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How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673271
10/30/07 11:10 AM
10/30/07 11:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Oceano, CA
P
PianoJammer Offline OP
Junior Member
PianoJammer  Offline OP
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P
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Oceano, CA
Hi. I have a Yamaha P-60 keyboard which I am generally extremely pleased with. However, it has a limited number of voices and now I would like to access something akin to a Hammond B3 organ sound to help me with a couple of jazz and blues jam band situations I've been asked to participate in.

The two organ voices that come with the P-60 are church organ sounding and don't come close to cutting it for these situations, so I've stuck with the accoustic and electric piano voices so far which sound good but I want more versatility.

Is there something I can plug into to get a more appropriate voice anywhere close to a Jimmy Smith-type organ sound?

Your help will be much appreciated!

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Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673272
10/30/07 11:24 AM
10/30/07 11:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,285
Posts: 80,372
Eternal Offline
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Eternal  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,285
Posts: 80,372
I guess you could go with either a Virtual Instrument via MIDI (will require an external laptop/computer), or a plug in module. Don't know much about modules - you may want to Google:
Hammond B3 organ module

This is one of the first results:
http://www.epinions.com/content_70456413828

Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673273
10/30/07 11:40 AM
10/30/07 11:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,458
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Triryche Offline
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Triryche  Offline
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Posts: 1,458
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Probably won't get you quite there, but maybe a little closer, but have you tried layering 2 voices?

Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673274
10/30/07 10:48 PM
10/30/07 10:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 258
Trent Woods, NC
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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MoodyBluesKeys  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 258
Trent Woods, NC
Generally, there are a couple of ways to get a B3/Leslie sound, and continue to use your keyboard. Both involve connecting MIDI.

One way would be to purchase a MIDI controlled rack synthesizer or module (no keyboard, has MIDI in and out and Audio out) that has a good B3 sound. Several companies over the years have made rack modules for the B3 sound. eMu had a unit, Korg had a unit, and some others. To use the unit, you turn off the internal sound of your keyboard, feed the MIDI out of the keyboard to the MIDI in of the module, and feed the output of the module to an amplifier and speaker system.

The second way is tu use a computer along with a "soft synth." The soft synth is a program that runs on the computer. I am using this now for B3 sounds, since the older Kurzweil keyboard that I have at church does not have a really realistic B3 sound. I have added an eMu 1212m set of cards to the computer to provide MIDI in and out and high quality, low latency (delay after the key is pressed until the sound starts) audio output. I run a program called "B4" by Native Instruments. It looks like a Hammond B3 on the screen. I can change the drawbars on the screen (or with control knobs of a midi controller keyboard), use the mod wheel to shift Leslie speeds, set up three different presets for upper, lower manuals and pedals and switch to each by changing the MIDI channel that the keyboard sends out.

Or - you could just replace the whole keyboard with something that has a good B3 sound built in. I have a Kurzweil K2661 synthesizer that I use for gigs - it has what they call "KB3" modes that allow me to get a very good and realistic Hammond/Leslie sound. Nord and Roland also make keyboards that have good Hammond sounds.

There are a number of ways to get where you want to go. Which is most effective depends on your requirements. A computer is somewhat fragile, and I don't want to carry one to different gigs. I like having everything in the keyboard that I play. Operating convenience also varier - the KB3 in the Kurzweil is probably the easiest to operate while playing.

HTH,
Jim


Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
JBL 10&15 EONG2s, EV SxA100+s QSC K10s, HP & ThinkPad DAWs, eMu 1820M & 1616M.
Epi Les Paul & LP 5str Bass, Trace amp-cabinets.
Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired
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Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673275
10/31/07 01:18 AM
10/31/07 01:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Oceano, CA
P
PianoJammer Offline OP
Junior Member
PianoJammer  Offline OP
Junior Member
P
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Oceano, CA
Thanks. I wish it was as simple and inexpensive as plugging a guitar into an effects box! (I'm kind of surprised it is not.)

Jim's detailed response points out that it is not quite so simple, and even the rack mounts he mentions, the e-mu at least, cost about as much as my keyboard or more. All these are expensive, correct?

I've enjoyed my mostly acoustic piano-oriented approach in part because of the simplicity. I just like the idea of having a single keyboard (or piano) and making the most of that without having racks upon racks, stacked keyboards and wires going everywhere, not to mention a portable computer hitched up to everything and dealing with learning ever more software programs.

But, perhaps I've resisted long enough. I NEED a B-3 sound, dagnabit! I'm burning to get a funky groove thing going right now!

And Jim led right into what was to be my follow-up question: what stage-type keyboards, with 88 weighted keys preferably, are there out there in the under $1500 range (preferably under $1,000) that have a nice B3 sound built in. Some more specific recommendations on this would be welcome from anyone. I really like the feel (weighted keys) and tone (though limited in voices) of my Yamaha.

Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673276
10/31/07 04:58 AM
10/31/07 04:58 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Somerset UK
K
ktom Offline
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ktom  Offline
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K
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Somerset UK
Take a look at this
http://www.samedaymusic.com/product--ROLVK8M
I dont know this dealer - just found the info on the module.
I have never used one but I hear that they are good and I like the idea of being able to operate real tone bars live.
I am not sure about keyboard prices in the US - I use a Yamaha S90 with a decent B3 sound - Roland RD700 is supposed to have a very good B3 - but probably both more than you want to spend. Nord are expensive and dont have proper weighted keys, I believe. Of course - if you really want to make the most of a B3 sound, you need an organ style keyboard - more like this
http://www.imuso.co.uk/ProductDetail.asp?StockCode=ST00050
or this
http://www.gear4music.com/Roland_VK8_Combo_Organsefv_3.html
But then you need 2 boards cos it is not great playing piano on unweighted keys.
Personally I have not come across cheaper boards that combine a good weighted action - good piano and good B3.. but there are so many out there now, maybe somebody else has......

tom


Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..
Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673277
10/31/07 04:29 PM
10/31/07 04:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 258
Trent Woods, NC
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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MoodyBluesKeys  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 258
Trent Woods, NC
For under $1500, you should be able to find a Kurzweil PC2X - 88 key fully weighted, a very good acoustic piano sample, good Hammond B3 sounds, and lots of others.
You might do considerably better on EBay. Sometimes some of these show up as "B stock" - factory reconditioned that have a warranty, sometimes a very attractive price.

I was considering one myself, I like my PC2, but want 88 keys. I wound up getting a very good price on a 2600X instead (full synthesizer instead of performance controller). The piano is actually better on the PC2, unless I add tha additiona ROM with the two softer sample sets.

Jim


Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
JBL 10&15 EONG2s, EV SxA100+s QSC K10s, HP & ThinkPad DAWs, eMu 1820M & 1616M.
Epi Les Paul & LP 5str Bass, Trace amp-cabinets.
Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired
Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673278
11/01/07 09:10 AM
11/01/07 09:10 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Somerset UK
K
ktom Offline
Full Member
ktom  Offline
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K
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Somerset UK
You might want to read the reviews on Harmony Central, on any of the boards above, of course - but particularly the PC2X.


Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..
Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673279
11/01/07 04:15 PM
11/01/07 04:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 121
Northern California, USA
W
wruess Offline
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wruess  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 121
Northern California, USA
If you really want to play some jazz/blues/rock organ, you are probably NOT going to want to play it on a weighted action keyboard. Also, no single keyboard patch or MIDI plug-in is going to really sound like a B3. If it's just an occasional tune you need organ 'sound' on, then I agree w/ above suggestions. Otherwise, you may want to get a dedicated second (non weighted action) board for organ, and investigate units made by Motion Sound, with true rotating speakers in them. (Portable and pretty decent sound).

Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673280
11/01/07 11:16 PM
11/01/07 11:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 258
Trent Woods, NC
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
Full Member
MoodyBluesKeys  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 258
Trent Woods, NC
Weighted versus unweighted is why I have both a K2661 (61 key unweighted) AND a PC-2 (76 key weighted). Both of them have the KB2 module inside, so I really can set up on a double height stand and have both manuals of a B3 available.

I use the PC2 more for piano type stuff, and the 2661 for synth stuff. The deal I thought I had for the K2600X fell through, so I'm still looking for a full 88 keys. The new PC3X should be released next month, but it is a tad higher priced than my current budget (maybe I can get enough extra work in the next few months for it.) Some of the Kurz designers that hang out in the Sonikmatter forum say that the new B3 emulation is better, particularly in the Leslie part (plus - it will have nine controllers on board without having to use the mod wheel).

We do have the SP88X in the living room, but that's kind of mostly used by my wife and granddaughter. With three keyboard players, one can really say that they NEED more than one keyboard!
Jim


Jim Cason
Promised LAN Computing, Inc.
Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
JBL 10&15 EONG2s, EV SxA100+s QSC K10s, HP & ThinkPad DAWs, eMu 1820M & 1616M.
Epi Les Paul & LP 5str Bass, Trace amp-cabinets.
Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired
Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673281
11/02/07 06:37 AM
11/02/07 06:37 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 137
Italy&Orange County, CA
Suryaman Offline
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Suryaman  Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 137
Italy&Orange County, CA
Hi,
you could have one of the best hammond sound buying the Hammond-Suzuki XM2 module if you don't want keys or the HS XK-1 if you want a good waterfall action.
Both XK-1 or XM2 have killer b3 sound and great leslie effect.

If I was in you I'd consider the XK-1, great hammond clone for its price.

Re: How can I get Hammond B3 sound for my keyboard? #673282
11/02/07 02:27 PM
11/02/07 02:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 121
Northern California, USA
W
wruess Offline
Full Member
wruess  Offline
Full Member
W
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 121
Northern California, USA
Quote
from Suryaman:

Both XK-1 or XM2 have killer b3 sound and great leslie effect.
IMO, the difference between the built-in 'leslie effect' (even on the XK-3) and a true rotating speaker (either Leslie or Motion Sound) is huge. The Hammond-Suzuki portables really shine when played thru a rotating speaker. Check out the Motion Sound Pro-3X.


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