50 years of the Hammond B3
"The Hammond Organ is Alive & Kicking....there's just no substitute for the real Thing!" British Broadcasting Corporation
The unique B-3 sound is reproduced by a revolutionary newly designed sound generator system (96DigitalToneWheels™), which recreates all of those wonderful idiosyncrasies of the Tone wheel generator which have eluded all previous digital systems.
all comtemporary electronic musical instruments generate their sound "on
the fly" : this means that wheneven a note is pressed, the computer figures
out which key and sound-characteristics are needed and fetches this information
out of a sample-table from the computers memory-banks.
This information is then processed to produce the actual sound. All of this happens within milli-seconds after any key is pressed.
In contrast to the above the New B-3 has an " all-note continuous " sound-generator: Inspired by the original Hammond tone-wheel generator in which 91 wheels are spinning continuously, the new generation Hammond is producing every single one of 96 sine-waves all the time...
Each of these 96 signals is mapped to the multi-contact system, which is again inspired on the original B-3 : whenever a key is pressed each of the 9 corresponding drawbar sine-waves is "un-blocked" by its individual contact...
The implications of this are staggering...
just think about it for a while...
think about the dynamics involved... instead of any note needing to be retrieved any generated after the key is pressed, the sound is actually already there, but is being detained by the key-contact, ready to spring out...
This explains the incredible dynamic sound experience that only Hammond creates... you will be impressed by the sheer massive pressure-wave that this instrument can release...
It all has to do with "continuous tone-generation "
Another aspect is the polyphony : over are the days of 16, 32, 64, 128-note polyphonie... over are the days of "note out-phasing"... every single drawbar-note is there... all the time... that's what we call " all-note generation".
Only Hammond, inspired on the longest tradition of drawbar-generation, can offer you the experience and emotion of such truely "virtual tone-wheel generation"...
keys & harmonic drawbars
Two, 61 note, B-3 style, waterfall key, keyboards allow for the essential performance characteristics of the Hammond masters, especially effortless palm glissandos. While four complete sets of nine traditional harmonic drawbars and twenty four reverse colour key presets achieve total ease of set up.
It is by utilising several tone varying features that the B-3 performs so uniquely. Upper and lower pitch foldback subtly effects the overall sound, while, probably, the most important and interesting feature is the nine key contact system operating on each key. These contacts connect from each of the nine drawbar pitches and by pressing a key slowly each pitch level can be determined, high to low. This system created the earliest form of touch response for tone variance as well as expression. This mechanical contact system is also responsible for Hammond´s famous key click noise, an unintended feature that became an essential component of the B-3 character. The new B-3 incorporates a complete mechanical contact system, totally unique in a modern instrument.
Sound dynamics are controlled by an exact copy of the original B-3 expression curve incorporated in the new instruments foot volume controller.
The challenge for many years has been to recreate the look, sound and feel of this legendary keyboard instrument. Only Hammond has the qualifications and knowledge to accurately achieve this
Now the B-3 is re- born...
These are the terms that best describe the Hammond
New B-3 Organ. This brochure is dedicated to all performers
and lovers of organ music who demand nothing less than the
finest in tonal reproduction whether their appreciation is for
the classic masterpieces of Bach or the sparkling modern
arrangements of contemporary composers and artists.
The Hammond New B-3 Organ offers conservative styling
that lends gracious dignity to any décor. Notice the variety
of timeless finishes carefully executed on choice hand
selected woods. Observe the superb craftsmanship that
represents the epitome of the cabinetmaker’s art.
You can literally "feel" the built-in quality that characterizes
all of the craftsmanship that is represented in the Hammond
New B-3 Organ- from the finish on the superb cabinet to the
precious metal palladium contacts in the heart of this truly
Finally! Someone got it right!
The Heart and Soul of the New B-3
Digital Tone Wheel™ Sound Engine
Let us now consider the new digital tone generator and see how it produces the sound. The unique Hammond B-3 sound is reproduced by a revolutionary newly designed sound generator system (96 digital Tone Wheels). This new digital Tone Wheel generator perfectly generates pure tones that is tones which have no harmonic content of their own. This purity is essential in order to attain a desirable tonal cohesion between the fundamental and its harmonics when they are mixed through the use of the drawbars.
When a manual
key is pressed, it closes 10 small electrical switch contacts. These
contacts are connected to the digital Tone Wheel generator as well as to
the drawbars. The positions of the
leaving the drawbars,
the various electrical currents are connected together (or "mixed") to form a single complex current which flows from the console to the Leslie cabinet where it is amplified and caused to operate the
speakers. The swell pedal varies the intensity (or volume) of this complex
current before it reaches the speakers.
Each manual of the organ is equipped with nine pre-set combination keys. In addition, there are two sets of manually adjustable controls for each keyboard, thus making twenty-two different registrations which are instantly available, in addition, of course, to the many thousands of variations available by adjustment of the "harmonic drawbars." "VIBRATO AND CHORUS" has six possible positions corresponding to three degrees of vibrato and three degrees of vibrato chorus. The control pre-selects the extent of vibrato or vibrato chorus which will be obtained when either of the manual vibrato "ON-OFF" stops is used.
Touch ResponsePercussion Control
tones may be produced with a key-controlled "touch-response" in
which desired notes of a melody may be accentuated. Now at your touch are
effects like harp, chimes, orchestral bells, celeste, xylophone, marimba
and a whole new world of fascinating percussion tones, which may be
expressively introduced in a manner not found on any other organ.
The drawbars, control tablets and rotary controls affect the operations necessary for performance on the organ. Advanced features such as drawbar voice mode, pedal sustain length etc., are accessed using the Information Center. This allows the player to see and make changes. The Information Center Display and touch buttons are located on a drawer unit positioned under the right side of the lower manual.
The SelectiveVibrato Stops
great and swell manuals are provided with separate "ONOFF"
The new Hammond B-3 has a Rotary Control Panel which is located underneath the manuals on the extreme left side. The organist can use these controls to adjust the sound of the instrument such as: master volume, bass, treble, reverb, overdrive etc.
The New Hammond B-3 has a
MIDI OUT jack which is located underneath the organ on the left side. To
control another MIDI instrument (synthesizer, sound module, etc.) from the
organ, connect the MIDI OUT from the organ to the MIDI IN of the
instrument you want to control.
of the Hammond Organ
This is the
original, unique feature of the Hammond Organ which makes it completely
different from any other organ. In the Hammond Organ, the basic elements
of all musical tones (the fundamental and its harmonic overtones) are made
separately available to the organist. Furthermore, their relative
strengths may be adjusted at the will by the organist. The drawbars of the
Hammond Organ are provided for this purpose. Flute-like tones, for
instance, may be produced by a certain combination of these drawbars;
string-like effects by another combination; or the effects of both strings