "Motion Sound" web site, as they make some good organ rotary speakers that have more power output than the older Leslie 145/147 series).
If you're only playing at home, the the old 147 would probably be fine, but I wouldn't recommend it for gigs , even if you mike it through a PA.
I still have a 900 series leslie, but generally just use the leslie simulator in the CX3 ... as the leslie is pretty heavy and bulky. (The CX3 will fit in the back seat of my car, but I have to use the van to move the leslie).
But, as I said before, any of the various organ clones will sound pretty good if you play them through a real leslie. I've tried the Roland VK, Voce, Oberheim, Viscount,
E-mu , and CX3 (maybe others as well) and they all sound the best through the leslie. However ........I still own the CX3 but none of the others.
(I still have my Yamaha CP70 too.)
B3
 
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Thanks for the advice on the leslie. I would definitely want one that has plenty of volume live. I'll definitely be getting an organ at some point. A B3 is what I want, but I don't know how soon I'll be able to afford one. Right now I'm looking at the Arturia Analog Factory Experience, the controller that comes with it has the perfect amount of keys (37) for using M-Tron Pro(it's only sampled to 35 notes). That and it'll provide me with a secondary lead when I use it with the Arturia software it comes with. So after I possess that I will be investing in an organ.
 
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Nord Electro 3 vs Stage EX hammond sound

Hi,
Can anyone tell me if the Hammond Organ is the same in both the Nord Electro 3 and the Stage EX? I've heard the C1 live, and it blew me away. So, I've been considering going with either the Electro 3 or the Stage EX. I do like the fact that the Stage EX has synth sounds, and a bender & mod wheel. It seems to be a bit more versatile than the Electro 3, and of course more expensive too. I like both actions, so a compromise will have to be made in that area if I get a weighted 76 as opposed to the compact EX (waterfall action). I did want to go either 73 or 76 ...

I was on the Nord site for a while, and it did say that the Electro 3 has the same Hammond engine, like you had just quoted. But it didn't say that on the Stage EX product page.

If there are any more differences that anyone knows about, let me know. Thank you!

Joeycapucino
 
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I have a Roland Fantom X6. No drawbars on dedicated organ mode. So why am I going on about it a hear you cry!!!!!!!
Well when a got it Roland contaced me with a special offer. Free sound expantion boards. One of which was a Jon Lord organ board, and it sounds fantastic. Yes it is all presets but wow, these are Jon Lord presets. Worth checking out.
 
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