The HAMMOND ORGAN is an electric organ , invented by Laurens Hammond
and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Various models
have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to create a
variety of sounds. Until 1975, Hammond organs generated sound by
creating an electric current from rotating a metal tonewheel near an
electromagnetic pickup , and then strengthening the signal with an
amplifier so that it can drive a speaker cabinet . Around two million
Hammond organs have been manufactured. The organ is commonly used
with, and associated with, the
The organ was originally marketed and sold by the Hammond Organ Company to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ , or instead of a piano . It quickly became popular with professional jazz musicians in organ trios , a small group centred on the Hammond organ. Organ trios were hired by jazz club owners, who found that organ trios were a much cheaper alternative to hiring a big band . Jimmy Smith 's use of the Hammond B-3, with its additional harmonic percussion feature, inspired a generation of organ players, and its use became more widespread in the 1960s and 1970s in rhythm and blues , rock and reggae , as well as being an important instrument in progressive rock .
The Hammond Organ Company struggled financially during the 1970s as they abandoned tonewheel organs and switched to manufacturing instruments using integrated circuits . These instruments were not as popular with musicians as the tonewheels had been, and the company went out of business in 1985. The Hammond name was purchased by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation , which proceeded to manufacture digital simulations of the most popular tonewheel organs. This culminated in the production of the "New B-3" in 2002, which provided an accurate recreation of the original B-3 organ using modern digital technology.
Hammond-Suzuki continues to manufacture a variety of organs for both professional players and churches. Other companies, such as Korg , Roland and Clavia , have also achieved success in providing more lightweight and portable emulations of the original tonewheel organs. The sound of a tonewheel Hammond can also be emulated using modern software such as Native Instruments B4.
* 1 Features
* 1.1 Keyboards and pedalboard * 1.2 Drawbars * 1.3 Presets * 1.4 Vibrato and chorus * 1.5 Harmonic percussion * 1.6 Start and run switches
* 2 History
* 2.1.1 Console organs * 2.1.2 Spinet organs
* 3 Speakers
* 3.1 Tone cabinet
* 4 Tone generation * 5 Clones and emulation devices * 6 Notable users * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links
A number of distinctive
KEYBOARDS AND PEDALBOARD
The two manuals of the Hammond B-2.
C Note A single note (C ) played on a
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Unlike an American Guild of Organists pedalboard, a console Hammond normally has 25 pedals.
Most Hammond organs have two 61-note (5-octave ) keyboards called manuals . As with pipe organ keyboards, the two manuals are arrayed on two levels close to each other. Each is laid out in a similar manner to a piano keyboard, except that pressing a key on a Hammond results in the sound continuously playing until it is released, whereas with a piano, the note's volume decays. There is no difference in volume regardless of how heavily or lightly the key is pressed (unlike with a piano), so overall volume is controlled by a pedal (also known as a "swell" or "expression" pedal). The keys on each manual have a lightweight action , which allows players to perform rapid passages more easily than on a piano. In contrast to piano and pipe organ keys, Hammond keys have a flat-front profile, commonly referred to as "waterfall" style. Early Hammond console models had sharp edges, but starting with the B-2 these were rounded, as they were cheaper to manufacture. The M series of spinets also had waterfall keys (which has subsequently made them ideal for spares on B-3s and C-3s ), but later spinet models had "diving board" style keys which resembled those found on a church organ. Modern Hammond-Suzuki models use waterfall keys.
Hammond console organs come with a wooden pedalboard played with the feet, for bass notes. Most console Hammond pedalboards have 25 notes, with the bottom note a low C and the top note a middle C two octaves higher. Hammond used a 25-note pedalboard because he found that on traditional 32-note pedalboards used in church pipe organs, the top seven notes were seldom used. The Hammond Concert models E, RT, RT-2, RT-3 and D-100 had 32-note American Guild of Organists (AGO) pedalboards going up to the G above middle C as the top note. The RT-2, RT-3 and D-100 also contained a separate solo pedal system that had its own volume control and various other features. Spinet models have 12 or 13-note miniature pedalboards.
The sound on a Hammond is varied using drawbars, similar to faders on an audio mixing board
The sound on a tonewheel
The labeling of the drawbar derives from the stop system in pipe organs, in which the physical length of the pipe corresponds to the pitch produced. Most Hammonds contain nine drawbars per manual. The drawbar marked "8′" generates the fundamental of the note being played, the drawbar marked "16′" is an octave below, and the drawbars marked "4′", "2′" and "1′" are one, two and three octaves above respectively. The other drawbars generate various other harmonics and subharmonics of the note. While each individual drawbar generates a relatively pure sound similar to a flute or electronic oscillator, more complex sounds can be created by mixing the drawbars in varying amounts.
Some drawbar settings have become well-known and associated with certain musicians. A very popular setting is 888000000 (i.e., with the drawbars labelled "16′", " 5 1⁄3′" and "8′" fully pulled out), and has been identified as the "classic" Jimmy Smith sound.
Preset keys on a
In addition to drawbars, many Hammond tonewheel organ models also include presets, which make predefined drawbar combinations available at the press of a button. Console organs have one octave of reverse colored keys (naturals are black, sharps and flats are white) to the left of each manual, with each key activating a preset; the far left key (C), also known as the cancel key, de-activates all presets, and results in no sound coming from that manual. The two right-most preset keys (B and B♭) activate the corresponding set of drawbars for that manual, while the other preset keys produce preselected drawbar settings that are internally wired into the preset panel.
VIBRATO AND CHORUS
Hammond organs have a built-in vibrato effect that provides a small variation in pitch while a note is being played, and a chorus effect where a note's sound is combined with another sound at a slightly different and varying pitch. The best known vibrato and chorus system consists of six settings, V1, V2, V3, C1, C2 and C3 (i.e., 3 vibrato and 3 chorus), which can be selected via a rotary switch. Vibrato / chorus can be selected for each manual independently.
The B-3 and C-3 models introduced the concept of "Harmonic Percussion", which was designed to emulate the percussive sounds of the harp , xylophone and marimba . When selected, this feature plays a decaying second- or third-harmonic overtone when a key is pressed. The selected percussion harmonic fades out, leaving the sustained tones the player selected with the drawbars. The volume of this percussive effect is selectable as either Normal or Soft. Harmonic Percussion retriggers only after all notes have been released, so legato passages sound the effect only on the very first note or chord, making Harmonic Percussion uniquely a "single-trigger, polyphonic" effect.
START AND RUN SWITCHES
Console Hammond organs such as the B-3 require two switches; "Start" to drive the starter motor and "Run" to drive the main tonewheel generator.
The Hammond organ's technology derives from the
Laurens Hammond graduated from
Cornell University with a mechanical
engineering degree in 1916. By the start of the 1920s he had designed
a spring-driven clock, which provided enough sales for him to start
his own business, the
Hammond Clock Company , in 1928. As well as
clocks, his early inventions included 3D glasses and an automatic
bridge table shuffler. However, as the
On April 24, 1934, Hammond filed U.S. Patent 1,956,350 for an
"electrical musical instrument", which was personally delivered to
the patent office by Hanert, explaining that they could start
production immediately and it would be good for local employment in
Chicago. The invention was unveiled to the public in April 1935 and
the first model, the Model A, was made available in June of that year.
Over 1,750 churches purchased a
In 1936, the
Federal Trade Commission
A key ingredient to the Hammond organ's success was the use of dealerships and a sense of community. Several dedicated organ dealers set up business in the United States and there was a bi-monthly newsletter, The Hammond Times, mailed out to subscribers. Advertisements tended to show families gathered around the instrument, often with a child playing it, as an attempt to show the organ as a center-point of home life and to encourage children to learn music.
Hammond organs, as manufactured by the original company, can be divided into two main groups:
* CONSOLE ORGANS have two 61-note manuals and a pedalboard of at least two octaves . Most consoles do not have a built-in power amplifier or speakers, so an external amplifier and speaker cabinet is required. * SPINET ORGANS have two 44-note manuals and one octave of pedals, plus an internal power amplifier and set of speakers.
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The B-3 was the most popular Hammond organ, produced from 1954 to 1974
The first model in production, in June 1935, was the Model A. It contained most of the features that came to be standard on all console Hammonds, including two 61-key manuals, a 25-key pedalboard, an expression pedal, 12 reverse-color preset keys, two sets of drawbars for each manual, and one for the pedals.
To address concerns that the sound of the Hammond was not rich enough to accurately mimic a pipe organ, the model BC was introduced in December 1936. It included a chorus generator, in which a second tonewheel system added slightly sharp or flat tones to the overall sound of each note. The cabinet was made deeper to accommodate this. Production of the old Model A cases stopped, but the older model continued to be available as the AB until October 1938.
Criticism that the
The B-2 and C-2, introduced in 1949, allowed vibrato to be enabled or disabled on each manual separately. In 1954, the B-3 and C-3 models were introduced with the additional harmonic percussion feature. Despite several attempts by Hammond to replace them, these two models remained popular and stayed in continuous production through early 1975.
To cater more specifically to the church market, Hammond introduced the Concert Model E in July 1937, which included a full 32-note pedalboard and four electric switches known as toe pistons, allowing various sounds to be selected by the feet. The model E was replaced by the model RT in 1949, which retained the full size pedalboard, but otherwise was internally identical to the B and C models. RT-2 and RT-3 models subsequently appeared in line with the B-2/C-2 and B-3/C-3 respectively. The H-100 was an unsuccessful attempt to replace the B-3
In 1959, Hammond introduced the A-100 series. It was effectively a self-contained version of the B-3/C-3, with an internal power amplifier and speakers. The organ was manufactured in a variety of different chassis, with the last two digits of the specific model number determining the style and finish of the instrument. For example, A-105 was "Tudor styling in light oak or walnut," while the A-143 was "warm cherry finish, Early American styling". This model numbering scheme was used for several other series of console and spinet organs that subsequently appeared. The D-100 series, which provided a self-contained version of the RT-3, followed in 1963.
The E-100 series was a cost-reduced version of the A-100 introduced in 1965, with only one set of drawbars per manual, a reduced number of presets, and a slightly different tone generator. This was followed by the H-100 series, with a redesigned tonewheel generator and various other additional features. Unfortunately, the organ was not particularly well made, and suffered a reputation for being unreliable. Hammond service engineer Harvey Olsen said "When they work, they sound pretty decent. But die-hard enthusiasts won't touch it."
The L-100 spinet was particularly popular in the UK.
Though the instrument had been originally designed for use in a church, Hammond realized that the amateur home market was a far more lucrative business, and started manufacturing spinet organs in the late 1940s. Outside of the United States, they were manufactured in greater numbers than the consoles, and hence were more widely used. Several different types of M series instruments were produced between 1948 and 1964; they contained two 44-note manuals with one set of drawbars each, and a 12-note pedalboard. The M model was produced from 1948 to 1951, the M-2 from 1951 to 1955, and the M-3 from 1955 to 1964. The M series was replaced by the M-100 series in 1961, which used a numbering system to identify the body style and finish as used on earlier console series. It included the same manuals as the M, but increased the pedalboard size to 13 notes, stretching a full octave, and included a number of presets. The T-402 was one of the last tonewheel organs manufactured and included a built in drum machine
The L-100 series entered production at the same time as the M-100. It was an economy version, with various cost cutting changes so the organ could retail for under $1000. The vibrato was a simpler circuit than on other consoles and spinets. Two variations of the vibrato were provided, plus a chorus that mixed various vibrato signals together. The expression pedal, based on a cheaper design, was not as sophisticated as on the other organs. The L-100 was particularly popular in the UK and sold well, with several notable British musicians using it instead of a B-3 or C-3.
The T series, produced from 1968 to 1975, was the last of the tonewheel spinet organs. Unlike all the earlier Hammond organs, which used vacuum tubes for pre-amplification, amplification, Percussion and Chorus- Vibrato control, the T series used all-solid-state , transistor circuitry, though, unlike the L-100, it did include the scanner-vibrato as seen on the B-3. Other than the T-100 series models, all other T-Series models included a built-in rotating Leslie speaker and some included an analog drum machine , while the T-500 also included a built-in cassette recorder. It was one of the last tonewheel Hammonds produced.
Hammond started making transistor organs by the mid-1970s
In the 1960s, Hammond started making transistor organs. The first organ that bridged the gap between tonewheel and transistor was the X-66, introduced in May 1967. The X-66 contained just 12 tonewheels, and used electronics for frequency division . It contained separate "vibrato bass" and "vibrato treble" in an attempt to simulate a Leslie speaker. Hammond designed it as the company's flagship product, in response to market competition and to replace the B-3. However, it was considered expensive at $9,795 and it sold poorly. It did not sound like a B-3.
Hammond introduced their first integrated circuit (IC) model, the Concorde, in 1971. The company had stopped manufacturing tonewheel organs entirely by 1975, due to increased financial inefficiency, and switched to making IC models full-time. Console models included the 8000 Aurora (1976) and 8000M Aurora (1977), which contained drawbars and a built-in rotating speaker. Spinet organs included the Romance series, manufactured between 1977 and 1983. In 1979, a Japanese offshoot, Nihon Hammond, introduced the X-5, a portable solid-state clone of the B-3.
Hammond-Suzuki produced the XB-3, a digital emulation of a tonewheel organ, during the 1990s
Laurens Hammond died in 1973, and the company struggled to survive, proposing an acquiring of Roland in 1972, which was turned down. Roland's Ikutaro Kakehashi did not believe it was practical at that point to move the entire manufacturing operation from Chicago to Japan, and also viewed Hammond's declining sales figures as a problem.
In 1985, Hammond went out of business, though servicing and spares continued to be available after this under the name of The Organ Service Company. In early 1986, the Hammond brand and rights were acquired by Hammond Organ Australia, run by Noel Crabbe. Then in 1989, the name was purchased by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation, who rebranded the company as Hammond-Suzuki. Although nominally a Japanese company, founder Manji Suzuki was a fan of the instrument and retained several former Hammond Organ Company staff for research and development, and ensured that production would partially remain in the United States. The new company produced their own brand of portable organs, including the XB-2, XB-3 and XB-5. Sound on Sound 's Rod Spark, a longtime Hammond enthusiast, said these models were "a matter of taste, of course, but I don't think they're a patch on the old ones".
In 2002, Hammond-Suzuki launched the New B-3, a re-creation of the original electromechanical instrument using contemporary electronics and a digital tonewheel simulator. The New B-3 is constructed to appear like the original B-3, and the designers attempted to retain the subtle nuances of the familiar B-3 sound. Hammond-Suzuki promotional material states that it would be difficult for even an experienced B-3 player to distinguish between the old and new B-3 organs. A review of the New B-3 by Hugh Robjohns called it "a true replica of an original B-3 ... in terms of the look and layout, and the actual sound." The instrument project nearly stalled after a breakdown in negotiations between Japanese and United States staff, the latter of whom insisted on manufacturing the case in the United States and designing the organ to identical specifications to the original. The Hammond SK1 included emulations of electric pianos and other keyboard sounds in addition to organ
The company has since released the XK-3, a single-manual organ using
the same digital tonewheel technology as the New B-3. The XK-3 is part
of a modular system that allows an integrated lower manual and pedals
to be added. In response to some clones including a variety of
vintage keyboards in a single package, Hammond released the SK series
of organs, which include grand piano ,
In the US, Hammond manufactures a number of dedicated console organs, including the B-3mk2 and the C-3mk2, and the A-405, a Chapel Console Organ. The company has a dedicated Church Advisory Team that provides a consultancy so that churches can choose the most appropriate instrument.
The authorized loudspeaker enclosure to use with a console organ was the Hammond Tone Cabinet, which housed an external amplifier and speaker in a cabinet. The cabinet carried a balanced mono signal along with the necessary mains power directly from the organ, using a six-pin cable. Spinet organs contained a built-in power amplifier and loudspeakers , and so did not require a tone cabinet. The tone cabinet was originally the only method of adding reverb to a Hammond organ; reverb was not fitted to older organs. The most commercially successful tone cabinets were probably the PR series, particularly the 40-watt PR40.
Chord Sequence A simple chord sequence played on a Hammond
organ through a
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Many players prefer to play the Hammond through a rotating speaker
cabinet known, after several name changes, as a
The Leslie was originally designed to mimic the complex tones and constantly shifting sources of sound emanating from a large group of ranks in a pipe organ. The effect varies depending on the speed of the rotors, which can be toggled between fast (tremolo) and slow (chorale) using a console half-moon or pedal switch, with the most distinctive effect occurring as the speaker rotation speed changes. The most popular Leslies were the 122, which accepted a balanced signal suitable for console organs, and the 147, which accepted an unbalanced signal and could be used for spinet organs with a suitable adapter. The Pro-Line series of Leslies which were made to be portable for gigging bands using solid-state amps were popular during the 1970s. A "half-moon"-shaped switch for changing the speed of a Leslie speaker.
Leslie initially tried to sell his invention to Hammond, but Laurens
Hammond was unimpressed and declined to purchase it. Hammond modified
their interface connectors to be "Leslie-proof", but Leslie quickly
engineered a workaround. The Leslie company was sold to
The tonewheel rotates beside an electromagnetic pickup.
Although they are sometimes included in the category of electronic organs, the majority of Hammond organs are, strictly speaking, electric or electromechanical rather than electronic organs because the sound is produced by moving parts rather than electronic oscillators.
The basic component sound of a
Crosstalk or leakage occurs when the instrument's magnetic pickups receive the signal from rotating metal tonewheels other than those selected by the organist. Hammond considered crosstalk a defect that required correcting, and in 1963 introduced a new level of resistor–capacitor (R/C) filtering to greatly reduce this crosstalk, along with 50–60 Hz mains hum . However, the sound of tonewheel crosstalk is now considered part of the signature of the Hammond organ, to the extent that modern digital clones explicitly emulate it.
Some Hammond organs have an audible pop or click when a key is pressed. Originally, key click was considered a design defect and Hammond worked to eliminate or at least reduce it with equalization filters. However, many performers liked the percussive effect, and it has been accepted as part of the classic sound. Hammond research and development engineer Alan Young said "the professionals who were playing popular music that the attack was so prominent. And they objected when it was eliminated."
CLONES AND EMULATION DEVICES
The first attempts to electronically copy a Hammond appeared in the 1970s, including the Roland VK-1 and VK-9, the Yamaha YP45D and the Crumar Organiser. The Korg CX-3 (single manual) and BX-3 (dual manual) were the first lightweight organs to produce a comparable sound to the original. Sound on Sound's Gordon Reid said that the CX-3 "came close to emulating the true depth and passion of a vintage Hammond," particularly when played through a Leslie speaker. The Nord Electro emulated drawbars using buttons and a light emitting diode display
List of Hammond organ players and
List of jazz organists
Jimmy Smith 's use of the
Early customers of the Hammond included
Jimmy Smith began to play Hammond regularly in the 1950s,
particularly in his sessions for the
Blue Note label between 1956 and
1963. He eschewed a bass player, and played all the bass parts himself
using the pedals, generally using a walking bassline on the pedals in
combination with percussive left hand chords. His trio format,
composed of organ, guitar and drums, became internationally famous
following an appearance at the Newport
Booker T. Jones is cited as being the bridge from rhythm and blues to
rock. British organist James Taylor said the Hammond "became popular
when people such as Booker T. why don't you go out and buy one for
yourself?" Fisher went on to play the organ lines on
Gregg Allman became interested in the Hammond after
Mike Finnigan had
introduced him to Jimmy Smith's music, and started to write material
with it. His brother Duane specifically requested he play the
instrument when forming the
Allman Brothers Band
The Hammond was a key instrument in progressive rock music. Author Edward Macan thinks this is because of its versatility, allowing both chords and lead lines to be played, and a choice between quiet and clean, and what Emerson described as a "tacky, aggressive, almost distorted, angry sound." Emerson first found commercial success with the Nice , with whom he used and abused an L-100, putting knives in the instrument, setting fire to it, playing it upside down, or riding it across stage in the manner of a horse. He continued to play the instrument in this manner alongside other keyboards in Emerson, Lake and Palmer . Other prominent Hammond organists in progressive rock include the Zombies ' and Argent 's Rod Argent , Yes 's Tony Kaye and Rick Wakeman , Focus 's Thijs van Leer , Uriah Heep 's Ken Hensley , Pink Floyd 's Rick Wright , Kansas 's Steve Walsh , and Genesis 's Tony Banks . Banks later claimed he only used the Hammond because a piano was impractical to transport to gigs.
Jazz, blues and gospel musicians continued to use Hammond organs into
the 21st century.
Barbara Dennerlein has received critical acclaim for
her performances on the Hammond, particularly her use of the bass
pedals, and has modified the instrument to include samplers triggered
by the pedals.
Joey DeFrancesco embraced the instrument during the
1990s, and later collaborated with Jimmy Smith. He is positive about
the future of the Hammond organ, saying "Everybody loves it. It makes
you feel good ... I think it's bigger now than ever."
* ^ A B "Marmon Group sells Hammond Organ rights". Chicago Sun-Times. January 3, 1986. Retrieved July 31, 2013. * ^ A B C Faragher 2011 , p. 14.
* ^ "Hammond XK-3 STORY: 3. History—locus of Hammond Combo Organ"
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Summary: In 1986, Hammond Super B was released as a revive of B-3
using digitally sampled tonewheel sounds. Then in 1991, this sound
generator was utilized on a combo organ; that was Hammond Suzuki XB-2.
* ^ A B C Vail 2002 , p. 68.
* ^ A B C D E Vail 2002 , p. 69.
* ^ Bush & Kassel 2006 , p. 168.
* ^ Corbin 2006 , p. 151.
* ^ Faragher 2011 , p. 34.
* ^ A B C D Vail 2002 , p. 76.
* ^ Faragher 2011 , p. 33-34.
* ^ Faragher 2011 , p. 50.
* ^ A B Vail 2002 , p. 89.
* ^ "Organ Keys". Vintage Organ Parts. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
* ^ "SK Series Brochure" (PDF). Hammond USA. Retrieved March 20,
* ^ Faragher 2011 , p. 58.
* ^ A B C Campbell, Greated & Myers 2004 , p. 447.
* ^ A B C D E Robjohns, Hugh. "Hammond B3: Modelled
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