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What's the current state of digital Hammonds?

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  • What's the current state of digital Hammonds?

    I'm a piano player and have resisted including any Hammond or other organ sounds onstage. Piano and organs are so different, aside from the keys, that it seemed an insult for me to just tack one on and pretend I could play it.

    Now I've got four years professionally playing pipe organ -- the real thing -- and I'm wondering if it might be time... Hammond sounds *so* good in a band.

    I play a Yamaha P255 stage piano and could use MIDI to run an emulator on my computer. Or maybe MIDI to a separate box with sliders etc and maybe built-in sounds. Or maybe a whole separate unit (ugh, more to carry) with proper organ keys and all the bells and whistles.

    To those who actually play both piano and organ, aside from budget (this is pie in the sky just now) what are the considerations?
    Last edited by pogo97; 01-16-2018, 10:03 PM.
    There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

  • #2
    i worked a few years ago with a keyboard player from the atlanta area... he had just picked up a digital hammond and i enjoyed it! i especially enjoyed not carrying a b3 up three flights of stairs.. ( like i still could, lollol)
    my p0asting days were numb bird... now im done... bye.


    • #3
      as a disclaimer, i ahve not played keyboards for longer than .... a long time... .
      my p0asting days were numb bird... now im done... bye.


      • #4
        Expand upon your abilities on the piano, the organ keys are the same notes on the scale as you know
        if you can afford it, buy an organ waterfall keys and all
        some are online inexpensive
        find someone willing to pay you to haul their old Hammond away...


        • pogo97
          pogo97 commented
          Editing a comment
          My piano abilities: I've been playing for 56 years, and it shows. Last night, because of a cold, I played instrumental jazz-age jazz all night. Not a problem.

      • #5
        I have a 2014 Hammond XK-1c that I picked up for 1200 bucks new. Much improved over the old XBs and early XKs I run it through a small Motion Sound rotating cab and I love it. Even by itself, it's cool, but a dedicated Lesile cab or sim might be better. 15 pounds, waterfall keys, drawbars... what's not to love?
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        • #6
          There's a Nord electro 2 rack near me for $800 cdn (~600 usd). Any thoughts on these? I know that my piano keyboard is not quite the ticket for organ, but besides that…

          There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton


          • #7
            If you're serious about your organ playing, you wouldn't use weighted hammer-action keys to play it on... palm smears could cause some serious hand damage, even bleeding! (although the Electro Rack would certainly do the trick for sound). You should also buy an unweighted 61-key controller for the Nord, if you buy that. Or just get a full keyboard version of the Nord.
            Korg Z1, Yamaha Clavinova CLP-350, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M, Arturia CS-80V, VAZ Modular, co-author of MinimogueVA and Arppe2600va.


            • #8
              I don't know if you're solely looking for a Hammond but there are other great options out there. I think Crumar and Studiologic (Numa) make pretty good organs, geared towards jazz.

              Myself, I run a Doepfer 61 key waterfall keyboard controller through VB3 software, through a GSI Burn. I have to say that the feel and sound of this rig is quite impressive.

              The Hammonds sound great, too....but the price is overly steep, IMO.
              Last edited by koolkat; 02-22-2018, 07:49 PM.
              Dave Smith Prophet REV2 :: Moog Slim Phatty :: Doepfer d3m controller :: GSI Burn :: Yamaha MOX6 :: Roland Gaia


              • #9
                Hammond organs are different than a piano that is important to understand. For an organ player the organ does a certain amount of the work and the guys that are really good aren’t necessarily good piano players but it can be done in rare instances. Since you can play pipe organ try to get some time on one of these models:

                Hammond A, B or C, RT3 and D100 models

                The RT3 Console and D-100 series have the 32 note pedal AGO specifications. It will help you get the perspective. Then I suggest getting a clone. I don’t like the Nords they don’t sound good in the upper register. The Hammond, Viscount and Mojo lines are fine. Some of the digital Hammonds put they controls kind of in the same place the original consoles did.
                "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"