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Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby innerchord » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:08 pm

claz wrote:On the guitar (on which I'm amateur), one can vary the tone from pitched to noise, tone to percussion intuitively, via touch; it is the ability to achieve that on a keyboard instrument which attracts me to the Hammond.
This puzzles me. There is no traditional touch sensitivity on a Hammond. Can you clarify what it is you're referring to?
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:44 pm

innerchord wrote:There is no traditional touch sensitivity on a Hammond. Can you clarify what it is you're referring to?

The traditional Hammond console organ (and the early spinets) uses multiple contacts under each key -- nine in the case of the B3/C3/A100 etc -- one for each drawbar pitch.

If a key is not fully depressed not all of the contacts make so not all pitches will sound, and so the timbre of the note can vary considerably depending on how far the key is depressed and which draw bars are active. Also, if the keys are played very quickly indeed they tend to produce clicks (noise) rather than tones, so effectively become percussive rather than tonal.

So there is a form of touch-sensitivity -- unique to classic Hammonds (and just a couple of Hammond clones) -- which is revered by skilled Hammond players, but rarely understood or appreciated by more casual and inexperienced organ players. And it's not available at all on most clones and virtual instruments of course.
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby innerchord » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:03 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:So there is a form of touch-sensitivity -- unique to classic Hammonds (and just a couple of Hammond clones) -- which is revered by skilled Hammond players, but rarely understood or appreciated by more casual and inexperienced organ players. And it's not available at all on most clones and virtual instruments of course.
Thanks Hugh, but I knew all that! I was aiming my question at the OP to see what he expected the Hammond to provide.

P.S. Which clones have more than two contacts? Sounds like you'd be the man to ask!
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:30 pm

innerchord wrote:Which clones have more than two contacts? Sounds like you'd be the man to ask!

Oh, am I to presume you really know that too, and are just testing me now? :wtf:
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby The Elf » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:53 pm

innerchord wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:So there is a form of touch-sensitivity -- unique to classic Hammonds (and just a couple of Hammond clones) -- which is revered by skilled Hammond players, but rarely understood or appreciated by more casual and inexperienced organ players. And it's not available at all on most clones and virtual instruments of course.
Thanks Hugh, but I knew all that! I was aiming my question at the OP to see what he expected the Hammond to provide.

P.S. Which clones have more than two contacts? Sounds like you'd be the man to ask!
The Mellotron 4000D and the upcoming Expressive Osmose have key response that begins the moment a key moves and reports its position from initial press to full press and into aftertouch. I see no reason why some budding software engineer shouldn't be able to put that to use... but I've seen nothing of the kind to date.
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby innerchord » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:56 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
innerchord wrote:Which clones have more than two contacts? Sounds like you'd be the man to ask!

Oh, am I to presume you really know that too, and are just testing me now? :wtf:

Testing you? I was actually praising your extensive knowledge. Why so tetchy? Wow! :eh:
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:46 am

Not tetchy... just trying to fathom your approach...

The only two organ instruments I know of with more than two contacts controlling individual sound generation elements are the Hammond X5 which, as I've already said, has three physical contacts (each of which emulates three discrete virtual contacts with varying delays), and the Hammond New B3 (and its sibling models) which have ten individual contacts per key (nine for drawbars and the tenth for MIDI and velocity data). Both of these keyboard designs are bespoke Suzuki Hammond products and are not available in any other instruments as far as I'm aware.

Importantly, both the XK5 and New B3 keybeds are very, very similar in feel and response to a 60-year old console Hammond.

It's possible there are other multi contact keybeds I haven't yet come across, but the vast majority of organ clones -- including Hammond's more affordable current models (the XK-1c, SK1, SK2, SKX, and their older models like the XK3 etc) just have the standard single or dual contact arrangement because they use standard mass-produced keybeds.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hammond-b3
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hammond-xk-5
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Re: Considerations in purchasing Hammond B3 (vintage) vs. XK5 for recording.

Postby innerchord » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:14 pm

Thanks for that, Hugh.
I've been playing Hammond since the 1970's, but can't be bothered to keep up with every instrument that gets released these days, hence the (genuine) query.
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