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Organ growl?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Kuzan, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Kuzan

    Kuzan Guest

    Hi Guys

    Can anyone enlighten me on how to get a software B4 organ to "Growl"

    My reference music is Sheryl Crow's song "Change" (A Change will do you good).

    In the song's chorus there is a organ chord played and released, which is the growl I'm referring to.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Most Hammond B3/B4 programs should have the overdrive included. It's integral to getting many of the most popular sounds of the 60s (and S Crow's sound, et al, though I'm certain Crow's sound is an actual Hammond through a Leslie).

    However, a software guitar overdrive/distortion will do.
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Ahhhh yes... the allusive B3 growl.....

    Traditionally, it's a natural overdrive of the Hammond and the Leslie... more overdrive of the Leslie amp than the Hammond.

    You can try re-amping the audio through an external amp, or even overdriving a mic pre.

    IMHO, doing the growl externally will have a more realistic "natural" sound than doing something like a ITB preamp, distortion effect, etc.

    The "best" is to snag a Leslie and overdrive it's input.

  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Since this seems to be a somewhat limited application you may not be interested, but I thought I'd pass the info on. I have a Nord Electro 2 that I use primarily as a B3 clone, so I've been reading/thinking a lot about this topic.

    The best option take the Leslie sim out of your program and reamp through a Leslie. You will need a preamp to overdrive the Leslie, but since you won't be driving the pre, any reasonably clean pre will do. (There have been a couple of recent threads on recording a Leslie.) This will sound very authentic. In my experience, any clone through a real Leslie sounds great. They are all close enough to the output of a Hammond that the Leslie gives them an authentic gloss.

    If that is not practical (probably not), you have to use the combination of an overdrive device and a Leslie sim. In theory, I'd like to have the overdirve before the sim in the signal chain, but I've never had the gear to really do that, and I don't like the internal overdrive effect in the Nord. So I've been left with putting in overdrive after the Leslie sim. The preamps that are all the rage on the clone boards are made by Speakeasy. I have not put out the bucks for one of these but have heard great recordings and a lot of rave reviews. I went the cheap route and use a little Presonus Blue Tube unit. I have my suspicions about how much the tube is really involved in the circuit, but it sounds pretty good with the Nord at mild levels of distortion. I use this going straight into a full range powered PA speaker or recorded direct.

    So, bottom line, the most practical advice is like everyone else's - to reamp through an overdriven tube pre. Of course, you should try the things in your locker first, but after that I'd try to borrow cheap tube pres. Mic pres are not generally designed for their best overdriven sound, so cheap ones can do better than expensive ones.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Okay. These are all great ideas. And all will work faithfully. Hopefully you are only looking for a backing part and not attempting to display this sound upfront.

    The ONLY thing that will reproduce this sound is a tone-wheel generated organ sound through a series of tubes ending in a rotating speaker arrangement in a REAL WOOD cabinet.

    I have worked for years with keyboardists who have used several different methods to achieve this sound....even playing a synth'd hammond sound through a leslie (atsa close un!!), and in the end, nothing really does it. Most of the time they simply start moving the Hammond around again.

    Thats not to say that a sim sound isnt all that it needs to be. Quite on the contrary, a little change is good....that change'll do you good.........
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Ain't nothin' simple about moving that 1/4 ton beast. (The Nord weighs 20 lbs.) I'm lucky that I'm not a real keyboard player. I helped carry the B3 for a real player while he helped lug my SVT. We were both younger, stronger, and dumber. I never really got hooked on pulling and pushing those drawbars, so a clone is good enough for my comping. Of course, I keep trying to figure some way to get room for a B3 here in the house - or convince my church to buy one.
  7. Kuzan

    Kuzan Guest

    Guys, thanks so much for all the great input. I'll have to put my feelers out for a Leslie. The market's a bit small in SA, but I'm sure I'll find one.

    In the interim, this is what I have done, which has got me relatively close to what I was looking for....

    I recorded the chords twice, fist using the "Purple" reset in B4 and then using the "Full Scanner" Preset. I also changed the way I played them, from just straight, to running my fingers down the keyboard after the chord.

    I then used an external device (DAT) to play them back through a guitar processor set to clean, with the drive set high and with a tube compressor inserted with tubes on full.

    After that a little EQ with Waves 10EQ kinda did the trick. I mixed both back as a single track.

    Thanks again. The info is invaluable.
  8. I,ve found this post interesting. One of the problems of creating that sound is that it starts with a bunch of tone wheels that are'nt spot on to well tempered scale as keyboards are. Then you put it through the most unhi-fi speaker system and then spin them so that they are never in phase.
    It's a difficult thing to replicate.
    I shall be using my set up shortly. I've made some big mods to the system. I have high power drivers in the leslie and I've built a solid state relay control for the motors. This eliminates any switch noise coming through the amp.
    As for the amp, I use my 70s Orange graphic head instead of the leslie amp. I can play anything through the leslie with this. String synths sound great. The Hammond sounds great though, and having eq on the amp is really useful depending on where it is set up if it's just to lift or cut the low end. As for growl, the Orange amp is a monster for that sound. Dave.
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    My guess is that given reasonably significant variation in the tone of Hammonds (especially at this age) that from this listeners point of view the best clones played through a Leslie sit right in with the real thing. That is, if you took five B3s and a collection of the best clones - played them through a Leslie and recorded them at several settings - then mixed the recordings randomly - You would have a very hard time finding people with a good enough ear to get 90% correct separating the clones from the real thing.

    On the other hand, from a players point of view, the difference is very real. It's not so much the feel of the keyboard - a lot of the clones have the shape and tension of the keys right. But the sense of mass of the organ and the feel of vibration of the electromechanical changes (which are not audible) absolutely comes through. And of course it is a very common phenomenon that players mix "feels different" up with "sounds different."
  10. Right on Bob! I approach my Hammond in a completely different way to any other keyboard. Sitting behind the beast puts you in a different mind set, and thus play differently somehow.
    I also agree about finding two 3 series Hammonds that sound the same. The caps on the tone wheel pick ups make a big difference, as anyone that has had theirs recapped will tell you. There is also an inductance coil too. Once you've added up all those paper caps and coils and put it through the drawbar transformer before it even gets to the preamp alot can be different. Dave
  11. JustCallMe

    JustCallMe Guest

  12. JustCallMe

    JustCallMe Guest

    sorry for being so loud.
  13. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Ya mean the one with "Yours Is No Disgrace" on it? I read that that one was a Hammond CV through whichever Leslie was wired for that (147/122) model. And back then, the 'mods' were pretty much new tubes and fresh oil...
  14. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Actually, if I remember correctly, Tony Kaye used a Hi-Watt 100 head into the barrel/speaker of a 147 Leslie, the rotor used the stock 147 amplification. That was a pretty standard set-up for the late 60's to the late 70's. For a while I used a Bandmaster head and then the Hi-Watt 100 head into a Leslie 860 with a JBL full range speaker and an Altec driver for the hi end.
  15. If he used a CV organ they were often wired differently to the C3. These didn't have percussion circuits on them. If they were like my old BC or the B2 or C2 types the bass tone generators were often connected to the lower manual drawbars giving that extra low end. This is something that I misssed on my later Hammonds, not being able to add hat extra low end growl. That old BC of mine was built in 1937 and had been chopped to bits when I got it, but it still sounded great. Dave.
  16. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    ok i'm a keyboardplayer and yes i agree nothings like the real thing.... given that... a buddy recently bought a hughes and kettner pedal that's a tube overdrive and leslie sim.... and it's very surprising...
  17. JustCallMe

    JustCallMe Guest

    Im pretty sure there is more to it than just turning a B3 up loud as possible. I read somewhere something about adjusting the trimmer capacitor, but i really dont know for sure. I want something like Gregg Rolie's organ in early Santana (I only hope that he used THAT model, unlike everyone else apparently).
  18. JustCallMe

    JustCallMe Guest

    What did Gregg Rolie in early Santana do, because it can't just be turning it up all the way could it. Can't one perform an internal adjustment or something?
  19. JustCallMe

    JustCallMe Guest

    Im somewhat confused on this overdriving thing could someone elaborate?
  20. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    yeah he did the overdrive thing... much like a guitar amp if you hit it with too much signal it distorts in a somewhat pleasant way when your using tubes... i worked on them for awhile and never heard of a triming capacitor in them...

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